|The advantages of the spotting scope over binoculars - Birding|
For an avid birder, his outdoor equipment can make the difference between a hit and a miss; a breathtakingly beautiful sight or a missed golden moment that can never be recreated! Small wonder then that spotting scopes are fast gaining popularity among regular outdoors enthusiasts. The spotting scope is a compact telescope designed largely for terrestrial observing and is used in applications that involve magnifications beyond the range of a typical binocular. Compact and powerful, these optical instruments ensure that you are spot on - always!
There are many instances when a pair of usual 7x to 10x binoculars can be inadequate either because of lack of magnification or clarity. This is where a spotting scope comes in handy. Spotting scopes offer more magnification than binoculars and can help you locate targets at extreme distances that can be missed by observers with binoculars. Generally sold with zoom type eyepieces in either 15-45x or 20-60x magnifications and used with a tripod for stability, these will allow you to identify or observe birds at distances beyond the reach of your binoculars.
Uses of spotting scopes
Spotting scopes are perfectly suited for activities like long distance bird watching and nature study, telephotography, hunting, scenic observing, long distance microscopy, beginning astronomy and surveillance. Depending on the type and design of the spotting scope, the magnification can range from about 10X to 250X, using either fixed or zoom eyepieces. Whether you use it to identify a trophy buck at long range, observe migrating crane in the winters or spot bullet groups at the range, a spotting scope will augment your pleasure in the outdoors.
Types of spotting scopes
Advantages of using spotting scopes
Though spotting scopes have many advantages over binoculars, yet some birders avoid spotting scopes because they find these more complex to use than binoculars. Scopes do offer a higher magnification but at the cost of the field of view. Plus, the discomfort of one-eyed observing can make them a little difficult to use at first. But with a little practice all these obstacles can be mastered. Any birder who can use binoculars can learn to use a spotting scope and trust us, the views will be worth it!
TIP: Generally, the best way to use a spotting scope while birding is as a back up to your binoculars. Use the binoculars to find the bird, and the scope to identify what you've found but cant make out clearly. Try not to use your scope as your primary glassing tool since this may tire you out too soon, especially if you are a novice. Remember when using your scope, it's much easier to initially find things in the image by turning the power down to its lowest point and using the widest possible field of view.
Picking the right spotting scope
Plus, always remember that usability is equally important in spotting scopes. A good birding scope should live up to the elements but it shouldn't be too heavy to carry. Furthermore, it should be easy to focus and usable on a car window mount, for those times when you dare not step out of the vehicle and disturb the natural world. Built-in, slide-out sunshades and easy-to-use lens caps will also help a lot. Last but not least, a good scope needs a good tripod to help you keep steady.
There is no doubt that with spotting scopes, magnifying is perfected. Spotting scopes have mastered the task of bringing distant objects closer and even storing them as photographs or digital images. Not only do they range widely in capability and price, but also offer more steadiness and clarity than a binocular with the style of a telescope. Here's wishing you lots of amazing and extraordinary sightings with yours!
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