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Old Thursday 13th February 2014, 20:44   #1
vfr1952
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Bushnell 7x26mm Elite e2 Compact Binoculars

I was thinking of getting a pair of Bushnell 7x26mm Elite e2 Compact Binoculars.How do they compare with Leica and Zeiss compacts.
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Old Thursday 13th February 2014, 21:33   #2
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The Iconic 7x26 Bushnell has reverse Porro Prisms rather than roof prisms which the Leica and Zeiss. It also has larger exit pupils than the 8x20 Leica and Zeiss compacts and will be brighter than they are when used in twilight conditions. It's field of view of 360'@1000 yards is wider than the Leica and Zeiss's 335'@1000yards.

It is bulkier because it has single hinge construction and objective lenses that are 6mm wider than the Leica and Zeiss, both of which have double hinge construction allowing them to be folded into a smaller package to carry around.

It also is well constructed but it is not waterproof like the other two are. And it costs quite a bit less. The up side is that it is optically as good as or even better than the other two are. The Bushnell 7x26 has earned it's reputation as a "cult classic" binocular!

Bob

PS: Read the customer reviews of it from the Eagle Optics web site:

http://www.eagleoptics.com/binocular...pact-binocular

Last edited by ceasar : Thursday 13th February 2014 at 21:46. Reason: Add PS
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Old Thursday 13th February 2014, 23:01   #3
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The Bushnell is a very nice little binocular. In terms of exit pupil, over two times brighter than 8x20 and hence rather more useful on less than sunny days. Unlike the roof models it's not waterproof so a bit more care is needed and being a bit bigger it's a tight fit for some jacket pockets. There is more eye relief for spectacle wearers if that's relevant. The view is sharp, the ergonomics are great, it's a very nice binocular to use.

If smaller size and waterproofing are important the Hawke Sapphire ED 8x25 is similar money to the Bushnell and the Nikon Monarch 7 8x30 not much bigger though a little more expensive.

David

Last edited by typo : Thursday 13th February 2014 at 23:07. Reason: Calculation error
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Old Thursday 13th February 2014, 23:15   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vfr1952 View Post
I was thinking of getting a pair of Bushnell 7x26mm Elite e2 Compact Binoculars.How do they compare with Leica and Zeiss compacts.
The Elite e2 is a very fine binocular, that, because of it's unusual reverse-porro design, often gets overlooked. I love mine. To get to your question, I took it during a walk this weekend. Other birders (a couple, both with Zeiss 10x20 compacts), asked to look at mine. I always enjoy the "wow" reaction I get when people look through them. I used to use a Leica 8x20 but after getting the Elites the Leicas now collect dust.

Also, I think the reverse porro design actually makes them even more "hand-holding"/ergonomically friendly than your standard compacts.

Almost needless to say, they're each buying one next month.
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Old Saturday 15th February 2014, 12:16   #5
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You can't beat the view of the 7x26 Bushnell with any of the littler 8x20's. The only question is whether the extra size and weight are acceptable for your choice of "compact." Users lean both ways on that question.

The color balance of the Bushnell isn't quite state of the art though. It's a little dull and yellow, but without a side-by-side comparison you'd probably never notice. All else is as good as it gets IMO. Sharpness, contrast, ease of view, stability at 7x, all:

Mark
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Old Saturday 15th February 2014, 13:30   #6
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[quote=ceasar;2928246]

It is bulkier because it has single hinge construction and objective lenses that are 6mm wider than the Leica and Zeiss, both of which have double hinge construction allowing them to be folded into a smaller package to carry around.


Bob

Hiya Bob

Just a minor additional bit of info. Don't forget the Zeiss Victory Compacts that have a single hinge (bit still fold up) and some people find easier to handle than the double hinge bins. The baby Victories probably suit right-handed people better, straight out of the box, but lefties can use them alright just not as instinctively.

Lee
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Old Saturday 15th February 2014, 15:07   #7
ceasar
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[quote=Troubador;2929256]
Quote:
Originally Posted by ceasar View Post

It is bulkier because it has single hinge construction and objective lenses that are 6mm wider than the Leica and Zeiss, both of which have double hinge construction allowing them to be folded into a smaller package to carry around.


Bob

Hiya Bob

Just a minor additional bit of info. Don't forget the Zeiss Victory Compacts that have a single hinge (bit still fold up) and some people find easier to handle than the double hinge bins. The baby Victories probably suit right-handed people better, straight out of the box, but lefties can use them alright just not as instinctively.

