Welcome to Optics Trade debates. In each episode, we talk about a different topic and try to answer the most common questions we receive about it. Today, we are going to talk about fixed body and expandable spotting scopes.
The main difference between the two is that the expandable spotting scopes can be stored at a really compact size. The overall length is much shorter when not in use than on a fixed body scope. Expendable spotting scopes are also lighter.
The main problem of the expendable spotting scopes is that no matter how good the system of expendable tubes is, there is always a possibility that the alignment of the eyepiece with the objective lens will be problematic. The other disadvantage of the expandable scopes is that they are not waterproof. And because they aren’t waterproof, they aren’t filled with dry nitrogen or argon, so they aren’t fog-proof.
Expandable scopes are usually used in the summer or in autumn, so fogging isn’t really that big of a problem.
There is a bigger selection of fixed spotting scopes. The price ranges from about 50 € up to 5000 €. There are a lot of expandable spotting scopes that cost less than 300 €. There are almost no products in the 300 €-1000 € range. There are a few producers that make expandable scopes which are sold at 1000 € -1500 €. The next class of optics costs more than 2000 €.
Both types have a mounting plate for a tripod, even if straight spotting scopes aren’t usually used on tripods.
The eyepiece is sold separately in most cases. The most common exceptions are cheap expendable spotting scopes that come with an eyepiece permanently attached.
We would recommend expendable spotting scopes to all hunters that hunt in the mountains and the fixed spotting scopes to everybody else.
A sunshade is a common feature on fixed spotting scopes. This feature is a lot less common on expandable spotting scopes.
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Straight Spotting Scopes: https://www.optics-trade.eu/en/spotting-scopes/straight-spotting-scopes.html
Angled Spotting Scopes: https://www.optics-trade.eu/en/spotting-scopes/angled-spotting-scopes.html
Expandable spotting scopes: https://www.optics-trade.eu/en/spotting-scopes/expandable-spotting-scopes.html