Best Spotting Scope under $100: We Look at the Top Cheap Scopes that are Good Value in 2020
Last Updated: June 17, 2020
Did you not realize you could get a spotter for under 100 bucks?
Don't dismiss these options too fast since these scopes have a few surprises up their sleeves, or should I say rubber armors?
If you're in a rush and need something today, we have more than a few spotters that'll get the job done!
QUICK LIST: 6 Best Spotting Scopes Under $100 In 2020
- Barska Blackhawk 18-36×50
- Emarth 20-60x60AE
- Firefield 12-36X50 SE
- Barska Colorado 15-40×50
- Celestron LandScout 10-30X50
- Simmons Venture 15-45x60
The Best Cheap Spotting Scopes for Under $100
Not everyone needs the optical precision a long-range marksman needs from a $2000 spotting scope. Sometimes, all it's going to take is a nice, crisp $100 bill, give or take a little, to get your glassing done.
If you're a hunter or shooter that needs to see bullet groupings at around 100 yards or you just need a little more reach than what your 10X42 binos can get you out in the field, an affordable spotting scope is where you want to look.
Hunters, target shooters, and even birders who want the best value spotting scope for their sport will appreciate the qualities that we've pored over in these cheap spotting scopes. We took into account the ease of use, optical performance, and low price-tags.
|Barska Blackhawk 18-36×50||CHECK PRICE|
|Emarth 20-60x60AE||CHECK PRICE|
|Firefield 12-36x50 SE||CHECK PRICE|
|Barska Colorado 15-40×50||CHECK PRICE|
|Celestron LandScout 10-30X50||CHECK PRICE|
|Simmons Venture 15-45x60||CHECK PRICE|
Our 6 Top Spotting Scopes Less Than $100
1. Barska Blackhawk 18-36x50
The Blackhawk is one of 50 in the Top Seller's Ranks for spotting scopes. This is a dead give-away that it's going to perform the way you expect it to. This is all thanks to some pretty nice perks the Blackhawk offers. You've got an extremely wide field of view, excellent, extended eye-relief, and a very practical magnification range absolutely suitable for the hunter.
You will want to baby this optic though, it's going to need some TLC when it's out in the field. However, you don't have much room to complain since it's under 100 bucks. With a consistent low price and consistent clarity for your shooting needs, what more do you need? You've got eyes like a hawk with this Blackhawk spotting scope!
2. Emarth 20-60X60AE
- ✅【High Magnification】This spotting scope features a powerful zoom magnification range that adjustable 20x to 60x magnification,45 degree angled eyepiece ergonomic...
- ✅【Fully Multi-coated Lens】The lens are all fully multi-coated and features BAK4 roof prism to increases light transmission and delivers bright, clear, high-contrast...
Aesthetically pleasing, 20-60X power range, and fully weatherproof-what more do you need? Oh yeah, you might also need the ergonomic design, fully multi-coated optics, and lifetime support guarantee that this Emarth scope offers. Everything about this spotter is decent. If you don't need anything fancy, custom, or complicated, the Emarth is your best bet.
Mediocre has never been a bad thing, and it might be what you're looking for if you need a first-time buy. Take a risk on the cheap spotting scope and see what it can do for you. You don't get to be a glassing pro overnight, it's going to take some practice, knocks, and dings to promote up from amateur, and the Emarth can get you there!
3. Firefield 12-36X50 SE
We know this brand for its night vision gear, and we can say they know what they're doing when it comes to optics. But, far from night vision prices and quality of that end of the scale, we present the affordable 12-36x50 SE spotting scope that comes as a complete kit that will more than satisfy the needs of every buyer.
- Complete kit
- Handheld specs
- Multi-coated optics
Don't underestimate the power of low power. Even with 12-36x magnification, you could still zero your scope at 100 yards, stealthily observe wildlife on the trail, and even gaze up at the night sky.
With multi-coated optics, it's not the top-tier coating in the industry, but for the price, it's better than what you should be getting - fully coated or even just coated - so, no complaints there. Image quality might get grainy at max magnification, but Firefield knew what they were doing when they were keeping power low with multi-coated optics. Even so, there's not a whole lot of complaint from users when it comes to clarity and brightness.
In this price range, you're mostly dealing with questionable build quality, but then again, this is a Firefield product. Of course, you don't want to be dropping this scope, even accidentally, but it's nice to know it's nitrogen-purged and IPX6 rated for waterproofness.
Curious about what the complete kit entails? It comes with a heavy-duty, table top tripod, soft carry bag, eyepiece cap, and an objective lens cap. This is still under 100 bucks right? Just double checking. What a steal!
