Over the last year we have been taking a look at various optics and hunting accessories offered by Vanguard and have generally been impressed with the value and quality of the products. Vanguard also produces a variety of spotting scopes for the hunter and outdoor enthusiast. For this review we'll be taking a look at their High Plains series of spotting scopes specifically the High Plains 561.
The High Plains series is an entry level offering and the 561 is the mid-grade offering in the High Plains series. The 561 is a fixed, straight, in-line eye piece model offering a 60mm objective with a magnification range from 15x - 45x. Vanguard also offers the 560 which is very similar to the 561 other than it uses a fixed, angled eye piece. All High Plains spotting scopes come with a 5 year warranty.
Optically the High Plains 561 is surprising, with a street price of around $200, one might expect inferior optics. However in comparing it to similar models offered by other manufacturers of similar or greater cost, the 561 gives better clarity, resolution, and contrast with good color representation. This spotting scope will have no trouble being able to separate 22 caliber bullet holes on paper at 100 yards and will be very good when packing around for spotting game. However the 60mm objective and 45 max magnification does eventually show some weakness when compared against 80mm objective and higher powered magnification spotting scopes. Although more powerful spotting scopes come at the cost of greater size, weight, and money.
The Vanguard High Plains 561 is a 60mm objective variable 15x-45x power spotting scope.
The optical quality is excellent and the spotting scope alone is worth the asking price; however Vanguard takes it a step further by offering a complete package of accessories to go with the spotting scope. Specifically the 561 includes a lockable, custom molded case, a tripod, a soft sided carrying case, a cleaning kit, and lens cap covers for the ocular and objective of the spotting scope.
The 561 includes a lockable carrying case, cleaning kit, soft case,
tripod, and lens covers for the objective and eye piece.
The carrying case is plastic with metal protective siding and the internal foam is specifically cut out for the 561 and its tripod. The tripod is of good quality but rather small and is really only good for bench work or spotting off the hood of a vehicle. None-the-less the tripod does have a lockable, panning head and is great to use off the bench when sighting in a rifle.
Inlaid into the inside of the case lid is a spot for a soft-sided carrying case for packing the scope afield and a pouch with the cleaning kit. The cleaning kit comes with a lens brush and blower along with a microfiber cloth and cleaning fluid.
Overall the High Plains 561 is an excellent offering and definitely worth considering if you're in the market for a new spotting scope. The 561 is affordably priced at around $200 considering the optical quality and comes with a trove of bonus accessories that normally would add an additional $50-100 to the asking price.
The 561 has an integrated sunshade.
The outside of the 561 has sections of overmolded rubber with a good tactile touch.
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