Spotting scope eye relief


Well-Known Member
Feb 26, 2003
What is a good spotting scope for people that wear glasses?

I don't like to have to take my glasses off to see through the spotting scope.

What do I look for?

What would be long eye relief in a spotting scope?

Can you recommend one?



Kowa makes real good spotters with long eye-relief eyepieces which a have enough eye relief that you can wear your glasses, if you get the larger ones around 80mm you can always get another later and put two of them together on a bracket and have one of the best set of big eyes for long range hunting there is, or if your a high-power shooter then you only need one. I don't remember the actual distance of eye-relief, but I looked thru a lot of Kowas with the long eye-relief eyepieces and didn't have to take off my glasses. They have a web site.
I use the Bushnell Spacemasters,two together on a bracket, (20 plus years old) with the 22x Wide Angle eyepieces and the 27x Kowa Wide Angle eyepieces which are great but you have to take your glasses off for greatest advantage.

I am very near sighted (-7 on both eyes)and wear thick eye glasses. I use the Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED with the 25-75X eye piece without any problem. Eye relief is 15.2mm (about .6")
I used to have the Kowa 80mm with the 20-60 eyepiece,you don't have enough eye-relief in the bigger magnifications(really good scope though,very clear glass)if you were glasses.
The only spotting scope that has allot of eyerelief at all magnifications is the 12-40X 60mm leupold.
PS allot of sales pitch from different companies tell you that they have enough eye-relief for glasses.In my opinion 16-18mm eye-relief should be your minimum requirement when shopping around

[ 03-29-2003: Message edited by: Dimitrios ]

I have a Leupold 12-40 spotter, LOTS of eye relief! Compare them for yourself before you buy. I'll measure them tomarrow when it's light out on 12 and 40 power to give you an idea. I gave my brother my old Burris Signiture spotter, it was sweet, but talk about having to have your eye ten times closer to see through it!
I like to be back away so I don't bump the **** thing. It stays focused throughout the range of power once adjusted too, that's nice. I bought the Burris originally because it was suppose to do the same thing and had a slide out sunshade, it did KIND OF, you still had to fine tune the focus on it though, that sucked. You'll have plenty of eye relief to use glasses with the Leupold. The glass is still a bit better than the Burris too, and the difference is hardly noticable compared to the Swarovski, but it is noticable. The field of view is refreshing on 12x, you can look through the thing all day without eye strain, you can't the Burris. Finding your target quick with its large FOV is another benifit too. Very, very rarely do I ever need more than 40x, and even with a Swaro they are subject to mirage just the same, no way I'd be stuck with a single power eye piece either... for that reason.
The only problem with the Leupold is the upper end only goes to 40X. If you need more magnification, you can't get it like the Nikon or Kowa or other interchangable eyepiece spotting scopes.

[ 03-30-2003: Message edited by: thequickad ]
I don't know how much detail you all need where you hunt but I need to count points on the antlers here just to make sure the moose is legal. I also have to make sure the points are on the brow palm not the rear palm, or if it's a 50" spread or wider too.
40 power is really all you can use 95 percent of the time, unless you're real close and don't need the extra power anyway. I've had I think 6 spotters, I was going to get the Swarovski or Leica but didn't need the extra 20 power and they didn't drop back to 12x like the Leupold does, I had the money and compared them all many times outside in different light conditions, but the Leupold was the only one that did what I wanted it to. It's compact, has a super wide FOV, 40x, rubber coated, great glass, waterproof, unsurpassed warranty and contant focus. All the low end models glass really sucked, the Nikon and Burris had good glass in the mid price range and that's an absolute must have! Even them don't compare to the Leupold though, in my mind, it's just a one of a kind. If any of the very top end glass spotters came down to 10-12x on the low end they may have got the nod, but they won't do it. I usually use my 10-42x Leica's for keeping an eye on large areas I'm hunting, but I use the Leupold at 12-16 for investigating areas the Leica's don't quite zoom in on enough, while providing a great FOV, constant focus and great eye releif for your viewing pleasure.
The Leupold scope is amazing for the price. The relief is great. This is perhaps the most eye-comfortable scope I've ever used.

The clarity on the much more expensive Swarovski is significantly better but I would recommend the Leupold for anyone not wanting to spend the extra thousand dollars.

Sorry about the delay there, I forgot about your post until late last night.

My wife and I just measured the eye relief on the 12-40 Leupold spotter, it's the only variable they make by the way. The other one is a fixed 20x, then they make the cheaper Wind River too... This is the Golden Ring 12-40x60 with no mil-dot. The higher price Tactical has the mil-dots in it is all.

We both came up with 1.5" eye relief at 12x and 1" at 40x exactly to the eyeball. That was with a full FOV. The eye was backed off until the FOV wanted to get smaller if we went farther, we measured each other right there. Hope that helps. I see no problem with someone that wears glasses, even if they were looking through it at somewhat of an angle. With it's big ocular lense, it's a must look through to believe how comfortable it is compared to the others.

I would suggest looking through it and the big Swarovski side by side to realize just how nice it is, then grab a Burris or Nikon and see what you'd be getting with one of those.

I can't remember what the eye relief was on the Swaro, just that I did notice a difference in clarity/ resolution, but it wasn't worth giving up the advantages of the Leupold for.

I think the biggest advantage you have with the Swaro is the 80mm obj lense at low light conditions. You need to turn the power down a bit more on the Lupy to get the same brightness, or light to your eyeball with it's 60mm obj dia.

The single biggest thing I didn't like about the Swaro was the focus ring being way up in the middle of the body, I liked the Leica's focus arangement and super smoothness the best.

Natcheze had the 12-40 Lupy on sale for $620 4 months before I bought mine... ****! I think I gave $750 for mine at a local shop, he wanted $800.

I got a hard case with mine, I think Cabellas has them with a soft case which I wish I had at times.

Cabellas has a 6 month Easy Pay payment plan, with no interest, they don't advertise much if you order over $150.00 worth of stuff. I usually get my high priced goodies this way, so it don't hurt so bad at once.

Good luck.


I know a good scope should cost almost as much or more than the rifle, but didn't know that I was headed there for a spotting scope too.
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