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Jacob's Photo & Digital
9 Mokoia Road
Auckland 0626

Advice and information on spotting scopes

Spotting scopes are compact telescopes designed for land viewing. Generally they are more powerful than binoculars in terms of magnification and are commonly used for looking at boats, landscapes and hunting.

Spotting scopes have 2 features that make them different from a Telescope:

  • A built in variable zoom eyepiece - variable zoom eyepieces allow you to zoom in and out on an image, much like you would with a camera. These eyepieces don't come standard with astronomy scopes. 
  • Multi-coated lenses - these coatings are for land-viewing. They boost "land colours", such as blues and greens, for a better viewing experience. If your spotting scope comes with what's called an "ED Coating", which stands for "Extra-Low Dispersion", this means that you've got an excellent scope. ED glass does away with what's called chromatic abberration - a distortion in the image when looking at very bright images, where lines are blurred with small spectrums of light. 

    All Spotting scopes need to be mounted onto some kind of Tripod. Lucky they all have the default tripod mount. When picking a Tripod for a spotting scope, make sure it can hold the weight.

    Like Binoculars, Spotting scopes also share the same numbering system.
    Zoom and Diameter example

    For example a Konus 100 using the max 60x magnification eyepiece would mean that 
    the object appears 60 times closer to you when using the scope. The 100 is the size of the Lens Diameter furthest away from the eyepiece and is always expressed in millimeters.

    The higher the magnification, the closer the objects appear to be, the high the lens diameter the better it is in low light and picture brightness.

    As a general rule for spotting scopes, it is recommended to buy the most expensive you can afford. High-quality optics with clearer and brighter images that won't cause headaches or eye fatigue from hours of viewing the way that cheap optics can. They will also last several lifetimes due to vastly superior build quality.

    As a general rule everyone's eyes are different, therefore when possible we suggest you try before you buy.
    if you decide to do so, please call in advance as our floor display stock changes constantly. 

    Choosing a spotting scope can be a difficult and confusing affair. When in doubt please pop into
    our Birkenhead store or email and our expert staff would be more than happy to help you!


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