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Bushnell Excursion 15-45X60 review.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/08/2009 at 18:21
Al Nyhus View Drop Down
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    I recieved my Bushnell Excursion 15-45X60 FLP spotter today. My initial impressions are:
 
   Nice workmanship. The armor coating is well done. I now there's been some concerns about how it looks, based on the pics on the some of the sites. Well, the actual unit looks quite a bit different...it's all matte black, no silver power ring/focus ring. The Bushnell site shows it as it really is.  And the 'B' on the front is nicely done and not nearly as big as most sites shows it to be. Cosmetics takes a back seat on the bus to performance, anyway...at least for me.  But I was pleasantly surprised at how nice this scope looked. Basically a twin to my Leupold 12-40X60 FLP.
 
    The padded semi-hard case is nice, the included tripod is a throwaway, and the scope cover is a pretty slick little item that fits well and offers good protection and should be easy to use. The objective end has a snap fit cover, but no cover is provided for the occular end.
 
   OK...let's get to the rat killin', as John Wayne would say.
 
    The eye relief on this thing is l-o-n-g!  I wear glasses with a very minor correction but can't imagine anyone having issues short of those sporting Coke bottle bottoms for lenses....and maybe not even then. Very nice, Bushnell. The power ring was a bit stiff as recieved but loosened up after 10-12 stop-to-stop rotations. The focus corrects well with a large 'sweet spot' of sharp viewing...the focus doesn't fall off a cliff suddenly with a minor turn of the ring.
 
     Optically, it's clear, sharp, and has great color resolution. Compared to my Leupold 12-40X60 Gold Ring FLP spotter, it does show more fuzziness at the edges, but nothing horrible. Oddly, this fuzziness seems to clear as you increase the magnification. Image brightness hung in there up to the 45X mark with only a faint bit of dimming noticeable as I went to max. magnification. The ED Prime lenses seem to deliver on Bushnell's promises for clarity, crisp images and great color resolution.
 
    So..bottom line? Is it the equal of my Leupold 12-40X60 Gold Ring FLP?  No.  But....it's darn close! Wink How close? To my eyes, maybe 90%...or a bit more. Side by side, I can tell a difference. But if someone blindfolded me and stuck either my Leupold or my Bushnell in front of me, removed the blindfold and asked me which I was looking through, I'm not sure I'd be able to tell.
 
   As far as durability...well, who knows? My Leupold wears a lot battle scars. It's been dropped onto concrete, dirt and gravel. It's been knocked off benches from Pennsylvania to South Dakota, has survived thousands of miles of highways and back roads,  been dropped off a window mount into a foot of snow more than once, has glassed a lot of fox and coyotes and helped me to be able drag more than a few of these back to the truck.
 
     It's no secret that once you reach a certain level of optical performance, each minor jump foward costs money disproportionate to the gains recieved. Sometimes these gains are worth it, sometimes not, depending on the individual and the job the optics need to do.
 
    I think with this scope, Bushnell has arrived precisely where the graph lines of optical quality and price start to spread apart. Time will tell on the durability but that's the way with anything new.
 
     One guys opinion, for what it's worth. Smile
 
    
 
    


Edited by Al Nyhus - April/19/2009 at 06:44
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/08/2009 at 21:44
RONK View Drop Down
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 Thank you for a well-written review!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/08/2009 at 21:45
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Thanks for the excellent review Al.  Much appreciated and very interesting.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/08/2009 at 23:32
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Al-  did you get a chance to look at the 80mm excursion?  Do you think that it might even surpass your leupold in clarity given its exlra ability to draw light?  Im looking to possibly get one but am scared of the bushnell name,  but want a 80mm lens in a compact enough model.  Thanks!!!  Great review,  been waiting for this one!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/09/2009 at 10:21
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That was pretty much my impression when I got mine. I did have an opportunity to see one several months ago along side the 80mm model.   That thing was HUGE - looked like a 2 litre bottle of pop!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/09/2009 at 10:38
Al Nyhus View Drop Down
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Originally posted by wyobowhunter1 wyobowhunter1 wrote:

Al-  did you get a chance to look at the 80mm excursion?  Do you think that it might even surpass your leupold in clarity given its exlra ability to draw light? 
 
      I haven't had my hands on an 80mm version to compare. Given what I've seen with this 60mm version, I don't doubt the 80mm unit would give brighter images.
 
    But...that brings us to portability, weight, ease of packing it...in short, what the end user is going to do with it.
 
