Do you prefer comfort over style? Are you planning on glassing for long periods of time or not? Will you be using your scope standing up or lying down? And finally, what is the weather like there? These are the questions you need to take into consideration when deciding between a straight and an angled spotting scope.
Spotting Scopes in General
A spotting scope is defined as a tiny telescope with high power, intended for precise viewing of distant objects. Spotting scopes are optical devices that can be carried around and used for various observing purposes, such as hunting and birdwatching, or even tactical shooting – every observation where a higher magnification than that of binoculars is needed, usually from 20x to 60x.
The amount of light a spotting scope collects and the resolution it offers are restricted to the diameter of the objective lens, which normally ranges from 50 mm to 80 mm. And the larger the objective lens, the bulkier and pricier the spotting scope. When it comes to the differences between straight and angled spotting scopes, however, it is like comparing apples to oranges -- both are great, some simply prefer one over the other.
Straight Vs. Angled Spotting Scopes
Straight Spotting Scopes
• Backpack friendly for fit and space
• Easier to transition to from binoculars
• Better target acquisition
• Better for glassing in harsh weather conditions
• Great for beginners
• Best for mountain hunting
• More uncomfortable when looking up
• More uncomfortable when looking down
• Needs to be mounted on a taller tripod
Angled Spotting Scopes
• More comfortable to look through
• Needs to be mounted on a shorter tripod
• Backpack friendly in terms of weight
• Better for glassing standing up
• Best for all other uses (except hunting)
• Less backpack friendly for fit and space
• Easier to collect water or snow
Choosing between a straight and angled scope might not be the hardest decision you make in your life, but it still requires some thinking. When it comes to choosing, there is no black or white or right or wrong, as it all comes down to your personal preference. If you can, go for both, if not, pick the one that suits your intended use most.