Be it in terms of hunting or scientific research, getting closer to a subject to observe is behavior patterns, identify the species and take in the surrounds, scopes are a valuable piece of kit.
However, what has been found is that the closer you zoom in on your target, the less clear an image becomes unless you’re willing to spend top dollar for a professional quality pair.
For those on a budget, however, there is the BARSKA Colorado Waterproof Spotting Scope.
Able to withstand even the most treacherous of weather conditions, this scope preserves resolution throughout the entirety of the zoom spectrum.
However, as an unfamiliar brand compared to Nikon and Pentax, how do they compare in terms of quality?
Is the build quality as good as the image quality? You’ll find the answers to all these questions and more in our review below.
The clue for the main use of this scope is in the name. BARSKA have precision designed a product for spotting targets in the wilderness, be it from a hunting and shooting perspective, or for marine mammal observation from a ship deck.
There a number of reasons why this product is best suited to fulfill these roles. Primarily, the 60mm objective lens creates an incredibly wide field of view for giving an overview of an area to allow you to spot your target.
Once the target has been acquired, the variable zoom is able to help you hone in to either take a shot or identify the species. Resolution is well maintained throughout the entirety of the zoom spectrum, and focus is easily changed to keep your target in crystal clear view.
As well as all the built-in functionality, this product also ships with accessories straight out of the box.
The best of which is a pan-head tripod, that makes the longer viewing sessions much less strenuous. The tripod helps you effortlessly pan the scene, as well as keeping your arms free for taking aim or taking notes, depending on your preference.
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This scope features BK-7 Prisms, and fully coated optics to ensure successful light transfer through to your eyes.
The coatings filter out harmful UV rays, yet correct for different light phases to avoid double vision and lens flare. These optics are deployed under a 60mm objective lens that creates a phenomenally wide field of view.
BARSKA have equipped their Colorado line with a variable zoom scope, capable for magnifying an image anywhere between 20x and 60x over a 60mm objective lens.
The magnification and objective lens combine to create a wide field of vision, which is what makes this scope so well suited for targeting, hunting, and general observations.
|Barska 20-60x60 Zoom Colorado Spotting Scope
|Barska 20-60x60 Colorado Waterproof Straight Spotting Scope
|Barska Colorado Reverse Porro Zoom
Field of View
|106.5 ft @ 20x
|32.8 ft .
|15.2 x 2.8 x 5.5 inches
|13.5 x 2.8 x 4 inches
|11.5 x 11.5 x 5 inches
The image quality of this spotting scope far outperforms their asking price. With fully coated optics and BK-7 prisms, combined with a 60mm objective lens and variable zoom scope, these have a lot to offer any binocular or scope enthusiast from beginner to advanced.
What really makes this scope so outstanding in terms of image quality is the resolution at which they deliver.
It’s increasingly common that binoculars with a variable zoom focus on that as their main selling point, and forget that image quality deteriorates with increasing zoom.
This has been considered by BARSKA though, and they manage to maintain resolution throughout the magnification scale allowing you to zoom to the full extent and still have crisp, clear imagery with minimal color aberrations.
The Colorado spotting scope offers 14.5mm of eye relief at 20x magnification, through to 11.2mm at 60x magnification.
Where this should be enough for the glasses user to see a complete image, user reports suggest that unless you are pressing a naked eye directly to the lens, the image is obscured.
As a result of this, this scope may not be best suited for the visually impaired.
This spotting scope really sets itself apart from the crowd when it comes to image quality, in particular, resolution and focusing ability.
It’s common in variable zoom binoculars to have the same resolution at the low end of the scale as the high end. This means that as you zoom in the image becomes blurred and you lose detail.
This just isn’t the case with this offering from BARSKA, the resolution is maintained throughout and focusing is quick and easy with an easy access turning dial, ensuring the optimal viewing experience.
Some issues have been raised by users of this scope about eye relief and build quality. This Barska scope is constructed in China, which means that quality control isn’t as rigorous as a product that is manufactured in the USA.
Most of the complaints center around the focusing knob, saying that when it turns, so does the whole fixing, meaning the focusing never occurs.
Furthermore, users with glasses have said that they have to press their naked eye to the lens to be able to see the full picture.
To be perfectly honest, if you’re looking for a solid spotting scope, these are likely to be the right choice for you.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better pair that maintains the same level of image quality with a variable zoom scope. However, it’s important to bear in mind that this scope is not without fault.
They are subject to some questionable quality control practices that may make the purchase a little bit of a gamble. Having said that, their limited lifetime warranty and simple returns process do alleviate some of the risks.
All in all, this is a quality scope that will do its job with minimal fuss, and at a reasonable price would make a valuable addition to any enthusiasts collection.