6 Best Spotting Scopes under 500

Are you in the market for the best spotting scope under 500? If your answer is yes, you are in the right place. We have put together this spotting scope guide to help you navigate the different models available in this price category.

A spotting scope is a sighting tool that gives you a better idea of what lies in the distance. They have a higher magnification power than binoculars and most rifle scopes to help you cover distances that these tools can’t reach. They are ideal for observing targets from a fixed position and come in a wide range of prices for you to choose from depending on your budget.

What Makes a Great Spotting Scope under 500

A great spotting scope is made of a ton of features that work together to give you the best views of targets across different ranges. The first feature that makes a spotting scope great is a rugged body that shields the optics from damage and withstands whatever handling you subject it to.

Secondly, the spotting scope has to have a weatherproofed body to complement the robust construction. Its optical tubes should be O-ring sealed and filled with an inert gas to give you unmatched reliability in all kinds of weather conditions. Additionally, the body should be covered with rubber armor that guards it against shock and elements.

The other paramount characteristic of a good spotting scope is generous eye relief. Often overlooked, long eye relief is important to make the scope comfortable to use.

The best spotting scope under 500 also features high-quality glass and proper coatings on all the lenses to deliver images that are rich in brightness, clarity, and edge-to-edge sharpness.

Best Spotting Scopes under 500

Finding a good spotting scope under 500 is not always an easy task. There are so many models available out there but not all are worth the purchase. But we are here to help. We have done the legwork and put up a list of the best spotting scopes under 500 to help you make the right selection.

Without much ado, let’s take a look.

1) Vortex Optics Diamondback Spotting Scopes

best spotting scope under 500




Vortex Optics Diamondback Spotting Scopes are the best spotting scopes under 500, Coming from one highly respected brand, the Diamondback spotting scope delivers super performance in a light, compact, and travel-friendly package.

With its rugged construction, the spotting scope will weather whatever punishment you subject it to and offer you many years of field use. Besides, it has a non-slip rubber armor that enhances durability by providing more shield from impacts and elements. It is also built to deliver a lifetime of waterproof and fog-proof performance.

The spotting scope has an angled viewing design that makes it ideal for a ton of applications including Digiscoping. The lenses are fully multi-coated to cut glare, reduce internal light reflection and ensure excellent light transmission for bright and clear image views. Also included is a built-in sunshade that reduces glare in broad sunlight and protected the objective lens from weather elements.

For added convenience, this optic has a twist-and-lock collar that you use to move it into different glassing positions and a focus wheel that is smooth and easy to operate. The eyecup is also adjustable to maximize eye comfort during use.


  • Fully multi-coated lenses
  • Waterproof and fog proof
  • Multi-layer prism coatings
  • Twist-and-lock collar
  • Built-in sunshade
  • Rubber armored body
  • 20feet close focus
  • Broad 20-60x magnification


  • Easy to use the focus wheel
  • Sturdy and robust construction
  • Great low-light performance


  • Cheap outer case


2) Vanguard Endeavor 20-60x82mm HD 82A Spotting Scope

best spotting scope under 500




The Vanguard Endeavor 20-60x82mm is the ultimate spotting scope for long-range observations. It boasts a ton of high-quality features and a broad zoom power that makes it by far the best spotting scope under 500 for viewing targets at extended ranges.

This version of the Endeavor HD spotting scope has a 20-60x zoom eyepiece that optimizes versatility. At each zoom setting, the scope yields stunning picture quality thanks to the large 82mm objective lens that collects more light inside the optics. Besides, the scope has a long eye relief of 19mm to maximize your viewing comfort with or without eyeglasses.

Another outstanding feature of the spotting scope is its durability. It has a rugged magnesium body with a weather-sealed construction and rugged rubber armor. This makes it ideal for use even in rough terrains and adverse weather conditions.

To enhance its functionality, the scope has a dual focus mechanism that you use to make fine and coarse adjustments. It also features a standard 1/4” socket at the mounting foot which is compatible with all Vanguard tripods.


  • Fully multi-coated optics
  • Waterproof and fog proof
  • Built-in sun-shield
  • Tripod mounting foot
  • Extra-low dispersion glass elements
  • Angled eyepiece design
  • Durable magnesium body
  • Dual focus mechanism


  • Edge-to-edge clarity
  • Solid construction
  • Tripod ready


  • Blurred image at the highest zoom levels


3) Alpen Shasta Ridge 20-60x80mm Spotting Scope

Alpen Shasta Ridge




The Alpen Shasta Ridge 20-60x80mm is the best spotting scope under 500 for target shooting. It performs flawlessly in any weather condition and has a broad 20-60x magnification for target shooting across different ranges.

