Binoculars as Spotting Scope?


August 18, 2007, 01:30 PM
I'm shooting a .223 rifle at 'shoot 'n' see' targets at 100 and 300 yards. Are there binoculars that would work as a spotting scope at these distances? If so, are any of the under $300?

If you enjoyed reading about "Binoculars as Spotting Scope?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
August 18, 2007, 02:31 PM
yeah, we've used binos spotting for each other. CDNN has some deals on budget biinos. for what it sounds like you're interested in doing, you probably don't need to spend a bunch of money. use the search feature, this topic has been discussed recently, the info you;re after is probably already here. good luck.....

August 18, 2007, 02:38 PM
They do work, but pay attention to the magnification - there's no point to buy low-mag binos, like 10x or less. In here, the bigger the better - bigger magnification; put on a simple camera tripod, should work fine.

Vern Humphrey
August 18, 2007, 03:41 PM
there's no point to buy low-mag binos, like 10x or less. In here, the bigger the better - bigger magnification; put on a simple camera tripod, should work fine.
And there's the problem -- those would be binoculars devoted to spotting, not to hunting or other uses. To see the bullet holes would require a large objective lens, so a pair of 10X with a large enough objective lens to give good resolution would be quite heavy and bulky.

Rollis R. Karvellis
August 18, 2007, 03:53 PM
I’m trying to convince my wife I need a 150mm celestron with go to capability, when I tell her in the day time I can use it for a spotting scope she just rolls her eyes……:rolleyes:

August 18, 2007, 04:08 PM
Vern - do you think 10x are strong enough? I've seen a couple of Leupold and Bushnell binocs at the local sporting good store that were in the $300 range. I'm just not sure I can see the bullet holes with them. I don't mind the size.

Vern Humphrey
August 18, 2007, 04:11 PM
For about the same price you can get 20X or higher dedicated spotting scopes with a tripod that are better for your pupose.

August 18, 2007, 04:48 PM
You can have both hunting binoculars and spotting scope capabilities, but not for $300. I use a Swarvoski 2X multiplier that screws into the eyepiece of the binoculars. They are very nice, gives you 20X glass in seconds.

August 18, 2007, 04:55 PM
I have a rather nice pair of Japanese 20x binocs, 56mm objectives as I recall. Pretty good optics for the under five hundred dollars category. I've been using them on a tripod, in lieu of a spotting scope for years, and I hate them. Let me count the ways:

1. I can see about the same, or slightly more, detail with the 20x binocs than with my 14x rifle scope, which means it is of little optical value, but does allow someone else to spot for me.

2. Bullet holes at 300 yards? Uh, no. Not without far superior optics. 30 cal holes at 200, barely and only in the very best lighting conditions. Shoot-n-see will improve this slightly.

3. Eye relief. This is where I get crazy. We all shoot with safety glasses, or at least that's what 100% of all shooting manuals and various owners manuals say, and 100% of all ranges and shooting clubs say, yet EACH and EVERY ONE of the spotting scope I've looked at in the stores has the same, ultra lame, ultra short eye relief that my binoculars have. If you can't use a scope at any and all settings while wearing glasses and while not touching it with any part of your body (if you're touching the scope, its jumping all over the place, and you can't see the detail its capable of showing you. At 300 yards, you'll need all the quality and detail possible. Do not touch the scope) it is 100% unsuitable as a spotting scope.

I completely fail to understand what it is that the spotting scope makers think we are doing with a spotting scope. Maybe I'm dumb, but I thought is was to spot our shots, so we don't have to walk 600 to 1200 yards round trip for each shot. We're wearing glasses 100% of the time, and that we want to see bullet holes. The 100 dollar "spotting" scope you see in the stores will show you less detail than a good rifle scope and therefore are 100 dollar paperweights for your office desk.

At 100 yards, any good binocs will work ok for you. At 300 yards and beyond, you want the best of the best, but they’re going to be dedicated for spotting. Anything over about 10X gets to be a pain in the neck for the uses to which binoculars are normally put, so you might as well get a real spotting scope, where you're paying for one set of really good lenses instead of two sets of mediocre ones.

In the final analysis, its getting cheaper to install a video camera near the target, with RF link to your shooting position, than to get super good optics.

I'm interested in trying some of the clestial telescopes. A decent reflector isn't expensive, just really, really big...

August 18, 2007, 05:17 PM
big 5 sporting goods has Barka's on sale for $29.99 they are 7-21x40 zoom I bought a couple pair as they are also pretty compact to keep in the truck and on the bike tested em side by side with my spotting scope set at 20 and ya couldn't tell any difference other than they are binos.. very clear image

Rollis R. Karvellis
August 19, 2007, 01:24 PM
My problem is at the price of the celestron a monster reflector can be bought;:) only I would forget that the image is reversed and my adjustment would be all wrong.:D

August 19, 2007, 02:32 PM
The Burris Compact 20x50mm spotting scope is outstanding for the price. This is the one the give away with some of their scopes and you can buy them on eBay all day for less than $80. I picked up a couple for birding and couldn't be happier.

Unless you are going to spend over $500 forget zoom eyepieces. You'll get much better optics with a fixed power eyepiece. A cheap zoom won't make it clearer, just bigger.

The scope is compact, waterproof, has BaK4 prisms (the good ones), fully-multicoated optics, a generous field of view, and it's a joy to look through. Images are clear and bright. According to the Burris site 20x is about all that is usable with a 50mm lens. All the reading I did on every spotting scope and birding forum seems to back this up.

August 19, 2007, 02:51 PM
Baraska 20-100x 70mm (***681***) $149

If you enjoyed reading about "Binoculars as Spotting Scope?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!