     This weekend, I'll have it side by side with a newer Leupold 12-40X60 (with their Index Matched lenses) a Celestron Ultima 65 ED lens unit and one or two others.... a big Leica (Big Leaker) and Nikon Fieldscope ED are also coming out to play. Smile
 
     Looking foward to others thoughts on this spotter as well.  -Al
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/09/2009 at 13:15
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What Fieldscope are you going to play with? I was able to obtain a 50mmED Fieldscope at a store here in Sioux Falls that was going out of business. So far I have been very impressed with it and it makes a very nice addition to my Pentex 80EDA. Actually I think my Pentex will not be used very much anymore.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/10/2009 at 06:02
Al Nyhus View Drop Down
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Originally posted by Sparky Sparky wrote:

What Fieldscope are you going to play with?
 
     It's a 20-60X60 Fieldscope III.  I'm not sure if it's the ED model, though...  -Al
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/10/2009 at 21:30
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Al,
 
Just curious, when did you get your Leupold?
 
JB
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/10/2009 at 22:16
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    John, I bought this one in 2001.   -Al
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/11/2009 at 17:48
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Originally posted by Al Nyhus Al Nyhus wrote:

...I bought this one in 2001.
  Since it is from 2001, I'm guessing that it is not the HD version of the Golden Ring FLP.

It would be interesting to see how the Excursion with its ED glass would measure up to the HD Leupold.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/11/2009 at 20:07
Al Nyhus View Drop Down
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Originally posted by lucznik lucznik wrote:

  Since it is from 2001, I'm guessing that it is not the HD version of the Golden Ring FLP.
It would be interesting to see how the Excursion with its ED glass would measure up to the HD Leupold.  
 
     It has the MultiCoat IV glass. The HD glass came out a few years later...not sure when.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/14/2009 at 10:17
John Barsness View Drop Down
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Al,

Thanks. Mine is even a little older than that! Still works, though....

JB

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/14/2009 at 16:03
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Well after lusting for one of these since spring of 2008 I popped my wad on one today.  The large national sporting goods chain that has recently declared bankruptcy has 40% off on all optics.  I have been really lusting after the 80mm unit but my expenditures since the election have been almost enough to make me feel guilty.  Almost that is, so I bought the 15-45x60 one.
 
The OP's review is spot on in every regard.  Being an eyeglass wearer makes me  appreciate this scope a great deal.  Many of the scopes I have looked through in the past year were virtually unusable to me because of the poor eye relief.  Even some scopes in the $750+ range were useless.
 
I took it to the range this afternoon to see how it does at examining targets and was delighted to be able to clearly see 22 cal bullet holes at 300 yards.  Not only could I see the holes easily, but I could read the writing on the target.  The sky was cloudy but it was bright.  There was zero mirage today so that will be another test. 
 
Comparing the image to two Nikon ProStaff spotters, one a 65mm and one an 82mm, was no contest.  The Bushnell beat the snot out of both of them and cost half the price of the 82mm scope.
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/18/2009 at 00:02
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Originally posted by Al Nyhus Al Nyhus wrote:

Originally posted by lucznik lucznik wrote:

  Since it is from 2001, I'm guessing that it is not the HD version of the Golden Ring FLP.
It would be interesting to see how the Excursion with its ED glass would measure up to the HD Leupold.  
 
     It has the MultiCoat IV glass. The HD glass came out a few years later...not sure when.  
 
My friend recenlty bprucahsed the Leupold (not HD model) and the op's observations are same as mine when comparing the two.  The Bushnell is a gem!
 
Smitty
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/20/2009 at 07:17
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I picked up the 80mm version at (probably) the same chain store closing sale. It is a lillte fuzzy around the very edges, the same as the review states the 60mm version is. Other wise a pleasure to look through. I was able to see 270 bullet holes on white paper at 600 yards yesterday(it was overcast, and minimal mirage). The differance I note from what I'm reading hear about the 60mm is the eye relief. On the 80mm (I wear glasses for a mild correction) the eye releif window is small.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/27/2009 at 08:34
Al Nyhus View Drop Down
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   Just an update now that I've used it a while:
 
   My only complaint is how it balances on a tripod or clamp on spotting scope stand. Because of where the mounting hole is, the unit is really back-end heavy. I solved that by using a piece of .250 thick alum. plate bolted to the mount hole with another hole tapped 2" rearward.  Not elegant, but effective.
 
   No other issues so far. Smile   -Al
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/27/2009 at 09:46
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Al, have you, or anyone else for that matter, gotten a chance to look at the 80mm version yet?  Would your 60mm  be adequate for general big game hunting in your opinion?  Thanks.  For some odd reason this glass intrigues me, but I can't find one anywhere to look through.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/28/2009 at 21:02
Al Nyhus View Drop Down
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   Haven't eyeballed a 80mm version yet.  I'd have no qualms using this 60mm for hunting duty.    -Al
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