Carson Everglade SS 560 Spotting Scope Review and Complete Guide

Your Guide to the Carson Everglade SS 560 Spotting Scope

Meta: Whether you’re a dedicated birder, specialize in photography, or you’re intent on bagging that record buck, the Carson Everglade SS 560 Spotting Scope has something to offer.

In the market for a new spotting glass? If so, the Carson Everglade SS 560 Spotting Scope might be just what you need. Powerful, streamlined, and rugged, it delivers performance and precision. However, it’s also easy to take with you, whether you’re heading out to the blind or trying to get the perfect panoramic shot of the Grand Tetons. Whether you’re a hunter, a bird-watcher, or a photographer, this spotting scope delivers excellent performance and other benefits. 

With that being said, there are things you’ll want to know about the scope. What makes it such as shoo-in for your purchase? How does it compare to other scopes on the market? What makes it a stand out purchase and what does it come with? We’ll run through all that and more in this review.

An Overview of the Carson Everglade SS 560 Spotting Scope

Before we dive too deep into our review, it’s helpful to get an overview of the scope and what it brings to the table. It delivers a great deal of utility and versatility.

  • Waterproof and fog-proof
  • 15-45x magnification
  • Objective lens measures 60mm
  • Angled body
  • BK-7, BAK-4 focusing prism
  • 61 to 115 feet FOV @ 1,000 yards
  • 20-foot minimum focal length
  • Weighs just 2.14 lbs.
  • Limited lifetime warranty

Now that we’ve whetted your appetite, let’s dig into those features in greater detail to help ensure you’re making an informed purchase decision here.

What Can It Be Used For?

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Spotting scopes have an incredibly wide range of uses today. They are heavily used by hunters who want to get the best possible view of far-off game, but they are also used by naturalists, photographers, surveillance, security professionals, conservationists, guides, and many more. The key to their versatility is their ability to make near things seem very close.

With the Carson Everglade SS 560 Spotting scope, you get serious magnification, up to 45 times what you can see with the naked eye. At 1,000 yards, your field of view is between 61 and 115 feet, meaning that it is relatively easy to first identify your target of interest, and then zoom in for a close-up view, while eliminating distractions in the surrounding area. 

The Body

The Carson Everglade HD Spotting Scope features an angled body design. That makes it easier to use on shorter tripods or when attached to a car window mount. It also helps to alleviate neck pain and can be better for glassing up steep hills. Many people find that learning how to glass is simpler with an angled body, rather than a straight spotting scope, too.

The body is sealed with an O-ring to prevent water intrusion. That means it’s waterproof and fog-proof, so you never need to worry about the lens fogging up and obscuring your view of the perfect picture or shot. The body is also nitrogen purged, which means all the oxygen has been removed and replaced with an inert gas that does not change pressure with elevation or temperature.

With that being said, the angled body does take up more space in a backpack, so you will need to pack strategically around the bend. However, most customers find that once they learn to accommodate the angle, the scope takes up no more effective space than a similar straight-bodied model.

The Lens

The Carson Everglade HD Spotting Scope features a 60mm objective lens. It’s very large, but that’s for good reason. The larger the objective lens (the one at the far end of the scope), the more light can be gathered. That affects the quality and sharpness of the image you see, as well as the reproduction of colors through the eyepiece. 

Because the body is nitrogen purged and completely sealed, you never need to worry about dust or fibers collecting on the inside of the lens. For the outside of the lens, cleaning with a soft, microfiber cloth is recommended. When necessary, use a specialty lens cleaning solution to remove stuck-on debris. 

It’s worth noting that the lens features a hydrophobic coating. This helps it repel even the least amount of moisture. It simply beads up and rolls away, leaving your view clear and unobstructed.

The Optics

The optics lie within the body of the scope and include the viewing prism and multiple lenses designed to both magnify and rectify the image you see. This model uses a BAK-4, BK-7 angled prism for outstanding clarity and color reproduction. It also offers fully multi-coated optics to further improve resolution and definition. The result? True high-definition viewing anywhere you go. Finally, the body of the scope features rugged rubber armor to help reduce vibrations from impacts. That ensures your optics stay damage-free for years of hard use.

Using the Scope

Using the Carson Everglade HD Spotting Scope is as simple as mounting it on a tripod or window mount, or even holding it in your hands for quick viewing. You’ll find two control methods here. 

The first is the focus knob mounted at the top of the curve in the body, just ahead of the eyepiece. Turning this allows you to focus the spotter on what you want. The knob is knurled and easy to turn in both directions.

The second is the eyepiece itself. Turning it clockwise or counterclockwise allows you to zoom in on your subject, offering magnification of 15x on the low and a maximum of 45x on the high end. 

Many spotting scope users find that sunlight penetrates the lens, causing distortions and other challenges. Carson offers a handy way to defeat that. Simply slide the built-in sunshade forward to the degree necessary and you have instant protection. 

