Binoculars are an investment that can directly impact your enjoyment of spending a day outdoors.
From being able to view scenery with a higher level of clarity, to watching birds or spying on an animal that would elude you if you tried to get closer to it, binoculars have the power to help create memorable experiences in the great outdoors.
If you are like me though, you probably want to get as many benefits from binoculars as possible, but probably don’t want to spend a ton of money on them. This is why I began to research the best inexpensive binoculars I could find for my upcoming adventures outside.
The Bushnell Legend Ultra HD 10×42 Binoculars provide a lot of features that you would expect in a higher priced pair of binos, but at a cost that could make these very attractive to your budget. Of course, there is no ‘perfect’ pair of binoculars, every person’s needs will be different. With that in mind we are going to cover what we like and don’t like about the Bushnell Legend Ultra HD so that you can decide if these are right for you.
Use the table of contents below to jump right to a feature you are specifically curious about or else read on while we take a closer look at the Legend Ultra HD 10 x 42 binoculars.
Bushnell: At the Leading Edge of Sports Optics
Bushnell have been leaders in the world of sports optics for more than 65 years. They have a great reputation for making high quality products, and their binoculars are where they really have built their reputation. Bushnell have created a wide range of binoculars that will meet the needs of all types of people, from hunters to birdwatchers, to sports fans and people looking to get a better view of the world around them.
Ultra Wide Band Coating
One of the aspects that people rave about with these binoculars are the rich colors that the lenses provide.
Bushnell uses an anti-reflection coating process called Ultra Wide Band Coating that is customized for every lens element in the binoculars. What this means, is that the maximum amount of light is able to make its way from the front lens all the way to the eye piece. The less loss of light through the lenses is what gives you a clear bright image when you are looking through the binoculars.
The quality of the images you’ll see are great for a binocular in this price range. The colors are very true to life and their is a rich contrast in the colors which will give you a very life-like view of what you are looking at it.
The contrast also gives a very sharp viewing experience. Using these to look at something like a tiny branch or the leaves on a tree and you will notice that the details of the image really pop.
Field of View
In case if you are new to buying binoculars, you might find it confusing what the different numbers mean and what exactly are the best for you.
These binoculars are 10 x 42. What this means is that the object you are looking at is going to be 10 times the size that you would see it with the naked eye. Obviously, the higher this number the larger what you are looking at will appear.
The 42 is the circumference of the outer lens. The larger the circumference of this lens allows for more light to pass into the binoculars, and help create a larger viewing area and produce a clearer image.
You might think that you want the largest numbers possible, but it’s really a matter of what you are looking to use your binoculars for. One drawback when you increase the magnification is that it can become more difficult to get a steady image. Any slight movement of your hands while you try to look through your binoculars is also magnified. Also, if you aren’t using the binoculars to view objects far enough away, it can be difficult to focus in on nearby objects when the magnification is increased.
With the Legend Ultra HD you are going to have around a 65 degree angular field of view. There are some reports of slight fading near the edges of what you are looking at through the binoculars, but it’s very minimal, and with the large field of view you are still getting a very impressive viewing experience for the price of these binoculars.
Water Proof / Fog Proof
Bushnell uses what they call Rainguard HD Water Repellent Lens coating. Their patented coating causes moisture, from rain, snow, or other condensation to bead up and not disrupt the light as much as it passes through the lens. Having water and fog proof lenses can save you from having difficulty using your binoculars if you happen to be using them in less than ideal weather conditions.
We saw some reviews that said that the waterproofing is so good on these binoculars that you could put them in to your kitchen sink and still have no trouble using them. I don’t think I would recommend trying this out, but it can be good to know that if you do have an accident with your binoculars when you are out in the field they will still work well.
Ease of Use / Comfort
Bushnell’s Legend Ultra HD 10×42 binoculars are fairly compact and lightweight. Their dimensions are 7.1″ x 6.1″ x 3″, and they weight just a little under a pound and a half (1.43 pounds).
They are constructed with a lightweight magnesium chassis, which provides a durable and lightweight shell for your binoculars. The chassis is covered with a comfortable non-slip rubber and will allow you to keep a good grip on your binoculars while out in the field. Bushnell also provides a gel layer between the magnesium body and the rubber outer shell. No matter what your grip is like the gel will help provide extra comfort to your hands, and you aren’t at the mercy of the manufacturer deciding how most people will hold their binoculars.
We found the Legend binoculars to also be very comfortable on our eyes. With and without prescription glasses we had no trouble using these binoculars. They come with twist out silicon eye cups that provided a comfortable viewing experience, and we imagine that we could use these for quite some time without having any trouble on the eyes, or difficulty holding these lightweight binoculars up.
Bushnell’s Legend Ultra HD 10×42 is on our short list of inexpensive binoculars we are considering investing in this year.
We really like rich colors and contrast and the wide range of view that these provide. While a little more expensive than Bushnell’s Powerview binoculars we reviewed last fall we felt that they provided a better experience for way we enjoy using our binoculars out on the trail.
We also feel comfortable buying Bushnell products. They are a company with a good reputation for high quality outdoor optics, and we know that they provide excellent customer service. There are so many choices these days when it comes to buying binoculars online, we like to know that the company we choose is reputable and isn’t just throwing a label on a generic set of binoculars and calling it their own.