What are some spotting scopes you have tried and tested? What are some reasons you chose the spotting scope, i.e., affordability, quality, clarity, size and weight, weatherproofing? What are your intentions for a spotting scope? (Range use, tactical, hunting, astronomy, etc.) Spotting scopes can range in prices from very cheap to about what it costs to fill your tank with gas, and even thousands of dollars. _____________________________________________ My premise: I use a spotting scope for the range, primarily. I do not expect to analyze paper targets out past 300 meters/yards. I do realize the advantages to having a spotter assist with monitoring wind by use of mirage, and for following the bullet flight path, given suitable weather is present. But, mainly I am more focused on just clearly reading the paper target out to a max of about 300 yards. Celestron Landscout 12-36x60 --- $55.00 to $90.00 Spotting Scopes: I've found some good quality entry-level spotting scopes with the Celestron series. Amazon.com : Celestron 52322 Landscout 12-36x60 Spotting Scope (Army Green) : Spotter Scope : Camera & Photo A 12-36 power zoom and 60mm optic is ideal for me, and since it's only going to be a range scope, the size, weight, and durability all factor in. The biggest factor, of course, is price. The biggest concern is always clarity of the scope. When I factor in the price for a rifle, all its components, and especially a good quality optic, how much is justifiable for a spotting scope just for range use? To me, anything in the sub-$100 price range is going to be pretty much limited to having the same general clarity and usefulness. In fact, much like rifle scopes, you won't begin to see the good stuff until you are willing to drop at least several hundred dollars. But, unlike rifle scopes, the pricing of the spotting scope genre is not quite as critical due to their separate features. A spotting scope will not have turrets which must track perfectly and return to zero the same as rifle scopes, for example; these components are not easy to manufacture and assemble at the level of quality one might expect and still not cost a great deal. But, with a spotting scope it all comes down primarily to the glass and how clear it will be on max zoom. Naturally, a wider lens, like a 60mm will allow more light to enter as opposed to a 40mm, so the size of the scope lens will be one determining factor which will also be reflected in its price. Therefore, as long as the spotting scope is of decent quality and maintains good enough clarity to fulfill your purposes, and in my case for range use to read zero targets out to a couple hundred yards or so, then it's a wise investment as long as you don't break the bank. Many of the brand names associated with scopes of any kind will buy from manufacturers of various origin, and some of them buy from the same manufacturers. A few of the best have even patented certain coatings and processes for their optics, and they will often charge a premium for their product as a result. This is why I've found that the Celestron spotting scopes are probably the best buy for these lower entry level scopes, in general. Stepping up: Vortex Diamondback 20-60x60 --- $400.00 One of the best "mid-range" priced spotting scopes I am very interested in, is Vortex. If one can justify the expense, keeping in mind it is still far from being the highest priced, I would go toward this brand. Amazon.com : Vortex Optics Diamondback Angled Spotting Scope, 20-60x60 : Sports & Outdoors High Quality examples: Leupold - Amazon.com : Leupold Mark 4 20-60x80mm, Black Spotting Scope, TMR Reticle 110826 : Sports & Outdoors Vortex - Amazon.com : Vortex 27-60x85 Razor HD Spotting Scope : Rifle Scopes : Sports & Outdoors What are some of the spotting scopes you have used, or can recommend?