Best Rated Spotting Scope Under $500 Reviews

Having the best scope experience will ultimately depend on your budget. If you are willing to stretch just a little bit, you will find amazing products without having to break the bank. You can actually get pretty decent spotting scopes under $500

We have put together a sensitive list of the best spotting scopes under $500. They all have impressive specs and are built for every need. They are a great choice if you are serious about your scoping activities.

Image Product
Best for hunting Product Vanguard Endeavor HD Angled Eyepiece Spotting Scope
  • Low-dispersion ED glass
  • BaK-4 roof prism
  • Waterproof and fog-proof.
Impressive optic specs Product Vortex Optics Diamondback Spotting Scope
  • Variable magnification of 20-60x
  • Fully multi-coated lenses
  • Completely waterproof and fog-proof
Excellent for birding Product Celestron TrailSeeker 80-45 Degree Spotting Scope
  • Proprietary XLT and multi-coated lenses.
  • Rubber-armored.
  • Compact design makes it easy to carry.
Built for target shooting Product Redfield Rampage 20-60x80mm Angled Spotting Scope
  • Highly durable.
  • Clear target at 200 yards
  • Rubber armored polycarbonate
For mid-range Product Bushnell Trophy XLT 15-45 x 50mm Spotting Scope
  • Waterproof and fog-proof.
  • Premium BaK-4 porro prism.
  • Made with lead-free glass.



Top Hunting Spotting Scope Under 500

Vanguard Endeavor HD Angled Eyepiece Spotting Scope

This is one of Vanguard's best spotting scope under $500. It is built to deliver the best optical experience with an accurate color rendition and the elimination of color fringing. This is thanks to the extra-dispersion glass.

The best light transmission is ensured by the many layers of coating. Also featuring BaK-4 roof prism to ensure that you get the clearest image possible. As you can see, there is a lot of effort put into the optics of this scope. To this, you must add the rather large diameter objective lens, which allows a better light reception

This scope is also thought for heavy duty. Its rubber-armored magnesium body ensures high durability and protection. This includes being 100% waterproof and fog-proof.

Pros
  • Extra-low dispersion glass ensures accurate color rendition.
  • Waterproof and fog-proof.
  • A large objective lens diameter.
Cons
  • When you start cranking up the power, the images start to look blurry.



Offers Great Optics Specs

Vortex Optics Diamondback Spotting Scope

If you are already a Vortex optical product customer, you already know how superb they are when it comes to quality, warranties, and customer service. This compact 60-mm lens scope is a compact one and a favorite. Do not let the small size fool you; this one has some awesome specs in it.

The Diamondback has a variable magnification of 20-60x. Other impressive optic features include dielectric prism coatings and fully multi-coated lenses. We are talking about a tremendous amount of power here.

Other features to look into this scope include adjustable eyecup twists, a super easy to use focus wheel. Thanks to O-rings and nitrogen purge, this scope is completely waterproof and fog-proof. There is no doubt that this one will deliver crisp and clear images and what a great price!

Pros
  • 100% weatherproof.
  • Adaptable for digiscoping
  • It has a dielectric prism coating and fully multicoated lenses.
Cons
  • Not easy to focus after 100 yards of distance.



Best Rated Birding Spotting Scope Under 500

Celestron TrailSeeker 80-45 Degree Spotting Scope

Birdwatchers need a spotting scope that allows them to see birds with spectacular color. High-end scopes do this in a marvelous way. But if you can stretch only a little above a $200-mark, then you definitively need to take a look at the Celestron TrailSeeker. Let's start by saying that it is rubber armored so you can see it is built for durability.

The image is pretty good and with all colors present. That, of course, if you do not look for birds during sunrise and sunset. This spotting scope has an 80-mm diameter objective lens, which means it captures a large amount of light. It also has a field of view of 105-52 ft/1000 yards.

With multi-coated lenses and proprietary XLT, you get a crisp HD image thanks to a great light transmission. You get a great performance in a compact design that is easy to carry. The dual focus speed allows you to spot the bird and then refine.

Pros
  • Rubber-armored for durability.
  • Sharp and vivid images thanks to their proprietary XLT multi-coated lenses.
  • It comes with an easy-to-carry package.
Cons
  • The image begins to distort at a greater zoom.



Top Rated Target Shooting Spotting Scope Under 500

Redfield Rampage 20-60x80mm Angled Spotting Scope

The Rampage is backed up by Redfield, which is a company that has been producing quality spotting scopes for many years. This scope has a decent size and goes from 20-60x magnification. This, combined with an 80-mm objective lens allows you to reach targets at 200 yards.

You get a clear and consistent picture thanks to its high-quality lenses. This includes fully multi-coated lenses and high-quality prisms. So, you get a clear and bright picture which allows you to spot a target with a great image at 200 yards.

When it comes to the exterior, this scope is a tough one. Its polycarbonate housing is rubber armored to guarantee durability and performance. The Redfield Rampage includes a tripod and a retractable sunshade for the objective lens.

Pros
  • It is highly durable thanks to its rubber-armored polycarbonate housing.
  • Retractable lens shade.
  • Clear images allow you to spot targets as far as 200 yards.
Cons
  • It is relatively big and heavy.