4. Barska Colorado 15-40x50
If you don't care about what your scope looks like, and you just need something very cheap to get glassing right now, the Barska Colorado is your top pick. It's also been the top pick for hundreds of hunters that need a practical power range with a large aperture. Combine the shock-absorbing armor with its weatherproofness, and you've got an optic that will stay and endure with you in the field.
Don't be discouraged by it's incredibly low price. Barska ensured the best quality in this scope for its price range by sticking with BK7 glass, fully coated optics, and a single focus system. If anyone's going to be arrested today, it won't be you, it should be Barska for offering something so cheap that you can't believe it. Pick it up and see if you can speed away to your hunt with the Colorado now!
5. Celestron LandScout 10-30X50
Celestron sneaks its way into our top picks with the LandScout 10-30X50 to claim the fourth spot for the best hunting spotting scope in this affordable price range. Why? Because it's the best compact spotting scope for the entry level and low budget crowd.
It's small, lightweight, and cheap - in price that is. It can be handheld even though a tripod is thrown in with the roughly $50 purchase of the spotting scope. Not too shabby, right?
But, if you're looking for glass that can get you seeing clear and sharp groupings at and beyond 200 yards, you'd be asking too much. This spruce, little gadget can only give you 100 yards before the quality tuckers out.
However, Celestron really knows how to kick up the game when it comes to punching out some of the best value spotting scopes you'll find in the market.
6. Simmons Venture 15-45X60
There are no longer any Simmons ProSport optics in production. They're officially outdated, obsolete, gone buh-bye. They've been replaced with the new Venture series that marks a daring move for the company. Saying goodbye to the old may be hard to do, but saying hello the new is always exciting.
- Handheld specs
- Easy to use
- Straight design
- Accessories included
This model Venture is the low magnification 15-45x spotter that's only available in the straight design. Optical quality is going to be average as it has BK7 glass. But, even though it's under $100, Simmons was smart to use fully multi-coated optics.
It's made to be the compact option when hitting the trails or tracking deer in the hunt. With its lower power, you could steady yourself to use the Venture free-hand for handheld use. Of course, it's not the only way to use it since it comes with a table top tripod which has a built-in window mount.
The tripod isn't the only accessory included. You'll also be able to safely store and carry your scope with the included hard plastic case and soft carry case. That's a whole lot of extras for an affordable price!
With a straight design, you'll be quick to get the hang of using it out in the field, at the range, or while on a hike. However, it's a little heavy for a 15-45x scope with its 2 lb weight. Good thing it comes with practical accessories to help distribute the weight, right?
What to Look for in a Cheap Spotting Scope
How can you tell if you're getting a good deal when you're buying a spotting scope under $100? You've gotta know what to look for. Yes, we harp on this all the time-you've got to know what you're looking for in a quality optic. Oftentimes, you're looking at imported spotting scopes with the bare minimum. These spotters won't be able to provide quality that can get you stunning clarity at 300 yards plus, but it can still land you that buck at sub-250 yard hunting, or to see groupings at a 100 yard splatter target. Here's the specifics on what to keep your eyes peeled for.
- Design: Consider whether angled or straight is for you.
- Glass: The higher the quality, the better.
- Coatings: The more, the better.
- Low Power 10-40X: You want to make sure you get accurate distances with these spotting scopes by being brand-specific. Going higher-powered (20-60X)in this price range will result in poorer image quality at max power.
- Eye relief 13-18 mm: Ensure your investment is comfortable to glass with.
- Exit pupil 3-5 mm: Smaller than 3 mm? Expect to lose out on a lot of light-gathering potential.
- Aperture: Going larger might seem better, but just remember you're tacking on weight with each size increase.
- Size/Weight: Be activity specific here. Don't go heavy weight if you're trekking and plan on using your spotter hand-held. Go compact instead. You can afford to go heavy and large if you're stationary most of the time for things like birdwatching and wildlife observation.
- Durability: Look for rubber armored bodies, waterproofness, and fog-proof features.
Spend Less, Gain More!
To recap, here are our top picks of the 6 Best Spotting Scopes Under $100:
- Barska Blackhawk 18-36×50 - Winner
- Emarth 20-60x60AE - Runner-Up
- Firefield 12-36X50 SE
- Barska Colorado 15-40×50
- Celestron LandScout 10-30X50
- Simmons Venture 15-45×60
You don't have to forfeit value when you spend less than a full hundred dollars on your spotting scope buy. There are some golden nuggets in the spotting scope market when you're looking to spend the bare minimum.
The key to getting an excellent deal is to stay low powered (10-40X) and to find the best glass and coatings possible. When you keep your focus where it needs to be, no dollar will be wasted. Spend less but gain more when you buy as an informed buyer!