Focus and Eye Relief

You’ll find that this spotting scope offers a minimum focal length of 20 feet, as well as eye relief of 14mm to 16mm. 

Weight and Encumbrance

This is a larger spotting scope, measuring over a foot in length. It is 3.4 inches wide and 6.3 inches high. However, for all its size, the scope only weighs 2.14 pounds, which makes it simpler to carry than some of the heavier options on the market.

What Comes with It?

Unlike other spotting scopes, this one comes with more than the mere basics. You’ll find several items included in the box, such as:

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  • The scope itself
  • An objective lens cap
  • An eyepiece cover
  • A soft case for carrying and storing the spotting scope
  • A tabletop tripod
  • Lens cleaning cloth

About the Tripod

Angled spotting scopes like this one from Carson are designed with mounting in mind. The manufacturer includes a tabletop tripod with the purchase so you can immediately put the scope to use without any hassles. It attaches directly to the built-in mount on the underside of the scope’s body. Many scopes do not come with a tripod, requiring an extra purchase, so this is one of the things that make this one stand out from competitors. 

Three adjustable legs offer stability, and the geared handle offers simple one-handed operation. Just move the handle left or right to gently turn the scope while you’re using it. That makes it easy to track birds in flight and other motion, as well as to home in on the view or target that you want without having to use both hands in the process.

In Summation

As you can see, the Carson Everglade SS 560 Spotting Scope offers quite a few benefits and may be the ideal solution to your spotting needs. Whether you’re brand new to glassing or looking for a replacement for an aging scope, this one offers plenty of features and benefits. 

  • Up to 45x magnification
  • 60mm objective lens
  • Includes carry case and tripod
  • Waterproof and dust-proof
  • Twist-up eyecup
  • Built-in sunshade
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Some customers report the tripod’s build is low-quality
  • The eyepiece does not rotate to provide a different viewing angle
  • Some customers report they cannot reliably see bullet marks on a steel target at 1,000 yards

Frequently Asked Questions about Spotting Scopes

Now that we’ve laid out exactly what the Carson Everglade SS 560 Spotting Scope brings to the table, we need to address some of the more common questions about scopes in general. If you have never used one before, or you’re upgrading from a beginner’s scope to a more advanced model, this information will help you make an informed purchase.

Is a Spotting Scope the Same Thing as a Telescope?

In a sense, yes. However, where a telescope is generally designed to study the moon, stars, and planets, spotting scopes are designed for terrestrial use. This means there are some key differences, including image rectification and true color reproduction, that are important to accurate use. 

What Are the Average Magnification Ranges for Spotting Scopes?

Spotting scopes can offer a magnification range from 15x to 80x. However, that will vary significantly from model to model. 

What Does Close Focus Mean?

Close focus is the minimum distance away your target can be and still get a clear view. For the scope above, the minimum distance is 20 feet. This means that if the target/object is closer than 20 feet, you will not be able to focus on it. 

Is a Straight Body Better Than an Angled Body?

There is no right answer to this question. The best body style is one that works for your specific needs. One person might find that a straight-bodied spotting scope is more convenient for them, while another will find that the benefits of an angled body are more to their liking. Each brings something different to the table and neither is truly “better” than the other. They are simply different. 

If you value hand-held use in a pinch, go with a straight scope. If you prefer to use your spotting scope on a tripod, monopod, or window mount, then an angled option works better. You will also find that angled bodies are often (but not always) better for users who wear glasses, and for situations where you might be glassing uphill. Some people also find them easier to learn to use.

What Do the Numbers Mean on a Spotting Scope?

You’ll find that each spotting scope on the market has a series of numbers in its name. These refer to the scope’s capabilities. The first number in the series is the scope’s magnification capability. For instance, the Everglade scope features 15-45x at the beginning of the numerical sequence. This tells you that it offers magnification from 15x to 45x. 

The second number in the sequences is the size of the objective lens. In the case of the Everglade model, it’s 60mm. That tells you at a glance how large the objective lens is of any spotting scope, which gives you a lot of information off the bat. For instance, lower numbers/smaller lenses usually mean smaller scopes, less weight, and easier carrying. However, they are also less powerful. Higher numbers mean more weight, more bulk, and more power. 

Why Does the Zoom Function Matter?

Spotting scopes that allow you to zoom in on a target provide you with a lot of utility. You can locate the target/object using low magnification that provides a wide field of view. Then, once you’ve locked onto the target, you can zoom in and see more details.

In Conclusion

The Carson Everglade SS 560 Spotting Scope is an excellent option for anyone who values great magnification capabilities, ease of transport, and wants to save money with included extras like the carrying case and tripod. However, despite its power, this scope manages to be compact and easy to carry almost anywhere, making it a good choice for camping, hiking, photographers, target shooters, and many others.