Bushnell Scout 1000 vs. Nikon 440 and 550

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#1)  Bushnell Scout 1000 vs. Nikon 440 and 550

Postby bbeduhn » Tue Apr 21, 2015 9:41 am

This new Bushnell model is advertised from 5 yards up to a 1000 with a highly reflective surface.  It measures to the tenth of a yard or meter and offers many other features as well.  It can be set to rifle or arrow mode, in addition to regular mode.  This is a bit confusing but it doesn't take long to figure out.  Aside from the 5 yard capability, what really drew me to this rangefinder is that it has a bullseye mode and a brush mode.  While the rangefinder scans in regular mode, it just gives one number when you click the button for both bullseye and brush modes.

Bullseye will cancel out the distant readings, which will be helpful on understory trees.  The brush mode will see an awful lot of use.  I don't know how it works but I assume it sends a narrower beam.  I have a Nikon 550, which gets small details in the crown, bettering the 440, but it suffers greatly shooting through brush.  The 440 sets the standard on brush.  I'm pleased to report that the Bushnell very closely approaches the 440's ability to penetrate brush, but only in the brush mode.  Not being able to scan in the brush mode is a small negative.  It won't make much of a difference in the field.  

The Bushnell has a built in clinometer but it only works in hunting modes.  It doesn't do any calculations like the Nikon Forestry 550.  I'll stick with my Suunto but it's nice to have a second reading if needed.  Switching from regular to bullseye and brush is very simple.  It gets complicated when you through in arrow and all of the rifle modes, of which there is a dozen.  They can be easily bypassed.  For tree purposes, it doesn't seem to make a difference.  If you happen to be measuring redwoods on a tripod, these modes will come up short but if you happen to be measuring redwoods with a tripod, you'll likely be using a mack daddy Trupulse or equivalent.  The Bushnell does have a tripod mount on it.

In comparison of distance between the three models, the Nikons are consistently within a half yard of each other.  The 440 easily beats the 550 in brush.  The 550 gets better detail and smaller twigs in the crown.  More distances pop up when scanning with the 550,  Small twigs at a distance are difficult to hit with the 440. Beech and birch with a small twig protruding resolve in the 550 better than the 440, but only on small twigs.  When measuring tall tulips, the 440 tends to get all but a single twig on top.  On oaks, hickories or pines, I've noticed no difference.  

The Bushnell seems to shoot a little shorter across the board than either Nikon.  I still have to do some calibrating which I hope to get around to this weekend. The hope was that the rifle and arrow modes were coming up short and that regular mode would correct the problem.  The rifle and arrow modes use complex algorithms to determine the bullet or arrow drops dependent on angles to the target. In regular mode, the Bushnell was still coming up a little short.

The tenth of a yard scanning is both good and bad.  It eliminates the having to step up or back to the crossover point, which is very nice, especially when measuring on a steep slope.  It is a bit overwhelming when scanning and the numbers keep moving so quickly.  It takes a steady hand, even when hitting the trunk.  It will take some getting used to. fortunately, you can put it in either bullseye or brush mode, which will lock in the figure.

So far, everything about the Bushnell has been pretty positive...except for the display of yards/meters.  For some ridiculous reason, the manufacturer decided to place the figures below the crosshairs...well below. The numbers are also quite small, comparable to the 550, but the 550 has them above the crosshairs.  The 440 has the yardage above and in large numerals, the way it should be for easy reading. Another issue I have found is that if you hold your eye flush up to the eyepiece, the view is impacted as not enough light gets in.  It's like looking into binoculars with eyecups.  The cup can be folded out of the way, improving light to the display. This is a small issue.

Overall, the 440 remains the standard for shooting through brush.  The Bushnell comes very, very close, which is high praise. The big deal is that the Bushnell is readily available and the 440 is hit or miss used online.  If you're in the market for an inexpensive rangefinder with the ability to shoot through brush, this is a solid option.  I'm hoping that I can get used to the small, out of the way display, as this is the only real negative. The ability to shoot as close as 5 yards is exceptional and will certainly help out when shooting nearly directly up, not having to back away so far from the trunk.  The Bushnell 1000 Scout retails in the $300s but can be easily found in the low $200s, and sometimes as low as $170, a true bargain.

Brian

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#2)  Re: Bushnell Scout 1000 vs. Nikon 440 and 550

Postby Larry Tucei » Tue Apr 21, 2015 5:09 pm

Brian=  Thanks for taking the time to compare the different Rangefinders. I have a Nikon 440 and a TruPule 360. I still use the 440 mostly for its tight penetrating ability. I use the 360 to scan the trees in an area then measure with both devices. My 440 is several years old 9 to be exact and it's good to know what to buy when it comes time for a replacement. Larry

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#3)  Re: Bushnell Scout 1000 vs. Nikon 440 and 550

Postby Matt Markworth » Tue Apr 21, 2015 8:09 pm

Brian,

Thanks, really good information.

As the Nikon 440 gets harder and harder to find, I think it's important that we test/find other equipment that is available at a similar price point. Getting the price point pushed down for entry level folks would go a long way when convincing people to switch from tangent to sine.

For the Bushnell Scout 1000, can it provide an angle simultaneously with distance when in brush mode? It might be nice to shoot those at the same time without needing to pull out the mechanical clinometer.

I guess I've been lucky with my Nikon 440, I've never had any issues with it when trying to hit fine twigs at the tops of trees.

Matt

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#4)  Re: Bushnell Scout 1000 vs. Nikon 440 and 550

Postby bbeduhn » Thu Apr 23, 2015 12:47 pm

Matt,
Unfortunately, the degrees only work in the hunting modes.  it would be nice to get trunk distance and angle together in one shot.  I guess they didn't have tree measurement as their primary goal.
Brian
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#5)  Re: Bushnell Scout 1000 vs. Nikon 440 and 550

Postby Erik Danielsen » Thu Mar 17, 2016 8:57 am

Brian- one thing I'm left wondering is how the Bushnell compares to the 550 in reading fine twigs/detail up high in the crown? This is the main difficulty I have with my current rangefinder, which honestly seems to be getting worse with time.
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#6)  Re: Bushnell Scout 1000 vs. Nikon 440 and 550

Postby bbeduhn » Mon Mar 21, 2016 3:45 pm

Erik,
My 550 seems to have lost a bit of fine detail as well. I've retired it. I got another Nikon model, the Riflehunter, which handily beats the 440 at fine detail in the treetops. It is my go to when I find a fine detailed top. It doesn't scan nearly as well as the 440, and although it penetrates brush fairly well, it still falls well short of the 440. My 550 scans fairly well but the 440 always picks out the farthest hit while the 550 doesn't always. I'm very pleased with the duo of the 440 and Riflehunter. The Bushnell shoots a little short. There just isn't one out there to replace the 440.
Brian
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