Bushnell Spotting Scopes – Buying guide & Comparison
Do you want the best Bushnell spotting scope, but you have no idea where to start? This short paragraph can be exactly what you seek. According to our research that involved, but it was not limited to, customer reviews, social media reactions, and sales figures, the Bushnell Legend is the model that should be number one on your list. Superior image clarity and contrast make this particular model stand out, as nothing is spared regarding technology when it comes to providing the user with superior performance. The rain guard comes in handy when you need to use the spotting scope in less than ideal weather conditions. The spotting scope offers the same reliable performance in low light conditions, as well, expanding its usefulness. In case you can no longer find the Bushnell Legend, the second recommendation would be the Bushnell Trophy XLT, a product capable of offering almost the same excellent performance.
Our Top Choice
The Legend features a dual-focus control that allows any hunter to make quick adjustments. Moreover, the premium bak-4 prisms included offer images that have the highest clarity even when the illumination is not ideal.
According to some users, the device’s construction is a bit heavy, which can make things difficult in certain situations. Although the image is crystal clear, you should get used to carrying a heavier object around.
The Legend model offers an excellent image performance at a very affordable price. Although it might seem a bit heavy during use, all the other features the device brings definitely make this investment one to consider.
With a rubber exterior that can withstand severe conditions and a waterproof construction, sturdiness is the term that defines the Trophy XLT model. This lightweight version also offers high-quality images.
Some users were not very pleased by the tripod that is delivered with this product. Although its performance is great, you might reach the conclusion that you need to purchase a better tripod for use.
Even if the included tripod might not seem ideal to some reviewers, this model does bring some great features and a lightweight design which make it an option you can definitely think about.
Also To Consider
The rubber armored construction makes the Trophy Xtreme model one you can definitely rely on, as it was built for heavy use. A tripod and a window mount are included for excellent results, while a hard case ensures an easy transportation.
The image quality drops as the magnification increases, according to some reviews. If you plan to use this spotting scope for targets that are very far away, then you should be aware of this fact and see what your needs are.
This model offers an excellent value for its price and can be of a real help given the multiple coatings added to the lenses which ensure image clarity. It’s true, the lenses perform best at lower magnification levels.
Bushnell is a company with a long tradition in making superior sports optics and their spotting scopes are no exception to the rule. Whether you are interested in bird watching, nature study, or hunting and fishing, you will find their models reliable and accurate. This guide is focused on giving you the information you need for purchasing the best spotting scope from Bushnell for your needs.
Magnification and lens size
The first thing you will notice about a spotting scope when you check the specs will be the numbers written right next to the name of the product. What are these numbers and what do they mean? They are usually the magnification power and the lens size, and they are critical, as it will be showed right away.
The best Bushnell hunting scope, for instance, should have more magnification power and offer you ampler opportunities so you can see the game you are monitoring and register its tiniest moves. Models sold by this company have variable adjustments, so you can pick how much to zoom the image.
A spotting scope with a maximum magnification power of 60x is a pretty good deal. The more you zoom in the image in front of you, the more details you will be able to pick up. However, magnification power is not enough for outstanding image quality. We also need to talk a bit about lens size.
There is a bargain that you need to strike here. A model with a larger lens size will have better light gathering capabilities, which means that you will get to enjoy superior image performance. However, if the lens size is too large, that will make the spotting scope cumbersome and bulky. The ideal lens size should be around 50mm-60mm, to avoid sacrificing portability and ease of use in favor of better performance.
Water resistance and other features
If you take a good look at all the Bushnell spotting scopes available for sale, you will notice that they are pretty sturdy and built to withstand even critical weather conditions. Many of them are waterproof, which means that you will be able to use them even when it is pouring outside.
Some are also fog proof, so you can use them when you want to go hunting. Resistance to shocks is much appreciated, and it is usually ensured by a rubber exterior.
The overall construction must ensure that the lens is well protected. A rain guard is not a bad thing to have, either, as it will keep away the water and the lens will not be affected. All this time, you will be able to use the spotting scope to the best of your abilities, without anything getting in the way.
Most models you can find on the market do not come with their own tripod, but there are a few models that do. If you want to strike an excellent deal, you should focus your attention on the extras provided.
Besides a tripod, you may also get a carrying case and a window mount. All these add value to the spotting scope, and you will not have to pay extra for them. While not all Bushnell spotting scopes offer such conveniences, a few models offer more value for the money, by including a few extras in the same package.
