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on February 5, 2013
This spotting scope is cheap, but feels quality made. There are pros and cons.

Low price
Sturdy construction
Small size (I keep mine in my range bag 24/7 no issue)
Decent range/focus

Almost ZERO eye relief. My eyelid does touch the glass when I look through it in order to get ANY light whatsoever
Focus is on the eye piece itself. So in order for me to focus, I need to twist the eye piece which litterally twists my eye lids. Very uncomfortable.

Because of this I rate it so low. It just doesn't get light in at all and if I use the glare shield it completely eliminates any light. It's only good for about 75 yards or less, too, due to magnification. IMO, it's better than nothing but I'd much rather spend my money on something with eye relief or that's longer range, or both.
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on July 30, 2013
I give it five stars for what it is, not what it cannot be (and not just for the money). Let me clear up some confusion, nothing says its a zoom scope, its a 20 power focusing scope, with as designed very stiff focusing at the eye piece. You do not want to lose focus, once set.

In the instructions, it says SOME scopes have zoom at the eye piece. Its designed for tripod work, at fixed distances. Ideal for certain ranges with sharp images, not a wide field of view, which not needed for targets, or for looking at a SPOT for wild life.

It does gather enough light, unlike small compact binoculars, and I do hand hold it to check things out in some places I cannot get to easily.

It does not have good eye relief if you have glasses. This is pretty normal. Eye relief is ok, if you do not wear glasses, if you wear bifocals or trifocals, the focus is tough, depending on the rubber cups moving location against the glasses when hand held. I put the glasses on a strap, set the focus of the scope to my prescription, drop the glasses to the chest, use my preferred eye.

Its 20 power, if you have used a 10 power 400mm camera lens, you know its going to be difficult to hold steady, worse than binoculars, but its very good for looking across saw grass to a small dry island, before I decide to slog through the grass with a camera. Hunting without a gun as a primary with the camera as the long gun, is still hunting and this works for preview at longer ranges. Is it a gator or a log with attitude?

Think a fixed focal length 1960's old school telephoto lens, no zoom, focus and shoot. Its 800mm more or less, but its not as good glass for sure as a 2000 dollar camera zoom, but for 45 bucks, if you drop it in the water or out of a blind, or it rains on it, its not crying time.

I do not think its ideal for birding, its too hard to hand hold, get some good binoculars. Its designed for spot work on a narrow field of view at up to 100 yards, with decent precision. You can plan a track through stuff, is it a sasquatch or a naked redneck singing bad opera? Sometimes its a good idea to take a look first, bad Opera can be painful.
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on September 5, 2014
I REALLY got to use this for the first time the other day at the range. I say "REALLY" because my wife and I took it out to the park and used it to see how well our cameras took pictures through it (which it turns out that the smaller digital cameras takes better pictures through the scope than the fancier Canon DSLR).
At the 50 and 100 yard range, in the pouring rain (on and off), in 90 degree temperatures and 100% humidity, AND with a nearly constant mist in the air, this spotting scope worked GREAT for sighting in our rifles. I sighted in my Mosin Nagant PU at 100 yards and would not have been successful otherwise. For all you who know how powerful the PU scope is, you'll know that seeing a shot even through a splatter target at 100 yards with the Mosin Nagant PU scope is practically impossible. This spotting scope (Alpen) had excellent clarity and ease of use for seeing these shots.
Adjusting the focus from 50 yards to 100 yards took about a quarter of a turn on the focus knob by the eye piece, and you were good to go. Again, the clarity at 100 yards was just fine; at 50, even better! I was not able to test the scope past about 125 yards, but I feel it should be just fine at at least 150 yards if not a little more.

GREAT Scope for the price. You are really getting more than you pay for when buying this scope.
Focus and clarity are excellent.
Extremely compact and nice carrying case with microfiber cloth.
Scope works great even in the rain and appears to not be affect in high humidity (South Louisiana summer rain).

Small tripod, but if you're expecting a nice tripod combo for the price of the scope overall, you're asking for too much. I just swapped mine for a full-sized tripod.
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on April 4, 2012
This is a nice little scope for the price and just what I was looking for. Using my good camera tripod, in daylight, I was able to read a vehicle license plate at 400 yards (measured distance using GPS). The lens is not Nikon or Canon quality, indeed there is a barely noticeable aberration just left of center in the viewing area. But by adjusting the aim I could clearly read the license plate. Otherwise for general viewing this is not a factor. The small size is good for transporting and keeping handy. It is great for spotting and identifying ships on the horizon, if using a tripod. Unlike others, I have no complaints about the field of view. I would really like to see a gyro-stabilized scope of this size.

