High-End Spotting Scopes 2020: These are Some of the Best Long Range & Hunting Spotters in the World
Last Updated: April 7, 2020
Mirage can get the best of even the top spotting scopes on the market, but you'll still get better results going higher quality versus low budget.
Being able to resolve very small bullet holes in the black from 500 yards and further requires the absolute finest quality.
So when you need nothing but the best in contrast, clarity, and sharpness, these are the scopes that deliver.
QUICK LIST: 6 Best High End Spotting Scopes In 2020
- Meopta MeoPro 80 HD Spotting Scope
- NightForce TS-80 Spotting Scope
- Zeiss Dialyt Fieldscope
- Leica APO-Televid 82 Spotting Scope
- Zeiss Victory Harpia 85 Spotting Scope
- Swarovski ATX/STX 65mm Spotting Scope
Best Spotting Scopes Under $2000
|Meopta MeoPro 80 HD||CHECK PRICE|
|NightForce TS-80||CHECK PRICE|
|Zeiss Dialyt Fieldscope||CHECK PRICE|
Our 3 Top Spotting Scopes Under $2000
If you want high-resolution, high-contrast, and color-rich images from long range distances, this $1000-$2000 price range is where you should be looking.
Amateur and beginner hunters and birders will appreciate the higher standard of quality in a premium spotting scope. And, it'll be their first-time purchase that will last them a long time - if you buy from the right brands.
But, those who will truly appreciate spotters this good are the veterans of optics and long-distance shooters. By tripling your budget, you're in a whole new world of options.
Since we don't want to skimp on quality for cost here, only the best and most competitive spotting scopes will earn a place after they've endured the harshest scrutiny we can dish out. No spotting scope can afford to lack even the most minor of features here.
Think flawless glass, APO lenses, award-winning status, and any innovative perks that keep the spotter in this budget.
1. Meopta MeoPro 80 HD
- FLOURIDE large 80mm HD Fluoride objective lens element delivers incredible resolution, brightness and vivid color while eliminating chromatic aberrations (CA) or color...
- INTEGRATED 20x–60x eyepiece reels in distant subjects with incredibly clarity and superb edge-to-edge sharpness.
It's satisfying to see an underdog brand that's worthy of the same status as a NightForce, and other highly-revered brands, get recognized. The Meopta MeoPro 20-60X80 just barely won the upper hand over the NightForce TS-80 because of a few things the latter didn't have.
The MeoPro has CentricDrive Focus, a distinguished award from 2016, and we know for sure where Meopta gets their glass from - Schott. No speculation, no guessing, it's fact.
I told you the competition was tight, and this is what it came down to. The MeoPro will set you back about $1600 which is excellent value for its features compared to other brands.
2. NightForce TS-80 20-60X
- Magnesium alloy body for strength and thermal stability
- Locking center ring for 360 degree rotation
- Extra-low dispersion glass for crisp images
Yes, the NightForce TS-80 20-60X did earn a spot, and it's definitely worthy to join the ranks of these masterpieces.
Its Extra Low Dispersion glass and hydrophobic coatings endow the new 2016 TS-80 spotting scope, and it was listed and ranked in Outdoor Life's Magazine in 2016. Plus, this TS-80 is optically as good as its more expensive sibling the TS-82.
But, here's something interesting for you... If you love the MeoPro 80 HD, then you're probably going to love the NightForce TS-80 too. Take a look, they're almost eerily identical, in specs too.
Apart from the differences mentioned above, NightForce is a brand worth drooling over while you save for it.
3. Zeiss Dialyt 18-45X65
- Compact, inline design perfect for mobile hunters and general observers
- MC multi coatings provide bright, high-resolution images at any magnification
- Classic rubber armoring provides added ruggedness and shock proofing
- 18-45x power range gives user added flexibility in the field
- Backed by the ZEISS Limited Lifetime Transferable Warranty
The Zeiss Dialyt 18-45X65 has a $1600 price tag that more than adequately fits this price range, as does the scopes superior quality.
It deserves a spot among the best high-end spotters for its unrivaled simplicity and its flawless glass quality that makes it an exceptional and first-rate tool for hunters.
With a robust build, German glass and an optimal magnification range for hunting, the Dialyt will be your perfect companion out in the field.
Best Spotting Scopes Over $2000
|Leica APO-Televid 82||Check Price|
|Zeiss Victory Harpia 85||Check Price|
|Swarovski ATX/STX 65mm||Check Price|
Our 3 Top Spotting Scopes Over $2000
This high-end price range changes the playing ground - a lot. And, I don't know that you'd believe me if I told you that the market in this playing ground is actually larger than the $1000-$2000 category above.
With gross, high prices like what you're about to see here, I don't dare recommend anyone use these but the buyer. Amateurs can't afford them, entry level guys will borrow someone else's, and serious hunters might spend a year or two just saving up for one.
So, if you end up buying one, don't be daft and lend it out. This is a "it's mine and mine alone" kind of toy.
