Ignore the tripod the scope alone is worth the price you are paying for the package. It works well for my intended purposes which is shooting range work from 25-300yds. The tripod works great to mount my chronograph but is just not heavy enough to have any stability with a scope of this size. I went and got a good solid table-top tripod to use on the bench when shooting and this works very well. I don't care how much you spend on a spotting scope if it is not stable it will be hard to use. If I were going to mount a large spotter on a tall tripod like this for extended viewing I would be looking at spending as much on a tripod as I spent on this whole package. Those are the limitations of high magnification. As to the brightness of this scope, it is very good for a scope in this price category. All scopes will dim as magnification is increased due to the fact the the size of the exit pupil (amount of light to your eye) is shrinking as magnification increases. It is of course much less apparent with really high dollar scopes due to the quality of the glass and the coatings they use but the relationship of exit pupil to magnification to objective lens size does not change no matter how much you spend. In daylight though this scope is still more than adequate even on 60X. If you want a crisp bright image at twilight you will not get it with any scope in this price-range. If you can live with a scope that works well in good light, accept the fact that you are getting a serviceable scope for under $200.00, and resign yourself to the fact that you will need a higher quality tripod, you wont be disappointed.
This review was written in the old system and had content requirements that are different than reviews written today.