Tightwad; Cheapskate; I’ve been called these and much worse when it comes to my spending habits. When it comes to hunting, optics are a must and they come in many different styles, magnification, field of view, durability; and price.
In most cases, you get what you pay for, and higher-end optics definitely have their place. In fact, I recommend that if you can, secure at least one exceptional set of binos and/or
spotting scope. However, it makes a ton of sense to have a couple pairs of reasonably priced binoculars to kick around with – you know, the ones that stay in the truck for long stretches of time. Those that you don’t have to fret over as much.
Digiscoping sessions, both planned and impromptu, are great for scouting your favorite game animal or just capturing nature. You never know when opportunities will present themselves and there are times when leaving your best optics behind just makes sense.
The good news is that today, there are good low and moderately-priced alternatives on the market; ones that are feature-packed and can withstand abuse and maintain dependability. The even better news is that digiscoping doesn’t discriminate. Customized kits for many optic brands and models are at the ready on the Phone Skope builder page.
Additionally, Phone Skope offers a universal adapter for easy use with any optics. It’s even available at many outdoor outlets such as Cabelas. Smartphone cameras are amazing these days and can contribute to good images, regardless of optic price. Some of my most cherished digiscoped images came courtesy of a Phone Skope kit and binoculars costing less than $150.
10×42-powered binoculars are arguably the most popular for deer hunting and scouting. With that, here are 5 reasonably priced hunting binoculars that work well for digiscoping.
Celestron – Outland X 10×42 Binoculars ($89.99)
The Celestron 10×42 mm Outland X Binocular offers a stout design to provide pristine images of game and landscape features. Outland X 10×42 Binoculars from Celestron are maintain reliable imagery even in unfavorable weather conditions. Features include a water and fog proof design, smooth center focus and twist-up eyecups. For hunting and scouting applications, their utility and toughness way exceed the price.
Vortex Crossfire 10X42 (139.99)
Vortex Crossfire HD Binoculars represent a sweet spot for budget scouting and digiscoping. This is a larger and heavier choice ideal for stability from the truck, ground blind, or treestand. They go well with tripod setups creating an even more rock-solid digiscoping platform. As with all Vortex offerings, the Crossfire features a high-definition optical system and fully multi-coated lenses providing great clarity when studying and capturing antler characteristics and deer age. Known for sturdy optics and dependable performance, Vortex binos are purged with nitrogen gas to deter fogging. As with all their optics, Vortex offers an industry-leading warranty where will repair or replace your optics with an equal or better set – no matter the cause. The Vortex are a solid choice for both hunting and digiscope scouting.
Barska Blackhawk 10X42 WP Binoculars ($89.99)
The Barska Blackhawk 10x42mm WP Binoculars are a great budget alternative for digiscoping. Aside from the desirable price point, these tough, water-proof binoculars make for a good companion pair for your digiscoping efforts. Make no mistake though, they can be the star of the show as well. In either case, they are a good rough-and-tumble set that can be thrown in the truck at a moment’s notice and withstand abuse. Perhaps the best feature is their compactness, as they can easily slide into a larger pocket or small pack for easy carrying. This means they are a great addition to your digiscoping setup – especially for mobile applications. The Blackhawk’s tough protective rubber armor and diamond cut grip ensures a security, protecting the binoculars from tough use.
Vortex Raptor 10×42 Porro Prism Binoculars ($99.99)
The Vortex Raptor is an affordable set of binos perfect for all hunting applications. From capturing early season buck bachelor groups to the amped up seeking does on a distant ridge, Raptor 10x42s deliver high-end high-end light gathering capabilities and crisp images – ones that can be captured via your Phone Skope adapter kit. Like with any Vortex offerings, the Raptor also is covered by the ultra-generous warranty. Either way, it’s a workhorse.
Bushnell Powerview 10X42 Binoculars (74.99)
A lightweight in price and a heavyweight in performance, the Bushnell Powerview is my favorite knock-around set of deer hunting binos. The best part is you don’t have to sacrifice durability or image quality. Even in the most challenging conditions, Bushnell Powerview binnoculars have a soft texture grip and can take abuse. Sporting quality BaK-4 prism glass, light transmission and clarity are no problem. These mid-sized binos pair well with custom Phone Skope adapter kit. They also make a great companion pair for higher end binoculars for both scouting and hunting. They’re weight, stability, and adaptability to tripods make them ideal for digiscoping applications.
To repeat; with current technology, it’s time to get that affordable pair of binos for your digiscoping regimen.
You have the choice of a go-to set or even better, or they can serve as a trusted backup pair for digiscoping your favorite stretches of deer country.
In either case, Phone Skope offers a smooth means of pairing them with the best adaptor kit around.