Straight vs Angled Spotting Scope: A Beginners Guide

  • By: Imad

The ongoing debate between straight vs angled spotting scope has erupted confusion in the consumers’ mind. Whether you should take assistance from straight spotting scope or should you go for an angled spotting scope.

Here is a quick answer that illustrates when to use straight spotting scope vs an angled spotting scope.

It isn’t one size fits all. Both straight and angled spotting scopes have their intended purposes. Like;

  • All hunters could benefit from straight spotting scopes.
  • Angled spotting scopes are used in astronomy and birding.
  • It all depends upon your requirement.

Is the information enough to get the ball rolling? Not really!

The subsequent portion would tell you why you should go for a certain spotting scope for different situations and which spotting scopes are the best. Before that, let’s look at the pros and cons of both.

Straight vs angled spotting scope: A beginners guide

Angled spotting scope PROs and CONs


  • An angled spotting scope can be used from various heights without changing the length of the tripod.
  • Provides comfort when it is intended to view angles looking up
  • To thwart the wind effect, angled spotting scopes can be mounted lower on a tripod.
  • It can be used effectively even in lowered positions – while seated or lying down.


  • Angled spotting scopes are generally expensive when compared with straight spotting scopes.
  • Straight spotting scope doesn’t require much experience to use. Whereas angled spotting scopes demand a bit of handling experience.
  • Since its lens is angled at around 45° or 50°, it gets exposed in rain and snow – which might cause trouble.
  • They come with complicated features to handle.

Straight spotting scope PROs and CONs


  • Easy to handle even for a novice user
  • Best for target acquisition
  • At eye level or below eye level straight spotting scopes provide comfort and ease.
  • Since the eyepiece is at 0° from the viewing angle and makes perpendicular from the high altitude; its lens gets protected from rain and snow.
  • Easy to carry and placed in a backpack with other useful gadgets.


  • It is tough to view or target objects at high altitude or altitude above sea level.
  • Though they are inexpensive – they lack in advance features found in angled spotting scopes.
  • To maintain eye-level, the tripod has to be raised which could impact on tripod’s stability

Straight vs angled spotting scope for birding  

People from diverse localities love to watch birds flying all over the place. It gives you immense pleasure, and to continue enjoying the aesthetic view you need a gadget that ensures comfortable viewing.

Comfort is the foremost aspect in bird viewing, here, angled spotting scopes come to the rescue. Angled spotting scopes provide ease in looking at the birds without paining your neck.

That’s because when you need to see at an angle about 80° or something like that, you can easily look at the eyepiece of your lens while maintaining 0° degree from your head. You needn’t stress your neck and look upwards.

Such comfort can only be achieved using an angled spotting scope, and no straight spotting scope could ease the process.

Angled spotting scope is the clear winner when viewing birds.

The best angled spotting scope that could help you out is Celestron Regal M2 80ED Spotting scope.

Celestron Regal is durable and sturdy, due to the premium material used in manufacturing. It comes with 20-60x zoom and has high-quality extra-low dispersion (ED) glass which offers magnificent and crystal clear view. This allows you to see birds in actual colours with minute details.

Also Read: Where are the world’s top spotting scopes made?

Straight and angled spotting scope for hunting and target shooting

Hunting is the game that has been playing since dinosaur days, and still, many people have their interest in hunting and target shooting — for that they need a spotting scope to clearly see and target objects.

The preferable choice for all the target shooters or hunters is a straight spotting scope. These straight spotting scopes are at a horizontal level to the human eye. You needn’t set the angles and commit all sorts of complicated settings, as you would do for an angled spotting scope.

Straight spotting scopes can be used by the hunters of different skill levels. Even, the beginners can easily cope up with this gadget. It is simple, user-friendly, and intuitive to use, spot and track moving targets.

Though, angled spotting scopes are used for expert-level shootings – where angle setting and distance measuring are the two concerns.

Celestron – Ultima 80 straight spotting scope is the best straight spotting scope for target hunting and shooting. It is due to the formidable magnification power and objective lens diameter.

It helps you detect long-distance targets. 80mm lens diameter means it can capture more light and yields clear non-blurry view.

Celestron Ultima is easy to carry and tripod friendly. I highly recommend you to buy this straight spotting scope version.

Straight vs angled spotting scope for astronomy

You can use gen 2 spotting scopes for limited astronomical observations. Using spotting scopes for astronomy means you have to contend with objects place at a much higher altitude above you.

If you use a straight spotting scope for object observations, you would end up giving ache to your neck. Would you want that?

Here, the appropriate choice is angled spotting scope as you can view long-distance objects at a particular angle without receiving any curse from your neck.

In this case, the best spotting scope that you can use is Celestron – Ultima 100 angled spotting scope. It comes with 22 to 66x100mm zoom eyepiece. It’s water and fog proof. It also allows you to have a clear sight of the constellation of stars and other basic astronomy.

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