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Bushnell Excursion 8x42 Binoculars

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Bushnell Excursion 8x42 Binoculars

Postby ET on Thu Aug 21, 2008 7:28 am

How do these compare with the Monarch 8x42?

I do not badly need any of these, I have three 8x32s and two 10x42s. But I have never had a 8x42. The best I could afford now is a Pentax 8x43, but that would be a stretch.

As you may know...folks, this is serious, don't get into it this much if you can avoid...I have stuggled between 8x and 10x for years. I think my final top level binocular will be an 8x32, or maybe 8x30 Swarovski SLC. Maybe not big 3, but close.

So I am just spending time exploring the 8x42. If I like it, I will bird with it this winter. I have a scope so no need to carry a 10x around for ducks and gulls.
ET
 

Postby Jne_K on Thu Aug 21, 2008 7:45 am

Hi

The Excursion has been a best seller for the asking price of $150, but no $150 binocular will be a $300 binocular in terms of optics. Here is a recent test I did between the very similar Alpen Pro 10x42 and the Excursion 10x42. Note that neither matched up against a good $300 bino, such as the Carson XM HD.

Shootout Excursion 10x42, Alpen 390 Pro 10x42

Focusing, Smoothness, Effort, Evenness: Excursion
The Excursion was unusually good for a binocular this price - no high spots or play with reasonable effort. The Alpen required only a little more effort, but had a couple of high spots and some barely detectable play

Resolution: Excursion
The Excursion was slightly above average for a 10x at this price, while the Alpen rated only slightly less. I rate them as very good for binoculars at this price, but not quite at the level of a good $300 binocular, such as the Carson XM HD, which I used as a control.

Brightness: Alpen Pro
The Alpen gave a detectably brighter image, rating it above average for a binocular at this price.

Contrast: Tie
I was very pleased by both - clean images with little washing out or stray reflections

Edge Sharpness: Excursion
The Excursion rated above average at about 80% sharp across the field . The Alpen tested a more average 70%

Barrel Distortion (Least): Excursion
Both about what I expected at this price, but neither was objectionable. The Excursion had slightly less.

Color Correction: Excursion
The Excursion rated a very good, with only a little purple fringing on bright objects. The Alpen had a more noticeable green tint around bright objects. Both are quite satisfactory, however. Should not be an issue.

Handling: Tie
Both binoculars were very similar in size, weight and feel. Typical nice roof prism handling.

Overall, I was quite pleased with what I saw, considering the prices. Binoculars at this price have shown a lot of improvement in optics in the last five years. No, neither binocular matched the Carson XM HD I used as a control for resolution, contrast, color correction and so on, but the differences were not as great as the prices suggest. I would have no hesitation recommending either model for someone on a budget of less than $200. Both great values, but, no, neither is a good $300 binocular, despite glowing reviews.
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Postby ET on Thu Aug 21, 2008 8:08 am

Thanks, I will recommend the Excursion to at least people who are looking for a beginning binocular. I have looked at Vortex Diamondback and though pretty good value, I had some reservations. Both the Diamondback and excursion have wide FOV, good for beginners and for birding with migrants in spring.

The 300 dollar "best of" is then a different issue. I just tell them to go to a store at that point. Try them out.
ET
 

Postby Jne_K on Thu Aug 21, 2008 11:05 am

Hi ET

Yes, a binocular in the hand is always the best test when possible. Just wish there were more stores that had even a small selecton of optics. Until then, price is a pretty good place to start.
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Postby ET on Mon Sep 08, 2008 8:52 am

There is also an EX version of both the 10x and 8x Excursion. How are they different from the regular?

http://www.opticsplanet.com/bushnell-ex ... 44208.html

The open frame body is in use by Leupold and otheres to mimic high end products. If it gives a lighter binocular, fine. The optics is the issue. They are a bit more expensive. It would seem the optics are not identical.
ET
 

Postby Jne_K on Mon Sep 08, 2008 9:01 am

Hi

Overall, optics will be the same. The difference gained by an open bridge design is handling. Not a significant difference in terms of weight. An open bridge design tends to balance and handle better than a conventional body design, but, as always, handling is a very subjective feature. It may or may not be worth the extra expense for you.
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Postby ET on Mon Sep 08, 2008 9:12 am

Thanks. I think the weight might be an advantage, I like about 21oz. Plus
"Receive a FREE Bushnell Backpack when you purchase a Bushnell Excursion EX Binocular. More Details"
The backpack is a better deal than the camo jackets they offer with some binoculars.
ET
 

