Gear Review – Leupold Spotting Scope

By: Trevon Stoltzfus

I am primarily a bowhunter, but first and foremost an outdoorsman, so when I got the opportunity to look at the Leupold® Gold Ring 15-30x50mm Compact Spotting Scope, I had just the test in mind. I have a group of buddies that love to make a competition out of shooting smaller-faster-longer range calibers like .223 or .22-250 at our local shooting range. On a clear and calm Saturday morning I joined them for some plinking and to test out this compact little Leupold that comes in the sturdy case. Just as expected there were a variety of different spotting scopes with varying sizes and brands to really compare the small Leupold against head to head.

the Leupold® Gold Ring 15-30x50mm Compact Spotting Scope

The first thing I noticed when we got down to business was the ease of set up and the stability of the small tripod when we pulled it out of the protective case and put it together. I spent quite a bit of time spotting for other shooters and was pleasantly surprised how easy target acquisition was at ranges from 100 yards to 500 yards. The eye relief was also very comfortable and even after hours of looking downrange had no extra strain on my eyes or headache from picking out bullet holes at long distances.

I also took the time to look through other spotting scopes brought by my buddies, some less expensive but most 2 to 3 times more expensive than the Leupold Gold Ring Compact Scope. I was blown away at how well the Leupold stacked up to the big boys, and while this side by side comparison was not under low light conditions, the small scope held its own in crispness of image, easy manipulation of focus, and steadiness. For the money, at just around $500, this scope when compared $1 for $1 was a humongous bargain.

OK, now let’s step into the real world, unfortunately a calm and relaxed shooting line is not where I need a product like the Leupold® Gold Ring Compact Spotting Scope to perform, I need it in the dust, the rain, and snow of the rugged backcountry. Honestly I am confident this scope is built for that!

With its compact size and light weight, the Gold Ring is ideal for use on extended hunts or whenever space is limited. Its powerful optics allows you to size up game with optical clarity and sharpness at long ranges. Standard multicoated lenses offer exceptional brightness and contrast while reducing glare for crystal-clear viewing over a wide range of lighting conditions. Can be handheld or it can be easily mounted on most standard tripods, monopods or window mounts. The rugged, waterproof construction is backed by Leupold’s full lifetime guarantee. Amazingly stable when handheld, or mount on most standard tripods, monopods, or window mounts. Just 11 inches and just barely over 20 ounces, you can carry it anywhere, even around your neck.

Here are the specs…

  • Lens Diameter – 50mm
  • Field of View (FOV) @ 1000yds, 136–89 ft
  • Exit Pupil, 3.3–1.6 mm
  • Eye Relief, 17.5– 17.1 mm
  • Lens Coating – Multi-coated
    Weight – 21.5 oz
  • Length – 11 in
  • Tripod Adaptable – Yes
  • Waterproof / Fogproof – Yes/Yes

Easily packable, rugged construction, amazing clarity, and Lifetime Guarantee….. all of that adds up to equal the Leupold® Gold Ring 15-30x50mm Compact Spotting Scope, a great addition to any backcountry hunter’s arsenal. Especially in today’s economy where getting more bang for your buck is so important, I encourage you to take a look at this spotting scope. For more information visit

One Response to "Gear Review – Leupold Spotting Scope"

  1. Jason Wall   2012/03/09 at 3:55 pm

    Good article. I’ve been using Leupold products for over 18 years and have never had one complaint about them.