Angled vs Straight Spotting Scope: Which is the best in 2022?

Should you buy an angled spotting scope or the straight one? Which one would help you get a closer view of your favorite birds and distant targets? – This review of Angled vs Straight Spotting Scope should answer your questions. Read on to know further.

As far as we analyzed, it is clear that spotting scopes are underrated equipment that our hunters missed knowing about fully. People think spotting scopes are only for birding hobbies but it is not true.

Spotting scopes are also great for target hunting or shooting. If you are in the search of equipment to understand and obtain certain creatures, nothing except Spotting Scope must help you. It identifies everything from a small bird in the land, a fast coyote in the wild, and lightning stars in the sky. 

You see EVERYTHING with a single lens!

However, purchasing the best spotting scopes might be tedious as there are several factors involved to confuse you. 

If you are in the phase where you are clear about the magnification requirements but not sure whether Angled or Straight Spotting Scope to choose, leave the worries behind because you have already reached the help.

As I have a huge craze for equipment, especially the LENSES. There is nothing I left undiscovered including a spotting scope. 

There is a list of spotting scopes from different brands and magnification ranges that I have tested on. Personally, I love both straight and angled types of spotting scopes. I think the choice is totally based on your hunting terrain.

The basic differences you can tell by seeing these two types are size and weight and of course the ANGLE.

But there are even more factors that separate them from one another. Let’s see them one by one in this detailed guide on Angled vs Straight Spotting Scope.

Angled or Straight Spotting Scope?

Below we will explain the advantages and disadvantages of both types of spotting scopes with a well-defined comparison analysis.

If you hear Angled vs Straight Spotting Scope for the first time, you might simply say Straight is the best. But trust me it is not that easy and you can’t make a decision lightly.

Although the differences in size and weight between these two spotting scope types are evident, still we could not judge the impact of these differences on their performance without testing them in-depth. That’s why most hunters prefer the straight one, hesitating to try the new one. 

It should not be the same anymore!

You are already here and you are going to know Angled and Straight Spotting Scope completely. It makes sure you will make a wise choice next time.

Angled vs Straight Spotting Scope: A quick glance!

Features Angled Spotting Scope Straight Spotting Scope
Product RAZOR HD 27-60X85 (ANGLED) RAZOR HD 27-60X85 (STRAIGHT) (1)
Lens 50 mm to 80 mm 50 mm to 80 mm
Magnification 10x to 60x 10x to 60x
Price A bit higher Normal
Pros
  • Low Profile
  • High comfort
  • Many angles
  • Tripod stability
  • Easy to switch between
  • Quick target acquisition
  • Great for prone positions
  • Cons
  • Switching is difficult
  • Not for prone position
  • Less stability in maximum heights
  • More Visible
  • Best For
  • Birding
  • Target Shooting
  • Hunting
  • Spotting
  • Recent Model View Latest Product View Latest Product

    Angled Spotting Scopes – What is it?

    With a first look you will know why it has the name, Angled Spotting Scope. Unlike the Straight scopes, the angled scope curves a bit to the eyepiece, mostly 45 degrees.

    The curved scope lets you change the viewing angle based on the leveling ground. So, you get more comfortable viewing angles than a straight scope.

    Let’s think of setting a tripod on a mountain or a hill station for a scope to angle to get a comfortable wide view of the area. Not anything but a curved angle spotting scope could only make it for you.

    Also for the downhill viewing, you get the bad neck pain with a straight spotting scope to see down for the whole time. But with an angled scope you can easily turn the scope to adjust the angle that provides different positions for the scope and your head so you get better neck relief and the VIEW.

    Features of Angled Spotting Scope

    Both spotting scope types have the same lens resolution, brightness, and clarity. There is no big change in the numbers of magnification and lens diameter of these scopes.

    Lens

    As spotting scopes are designed purposely to view distant targets, it has powerful objective lenses. The lens diameters are often available between 50 mm and 80 mm.

    There are spotting scopes out in the market in angled and straight designs with the same objective lenses which provide the same quality with different comfort levels.

