Spotting scopes come in all shapes and sizes—and at several different price points. However, if you are on a budget, your options for a great spotting scope become a little bit more limited. The Gosky 12×55 markets itself as an excellent budget choice for bird watching and more, but does it live up to its promises?
In this article, we will be reviewing the Gosky monocular and finding out if it is a good choice for the budget-conscious buyer or if it fails to live up to its expectations.
Let’s get to it, then.
Just by looking at its price tag, you probably would not assume the Gosky 12×55 to be a budget choice, as there seem to be cheaper alternatives everywhere. That may be true, however, there are budget monoculars and then there are budget monoculars—meaning, you get what you pay for.
In a market where high-quality optics can go for thousands (or at least the high hundreds), a low-100s device is still considered a budget monocular—even if it is on the higher end of the entry-level optics.
Still, one question remains (and that’s what we will be answering): is the Gosky monocular 12×55 worth it?
What’s in the box
Cheaper optics often just give you the bare essentials: you get the monocular, and that’s it. At the higher end, the box often includes handcrafted carrying pouches and extra goodies. The good news is that the Gosky monocular sits on the higher end of the extra-goodies scale.
Here’s what you’ll get in the box:
- The Gosky 12×55 HD Monocular
- A carrying case
- A hand strap
- End caps for both ends of the optics
- A smartphone digiscoping adapter
- A cleaning cloth and the instruction manual
Sure, the monocular doesn’t include any extra filters or tripods, but at this price, it’s difficult to complain about everything that it does.
A clear and crisp lens with a wide field of view
We could keep talking about what the box includes and doesn’t include, but, at the end of the day, the reason someone buys a spotting scope is the spotting scope itself. As we know, a scope can only be as good as its optics, and the Gosky optics make for an excellent device.
The Gosky 12×55 lens provides a sharp image and has good light-gathering capabilities. Truth be told, it is not the sharpest image you can get at a 12-times magnification level, but, given the price point of the Gosky monocular, we still consider it excellent for what it is.
That is not to say that the image is blurry—it is perfectly clear, but it’s not as crisp as the thousand-dollar devices. You will still have no trouble spotting birds or any other object.
The field of view is also very good. At 50 mm, this Gosky monocular allows you to see 273 feet at 1000 yards—perfect for birdwatching and more.
Multicoated glass with no chromatic aberration
Higher-end optics have complex coatings that maximize their light gathering capabilities and reduce noise sources, like chromatic aberrations or color fringing. The coating on this Gosky monocular isn’t exactly the top of its class, but it is still excellent at removing both color fringing and chromatic aberrations.
The extra-low dispersion glass also increases color contrast and slightly enhances the image. With the Gosky 12×55, you can spot even the tiniest of objects with excellent resolution.
12x Magnification level
While it is not exactly a con, it is important to note that the Gosky 12×55 is a fixed magnification scope. This means that you won’t be able to zoom until you reach the 12x magnification level—the scope is always zoomed in.
We don’t consider this a problem because not only would having variable magnification that only went up to 12x be slightly awkward, but it would also either decrease the overall image quality or significantly increase the scope’s price.
This scope is designed for people who do not need high magnification but who require good image quality and comfort.
However, the magnification level isn’t the only thing you can’t adjust. The Gosky 12×55 also lacks a proper focusing knob. Instead, the knob only gives you three focus settings. We found them to be adequate for people with regular vision and for people who wear glasses, but they might not be perfect for everyone, so keep that in mind.
Like we said, this Gosky monocular doesn’t have the best glass coating or even the best glass. However, it is still capable of punching way above its weight. Besides having a crisp image, the Gosky 12×55 is also excellent at capturing light.
Of course, this is all limited by the physical size of the lens, so you can’t expect any magic. Still, this monocular is great for both dusk and dawn. As long as there is enough light outside for you to see with your eyes, then you should have no problem seeing through the Gosky 12×55 either.
A durable scope perfect for rugged terrain
Most cheap scopes are made of flimsy plastic and do not last very long. Luckily, that is not the case with the Gosky 12×55. Sure, this monocular is also made of plastic, but it is a very resistant one.
Not only that, but the Gosky 12×55 is also impervious to the elements. It is dust-, water-, and shock-proof. The lenses do not fog up either, and due to the gaskets on both ends of the scope, nothing can get between the optical elements.
Now, obviously, this doesn’t mean you should go diving with the scope or use it during sandstorms. However, the monocular should be fine if you are caught in a rainstorm or if it falls to the ground.
Keep in mind, though, that the scope only has an IPX7 rating, which means it’s not officially dust-proof. Still, we believe it holds up well in harsh terrain.
Is the Gosky 12×55 comfortable?
Although it is compatible with tripods, you might end up holding the scope for a long time, especially if you are watching moving objects or birds. That being said, even though the Gosky 12×55 won’t tire your arm out, this is not the lightest scope out there.
The Gosky 12×55 weighs approximately 16 ounces. It’s not exactly bulky, but if you are looking for lighter options, then there are definitely other scopes worth checking out at similar price points.
The eyepiece is relatively comfortable. The rubber sits tightly against your face, and it is adjustable to account for glass wearers.
Verdict: Is the Gosky 12×55 worth it?
For its price, we have no doubts that you are getting your money’s worth with the Gosky 12×55. Besides giving you some of the clearest and sharpest images at its price point, the Gosky 12×55 is a well-built spotting scope excellent for medium magnification purposes.
The included accessories are also a plus, and make you feel like you are getting an even better deal.
If you don’t need variable zoom levels or the best monocular money can buy, we recommend the Gosky 12×55. It’s ideal for beginners and experienced users alike.
We hope our Gosky 12×55 review helped you with your monocular purchase. If you have any questions, just let us know in the comment section below.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the max magnification level of the Gosky 12×55?
As the name indicates, the Gosky has a maximum (and only) magnification level of 12x. This scope does not have variable zoom levels.
How much does the Gosky 12×55 weigh?
The Gosky 12×55 weighs approximately 16 oz (449 g).