Spotting scopes are defined as small and portable telescopes primarily used for land and observation as opposed to regular telescopes that allow you to see the stars and other celestial bodies in the sky.
Picking the right Bushnell spotting scopes is a difficult task, especially since the brand counts for numerous great models, each with specific tech features. Let’s take a look at some of Bushnell’s most popular models and identify them by their type and purpose.
The design or the type of scope
The most common spotting scopes designs are the prismatic refractors, also used in binoculars. They are divided into two categories – refractive and angled, each coming with its own set of advantages and disadvantages.
A straight scope allows you to easily locate a subject by aligning the eye along the product’s body. Using this type of scope also makes it easier for you to see a subject from a hidden position such as behind a car or a fence.
Other advantages of this type of spotting scopes include fewer chances of the eyepiece collecting rain and dust and less strain on your neck, which can be translated into more comfort when using the scopes for a longer time.
On the other side, you will have to set the eye-level to that of the shortest person when in a group but if you plan on enjoying your outdoor activities on your own, this is the right design for you.
The angled spotting scopes are the most preferred items when in a group because everyone can use one on their own, without having to adjust their height beforehand.
They also allow you to use shorter or lighter tripods, which are easier to transport, especially if you change the location often. However, the main benefit of angled scopes is that you can see flying birds or in high positions easier, without having to strain. Not to mention that you can enjoy a relaxed, sitting position to enhance your overall birdwatching experience.
Different eyepieces and magnification
We have already talked a little about the importance of the magnification rate in Bushnell spotting scopes. Generally speaking, the magnification rate in these devices varies between 15x and 250x, depending on the purpose for which they are designed.
The power of the scope’s magnification is determined by the eyepiece or the objective lens. The objective lens comes in various formats, meaning it can be removable or non-removable, fixed or zoom. You should pick the right type of lens depending on your budget and the type of Bushnell spotting scopes you are choosing.
The interchangeable objective lens allows you to change the magnification rate of the scopes depending on how far the object that you’re trying to see is. This feature is great for birdwatching and even looking at the stars but it requires more time and knowledge, which means it is not suitable for hunting when the prey is moving fast.
You can achieve a similar effect with fixed zoom lenses but the image might become too dark if the magnification rate exceeds 60x. Although not the case with most Bushnell devices, minor problems might still occur with lower-quality products.
If you plan on viewing the same spot for a long time, zoom in pieces are unnecessary as you can obtain the same effect but clearer, sharper images with interchangeable lenses.
A wide-angle objective lens is sometimes preferred to a zoom lens thanks to its wider field of view. This type of lens is mainly used by people who are viewing quick-moving objects such as birds or animals.
If you wear glasses, you should pay close attention to the type of eyepieces you are choosing. Some Bushnell products come with better eye relief, which ensures more comfortable viewings, even when you can’t take your glasses off.
The eye relief refers to the distance between the point at which your pupil is positioned and the lens to obtain a full field of view, which means it can differ between eyepieces. Therefore, we suggest checking the eye relief of each eyepiece you are planning on using to make sure you enjoy a full field of view.
Most Bushnell scopes come with at least one layer applied on the surface of the lenses to enhance the available light and reduce glare to a minimum. However, the more coatings a product boasts, the higher its end-price.
Generally speaking, coated spotting scopes feature one layer applied to one lens surface, while fully coated products mean that there is one layer applied to all air-glasses surfaces. The number of layers applied to the lenses will ultimately alter the quality of the image, as well as the price of the scopes.
Weight and construction
If you’re looking for a good pair of spotting scopes, you should also consider their size and overall construction. The product must be made of quality materials and resistant to wear and tear. The case should be able to absorb shocks and prevent the lenses and other important pieces inside from cracking or breaking in case you drop it.
However, a Bushnell scope must also be lightweight and portable. Given that you will spend many hours with this device on your hands, it would be best to choose one that is comfortable to handle and that won’t cause fatigue or wrist pain.
Look for devices that also sport a rubberized exterior that ensures a comfortable grip that will prevent slipping in case it rains outside.
When searching for a brand new Bushnell scope, there are many features you should take into account, depending on the type of activity you want to perform with it and your budget. Opt for devices with a generous magnification rate and field of view but don’t forget that these features will also influence the product’s weight.
Those who wear glasses and want to make sure they see clear and crisp images when looking through the scope should pick a Bushnell device with good eye relief. However, make sure to check the eye relief for every lens you use as it differs depending on the size of the lens.
