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Nikon ED50 Fieldscope 13-30x50 Straight Body Spotting Scope Review

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nikon fieldscope 13-30x50
Image Credit - Nikon

Viewing Configuration: Straight
Magnification: 13-30X
Power Variability: Variable
Adjustable Eyepieces: Yes
Eyepiece included: Yes
Objective Diameter: 50 mm
Close Focus Distance: 9.8 feet
Length: 11.2 inches
Weight: 19.6 ounces
Field of View: 157 feet/1000 yards
Eye Relief/Exit Pupil: 12.9 mm/ 3.8 mm
Optics Coatings: Fully Multi-Coated
Glass: Not Listed
Focus System: Focus Knob/Single Focus
Waterproof/Fog-proof: Yes/Yes
Digiscope adaptable: Yes

Best Uses: Hunting, For the Range, Birdwatching, Wildlife Observation, Photography

Nikon Fieldscope ED50

This Nikon Fieldscope 13-30X50 has ED glass and fully multi-coated optics for high-resolution images. It's also fully weatherproof, is lightweight and compact, and is digiscope-compatible.

The ED50 has been out for quite some time, and even with its relatively old age, it only has a piddling review base. Even though it's sporting perfect rating, disappointingly, I don't feel like it would be fair to portray such a stellar rating with so few reviews to date.

But, don't let that get you down. I chose this particular fieldscope because of its quality. Its clean and highly-functional features is what will draw other hunters to it the same way it has me.

So, let's go over what features it has that would make it an excellent optic for when you need that extra "reach" in the field.


  • Price
  • Interchangeable eyepieces
  • Very close focus distance
  • Compact
  • Eyepiece included


  • Short eye relief

Nikon Fieldscope ED50 Q&A:

Is this Nikon ED50 a compact spotting scope?

The ED50 is a lightweight and compact fieldscope that is a fantastic alternative to a full-size one, especially if your hunting style has you on the move a lot.

It's also going to be convenient to consider this scope if you're not the type of hunter that likes to carry around a full-size tripod either. You also might want to think along the lines of mounting to a rifle stock? But, we'll get into this later.

Its dimensions are: length x width - 11.2 x 2.8 inches. It also only weighs 19.6 ounces - this is on par with many compact binoculars.

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What is the image quality like on the ED50?

Optically, this Nikon ED50 is stellar! It has everything you want to see with fantastic glass.

For those that need a refresher, ED stands for Extra-Low Dispersion glass. This is a premium feature that eliminates chromatic aberrations which you would know as color fringing - the colored, blurry fuzz that surrounds the edges of your image.

Another credit to the image quality is the fully multi-coated lenses. The multiple coatings are being applied to carefully cut and polished glass that have had impurities buffed out to ensure pristine, sharp, and color-true images.

Does the ED50 lose quality at 30X power?

All sport optics will compromise on contrast, sharpness, and color fidelity the higher the power you use. And typically, it will cost you an arm and a leg to buy a spotting scope that retains stellar performance at 20X as it does at 60X.

But, as far as this Nikon ED50 goes, its power range is 13-30X and its performance will truly impress you. During daylight and bright conditions, expect to see excellent clarity without any compromise of image quality throughout all the magnification settings - seriously.

During low light hours, you're going to get the best use up to about 25X power, after that, you will lose a bit of quality as far as sharpness and clarity goes.

Can it be handheld at all?

All fieldscopes are made to be tripod mounted, but with compact devices, you can almost always get away with handheld use at lower magnifications. And, this Nikon is no exception!

You can pretty much use this Nikon ED as a handheld device up to around 15X. Again, for those of you hunters who are constantly on the move, a rigged mount to a rifle stock could also make this little ED50 of even more use.

But shhh, that's not an official recommendation since it could void your fieldscope warranty if you ever needed to send it in. But, this mounting technique is used by plenty of hunters who want to maximize fieldscope handheld convenience and portability in one.

What is the eye relief of the ED50 fieldscope?

After all the great things about this nifty, compact scope, it's a shame the eye relief with the provided zoom eyepiece is so short. It has 12.9 mm of eye relief at 13X power.

Of course, you'll get a little more eye relief at lower magnifications, but you want super power, that's why you have a spotting scope in the first place, right? So, just be prepared to have a little discomfort and a red ring around your eye socket after about 5-10 mins of constant glassing.

Warning: If you're hunting alone, no big deal, but you might be the cause of a laughing riot if you're hunting with a pack of buddies - just saying.

But, the silver lining is you can change out the eyepiece with a new one, and just be sure to shop for longer and more forgiving eye relief.

What does the purchase of the ED50 come with?

You penny pinchers will love this - it comes with the 13-30X zoom eyepiece, sliding sunshade, eyepiece travel pouch, adjustable carry straps, and lens covers.

A lot of the time, depending on your seller, you'll also receive an included neoprene carry case. Just a word of caution though - this is only intended by Nikon for storage use. If you were hoping that you could keep your scope covered while using it, you're out of luck. Unless...

You were to show off some mad sewing skills and rig your case in a way to expose the eyepiece, objective lens, and the focus knob... Perhaps, cut the end of the case and sew on a zipper on the objective lens end and... tada! You now have a usable carry case while out in the field - you're welcome!

Noteworthy Features:

  • 13-30X power for low magnifications and handheld capability to high power for close and fine detail viewing
  • 50 mm objective lens especially beneficial for hunters looking for lightweight portability and low light strength
  • Impressive close focus distance of 9.8 feet with provided zoom eyepiece
  • Fully fog-proof and waterproof to endure all types of weather
  • Compact and lightweight but well-built and solid to work exceptionally well on tripods
  • ED Glass with fully multi-coated optics for the best image quality from 13-30X power
  • Backed by Nikon's Limited Lifetime Warranty/Without Electric Components

Our Verdict On The Nikon ED50 Spotting Scope

The scoop on the scope is, the Nikon 13-30X50 FieldScope ED is an excellent, little unit. There's very little to complain about, because it has everything you could want in a portable, hunting optic. However, the eye relief stinks!

For exactly the same price, you could always check out the Vortex Optics Razor HD 11-33x50. It gives you a little more reach without having to change out the eyepiece like on the FieldScope, and you also get the dual focus system instead of the single on the Nikon - win, win!

Nikon keeps the upgrades on the FieldScope clean and simple to use without extra fuss and buzz that can complicate field use. That sounds just like Nikon - simple, functional, and affordable!

Further Reading

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Simon Cuthbert

Simon is an avid outdoor enthusiast and the owner of Target Tamers. He is passionate about bringing you the most up to date, accurate & understandable information on sports optics of all kinds and for all applications. Simon has contributed to notable publications online and teaches beginners the technical side of optics through his extensive library of optics guides.

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