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Best rated spotting scope under 500 – Guide & reviews

Last Updated: 19.05.24


Top Spotting Scopes under 500 Reviewed – Buying guide & Comparison for 2024


Are you on the hunt for the best spotting scope under 500, but you’re too pressed for time to read the entire comprehensive buying guide below? This short paragraph contains all the information you need so that you can make an excellent purchasing decision. The results of our research point out that the Bushnell Legend Ultra HD is the model that should sit at the top of your list. With a variable magnification of 20x to 60x and an aperture of 80 mm, this model is the epitome of high quality and performance. The dual focus control will allow you to observe objects on the move at great distances, as well as fine-tune your image for more clarity. The rain guard comes as an excellent plus that you should not overlook. Should the Bushnell Legend Ultra HD  be out of stock, the next model that should be on your list is the Vortex Optics Diamondback.



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What does it take to find a good spotting scope under 500? If you have a bit of money to spend on a high-quality model, you should know that there are quite a few spotting scopes to consider in this price range. We put together a list of the most important features your spotting scope should have.

Angled or straight design?

Some hunters may like to use a monocular for hunting because it is easier to hold, and also because it can be pointed towards any object, regardless of height. However, this does not mean that a spotting scope cannot do the same thing. The type of construction available is what makes a spotting scope more useful in certain situations than in others.

There are two types of design to choose from: angled and straight. Each one has its ups and downs, and you should weigh all of them before you make a purchasing decision. The angled design seems to be more popular for a variety of reasons. One of them is the fact that they are more convenient to carry around.

Another important advantage is that you can spot and look at objects placed at superior heights. You can even observe the sky if the magnification and other features allow it. However, if you want to take a look at a prey fallen to the ground, you will notice that a straight spotting scope can be more convenient.

Do not expect a spotting scope to serve as marine binoculars, although some people may vouch for its versatility. This type of hunting gear is meant for terrestrial observations. Choosing between an angled or a straight design is up to you. In case you plan to go hunting with a buddy, switching from one user to another is easier when using an angled model.


Variable zoom and why you should get dual-focus control

Besides the exterior design, the next thing you will notice about a spotting scope will be the numbers written on the first line of the specifications offered by the manufacturer. These numbers refer to the magnification power, and usually, you will find that most models come with variable zoom.

The greater the magnification power, the better, but there are some things to bear in mind, as you will see. For instance, a superior magnification power can impact your field of view quite tremendously, in the sense that it will limit the latter, something that you might not want to happen.

A good thing you can do to ensure that you get a superior model with excellent capabilities is to search for a feature called dual-focus control. This will allow you to do two things: fine-tune the image when you want to increase clarity and increase zoom power so that you can observe objects on the move at larger distances. With the help of such a feature, you will get a versatile tool.

Light-gathering capabilities and lens size

The lens size can vary greatly from one model to another, and you might ask yourself what this means. The ideal numbers you should search for are 50mm to 100mm, but, again, you should consider this aspect in relation to other features, so that you do not end up making a compromise you do not wish to do.

An optimal lens size ensures that enough light passes through it to provide the user with a properly lit and bright image. It will be much easier for you to observe details if you have a decent lens size on your spotting scope.



5 Best Spotting Scopes under 500 (Reviews) in 2024


It is easy to notice that there are many spotting scopes under 500 for sale. But which one to choose? We want to help you narrow down your choice, by providing you with a shortlist of the most appreciated products right now.



1. Bushnell 191142 Legend Ultra HD Monocular with Picatinny Rail Mount


You have probably heard of this company and how superior a Bushnell spotting scope can be compared to other models on the market. Of all the products the manufacturer makes, this one stands out from the crowd and for all the right reasons. Sporting a lens size of 80mm, this one offers superior image quality.

The variable zoom power comes in handy when you need to be versatile and follow your prey with your eyes, while using the spotting scope. There are many reasons why the quality of image is so great on this model. The premium low dispersion glass used eliminates color aberrations and offers the user superior color fidelity.

All the reviews of spotting scopes under 500 point out that this model is worth the money, for all the extras offered. For instance, it is waterproof, and it comes with specialized Rain Guard coatings that will keep moisture at bay.


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2. Vortex Optics Diamondback Angled Spotting Scope


An angled spotting scope has its fair share of advantages, and you can enjoy all of them if you pick the Vortex Optics Diamondback from all the models offered on the market. You might not expect the heavy-duty performance this spotting scope offers when you notice how lightweight and compact it is.

The multi-coated lenses ensure superior image quality and they will allow light to be filtered so you can get the desired brightness. The sunshade is retractable and comes in handy on sunny days when you don’t want any glare to affect your performance as a hunter.

The O-ring seals make sure that moisture will not be a problem and the lens construction is fog proof, as well. The spotting scope comes with a rubber armor that makes it resistant to shocks. Also, this type of design offers an excellent grip, so that you don’t risk dropping the scope.


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3. Vanguard Endeavor HD 82A Angled Eyepiece Spotting Scope


If you want a spotting scope capable of rendering excellent image quality with minimal fringing, this model may be just the right one for you. The ED glass ensures that you get superior color fidelity, for maximum contrast and accuracy. The magnesium body is lightweight and durable.

Anything you want in a high-quality model, you will find in this Vanguard spotting scope. For instance, you will get a dual-focus wheel that will let you zoom in fast when you need to follow wild prey on the move, but will also allow you to fine-tune, so that you can observe prey fallen to the ground.

The body is covered by a rubber armor that makes it more resistant to shocks than other similar models, while it also offers a good grip. The manufacturer offers premium lifetime warranty, which says a lot about how much trust this company places in their products.


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4. Celestron 52308 Hummingbird


The Celestron Hummingbird 52308 is a compact model that you can easily carry around with you. You can even keep it in a coat pocket, or a bag, and it will not take up too much space. The magnification range varies from 9x to 27x, and the lenses provide bright images, with vivid colors.

This model is a good option for those who look for a versatile spotting scope. This one is not only good for hunting, it is a recommended choice for bird watchers. The close focus option will let you examine wildlife and birds in particular, in their natural environment.

The nitrogen purged construction ensures that this model is waterproof, so you can use it in less than ideal weather conditions. If you are looking for a spotting scope meant for traveling, instead of trying to figure out how to pack your full-size model for maximum convenience, opt for this one.


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5. Barska Blackhawk Spotter with Hard Case


You might have already heard of Barska and their excellent products. The Barska Blackhawk Spotter is a recommended choice for anyone looking for quality at an optimal price. The large lens will ensure that plenty of light will be filtered, so that you can enjoy bright pictures that are accurate and crisp.

The 80mm aperture is not the only plus of this model that should be mentioned. The multi-coated optics contribute to excellent image quality, while the sturdy armor will absorb shocks and make this particular spotting scope a must-have for any hunter.

You can count on this model if you want to be able to hunt in any weather conditions. It is completely waterproof, and also fog proof, so you can safely say that this model not only meets expectations for its price range, but it exceeds them, as well. The model is compact and easy to carry around, while offering superior optical performance.


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Ioana Moldovan

Ioana’s professional experience in the optics field has helped her understand the value of passing her knowledge forward. Her curious personality helps her gather useful information for her readers and her goal is to make technical information fun and accessible to everyone.

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