    Magnification

    With a powerful and large lens, spotting scopes offer clear and detailed images but the high magnification levels make it possible for far targets also.

    Unlike lenses, the magnification range of spotting scopes ranges in very distinct levels. But as far as we tested, most of the preferred spotting scopes have a magnification range from 10x to 60x. These magnification levels are possible with both spotting scope types.

    Field of View

    Technically, with high magnification, you get a small field of view in spotting scopes. At the higher magnification levels, say about 60x, you will get the minimum field of view. So, if you need a high field of view choose spotting scopes with a low to medium magnification range.

    Advantages of Angled Spotting Scope

    Spotting scopes are handy telescopes that do the job of binocular but with more magnification. These are the perfect equipment for viewing objects from very long distances without changing your position.

    Generally, spotting scopes are used for birding, target shooting, hunting, and astrology.

    Easy leveling

    To use angled scopes as a telescope, mount it on a tripod, and change the eyepiece to look upwards. You just need to bend over to see through the scope. With these benefits, people from different heights can also use the scope set up easily without changing the scope position.

    But in straight scope, it is difficult to adjust the height for each one in the group whether for a sitting or standing view.

    Great for looking upwards

    Already you are above with an angled spotting scope. It is further comfortable and easier to change the scope’s position upwards to see the sky or high terrain from the downhill.

    Easy mounting

    Unlike straight scopes, angled spotting scopes need lower mounting on a tripod for the same view. So you don’t have to buy a new tripod for your new spotting scope as your existing average height tripod is enough to use an angled spotting scope. It eliminates extra weight and room in your packing.

    Another benefit that comes along with using a lower tripod is stability. While using a lower tripod, the center of gravity to the ground is closer which provides tripod stability even in high wind.

    Prolonged viewing

    Angled spotting scopes assure prolonged observation with high comfort and no pain in the neck. The curved head position of this scope provides very easing viewing for a long time with the needed support for seated or sliding sessions.

    Tripod is not necessary

    With angled spotting scopes, you don’t need a tripod all the time with you. If you are in the hills or mountains, ridges are everywhere. Pick the one that covers the whole area, set the angled scope on it then do nothing but enjoy nature. 

    Seating or prone, you get a clear view and angle that would be the same as the straight scope.

    Benefits shooters

    Spotting scopes are not only for observing birds but also for tracking distant targets. So shooters can make use of it for their competitive shooting and target shooting games. In a shooting game, when equipped with an angled scope on a tripod, it is easy and convenient for you to switch the scope and rifle with a few head movements.

    Generally for competitive shooting, the players use a wide field of view from their spotting scopes to cope with the wind direction and consistent shots so there is less space for changing the shooting positions. It makes the angled scopes ideal for them.

    Great for astronomers

    The angled head of scope towards the sky provides a clear path for sky lovers to observe. It is easy and effortless like with a telescope. An angled spotting scope with a 60x magnification at night shows you moons of different planets.

    Who should use an Angled spotting scope?

    Experienced hitters can make use of angled scopes well because the angled scopes are a bit difficult due to the fact that line of sight relies on an angle which makes the job harder for tracking moving targets. 

    Normally the experienced hunters can do better with them. Still, there is a high hope that with regular practice you can avoid this problem.

    Applications of Angled Spotting Scopes

    • Birding
    • Hunting
    • Shooting competitions
    • Astronomy
    • General viewing

    Disadvantages of Angled Spotting Scopes

    • A jump in price from a straight one (not all the time, but it is there).
    • Needs years of experience or more practice to make the most out of it.
    • The more the features, the higher the complications.
    • The unsheltered eyepiece is prone to damage by the natural elements.

    Straight Spotting Scope – What is it?

    A normal scope with a powerful objective lens and high magnification range for viewing distant targets, especially for shooting, hunting, sky seeing, totally for observing.

    It picks your eyes straight from the eyepiece to the lens. NO TANGLE!

    With a straight spotting scope, you should keep the tripod in the raise for the entire scope. So you will be in high profile and visible all the time.

