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Leupold Gold Ring 12-40×60 HD Spotting Scope Review

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If you’re a hunter, you know the importance of getting a clear view of your target before pulling the trigger. You want to spot the correct animal at the right age and size, so using quality spotting scopes cannot be overemphasized. Leopold has been in existence since 1907 and has been able to show its value over the years.

The Leupold gold ring series is known for its high-quality lightweight spotting scopes. The Leupold gold ring 12-40×60 HD scope is one of just over half a dozen gold ring spotting scopes available. It carries the term gold ring as it features a gold ring close to the objective lens.

Before you jump on this gold ring spotting scope for hunting or related activity, it is best to discover all its features. Its characteristics make it a great buy, while others may prove a stumbling block to many potential buyers. Find out all you need to know about this scope shortly.

Features of Leupold Gold Ring 12-40×60 HD Spotting Scope

Features of Leupold Gold Ring 12-40x60 HD Spotting Scope
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Most of Leupold’s gold ring scopes will share some features with others in the gold ring series, but they will still have unique features. This 12-40×60 Leupold gold ring HD spotting scope sports impressive optical quality and a lightweight design, among other features in this section.

1. Magnification

Magnification involves the enlargement of images and is often rated as the scope’s power. You’ll often find the figure at the top of the description of the spotting scope. For this Leupold gold ring scope, its magnification is 12-40x, which can magnify an image from 12 to 40 times, helping you see targets above 1000 yards.

The Leupold gold ring HD spotting scope is great for hunting as its power range covers the typical hunting distance, including medium to long-range targets. In addition, the distance the scope can cover will prove beneficial even for hunting small targets.

2. Objective Lens Size

Objective Lens Size
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The objective lens size of a scope is often associated with the magnification, as you’ll find them immediately after the magnification figures in the scope description. For the Leupold spotting scope, the objective lens has a diameter of 60mm. Comparing it with the maximum magnification level of 40x, you should get clear images even at higher power levels.

Since objective lens size is associated with the amount of light entering the scope, a larger lens will mean more light into the area and a considerably better image. However, it is often compared with magnification as lower power levels will not require an extensive, objective lens to produce clear images.

3. Optical Quality

The optical system of the Leupold gold ring 12-40×60 HD spotting scope is one of the significant features of the scope, with its impressive optics ranging from its calcium-fluoride-based HD lens to an excellent light transmission system.

The light transmission system ensures you can see clear images in poor light conditions, which is common when hunting. However, the optics do not only cater to poor light requirements, as even direct sunlight on the lens can obscure vision.

Additionally, you’ll find its glare reduction system helpful when hunting with the sun beating down into your lens.

The gold ring series is synonymous with impressive optics, so viewing clear images will be fine even at higher power levels. Distorted images at far distances are a common problem for many spotting scopes.

Still, this gold ring scope does not suffer from this problem at any distance. It does not use a prism but instead uses mirrors for shortening the optical system using the Prism-less Folded Light Path (FLP). Aside from its HD lens, it also features an extra-low dispersion system that improves contrast and color identification.

The Xtended Twilight Lens System in this scope improves light transmission and provides up to 20 minutes more light. This way, you can view targets for longer, even when it becomes incredibly dark.

4. Durability and Design

Durability and Design
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Leupold gold ring 12-40×60 HD spotting scope features a striking gold ring close to its objective lens. So, while it is a straight spotting scope, its eyepiece is at a higher plane to the scope. All gold ring scopes are famous for their lightweight design, and this 12-40×60 HD scope carries on with that tradition weighing 37 ounces and stretching 12.4 inches long.

The short length is significantly helped by the FLP system, which shortens the size of the optical system. Lightweight designs make it easier to move but carry a higher significance for this scope. Its design allows you to use the scope without a tripod if you can support it properly on your shoulders.

The magnesium housing holding this gold ring spotting scope is lightweight and durable, so it doesn’t break with little pressure. Its durability is further boosted by the rubber armor coating around its body. While the term “fully multi-coated lenses” feels a little less valuable now as many scopes feature it.

