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One very popular use of a spotting scope is for target shooting. This requires a premium quality spotting scope as compromising with the quality can lead to compromise with accuracy which you cannot most certainly afford.
Most target shooters are usually confused as to what features a spotting scope should have for effective target shooting. One very important factor to keep in mind while using a spotting scope is the environmental conditions. Dust, heat, humidity and dirt can greatly affect the quality of performance of a spotting scope. Very often we end up blaming the spotting scope for a poor performance when the actual cause is the surrounding environment.
The first thing to consider is the eye relief. The eye relief should be of a comfortable length that provides enough relaxation to the eye while shooting. An added bonus is a rotating eye piece which can used to adjust the target according to your convenience. The spotting scope should also have a large objective lens. The larger the objective lenses the more light it allows in and the brighter and clearer the target will appear. You should also remember to ask for the close focus or minimum focus feature in your spotting scope as it is not always a part of the package. The quality of the eye piece is of prime concern. If the eye piece is of inferior quality you can never get a perfect shot as the target will almost always appear distorted or blurred. So it is advisable to invest in the best quality eye piece for optimum results. The prism system is also a very important part of the spotting scope. Make sure that the prisms are of premium quality and are properly arranged.
For a distance of 100 yards a 600mm to 80mm objective is sufficient. For 300 yards the requirements are much higher and of greater specifications. You cannot afford to settle for a cheap objective lens. The minimum size required is 80mm for greater clarity at higher magnifications. The glass making up the lens should be of exceptional quality and be preferably ED glass. At a distance of 400 yards the conditions get more severe and so do the requirements. The optical quality has to be the best. You cannot settle for a cheaper option. Since the distance here is more the environmental conditions would have a greater role to play. Also the target remains in focus for only a short while and hence better quality ensure a bull’s eye hit. The Kowa Fluorite, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, Zeiss 85mm, Swarovski 80HD or Leica 77APO are excellent options in this category. For 500 yards of distance between you and the target the optical quality really has to be at its best. The spotting scopes in this case need help to function accurately and that help is through a spotter or tagger. The spotter aids the spotting scope to work properly in such extreme conditions.