    To be frank, straight scopes are perfect for seeing in prone positions. So you don’t have to keep moving your head to look up and down. But when speaking of comfort, it is not up to that level that an angled scope offers for general viewing.

    It is not great to get maneuverability from the straight scope so you will have to find the right angle for viewing by changing your head positions.

    Features of Straight Spotting Scope

    Straight scopes are the most common choice that anyone made for spotting. Because these are the best scope for acquiring targets quickly. Using a straight scope, you get the advantage of easy switching between binoculars on a tripod without having to change the stand height which saves a lot of time. 

    If we see deep, the binoculars are already set aimed at the target so you won’t need to do target acquisition every time you switch.

    However, for a standing view, straight scopes need to be positioned higher than an angled scope. The angled scope bends over to reach the eye from down but a straight one does not. So, when the tripod stand is raised higher, with a small base, the entire scope setup becomes unstable. It makes the condition worse for a taller target.

    Lens

    As already discussed, you will find more or less the same lenses for straight scopes as that for angled ones. It could be anywhere between 50 mm and 80 mm.

    Magnification

    The same applies to magnification. Angled and straight spotting scopes are supposed to have the same magnification levels. The possible range in the market is maximum at 60 x and minimum at 10x.

    Field of View

    Here is the place where straight spotting scopes shine. Although both angled and straight scopes can come with a matching FOV, there is a difference in comfort.

    With a straight spotting scope, you can rest the tripod in the same position while switching the spotting scope with binoculars.

    So, you have the binoculars focused on the right place which cuts down the need for reacquiring thus saving time that you might spend with a tripod. 

    On the other hand, with an angled spotting scope, easy switching with quick changes for binoculars is not possible. In those times, you have to raise a tripod and add binoculars. After that, you have to go search and find the area where you were earlier looking at. The conditions become worse when you want to change the power of scope so you will have to do it all over again from the start.

    Straight spotting scopes serve you straight, saving time!

    Advantages of Straight Spotting Scope

    You can see anything regardless of day or night, far and near with a spotting scope. Let’s see why straight spotting scopes are the ones that are often employed for viewing.

    Intuitive to use

    It is a straightforward truth that viewing a distant target whether for observation or hunting is easier with a straight spotting scope. It is intuitive to use and easy to target.

    With a straight scope, most hunters go with their intuition for direction and the greatest part is that it just works too.

    You can adjust and train with an angled one but with a straight one, you get directly just from unboxing.

    Target acquisition and tracking

    You get fast target acquisition and easy tracking along with the previous benefit of being intuitive to use in a straight scope. You always have to focus in the same direction for spotting a target so it is easier to look through the scope, just watch out and switch from scope to binocular without losing the target.

    No extra setting for a tripod

    For the most detailed view, experienced users use binoculars in the first place to look around the target with its wide field of view and then switch to a spotting scope for high magnification to get a closer view of the target.

    With a straight spotting scope, height adjustment for a tripod is not needed after the switch but an angled spotting speed needs it.

    Sheltered eyepiece

    In an angled spotting scope, the upward eyepiece creates a small cup in the middle that collects dirt, dust, snow, rain, etc. Though you can undo it with a hat or something as a cover, it may not be denied that the straight scope eyepiece does not do that. It has a more sheltered eyepiece that protects it from natural elements.

    Keep as high as possible

    You can keep the straight scopes as high as possible to see through thick brushes, high walls, huge hills, ridges, etc. A straight one can be set higher than an angled one to get the same target view but without having to rotate the eyepiece.

    Comes in handy

    It can be squeezed in a water bottle placeholder of a daypack if you don’t have room inside. 

    No need to explain this as you can see with a curve, an angled scope takes more space and needs proper storage to fit into the place but a straight one does not. It fits into anywhere just like that.

    Great for the down look

    Angled scope benefits upward look while straight scope benefits downward look. Angling the scope downwards is as comfortable as an angled scope that too with a fixed eyepiece is really a markable advantage of straight scopes.

    Who should use a Straight spotting scope?

