Birdwatching Dot Com










The Binocular Advisor

The Scopes Advisor

Sign up for our FREE Email Newsletter


Birding Scopes
Angled or Straight?

by Michael and Diane Porter

We don't mind expressng strong preference on this question. We think that for a birder, an angled scope is almost always better than a straight one.

With an angled scope, you look down into the eyepiece at about a 45? angle, the easy, natural way you look down at a magazine, or at your plate. And we think the angled scopes have the advantage for birding.

Angled Scope Razor Scope Straight
Angled scope Straight-through scope

Here's why we prefer an angled scope

1) An angled scope can be mounted lower! A straight scope would have to be mounted at the height of your eye, but an angled scope works with a shorter, lighter-weight tripod. That means it will produce a steadier, less shaky image. This can make a huge difference in the wind.

2) It's easy to share the view! An angled scope can be mounted lower and therefore produce a steadier, better image. Less shaking in the wind. A straight scope must be mounted at the height of your eye. An angled scope will work with a shorter, lighter-weight tripod.

3) It's easier to look up! With a straight scope, you might have to get down on your knees to look up through a scope to see a bird in the top of nearby tree. But with the angled scope you just bend your head a little bit more, and bingo, there's your bird.

4) It's easier to down, too! No climbing up on a chair to look into a scope that's pointing down over the edge of a bluff. No shortening the legs and losing your aim. Just point the scope and then rotate it to the side if the eyepiece is now higher than your eye.

5) Angled works better from a car! It has a larger arc of use. For example, on a car window mount, it lets you see further ahead and behind the car. With a straight scope, you have to cram your head up in the windshield to see to the rear of the car. And you have to put your head practically in the back seat to see far ahead. But with an angled scope, you can swing the scope to any position and then rotate the scope so that the eyepiece is convenient for your eye.

© 2017 Michael and Diane Porter


Our favorite spotting scopes

A scope you can always have with you

Birdwatching Dot Com

Please call us toll free 800-779-7256 for advice
on choosing birdbaths, bird feeders, binoculars, or other birding products.
FAX 641-472-7256
Birdwatching Dot Com Store
2197 236th Blvd.
Fairfield, IA 52556

All text and images copyright Birdwatching Dot Com
except the chart of angled and straight scopes.