I have not long taken up bird watching and purchased this scope to obtain better views of coastal birds than was possible with binoculars. I was not sure how much weight I would be happy carrying around nature reserves and it is one of the lightest with an 80mm objective lens. I have now used this scope four times on coastal marshes and think that the performance represents excellent value for money. There are inevitable compromises or limitations at this budget price point but the strengths are real strengths. In a nutshell, at the lower magnifications approximately between 20 to 30, image sharpness and brightness are excellent; amazing for the money. Sharpness starts to fall off very approximately beyond 30 plus magnification but in my view, still remains good or respectable in the 30 to 40 range. As best as can be judged, very approximately between the magnifications of 40 to 50 you pay the price of compromise for a relatively low priced product, and sharpness notably falls off becoming fair. Image sharpness is not good in the 50 to 60 magnification range but is certainly worth having and I have enjoyed using it. Another real strength is that the image remains surprisingly bright at sun set when the light has seriously faded. As the magnification increases into the higher ranges image brightness does decline but not dramatically and in an acceptable way. The scope also has an excellent and well made protective stay-on-case that doesn't have to be removed to use the scope, giving it further protection. It fits like a glove, is a pleasure to use and can be easily removed or put back on. The scope is also waterproof so you can have peace of mind in wet weather and I had no problem fitting it to a standard tripod mount. For the money - in a balanced assessment - the genuine strengths outweigh the limitations notable at the higher magnifications. I have no regrets in the purchase and for those on a very tight budget like myself, it's a straight forward choice to get started.