    The straight scopes are for everyone who has eyesight. It suits all hunters and hitters with different skill levels and experiences. 

    Most ideally, straight scopes are great for beginners as these are more user-friendly and very intuitive to use. 

    Also, tracking and spotting the moving targets are easy on straight scopes.

    Applications of Straight Spotting Scopes

    • Hunting
    • Target shooting
    • Nature observation
    • Birding
    • Marine watching
    • Climbing

    Disadvantages of Straight Spotting Scopes

    • You can keep the height of the tripod as high as you need but it affects the center of gravity and decreases stability.
    • Getting high-angle views and keeping them for a long time won’t be easier.
    • Sharing it with others may not be convenient.

    Angled vs Straight Spotting Scope – Which is the best?

    If you are buying a spotting scope,

    For Birding – Birds spend most of their time sitting in high trees and flying in the sky. Thus the angled scope makes the birding easier and more enjoyable even for a prolonged time.

    For Targeting, Shooting, or Ranging – Rifle shooting takes you to shoot in prone positions where you can find yourself easier with an angled scope because it gives an easy setup to switch between rifle and scope with less or no head movements.

    Also for targeting and ranging over a target, you would probably end up with an angled one. It is great at sharing scope with other tools and offers more comfortable positions for a long time.

    For Hunting – Go with a straight scope. It lets you sweep with a binocular on target and switch to a spotting scope to get a closer look with no need of adjusting the tripod’s height.

    For spotting the fast targets or having to look in the same direction when changing the scope with a rifle, a straight scope will come naturally and in handy.

    For Car Window Mounts – What is your car? Because it is 100% on them. If you are single with a big car, you have room to move around while adjusting the angle, choose a straight scope.

    Meanwhile using an angled scope, you get more angles with an adjustable eyepiece. You can sit in your car seat and point it directly without having to move your head out of the window.

    For Digiscoping – As there are no differences in optical quality of these scopes, it can be done with both.

    An angled scope put the lens down angle so you can share it with others at a comfortable position. 

    A straight scope with a straight lens eliminates sunlight or glare and provides quick spotting of a target.

    Angled vs Straight Spotting Scope: Our Best Picks

    So, want to know what are our favorites from each type?

    We liked the pair of Spotting Scopes from Vortex with the same specifications and optical quality as we said. The only difference is in length (due to the curve). Even the price is the same for both so you won’t regret it later.

    Specifications VORTEX RAZOR® HD 27-60X85 (STRAIGHT) VORTEX RAZOR® HD 27-60X85 (ANGLED)
    Product RAZOR HD 27-60X85 (STRAIGHT) (1) RAZOR HD 27-60X85 (ANGLED)
    Length 16.2 inches 15.5 inches
    Magnification 27-60x 27-60x
    Objective Lens Diameter 85 mm 85 mm
    Linear Field of View 117-68 ft/1000 yds 117-68 ft/1000 yds
    Angular Field of View 2.2-1.3 degrees 2.2-1.3 degrees
    Close Focus 16.4 feet 16.4 feet
    Eye Relief 16.7-17 mm 16.7-17 mm
    Weight 65.6 oz 65.6 oz
    Price

    Angled vs Straight Spotting Scope: Wind Up!

    There is no surprise that most hunters don’t know there are two options for spotting scopes. It is the topic that is knowingly or unknowingly left unspoken for no reason. That’s why we decided to make it through the way.

    I know because of the same optical quality and specifications, it will be difficult for you to choose one between them. But if you consider what you are buying it for, how you are going to use it, and similar questions, you will surely get an answer.

    For anyone buying a spotting scope only for hunting, Straight spotting scope would be the right choice and for other activities from shooting, digiscoping, sharing, to prolonged observation, and others related to these, pick the Best Angled Spotting Scope.

    I hope we have covered everything in and around Angled and Straight Spotting Scopes to make your decision wiser.

    Let us know if the guide on Angled vs Straight Spotting Scope helped you choose a better lens for your next birding or shooting sessions in the comment section below.

    Thank you for stopping by!

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