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Bushnell Elite 20-60x70 Spotting scope

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/23/2007 at 14:11
Uncle_Tom View Drop Down
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I am looking at the Bushnell Elite 20-60x70 Spotting Scope.
It is available for $400 - and I just wanted to see if there are
opinions pro or con.  The main thing I will be trying to do is to
see 30 caliber holes at least out to 300 meters.  But I imagine
it might be used to admire hawks now and then as well.

I am not in the market for $800 or $1000 scopes, or should I be?
Or can I do as well with a less expensive scope.

Actually it looks decent to me, and they claim it has ED glass
and/or fluorite elements.  I would look at its little brother, the
15-45x60, but the place I go to has them both for the same price,
so why not get the big one.

Any advice will be appreciated.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/23/2007 at 14:54
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I would not buy that model. It looks like a straight through design (roof prism). To get any decent image out of a roof prism system requires serious glass and coatings and phase coating. I don't fall for Bushnell's advertising talk and their ED lenses may not be my idea of achromatic or apochromatic.

Anyway, the point is: at that price you have a much better chance of getting a much better scope from a porro prism design (bent body).

At $400 i would look into the Vortex Skyline 80 mm or the Ultima 80 mm

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/23/2007 at 15:33
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Welcome to The OT Uncle Tom!!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/23/2007 at 15:46
Uncle_Tom View Drop Down
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Originally posted by cheaptrick cheaptrick wrote:

Welcome to The OT Uncle Tom!!


Well, thanks!

After I posted, I got busy and read further in the forum.  There seems to be a lot
of talk and good opinions regarding the Elite 15-45x60, but not much said about
the 20-60x70.   I am never quite sure about Bushnell, but every now and then
they have a good product at an excellent price.  I'm just not sure yet if this is one.

I am saving up my serious money for a good riflescope, and I am gonna go find
the right forum to learn and ask questions on pretty soon, but I could use a good
enough spotting scope in the 400-500 dollar range.   Does everyone agree that
Barska is not worth spending money on?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/23/2007 at 15:52
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I have a Barska spotter and it is pretty bad... Rifle scopes are about the same.

20-60x, but almost unusable around 60x.

 

The Nikon spotters have gotten pretty good reviews.

 

Anweis is one of our resident experts in this forum. I'd take his advise ANY day.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/23/2007 at 15:59
Uncle_Tom View Drop Down
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What Anweis says makes sense.  Years back when I was shopping for binoculars, I heard
the same thing, i.e. unless you are into the top dollar realm, roof prisms were a sales gimmick.

I ended up spending the money and getting Zeiss 7x42 roof prism binoculars and have
never regretted it after the initial pain in writing the check.   For the spotter though,
I just want it to get the job done and maybe be a bit more than just adequate.

On the other hand, folks on this forum have said that the Bushnell Elite spotters are
the best choice under $500.  But I am gonna look at the Celestron Ultima 80 ED and
see what's up there.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/23/2007 at 20:44
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I did some more study on the Bushnell Elites.  Still haven't made my mind up, so please anyone
out there with opinions or information, jump in.  The 15-45x60 and 20-60x70 both have BaK
roof prisms.  The big boy (the 20-60x80) has porro prisms and what they call ED fluorite glass(sic).
The latter is pure rubbish.  It is either fluorite, which isn't glass, or it is ED glass, which isn't fluorite.
They are both low dispersion optical materials that accomplish much the same thing in correcting
chromatic aberations, but this kind of techno-rubbish kinda undermines their advertising, don't ya
think?  On the other hand, just because their marketing people don't have a clue doesn't mean
that they may not have a decent product -- and I'm not in the market for the big boy anyway, so
I don't really care what kind of low dispersion elements they use in it.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/12/2008 at 20:51
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You should put your "serious money" on a good  binocular and spotting scope, you will use them way more than your riflescope.  It takes quality glass to make spotting and stalking sucessful and not strain your eyes. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/12/2008 at 21:54
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Originally posted by Uncle_Tom Uncle_Tom wrote:

