Beginner Scopes Help - RSPB, Kowa, Opticron?!


I'm looking to buy my partner his first scope as a birthday surprise. I have no clue about bins or scopes so looking for some help. We're both beginners but have moved into a house with a great view of the Loughor estuary (we're actually opposite the Llanelli RSPB reserve) so would like to get him a scope that could help with more long range viewing as his bins aren't cutting the mustard. I've got a budget of up to c. £300.

He already have a tripod

Are either of these any good? 

RSPB Avocet telescope 80, 20 x 60 eyepiece and case

Kowa TSN-501 compact spotting scope

Maybe push the budget with 

Opticron MM3 60 GA/45

Thanks  for any help! :-)


  • Hi Emma I can't help you with your question but try putting Scopes into the search box and you may get some suggestions...such as this one

    My Flickr photos

  • The latter two are compact scopes, ideal for popping into a rucksack and taking everywhere with you. The Avocet is a larger scope - the bigger 80mm objective lens helps to gather more light, but means the scope itself will be more cumbersome to carry. If you intend to use at home, or around reserves, that inconvenience is probably less relevant. All will get you closer to the action, but you may be best to actually try them out in a shop first - optics can be very personal things and what suits someone else may not be ideal for you. I can't comment personally on any of your suggestions - not used them myself - but none are brands to be avoided (if that makes sense). I have one of the larger Kowas and have been very pleased with it, my FiL has an earlier Opticron MM2 & I see plenty of people on the reserves with the RSPB scopes, so whichever you choose will give you good service I'm sure


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  • Hi Alan and Whistling Joe,

    Thank you both for help :-) I think he'll be mainly using it in the house so I think I'll go with the RSPB one (and keep the receipt incase it doesn't suit!).

    Thanks again, really appreciate the input.

    All the best,