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Leupold MK-4 Spotting Scope Review

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Leupold Mark 4 or MK-4 Spotting scope is a series with three scopes. The 12-40x60mm and 20-6x80mm are the most popular among these scopes. However, for this guide, we’ll focus solely on the Mark 4 12-40×60 spotting scope that was first released in 2015.

The Leupold Mark 4 12-40×60 spotting scope features a mil-dot reticle which makes for better readings at higher magnification so you can get accurate range estimations. There are so many more advantages to having a mil-dot reticle can do, and we’ll see them all shortly. This straight scope comes in traditional packaging with its plain black design, keeping in line with most tactical shooting scopes.

It comes with a simple matte design with a versatile power range offering so much distance coverage. Find out about this spotting scope inside this guide and see if you should get the scope or if you’re better off considering others.

Features of Leupold Mark 4 12-40×60 Spotting Scope

While its mil-dot reticle and TMR status are quite popular, some of the other major features of the mark four 12-40×60 scope have gone under the radar. Here are some of its best features:

1. Magnification

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The power description of the scope is rated12-40x; however, its actual magnification is 12.7-38.1x. Using the smooth magnification ring on the scope, you can adjust the power from its base of 12x to 40x. With such power levels, you can view up to 600 yards while maintaining clarity.

Edge-to-edge clarity without any distortion, no matter the magnification level you utilize, is due to an even spread of lens coating, among other features. The bottom line is that you can utilize even the higher magnification ranges in this scope while maintaining clarity. The folded light path design ensures you get more magnification even in its small body.

Bonus Read: 4 Best Leupold Spotting Scope

2. Objective Lens Size

Leupold Mark 4 spotting scope has an objective lens size of 60mm, which is the right size for a scope with its magnification levels. The diameter of the objective lens ensures that light can enter the scope to produce crisp images. This is why there are no distortions in the scope, no matter the power level. The objective lens size of any scope is often listed in the description after the magnification.

Even though the lens is small when compared to most other spotting scopes, it is the right size for a scope with its power range and would let in all the light needed in the scope. The size of the objective lens does more than just let light in; it also affects the shape and size of the scope, as we’ll see in other features.

3. Reticle

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While reticles are not common features in spotting scopes, this mark four scopes comes with a tactical mil-dot reticle that is perfect for tactical shooting situations. It is responsible for accurate range estimations even at higher power levels. The reticle is the traditional TMR reticle, so using it shouldn’t be a hassle. The TMR reticle utilizes half mil marks and hash marks instead of dots. Reticles are extremely important for long-range targets but will also prove effective when hunting.

To ensure this reticle does not cover much of the viewing area on the lens, which can interfere with the readings and mirage. Leupold only features the mil part of the reticle making it less intrusive while remaining effective. The reticle is almost lost in the view at lower power levels, even less intrusive, while it remains readable. As a first focal plane reticle, the reticle increases and decreases with magnification, allowing you to range no matter the power.

4. Optical System

For a premium scope like the Leupold Mark 4, you would expect nothing short of premium optical quality in all its lenses, and this is why Leupold uses the quality bak4 prism known for its height and crisp images. In addition, all the lenses are fully multi-coated with several coat layers possessing various qualities, from anti-glare to better light transmission. The coatings ensure improved color fidelity, contrast, and brightness for producing impressive images.

For light transmission, you’ll struggle to find a better system than the Twilight Max Light Management System in this scope. With this system, the vision in the scope is improved tremendously without using any ED or HD glasses. Light wastage is a thing of the past with the light management system in place as it minimizes glare and improves the transmission of light through its lenses. You can add up to 20 minutes of extra viewing light when the surrounding light is low.

The special multi-coat four systems developed by Leupold and used in this scope improve the light available and decreases reflection. The multi-coat 4 allows you to make the most of any light that reaches the scope. With impressive light gathering and transmission systems in place and quality lenses, this scope features an exceptional optical quality evident in its superior image clarity, contrast, and color fidelity.

