The spotting scope you choose greatly affects how it will work for you under certain conditions. For example, the person who only wants to use his or her spotting scope at the rifle range can often drive up to the bench and conveniently layout supplies including a large objective porro prism spotting scope. The target shooter could easily use a 80MM porro prism scope on a full-length tripod and not worry about compact design or lightweight since their automobile is a few yards away.

On the other hand, a person who is planning an elk hunt in Montana’s wilderness is probably very concerned with weight and the ability to fit the scope into a pack. Typically roof prism spotting scopes offer the hunter or backpacker a more compact and lightweight design to pack and carry long distances. While some porro prism spotting scopes are quite compact, others can offer larger fields of view and resolution, but they may not be practical to pack into the woods.

Other features for the hunter to consider are rubber armoring to protect the scope from blunt force. A waterproof spotting scope offers piece of mind to the hunter working in rain and snow.

Intended Use Recommendation
All-Purpose Light weight, compact, tri-pod mount
Birding 15X-60X, tri-pod mount, Light weight, camera adaptable
Hunting 20X-60X, xtra-wide view, compact, light weight

Coated Optics
Coatings on lens surfaces reduce light loss and glare due to reflection, resulting in a brighter, higher-contrast image with reduced eyestrain. More coating leads to better light transmission. There are 4 levels of coating:
Coated: A single layer on at least one lens
Fully-Coated: A single layer on all air-to-glass surfaces
Multi-Coated: more than one layer on at least one lens and all surfaces are coated at least once
Fully Multi-Coated: More than one layer on all air-to-glass surfaces