Bushnell Ultra Legend HD Review

The Bushnell range of binoculars is quickly gaining a legion of fans, largely due to the superior optics and very competitive pricing.

The Bushnell range of binoculars is increasingly gaining in popularity. Many customers and industry experts found the optical ‘bullseye’ or ‘sweet spot’ to be slightly smaller than the average provided by most binoculars. However, the power that the image packs within that sweet spot is what will sell the binoculars and compensate for the smaller size of the optical sweet spot. Bushnell is providing all these advantages at a very affordable price. Read on for the rest of our Bushnell Ultra Legend HD Review.

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The binoculars were captivating enough to draw our attention to the new developments in the image reproduction mechanism which, supported by the low dispersion ED glass, have resulted in the creation of a very fulfilling user experience.

Bushnell Ultra Legend HD Features and Build Quality

Even though it is a little uncommon at this price, Bushnell’s product design department made the right call when it came to building the HD binoculars on a frame made out of magnesium. The magnesium provides a sturdy architecture at a lower weight than an aluminum build, it was discovered, and that the binoculars were fairly easy to carry around for long periods of time without experiencing fatigue in the hands. The Bushnell binoculars are not as high or tall as other models either. The 10X42 model stands at 5.75 inches with their eyecups fully extended.


It was found to possess the identical “soft-touch grip” that many other versions have. A gel pad is the characteristic feature of these Bushnell binoculars. This gel pad is positioned beneath the rubber armoring to allow people with a variety of hand sizes and grip styles to comfortably hold the binoculars in their hands for long periods of time. The rubber armoring is also made somewhat flexible so the effectiveness of the gel pad is very vividly felt by users. The gel pad has been appreciated by most customers, who consider it the main reason they can use the binoculars for long periods without any numbing sensation in their hands.

A stock version thread tripod adapter is at the front of the hinge of the bridge connecting the lens tubes. It’s something that would be expected from a standard-sized binocular and, especially with the ED glass, ultimately makes for better utilization of this optical instrument. It is recommended for Bushnell binocular fans, as well as any other user of a decent quality standard-sized binocular, to also buy a tripod and a tripod adapter to provide image stability in the field.

The Bushnell binoculars are made waterproof and fog-proof by using dry nitrogen gas in place of normal air. The Legend HD also has a water-repellent coating on the outer surface of the lens which, according to the organization, is there to stay permanently. The characteristic behavior of this coating is that it will cause water, snow, or any form of moisture to slide off to produce a better view. So, as a consequence, one advantage that this binocular provides is that it allows the user to wash it very conveniently in any place and makes it the ultimate binocular to carry on a “no fuss wanted” trek.

Eye Relief and Eyecups

The eyecups that are installed onto this magnesium frame are a two-step design which has an option of extending half way and going back to the original position if the binoculars are just pushed towards the face, which is a very convenient feature. The increments that can be made after the halfway mark are of 3mm each. The levels of eye relief for the Bushnell Legend binoculars are different for different models. The 10X42 model has a lower than average eye relief of 15.2mm while the 8X42 model possesses the most eye relief with 17.2mm. A handful of customers also complained that these eyecups do not extend enough to offer an easy and comfortable viewing experience to people who wear glasses. However, most appear to do well with it.

Rain Guard and Lens Covers

The rain guard installed in the Bushnell HD’s optical pieces is made out of a soft rubber which is very stable wherever you place the binoculars on your face because of friction. The rubber used for the rain guard is not so soft that it would be damaged by regular use but is flexible enough to be used roughly in extreme conditions.

The covers for the objective lenses are made out of the same material as the rain guard. While that rubber material was a perfect fit for the rain guard, it seemed a bit brittle for use in lens covers to the point that we were actually concerned about losing the lens caps. Instead of opting for the risk of misplacing or, even worse, losing them, it is advisable to store them in the binocular case’s pouch.

Case and Strap

The binocular case is a hard-shell, molded case with zippers along the three sides and a hinge made out of fabric on the bottom. There are two zipper runners, so it makes opening the case very easy within a short time. A protrusion between the binocular tubes fits into both of them to keep them steady during storage. The other side has a net coming down almost halfway that makes a very good-sized “pocket” to hold lens covers and other optical peripherals. And, of course, the storage case is big enough to store the binocular harness.

The strap provided with the Bushnell HD is a comfortable one — but it is a bit more than just being simply comfortable. It possesses a series of nylon-covered cushioning structures that distribute the load all over the neck strap. This is done so that the nylon cushions will help to keep the strap off a person’s perspiring sore neck. With this functionality, this pair of binoculars would be accepted by anyone and everyone who has spent at least one humid afternoon with a neck strap sticking to their necks.

A carry-strap for the case is provided, with a lint-free bag with a drawstring for the binoculars and a microfiber lens cleaning cloth completing the binocular kit.

