Compact spotting scopes represent a group of spotting scopes that are smaller and lighter than other spotting scopes. Both straight and angled spotting scopes can be found in this category. Small size and light weight, enable people to easily carry them around in a backpack or a bag.
Since compact spotting scopes are smaller, their lens diameter is normally smaller than 50 mm. The same goes for magnification range. Average magnification of compact spotting scopes is lower than 50x, usually 45x.
Another good thing about compact spotting scopes is that they are very affordable comparing to other categories of spotting scopes.
Compact Spotting Scope
As mentioned before, they are very easy to handle and carry around. Since birdwatching is usually performed with tripod, it is very handy for birders to pack both tripod and the scope.
Using compact spotting scopes during the daylight offers good optical quality. But if the scopes are used on a cloudy day or at dusk, they cannot produce bright enough image and high enough image quality due to small objective lens. Even though they are very handy and useful in certain situations, they do not perform the best while used in longer periods of time. Since objective lens diameter is relatively small, the birder has to place the eye to the center of the eyepiece to see good image. As soon as the user moves it’s head, the image is lost. This means it can become pretty uncomfortable while looking through the scope for a long time.
When it comes to hunting, compact spotting scopes perform especially well in the mountains. Because of their small weight and size, hunters can put them in the backpack and go on a hunt. It is much easier for the hunters to stalk the animal and move around with light weighted backpack.
Regardless of their size, they are still more powerful than average binoculars. Even though compact spotting scopes are great for daytime stalking and mountain hunting, they do not perform well at dusk or in the night hunting. Since low light performance is important, hunters usually prefer spotting scopes with at least 65mm objective lens.
Last example of use are handgun shooters. That is when compact spotting scopes come most into use. Participating in shooting competitions or shooting just for fun, handgun and revolver shooters like to check their hit after they shot. If targets are not electronical, they check their result with the help of a compact spotting scope. Such use of a spotting scope is mostly performed on 25m range. Shooter puts his compact spotting scope on the table, so he can continuously check his result after each shot.
As mentioned before, compact spotting scopes are great for daytime use or in this case on covered ranges. Shooter can also use them in combination with a small tripod set on a desk at the shooting position. Even if their optical performance is not the best in absolute terms, they perform well in described application.
A short presentation of Hunting Binoculars is available here.