Binoculars vs Spotting Scope: Comparison

Binoculars vs Spotting Scope

Spotting scope and binoculars are two very different gears made for different goals and purposes. Both of them are magnified optics and give you long-range sight. But the question is which one is correct for you? This is an eternal question.

We are going to discuss the differences between these pieces of equipment feature-by-feature, their usage and prices as well. But let us discuss first what do they mean. So here is a small description:

Binoculars are one of the most resourceful optics on the planet. They are made for hand-held usage with both eyes and can be carried without any fuss. Portable and contemporary binoculars have a huge range of lineaments, usage and magnification ranges.

They can give you a long distance sight and make the planet come alive in rich detail. Binoculars are very lightweight, and their magnification is often restricted so it’s simple to use them in an offhand way.

Spotting Scope use only one eye with amazing magnification and they placed on a tripod stand when using them. Eyepieces in them can be either angled or straight. Spotters are comparatively better in aspects of magnification power yet, they are less than a telescope.

They come in an array of sizes and magnification ranges. These are designed by a huge variation of optics manufacturers. They seem to be a more expensive choice, but that’s logical when power is articulated in.

Now, we are well aware of what they actually mean, let us discuss some differences and purposes of binoculars vs spotting scope so that you know better when to use what:

Magnification Power

Most of the spotting scopes have the 60X magnification. They are specifically made to be used during the day to see objects at a distance, which is near, or more than 60X. 60X magnification factors that the object you are seeing would appear 60 times larger than what your bare eye would see. The view can be affected by weather situations and hindrances in the environment making it difficult to have a crystal view.

Binoculars usually range from 1X to 12X magnification. Therefore, there are some specific binoculars that have a spectrum of 15X to 100X magnification. Ones with extremely high magnification should be mounted on a tripod stand. They are used at the night by the astronomers.

Image Stability

Binoculars vs Spotting Scope

Well, most of the binoculars are usually handheld so the image stability of them is affected by the movement of hands and the more you would magnify your focus, the shakier would the vision becomes. If you use a binocular without something to bank your hands on, the vision would be unclear even if the magnification is at 10X-12X.

In the case of a spotting scope, vision is much more steady but the base should also be steady. So, both of them as such has no issues with their focus. The problem comes with the wrong handling.

Weight and Portability

Binocular of a premium quality would weigh around the same like a spotting scope of the equivalent quality but the binocular is more compact. You can put a binocular around your neck while hunting, therefore, you can easily go about doing hunting or safari freely and easily. But it is a different case with the spotting scope. It needs a proper stand and the scope itself. It is a big task to carry it around.

Wildlife Viewing

It is difficult to say binoculars or spotting scope for wildlife viewing which is better? When it comes to wildlife viewing, both tools can be valuable. Spotting scopes are excellent for observing environments, scouting ridges, and even focusing in on an animal or a bird. These equipment are better fitted for hunters in prairies and hills.

Spotting scopes enable you to target and then trunk an animal till you get at a perfect range to take a shot. They need time to set them up and taking them down. Which means the spotting scope can be used at a good distance.

Binoculars are better suitable for short and brush field hunting. In these situations, the lower power of them enables you to see what’s in front of you. Due to the field, you would not require a long-range type of view.


In this, we cannot debate much on binoculars vs. spotting scope, but let’s know what is the purpose of them.

A spotting scope is perfect when you want to view how bad or good your shot is. There are many uses of spotting scope but some of them are sniping, hunting (a spotting scope facilitates you to see and stalk a target without the object sensing at all as it enhances your chances of getting a perfect shot), long-range birding, entry-level astronomy and many more.

On the other hand, Binoculars do all the above mentioned and some more things. Therefore, when the vision is too distant, a spotting scope would be ideal.


Now that you have an idea of what use binoculars vs spotting scope has, you can easily go ahead and choose one to suit your purpose. So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and grab what you need.

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