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4.5 out of 5 stars
Bushnell Legend Ultra HD 20-60 x80 (45 degree) Spotting Scope
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170 of 176 people found the following review helpful
on January 14, 2012
Verified Purchase
I needed a scope for viewing 30 caliber bullet holes in targets at 100-500 yards and ended up getting two to compare; each with a zoom of 20x - 60x and with an objective lens of 80 mm:
1) The Vortex Viper 20 - 60 x 80
2) The Bushnell HD Legend Ultra 20 - 60 x 80
If you're only interested in the comments on the particular scope featured here, I've tried to separate the comments on each scope, although I think the comparisons may be of some value.

In these spotting scopes, there are (at least) four main things to look for:
1) Fully Multi-coated optics
2) Waterproof/fog proof (nitrogen or argon purged and O-ring sealed)
3) BaK-4 prisms (if porro prism design)
4) ED glass (to eliminate/reduce chromatic aberrations - this appears to make a big difference)

Here's the comparison of the above four things to look for:
VORTEX: Fully multi-coated optics, waterproof/fog proof, (Prism type not specified), XD glass (not ED).
BUSHNELL: Fully multi-coated optics, waterproof/fog proof, BaK-4 porro prisms, ED glass.
VORTEX has two of the four mentioned above, BUSHNELL has four of the four.

OBSERVATIONS OF VARIOUS OBJECTS UNDER DIFFERENT CONDITIONS AS SHOWN BELOW:

VORTEX:
Observations made at 200 yards on an actual target with 9 30 cal. bullet holes; 3 left (in the white), 3 right (in the white), 1 in the red & 2 in the black (near the red):
20x - focused well on the round target circles; could barely make out the bullet holes.
40x - focused okay; could make out the bullet holes, but not conclusively
60x - focused less than okay; white target rings were either green or red, but could make out the (fuzzy) bullet holes in the white if I held my head the right way; couldn't really see them in the black

Observations at over 500 yards focusing on a white sign with red lettering: good at all magnifications

Observations at night at about 500 yards: Blue letters of a shopping mall neon sign were bright and clear and crisp with good background at all magnifications

Observations of neon sign with green border & red letters: either the border or letters were in focus, but not both at the same time.

Observations at 175 yards on a sign with a white background, large red lettering and smaller black lettering with an even smaller "Realtor" logo in black.
20x - focused almost okay; some fuzziness around the black letters/logo
60x - focused poorly on the black letters/logo; logo was unreadable

BUSHNELL:
Observations made at 200 yards on an actual target with 9 30 cal. bullet holes; 3 left (in the white), 3 right (in the white), 1 in the red & 2 in the black (near the red):
20x - focused on the round target circles seemed fuzzy with multiple circles; could barely make out the bullet holes.
40x - focused okay; could make out the bullet holes, but not conclusively
60x - focused well; white target rings were the color of the paper, and could easily make out the (sharply defined) bullet holes, even the indentations around the holes in the white; also could see the ones in the black

Observations at over 500 yards focusing on a white sign with red lettering: good at all magnifications

Observations at night at about 500 yards: Blue letters of a shopping mall neon sign were bright but seemed like multiple images and not as good background at all magnifications

Observations of neon sign with green border & red letters: both the border and letters were in focus at the same time.

Observations at 175 yards on a sign with a white background, large red lettering and smaller black lettering with an even smaller "Realtor" logo in black.
20x - focused okay; no fuzziness around the black letters/logo
60x - focused well on the black letters/logo; logo was readable
Significant difference between the two; the BUSHNELL was the clear winner.

GENERAL COMMENTS - VORTEX: The VORTEX looks nicer to me; it's slimmer, less bulky, has a picatinny rail and although I'd probably never use it, it looks cool. It has a dual focus - coarse and fine and they work great; it has a nice "notch" when you're in focus. Vortex has an eye-cup cover that attaches - less chance of getting lost. The objective lens cover is not attached, but has a tab with a hole in it so it can be. It has a fitted case like a wet suit that gives some protection and makes a small compact package for the field.