Bushnell Ultra Legend HD Review
Bushnell Ultra Legend HD Review

Optical Features and Image Reproduction

Bushnell claims that the Legend binoculars offer a 340ft field of view at 1,000m. The angular field of view of this particular set of binoculars is approximately 6.46⁰, not what you find in a high-end pair of binoculars. But the angular field of view for the Bushnell Legend is not bad as it serves the purpose for which it was made.

The optimal optical spot found in the Bushnell Ultra HD is indeed a very sweet spot with the resolution and clarity it provides in its images. The optimal optical position is also almost free of any kind of chromatic aberration. However, the range in which this pair of binoculars provides such results is a tad bit small to be precise.

The multicoated glass installed in the binoculars is certainly a great contributor to the reproduction of images. The fluorite coated glasses with extra-low dispersion qualities prevent chromatic aberration and enhance the device’s potential to reproduce better images. The prisms of the Bushnell binoculars are made out of BAK4 glass which also helps in increasing contrast and reduces internal light dispersion. The image is even more improved with the silver coating on these prisms. The “ultra-wide” coating coined by Bushnell is actually a portion of the anti-reflective coat given by Bushnell to increase light transmission along the complete spectrum.

The binoculars optical sweet spot intuitively and automatically adjusts to the object on which you want to focus, making it an amazing handheld optical instrument. However, being a handheld optic, it does not provide the stability which can improve the viewer experience because of various factors like breathing and shaking of the hands.

Aside from the 10X25 pocket variant belonging to the Bushnell binoculars, the exit pupil is quite acceptable with a range from 3.60 to 5.30mm and serves the purpose quite well for most adventure enthusiasts. The higher extremes of the exit pupils are more efficient in low light environments.

The color reproduction in the Bushnell binocular was, as usual, impressive with the optical heavyweights installed into it. But it was found to be somewhat biased towards the yellow tones. Outside of the optical sweet spot, there was a significant chromatic aberration.

The specifications provided for the 10X42 Legend claims that its close focus distance is 6.5ft. The close focus distance measured by various industry experts was found out to be 6.0ft. This range certainly is acceptable and falls within the 8.0ft close focus distance that is recommended for bird watchers.

Diopter Adjustment

Most adventurers, travelers and bird watchers prefer a locking mechanism on the diopter adjustment mechanism because of the inadvertent changes that have a chance of occurring in a non-locking framework.

The diopter adjustment system within the Bushnell binocular consists of a ring just below the right ocular cup. With the eyecup fully extended, it’s a very easy process to slowly pull the ring toward the ocular cup. After hearing or feeling a click sound the users can turn the ring to find the most comfortable adjustment suitable for their eyes. When the user is content with the position of the binoculars, all one needs to do is push the ring into the eyecup until such time that the user wants to change the setting again.

Advantages

  • Built on a magnesium frame which keeps it light and very handy in extremes of temperatures.

  • The magnesium provides a sturdy architecture at lower weights.

  • The flexible rubber armoring used along with the underlying gel pad adds to the ergonomics and comfort of the equipment.

  • “Rainguard HD” water-repellent coating on the outer lens surfaces which instead of obstructing the viewer experience enhances it.

  • The binocular is made waterproof, dustproof and prevents condensation in the lens tubes.

  • The user can wash it very conveniently in any place and it is the ultimate binocular to carry on any type of journey.

  • Eyecups are very comfortable and are easy to use.

  • The rain guards are made out of a very secure rubber material.

  • Modern, lightweight and durable case provided for the binocular which provides multiple compartments for maximum utility.

  • High tech cushioned nylon provided by the strap which prevents it sticking to the users’ necks thus increasing comfort.

  • All the highly advanced optical components used in the binocular to reduce chromatic aberration and other defects.

  • An acceptable range for the close focus as well as the exit pupil measurements.

  • A very convenient and user-friendly locking mechanism used for the diopter adjustment on this binocular.

Disadvantages

  • Eyecups do not extend enough to provide an easy and comfortable viewing experience to users with glasses.

  • Rubber material used for lens covers is too brittle and has a possibility of getting damaged or lost.

  • The range for the optical sweet spot is small.

  • Chromatic aberrations are found to be noticeable out of the optical sweet spot.

Warranty

The Bushnell binoculars are protected by the Bushnell Bulletproof Guarantee. It guarantees that the optical device will be free of all flaws in materials and manufacture for the complete duration of the life of the instrument. Otherwise, it will be repaired or replaced for a certain amount to compensate for shipping and handling of the repaired or new pair of binoculars.

Conclusion

Since the Bushnell binoculars are available at quite an affordable and sensible price, it’s difficult to look for serious negative points to offset the price of the product. The Bushnell binoculars are definitely not perfect. However, the Bushnell Ultra HD is a perfect value for the money for anyone who has developed a new interest in sports and adventure activities who needs a pair of binoculars.

The Bushnell Ultra HD is no doubt a “solid value for the money” optical device and anyone would be comfortable recommending it to newbies who do not want to spend a great deal of money but would also like good quality equipment to pursue their interests. The target market who would be particularly happy with this equipment range from hunters to bird watchers to anyone interested in outdoor activities.

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