Lee
You are right. I have the 8x20 Victory.

However, Zeiss also sells an 8x20 Conquest which has 2 hinges and costs almost two hundred dollars less than the 8x20 Victory. It has roll down eyecups and comes with a leather case.

http://www.eagleoptics.com/binocular...r-leather-case

OP didn't specify which one he was talking about. Even Cabelas has confused them in their catalogs, although they have it correct on their website now.

Bob
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Old Saturday 15th February 2014, 20:05   #8
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[quote=ceasar;2929306]
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Originally Posted by Troubador View Post

You are right. I have the 8x20 Victory.

However, Zeiss also sells an 8x20 Conquest which has 2 hinges and costs almost two hundred dollars less than the 8x20 Victory. It has roll down eyecups and comes with a leather case.

Bob
Absolutely right Bob. I have never tried to bendy Conquest though having been put off by a double hinge Leica pocket some years ago.

Just wondered if a single hinge jobby might suit better

TroubaLee
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Old Saturday 15th February 2014, 21:44   #9
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I wouldn't worry about hinges. They all work fine assuming they're tensioned correctly. And I've seen loose single hinge as much as double hinge. The real question is size. That's why they're called "compacts." How small is compact, for you. That's the real question.

The 8x20's are all undoubtedly "compact," but they also carry handicaps, and one or two hinges has little to do with that. We're talking brightness and exit pupil primarily. That's just physics; live with it or...get a bigger "compact," in which case the debate shifts to size and weight.

Not that hard, really. You just have to choose. That's why I've had a tough time of it.

By the way, you can't convert the double hinge compacts to single hinge by only using one side unless your IPD is quite narrow, around 55mm as near as I can tell. Not good for me. I'm about 64mm.

Mark
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Old Saturday 15th February 2014, 22:34   #10
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I always think of an 8x20 as being that size of necessity, for long travel, or at work,
and paired with a bigger home pair. It can really cut your day short at twilight.

The 7x26 is more of an 'all-purpose', if you can afford the bulk but want to take-with.
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Old Saturday 15th February 2014, 22:51   #11
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I wouldn't worry about hinges. They all work fine assuming they're tensioned correctly. And I've seen loose single hinge as much as double hinge. The real question is size. That's why they're called "compacts." How small is compact, for you. That's the real question.

The 8x20's are all undoubtedly "compact," but they also carry handicaps, and one or two hinges has little to do with that. We're talking brightness and exit pupil primarily. That's just physics; live with it or...get a bigger "compact," in which case the debate shifts to size and weight.

Not that hard, really. You just have to choose. That's why I've had a tough time of it.

By the way, you can't convert the double hinge compacts to single hinge by only using one side unless your IPD is quite narrow, around 55mm as near as I can tell. Not good for me. I'm about 64mm.

Mark
Mark,

If the double hinged 8 x 20s objective tubes flap up and down on the hinges 180 degrees like the older Trinovid BN and the Zeiss Conquest do it is difficult to use them like a single hinge binocular like the Zeiss Victory.

But if the tubes have stops at 90 degrees like the 8x20 Leica Ultravid, Nikon LX L and Swarovski 8x20 and 25CLP do one can use them in a single hinge fashion from either side. If you are right handed simply extend the right tube as far out as it will go (It will stop at 90) then look through it with your right eye and then open up the left tube far enough to accommodate your IPD on your left eye. My IPD is 68 and there is plenty of room for a wider IPD. In effect it makes them work like the Zeiss Victory's work.

Bob

Last edited by ceasar : Saturday 15th February 2014 at 22:54.
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Old Sunday 16th February 2014, 04:03   #12
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Mark,

If the double hinged 8 x 20s objective tubes flap up and down on the hinges 180 degrees like the older Trinovid BN and the Zeiss Conquest do it is difficult to use them like a single hinge binocular like the Zeiss Victory.

But if the tubes have stops at 90 degrees like the 8x20 Leica Ultravid, Nikon LX L and Swarovski 8x20 and 25CLP do one can use them in a single hinge fashion from either side. If you are right handed simply extend the right tube as far out as it will go (It will stop at 90) then look through it with your right eye and then open up the left tube far enough to accommodate your IPD on your left eye. My IPD is 68 and there is plenty of room for a wider IPD. In effect it makes them work like the Zeiss Victory's work.