However, this scope does not only include fully multi-coat lenses. Still, it does it with special coatings like the diamondcoat2 that offer impressive anti-scratch qualities, among other things. In addition, the scope uses a proprietary nitrogen fill process and tight seal to ensure it is 100 percent waterproof and fog proof.

5. Eye Relief and Field of View

This scope uses the more natural straight eyepiece, making it faster to pick up targets. However, the ease of target acquisition is also tied to its eye relief which is the farthest distance you can place your eyes to see clearly and safely.

The eye relief for this Leupold gold ring 12-40×60 HD spotting scope is 30mm at any power level. It provides a decent protection level, so you can comfortably use the scope with or without glasses.

When it comes to the field of view of the scope, the area around the target is considered since it affects the ease of picking up the target. Typically, the wider the field of view of a scope, the better your view will be, as you can see around the target. This gold ring scope features a linear field of view of 168 to 52 feet at 1000 yards when power is at the minimum and maximum, respectively.

At the same time, its angular field of view is 3.2 to 1 degree at minimum to maximum power levels, respectively. The field of view figures is super impressive, especially at lower magnification, offering the viewing a wide viewing angle to get a faster target acquisition, among other things.

6. Reticle


Generally, most spotting scopes do not have reticles. However, this Leupold gold ring 12-40×60 HD scope offers to buy a scope without a reticle or one with the popular Leupold impact reticle.

The impact reticle incorporates MOA and Mil’s dots and hash marks into the lens. This way, you can use this scope for activities requiring extreme precision. The blend of both systems is a feature you’ll struggle to find in any other brand.

7. Exit Pupil and Close Focus Distance

The exit pupil for this scope is decent enough to produce clear images at low light conditions, especially when using lower power levels. The exit pupil figures for this Leupold gold ring 12-40×60 HD scope are 4.8mm for the lowest power and 1.5mm for the highest paper level.

The minimum focus distance for this scope is 36 feet which is surprising considering its lower power level of 12x. Therefore, you would expect a lower close focus distance than obtainable. At 36 feet, focusing on extremely close targets will be difficult, so it is best to target above 36 feet.

8. Guarantee

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Despite its impressive rugged design, Leupold has gone further in offering airtight guarantee protection for the buyers of this Leupold gold ring spotting scope. This feature protects the scope in case of any damage.

In addition, Leupold offers a lifetime guarantee for this scope, promising to fix or replace the scope in case of any damage. You also do not have to be the original owner or present a receipt or any warranty card to enjoy this service. Such is the belief Leupold has in the durability of this gold ring scope that it is prepared to offer such an impressive guarantee.

9. Pros and Cons of Leupold Gold Ring 12-40×60 HD Spotting Scope

Leupold gold ring scopes are famous for their high-quality designs; however, many other pros and cons are involved. Let us see what this entails.


  • Impressive Leupold lifetime guarantee
  • Xtended Twilight Lens system offering better light transmission in poor light conditions
  • Fully multi-coated lenses with coatings like the diamondcoat2 with impressive anti-scratch and anti-glare properties
  • Folded light path system for a more compact design
  • Fully waterproof and fog proof scope to ensure a safe usage in wet conditions
  • Compatible with a digital camera
  • Long eye relief of 30mm at all power levels
  • Lightweight and compact design weighing 37 ounces and only 12.4 inches long


  • A close focus distance of 36 feet makes it difficult to view close targets
  • Expensive scope puts it out of reach from many people, especially those with a strict budget


This Leupold gold ring spotting scope is designed, machined, and assembled in Leupold’s factory in Beaverton, Oregon, USA. As a member of the gold ring series, its lightweight design and optical clarity are obvious, making it perfect for hunting activities even in low light conditions.

About Author

James Towndrow, a NRA-certified Firearms Instructor. During a career of 18 years had won several shooting competition including major leagues. Taking all those experience down the road, is now a successful Shooting Instructor in Texas, US.