Angled vs Straight Spotting Scope

Angled vs Straight Spotting Scope

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A hunter has their own set of equipment preferences. Some people favor Brand X, while others prefer Brand Y.. When it comes to costly optics, especially spotting scopes, the choices become much more difficult.

There are two types of spotting lenses available if you’re hunting for one.
Straight scopes have the eyepiece directly in front of the objective lens, while bent scopes have the eyepiece at a 45 to 90 degree angle from the objective lens. While most angled scopes do not allow you to adjust the direction of the eyepiece, they do allow you to rotate the eyepiece around the lens, which gives you more freedom in certain places.

A spotting scope performs several purposes during a hunt, and selecting one can be difficult. Apart from magnification, the question of “angled or plain eyepiece” is the most often questioned. I’ve used both twisted and straight spotting scopes and have a lot of familiarity with them. They each have a spot in the hands of someone who hunts a specific form of terrain, in my opinion. This article focuses on shedding some light on some benefits and drawbacks of each spotting scope design,

Angled vs Straight Spotting Scope

In terms of magnification, spotting scopes are a step up from binoculars. They range in magnification from 40x to 60x. Since it is impossible to hold something over 10x magnification stable in the palm, they are mostly used on a tripod. Let’s get one thing straight before we get into the pros and cons of each form.

Angled Spotting Scope Overview

angled vs straight spotting scope

It just takes a brief glance at an angled spotting scope to see where it derives its name. Although a straight scope is visible, an angled spotting scope bends up towards the eyepiece end. You will adjust the viewing angle thanks to the curve.In certain cases, this will make life much easier. For instance, whether you’re sitting and looking up a large hill or mountain. A straight scope may be difficult to tilt to view comfortably, but the curve of an angled spotting scope makes it easy.

Similarly, looking downhill would result in the same problem. For an angled spotting lens, you can turn the camera to change the perspective, giving you a variety of options for positioning the scope and your head for the most relaxed viewing experience. They’re ideal for observing anything that needs greater magnification than a pair of binoculars. Spotting scopes are also used for birding, sighting shots with a rifle, hunting, surveillance, and other purposes.
Spotting scopes have extremely powerful lenses that enable them to see distant objects in great detail. They are usually 50mm-80mm in diameter. Those massive lenses let in a lot of light and produce big, clear images, but it’s the magnification that helps you to see distant objects. A spotting scope’s magnification can vary widely, but the majority fall between 10X and 60X. You’re the only one that can do it. The magnification ratios in twisted and plain spotting scopes are comparable..

Advantages of Angled Scope

1. Easier to share.
If you put an angled lens on a tripod and position the eyepiece backwards like a traditional telescope, all you have to do to peer inside the scope is lean over. The advantages of this are that individuals of varying heights will use the same setup without having to move the scope. Sitting or standing behind a straight scope makes it difficult for people with varying heights to align themselves properly without having to move anything.

2. Looking up is more convenient and relaxed.
Since you’re usually above the lens gazing into the eyepiece, tilting it upwards to see objects on elevated ground or the sky is much smoother and more relaxed.

3. They don’t have to be as far up.
To have the same vision, an angled scope on a tripod may be placed much lower than a straight scope. As a result, you won’t need such a big tripod. A smaller tripod means less weight and less space in your bag.

4. A lower tripod is more stable in wind
If you intend to use the scope outside on a windy day, an angled scope can balance lower on a tripod than a standard scope. Since the tripod’s center of gravity is near to the ground, it is more stable in windy weather.

5. More comfortable for prolonged observation.
The bent over head forward posture is much more comfortable for extended observation, particularly because you can be seated or prone. Far more relaxed than the comparable neck-craning needed to better align yourself for a straight scope.

6. Easier to use without a tripod
Place your pack on a ledge and place your angled scope on top of it to lie prone and get a better perspective on the scope for viewing than you can with a straight scope.

7. Long range shooters can switch from scope to rifle easily
When used for competitive shooting, you can go from the sniper scope to the eyepiece of a rifle scope to a spotting scope with only a small movement of your head. Competitive shooters also use the larger fields of view of their spotting scopes to verify wind directions and shot effects and do not want to step out of their firing location to do so.

8. Better for astronomical uses
Again, the angled eyepiece and the fact that it makes looking upwards much more normal, much like a telescope, means that an angled scope is ideal for astronomy. On a clear night, you can see Jupiter’s moons from a 60x magnification scope.

9. Neck relief

For me, the perspective is also ideal for scenarios when you’re seated on the ground or glassing from a small chair and staring straight out in front of you. The bent scope causes you to tilt your head slightly inward, which is very convenient for lengthy periods of glassing. In addition, I love rotating my eyepiece to the 10 to 11 o’clock or 2 to 3 o’clock positions from time to time. This stance feels normal as well, and flipping from side to side allows one eye to rest.

Straight Spotting Scope Overview

angled vs straight spotting scope

A straight spotting scope, as the name implies, is straight. It does not bend like curved spotting scopes, but instead appears as a straight lens, similar to most telescopes you’re probably used to. To keep the entire scope at viewing height with a straight spotting scope, you must lift your tripod. This raises your profile and increases your chances of being seen. In addition, straight spotting scopes are usually more secure in the prone position. You won’t have to lift your head and look down to better see the lens. However, they are not as suitable for general viewing. You won’t have as much maneuverability for a straight scope, so you’ll have to choose the right alternative.

