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4 Best Vortex Spotting Scopes to buy in 2023 {Expert Choice}

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A spotting scope presents an opportunity to enjoy a scope above a monocular and below a telescope in almost all ramifications, including distance. The levels to a spotting scope are higher and allow hunters, nature lovers, and bird watchers to enjoy an excellent experience.

Spotting scopes come with magnification levels that are so much higher than what is obtainable on monoculars while remaining more portable than a telescope. While telescopes can reach unimaginable heights, they are large and cumbersome, requiring a lot to set.

They also only function at night, which severely limits you. Spotting scopes, on the other hand, can be used during the day to see a long distance while being able to be moved around.

Vortex Optics Diamondback HD Spotting Scope 20-60x85 - Straight

Vortex Optics Diamondback HD Spotting Scope 20-60×85 – Straight

Our Top Recommendation for Vortex spotting scope

This vortex Diamondback HD Spotting scope with 20-60x85mm specifics comes with modern features and great vision, which makes it a great value for money. You’ll also find that it’s good eye relief and quite helpful.

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There are hundreds of spotting scopes in the market made by several optics brands. When it comes to optic brands, not many can boast of a higher reputation than Vortex. Vortex is a reputable optic brand known for its quality products and iron-clad warranty. This is why many people trust their products.

When it comes to spotting scopes, the Vortex has a lot of products to offer, which may make it a little confusing for Vortex lovers. To remove the confusion, we’ve gone through the spotting scopes to come up with some of the best made by Vortex. You’ll be seeing these scopes, their features, and more in this guide.

Best Vortex Spotting Scopes

After thorough research, we’ve settled on these spotting scopes as some of the best if you’re looking for an amazing experience.

Vortex Optics Diamondback HD Spotting Scope 20-60x85 - StraightVortex Optics Diamondback HD Spotting Scope 20-60x85 - Straight• Magnification of 20-60x
• ​Objective lens size of 85mm
• Arca-swiss compatible
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Vortex Optics Razor HD Spotting Scope 11-33x50 - AngledVortex Optics Razor HD Spotting Scope 11-33x50 - Angled• Magnification of 11-33x
• Objective lens size of 50mm
• Very close focus distance
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Vortex Optics Viper HD Spotting Scope 15-45x65 - AngledVortex Optics Viper HD Spotting Scope 15-45x65 - Angled• Magnification of 15-45x
• ​Objective lens size of 65mm
• Comes with built-in Picatinny access rails
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Vortex Viper 85mm Spotting Scope Angled-HD V502 20-60xVortex Viper 85mm Spotting Scope Angled-HD V502 20-60x• Magnification of 20-60x
• ​Objective lens diameter of 85mm
• Helical focus collar ring
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1. Vortex Optics Diamondback HD Spotting Scope 20-60×85 – Straight

Vortex Optics Diamondback HD Spotting Scope 20-60x85 - Straight
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Vortex optics diamondback HD Spotting scope includes scopes with different magnification ranges and objective diameter sizes. However, we’ll be focusing on the straight 20-60×85 version of this spotting scope.

Vortex diamondback HD Spotting scope is a series of modernized scopes. The scope we’re focusing on sports a magnification of 20-60x, giving you a wide range. The scope is straight, which means you can achieve higher magnification levels from it. With this magnification level, you can even watch the skies and see targets far away and also targets closer to you. However, at maximum magnification, you’ll notice a loss of brightness and poor color quality, which is normal for affordable scopes.

Vortex Optics Diamondback HD Spotting Scope 20-60x85 - Straight feature
Image source: thefirearmblog.com

It has an objective lens diameter of 85mm, which is impressive and useful for a scope with such magnification levels. It needs enough light into the tube to brighten the images formed, and the Vortex has used a large objective lens size to achieve this. It weighs 60.9 Oz which is slightly heavy but understandable due to its huge objective lens size.

It is an HD scope which means better optics and clearer images. However, the high definition specifics are not mentioned; only “select glass elements” were mentioned. It has a good eye relief, with 18.3mm being the shortest. This scope is fitted with an Arca-swiss tripod head that makes it possible to be mounted easily on poplar stands.

