We love optics here at Backwoods Pursuit, so naturally doing this Sig Oscar 8 Spotting Scope review was as absolute privilege. When you are trying to decide what the best spotting scope is for your needs, there’s simply nothing better than getting to put it to the test in the field side by side with a number of other spotting scopes. When side by side, you can really start to see the differences. But when does anyone have tons of different spotting scopes at once to literally compare them all to each other?
Amazingly, that’s exactly what we got the chance to do for this series of spotting scope reviews. Our goal for this project was to find the best compact spotting scope, 65 mm class spotting scope, 85 mm class spotting scope, as well as the best values in each of the categories. Make sure you check out all of the other spotting scope reviews here on our website as well as over on the Backwoods Pursuit YouTube Channel!
Want to see how the Sig Oscar 8 Spotting Scope performed next to 18 of the best spotting scopes on the market? Check out our MASSIVE SPOTTING SCOPE REVIEW where we lined up 19 of the best spotting scopes we could find and put them to the test. Side by side, volunteer participants, no brand loyalties (at least as much as humanly possible), many lighting conditions, and 14 guys ranking these things. What an awesome project to put together! Two years of work, research and testing went into this review. You don’t want to miss this!
Dive into the details on every one of the spotting scopes in the review above by becoming a Backwoods Pursuit Member (TOTALLY FREE) and you can download the data we used to put this review together.
Sig oscar 8 Spotting Scope Review: The Testing
For this Sig Oscar 8 Spotting Scope review we not only took the Sig Oscar 8 into the field during scouting/hunting seasons, but a group of 14 of us tested it in various lighting conditions next to 18 other spotting scopes on the market. We gathered a ton of data points, including its performance in all of the critical areas. Let’s get into the details!
Sig Oscar 8 Spotting Scope Review: Exterior Armor Coating
The Sig Oscar 8 Spotting Scope features an awesome armor coating that is rubberized and provides it with excellent protection against the elements and field abuse. To me, the rubber armor coating felt a lot like what you get with the Swarovski ATX, which was very impressive. While the need for such a substantial rubber armor coating can be debated, there’s no doubt that the Sig Oscar 8 is well protected.
Sig Oscar 8 Spotting Scope Review: Focus Wheel
One of the things we wanted to test for this Sig Oscar 8 review was the resistance, speed, and style of the focus mechanism. The Sig Oscar 8 Spotting Scope features a barrel style focus mechanism with a nice rubber grip. We all found it very comfortable and easy to use. It offered moderate resistance and a well-balanced focus speed on the faster side vs others we tested. The faster focus speed was very nice at lower magnification, but required a little more care to get focused at higher magnification. Overall, the focus speed worked really well and didn’t display any noticeable play.
Sig Oscar 8 Review: Eye Piece Comfort/Functionality
The Sig Oscar 8 Spotting Scope gives you a three-position eye piece with 16-17 mm of eye relief, slightly less eye relief than many of the others which offered 17-20 mm of eye relief. During side-by side-testing, no one noted any complaints with the eye relief of the Sig Oscar 8, and I personally thought it offered me plenty of eye relief while field testing. I did notice a little bit of play in the eye piece while moving from one position to another, but the play was minimal. Overall it felt durable and was pretty crisp from one position to another. I do wish there was a 4th position on the eye piece, but that’s getting pretty nit picky.
Another thing that I noticed and really appreciated while doing this Sig Oscar 8 Spotting Scope review was that the eye piece cover actually stayed on. It’s a small thing, but I couldn’t believe how many high end spotting scopes I have tested where the eye piece cover falls off so easily that it might as well not even be there.
Sig Oscar 8 Spotting Scope Review: Body/Construction
The housing of the Sig Oscar 8 Spotting Scope is made of aircraft-grade aluminum and has a rotating collar to aid in use for glassing at various angles. The knob on the collar is easy to use and has a nice rubber grip. It also features a nice extendable sun shade to reduce glare. I liked that the sun shade could be extended without popping off the objective cover like some of the others I tested. This makes sure that the big objective lens stays protected, even if it shifts in your pack and the sun shade slides out.
The Sig Sauer Oscar 8 also comes with a well thought out neoprene cover that acts as a second layer of protection if you choose to use it. I love that it’s not an extra expense. Of course, using it adds a few ounces to the overall weight, but the extra protection can be worth it. It features pull tabs on the objective lens as well as the eyepiece, a precise cut out for the knob to adjust the viewing angle and the focus wheel, and Velcro on the bottom of the objective lens to keep it from flapping around in the wind. I was pleasantly surprised by this neoprene cover, especially given that it’s included with the Oscar 8!
Sig Oscar 8 Spotting Scope Review: Weight/Length
The Sig Oscar 8 Spotting Scope is actually pretty compact for a full size 80 mm spotting scope. Coming in at just 15 inches long and 67 ounces, it’s one of the smaller full size spotting scopes we tested. It fits nicely into your pack without taking up excess room. It is a bit on the heavier side by a few ounces vs some of its competitors, but not by a lot. I don’t know for sure, but I’d guess the difference could be found in the aircraft grade aluminum vs magnesium alloy that some of the others use.
Sig Sauer Oscar 8 spotting Scope Review: Edge-To Edge-Clarity
Let’s get into the optical performance we noted while doing this Sig Oscar 8 Spotting Scope review. During the testing we did to put together this Sig Oscar 8 review, the group found that it offered good, but not great, edge-to-edge clarity. We noticed a bluish/grey ring around the edges of the field of view in brighter light when at full zoom as well. All of the images in this review were taken using my Phone Skope, which is an awesome piece of equipment if you like to take video or photos through your optics!
