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How To Buy Hunting Optics

Scopes and spotting scopes are both very similar to binoculars. They are used mainly for hunting in order to get a better look at your prey when it is too far to be seen by the naked eye.

How to buy spotting scopes

Spotting scopes are used primarily by serious nature observers and photographers and can be viewed as a step up from binoculars.

Scope characteristics

  • Spotting scopes generally offer significantly more power than binoculars and can be placed on a tripod for steadier viewing
  • Spotting scopes also generally offer a zoom feature that greatly increases the power of the scope
  • Many models have a built-in peepsight to help you find and center your subject quickly

Accessories

  • Most spotting scopes offer additional eyepieces that can be changed for even more magnification options
  • It is important to have a good, solid field tripod to add stability to your viewing
  • Many models come with their own tripods, or the tripod can be purchased separately. Just make sure the two are compatible.
  • Many versions can be hooked up with an optional camera adapter for through-the-scope photography

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How to buy scopes

Scopes are generally used for hunting to increase the view of an object.

Power

  • Like binoculars, the power of a scope is described by two numbers that indicate its magnifying ability and the size of the lens
  • A standard 4 x 32 scope will magnify an object up to 4 times larger than you could see with the naked eye. The 32 indicates that the lens diameter is 32 millimeters.
  • The larger the second number, the lens diameter, the more it will help brighten the view
  • There are two basic kinds of scopes, fixed power and variable power
  • Fixed power
    • This version has the magnification set by the manufacturer
    • Fixed power scopes are adequate for hunters who need a good view of 50 to 100 yards
    • The most popular fixed scopes are 4 x 32
  • Variable power
    • More applicable to a wider range of uses
    • Variable power scopes can be adjusted according to the field of view needed as well as the available light
    • Variable scopes range from 1.5 magnification up to 25 times for long-range viewing and shooting

Field of view

  • This is the measure of how much you can see through your scope at 1,000 yards
  • Generally, the higher the magnification, the less the field of view
  • This information is always printed either on the instruction sheet or directly on the scope

Eye relief

  • This indicates the distance between your eye and the scope, which allows you to achieve the entire field of view
  • This distance can be adjusted once you have your scope and have it mounted

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