If you are looking for a greater magnification than a standard pair of binoculars then you probably are going to need a spotting scope. A spotting scope can be used for a large number of purposes. The most popular reason or activity where to use one of these is bird spotting. Other uses may include simply watching wildlife or perhaps hunting. It does not matter the purpose really, as long as you know how to choose the best spotting scope for your money and your needs.
The atmosphere is going to play a major role in the amount of zoom that your spotting scope can require. This means humidity, temperature, wind speed etc. The harsher the atmosphere, the more impact it is going to have on your spotting scope. However, you are obviously never going to get 100% clear conditions. That‘s why we suggest do not choose anything over 60X. In some cases you may even want to go down to 40X (i.e. if the environment where you are using your spotting scope is very harsh)
If you want a good quality spotting scope at a low price, then you should look for one which utilizes BAK-4 Glass. This is NOT the best quality glass available on the optics market. There are other far better options out there. However, they tend to attract prices into the thousands of dollars which you probably do not want to spend.
So this way, you know you will get a high quality unit. It is important to note that no matter how good the spotting scope is, the image quality will go down as magnification goes up. And that is completely normal.
By the other hand, if you are interested in detailed targets on longer distances then you may want to opt for the best spotting scope that you can afford. Yes, they are going to be expensive, but there is no point in purchasing a low quality spotting scope with a super magnification. You won’t be able to see anything and this is usually where most beginners mess up.
Remember; when you are searching for a good spotting scope you should attempt to read through as many reviews on the products available as you can. Reviews are important because they will enable you to determine the capability of the scope and also you can learn from other users experiences. So, get all the info you can and try to find out whether you are going to get good value for your money or your needs!