While the Sig Oscar 8 offered a nice crisp image in the middle 3/4ths of the field of view, the outer edges did suffer a bit from loss of clarity. This isn’t surprising given its modest price point. One cannot expect the same edge-to-edge clarity you get with optics that cost $1000 or more, but the Sig Oscar 8 was pretty impressive within its price category.
Sig Oscar 8 spotting scope Review: Color Temperature
The Sig Oscar 8 offered a nice, warm color tone to the image. We found that it was more in yellow scale than grey, which seemed to help its low light performance and made viewing in bright light particularly pleasant.
Sig Oscar 8 Spotting Scope Review: Tunnel Effect
One of the things we noticed doing this Sig Oscar 8 Spotting Scope Review was that it did give you a bit of the “tunnel” effect, particularly when at the lower end of the zoom range. This is because the Sig Oscar 8 does not feature a wide angle eyepiece. While this does not seem to effect the image quality or clarity at all, it does affect the field of view.
While you may not notice it when looking through it by itself, when you put it up next to something like the Meopta Meostar with the wide angle eyepiece, the Maven S1.A (which also features a wide angle eyepiece), the Kowa TSN 883 (or even the Kowa TSN 773) or the Swarovski ATX 85 mm, you’ll definitely see a difference in the field of view. The Sig Oscar 8 offers the same field of view (and same magnification specs) as the Leupold SX-5 Santium Spotting Scope, but at a better price and a touch lighter weight. Based on our testing, the Sig Ocsar 8 went neck-in-neck with the Leupold SX-5 in most categories, which was impressive.
Sig Oscar 8 Spotting Scope Review: Low Light Performance
The low light performance we observed during this Sig Oscar 8 Spotting Scope review impressed the group as it performed near the top of its respective price bracket in this category. It held its image resolution into the twilight hours well, but it did begin to lose clarity as the light really started to fade. This is an area where you can really start to see differences in optics, but the Sig Oscar 8 hung in there surprisingly well.
Sig Oscar 8 Spotting Scope Review: Midday Performance
During this Sig Sauer Oscar 8 review we noticed that it provided a nice, crisp image but did suffer some loss of resolution at the higher magnification. Loss of clarity at high magnification is one of the more challenging things in good optics, and we did notice a little bit of that here during this Sig Oscar 8 Spotting Scope review. It wasn’t a substantial loss of clarity, but something we noticed. Again, we are being nit picky here, but that’s why we did this review, right?
Sig Oscar 8 Spotting Scope Review: Cloudy/Foggy Performance
During one of our testing sessions, the weather was cloudy and overcast with some spitting rain. This was a great time to test the optical performance as most spotting scopes perform at least reasonably well in perfect viewing conditions. The Sig Oscar 8 Spotting Scope performed admirably during these less-than-ideal conditions, particularly within its price bracket. As mentioned above, it also hung in there even in low light with these overcast conditions.
Sig Oscar 8 Spotting Scope Review: Chromatic Aberration
The Sig Oscar 8 spotting scope fared pretty well in the chromatic aberration testing, but we did notice some. Again, this is an area where you can’t expect the Oscar 8 to perform at as high a level as the “Alpha Glass” out there, but we were very pleased with its performance within its price bracket. There certainly wasn’t enough chromatic aberration to cause any issues glassing for big game, but if you are trying to count points on that trophy bull or buck at the outer edges of the Oscar 8’s limits, the edges/lines might be a little more difficult to discern.
Keep in mind that we had the luxury of having many, many spotting scopes side by side for hours at a time, going back and forth from one to the other, to make out these differences. But, hey, we are talking optics here, so being nit picky is part of the deal, right?
Sig Oscar 8 Spotting Scope Review: What We Liked
The Sig Oscar 8 Spotting Scope was a pleasure to field test for a lot of reasons. It offers you a high quality spotting scope at a reasonable price point, a nice crisp image, good low light performance, good edge-to-edge clarity for its price bracket, and performed very well vs others at a similar price point.
I really appreciate that you get a nice neoprene cover with the Oscar 8. Most nice spotting scopes offer some kind of field cover for them, but they are typically quite expensive. The feel of the eye piece and rubber armor were both very nice, and I appreciated that the eye piece cover stays on, even when you don’t have the neoprene cover on.
Sig Oscar 8 Spotting Scope Review: What We didn’t Like
One of the things we didn’t care for as much while doing this Sig Oscar 8 spotting scope review was that it seemed a bit more difficult to keep the image centered during use, particularly when at full zoom. We found that it required your eye to be placed more precisely to keep the image centered. This is always a challenge with spotting scopes, but seemed to be a little more difficult with the Sig Oscar 8 than others. It’s one of those things that you get better at with use though.
Another downside I came away with doing this Sig Oscar 8 Spotting Scope review was its weight. Weighing in a 67 ounces, it’s on the heavy side for an 80 mm spotting scope.
check out the Sig Oscar8 Spotting Scope In the Video !
How The Sig Oscar 8 Spotting Scope Ranked
Relative to Its Price Category
Low Light Performance
Edge to Edge Clarity
Sig Oscar 8 Spotting Scope Review: Conclusion
While we certainly aren’t saying it stands neck-in-neck with the alpha glass of the world, the Sig Oscar 8 Spotting Scope was impressive in its price bracket and gives you a lot for the money. It offers you a fantastic value with high quality glass in a more affordable price range than others out there without sacrificing a lot of performance.
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