Here, we're dealing with nothing but the absolute best. Flawless, immaculate, and precision-cut glass. Top-secret and under heavy security are their proprietary coating formulas. These are the differences here.
The big boys in this budget realm don't reveal formulas, they don't hint at sources, and they don't waste time and money making inferior and low-ball optics.
These are the spotting scopes that are no joke.
1. Leica APO-Televid 82
- Leica APO-Televid 82 Angled
- Leica Extender 1.8x for APO Televid
The Leica APO-Televid 82 is the big kahuna in the spotting scope industry. Both the 82 and the 65 Televids are incomparable models of perfection. And, if you know Leica, you know that's no exaggeration.
They're both equipped with interchangeable eyepiece technology, ASPH eyepieces, and the option to buy an additional 1.8X magnification extender eyepiece.
But, I can't go into all the fine details here because I've got to save the good stuff for the full review...
If you're prepared to read about a spotting scope that's going to cost you about $4000, one thing is certain, Leica is totally worth it.
2. Zeiss Victory Harpia 85
- ELABORATE LENS SYSTEM: FL glass and other custom glass ensure an absolutely sharp and colour fidelity image even at maximum magnification
- COMFORTVISION CONCEPT: Subjective 72-degree angle of vision over the entire zoom range for a noticeably greater overview of the terrain
- DUALSPEED FOCUS: Precise focussing with automatic switching between rapid and fine adjustment
Seeing optics with this kind of price tag would be ridiculous if it weren't for the caliber and quality of parts, glass, and technologies that goes into making such a masterpiece. Craftsmanship and materials is of the world's absolute best. Let's harp on some more about the Victory Harpia with the whopping 85 mm aperture.
- World-class optics
- Wide angle FOV
- Dual-speed focus
- 3x zoom
No one can afford the Harpia - its well-deserving price tag is its downfall, especially when you must purchase the scope body and eyepiece separately. The reality is, this is a dream scope that will always remain a dream buy.
But, if you could afford it, and if you were brave enough to spend that kind of money, you'd have world-class images worthy of recording and being submitted to the world's most finest, peer-reviewed nature and science magazines - image quality is that good.
This thing has everything high-end and luxurious - dual focus, 72° wide angle viewing, magnesium materials, and elaborate glass materials, sources, and processes that are kept more secret than a bank's vault combination.
If you can get past the approximate 5 lbs of weight, it would still be overkill for humble deer hunting or sighting in your 100-yard zero at the range. This is a scope that's best saved for professional use in photography for wildlife observation where rare moments can be shared with the world - just our humble opinion, but if you have the cash, maybe then you can tell us what you would realistically use it for!
3. Swarovski ATX 65
- SWARODUR/SWAROTOP High-Contrast Coatings
- SWAROCLEAN Non-Stick Coating
- Weatherproof/Fogproof Construction
Ah yes, here we finally see Swaro make an appearance and, not surprisingly, it's their pride and joy - the ATX/STX series.
While many hunters are familiar with interchangeable eyepieces, how about interchangeable objectives that governs the magnification ranges? Sounds interesting? Wait, I'm not done.
The ergonomics of this spotting scope makes it an incredibly user-intuitive piece of optical equipment. The focus ring is conveniently placed right next to the zoom ring - a feature I've yet to come across on another spotter.
There's no denying that Swarovski knows what optics are about. And, although this modular system might seem "out of the box" at first, you'll never be able to go back to a traditional interchangeable eyepiece system again.
Go ahead, I dare you - read all about their $4000 spotting scopes and begin your Swarovski love affair.
What to Look for in a $1000+ Spotting Scope
It's all too easy to get tunnel vision when looking for the best spotting scope on the market. While focusing on glass quality, ease of use, and size is important, you definitely can't afford to skimp on the spotting scope platform. Without a solid tripod and mount, your $2000 spotting scope can be rendered useless in an instant - and you can just about guarantee that the instant will be the exact moment your trophy walks into sight.
- Design: Consider whether angled or straight is for you.
- Quality glass: Includes premium glass elements Ex. ED, HD, etc.
- Quality glass coatings: Includes layered coatings, mirror and phase-correction coatings, and weather, scratch, and debris repellent coatings.
- Magnification: Pay attention to the quality if you're considering a 20-60X80 spotting scope.
- Eyepieces: Going premium might mean you have to pay extra just for the eyepiece.
- Size/Weight: Consider your style of hunting to best choose a size and weight that's easy to set up, will stay solid in less than ideal weather, and won't be burdensome to carry.
- Tripod systems: Protect your investment and maximize its potential with a high quality tripod and mount.
- Quality warranties: Have the assurance that your premium spotting scope is fully covered for any unforeseen damage.
You Can't Go Wrong!
Any of these high-end spotting scopes are bound to please and perform. We've scrutinized every feature, shined light on every flaw, and been critical of every claim. The best you see here today have passed our interrogation process. You can't go wrong with any of our top picks.
However, every year we hear and read about the next bigger and better spotting scope. Save the date for some fun and games as we continue to put the best head to head for the ultimate title of the best premium spotting scopes in the world!