Lidl Bressler Spotting Scope 20-60×60 Full Review
Lidl are a well known Supermarket chain that have something called ‘the Middle of Lidl’. This is non food items. Often impulse purchases with anything from welders to tools (their Parkside Brand is particularly good) to clothes bedding slippers and more. Amongst all that there is sometimes (they sell in cycles of a few months with the title when its gone its gone!) spotting scopes.
Originally under the manufacturers name Bressler it is now rebranded Auriol Spotting Scope 20-60×60. Same design comes in at £29 from Lidl. But for that you get the phone camera mount with it and a small desktop metal tripod with a robust nylon carry case with lens cleaning cloth. Accounting for the fact Lidle must make a profit and it has a 5 Year warranty too!!! So you are safe in the knowledge if it starts peeling apart then lidl warranties are easy any store will take your return with either a paper or digital receipt (on your Lidl Pluss app)! So keep your copy safe!
Many year ago I was obsessed with optics had a Canon with a 300 2.8 A Bronica Medium format camera with a tilt shift lens costed thousands but I was working professionally, Today in my home I have a window with a sea view it is not panoramic just a road between houses. I have very nice binoculars with multi coated lenses and you can even wear you glasses with them. But that gets me to the sea front promenade after that its hard to sea boats on the sea.
So I thought I would give this a go. As the next level up from this really is £200+. For the rare times I want to look an o Oh whats that?! This is good enough.
The image quality is pretty good. A lot depends on atmospherics. For example I opened the window on the second floor with a large tripod and it focused on the waves miles out! This was a dull day. In the summer it will no doubt be fine.
(Above) Standard phone camera Lens Samsung Not zoomed. Focus on the Bin on the seafront! The Blurred area is extraneous houses etc.
How far can you see with a 20 60X60 spotting scope? Field of view: 63-126ft/1000 yard.
(Above) Camera phone hand held over eyecup This was a miserable day I had to crop out the rubber ring around the image so this is approx 30x Zoom on the eyepiece of the scope.
(Above) Max Zoom 60x. Apologise for reflection of camera lens but this was due to light leakage around eyecup 30x above is a better example. There is some minor Chromatic aberration (the purple line above the word Litter). But on a rotten dull stormy sea day with atmospherics (rain sea spray etc). It is VERY VERY GOOD for such a cheap scope! I mean just look at the 3 images!
On a bright summers day (allowing for heat haze or shimmer) this would be outstanding!
I cannot state this enough this is £30 bucks!!!
OK so the good and Bad Points points
£30!!!! Thats insane! I mean they must be making this for $5! lol
BAK-4 glass lenses and they are multicoated!
Light in weight
Free metal tripod which if bought separately would be £10! Or more as metal is good!
Lovely nylon zip up bag. Perfect if you want to take this outside or to the range.
Phone camera mount, lens cloth and lens caps included
Built in telescopic lens hood
Tripod mount that rotates many are solid fixed and much more expensive scopes meaning you could mount this say to a wall or hide with a tripod bracket.
Did I mention its CHEAP! Meaning if you hike and are a bird spotter and sadly drop it you are not going to have a nervous breakdown! Oh well get another its only £30! If you dropped a £300+ one not such a nice day!
Now this is primarily because its cheap!
Mobile phone holder is a bit hit and miss. I think just having a solid tripod and hand holding is better tbh… But your milage may vary as your phone maybe different… You may have to zoom in the holder or even drill a hole in it to match your camera as it might be off center like most are today.
Small ocular exit (exit pupil) at full magnification meaning the eyepiece end when you zoom, the hole you look through gets smaller which means unless you have at least one decent eye and do not wear spectacles you may want to spend more for a bigger eye piece, but for that you will at least have to add another £200+!!! At least!
Not very bright in low light. AGAIN this is down to glass size and pricepoint. I just looked at a grey sea (see above image test) at full magnification and could see the individual wavelets! It is ideal for me (as you can see I am one road away from the beach!) as I use Binoculars (hanging on the tripod above) to see the seafront promenade, but beyond that can switch to the spotting scope on the tripod for boats and ships etc… This was why I wanted it as I couldnt make out large ships on the horizon without it.
Additional expense to get the best out of it! You have to buy a decent tripod! Or build a shelf or something to stand the included tripod on. If I didnt own a tripod I would have used a cheap tripod head (ball and socket type) and mounted it on a bracket across the window. Oh and let go of it when looking through the eyepiece as any movement will be amplified due to its light weight and zoom factor, same applies to shooters who use it to look at targets make sure the table is stable and solid as vibration will make it difficult to see through, the heavier the tripod the better! And thats an expense unless you already have one like me.
In My case I still have a Slik tripod (SLIK Master Classic LEG Tripod see above) that is light but amazing with a Manfrotto video pan tilt fluid head making the tripod 10 times+ more expensive than the scope! LOL but I can smoothly pan and let go of the scope and gently look through it and its great. Your eye needs to be almost touching the eyepiece. You dont have to spend a fortune on a tripod, my tripod is now 30 years old so check out ebay! You can get a pretty decent used Benbo or similar on Gumtree for a tenner or an Amazon Basics for £25 but spend the same you spent on the scope (£30) but get something heavy or solid if you can, or hang a bag of sand under it! Or one of those unused weights you never used during your weightlifting New Years Resolution?! LOL :). As even if you like the scope and find you use it a lot and buy an better one in a year… you will still need that tripod and its a pretty good investment as you can use it for photography too! 🙂
In the summer no worries as it will be brighter, but dull days are not going to ‘pop’ in clarity at high magnifications so just get a decent cheap set of binoculars for walking around with with what you have saved on the scope. As with that you can spot something and then set up the spotting scope rather than keep setting it up. Plus binoculars are meant to be used handheld (well normal ones not the ones from the Bridge of the Ark Royal or Coastguard/RNLI).
Hope this helps.
Listen for the rare times most of us look through something like this its fine it will likely be gathering dust after the honeymoon period anyway! :P. If you work for the Forestry Commission or are Bill Oddie (The Bird Watcher) spend £500+ 😉 For me spending £30 to see a boat twice a year is plenty!
Full Lidl Specs (whats in the box!)
Auriol Spotting Scope 20-60×60
With a mobile phone holder on the eyepiece – for use as a live monitor, taking photos or video recordings
Housing with rubberised grip
Flexible eyecup – also suitable for people who wear glasses
Pull-out lens hood
Drive for fine focusing
Table stand with handle and non-slip feet
Includes protective cap, carry case and cleaning cloth
Tripod thread ¼” (6.35mm)
Magnification: continuous from 20-60x
Field of view: 29m wide at 1000m distance (with 20x magnification)
Optical glass material: BK-7, fully coated
Close focus range: from 12m (at 20x magnification)
Instruction manual included
Mobile phone holder suitable for most standard mobile phones with a width of 60-90mm
Have fun watching the world go buy and happy days!