Spotting scopes are designed by optical engineers with varying features to suit purposes and budgets. If you intend to use a scope to locate birds or wildlife for photography, it is worth considering the close focus ability. Being able to spot small birds or creatures in foliage and bushes just 20 or 30 feet away can be very useful.
The magnification is a fundamental consideration with models providing around 30x to 70x or even slightly higher. The greater the magnification the better viewing will be of further afield objects, with some models able to view subjects well beyond the abilities of a regular pair of binoculars. With higher magnifications it can be difficult to keep a scope steady. High-end models are starting to appear with stabilisation, such as some Nikon models for example, which boast vibration reduction.
Another consideration is the objective lens. This defines the image quality and in this case bigger is better, particularly on models with a high magnification. Larger objective lenses do lead to heavier equipment however, so it is worth considering the intended use. A tripod or monopod can help with stabilisation and comfort for longer periods of use.
Another choice when deciding on a model is whether to opt for straight or angled. Each present their own set of pros and cons. Overall a straight scope provides quicker target acquisition and are better for looking downwards. Angled scopes are perhaps slightly more fiddly, but arguably provide more versatility and are better for looking upwards. So birders and wildlife photographers tend to opt for angled scopes and outdoor sports tend to err towards straight scopes.
Visit Park Cameras store in Burgess Hill or Central London to try different models for yourself and see which you favour or shop online for fully secure purchases and free delivery. We also carry a range of eye pieces, extenders and accessories to accompany your purchase.