Gosky Optics can be named the budget kings especially after their recent success with the somewhat cheap Porro Prism line of scopes. Price tag aside, those scopes feature some impressive characteristics and are a strong rival even to the more expensive brands such as Celestron, mainly due to the accessories you are getting with their products and their interesting quirks and features.
The Gosky Porro Prism Spotting Scope features a good amount of magnification with a huge 80mm objective lens that is bound to give you the sharpest and brightest image possible. It has a somewhat narrow field of view, making it excellent for static birdwatching but rendering it not-so-ideal for watching birds mid-flight. The scope is fully multi-coated which is nowadays an industry standard and is extremely lightweight. Weight aside, the body of the Porro Prism is very durable and entirely water resistant which is ideal for people that travel to places with a moist environment.
Continue reading this full in-depth review to find out more about this scope and see why it is ranked among the best budget spotting scopes on today’s market.
Product Overview And Features
Perhaps the most important thing that we absolutely have to mention right off the bat is the deal you are getting here. Not only this scope has one of the highest possible spotting scope magnifications out there but it features multi-coated optics and a lightweight construction. Those features are easy to find but almost never in a single package, especially bellow two hundred dollars.
What is even more fascinating is the number of accessories and gadgets you will get with your purchase but we will get into that in a moment. Now, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of the Porro Prism.
The magnification in this scope is right where the current industry standard is. It has a 20-60x zooming range which is great for birds that are further than a thousand yards. Speaking of that, the field of view at that distance is quite narrow. At 1000 yards you get a 19 to 39 meters (or 62 to 127 ft.) field of view which isn’t the worst we’ve seen but it also shows you that this particular scope is made to observe more static objects instead of moving ones (such as a bird mid flight).
There is an adjustable eye relief here ranging from 13.5mm to 17mm. It is good to have a little extra eye relief in case you want to use your spotting scope with glasses. On the Porro Prism it will be difficult to do that even at the 17mm distance from the eyepiece.
The lenses on this scope are fully multi-coated and are excellent in their quality considering the price bracket in which the Porro Prism is currently in. The front objective lens is a big 80mm multi-coated lens that is excellent for low-light conditions and darker days. It has excellent light-transmission qualities and color science. That paired with the BaK-4 prism leads to an impeccable image quality with sharp colors and great contrast throughout the whole field of view. There is slight distortion around the edges of the lens but that is to be expected.
The focusing and zooming systems here are dynamic meaning that they will change the speed with which they operate depending on the level of magnification you are on. This allows for fine tuning your image once you’ve set eyes on your target.
Another aspect of this scope that is truly remarkable for its price is the construction. It is made of a Magnalium framework covered with a rubber armor on top. The rubber coating fits rightly around the main framework and provides the much needed insulation against water, dust, and other particles from the environment. The scope is entirely sealed meaning it can be submerged and taken to places other cheaper scopes wouldn’t usually withstand.
The Porro Prism consists of two parts – main body and a 45 degree eyepiece which can rotate to any viewing angle you want. That is especially good for people who want to use the scope while sitting down or there isn’t enough space above it. Such little features make this scope a go-to choice for most people that are looking for a fully adjustable scope that won’t cost them a king’s ransom.
At the front of the scope there is a retractable sun shade which helps to reduce the glare of a hot sunny day. On top of the part of the scope that rotates sits the focusing knob which has a fair amount of torque into it and is easy to use combined with the zoom eyepiece.
In terms of weight this scope really exceeds our expectations. It weighs just above 1.7 pounds making it the lightest scope on our list. That is an important factor for people who travel a lot and move around from place to place in order to find their favorite bird. Nothing is worse than having to carry a 5lbs scope with 5 more pounds of accessories all day long and the engineers from Gosky Optics have taken that into consideration.
Another similarly built compact scope is the Bushnell Trophy XLT Spotting Scope, which isn’t quite as cheap but has a construction equally good to the one of the Porro Prism.
In terms of accessories this spotting scope is exceedingly generous. With your purchase you will be getting:
- The scope
- A digiscoping adapter for your mobile phone
- An adjustable tripod
- A carrying bag
- Two lens caps
- User manual
- Cleaning cloth
If this package had a neck or a shoulder strap it would’ve been the most complete product we’ve ever reviewed. Still, having all those items for free is one of the strongest appeals of the Porro Prism. The tripod isn’t anything special but it has a nice control arm and moves smoothly enough. It is also height adjustable. The carrying bag has certain rigidity to it so it might be a good choice for protection if you are travelling by plane. Lastly, the digiscoping adapter is one of the most adjustable ones out there. It works with all smartphones both old and new thanks to its design. It doesn’t feel cheap and locks in place tightly when you adjust it for your phone. That will allow you to make the best
The price of this scope isn’t something spectacular but it is worth mentioning because it is priced perfectly. It is a bit more expensive than some other models which offer slightly inferior features and material quality but at the same time cheaper than the somewhat premium scopes. Even so, it can go neck to neck with some of those premium scopes and give them a good run for their money in terms of overall quality and performance.
As a whole, it is an excellent choice if you really want to know where your money has gone.
Uses Of The Porro Prism
Having such a scope doesn’t necessarily mean that you can only use it for birdwatching. There are a number of other activities that can benefit from having a scope with such a magnification range and image clarity. Some of those are:
- Moon watching
- Archery target practice
- Big game hunting
- Target rifle shooting
When target practicing you can attach your phone to the scope and tilt the eyepiece to you so that you can fire and then instantly see your result on the screen.
Birdwatching With The Porro Prism
When using your Gosky Optics scope for birdwatching you will see some of its strong and weak sides. For one, you will love the huge amount of magnification it has when you want to observe a bird very far away from your location. For birdwatchers that enjoy going out during the dusk or dawn this scope is a great option thanks to its huge objective lens that captures light perfectly.
Another aspect which you will greatly appreciate is the weight of this scope. You will barely feel it on your shoulder if you’re carrying it around the forest and once it is on its tripod you won’t feel even a bit of resistance when turning it.
Speaking of strong and weak sides, let’s check out the pros and cons of the model.
Advantages & Disadvantages
- Very good deal in terms of value
- Great magnification
- Good image clarity and brightness
- Easy to use
- Very durable construction
- Super lightweight
- Comes with a lot of extra accessories
- The rotating mechanism sometimes feel flimsy
- Somewhat narrow field of view
- There is slight distortion and discoloration around the edges especially at higher magnifications
Conclusion and Rating
Birding Rocks Rating:
Having a budge spotting scope that can do it all is a feat not many manufacturers can pride themselves on. Still, Gosky Optics have managed to pull it off with their Porro Prism. With very few downsides, it manages to be one of the favorite cheap scopes of many birdwatchers. It has a huge magnification range, a great objective lens that is ideal for low-light conditions, and a construction that is both very durable and super lightweight. All those things are complemented by additional accessories such as a digiscoping adapter, a tripod, a carrying case, and more. As a whole, we gave this scope a four and a half out of five stars rating.