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February 4th, 2012

$35.00 Off Discount Code for Optics Planet has a vast selection of riflescopes, spotting scopes, binoculars, red dot sights, and rangefinders. But OpticsPlanet sells much more than just optics. You’ll also find compasses, knives, flashlights, sunglasses, even hunting boots and outdoor clothing. And now you can get $35.00 off with any order of $300.00 or more. What’s more, OpticsPlanet provides FREE UPS Ground shipping to the contiguous 48 states on most orders over $29.95. To save on your order, use Coupon Code 69B8A7F during online check-out. (Some restrictions apply). Discount Code

Steiner Binoculars Offer Good Value
Steiner binocularsWhile you’re shopping Optics Planet, check out the Steiner Military Marine 8×30 Binoculars ($249.00) and 7×50 Marine Binoculars ($324.99). This Editor has used these binoculars on hunts and hikes, and they offer excellent performance for the price. Steiner binoculars, with their wide porro-prism design, may seem old-fashioned, but don’t let that put you off. At SHOT Show an executive of a competing optics maker told us: “The porro-prism offers great field of view and depth of field at 7-8X power. You can produce a better optic at a lower price with this porro-prism design. However, we don’t use the porro-prism in our binoculars because we think consumers prefer the narrow styling of roof prism [straight lens body] designs.”

Steiner binoculars

Steiner binoculars

If styling were not a controlling factor, you’d see more porro-prism binoculars. Experts says that porro-prism binoculars will produce a brighter image than roof-prism binoculars of the same magnification, objective size, and optical quality, because the roof-prism design employs silvered surfaces that reduce light transmission by 12% to 15%. Roof-prisms designs also require tighter alignment tolerances for their optical elements (collimation). This adds to their expense since the design requires the use of fixed elements that need to be set at a high degree of collimation at the factory.

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February 6th, 2009

Bushnell Wins Military Contract for Compact Elite Spotting Scope

For someone looking for a lightweight, compact, under-$400 spotting scope, we’ve been impressed by the Bushnell Elite 15-45x60mm. This straight-view spotter employs a roof-prism design to achieve high magnification with a short footprint. It is rubber-armored for durability.

Bushnell Elite Spotting Scope

The Elite® 15-45x60mm is just 12.2 inches long and weighs a mere 26.5 ounces. Fogproof, waterproof, and shockproof, the Elite series of spotting scopes (there is also a 20-60x70mm version), also feature Bushnell’s patented Rainguard® lens coating. Field tests have shown that the hydrophobic Rainguard coating really works — condensation from rain, fog or snow forms in much smaller droplets than with standard coatings.

The U.S. military apparently agrees that the 15-35x60mm Elite is a lot of scope for the money. Bushnell Outdoor Products was recently awarded a contract for a special military version of the Elite® 15-45x60mm spotting scopes. The spotting scopes will be used by multi-national forces around the world. Bushnell started shipping the units in late 2008.

Bushnell Elite Spotting Scope

Government buyers were impressed by the performance of the Elite 15-45 in a small, affordable package. The Elite 15-45x60mm is a compact unit that is easy to carry and quickly set up. Bushnell will make some modifications to the spotting scopes to meet military specifications. For more info, visit or call 800-423-3537 for consumer inquiries.

No Substitute For Higher Power and Bigger Objectives
We recently field-tested two premium spotting scopes (Pentax 100mm and Swarovski 80mm), to determine if they could resolve 6mm bullet holes at 600 yards. They both did. In good viewing conditions, a premium spotter can resolve 6mm holes at very long ranges, but you’ll want at least 55x power (and more is better — 80x is not too much in ideal viewing conditions). Our test scopes had 100mm and 80mm objectives. Don’t expect this compact Bushnell 15-45x60mm to perform on a par with a $2000.00 spotting scope with more magnification and bigger lenses.

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