Postby Jne_K on Mon Sep 08, 2008 9:43 am

You are very welcome, as always, ET. Really appreciate all your great input on our forum.
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Postby ET on Thu Nov 06, 2008 8:18 am

Have examined the Excursion EX a bit now, only the 8x36. It seems well made, and I kind of like the optics better than Monarch 8x36. Seems the field is flatter. Sharpness is really good for a 140 dollar item. In size it is very small, many big handed people will prefer the 8x42. And the open frame is innecessary in the 8x36, too small to be of advantage. But there seems to be plenty of light. Compares well with Eagle Optics SRT 8x32 which I had with me to compare. The EO gives a more solid, durable feel in hand.
ET
 

Postby Jne_K on Thu Nov 06, 2008 8:22 am

Great feedback. Thanks ET. Keep it coming.
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Postby ET on Mon Nov 10, 2008 7:45 am

I went and got the 8x36 but it is now back to the store. It developed, or had a diopter that was not "0" at the real zero. So mine ended up almost at the end to fit my eyes. Three days use, then I gave up. It may be a problem with the unit or with the design. Sometimes diopter set rings come loose and are out of control at that point.

I also did not want to explore the other EX at this point. I have a 8x28 excursion, which is fine with the diopter. So I will just ignore the Excursion EX series for now until I hear any more from other users.

In my opinion the Diamondback 8x42 and regular Excursion 8x42, as well as Excursion 8x32 are all still OK beginner, or "spare" binoculars. We fanatics just have too many spares.
ET
 

Postby sHr on Mon Nov 10, 2008 10:04 am

ET, do you have any preference between the Excursion and the Diamondback? You mentioned back in August that you had some reservations about the Diamondback. I'd love to hear your comparison of the two.
sHr
 

Postby Jne_K on Mon Nov 10, 2008 10:12 am

Hi

One issue I had with a Diamondback that I tested was the rather ough focusing. No, I don't expect a lot at this price point and it may have just been a bad sample.
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Postby ET on Mon Nov 10, 2008 1:44 pm

sHR, sorry I do not recollect the 8x42 Diamondback well enough. I was comparing it to 500 dollar binoculars at the time, and the colors were a little flat and the overall image was less in living color. I would have to see it agin next to another 8x of roughly the same size. Right now I only have a 8x42 porro. I like it, the Legend porro. A bit stiff focus.

But I have two 8x32 roofs that I have kept, both ran about 250 dollars a year or two back, and I did not see this effect on those.

One has to live with a few deficiences at the 200 and under mark, but I still want the diopter to be useful.
ET
 

Postby ET on Tue Nov 18, 2008 8:04 am

Comparing the cheaper Vortex Diamondback and Bushnell Excursion 8x42, I would say they come very close to the Monarch in sharpness. I do not have a Monarch to compare to, but my guess is that the Monarch would beat them in brightness. Also, there is a slight warm tone to the color in the Excursions. Monarchs are closer to plain white.

My Monarchs are 10x so I can't really compare. But my 10x Monarchs seem to be as bright as these two.

If you want these, buy them for the wide field of view and overall reliable build. Excursion only, can't vouch for Excursion EX.
ET
 

Postby ET on Wed Nov 26, 2008 2:48 pm

I did like the Excursion 8x42 pair overall, very comfortable.

I had them a week or two and they went back. It is too easy to return items! I was little short of cash so I exchanged them for a tripod, which was more urgent.

I wish the 8x36 EX model had been of better build. Reliable. The diopter issue. I quite liked the compact design. But there are so many models out there these days, the consumer is really a bit stronger than before, to try and return and keep only the very best fit and feel. Postage is only some 6 dollars.
ET
 

Re: Bushnell Excursion 8x42 Binoculars

Postby Jne_K on Wed Aug 18, 2010 8:06 am

I understand about the selection issue. Very few outdoor stores have the capital to carry that kind of inventory, anymore. That's why selection in the binocular market has gone to internet dealers like OP.
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Re: Bushnell Excursion 8x42 Binoculars

Postby Guest on Tue Nov 09, 2010 10:48 pm

The difference benefitted by an open bridge design is handling. Not a significant departure in terms of weight.
Guest
 

Re: Bushnell Excursion 8x42 Binoculars

Postby Jne_K on Wed Nov 10, 2010 10:01 am

I agree. Have not seen a great deal of difference in weight with open bridge designs, all else equal.
Thanks for posting with us
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