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Angled and straight are the two basic body designs of the refractor spotting scope.
In a straight scope the eyepieces are aligned to each other while in an angled scope, the eyepiece is at an offset of 45 degree or 90 degree from the barrel. However, straight design is preferred by many.
straight body designed scopes can be easily mount on the glass window of a car to follow birds. It is also easy use at elevated position. While if you tall, you might prefer the angled scope. It depends on how you want to use your scope.
Some of the basic differences between a straight and angled spotting scope:
A straight scope your eyes are in straight line with the object under observation while in an angled scope you can look down into the scope observing the object, or you can even look from its side. With an angled scope you can do birding at different heights. You can rotate an angled scope to any of the sides. However, in a straight scope you have to adjust the lens according to the height.
With a straight scope, you have to bend on your knees to look through the scope while in an angled scope you just have to turn your head a little bit. An angled scope can be mounted lower for a better and steady image formation. A straight scope should be mounted at the height of your eye. angled scope can also work with a light-weight tripod. However, straight scope is preferred for birding from cars. The scope can be mounted on the car’s window and birding can be done easily. Some may even prefer an angled scope because of its larger arc of use.
Lastly, I would advise you to choose a light weight scope which is portable and easy to carry.
Weigh the cost of the scope against the benefits of the same to choose the best deal for yourself within your budget. If you can’t afford a Swarovski or Zeiss, you can look for a Nikon or Pentax. Buying a scope may be a onetime expenditure but will serve as a long term investment later.
There are a number of accessories which come along with the scope. Be smart enough to choose the right ones, according to your needs. Wait! Do not let your bank balance run out before you could buy a tripod for your scope. It increases its durability and stability.