Bushnell SpaceMaster 15-45x 60mm Zoom Kit Spotting Scope Review

Bushnell SpaceMaster 15-45x 60mm Zoom Kit Spotting Scope

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- Very small form factor makes it easy to carry into the field
- Backpack-style carrying case included
-Outstanding image quality


- Extremely short eye relief
- Included tripod is very poor quality

Welcome to my review of the Bushnell SpaceMaster 15–45x 60mm Zoom Spotting Scope. Bushnell’s optics are often quite good, but every once in a while I’ll spot a lemon. I was anxious to check out the SpaceMaster and see which category it fit into, so here are my thoughts.

First, the nitty gritty details. This spotting scope sports a 60mm objective lens, with the straight eyepiece that may be great for use through a car window but doesn’t fit my needs too well for birdwatching or stargazing. Oh well. It’s built with a compact, collapsible design that makes it easy to cart around. The scope measures just 12.7 inches long, and weighs a mere 2.69 pounds.

The problem with the design is that it affords a very miniscule amount of eye relief – just 11mm. This is almost incomprehensible, it’s so short. If you wear eyeglasses, you won’t possibly be able to enjoy the full field of view, and even without them you’ll find yourself almost pressing your entire eyeball into the eyepiece.

What Do I Get?

Okay, let’s move on to what you get for your hard-earned money. Bushnell includes the following items in the box:

  • The Bushnell SpaceMaster 15–45x 60mm Zoom Spotting Scope itself
  • A backpack carrying case
  • A scope glove
  • A compact tripod

The carrying case and scope glove are very well made, and I especially like the glove for helping keep a steady grip on the spotting scope. The tripod, on the other hand, I could easily do without, because it’s next to useless. It’s shaky, wobbly, and overall very poorly made. Ditch it and get a professional tripod.

How Powerful Is the Spotting Scope

Total magnification for this glass is variable from 15X to 45X, and the image quality is outstanding across all powers. You shouldn’t notice any chromatic aberration at all, instead enjoying fantastic color reproduction no matter how far away your subject is.

A compact spotting scope often means a narrow field of view, but this model is a bit of an exception. From 1,000 yards, you’ll be able to see 42 feet of terrain at 45X magnification, or a full 125 feet at 15X power.

Is It Difficult To Use?

The SpaceMaster is built to a bit of an odd paradigm as far as the controls are concerned. The magnification wheel is right where you’d expect it to be, on the eyepiece, but the same cannot be said for the focus knob. Instead of being front and center, the focus mechanism is built into the right rear of the spotting scope, just below where the eyepiece enters the scope. It makes for some awkwardness as you’re getting used to the placement, which will be compounded if you’re a southpaw.

On the other hand, both the magnification wheel and the focus knob offer plenty of knurling and ridging to accommodate easy use with slippery or gloved hands.

How Well Does the Bushnell SpaceMaster 15–45x 60mm Zoom Spotting Scope Gather Light?

This spotting scope has quite good transmittance, thanks to its 60mm objective lens drawing in the light and the fully multicoated making the best possible use of it. While Bushnell doesn’t advertise the scope’s twilight factor, it’s clearly quite good and I’ve been able to use this scope in very early morning hours. I’ve also had good luck using it for basic astronomy, viewing the moon and Jupiter, although the straight eyepiece design makes this slightly uncomfortable.

How Are the Optics and Focus on This Spotting Scope?

Within the inner workings of the Bushnell SpaceMaster, you’ve got a porro prism design utilizing BaK–4 prism glass. There’s absolutely no phase shift, thanks to appropriately applied phase correction coating.

Focus is smooth and crisp, and the controls offer just enough resistance to prevent you from accidentally bumping things out of whack.

What’s the Housing Like?

Bushnell touts this as using a “new, rugged design,” and they aren’t lying. The housing is rubber armored, with ridges to make it easy to keep a positive grip on the glass even when wearing gloves. The included scope glove makes it even easier, providing you with a steadier hold on the glass. The base of the scope includes a tripod mount, but said mount cannot be rotated for different viewing angles. The housing also includes a “peep sight,” allowing you to look through with the naked eye to guide your view before you begin to zoom in and focus.

How Durable is the Scope?

Bushnell has built the SpaceMaster to last, with its rugged rubberized armor and a design that is fully fogproof and waterproof. The lenses are O-ring sealed, and the optics chamber is nitrogen-purged. The spotting scope is covered by a limited lifetime warranty, but you should note that it is not covered by Bushnell’s Bulletproof warranty, as some Amazon listings might lead you to believe.

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Bushnell SpaceMaster 15-45x 60mm Zoom Kit Spotting Scope Review Summary

Thanks for reading my review of the Bushnell SpaceMaster 15–45x60 spotting scope. This glass offers a stunning view with HD clarity, but the extremely short eye relief might make it difficult for many users to enjoy.

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Jeff Byrnes

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Hi there! I’m Jeff, an avid outdoorsman and hunter who really likes exploring new technology. I’m especially into hunting optics, which is why I’m writing these reviews! I hope you find my articles helpful in your own shooting and hunting.

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