Straight vs. angled view

All SWAROVSKI OPTIK spotting scopes (apart from the CTS/CTC extendable spotting scope) come in two basic designs: with a straight view or angled view. Spotting scopes with an angled view (48°) allow you to observe ahead of you, providing a slightly tilted view. When the line of vision is at an increasingly sharp angle (e.g. when observing stars), the view obviously becomes increasingly more horizontal. By contrast, the straight view supports observation in the optical axis, which means that you look in a straight line through the spotting scope. Many users find this design more intuitive.

Benefits of angled view:

More relaxed viewing when the line of vision is steep and objects are “overhead.” Using standard-size tripods allows you to effortlessly observe the object you want. If a straight-view spotting scope is used, it should be set up very high. Otherwise, you need to bend under the eyepiece to be able to view the exit pupil properly.

You can observe in a more relaxed manner for a longer time with your free eye looking at the ground. Unlike with the straight view, your other eye doesn’t keep trying to focus on the horizon, keeping it relaxed for longer.

Different people can observe using the same set-up. SWAROVSKI OPTIK spotting scopes come with a rotating body, allowing the eyepiece to be simply turned to the side so that the viewing height can be adjusted accordingly.

The exit pupil and eyepiece are higher than the spotting scope, so that the tripod can be set up lower, which should also make it more stable. The lower the set-up is, the further the center of gravity moves toward the floor, thus providing greater stability.

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Disadvantages of angled view:

Unlike with the straight view, the lower set-up means that the spotting scope’s horizon is lower than that of the observer. Therefore, certain obstacles such as fences or hedges may stand in the way and obstruct or block the field of view.

In the case of freehand digiscoping, the angled view makes intuitive handling more difficult using the camera’s viewfinder.

Some users prefer the straight view as it makes aiming easier. However, there is a strong trend toward the angled view. After a period of time, you definitely get used to observing through the angled eyepiece and appreciate its benefits.

The eyepiece is exposed when it is at an angle, making it more prone to raindrops or dirt.

For applications where lying or sitting is involved, the eyepiece’s higher position is possibly a disadvantage because in this situation the head cannot “stretch out” too far to keep looking into the spotting scope (e.g. while stalking, when the animal must not be frightened).

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