I did some more study on the Bushnell Elites.  Still haven't made my mind up, so please anyone
out there with opinions or information, jump in.  The 15-45x60 and 20-60x70 both have BaK
roof prisms.  The big boy (the 20-60x80) has porro prisms and what they call ED fluorite glass(sic).
The latter is pure rubbish.  It is either fluorite, which isn't glass, or it is ED glass, which isn't fluorite.
They are both low dispersion optical materials that accomplish much the same thing in correcting
chromatic aberations, but this kind of techno-rubbish kinda undermines their advertising, don't ya
think?  On the other hand, just because their marketing people don't have a clue doesn't mean
that they may not have a decent product -- and I'm not in the market for the big boy anyway, so
I don't really care what kind of low dispersion elements they use in it.


I think you are getting a bit overly picky in your technical distinctions of Bushnell's choice of words.  Even the almighty Zeiss uses the word "glass" in describing the ED components of its Victory FL line - even though, as you point out, it is not technically glass.  For that matter, and as a point of interest, almost everyone I know, including optometrists, ophthalmologists, optical engineers, etc. refers to their spectacles as "glasses" and to the lenses as "glass," even though they all are perfectly aware that almost  no one actually has glass lenses in their spectacles any more.  It's all made of some kind of polycarbonate nowadays. There is a difference between being misleading/dishonest and in choosing words that the average person can understand.  Both these companies, as well as most/all others, are doing the same thing to some extent. 

I am a well-known advocate of Bushnell's 20-60x80 Elite.  A quick search in this forum will net you numerous threads where I have "sung its praises." It absolutely does use ED glass elements and its image quality is every bit as good as any other spotting scope on the market.  The one place that it does give up something (which is to be expected with its far lower price tag) is in Field of View.  It is narrower than that offered by scopes from the "big 3."  It is even a bit narrower than the much-maligned FoV of the Nikon Fieldscope.  I do not find this objectionable for my uses and was more than willing to give up that little bit of FoV for the overwhelming monetary savings I enjoyed. This full-size scope has provided yeoman's service.

Neither the 15-45x60 nor the 20-60x70 Elite spotting scopes utilize ED glass elements and Bushnell has never advertised them as anything different.  The smaller scope gets the most notice because it is the most versatile.  It is small enough to pack around yet, big enough to give quality views.  It is rugged, lightweight, short, offers excellent views and is reliable as anything. The larger of the two is just large enough that it loses out on the size advantages that make its little brother so popular and as with most budget-class scopes, the image beyond 30-40x or so just isn't very usable so it offers no real optical advantages over the smaller scope. Once you get a scope of that size and weight, you might as well just go for one of the 80mm scopes with ED glass elements and be done with it.  In short, the 70mm scope is "neither fish nor fowl" and is therefore ignored.


Edited by lucznik - May/12/2008 at 22:03
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/12/2008 at 23:15
Uncle_Tom View Drop Down
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Well, it is nice to see this thread come alive after being dormant for 6 months!! The comment about putting serious money into binoculars rather than a riflescope is solid advice.  I did this maybe 10 years ago when I bought my Zeiss 7x42 binoculars and have never regretted it, and I do use those more than any other optics I have and they are wonderful.  I did purchase the 20-60x70 Bushnell and am entirely satisfied for my uses.  On the other hand I don't have the opportunity to compare it side by side with optics costing 5 times as much.  After I had a look through someone elses Zeiss binoculars, I was ruined for life even though up till then I was perfectly satisfied with the awful pair I had been using. The one thing I may regret about the 20-60x70 scope is the lack of a 90 degree prism at the end.  It is like a classic telescope, a straight tube, hence awkward  on a low tripod or for viewing the heavens (but that isn't what I got it for).
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/13/2008 at 19:22
lucznik View Drop Down
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Originally posted by Uncle_Tom Uncle_Tom wrote:

Well, it is nice to see this thread come alive after being dormant for 6 months!!


That's funny!  I hadn't noticed just how old the thread was until you pointed it out.   Oh well, I must have missed it the first time around.
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