I was just looking through our spotting scopes for a good all-around option. I wanted a combination of features that would be well balanced for various purposes, but also tough, reliable and affordable. A lot of optic manufacturers say they have great scopes but I wanted to be sure the spotting scope I pick is truly up snuff. Because of this I also checked out the reviews. I’ve always liked Alpen, so I decided to take a look at their Best Rated Spotting Scopes. I came across the 20-60x80mm Angled Waterproof Spotting Scope. There are actually two different versions of this scope, the 788, which has an angled eyepiece, and the 786, which has a straight eyepiece. Since I like to do both a little stargazing on occasion and I wanted a spotter for the range, I went with the angled scope.
Why angled? It helps with stargazing for sure. When your scope is pointed upward, you can look through the eyepiece a lot more comfortably if it’s angled. With the Alpen’s nice tabletop tripod, which is easily adjusted to turn the eyepiece in your direction when sitting, you can actually take your shot and simply turn your head to take a look down range. No need to get up. That’s a huge feature and really helps add versatility to the scope.
The magnification range is fairly common and gives you the right low and high power for most spotting scope needs. If you’re doing some really serious astronomy you’ll want more power, but for my needs and the needs of many amateur astronomers, 20-60x magnification is just about right. When you combine that magnification range, Alpen’s fully multi-coated lenses and the sunshade, which minimizes glare you’re sure to get a great view.
But those are just the features you can read on the product page. What I really wanted to learn more about is what regular people think about this Alpen spotting scope. I’ve spent a fair amount of time with spotters in the last couple years, but I’m a regular guy. I like quality. I don’t want to spend a couple hundred dollars on something that’s going to break down after the first time I bump it into something. I can read about all sorts of features, but does anyone actually use them? Do they work as intended?
Well, the Alpen 20-60x80mm Spotting Scope has received a number of very high reviews so far. It’s currently sitting pretty at 4.6 out of 5 stars. The size and weight seem like they’re fairly standard, and while one reviewer said he felt his was a little on the big side, he even admits that this is the way it goes. The size of the objective lens directly affects the amount of light that enters the scope, and therefore affects the brightness of the image. An 80mm objective lens is going to collect a lot of light, but it still has an 80mm diameter!
One thing I was glad to read is that the tripod is well made. I’ve seen small tripods come with spotting scopes before, and it’s a mixed bag. Sometimes it’s clearly just tacked on for sales purposes, but the reviewers have said the tabletop tripod with this scope is pretty high quality. One reviewer mentioned using a larger tripod for birding, and of course that’s going to be some people’s preference. I want to have my spotter set up most of the time on a table next to a window for stargazing, and at the range I’d rather have it on a table anyways.
The sharpness of the image and the value are also praised, and I imagine we’ll be seeing some more reviews focusing on the value soon, as this scope isn’t just Top Rated; it’s also On Sale! This sale won’t last forever, but as of right now you can get the Angled Spotter for $439.99! That’s within my budget for a spotting scope, and looking around at similarly priced scopes I can say the sale and great reviews have really made me a fan.
We all look for different things when buying optics. You might be more concerned with quality than budget, and I might be looking for add-ons included like tripods or a nylon case (yep, the Alpen 20-60x80mm Spotter comes with a nylon bag too!). Fortunately, you get quality, a great price and plenty of add-ons with this spotting scope, and the great reviews and fantastic price make this an absolutely irresistible spotting scope for everyone!