Straight vs. Angled Spotting Scope: What’s the Right Choice for You?

Straight vs. Angled Spotting Scope

Curious about which spotting scope you should get? In the battle between straight vs. angled spotting scopes, which comes out on top? Which is right for you.

When you are searching for a spotting scope, you will quickly find that there are two different types of options that are readily available – straight and angled. Which one of these is the best choice for you? What’s the difference between them? In this article, we will look at straight vs. angled spotting scopes, so you can get a better understanding of each of these types of scopes, how they work, and the types of features you can expect with them.

Also, we will be looking at four of the best available options for angled scopes, as well as four options for straight scopes. Let’s look at those scopes now and then get into the straight vs. angled spotting scope battle.

Celestron Ultima 80 Straight Spotting Scope

Celestron offers the Ultima 80, a straight spotting scope that has a variable magnification of 20-60×80 mm. This spotting scope can be used for a range of purposes including hunting, watching the wildlife, bird watching, or just taking in the scenery.

The spotting scope has multicoated optics that also have anti-reflective coatings. This helps to improve the brightness of the images you see through the scope, as well as improvements for the color and contrast. You will find that it can work well even in low-light conditions. The wide field of view is also a nice feature.

The straight spotting scope also includes a zoom eyepiece with a T-adapter that’s been integrated and can be used for digiscoping. It also comes with an extended tripod mounting piece, a lens cap, an eyepiece port cover, eyepiece pouch, and a lens cloth. You will also be happy to know that there are an instruction manual and a soft carrying case.

You will also find other options available from Celestron including spotting scopes that have smartphone adapters. They produce a range of quality products.

Vortex Optics Viper HD 15-45×56 Straight Spotting Scope

The straight spotting scope from Vortex Optics is a high-quality option that has a range of features that help to make it one of the most popular and best spotting scopes available.

Like the other options on the list, this can work well for hunting, as well as birding and looking for wildlife to watch. Vortex Optics also offers other magnification levels and even angled scopes for those who prefer them.

The scope has an HD optical system that provides high-definition images. The XR anti-reflective coatings on the exterior surfaces can help to provide brighter views even when using the scope in poor lighting conditions. There is even a built-in sunshade that can be pulled out to reduce glare further.

You will appreciate the smooth helical focus dial that will make it easy to get your image nice and sharp. The scope has a multi-position eyecup that can provide excellent eye relief. The locking collar will let you use the scope by rotating it and locking it into different positions.

You will not have to worry about fog or water thanks to the O-ring sealed and argon purged design of the straight spotting scope. The rubber armor provides a great grip and better durability, making it great for use in the field.

BARSKA 20-60×60 Straight Spotting Scope

Another straight spotting scope that might work well for your needs comes from BARSKA. This provides variable magnification from 20x to 60x with a 60 mm objective lens. The spotting scope is easy to use and works well for hunting, birding, and more thanks to the wide zoom range. Start at 20x to get a wider view of the area, and then zoom in further on interesting subjects.

You will appreciate the smooth focusing knob on the spotting scope. This provides you with the ability to fine-tune your focus in small and precise increments, which is essential when spotting at long ranges. The fully coated lenses help to provide you with a bright and clear picture.

The spotting scope includes several accessories, as well. You will receive a nice pan-headed tripod, a flip-down lens cover, and a soft carrying case. The tabletop tripod can help to ensure steadier viewing. You could use the spotting scope with your own tripod, or you could remove the tripod entirely.

Redfield Rampage 20-60×60 Straight Spotting Scope

The Redfield Rampage is another quality spotting scope for those searching for a straight scope rather than an angled one. It has a wide magnification range from 20x to 60x with a 60 mm objective lens. This scope also features a lens shade, along with high-quality optics for a clear picture.

The straight spotting scope can provide you with the extra magnification you need in the field when you are hunting. Of course, like other spotting scopes, this can serve multiple purposes. You might want to use it for watching wildlife while picnicking or for spotting birds, for example.

The quality and durability of the scope are without question. It is nitrogen-filled, which provides you with protection from fogging. The scope is waterproof, and it features polycarbonate housing and a rubber armor body. There are textured grip surfaces, as well. It features twist-up eyecups and a generous amount of eye relief for those who wear glasses.

The straight spotting scope also comes with a tripod, a view-thru case with a strap, an eyepiece cover, an objective lens cover, and a soft storage case. The scope is relatively lightweight and can be a good addition to your gear.

Celestron Ultima 80 Angled Spotting Scope

Celestron also provides the Ultima 80 as an angled spotting scope for those who prefer them. The scope has variable magnification from 20x to 60x with an 80 mm objective lens with a 45-degree viewing angle.

You will find that the angled spotting scope has the same care and attention to detail as the straight spotting scope. Again, this can be used for hunting, birding, wildlife watching, and more.