Don’t forget about the product’s construction and accessories to make sure you bring home the perfect spotting scope for you.
5 Best Bushnell Spotting Scopes (Reviews) in 2020
We have read the Bushnell spotting scope reviews offered by users and experts, and we concluded that there are a few models that are worth the money. You can find them listed below.
1. Bushnell 191142 Legend Ultra HD Monocular with Picatinny Rail Mount
Field performance is what the Bushnell Legend excels most and the reason why so many hunters and not only prefer it over other models created by the same company. Image performance is critical, if you want to notice the finest details, especially when waiting for game to move.
It must be mentioned that the Legend offers this level of performance at a very affordable price, and it is this mix of value and high quality that makes it a must-buy item. The dual-focus controls serve for making adjustments as fast as you want, and that makes it an excellent tool for hunters who need to observe the tiniest moves.
The premium bak-4 prisms used allow you to observe the image through the lens at the highest clarity possible, and you will experience no troubles with never having proper illumination. It must also be said that the rain guard is convenient for the times when you want to use the spotting scope in less than ideal weather conditions.
The product is equipped with End Prime low dispersion glass, and its two-speed dual focus control is actually easy to use when you are in a hurry. It is waterproof, as expected, and it rocks a 20 to 60x magnification and 80-millimeter objective lens that won’t disappoint when it comes to image accuracy.
Right off the bat, you’ll appreciate the fact that it can zoom up to 60X, which is a surprising premium feature given that it is a budget-friendly model which won’t break the bank.
It comes equipped with a lens crafted from End Prime low dispersion glass, which enhances the light transmission for improved low-light performance. And the 2-speed dual focus control will allow for even more impressive final results.
The item is enhanced for high-resolution viewing, and it doesn\'t lack when it comes to optical performances since it rocks the Bak-4 prisms and the patented Rain Guard HD water-repellent coatings.
People were a bit disappointed with the fact that it is shipped in a flimsy cardboard box that doesn’t do a great job at protecting the product.
Along the same lines, one of the older reviewers thought the model was a bit heavy and bulky and that it is not ideal for use without a tripod.
2. Bushnell Trophy XLT Waterproof Compact Tripod Spotting Scope
The sturdiness of this particular spotting scope is what makes it stand out most and foremost. No matter how extreme the conditions you are going to face, you can rest assured that the Bushnell Trophy XLT will stay by your side. The rubber exterior is rugged and makes sure that nothing will damage the mechanisms inside.
At the same time, the model is 100% waterproof, which means that you can use it in rainy weather without a glitch. Of course, a rugged construction would be notice without lens performance. Again, the Bushnell Trophy XLT doesn’t disappoint.
If you are searching for a good Bushnell spotting scope, this one may be just for you. When you go hunting, there is hardly a better alternative. Lightweight and compact, it will fit in your backpack and it will be easy to use. The superior zoom magnification is another great plus.
The quality optics that offer stunning HD clarity and the 100% quality materials used for its craft are the things that stand out the most. And the fact that each piece is tested extensively before making it onto the market is the only guarantee you’ll need that this unit will provide high-performance equal to its price.
When it comes to Bushnell-made products, this one is a standout. It is totally waterproof and created from quality materials that make it resistant to scratches and even mild impacts. And the scope survives all of them without compromising on design.
The quality optics inside it offer stunning HD clarity and are fully coated as a guarantee that the machine will be capable of delivering ultra-bright, crystal-clear images even in dim environments.
Spec-wise, it has a standard 20 to 60x magnification and a pristine 65mm objective lens, and in the box, you can also find a tripod and a premium hard case.
We cannot ignore the fact that the scope is not the most ergonomic option out there and that the provided tripod is weak, somehow flimsy, and it lacks vertical adjustment.
One demanding customer made a point when he said the fact it comes only in one color option is a bit disappointing and frustrating.
3. Bushnell Trophy Xtreme Spotting Scope
You get more than just a simple spotting scope when you purchase this particular model. You will also receive a tripod and a window mount, for easy setup. Due to this aspect, it is safe to say that this model offers excellent value for the price, as not many spotting scopes come in such configurations.
The lens performance is what we should talk about next. The Porro prism design is complemented by the multiple coatings that ensure image clarity that is superior in every way. The magnification goes up to 48x, which means that nothing will escape your field of view.
The rubber armored construction makes it durable and reliable. You also had a hard-side case for easy transportation and another soft-side one. With so many advantages to enjoy, there is no wonder that this model enjoys such positive feedback from buyers.
