Angled vs Straight Spotting Scope – which Is Better?

Are you struggling to figure out whether to use an angled or straight spotting scope? Well, the best way to decide is by knowing their key differences; generally, a straight spotter is designed with the eyepiece in line with the objective lenses. However, you may find straight scopes built with Porro prism and where the eyepiece is still in line, but slightly above the objective lens.

An angled spotter scope on the other end is set at a 45 to 90-degree angle from the objective lens. Angled spotters don’t allow you to adjust the eyepiece angle; however, they allow you to rotate the eyepiece around the scope for added viewing position versatility.

Angled Spotting Scopes

In this angled vs straight spotting scope comparison, you will find that these two spotter types boast a common similarity – the magnification power. Spotters are just like binoculars; however, they boast a higher magnification than them.

With a range of 40X and above, they require a tripod stand to be mounted on as they are considered to be of heavy duty. When it comes to image brightness and quality, these two spotter types are not different. Their main difference is their working mechanism and the comfort they offer.


When mounted on a tripod, the set up of an angled spotter looks similar to that of a telescope. So, to view your target all you need to do is bend over. This means that multiple people with different heights can use the same settings without altering them. Furthermore, it is much easier to tilt the spotter upwards and view objects on high terrain or the sky much easier.

If you intend to use your spotter for a long period, an angled spotting scope is perfect for prolonged observation. Since you will be seated and bent over forward, you will be much more comfortable than if you stand with your neck craning and facing straight forward all day.

Using an angled spotted makes the process easier too since you don’t have to adjust the tripod settings when switching between binoculars to scope. Additionally, unlike a straight spotter, the eyepiece on an angled one is adequately sheltered from elements. The small cup shaped of the angled spotter’s eyepiece naturally collects dust, debris, snow, and any other elements.


An angled scope doesn’t need to be mounted as high on a tripod for you to enjoy a good quality image; which means that you don’t need a large tripod. A small tripod is just as good – plus it significantly cuts down on weight and bulkiness, allowing you to take it anywhere with you. Furthermore, a smaller and lower tripod withstands the wind easier thanks to its lower center of mass.


For long range hunters or target shooters, it is easier to switch from scope to rifle easily. If you are in competitive shooting, you can swiftly switch from riflescope to the riflescope eyepiece to a spotting scope much easier with a straight head. Additionally, during the process, you can easily check the wind direction and shot results using the wider field of view of the spotter, without changing your shooting position.

For astronomical applications, an angled scope is better. This is because the angled eyepiece design makes viewing upwards easier and more natural – similar to a telescope. With a spotting scope that has a magnification power of 60X, you will be able to see the clear night sky.

Straight Spotting Scopes

Not to be left behind, straight spotting scopes comes with their own benefits too.


A straight scope is intuitive to use and target acquisition is faster compared to an angled one. Furthermore, since you will still be looking in a forward direction, it’s much easier to look up and track a mark using your naked eye; and then return to your scope without losing focus. Due to their design, straight scopes are much easier to pack compared to angled ones. Plus, they don’t take up too much space thanks to their simple and straight design.


When using a straight spotting scope, you can keep the same tripod height when switching between binoculars to scope. Many observers like to use binoculars as it has a wider field of view. After acquiring their target, they then switch to a spotter.

Using a straight scope allows you to set it up higher on a tripod thanks to its straight line viewing mechanism. This means that you don’t have to worry about obtrusive brushes, reeds, or high walls


When using a straight spotting scope, it is much easier to look downwards. This is because you don’t have to strain your neck when looking downwards on a straight scope rather than upwards.

Angled vs Straight Spotting Scope – which Is Better?

Whilst we’ve already established the difference between angled and straight spotters, there’s still one thing to decide when choosing angled vs straight spotting scope – which is better. For one, you want to think of the actual uses, For example, for bird watching, naturally an angled scope is a better choice. This is because an angled scope allows you to comfortably look upwards for long.

Furthermore, for competitive and target shooting, an angled spotting scope is a better choice as it offers much needed flexibility. For digiscoping, either scope is a good choice depending on your needs; for example, an angled scope makes it easier to set up your camera at a downward angle and see what you are doing in a comfortable position. A straight scope on the other end makes it easier to locate a target, whilst avoiding sunlight glare on your camera screen.

During hunting, a straight scope comes in handy, especially when spotting fast moving targets. The important thing is to know how exactly you intend to use your spotting scope – is it for varmint hunting or star gazing? Only then will you have the answer as to which is a better choice – angled or straight spotting scope.

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