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Bushnell 10x42 Legend Ultra HD (Realtree Camo)


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Bushnell 10x42 Legend Ultra HD (Realtree Camo)

By Scott Beith

I would like to share a little bit about my background before the review. I started in astronomy as a young kid with a small refractor on a wobbly mount. I left the hobby for many years and returned to it in 1999. By 2002 I became serious about astronomy and have been helplessly addicted ever since. I have owned and used the following binoculars in the past: Bushnell Powerview 12X25 Compacts, Bushnell Powerview 12X50, Oberwerk 8X42 WP Roof Prism, Oberwerk 11X56, and the Coronado 12X60 Binomite II Solar Binoculars. I currently own the binoculars under review (Bushnell 10X42 Legend Ultra HD) and a pair Steiner 8.5X26 Wildlife Pro.

I purchased the Bushnell 10X42 Legend Ultra HD binoculars through normal channels from Cabela’s. I have no financial or other interest in Bushnell or Cabela’s other than being a satisfied customer.

The specifications listed in this review are provided by the manufacturer. I did not measure or test magnification, resolution or effective aperture (with the exception of checking for obvious light cutoff).

I recently purchased the Bushnell 10X42 Legend Ultra HD binoculars because I wanted a high quality, roof prism, mid-sized set of binoculars that would work well for general field use, nature observations and astronomy.

Bushnell 10X42 Legend Ultra HD (Realtree Camo) Manufacturer Specifications

Magnification: 

10X

Objective Diameter: 

42mm

Weight: 

22.5 oz.

Eye Relief: 

15.2mm

Field of View: 

340 ft @ 1,000 yards

Dimensions: 

(inches) 5.5 L x 5.0 W

Close Focus: 

6.5 feet

Average Price: 

$309.95

Purchase Price (After Rebate): 

$239.00

The Bushnell 10X42 Legend Ultra HD is a mid-sized, roof prism, single hinge, center focus, waterproof, and fog proof set of binoculars. The Bushnell Legend HD’s are a good looking observing tool. They are heavy as the metal frame is obvious in the sturdy construction of these binoculars. The camo exterior is attractive and the optics are very sharp, bright, and clear. The glass used in the Legend Ultra HD’s is ED glass of some type, and that assists in controlling chromatic aberration, otherwise known as false color. Chromatic aberration appears in binoculars with normal glass as a slight blue fringing on high contrast objects such as a dark object backlit by a bright sky or the edge of the Moon. The optics are fully multicoated, ensuring excellent light transmission. I checked the optics and I could not detect any light cutoff from the prisms. The Bushnells are easy to hold steady, even with the higher magnification over the Steiners. The focuser is smooth and the tension in the hinge is quite stiff, ensuring it doesn’t shift in use. The twist up eyecups are plastic and are the only aspect of these binoculars that doesn’t seem “top of the line”. They work well and don’t shift under pressure when pressed against my face, so I am not displeased. They just don’t seem as upscale as the rest of the construction. For eyeglass wearers the eyecups can be used in the lowered position. The manufacturer states a close focus distance of 6.5 feet, and I find that the close focus listed on the specifications is pretty close to what I observe when using these binoculars.

The included hard case is nice, with the exception of the zipper. One of the two zipper pull tabs allows the zipper to open behind the tab. I simply pull that tab all the way to one end of the zipper, and use the other tab to open the case. I will be contacting Bushnell for a replacement case. The neck strap is made of material that appears to be neoprene (like a wetsuit). It has a leather tab at either end and the strap is wide enough to be comfortable. Also included with the Legend Ultra HD’s is a harness for carrying the binoculars. I haven’t had the opportunity to use the harness yet, but I have tried it on and it is comfortable.

In daytime use they have proven to be an outstanding observing tool. I have been using the Bushnells to observe birds and squirrels in my backyard and even at dusk they provide bright, high contrast views of all targets. Distant buildings, trees, powerlines, etc… are shown in sharp detail.

In night time use these 10X42’s are excellent. Stars are pinpoint to 85% out from the center, and soften slightly in the last 15%. As I mentioned previously, the optics are sharp, bright, and clear. I do not detect any signs of chromatic aberration when viewing high contrast targets such as the full Moon. This is due to the use of ED glass in the 10X42 HD’s. Other binoculars I have owned show a touch of chromatic aberration at the edge of the full Moon. These binoculars are incredibly sharp. Sharper than any I have previously owned. Nebulosity in M42 (the Orion Nebula) was bright and showed a lot of detail considering I am handholding a pair of 10X binoculars. M45 (the Pleiades), the Hyades, and the Moon looked fantastic. The craters on the Moon were very sharp and well defined. Running these side by side with the little Steiner 8.5X26 Wildlife Pros makes the aperture advantage of the Bushnells jump out on targets such as M42 and the craters of the Moon. The jump from 26mm to 42mm allows an observer to go quite a bit deeper on DSO’s and open clusters.

For someone looking for a good general purpose pair of binoculars with outstanding optics and build quality, the Bushnell 10X42 Legend Ultra HD is an excellent option. They perform very well in daytime observations of wildlife and other distant points of interest. As an astronomy binocular, they provide sharp pinpoint stars, ED glass which eliminates chromatic aberration, and a good weight to keep them nice and steady as you scan the night sky. They are very comfortable, clear, sharp, and bright. I am definitely satisfied with my purchase.




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