I might have given it four-and-a-half stars due to the aberration but at this price it is closer to five than four.
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on July 24, 2014
I haven't used it at the range yet, but I tested it here on my 2 acres. I was standing on my porch which is about in the middle of my property and pointed it across the rest of my property and across my neighbor's property which is 2 or 3 acres. I could see the leaves on trees on the other side of neighbor's property very clear and with ease. This had to be at least 100 yards, maybe more. I simply turned the eyepiece until the view came in clear as a bell. Easy to use. And I don't see why people are complaining so much about the tripod! The tripod doesn't seem to be as cheap as people are saying. Unextended, each leg is just over 4 inches...but each leg will extend out to a length of about 7 inches and lock into place by turning the legs. Fully extended, the legs will put the bottom of the scope 8 1/2 inches off the table or whatever surface you're using. The tripod does its part fine. If you need more height, get another tripod. But suits me just fine! But regardless, the tripod doesn't take away from the quality and function of this scope.Wonderful little scope for the money and glad I got it. Will work great for a 100 yard gun range..and maybe even 150 yards, we'll see.
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on March 23, 2014
I bought this scope after reading a review from Outdoor Life magazine. Coupled with the positive customer reviews I thought I would give it a shot. I needed a Spotting scope that I could use at the range to view shot placement. This little thing has been great. It fits easily in a range bag or hunting pack and is light weight.Good enough glass. It is easy enough to see bullet holes out to 100 yrds. I can't vouch for it past that because that is as far as I have used it. The only drawback as others have stated is the tripod. It is completely useless. I use a camera tripod that I already had and it works great.
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on April 7, 2013
I know very little about scopes and glass except to note that it can get very expensive very quickly. I wanted something for the range that was affordable and actually worked. This works just fine! Yes, you have to get very close to the glass to see and the tripod is pretty flimsy (I used some JB weld to keep it on the legs). I put this spotting scope on a camera tripod and could see excellent detail on items well over 100 yards away so it easily works for the range. I looked at a 4x4 post that was about 150 yard away. I could make out zero detail with the naked eye and didn't even know it was wood due to the sun being behind it and casting a strong shadow. Once I looked through the scope, I could make out details such cracks in the wood a nail and even wood slivers fraying on the edges. This was a great deal. I am pleased.
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on August 8, 2014
Ok I hunt southern Az just received these this evening aroung with bad cloud.cover during monsoon season.First I live two miles exactly from the mountain range with homes etc...all over the base of the hills I put this little mini alpen on to a solid vanguard tri pod I was blown away I was spotting people at there homes two miles out.The eye relief is ok the gLass is very good focus is great etc.... Very impressed for the money could read a state trust land sign from hundred yards no problem !!!! Well worth the money for little scope Awesome job alpen third product I have purchased happy with all of them.
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on April 7, 2014
I have a tendency to over pack when I go the the shooting range and was looking for something that would take up less space but still give the good distance view I was hoping for. This product was perfect.

It comes with lens covers, mini tri-pod and case. I found it easy to dial in and has an adjustable sun shield that slides out. Very compact size. 20x is plenty to see the 100 yd target. If your shooting further might need more. I was using with .223 at 25/50 with great optics.
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on November 28, 2010
I am a serious, experienced (40+ years) and very successful hunter and naturalist out west. Anyone interested in acceptable quality for checking out details at intermediate and long distances without the frills of pricey high-end and powerful scopes, this may be the scope for you. It's especially perfect for the outdoors person who is seeking a light weight and compact scope for checking on game animals as well as bullet groupings while sighting in at the shooting range. I find too much power (greater than 30X) in a terrestrial scope and you will see distortions and heat waves no matter what scope you use. Besides, this mini-scope fits nicely in my day and hunting packs and performed nicely in most instances for my purposes.

At first I was skeptical about the finish and optics given the low, low price of this product, but after I opened the box and used this scope in the field, I consider this the perfect addition for those hunters and other outdoor enthusiasts interested in only a product that improves your ability to find and observe your target objectives in the field. Unless you are a professional guide, you don't need to go through the expense of pricey scopes for scoping out big country such as I hunt for large animals. If you are like me and not one to show off or brag about having the best, this scope is adequate.
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