With an oversized 80mm objective lens, the scope is usable in virtually all lighting conditions. The large aperture design plus the high-quality glass and fully multi-coated lenses yield stunning sight pictures and offer an unmatched optical resolution, even in low-lighting environments.

Moreover, the spotting scope is outfitted with a 45-degree angled eyepiece that comes in handy when you need to view something at a steep upward angle. It also allows for group sharing when you are shooting targets with your friends or family.

When it comes to construction, the spotting scope boasts rugged housing that is shockproof and impact resistant. Additionally, the optical tubes are nitrogen filled to prevent fog buildup when you move the scope in areas with a big temperature gradient. The scope is also waterproof and dustproof for use in all weather conditions.


  • Multi-coated lenses
  • Angled body type
  • Rubber covered body
  • 20-60x magnification power
  • BaK4 prisms
  • 24ft close focus


  • Tripod ready
  • Wide field of view
  • Long eye relief


  • Heavy


4) Barska 25-75×100 Blackhawk Spotter

Barska 25-75x100




When it comes to value and versatility, it is hard to beat the Barska 25-75×100 Blackhawk Spotter. This compact spotting scope features an ultra-broad zoom magnification that makes it ideal for a ton of outdoor applications across so many distances.

The optical performance of this spotter is outstanding. It features a large 100mm objective lens that draws in more light than the smaller-sized lenses and enhances low-light performance. Furthermore, the optics are multi-coated to cut glare and enhance the transmission of the light collected. This gives you crisp clear views that are rich in color contrast from sunrise to sunset.

For all-weather reliability, the scope is waterproofed and filled with nitrogen gas to keep the optics free of fog. Besides that, it has a long eye relief that guarantees great glassing comfort with or without eyewear.

The long eye relief works together with the angled eyepiece design to reduce eye fatigue when you are using the spotting scope for lengthy sessions.

Above all, this spotting scope is tripod ready so you can mount it on a tripod of your choice and take the weight off your hands as well as enjoy steady sight pictures at the highest zoom levels.


  • Porro prism optical path
  • Waterproof and fog proof
  • Multi-coated optics
  • Angled eyepiece design
  • Broad 27-75x magnification
  • Large 100mm objective lens
  • 32ft/ 10m close focus


  • Good for low light
  • Solid all-metal construction
  • Generous eye relief
  • Tripod adaptable


  • Slightly heavy


5) Hawke Sports Optics Endurance ED 13-39x50mm Spotting Scope

Hawke Sports Optics Endurance




Another best spotting scope under 500 on our list is the Endurance ED 13-39x50mm Spotting Scope from Hawke Sports Optics. This multifunctional observation tool will let you soak up high-quality nature time and make your outdoor escapades more fun.

The spotting scope is good for both close and long-range observation. It has a close-focus technology that lets you see different subjects in detail from 8.2 feet away. Furthermore, it has a variable 13-39x magnification that magnifies the small objects and gets you closer to the distant targets.

Optically, the spotting scope features extra-low dispersion glass that improves resolution as well as color richness. To maximize light transmission and eliminate chromatic aberrations fully, the optic features fully multi-coated lenses and premium BaK4 Porro prisms. It also comes with a pull-out sunshade that reduces glare when you are using the scope in direct sunlight.

To top it all off, the scope’s optical tubes are nitrogen purged to be fog proof and sealed to prevent dust, debris, and moisture from entering inside the optics.


  • Extra-low dispersion glass
  • Dual focus knob
  • Angled eyepiece design
  • Waterproof and nitrogen purged
  • BaK4 Porro prisms
  • Fully multi-coated optics
  • Twist-up eyecup
  • Retractable sunshade


  • Great eye relief
  • Lightweight and small in size
  • Multifunctionality


  • Smaller magnification range

6) SightMark Latitude 15-45×60 Tactical Spotting Scope

SightMark Latitude




The SightMark Latitude 15-45×60 is another great spotting scope whose versatility is hard to beat. It makes a perfect companion for hunters, tactical shooting, general observation, and wildlife viewing among others.

The highlight of this compact spotting scope is the reticle. It comes with a Mil-Radian reticle positioned on the first focal plane. With the reticle, you will be able to keep your objective in focus and fine-tune your accuracy when you are hunting or hitting targets in the field.