It uses the modernized helical focus collar in place of a focus knob. However, this feature can cost you a few microseconds, which can be detrimental when birdwatching. Its price range of under $500 makes it attractive to a lot of people.


  • Wide magnification range of 20-60x
  • Large objective lens size of 85mm
  • HD optics
  • Great value for money
  • Good eye relief
  • Arca-swiss compatible
  • Modern features


  • Heavy
  • A helical focus collar can cost you a few microseconds
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2. Vortex Optics Razor HD Spotting Scope 11-33×50 – Angled

Vortex Optics Razor HD Spotting Scope 11-33x50 - Angled
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This Vortex Optics razor HD Spotting scope has an angled viewing configuration making it easy to be used with both eyes and giving it great eye relief. Its magnification is from 11x to 33x, which is around the lower ranges for spotting scopes. It may not be able to see as far as many other spotting scopes but can achieve distances suitable for target hunting and similar activities.

The 50mm objective lens size is wide enough for a scope with a maximum magnification of 33x. You will get clear images from this scope. The Razor HD label indicates high-quality optics and glass. Even though the edges may be blurred at maximum magnification, the center will still be sharp and clear.

Vortex Optics Razor HD Spotting Scope 11-33x50 - Angled feature
Image source: outdoorlife.com

The scope is extremely lightweight at only 25 ounces. This means it is quite easy to move this scope around in your backpack without feeling a lot of strain. It sports a wide field of view of 191 to 96 feet at 1000 yards. Its long eye relief of 19 to 16 mm means you’ll easily see through this spotting scope.

This scope has a dual focus system and a close focus distance of 6.6 feet which is beneficial for bird watchers. It has a plasmatech system that provides several coatings for improved durability and image quality. For a scope at just under $700, you’re getting so much value.


  • Magnification of 11-33x
  • Objective lens diameter of 50mm
  • Plasmatech system with several coatings
  • Extremely lightweight
  • Good eye relief
  • Weatherproof
  • Dual focus
  • Sports a very close focus distance


  • It has no interchangeable eyepiece
  • Features the less efficient fold-down rubber eyecups
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3. Vortex Optics Viper HD Spotting Scope 15-45×65 – Angled

3. Vortex Optics Viper HD Spotting Scope 15-45x65 - Angled
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Like most spotting scopes, this vortex viper HD scope has both the straight and angled option. Here, we’re looking at the angled version of the scope, and it comes with a variable magnification range of 15-45x. This massive range allows you to easily cover long distances. An objective lens size of 65mm adorns the scope and is the inlet for light to enter the scope and brighten images formed.

The scope weighs 52.8 ounces which is not the heaviest but in no way lightweight. However, it shouldn’t be a problem packing this in your backpack. Its eye relief is short at 15mm for maximum magnification, so it may not be great if you wear glasses. It has a field of view of 140 to 65 feet at 1000 yards.

3. Vortex Optics Viper HD Spotting Scope 15-45x65 - Angled feature
Image source: gunmagwarehouse.com

Its advanced dual-focus design makes it easy to use. There’s also a rapid focus dial and fine focus that helps to sharpen the target and improve accuracy. The knobs may be too small to use gloves, however, so you may have to take off any gloves you have. The knobs turn easily but are not too flush that they cannot hold a mark. The close focus range is 16 feet.

With fully multi-coated lenses, it gathers light impressively, does well in low light conditions, and can even be useful in some astronomy activities. There is a good color representation due to the extra low dispersion glass used inside the spotting scope. There’s a built-in sunshade for light reflection off the glass. The tube is O-ring sealed and purged with argon to make it waterproof and fogproof.


  • Magnification range of 15-45x
  • Objective lens diameter of 65mm
  • Fully multi-coated lenses
  • Weatherproof body
  • Excellent color reproduction
  • Comes with a built-in Picatinny access rails


  • Short eye relief
  • The field of view is narrow
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4. Vortex Viper 85mm Spotting Scope Angled-HD V502 20-60x

Vortex Viper 85mm Spotting Scope Angled-HD V502 20-60x
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Another vortex viper scope in this list, this time in the form of the angled HD V502 spotting scope with a magnification range of 20-60x. This range is wide and covers enormous distances. This power level is followed by a wide 85mm objective lens size. Such a massive objective lens is vital when the maximum power is so high; if not, you’ll struggle to see a clear image when the power is high.

