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Old Tuesday 14th February 2012, 03:48   #1
cappi
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Bushnell 7x26 Elite Custom vs Elite e2 Custom

Without the original box how can you tell if the binocular is a 7x26 Elite Custom or the later 7x26 Elite e2 Custom?
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Old Tuesday 14th February 2012, 08:06   #2
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Somebody may correct me, but I think it is simply that Bushnell and the retailers have got into a mess with the naming of the Elite series. I don't think the model has changed since the plastic bodied 7x26 Custom, was changed to the metal bodied 7x26 Elite. They have just appended to list successive versions of the Elite roofs as those have changed.

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Old Tuesday 14th February 2012, 08:26   #3
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Typo..You have a (little) share of the mess too!...
The Elite Custom has a Plastic body,too!...but You are right sometimes is called the elite E2 only by association with the other models in that series..same with specifications..sometimes shows as having phase-coating or to be totally waterproof,just because other models in that E2 series have those features...That is not unique to bushnell,and many other brands and retailers get similar mixed-up data in their web sites
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Old Tuesday 14th February 2012, 08:49   #4
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Typo..You have a (little) share of the mess too!...
The Elite Custom has a Plastic body,too!...but You are right sometimes is called the elite E2 only by association with the other models in that series..same with specifications..sometimes shows as having phase-coating or to be totally waterproof,just because other models in that E2 series have those features...That is not unique to bushnell,and many other brands and retailers get similar mixed-up data in their web sites
I'm not about to strip off the plastic armour of my Elites to check, but I'm pretty confident they are metal bodied. The weight increased from about 12oz to 14 oz (340g to 390g) at the same time.

David
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Old Tuesday 14th February 2012, 09:11   #5
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Its pretty easy to read the Bushnell catalog where all the features that are asterisked do not apply to the 7x26 Custom Elite such as hybrid lens, XTR coating, PC3 Phase coating, magnesium armored body, and waterproofing. And they are still listed at 12oz.

Cappi

The older 7x26 Custom ( model 12-0726) was made from 2004-2008 and had a different body style than the Custom Elite (model 62-0726) which started in 2009.
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Old Tuesday 14th February 2012, 09:46   #6
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The current one is definitely heavier than the previous model I tried. Both my kitchen scales show 14oz. Suspect Bushnell just did a cut an paste on the web site. Couldn't say about the composition of the metal and other details though.

David

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Old Tuesday 14th February 2012, 09:55   #7
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David
The Elites are a little heavier than the Customs as they are a bigger bino and have the twist up eyecup mechanism which adds weight. Besides, I never saw a bino that didn't weigh more on a postal scale than what the manufacturer advertises.

Tom
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Old Tuesday 14th February 2012, 11:37   #8
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Probably labouring the point, but I'm not alone in thinking the current one is metal bodied.
http://www.binocularsblog.com/2009/0...m-compact.html

David
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Old Sunday 19th February 2012, 23:16   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cappi View Post
Without the original box how can you tell if the binocular is a 7x26 Elite Custom or the later 7x26 Elite e2 Custom?
Easy, there is no such thing as an Elite e2 Custom! Many people continue to confuse this e2 designation. There were only two e2 Elite models made, 8 x 42 and 10 x 42. These ran as an Economy Elite line (TWO E's = e2 = Economy Elite, get it?) while the superior full bore regular Elite 8 x 43 and 10 x 43 open bridge models were being made. The e2 line is discontinued. No 7x26 was labelled e2, but many retailers did so in confusion caused by Bushnell's own website, which allowed the main data block for the full size e2 to stay up when you clicked on the 7x26 Elite Custom model. (This also led to much confusion over them being waterproof, they are not.)

The Elite Custom 7 x 26 - Model 62-0726, is fully rubber armored with twist up eye cups and was successor to the Custom Compact 7 x 26 - Model 12-0726. Bushnell's Model 12-0726 had a polycarbonate body and partial rubber armor on the top and sides only, with soft roll down rubber eye cups. This version was made from 1993 to 2004 as the Bausch & Lomb Custom Compact - Model 61-0726, and from 2004 until 2008, as the identical Bushnell Custom Compact - Model 12-0726, when the Elite Custom replaced it. There has been only one model of Elite Custom 7 x 26 made, and it is still the one in production, Model 62-0726. It says Elite on the left body side and Elite Custom in the center of the focus wheel and has a round inset logo on top of the right body that says Bushnell Birding Series. It is said these are magnesium bodied under the rubber armor, but I can't tell by comparing my Elite Custom to my polycarbonate body B&L one. They look awfully similar just peering inside!

The 1993 and earlier Custom Compacts were metal & leatherette bodied, the final one being marked as Bausch & Lomb, model 61-7261, and this last metal one had green multi-coating (my 1993 one is as bright as my newest Elite one). The earlier metal ones had blue coatings and were marked as Bushnell, model 10-7261. There are several minor variations of the old metal ones as well. These are as sharp as the newest B&L metal ones, but they are not as bright. The later Bushnell 1980's thru the Bausch & Lomb 1993 metal ones had improved eyepieces and diopter adjustment, and can focus a bit closer than older original Bushnell 1960's thru 1970's vintage ones. These are the later ones with neck strap eyelets on the outer sides of the body rather than the inner sides of the body in the middle of the eyepieces. This version began as Bushnell marked but was changed in the last few years of production to the Bausch & Lomb with better coatings before the 1994 complete (and unfortunate) polycarbonate re-vamp.