Furthermore, the large 60mm objective lens makes the spotting scope ideal for use even in low-light settings. To complement the large aperture are fully multi-coated optics that cut glare, limit light loss, and maximize light transmission in critically low light environments.

Regarding construction, the spotting scope has a rubber-armored body to withstand rigorous and rough handling. It is also protected from dust, fog, and water to ensure that your glass confident in all weather conditions.

The SightMark Latitude 15-45×60 spotting scope also brings to the table a twist-up eyecup that makes it eyeglass friendly, a central focus system that is very easy to use, and a focusable eyepiece for bringing the targets into sharp focus rapidly.


  • Fully multi-coated optics
  • Straight body type
  • First focal plane mil-radian reticle
  • Rubber armored housing
  • Dielectric mirror coatings
  • Twist-up eyecup
  • Waterproof, fog proof and dustproof
  • Central focus system


  • Excellent fit and finish
  • Easy to use
  • Good eye relief
  • Versatile


  • Slightly stiffed focus adjustment

Read Also

Angled Vs Straight Eyepiece Placement

There are two eyepiece placement designs in spotting scopes: angled and straight.

A straight spotting scope has its eyepiece in line with the objective lens. You look through it and you will get a magnified view of the object you are viewing. Straight spotting scopes are simple to use especially for beginners and the best for hunting applications.

Angled spotting scopes on the other hand have the eyepiece at an angle with the objective lens. Usually, the angle is 45 degrees. They are more versatile than their straight counterparts and the best choice for viewing subjects at an uphill or downhill position.

How to Choose a Spotting Scope under 500

Finding the best spotting under 500 is not something you do on a whip. When shopping for one for your outdoor applications, consider these important factors before you settle on a particular product.

Picture Quality

A spotting scope will be of no use if it delivers dull and unclear image views. It is therefore important to look at the glass the scope uses and get a product with the best glass you can afford.

Spotting scopes made with extra-low dispersion glass or any other premium quality glass are the best for all outdoor applications. They yield superb resolution even in low-light environments and enhance the richness of the image in terms of color contrast.

Light Gathering Capacity

You will not be using the spotting scope in good lighting conditions all the time. As such is it important to get a scope that is designed to be operable in all weather conditions. The objective lens is responsible for collecting light inside the scope and the larger the diameter is, the more light it collects. To get the best performance even in low light settings, look for a scope that has an objective lens of between 50mm and 80mm.

Magnification Power

The next thing to consider is magnification power. You will want a product that has zoom power that covers targets at different distances with ease. Generally, scopes with a zoom lens from between 20x to 60x are more than sufficient for a wide range of applications.

Eye Relief

The best spotting scope under 500 comes with an eye relief that is long enough to maximize user comfort during use. A model with at least 15mm eye relief is enough for most people who don’t wear eyeglasses. If you wear spectacles, look for a scope that has a longer eye relief of 18mm and above. Most spotting scopes also feature folding or adjustable rubber eyecups to accommodate those who wear glasses.

Focusing Mechanism

There are two main focusing mechanisms in spotting scopes; focusing collar and zoom eyepiece adjustment. The first and easiest of the two is the focusing collar. Spotting scopes with the focusing collar mechanism have the entire barrel knurled or rubberized and you have to twist the whole barrel to bring the image into sharp focus.

The second design includes a small focus knob placed at the top of the spotting scope by the zoom eyepiece. This focusing mechanism is slow to focus but it provides more precision than the former.

Spotting Scopes Care

After you have bought your spotting scope, taking good care of it will increase its lifespan and ensure that it stays ready for use. There are certain measures that you can follow and get several years of useful life out of your scope. These measures include:

  • Put the scope with an eyepiece cover on during storage
  • Use special cleaning items to clean and remove the dust and debris from the lens
  • Remove all the moisture from the scope’s surface after using it in the rain
  • Do not use household cleaning products to clean the scope’s lens
  • Don’t try to open the scope to clean the internal parts. When the internal parts get dirty, take the scope to a professional optics cleaner to have it cleaned.


Choosing the best spotting scope under 500 will go a long way to make your outdoor expeditions so much better irrespective of what you use it for. Each of the spotting scopes we have mentioned above represents the height of quality, durability, and performance one expects at the thing price range.

So, identify the type of application you will be using the spotting scope for and focus on getting a model that is made for that application. Hopefully, the above guide has steered you in the right direction and you are now able to find a unit that perfectly matches your needs.