Why Use a Spotting Scope Instead of Binoculars?

The naked eye has limitations when it comes to long-range viewing. Objects that are far off will usually escape you if you can’t see them clearly. Luckily our intelligence allows us to find solutions and make tools to help us achieve beyond what nature gave us. Of such are spotting scopes and binoculars.

There is usually a debate amongst hunters and birdwatchers on which of the two is best to use. Thanks to its long-range magnification, spotting scopes clearly outperform binoculars. Let’s consider a few more differences and find out why you can use a best spotting scope instead of binoculars.

Greater Magnification

This is perhaps the first thing anyone who has compared the two notices. The spotting scope is far superior to your regular pair of binos. In fact, the magnification of spotting scopes normally starts where the binoculars end.

How clear the image is going to be is another factor that comes down to how the image is magnified. Consider trying to get two optics to view in sync. The fact that you are trying to zoom in two lenses will always result in a lag between them. Since spotting scopes are a single unit and everything works together to produce an image, the clarity is superior to that from the binoculars.

Stay Hidden

When it comes to hunting or birding, you need to be careful not to give your position away. Animals are equipped with incredible senses which they use to keep themselves safe. Deer, for example, can hear and spot you from a long way off and within seconds they will bounce off into obscurity.

Spotting scopes allow you to observe from a long distance away further than even animals can sense. You can then make the necessary decisions on how you are going to get your target without scaring it away. Binoculars can see a long way off but they won’t match up to a spotter.

Shooting with a Spotting Scope

I’ve never heard it referred to as shooting with binoculars, have you? Consider a situation where you are trying to hit a target at 200 yards. Without a good spotting scope, you are going to have to walk to the target every time you take a shot. This is time wasting.

The spotting scope enables you to view where the bullet hit and make the necessary adjustments to your rifle scope to allow you to take a better shot. You simply cannot use your binoculars for this.

Easy to Carry

Wait this is the point where you think I’m having fun with you isn’t it? No way. I’m serious as cancer man. Granted spotting scopes are normally large and if you are a hunter who needs to trek in order to get to your quarry, a large equipment will usually slow you down.

However, did you know that modern technology has seen the release of smaller and compact spotting scopes that are simple to carry? Yes, these small scopes still provide you with the benefits of the larger scopes allowing you to see great distances that binoculars could not.

Better Visibility in Low Light

Sometimes you might find yourself tracking prey even as the light fades. This is normally the time that the animals are active having hidden away from the heat of the day. Spotting scopes lenses are usually covered with special coatings to enhance the transmission of light.

Combined with a much larger objective lens (compared to the binos), you have a tool that allows you to spot targets in the dark.


Low light visibility and greater magnification make spotting scopes a favorite among many. While binoculars are portable, there are spotting scopes that can compete with this yet next to no binoculars that can handle the range of the spotting scope.