The glass used is a Bak-4 glass, while the lenses are fully multi-coated to improve light transmission and durability. There are high-density extra-low dispersion glass elements in the optics that help to produce high-definition images.

Vortex Viper 85mm Spotting Scope Angled-HD V502 20-60x feature
Image source: outdoorlife.com

Instead of the dual focus knob used in the previous model, this model sees an upgrade to a helical focus collar ring that is fluid and smooth while being easy to hold. This new upgrade can be used for both fast and fine adjustments.

Its huge objective lens and extra features make it come at an astronomical 76.6 ounces. This makes it heavy. Your backpack will be heavy and full with this in it, but I guess it is a small price to pay for this excellent mid-range spotting scope. Its low light ability and HD image quality are a huge pull for a lot of people. The scope is weatherproof with a good eye relief of 19.6 to 17.8 mm depending on the power.


  • Magnification range of 20-60x
  • Objective lens size of 85mm
  • Helical focus collar ring
  • Fully multi-coated lenses
  • Good eye relief
  • Weatherproof
  • HD image quality
  • Vortex VIP warranty


  • It is heavy
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Factors to Consider When Buying a Vortex Spotting Scope- Buyers Guide

There are factors we focused on when doing our research for the best vortex spotting scopes. You can use these factors to get a more personalized choice for the best vortex spotting scope for you.

1. Straight or Angled?

Straight or Angled
Image source: optics-trade.eu

When dealing with a spotting scope, you’ll always be faced with the option of choosing between a straight or Angled body scope. Straight spotting scopes put the body and eyepiece on the same optical plane. They are also is to acquire your target and great for use in harsh weather.

Angled scope, on the other hand, has the body and eyepiece in different optical planes. It is easier to view this scope with your two eyes, and you can use the shorter tripod stands. The choice is yours when choosing a suitable scope.

2. Your Intended Use

This is an essential consideration you should make before buying a spotting scope. You should know what you intend to use the scope for and select a scope best suited for that use. There are spotting scopes focused on specific activities like birdwatching, sky gazing, or hunting.

Bonus Read: The 5 Best Rifle Scope for Deer Hunting

3. Magnification

Image source: badassoptic.com

You should be looking at a spotting scope with variable magnification if your use will require a change in power. You should also consider the distances you’ll be using the scope and buy a scope with power that covers those distances.

4. Objective Lens

The higher the magnification power, the larger the objective lens size required to get a clearer image. A large objective lens lets in more light which is needed to provide better images.

5. Price

What is your budget for a spotting scope? This should be at the top of your mind when selecting a scope to buy. The scopes come at different price ranges, so you can get the spotting scope for your budget. Typically, cheaper scopes will feature low-quality products.


Here are some frequently asked questions about buying a vortex spotting scope and spotting scopes in general.

1. Do you need a tripod?

Ans. Yes, a tripod is required for a spotting scope as it is difficult to achieve stability when holding it in your hands.

2. Are they covered by Vortex VIP warranty?

Ans. Yes, all vortex spotting scopes are covered by the special vortex VIP warranty that ensures you get no questions asked care when you have a problem with your scope. It doesn’t matter if you have the receipt or not.

3. Binoculars, spotting scopes, or both?

Ans. While binoculars can replace spotting scopes in short distances, it is best to use both of them when delaying with longer distances. Binoculars can be used to scan an area to see any target that may be around. Then you can switch to the more precise spotting scope to view the target in more detail.

4. What do HD and ED mean?

Ans. HD means high definition and is often used to describe a glass with improved quality and corrective features. ED means extra-low dispersion glass and relates to glass with extra accuracy and quality vision.


A spotting scope shouldn’t be difficult to buy with the right guidance. You can enjoy an excellent view of the sky, the vast lands, and nature with spotting scopes. Vortex optics have tens of different spotting scopes for you.

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.