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Bushnell Elite 80 Angled Review

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Old Friday 9th February 2007, 21:46   #1
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Bushnell Elite 80 Angled Review

I have looked through all the different scopes, and yes the very expensive ones are very nice but this scope is just fine. It has a nice bag with strap and a screw on lens cover with sun shade. I have purchased and returned the Pentax 80 and Bushnell Browning 65. The Browning was a very nice straight 65mm scope for $400. The Pentax was very heavy, long and had optical problems. The Bushnell Elite 80 for $700 is a very nice scope. It is easy on the eyes to look through even with glasses and is light and not too long. The only grip is the fold down rubber cup, I wish it had a screw out cup. The fold down eyecup does lend itself well to a good seal on the camera for digiscoping though. I also purchased the Bogen 3001BD tripod, 701RC2 head and window pod, they also work well.
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Old Sunday 11th February 2007, 17:40   #2
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Thanks for the review. I purchased an Elite 80mm very recently as well and have mixed emotions. In fact, I'm contemplating returning fit or the Pentax PF-80. However, more than one person told me that the Pentax isn't worth the extra money (approximately $400 more), although I would like to find out for myself. You mentioned the Pentax you ordered had 'optical problems' - would you elaborate?

You're right in that the Elite 80mm is a good 'bang for buck' scope, but it isn't without it's problems. Despite having an ED element, I've noticed color fringing under certain situations. I don't like the fold-down eyecup either - it would seem to me that incorporating a more modern, push/pull system would not increase the cost too much.

One of the reasons this scope is inexpensive is that it has seen little improvements over the last 15 years. That said, I ackowledge that the Leica Televid hasn't had any improvements since it was released 15 years ago and it has increased in cost!) At that time, the Elite was considered amongst the best there is, but that is no longer the case. However, in defense of the Bushnell, the image is sharp, reasonably bright throughout the zoom range, and has a superb close focus. And for approximately $700 I suppose it's hard to complain about its shortcomings.

I guess the one thing I'm having real difficulty with is the 'skinny little eyepiece.' I'm experiencing problems with vignetting with this unit (I really love the beefy eyepieces that the likes of Zeiss, Leica and Pentax offer, although I realize that bigger isn't always better)

Again, I'm curious as to what sort of 'optical problems' your Pentax had. Thanks in advance
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Old Friday 9th March 2007, 22:41   #3
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The first Pentax I received had a speck of material or a chip in the glass inside the scope and the eyepiece was stuck on 20X, I had to mount it to force it loose, it never was very smooth after that. The second scope I received was out of focus on the left side about 20-25%, I rotated the eyepiece with no effect. The rubber housing was loose on the rear on both scopes, they are very long, very heavy and I found them to be dark viewing at 60X. The second scope caused more CA, purple fringing, when used as a digiscope. It was very difficult to find a good view, kept blacking out, I think the eyerelief is overstated, did not work well with eyeglasses, and the screw out eyecup did not work well for digiscoping, light kept reflecting off the eyepiece into the lens.

Last edited by PCC : Friday 9th March 2007 at 22:48.
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Old Saturday 10th March 2007, 01:49   #4
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Jaeger - I just sold my Bushnell Elite and bought the PF-80. I think the Bushnell had good performance on the lower powers, but once it got up above 35-40x it started losing its sharpness. The Pentax is nice and clear throughout the entire range - I don't have any problems at 60x. It is a bit heavier than the Elite, but it's also almost an inch shorter. If you're worried about the price, I got mine from Doug at It was a demo unit for $850 and comes with the full warranty. I'm wondering if my unit was a demo inside a glass case, because I couldn't find any evidence it has ever been touched - they eyepiece was never even taken out of the packaging. As for me, I am very happy about the switch. Good luck whichever way you go.
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