The spotting scope has multicoated optics and antireflective coatings. This ensures brightness and color clarity along with contrast. The scope also features a large focus dial that is easy to use to provide your images in beautiful, sharp focus.

The Celestron angled spotting scope has the same types of accessories found with their straight spotting scope. This includes a zoom eyepiece with an integrated T-Adapter for digiscoping, a carrying case, an eyepiece lens cap, a lens cloth, instruction manual, and an eyepiece port cover.

Vortex Optics Razor HD Angled Spotting Scope

Those who are searching for a high-end angled spotting scope may want to consider the Razor from Vortex Optics. As with other options from Vortex Optics, it provides top-of-the-line technology and materials along with simple functionality. The scope has excellent eye relief along with a locking collar that will make it easy to rotate the scope and to lock it in different positions.

You will also be pleased with the triplet apochromatic lens. The scope provides true colors and excellent resolution. This particular scope has a variable zoom from 27x to 60x with an 85 mm objective lens. 

Even when you are spotting in low light, you will find that the picture is nice and clear. When spotting in the sunlight, you can use the built-in sunshade.

The helical focus is smooth and easy to use, so you can get a clear and crisp image quickly and before your target moves. The angled spotting scope is waterproof and fog-proof, and it features Armortek coatings that protect the lenses from dirt, scratches, and oil. The rubber armor on the body provides added durability.

Gosky HD Angled Spotting Scope

The Gosky HD spotting scope has a variable magnification of 20x to 60x with a 60 mm objective lens. The 45-degree angled eyepiece makes the scope nice and easy to use. The powerful magnification makes it a nice solution to use when watching birds, target shooting, hunting, and more. It’s also nice just to keep with you when camping in case you want to get a closer look at some distant animals.

The angled spotting scope has a multicoated green film on the objective lens, and BAK4 prism optics to provide a bright and clear picture that increases light transmission. Even in low light, you will find that the spotting scope does a great job.

Users are also happy with the durability that the spotting scope can provide. It has O-ring seals that prevent anything, including moisture, from getting into the scope. It is fog-proof, and you will find that it is a rugged scope with rubber armor. It can work well in the field no matter the weather conditions.

The angled spotting scope also comes with a range of helpful accessories. It includes a digiscoping, so you can take photos with your smartphone. There is a tripod, a carrying case, protective covers for the eyepiece and lens, and a cleaning cloth.

Athlon Optics Talos Angled Spotting Scope

The Talos from Athlon Optics is a cost-effective and high-quality angled spotting scope. The scope has multicoated lenses to ensure excellent light transmission for bright images when you look through the scope.

The spotting scope is durable and made from quality materials to ensure that it will last. It is waterproof, and you will not have any trouble using the angled spotting scope even in harsh conditions. The nitrogen gas helps to ensure there is no fogging on the lenses. Whether you are using the scope for hunting and spotting, or you are using it to watch the wildlife, it can serve you well no matter where you are.

The scope includes a tripod, as well as a carrying case. Keep in mind that the tripod that is included is a tabletop tripod. If you prefer a larger tripod to use with your scope, you will have to provide your own.

Straight vs. Angled Spotting Scopes: What’s the Difference?

Above are some of the best straight and angled scopes on the market today. However, you might still be wondering what the difference is between them. After all, they all have high-quality features and accessories, and they all have excellent magnification. So, it’s important to understand how the straight and angled scopes differ, even if they have many of the same features, so you can make the right choice.

With a straight spotting scope, the eyepiece will be in line with the objective lens. Angled spotting scopes have the eyepiece set at a different angle. It is usually 45 degrees, but it could be as much as 90 degrees.

Both of the scopes can have excellent optical quality and clarity. This includes the resolution and the brightness of the image that you see. So, what are the differences? Let’s look at some of the advantages of each to get a better idea.

Advantages of Straight Spotting Scopes

  • Very intuitive and simple to understand and use
  • Easier tracking
  • Faster acquisition of targets
  • Eyepiece typically has more protection
  • Easier to look downwards
  • The straight nature often makes it easier to pack than angled spotting scopes

Advantages of Angled Spotting Scopes

  • They will not need to be mounted as high
  • Easy and comfortable to use, especially for long periods of observation
  • Easier to use without a tripod
  • Easier to look upwards
  • Easier to switch from spotting scope to rifle scope
  • A good option for looking at the stars and other heavenly bodies

Conclusion: What Spotting Scope Style is Right for You?

With a better understanding of some of the major differences between the types of spotting scopes, you can now more easily determine which option will be best for your needs. We’ve included top options for both straight and angled spotting scopes, so you have a great place to start searching.

Consider how and where you will be using the scope, your budget, and the other features and accessories included with the scope when making your decision. It’s time that you found a quality spotting scope, straight or angled, that you can add to your gear.