Bob
Ah, now I get it. But aren't you still basically using them like dual hinge compacts anyway? You still open both sides, just to varying degrees. So why not just take them out, open them however they will, and use them that way? They only go in the case fully folded.

O-Nut: "size of necessity" is not a bad way of thinking about the little 8x20's. Some will indeed consider it a necessity. Next time I backpack 200 miles or watch a Broadway show from the cheap seats I might myself.

Last time I used 8x20's for a show was watching Philip Seymour Hoffman in "Death of a Salesman." I got the cheap seats. Best in the house, first row center, would have been close to $1K. Should have gone for it. RIP, Philip.

Mark

Last edited by Kammerdiner : Sunday 16th February 2014 at 04:22.
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Old Sunday 16th February 2014, 04:27   #13
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Ah, now I get it. But aren't you still basically using them like dual hinge compacts anyway? You still open both sides, just to varying degrees. So why not just take them out, open them however they will, and use them that way? They only go in the case fully folded.

Mark
Noooo.

Why don't you go to the gurus of Absam and ask SONA why they have designed their compacts to work in this manner?

Bob
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Old Sunday 16th February 2014, 14:28   #14
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I guess I still don't get it. My ideal compact would be an 8x28 reverse porro of alpha caliber. Make it light (10 ounces or less), compact, single hinge, waterproof, and 360' FOV.

Name your price, Absam.

Mark
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Old Sunday 16th February 2014, 14:40   #15
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I guess I still don't get it. My ideal compact would be an 8x28 reverse porro of alpha caliber. Make it light (10 ounces or less), compact, single hinge, waterproof, and 360' FOV.

Name your price, Absam.

Mark
Mark,

It would be too big.

Pentax makes a 9x28 Roof Prism which barely fits into a large shirt pocket. I have one. My son trekked around Peru, Bolivia and Chile with it 2 years ago so it's small enough for backpacking. An 8x28 Reverse Porro would be almost as long and wider. He is down there again and this time he is using a discontinued Single Hinge 8x25 Roof Prism Columbia Back Country made by Kreuger with a 360' FOV. (Remarkably good binocular for it's $89.00 close out price! Even for it's regular price of $240.00!) It's larger overall than the Swarovski 8x25CL P.

http://www.eagleoptics.com/binocular...rism-binocular

Bob

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Old Sunday 16th February 2014, 14:49   #16
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No, BIG difference in size between roof and reverse porro. Reversing the porro objectives makes things much smaller.

You're absolutely right about the Pentax. Too big. I tried it for a week and sent it back. Not really a "compact."

Mark
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Old Sunday 16th February 2014, 14:52   #17
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Hi Mark

My twin hinge Leica didn't have loose hinges as such, I personally didn't get on with two barrels. Whenever I focussed them, tried to adjust the dioptre, twisted myself round to view excessively left or right or just up, I seemed to alter the IPD. Blame it on me.

The single hinge just suits me fine.

But your assertion that it comes down to size and weight and one's definition of pocket bins is spot on.

Swaros pocket 25mm CLs seem to answer a different question although they answer it very well and are as beautiful as any Swaro. The 8x25 is nearly 3/4 inch taller and 4 ozs heavier than 8x20 Leica Uvid pocket and Zeiss Vic Compact.

This size and weight difference puts it in a different category IMHO as does its 25mm ob lens of course.

Lee

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Old Sunday 16th February 2014, 15:14   #18
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Hi Mark

My twin hinge Leica didn't have loose hinges as such, I personally didn't get on with two barrels. Whenever I focussed them, tried to adjust the dioptre, twisted myself round to view excessively left or right or just up, I seemed to alter the IPD. Blame it on me.

...

Lee
Lee, I think you're right, but it really is about IPD. The smaller the exit pupil, the more you have to adjust it for distance and simply getting it to line up with your eyes. For me, 8x20 is pushing the limits. I like the 8x25 CLP, but the 7x26 Bushnell is still an "easier" view. It just has other deficits that make me prefer the Swaro. Close call though.

Mark
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Old Sunday 16th February 2014, 15:54   #19
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Have you looked at the Nikon 8x20 Premier LX, Compact Water Proof Roof Prism Binocular with 6.8 FOV.

Mike
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Old Sunday 16th February 2014, 16:29   #20
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No, BIG difference in size between roof and reverse porro. Reversing the porro objectives makes things much smaller.