5. Build Quality and Design

Build Quality and Design
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The Leupold Mark 4 spotting scope is a straight scope with a matte black design without any of the Leupold gold rings or accents designs commonly for tactical scopes. Additionally, the scope is rugged as its body is made from durable but lightweight aluminum material, ensuring it can withstand falls, blows, and impacts without breaking. Its magnesium housing is further protected with a rubber armor coating that is easy to grab and helps with handling.

This Mark 4 scope can be classified as lightweight and compact as it weighs only 37 ounces with a length of 12.4 inches. You can easily pack the scope in your gadget bag without significantly increasing its weight or size. Its objective lens size and straight eyepiece design help keep its weight low and its body compact.

The scope is designed and built in Leupold’s factory in Beaverton, Oregon, USA. Leupold Mark 4 is nitrogen-purged, making it 100% waterproof and fog proof. You can use it in harsh and wet weather conditions without worrying about damage or reduction in clarity. In addition, the outer lenses are coated with anti-scratch coatings to protect the lenses from damage as you navigate difficult terrains.

6. Attachments

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The Leupold Mark 4 spotting scope comes with a protective fitting cover that is expected to stay on the scope. This cover protects from scratches and bumps, adding to the scope’s durability. The front flap can be attached to the top and bottom if you prefer a quieter opening and want the flap to stay out of the way while in use. You can swing this cover over your shoulder using this carrying strap.

There is a standard mount threading hole and a McCann rail accessory system under the scope, so you can attach any bipod or utilize night vision. Even though it does not come with any mount, the scope is compatible with most bipods and tripods, so you can easily find a suitable mount.

7. Eye Relief and Exit Pupil

Eye Relief and Exit Pupil
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The eye relief of this Leupold Mark 4 tactical spotting scope is 30mm at all power levels. It is decent enough not to strain your eyes when viewing through the scope for a long period. However, long viewing is common for tactical and hunting activities, so this scope must be gentle on the eyes.

The exit pupil here is 4.8 to 1.5mm at 12 to 40x power levels which are more than the average exit pupils found in most scopes. The exit pupil size ensures you see clearer images with night vision or during dusk and dawn viewing.

8. Field of View and Close Focus Distance

The width you can see through the Leupold Mark 4 12-40×60 scope is impressive at 168 to 52 feet at 12x to 40x magnification, all at 1000 yards. While the angular 3.2 to 1 degrees at 12 to 40x ensures you see a wide area when viewing through the scope, which makes targeting and viewing better.

The closest distance you can focus the scope is 36 feet which means you cannot focus on targets closer than 32 feet. While it is not the shortest closest distance, spotting scopes are not meant for short-distance targeting, so this shouldn’t be an issue.

9. Price

As a premium Leupold scope, the price of this scope is just under $2000, completely taking it out of the reach of many tactical shooters. However, its impressive features, especially the mil-dot and tactical milling reticle, make this scope a no-brainer for tactical shooters who can afford its price.

10. Warranty

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The scope is made in the USA under strict consumer protection laws to ensure quality. Also, Leupold is known for using durable materials. Still, all these didn’t stop Leupold from including the scope under its lifetime warranty program that guarantees repair and even replacement of damaged Leupold Mark 4 scopes.

Pros and Cons of Leupold Mark 4 12-40×60 Spotting Scope

In this section, you can see what makes this scope stand out and what can be better.


  • Wide magnification range
  • Impressive optical system
  • Max Light Management System
  • Mil-dot tactical milling reticle
  • Fully multi-coated lenses
  • Wide field of view
  • Lightweight and compact design, so it is easy to pack and carry
  • Durable body, waterproof and fog proof
  • No distortion and any magnification



Leupold Mark 4 12-40×60 spotting scope has an incredible optical system, which is championed by its light gathering and transmission features. However, its mil dot tactical milling reticle is a fascinating feature in this scope. It’s not hard to see why most spotting scopes do not come with a reticle. This scope sports so many features that make it a great buy if you can afford it.

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.