Angled vs Straight Spotting Scope

Angled vs Straight Spotting Scope | Which is the Best?

Straight Spotting Scope

As the name indicates, a straight spotting scope is designed such that the eyepiece and the objective lens in a straight line. They might not always be in a straight line, but they will be parallel to the ground. There are some specific activities for which the straight scope is used.

  1. Target shooting and hunting:  Since they are almost similar sort of activities as you have to shoot at a particular point, so you can use the straight spotting scope for the purpose.
  2. Shooting from blinds:  If you are going to make a career out of a professional sniper like in any law enforcement agency or department, you will be given the rifle with a straight scope.
  3. Shooting from Tree Stands : Similarly, if you are going to target from the tree stand, this spotting scope perfectly serves your purpose.
  4. Car mounts:  If you are using  the scope  to trace your target while you are moving on your car or even if you are in a parked car, you can opt for the straight spotting scope.
  5. Marine Watching:  for those interested in observing what is going on under deep waters, this type of scope is the best.
  6. Nature Observing:  If you are a nature-lover and want to stay close to the natural environment, you can enjoy yourself as the straight scope is the best option for you.

Pros of the Straight Spotting Scope:

  • Going after moving objects like in hunting or professional snipping training is convenient to use as it helps you find and track your target very quickly.
  • Moreover, if you are shooting or spotting from a hideout, this type of spotting scope comes in handy.
  • When you prefer to stay at a higher level from the ground and want to watch from the above level, like from a tree stand, you must go for a straight spotting scope as it is more practical.


  • For long hours, straight spotting scope makes you uncomfortable as it is challenging to hold one position for an extended time.
  • In a case you are digiscoping, you will find it challenging to carry the kit as it becomes unstable and sway sideways due to the heavyweight adapter and camera. This may, in turn, damage the eyepiece.
  • The accessories of a straight spotting scope are sometimes inevitable. For example, if you are spotting from above the ground’s average level, you need to have a reliable tripod.  The excellent quality tripods  are expensive, but they are also not easily portable from one place to another.
  • Those trying to view the flying birds while they are on the move find it difficult to handle the straight scope.

Angled Spotting Scopes

An angled spotting scope is structured such that the eyepiece is located at a certain angle concerning the barrel. The angle mostly ranges between 45 to 90 degrees. You can use the angled scope for a variety of activities like:

  1. Hunting:  the hunters are fond of using the angled spotting scope as they have to chase down the target, and it may require them to watch them from different places and angles.
  2. Birding:  if you are a keen bird-watcher, you find it easy to use an angled scope
  3. Astronomy:  Astronomy requires watching the far-off objects from various distances and angles, for which the astronomers prefer to use this type of spotting scope.
  4. Tall people:  if you have a tall and broad built body, you are likely to find the angled spotting scope more suitable to use.


  • If you have a plan to spend long-time hunting or bird-watching,  the angled spotting scope  helps you sustain your position for long hours on a stretch.
  • Since the angle of the spotting scope is easy to handle, you can easily trace the birds’ movement in the sky.
  • You can even use this type of spotting scope without the tripod, making it cost-effective and easily portable.
  • As digiscoping requires to be done at a stable position, you can always rely on this type of spotting scope as you can do it even from the same or lower level from the ground.
  • You can prevent the eyepiece of your angled from any potential damage because this spotting scope works on the principle of gravity while you are digiscoping.
  • You do not need to be a professional astronomer if you want to sit back on your balcony and have a closer look at the galaxies. You can use the angled scope at your convenience.


  • As a beginner, you might find it challenging to use the angled spotting scope when you are trying to track the moving targets. It would be best if you had a lot of practice to get used to the device.
  • It is a bit tricky to use it from the hiding places or even through the car windows because an angled eyepiece makes it difficult for you.
  • Since the eyepiece and barrel are structure at a specific angle, you cannot use the device if you are trying to watch from above the ground level, for example, from a tree stand.

So, if you look at the angled vs straight spotting scope details, you get to know that each type has its advantages and disadvantages, and the choice largely depends on the type of activity you want to perform.

Now let us look at what factors you should be considering when you purchase a spotting scope.

Magnification Specs:

You can have the best spotting scope with a magnification power ranging between 15 times to 60 times. This is adjustable according to your needs. For example, once you have traced an object, you can do it with the lowest range, like around 20 to 30 times, but you can increase it to a higher range if you want to have an even closer look.

Zoom feature:

You have to be careful about the zoom lenses of your spotting scope.

  • The higher zooming range allows you to watch the birds minutely, but the thing worth observing is that the zoom lens is a bit different than the camera lens in that there may be an issue of light and brightness in the case of zoom lenses.
  • Similarly, if you go for higher magnification of the spotting scope, the brightness and field of view reduce considerably.

Quality of Glass:

You will observe that the best spotting scopes use glass with fluoride coating and have high density or Extra Low Dispersion. It would help if you chose the scope with a glass material compatible and most suitable with the nature of the activity you want to perform.

Capacity to allow light passage:

Are you still confused about what to choose when you go to buy a spotting scope? Well, one of the deciding factors is the amount of light gathered by the scope. Yes! You should be mindful that if you go for the larger size of the objective lens, the one which is farther from your eye, you will have a brighter image. However, also keep in mind that such scopes are a bit heavier than the others.

The position of Eyepiece:

You have to look at the position of the eyepiece of your spotting scope also. Depending upon the activity, you will perform with your spotting scope. You can choose the scope. For example, you can weigh the pros and cons of an angled or straight spotting scope for  bench rest  shooting or hunting so that you can have a better idea as to which option is better for you.

Eye Relief:

This is an essential factor, especially for eyeglasses, as your eyesight is already weak. It would be best if you opted for the spotting scope with an eye relief between 12 to 15 mm so that you can see a wide field of view.

The focus of the Scope:

For spotting scope, you can have two types of focusing mechanisms:

  • Focusing Collar

In this case, the barrel of your spotting scope is completely gnarled, and you can sharpen the target image when you twist the entire barrel.

  • Small Focus Knob

You can find this knob right at the top of your spotting scope, close to your eyepiece. You will find them a bit slower to work with, but it ensures precise focusing.


You can enjoy yourself with your hunting or astronomy activity by choosing the best type of spotting scope for yourself. But do consider that the choice of spotting scope largely depends upon the nature of your hobby. So, go and visit your nearest outlet of the best spotting scopes in your town and have fun with your friends and family.

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