Straight scopes can be used anywhere spotting scopes are needed. They are also used for any task that requires you to lie down and spot for an extended period of time.
Similarly, when you need to rapidly attain your target, straight spotting scopes are always the right option. The option to switch your binoculars to your tripod without adjusting the height of your stand will save you time.

Even better, you’ll already have your binoculars pointing at your target, so you won’t have to re-acquire it when you turn. When seated, though, a straight scope should be mounted higher than a curved one. The angled scope will meet your eye, but the straight scope cannot. When the tripod is elevated higher, the foundation becomes lower in total, making the entire scope less secure. Worse, you’ve been a taller target, making you more conspicuous.

In addition, plain spotting scopes use the same lenses as curved spotting scopes. This can range in size from 50mm to 80mm. Any smaller, and you’d actually be fine with a decent pair of binoculars. The magnification ratios of angled and plain spotting scopes are usually the same. This can vary greatly between scopes, ranging from 10x to 60x magnification. You will normally find a straight or angled scope with the magnification you need, so choose your scope depending on how you want to use it.

Advantages of Straight Scopes

1. Intuitive to use, straight line to target
Finding a distant ‘something’ with a straight scope is far more intuitive and, in most cases, simpler than with an angled sight. You can train yourself to be almost as good with an angle, but most people have an innate sense of direction that simply ‘works’ when you pick up a straight lens.

2. Faster target acquisition and easier tracking
Simply because they are more easy to use, you would find it quicker and hence easier to acquire and follow an objective by using a straight sight. Since you’re still looking in the same direction, it’s simple to look up from the scope, use your naked eye, and then return to the scope without having to step away from the goal.

3. You can keep the same tripod height when switching from binos to scope
Seasoned and professional observers will want to sweep the terrain with binoculars first to acquire an objective using their broader angle of vision, then turn to a spotting scope to provide a much deeper look. When using a straight scope, no tripod adjustment is required after the turn, while an angled scope requires you to lower or raise the tripod each time.

4. The eyepiece is more sheltered from the elements
A small cup shape is naturally provided by the eyepiece of an angled scope range pointing upwards. Rain, snow, ashes, mud, and so forth. Although you might just cover it with a hat or whatever, based on where the lens is set up and how long you want to use it, you may want to remember the fact that the straight scope eyepiece does not absorb the elements as quickly.

5. You can set it up higher
Thick brush, tall reeds, high walls, and other challenges around a person’s height can make the use of a straight scope more intuitive. You should set it up higher than an angled scope to get the same perspective without having to change the eyepiece rotation.

6. Easier to pack
Scope sleeves are also used in day packs and hunters packs. Straight scopes will more readily fit into these. In any case, the form is often more conveniently packable and unpackable.

7. Easy to look downwards
Although an angled scope makes it possible to aim upwards, a straight scope does the reverse. It is much more comfortable to angle one downwards than to angle one upwards with an angled lens, particularly one with a fixed eyepiece.

Which is the best to choose

For car window mounts
You and your car will really count on that. If you have a big vehicle, there is plenty of room to move about in the seat. With a curved scope and an adaptable eyepiece, you can set the lens to see more angles than straight. You don’t have to pin your head out the window if you point it squarely in front of the driver. The same is true for the heavens and back. The alignment is more convenient with these angles.

For birding
You will see them as they fly. Birds spend a lot of time high up in the trees and the sky! Angled scopes are a smart option here because they make looking up over extended periods of time much smoother.

For digiscoping
As previously mentioned, there is little or no difference in optical clarity between the two types of scopes.For an angled scope, the camera would be at a backward angle to you, making it easy to share and see what you’re doing from a relaxed location.

A straight scope will help you spot a subject or target (if needed) and will reduce the amount of sunlight or glare on the camera’s lens. Is it necessary to have an adapter to easily swing the camera away from the eyepiece when you want to look through it instead? If that’s the case, an angled scope that keeps the camera “at rest” in a backward targeting position will aid in keeping it directly against the wall.

For target practice, shooting or for the range
For competitive sniper shooting in the prone position while spotting for yourself, an angled scope that can be set up in such a way that you can turn from rifle to spotting scope with a small movement of the head would be more convenient.

If you’re searching for a scope which you can set up on target and use for judging or oversight, an angled scope is definitely your best bet. It’s better to share the scope with someone, and it’s a much more relaxed position to experience anything over extended periods of time.


To conclude, there are distinct advantages and disadvantages to both. As previously said, the use of a spotting scope is a matter of personal taste. There is no discernible distinction in the strength of the lens used or any of the mechanical specifications; rather, it is about the user interface.

In the end, neither is this nor that. It all depends on how you plan to use your scope. They have the same lenses, magnification, and even weight, but the option is about how you can see from your scope. As a result, we hope that this article has provided you with some knowledge, and that you now have a clear understanding of what all types are capable of.

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