You're absolutely right about the Pentax. Too big. I tried it for a week and sent it back. Not really a "compact."

Mark
I should amend this. Using the reverse porro can make the binocular much smaller. Nikon blew it with the Prostaffs, for instance--too big and heavy. Big chunks of aluminum covered in rubber. But consider the goofy Olympus 8x25 reverse porro Tracker (now discontinued). It was simply amazing (I still have two versions of it), but the FOV was limited and they used some kind of plastic aspheric lens that turns yellow over the years. Yucky yellow at this point. Nonetheless it was 10 ounces and sharp as anything out there.

Start with that, work some techno magic, and you can rule the realm of compacts.

As for the Nikon 8x20, well it's still hamstrung by being an 8x20. I don't think you can escape that basic law of optics.

Mark

PS: Bushnell sort of blew it on the 7x26 for the same reasons Nikon did. Too much aluminum, too much rubber. The Custom used to be smaller, lighter.

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Old Monday 17th February 2014, 17:40   #21
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Ah, now I get it. But aren't you still basically using them like dual hinge compacts anyway? You still open both sides, just to varying degrees. So why not just take them out, open them however they will, and use them that way?...
Unfolding dual-hinge pocket bins with positive stops asymmetrically has three advantages:

1. Speed/simplicity in unfolding (no need to check for symmetry, can be done by feel).

2. Results in a consistent unfolded shape, so it always fits the hand the same way, which facilitates automating hold them to the eyes in a consistent way, which facilitates seeing through tiny bins with tiny exit pupils.

3. Allows positioning the focus knob under the pad of the focusing finger rather than the finger tip, making focus operation faster and easier (since the reach is more similar to a full-sized bin). The asymmetrical single-hinged Zeiss Victory accomplishes the same, but it is only a match to those who focus with the fingers of the right hand. Dual hinge designs like the Leica Ultravid allow the bins to be unfolded asymmetrically for either right or left hand focusing.

--AP
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Old Monday 17th February 2014, 20:28   #22
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Unfolding dual-hinge pocket bins with positive stops asymmetrically has three advantages:

1. Speed/simplicity in unfolding (no need to check for symmetry, can be done by feel).

2. Results in a consistent unfolded shape, so it always fits the hand the same way, which facilitates automating hold them to the eyes in a consistent way, which facilitates seeing through tiny bins with tiny exit pupils.

3. Allows positioning the focus knob under the pad of the focusing finger rather than the finger tip, making focus operation faster and easier (since the reach is more similar to a full-sized bin). The asymmetrical single-hinged Zeiss Victory accomplishes the same, but it is only a match to those who focus with the fingers of the right hand. Dual hinge designs like the Leica Ultravid allow the bins to be unfolded asymmetrically for either right or left hand focusing.

--AP
Alexis, Bob: I will give it a trial run.
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Old Tuesday 4th March 2014, 13:09   #23
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As for the Nikon 8x20, well it's still hamstrung by being an 8x20. I don't think you can escape that basic law of optics.

Mark
For me, a big part of that is the 8x. I'm accumulating old 7x20s, 7x21s, and 7x25s.
All reverse porro, though. The eye ease, shake, brightness, depth of field,
and exit pupil are all better for a pocket size. In cheaper models the sharpness is far better at 7x.
Those 7x21 'Brick' Bushnell/Tasco/Jasons are all crisp and easy to use.

Quote:
PS: Bushnell sort of blew it on the 7x26 for the same reasons Nikon did. Too much aluminum, too much rubber. The Custom used to be smaller, lighter.
They were going for the weather seal and high precision at the same time.
The older Mirador-style 'moving eyeglass' focuser is also very exposed to bumps and dings. I have to be more careful when out with mine.
Still, the newer Elite/Customs are bulky. Sort of a 'piled ham sandwich'. Get rid of the rubber,
some redesign, and maybe a slip to 7x24 would help. I have some ruggedized
Bushnell 8x23s that trounce models above and below size-wise. Not bulky, either.
At 7x23 + wide view they would be so much better.


I may still succumb to the 7x26 Customs anyway.

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Old Tuesday 4th March 2014, 18:36   #24
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Just keep in mind that even the current Customs aren't waterproof. Still a great little binocular.
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Old Tuesday 4th March 2014, 20:19   #25
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Sorry...when I look at the bulk I assume water resistant. Sheesh,
now the bulk seems odder.
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