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Fixed vs Expandable Spotting Scope | Optics Trade Debates

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.

Straight fixed body and extendable spotting scopes are almost always used for hunting or tactical shooting, where there is a lot of movement.

The main disadvantage of the fixed body spotting scopes is their size. But they are usually optically a little bit better if compared to expandable spotting scopes in the same price range.

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 €.

The best expandable scopes can match the optical performance of the best fixed body scopes. The magnification can be the same on both types of scopes.

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.

We would like to thank you for your time. In case we did not answer all the questions regarding this topic, please leave a comment below or send an e-mail to us. If you found this video useful, please subscribe to our channel.

Products mentioned:
Straight Spotting Scopes:
Angled Spotting Scopes:
Expandable spotting scopes:

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