Buyers usually mention that they love the fact that the scope is so easy to use and light, and the fact that it is highly versatile. And since it is waterproof, you can use it in an extreme variety of environments and situations, which is the mark of a premium product.
Explorers seem to love its Porro-prism design that rocks premium fully multi-coated optics, which are both reliable and ideal for situations when you need a great deal of detail, accurate colors and balanced contrast.
Another bonus is the fact that it has a waterproof construction that features a rubber armor to absorb shocks. Besides that, you also get a tripod with your purchase, to help you stabilize the image in less ideal situations.
The model is compact and it can magnify up to 48x, and it rocks a close focus of 25 feet. Moreover, the lens cover will make sure that the high-quality lens will stay intact for longer periods of time.
When it comes to less appealing sides, this model suffers in the materials department. They are durable and light, but some buyers seem to think they have a cheap vibe.
We could also say that its focusing speeds are not up to par with some other models in this price range.
4. Bushnell 781548P Elite Spottingx
The quality of the materials used for the making of a spotting scope is extremely important. It serves your peace of mind to know that Bushnell used only the highest performance materials to make this particular model. The superior quality shows in the tiniest details, starting with the sleek design and finishing with the extreme durability of this item.
The maximum magnification it can handle is 45x and the objective lens has 60mm in diameter. Nothing will be lost to you when you follow your prey through the lens of this spotting scope. The model is waterproof, resistant to shocks and it is not affected by fog.
The compact construction ensures that you don’t have to worry about a thing, no matter how extreme the weather conditions you are going to face. The light transmission is ideal and you will be able to enjoy superior color fidelity and image brightness.
The body of the piece is clean, and it features a uniform color that is highly appealing. Moreover, the scope is compact, and it can fit in any backpack – which makes it ideal for traveling purposes. Also, it can be mounted to almost all the tripods specially created for Bushnell scopes.
One thing is for sure - the item will not disappoint when it comes to outdoor scenarios due to its water and fog proof body. And the fact that it is equipped with a rubber armor makes it suitable for an extreme adventurer.
The magnification power is balanced and you can go up to 45X. The objective lens is a standard 60mm one, and inside you can find the praised PC-3 phase-corrected BaK-4 roof prisms and fully multi-coated optics.
This model also features the ED Prime fluoride glass, a special material that provides sharp, brilliant color resolution, and more importantly, it offers clarity.
As a downside, we will mention the model’s simplicity. It might be perfect for someone who’s looking for a hassle-free product, but for many, it might seem lacking and underwhelming.
Moreover, some noticed that the higher the magnification goes, the more blur you get, which is not a surprise given that it is a budget-friendly model.
5. Bushnell 783618 Sentry Porro Prism Spotting Scope with Tabletop Tripod
This model is created with a hunter’s needs in mind and that shows in every aspect. It is compact, which means that you will be able to mount it at a lower height, so that you don’t experience any mishaps while on the field. The package you get with your purchase includes plenty of extras to warrant a sound investment.
Besides the spotting scope, you will get a tripod, a window mount, a hard case, a soft case, and a glove so you don’t have to touch the scope bare handed. The magnification can be adjusted up to 36x, which means that you can expect decent performance from the model.
100% waterproof, the unit has no issues with fog, either. At the same time, the rubber armored exterior is capable to withstand plenty of shocks. There is no wonder that a limited lifetime warranty is included, seeing how resilient this model is.
Its 50-millimeter objective lens is created by experts to provide optimal results in a wide variety of scenarios. And since it rocks multi-coated optics for increased light transmission, this can easily become the only tool you’ll ever need for zooming and both nighttime and daytime activities.
When you add up its features, it is easy to see why it can be the ideal tool for hunting. It is made from top-notch materials that guarantee extreme durability even in rough environments.
The scope has a compact body that doesn’t take up a lot of space in your backpack, and it is ultralight. These things make it ideal for traveling purposes. Moreover, the modern scope is waterproof so you can use it during heavy rains.
The 12 to 36x adjustable magnification is another useful addition that will appeal to many experts, just like the multi-coated optics will please die-hard Bushnell fans.
One person was highly critical of the eye-relief, especially when zooming. The viewing experience may be a bit aggressive and uncomfortable for some glass-wearing people.
Furthermore, the eyepiece cover seems to be equally poor in quality, especially if you consider this is a top-product and not a low-end alternative.