The VORTEX seemed to produce a slightly brighter image and was better at the lower magnification but had significant chromatic aberrations particularly at the higher powers. However, the VORTEX produced clear images even at higher magnifications when chromatic aberration wasn't a factor (e.g., the blue mall sign). Unfortunately targets are generally black & white - worst case for chromatic aberrations and the VORTEX.

GENERAL COMMENTS - BUSHNELL: The BUSHNELL is bigger, bulkier and heavier and, to me, doesn't look as "cool". It has a dual focus - coarse and fine and they work kind of mushy; it doesn't have a nice "notch" when it's in focus, rather it has kind of a "plateau" where you're out of focus, then in focus for another turn or so, and then out of focus again. The lens covers are not attached and there is no provision for attaching them. The BUSHNELL comes in a rectangular semi-hard case that also serves as a cushion during shipping. As such it is a bit "clunky" looking and not what I would consider a "field case" although it has a shoulder strap.

The BUSHNELL seemed to produce a slightly darker image but was much better in terms of image quality and sharpness at the higher magnification where chromatic aberrations occurred. The BUSHNELL was a clear winner in this regard.

GENERAL COMMENTS ON BOTH:
The VORTEX is around $700 & the BUSHNELL is under $400. Both scopes rotate via a thumbscrew on the tripod mounting ring.

CONCLUSION
If I were choosing based on 20x (and sometimes using it at 60x) and not using it where chromatic aberrations were an issue, I'd probably choose the VORTEX despite the price penalty.

If I were choosing based on 60x (and sometimes using it at 20x) and knowing I'd be using it for target shooting and other applications where chromatic aberrations are an issue and clear images at 60x are a requirement, I'd choose the BUSHNELL even if it was priced as high as the VORTEX.
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47 of 52 people found the following review helpful
on September 13, 2010
Verified Purchase
I got this spotting scope after almos 2 month of research and nine years of experience with scopes, I whent all the way from spotting scope to telescope, and the goal was to spot a .223 or 5.56 bullet at 500 yards, and this scope does tha job with no problems and with the most sharp image you could see. For $400.00 includding delivery this is the best deal out there. You can just compare this quality with Leica or Swarovski but almost $1,200.00 less than those. So I will recomend you to don't waist more time looking around and get this one, you won't be desapointed.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on December 1, 2009
Verified Purchase
Iven in dusk we distinctly did see holes in targets from .223 at 200 yards and .308 at 300 yards.
We used x60 magnification. I can used scope without my eyeglasses with help of fine-tuning adjustment.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on March 13, 2014
Verified Purchase
Most of the reviews for this product were from firing range users, and I wanted to put my 2 cents in as an avid birder. For the price, you can't beat this scope. I considered buying a Kowa scope which would have been $500 more, but I cannot imagine the quality would be much better for any other scope in this price range without shelling out $2k for a Swarovski. I was a little tentative since Bushnell binocular optics are not super sharp as far as I am concerned (I have Zeiss binos which are awesome!), but the image quality on this scope is fantastic. It weighs 5lbs so YOU NEED A STURDY TRIPOD... But any serious photographer would already have one, and any serious birder should consider photography (at least for accurate identification). Zoom ring works great and does not shake or change what you are looking at IF YOU HAVE A STURDY TRIPOD or just know how to use optics. I even zoomed into a seabird burrow 1/2 mile offshore using the hood of my car as a balance no problem just to test it out. If you want a scope for birds and don't want to shell out for Swarovski, this is the way to go.
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25 of 31 people found the following review helpful
Verified Purchase
Real nice ED lens Spotting Scope for a reasonable price of around $400. Rubber coated and has ED glass objective lens for sharp details with less distortion than regular optical glass lenses. Has non-interchangeable zoom lens that goes from 20 to 60x. Has good eye relief and scope feels well made. Light gathering of 80mm objective lens is excellent. Looked at full moon on cloudless night and details were sharp and there was none to little color distortion of moon's rim. Has an attached movable rubberized lens hood and stacked adjustment knobs which provide excellent general & fine tune focus adjustments. Comes with a nice semi-hard case. Great scope and all you will need for terrestrial viewing and Moon as well as making out the inner planets. For a more detailed viewing of the planets you will need a telescope with more magnification power and better light gathering ability of at least a 90mm ED objective lens. The Televue 85mm telescope however is able to give you decent views of the inner planets as well as good views of the huge gas giants Jupiter & Saturn but will cost you around $2500 complete.
The Bushnell Legend 80mm for the money is just one nice premium scope.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on November 23, 2012
Verified Purchase
This scope is so good i cant explain it. Where to begin.......lets start with the fine focusing knob, so that when your digiscoping you can get the fine detail in there. HOW ABOUT THE 80MM LENS SO THAT LOTS OF LIGHT COMES IN FOR A OUTSTANDING VIEW. Who wants to pay $1000 or more just to have a fancy scope? This scope is just as good so dont waste your time and money and get this great scope,you wont be disappointed.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 4, 2014
Verified Purchase
I use this scope for range spotting and it's great for that purpose. I can clearly see with my tired old eyes bullet holes at 200-300 yards without issue. I did have some trouble finding a suitable tripod. My existing camera tripod had a 1/4" mounting screw, and the scope requires I think a 3/8" screw. That was not mentioned in any review or spec that I read on this. I ended up purchasing a new table top scope for this without a head that had a 3/8" male screw that I think will work, but have not received it yet. I also purchased a few adapters between 1/4 and 3/8 to see if they would work. Will try and update this review once I get a chance to try it out. I wish a tripod came with and the specification indicated the mounting type. I may just be too new to the tripod game, but I didn't realize the differences between the mounts until after I purchased the scope - perhaps it's obvious to everyone else. The zoom focus is stiff - hoping that will loosen up with some use. One of my lens caps cracked after a few days, so I'm also looking for some decent flip up lens covers - but the optics and functionality of this scope are great and hard to beat at the price.

