Spotting scope


Spotting scope

A spotting scope is a portable telescope, optimized for the observation of terrestrial objects. The magnification of a spotting scope is typically on the order of 20X to 60X. Other common features include:
* somewhat "rugged" or rubber-armoured design
* convenient mounting for attaching to a tripod
* ergonomically designed and located knob for focus control
* tethered elastomeric lens cap
* a range of eyepieces to give different magnifications, or a variable "zoom" eyepiece to give a range of magnifications (e.g. 20-60X)

The light gathering power of a spotting scope is determined by the width of the objective lens, typically between 55 and 80 mm. All else being equal, the larger the objective, the more heavy and expensive the telescope.

There are three types of scope: "straight-through" (the eyepiece is on the same axis as the body of the scope), "angled" (the eyepiece is at an angle of about 45 degrees to the body of the scope), and, rarely, a more complex, shoulder-mounted design. Straight-through scopes are easier to use from inside a vehicle while angled scopes are more comfortable for tall people and more easily shared by people of different heights.

The choice of the eyepiece lens determines the overall magnification. The best magnification is decided by a number of factors. Magnifications of less than 20X are unusual, as (much cheaper and lighter) binoculars or monoculars can provide this. Magnifications of more than 60X lead to poorer brightness and, even on a tripod, shake can be a problem. The field of view is also limited.

Usually for birdwatching, but spotting scopes are popular when used in longrange hunting mounted on a lightweight hunting tripods. 20X or 30X are favoured for birdwatching. 20x-60x variable powers are used for longrange hunting if combined with solid mounting platforms. This gives a good field of view and a bright image. Spotting scopes are also used on many target ranges to avoid walking to the target to verify the placement of hits.

Amongst aircraft spotters the term "pole" is used as a shorthand expression meaning telescope. The related verb "to pole-off" therefore means reading some identification marks of an aeroplane by using a telescope. Other users might employ the same slang term.

Spotting scope manufacturers fall into several groups. At the top end of the market, it is generally acceptedFact|date=November 2007 that three manufacturers compete strongly for the ultimate in quality: Swarovski are the most expensive of allFact|date=November 2007, closely followed by Leica, and Zeiss.Fact|date=November 2007 Several manufacturers produce scopes that are generally thought to be of almost equal quality to the top three, but at about half the price, among them Kowa, Nikon, and Pentax.Fact|date=November 2007

External links

* [http://www.birding.in/birding_optics_spotting_scopes.htm Birding Scopes]
* [http://www.birdwatching-bliss.com/spotting-scopes.html How to choose Spotting Scopes]
* [http://www.nipon-scope.com/attachments/File/Glossary.htm Glossary of terms for spotting scopes]


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • spotting scope — /ˈspɒtɪŋ skoʊp/ (say spoting skohp) noun a portable telescope designed to be used by birdwatchers, spectators at sporting events, etc …   Australian English dictionary

  • spotting scope — noun : a telescope for locating the strike of a bullet on a target …   Useful english dictionary

  • starlight scope — starlight scope, a device for spotting rifle targets at night, similar to the sniperscope, but using nocturnal light from the sky to light up targets by means of a network of glass fibers, sensitized film, and electrons: »Unlike the older… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Digiscoping — Spotting scope with a digital camera mounted afocally using an adapter. Digiscoping is a neologism for the activity of using a digital camera to record distant images by coupling it with an optical telescope. The term usually refers to using… …   Wikipedia

  • Vortex Optics — Infobox Company name = Vortex Optics type = Corporation foundation = Middleton, Wisconsin, USA, 1986 founder = Daniel C. Hamilton location = Middleton, Wisconsin, USA slogan = The Force of Optics homepage = [http://www.vortexoptics.com Vortex… …   Wikipedia

  • Nikon — For other uses, see Nikon (disambiguation). Nikon Corporation 株式会社ニコン Type Public (TYO: 7731) Industry …   Wikipedia

  • Sky-Watcher — Infobox Company company type = Corporation foundation = 1980 location city = Richmond, British Columbia location country = Canada industry = Technology company slogan = For people curious enough to look up and wonder. homepage = http://www.sky… …   Wikipedia

  • Carl Zeiss AG — Infobox Company name = Carl Zeiss AG type = Aktiengesellschaft foundation = Jena, Germany (1846) location = flagicon|GEROberkochen, Germany slogan = We make it visible key people = Dr. Dieter Kurz, CEO and President num employees = 12,844 (March… …   Wikipedia

  • Scout Sniper — Scout Snipers from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) in Djibouti as part of Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa (July 15, 2003) Scout Sniper (MOS 0317, formerly 8541) is a secondary MOS (Military Occupational… …   Wikipedia

  • Telescope — A telescope is an instrument designed for the observation of remote objects and the collection of electromagnetic radiation. The first known practically functioning telescopes were invented in the Netherlands at the beginning of the 17th century …   Wikipedia