Two things interfere with a clear-cut view when your spotting scope is set above 40x magnification power: a tiny exit pupil and heat waves.
If you’re a beginner and you don’t know what the numbers in your spotting scope means, check this article—it’ll enlighten you.
If you’re a legit hunter, you’d know that game animals are most lively during dawn and dusk, and a 2mm exit pupil questionable, but fair in dim light. If it’s less than 2mm, you will have a view with almost zero detail and contrast.
If your spotting scope has 60mm objective lens, then it has an exit pupil of 1.5mm at 40x. Cranking the scope up to 60x will reduce the exit pupil to 1mm. And unless you’re in a place where there is bright sunlight, you can’t get anything that with that exit pupil. To get rid of this problem, invest in another spotting scope that has a 75-80mm objective lens. You can crank it up to 60x and still have an exit pupil of 2mm.
The other issue is regarding the heat waves that occur when the sun rises higher. Even if the image is bright at 60x magnification power, you won’t be able to get a lot of details because of the heat waves. Obviously, you don’t have to deal with heat waves at night because there are cooler temperatures and your scope is pointed upward, far from the rising heat from the ground. The solution is to avoid using eyepieces that go above 40x or 45x; you don’t need high magnifications for hunting. Besides, zooming in can increase the chances of heat waves from interfering with a clear view. That’s why it’s also recommended to zoom out and wait for the waves to work in your favor.
Invest in a spotting scope with 12-40x or 15-45x power. Its lowest magnification can give you a broad field of view.
Use binoculars to scan the terrain first. Once you’ve spotted the game, grab your spotting scope for a more detailed image.
Want to know the six mistakes you’re doing with your spotting scope? Click this link.