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Bushnell Legend M 10x42 short review

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#1 tjshot

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 08:17 AM

Hello,

I consider the Bushnell Legend M 10x42 one of the best bargains available at the moment, taking into account the good opto-mechanical qualities and the current sale price of 180 USD (at least in the USA).

Below my impressions after 3 months of use.

Cons first:
Effective eye relief lower than stated: about 4mm are lost from eyepiece lens to plastic eyecup rim in the lowest position. This spoils the view a bit for eyeglasses wearers, which lose about 10% of the (very wide) AFOV.

Lateral chromatic aberration visible starting from about 60% of AFOV (red/green fringes), yet medium at best in the extreme borders.
Tested in bright overcast days.

Constrast in the sweet spot good but still far from competitors in the 1000 USD price range.

Weak resistance to stray light: objectives are placed at the very end of the barrels, probably due to long focal length design, thus are very exposed to lateral light sources. Limits the use at night but also reduces contrast in bright overcast daylight when uniform sky luminance dominates the scenery.
Chinese coatings are still not up to the task of taming stray light for such exposed objectives.
Custom made, deep objective shades improve the situation but add to the already relevant bulk of the binocular.
Twilight performance however is still very good due to efficient light transmission and because reduced ambient light takes a lesser toll on coatings and evens out artificial light sources.

Very stiff diopter adjustment in right eyepiece (twist-up and set type), took about one month of continuous use to loosen up a bit. Perfect now.

Pros:
Very wide AFOV available for user without eyeglasses prescription. Sweet spot about 80% of AFOV, not refocusable at the borders. 20% Blur due mostly to astigmatism, based on star test. Very high resolution in the sweet spot. (Contrast however lacking a bit). At least in my sample, extremely good focus snap in both barrels (barrel \"synchronicity\"), fast and very smooth focus knob with decent precision (only minimal amount of play). Refocusing is fast and easy, a real pleasure. Better than some alpha binos in this respect... A sign of good collimation and objective centering, which is far from common in this price range.

Not vulnerable to rolling ball effect, due to good amount of distortion. Panning is very pleasant for a 10x.

Longitudinal chromatic aberration is practically absent in all the AFOV. Depth of field is extremely good for a 10x, probably due to long focal length design.

Light transmission appears to be very good, at least on par with my Minox HG 10x43 APO. Seems to be in line with instrumental measures from Allbinos.

Optical performance at close focus distance is extremely good, comparable the aforementioned Minox which is my 10x reference in this respect.
Unusually good 3D rendition too, for a roof.

Low weight.

Exceptionally good balance and ergonomics: long barrels are an easy grab also for big hands, barrel indents offer good thumb rests, weight leans towards oculars. All this results in a very stable view, remarkably free of shakes for a 10x. In this respect it\'s better than all my other 8x and 10x binos, included nikon 8x32 se which is one of my \"ergonomics champions\" ...

Pretty good construction for my sample : no visible dust specs inside barrels, clean prisms, knife edge baffles in barrels and good internal blackening.
Spherical and evenly illuminated exit pupils testify for well-sized prisms, despite the wide AFOV.

Summary: A very decent bino per-sé, it becomes an absolute steal at current (Q3 2019) sale prices. I got mine for 250 USD included import to EU. The 160-180 USD going price in the USA makes it the best bargain in the whole binoculars market at the moment. Probably a design influenced by Zeiss Victory Sf, with very long objective focal to minimize aberrations. This binocular strikes a good balance of excellent ergonomics and nice optics, and is only let down by lower than average stray light protection and so-so eye relief for eyeglasses wearers.

Edited by tjshot, 19 October 2019 - 09:38 AM.

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#2 vkhastro1

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 08:30 AM

Excellent review of the Bushnell Legend M 10X42 binocular, definitely a Best Buy at its price point.

I love mine !

 

I use mine mainly for daytime applications.

I prefer my 8X42 version for nighttime viewing - hand holding for 8X is much more forgiving with the bonus of a very wide FOV.


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#3 tjshot

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 03:29 PM

Excellent review of the Bushnell Legend M 10X42 binocular, definitely a Best Buy at its price point.
I love mine !

I use mine mainly for daytime applications.
I prefer my 8X42 version for nighttime viewing - hand holding for 8X is much more forgiving with the bonus of a very wide FOV.


Thank you.
I did not try the 8x42 version, but I assume most of the good qualities will carry over to the larger pupil.
Regards

Simone


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