Best Rated Mid-Range Spotting Scope Under 500

Bushnell Trophy XLT 15-45 x 50mm Spotting Scope

Bushnell is a benchmark when it comes to range spotting scopes. The Trophy XLT is a perfect choice for a mid-range spotting scope. We will start by pointing out that it is 100% waterproof and fog-proof.

This durable spotting scope comes with fully multi-coated lenses and premium Bak-4 porro prism. This provides images that are crisp, clear, and with great contrast. The lead-free glasses on this scope ensure quality performance at all times.

It is sturdy and durable; designed to last a lifetime. Its rubber armor construction along with the waterproof and fog-proof feature makes it suitable for harsh conditions. If you are looking for the best mid-range spotting scopes, you must give these ones a try.

Pros
  • Fully multicoated lenses and BaK-4 porro prisms.
  • It is built especially for extreme conditions.
  • Package includes a small tripod.
Cons
  • It is pretty heavy and the tripod it comes with is not strong enough to handle it.




Buyer's Guide

We have covered the most important uses you could give to a spotting scope. From hunting to birding, to target shooting, there is a spotting scope out there for you. But, as usual, there is a massive amount of choices out there and the job to find the perfect one can be daunting.

When you have vamped your budget, your chances of getting a decent spotting scope are increased as well. You can get better specs like BaK-4 porro prisms which are great at delivering clear HD images.

You are in luck as we have broken down all the considerations you must have when you are looking for a decent spotting scope with a price tag of less than $500.



What to expect

If you walk into a store or get online to a virtual store with your $500 in hand, you should know what it is to be expected. This is important because, if you are going to a physical store, salespeople will try to flash you in to purchase an expensive scope.

However, if you are well-informed on what the minimum requirements for a good scope are, you will not be easily fooled. In the case of an online store like Amazon, stores tend to beef their listings to make the product appear as a really good product.

The following are some of the minimum specs you should expect to get with a budget of less than $500.

  • Weather-proof. Most binoculars (if not all) in the range of $200-$350 are waterproof and fog-proof. For your budget, you should not settle for one that is not purged and is sealed with O-rings.

  • BaK-4 prims. This type of glass is the best at passing on light through the scope. It reduces chromatic aberration and provides a crisp image. Usually, BaK-7 glass spotting scopes (or binoculars) are sold in cheaper stores. This is because they are not as good for transmitting light as the 4s are.

  • Prime optics. You can get as far as having fully multi-coated lenses to provide a really clear image at large points. If possible, test the spotting scope, and if it could be done in a poor light area, even better. When it comes to range shooting, you should be able to get sharp images at 200 yards from you.

  • Durability. If you are going to be making a considerable investment, you should take care of it. You are entitled to a fully shock-protected spotting scope. These usually cover a magnesium or polycarbonate housing.


Now, take the following recommendations when you go and look for your best choice of under $500 spotting scopes.


How to choose a spotting scope for hunting under $500

For hunting, you are looking for a scope that will only give you the magnification you require for the type of hunting you are doing. Never too much but also never to short. For instance, some scopes can go as far as 80x, which brings them closer to a telescope.

But this magnification is not what you need for hunting necessarily. Even if you did, it would probably not be covered by your budget. A 40-45x magnification is great for most types of hunting. The best part is that you can get a great spotting scope at less than $500.

No need to say this but, hunting is a tough activity that requires the work from the best. Fortunately, you can ensure a durable product that is able to withstand harsh weather and drastic changes.


How to choose a spotting scope for birding under $500

Remember that, for bird-watching, you want a scope that offers clear image and does not compromise the colors. Also, make sure it has a large field of view. Birds tend to move a lot and they will not wait for you to get a good shot at them.

Some really good scopes include a dual focus system that allows you to get a cleaner image of a bird once you have spotted them. Pretty useful if you are digiscoping. For your budget, you can get a quality scope with ED glass and diamagnetic prisms that avoid chromatic aberration.


How to choose a spotting scope for target shooting under $500

Target shooting is a very fun activity that many enthusiasts enjoy. If you go for a cheap spotting scope, you will be looking at some blurs once you hit the 100-yard mark. But if you have decided to push it up a little bit to our proposed budget, you can get some beauties.

Scopes around that price are usually good enough to reach 200 yards with clarity. Some of them might allow a 300-yard mark, but the image is probably blurry and bad optical things begin to happen when you push a scope to its limit.

But the range is not all there is about target shooting. It is also important that you get a decent amount of power. This is because you need to spot bullet holes on a target sometimes so a good magnification is essential.




Conclusion

You have read how a spotting scope under 500 can still get you amazing specs. If you have a small budget less then 500 then check out the best rated budget spotting scope review article.

As with all optics, having a clear idea of what it is that you need makes the search easier. Do you need a scope for hunting, or maybe only for hiking? This will probably not be the same you use for birding.

With a budget of less than $500, you can get an affordable scope. If you're interested in more articles check out best rated spotting scope reviews. Keep in mind purchasing a spotting scope that includes a tripod, which most of them are really low quality, so we recommend you check out the best rated spotting scope tripod review.