Update: it turns out mount is actually 1/4", but it needs a fairly long screw. None of my camera mounts have a screw that is long enough to catch the threads. I found a 3/8 to 1/4 adapter with a longer screw and it now will mount and work. Frustrating, but happy now. It may just be a problem with the threads on mine. May contact manufacturer to see if they can improve this.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Verified Purchase
I took delivery of this spotting scope just a few days ago, so I have not had the opportunity to field test it properly yet. I have done a little local viewing and everything looks great. Colours are very true with no ringing or colour banding. Focusing is very smooth. Zoom is a little stiff but I'm sure it will loosen up a little. Will go to Olango bird sanctuary just outside Cebu, Philippines in a couple of weeks to try it out thoroughly, then it's off to Mai Po reserve in Hong Kong to give it a good work out. It came with a hard case that is a bit bulky so have ordered a soft case that will be easier to lug around. Decided to buy a decent all metal tripod soon (Giottos MTL9271B 3 Section Aluminium Professional Tripod with SLIK SH707E Head).
One thing I have noticed and this is VERY important is the fact that my one at least is focusing down to 12 feet and not the 35 feet that is described in the listing. This is very good news. I am so pleased that I purchased this scope.

Update (28-08-2011): Field tested the scope at Olango Bird Sanctuary and it carried itself impeccably. I was able to easily make out all the intricate markings on an adult Asiatic Dowitcher. The image was bright, even at 60X magnification. I was even able to follow a Gull Billed Tern in flight with no problems.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on July 6, 2013
First of all the magnification and clarity are fantastic for a mid range priced scope.
I use for spotting long range shooting and have had no difficulties walking my friends in to a target at a little over 1000 yards.
The magnification ring can be a little stiff, but when you are using it for my purpose or when you have the range locked in that you want it stays put! That is what most sport shooters want.
I think people who are not happy with this spotting scope are trying to get Swarovski quality at Bushnell prices.
That is like comparing a Ferrari to a Camaro. Both are really good cars but you do get what you pay for and for the money this scope is awesome!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 13, 2012
Verified Purchase
This scope is a quality optic spotting scope, bright and clear view great color of view. And the price is very good IMHO. Amazon gives you quick service and unit ships to you quickly.
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