Q&A with Ben: Best Spotting Scope Under $2000

Ben Lizdas

Posted on February 12 2019

Recently, a birder wrote in looking for the best spotting scope under $2000 that would also be lightweight and easy to carry. Ben fielded the email with expert recommendations and important tips to remember when shopping for spotting scopes. 

I was wondering what you would recommend for a scope that is under $2000. We are looking for a versatile scope that we could use mainly for waders as well as cliff-nesting raptor-watches. We walk a lot and so would like something that is not too heavy for a woman to carry over the relatively rough terrain here in South Africa. Thank you so much for your help!

Thanks for your inquiry. Without any hesitation, I would recommend the 65mm Vortex Razor HD spotting scope. The Razor has outstanding optics and build-quality for its price range, and although it may not be quite as nice as the premium-level scopes, it comes close to that performance at a fraction of the cost. I don't think there is a better scope out there for under $2400.

Shop the 65mm Vortex Razor HD: https://redstartbirding.com/collections/spotting-scopes/products/vortex-razor-hd-22-48x65

For $2418, you could get a 65mm Swarovski ATS scope with a wide-angle zoom eyepiece, so if you can stretch your budget a bit, that would be the next consideration.

Shop the 65mm Swarovski ATS Scope Body: https://redstartbirding.com/collections/spotting-scopes/products/swarovski-ats-65-body

Shop the Swarovski 25-50x Zoom Eyepiece: https://redstartbirding.com/collections/spotting-scope-eyepieces/products/swarovski-25-50x-zoom-eyepiece

Both of these scopes are considered to be relatively compact and lightweight, and will offer excellent observation of birds at a distance.

However, neither of these scopes will come with a tripod, so if you need to purchase one of those as well, you'll want to consider that with your budget. A decent tripod would start at around $200.

Browse our tripod selection: https://redstartbirding.com/collections/tripods

If you have questions about finding the right birding optics to suit your needs, feel free to contact us at 833-262-1568, or at sales@redstartbirding.com.

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