Spotting Zoom

Advanced Birding and the Spotting Scope

Advanced Birding and the Spotting Scope

 

Most of us begin birding with a field guide and a pair of binoculars.  Yet, we eventually realize that certain situations demand our acquisition of a spotting scope.  It may be that we find ourselves at the wetlands and can not quite tell if we are looking at a White Faced or Glossy Ibis.  Or, we spot a raptor across the canyon and can not say if it is a Red Tail or some other hawk.  Or, maybe, we just would like a better look at the Black Throated Green Warbler high up in the oaks.

 

Your advancement in birding does not mean you are becoming an elitist.  Your expertise is growing and should be cause for celebration.  Owning a spotting scope doesn’t make you an elitist either.  In fact, many manufacturers have improved their processes to accomplish advances in construction and image quality while making their product more affordable.   The spotting scope is now considered as essential as the binoculars.

 

There are many elements in the choice of a scope.  Many are personal preferences.  One such is whether to buy a scope that is straight through (ST) or angular (AN) sighted.  It is probably easier to find and focus on some distant bird using the ST configuration.  With practice, one can adjust to an AN scope and become just as proficient.  However, if you find that you are often in a group and sharing a scope the AN may be the better choice.  You can set the height to the shortest person in the group and everyone can easily view whatever bird is the subject of inquiry.

 

Light gathering ability is a major consideration in a scope.  Generally, the larger the objective lens the greater the ability to gather light.  An 80 mm objective gathers more light than a 60 mm lens.   However, with a larger lens also comes added weight and cost.  For most of us, and in most circumstances, objective lenses in the 60 to 65 mm range are quite adequate.

 

The eyepiece, or ocular, can be fixed or variable.  A 20x ocular is good for fixed eyepieces, but variable magnification are either 15x-45x or 20x-60x.  The lower magnification on the variable ocular is used to locate and focus the bird while the greater magnifications can be zoomed in to gain detail for a sure identification.

 

Eventually, one has to make a decision as to what amount to spend.  For those whose budget is limited the Cornell Laboratory Scope Quest 2008 becomes an excellent source of information and advice. Ken Rosenberg organized this event and compiled data on a number of scopes.  In this, the Stokes Sandpiper Scope did quite well.  Ken writes, “An even nicer surprise was the Vortex Stokes Sandpiper, which at $359 or less could be the best buy of any model we tested.  This small, lightweight scope is fully waterproof, works well with eyeglasses, and provides an image nearly as nice up to 45x as the more expensive [models].”  

 

Considering image quality, ease of transport, magnifications, objective lens size and, of course, cost, it all comes down to what fits your personal needs and preferences.  Once you have made your choice, enjoy it to the fullest.

 

About the Author

Roy Smallwood is the owner of Kingbirdfeeders.com. Roy began this enterprise after a 26 year career as a teacher of science. His love and enjoyment of the outdoors and birding in particular is the impetus for the company. He is an active member of the Central Texas Audubon Society. He encourages everyone to participate and enjoy birding whether in the backyard or in the field. Visit www.kingbirdfeeders.com for , binoculars and spotting scopes and happy birding!

How does Zoom function effect the estimation of a laser spot size on an image?

Hi All,

This is a following question from another question, "Estimate the size of laser spot in digital camera?"

The camera has a zoom function and have been used to obtain this image. If I know the magnification, like 10x, how do I estimate the size of the spot with the zooming effect?

Thank you.

If it has an optical zoom, the spot should be 10 times as big.
If it uses digital zoom, the spot is the same size.

Celestron C65 Mini Mak Zoom Spotting Scope




2019 25 75X75 Waterproof Spotting Scope Zoom Monocular BAK4+Tripod
2019 25 75X75 Waterproof Spotting Scope Zoom Monocular BAK4+Tripod

$75.99
3d 22h 27m remaining

50x60 Zoom Monocular Telescope HD Spotting Scope with Clip Tripod for Smartphone
50x60 Zoom Monocular Telescope HD Spotting Scope with Clip Tripod for Smartphone

$13.45
25d 1h 36m remaining

Zion PowerView 20X 280X60 Military Super Zoom Binoculars Bird Watching Spotting
Zion PowerView 20X 280X60 Military Super Zoom Binoculars Bird Watching Spotting

$89.99
21d 19h 22m remaining

Meade 20 60x60mm Zoom Hunting Spotting Scope Water Resistant
Meade 20 60x60mm Zoom Hunting Spotting Scope Water Resistant

$23.50 (7 Bids)
16h 43m remaining

12 36x50A Zoom Monocular Telescope BAK4 Spotting Antifogging Scope With Tripod
12 36x50A Zoom Monocular Telescope BAK4 Spotting Antifogging Scope With Tripod

$63.99
4d 4h 31m remaining

Hunting Optical HD Lens Spotting Scope 30x25 Zoom Compact Monocular Telescope
Hunting Optical HD Lens Spotting Scope 30x25 Zoom Compact Monocular Telescope

$4.19
20d 7h 9m remaining

25 75X70 Zoom Monocular Telescope BAK4 Spotting Scope With Tripod
25 75X70 Zoom Monocular Telescope BAK4 Spotting Scope With Tripod

$77.12
7d 18h 6m remaining

Spotting Scope 10x25 Zoom Optical HD Lens Pocket Compact Monocular Telescope
Spotting Scope 10x25 Zoom Optical HD Lens Pocket Compact Monocular Telescope

$4.11
29d 23h 46m remaining

Zoom 25 75X70 Angled Spotting Scope Astronomical Telescope Waterproof w Tripod
Zoom 25 75X70 Angled Spotting Scope Astronomical Telescope Waterproof w Tripod

$62.98
5h 32m remaining

25 75x70 Telescope Monocular Angled Zoom Spotting Scope Hunting +Tripod +Bag
25 75x70 Telescope Monocular Angled Zoom Spotting Scope Hunting +Tripod +Bag

$64.85
23h 31m remaining

25 75X70 Precision Zoom Telescope Monocular Spotting Scope Waterproof + Tripod
25 75X70 Precision Zoom Telescope Monocular Spotting Scope Waterproof + Tripod

$36.94
16d 21h 16m remaining

25 75X70 Precision Zoom Telescope Monocular Spotting Scope Waterproof + Tripod
25 75X70 Precision Zoom Telescope Monocular Spotting Scope Waterproof + Tripod

$53.94
7d 12h 21m remaining



« Previous12345...89


Tagged with:

Filed under: Astronomy Binoculars