Barska 30-90×100 WP Gladiator Spotting Scope Review
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- Huge objective lens for maximum light gathering capability
- Excellent for long-range spotting
- Integrated extendable sunshade
- Optics are only multicoated, not fully multicoated
- Some softness at higher end of magnification
- Short eye relief
Welcome to our review of the Barska 30–90×100 WP Gladiator Spotting Scope. There aren’t many 100mm spotting scopes out there, so I was excited to get my hands on this one. Let’s see how well it performs and lives up to the Barska name.
This particular scope features a huge 100mm objective lens with a straight eyepiece design. The eye relief is very short on this model, so it might not be for you if you wear eyeglasses. It’s a mere 17.6mm at 30X magnification, and 13.8mm at 90X magnification.
This monster of a spotting scope measures 19 inches long, and weighs in at 6.3 pounds. It’s not exactly something you’re going to carry around with you in the field, but the included soft carrying case allows you to transport it to the range with ease.
What Comes in the Box?
When you purchase this package, here’s what you’ll get for your money:
- The Barska 30–90×100 WP Gladiator spotting scope itself
- A soft carrying case
- A tabletop tripod
- A lens cloth
- The warranty card
- The instruction manual
The carrying case is quite nice, but the tripod is a throwaway. It’ll barely hold up the weight of the scope, and using it with the scope at higher magnifications is next to impossible. Get a professional grade tripod instead.
What’s the Magnification of the Barska 30–90×100 WP Gladiator Spotting Scope
This model provides magnification from 30X to 90X, without a hint of chromatic aberration at any power. Unfortunately, the image gets quite a bit soft at higher powers.
The field of view through the scope is narrower than I would have expected for such a large objective lens, but it’s still quite useable. You’ll be able to see 72 feet of terrain from 1,000 yards at 30X magnification, and 11.67 feet with full power.
How Easy is the Scope to Use?
This scope is very easy to use, with the magnification selector mounted on the eyepiece with plenty of ridges to allow you to readily adjust the zoom even when your hands are slippery or in gloves. The same holds true for the center focus knob. All in all, this scope is a pleasure to use.
What’s the Light Gathering Capability Like on the Spotting Scope?
With its 100mm objective lens, transmittance is absolutely amazing. Barska doesn’t advertise the twilight factor, but I would estimate it to be in the 40s range at 30X, and 20s at 90X. It’s definitely useful for backyard astronomy, other than the softness of the image at full zoom. The only thing that could have made it better at light transmission would be fully multicoated optics instead of just multicoated.
How Are the Optics and Focus on This Spotting Scope?
The porro prism design on this scope utilizes BaK–4 prism glass, and the image is very sharp and full of contrast and resolution at 30X magnification. There isn’t a hint of phase shift at any magnification, so the phase correction coatings were obviously properly applied.
Close focus range is a long 32.8 feet, and the focusing knob turns smoothly but with just enough resistance to prevent you from accidentally bumping the controls out of alignment. The image is easy to get sharp at 30X magnification, but near the top end of the scope’s power the image gets very soft and cannot be brought into sharp focus. With that said, I was still able to read a street sign from 10 miles away through the scope.
What’s the Housing Like on the Spotting Scope?
The housing is very rugged and coated with rubber armor, allowing you to get a solid grip on the scope if you’re using it handheld. Of course, that’ll never work at maximum magnification, since the vibration of your hands shaking will make it impossible to hold the image steady. The tripod mount is on an adjustable ring, so you can rotate the scope for best comfort.