The latest Elite 42mm full size line with ED glass continues to be confused with the discontinued e2 line because they are similar in appearance, but the newest Elites are better quality than the e2 and can be distinguished at a glance by heavy metal neck strap loops on the side of the body and the ED glass marking on the left eye cup. The e2 bodies had QD flush strap mounts like the open bridge 43mm Elites and has e2 marked in the center of the focusing wheel.

Mike V.

Last edited by Mike V : Sunday 19th February 2012 at 23:30.
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Old Monday 20th February 2012, 01:40   #10
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Nice post! --AP
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Old Friday 25th May 2012, 20:42   #11
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I believe...

that Mike is correct. The confusion may have come from the fact that a couple of online retailers initially listed the Elite Compacts as "Elite e2 Custom Compacts" in 2009 (I think Midway USA was one).
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Old Friday 25th May 2012, 23:00   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike V View Post
there is no such thing as an Elite e2 Custom! Many people continue to confuse this e2 designation. There were only two e2 Elite models made, 8 x 42 and 10 x 42. These ran as an Economy Elite line (TWO E's = e2 = Economy Elite, get it?) while the superior full bore regular Elite 8 x 43 and 10 x 43 open bridge models were being made. The e2 line is discontinued. No 7x26 was labelled e2, but many retailers did so in confusion caused by Bushnell's own website, which allowed the main data block for the full size e2 to stay up when you clicked on the 7x26 Elite Custom model. (This also led to much confusion over them being waterproof, they are not.)
I'm curious why then Bushnell.com calls them the Elite e2 7x26.
http://www.bushnell.com/products/bin.../elite/620726/
Look near the middle where it says "Specs for Elite e2 7x26 mm [620726]".

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Old Friday 25th May 2012, 23:51   #13
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I think the current incarnation of the Elite 7x26 which superseded the previous plastic bodied Custom was introduces just at the end on the original Bushnell Elite reign so marginally pre-dates the E2 and the current Elite ED/HD. It has remained the same whereas the bigger 'Elites' have changes significantly. It's just been included in the listing with the others as a convenient category.

David
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Old Wednesday 6th June 2012, 18:26   #14
Mike V
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark9473 View Post
I'm curious why then Bushnell.com calls them the Elite e2 7x26.
http://www.bushnell.com/products/bin.../elite/620726/
Look near the middle where it says "Specs for Elite e2 7x26 mm [620726]".
Read the part where I say their website continues to list them as e2 because of the way the website is confusingly arranged. The box that they come in and the actual binocular do not say e2.
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Old Sunday 27th January 2013, 16:18   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike V View Post
Easy, there is no such thing as an Elite e2 Custom! Many people continue to confuse this e2 designation. There were only two e2 Elite models made, 8 x 42 and 10 x 42. These ran as an Economy Elite line (TWO E's = e2 = Economy Elite, get it?) while the superior full bore regular Elite 8 x 43 and 10 x 43 open bridge models were being made. The e2 line is discontinued. No 7x26 was labelled e2, but many retailers did so in confusion caused by Bushnell's own website, which allowed the main data block for the full size e2 to stay up when you clicked on the 7x26 Elite Custom model. (This also led to much confusion over them being waterproof, they are not.)

The Elite Custom 7 x 26 - Model 62-0726, is fully rubber armored with twist up eye cups and was successor to the Custom Compact 7 x 26 - Model 12-0726. Bushnell's Model 12-0726 had a polycarbonate body and partial rubber armor on the top and sides only, with soft roll down rubber eye cups. This version was made from 1993 to 2004 as the Bausch & Lomb Custom Compact - Model 61-0726, and from 2004 until 2008, as the identical Bushnell Custom Compact - Model 12-0726, when the Elite Custom replaced it. There has been only one model of Elite Custom 7 x 26 made, and it is still the one in production, Model 62-0726. It says Elite on the left body side and Elite Custom in the center of the focus wheel and has a round inset logo on top of the right body that says Bushnell Birding Series. It is said these are magnesium bodied under the rubber armor, but I can't tell by comparing my Elite Custom to my polycarbonate body B&L one. They look awfully similar just peering inside!

The 1993 and earlier Custom Compacts were metal & leatherette bodied, the final one being marked as Bausch & Lomb, model 61-7261, and this last metal one had green multi-coating (my 1993 one is as bright as my newest Elite one). The earlier metal ones had blue coatings and were marked as Bushnell, model 10-7261. There are several minor variations of the old metal ones as well. These are as sharp as the newest B&L metal ones, but they are not as bright. The later Bushnell 1980's thru the Bausch & Lomb 1993 metal ones had improved eyepieces and diopter adjustment, and can focus a bit closer than older original Bushnell 1960's thru 1970's vintage ones. These are the later ones with neck strap eyelets on the outer sides of the body rather than the inner sides of the body in the middle of the eyepieces. This version began as Bushnell marked but was changed in the last few years of production to the Bausch & Lomb with better coatings before the 1994 complete (and unfortunate) polycarbonate re-vamp.

The latest Elite 42mm full size line with ED glass continues to be confused with the discontinued e2 line because they are similar in appearance, but the newest Elites are better quality than the e2 and can be distinguished at a glance by heavy metal neck strap loops on the side of the body and the ED glass marking on the left eye cup. The e2 bodies had QD flush strap mounts like the open bridge 43mm Elites and has e2 marked in the center of the focusing wheel.

Mike V.
Mike V,

Thanks for that excellent and informative post.

Do you (or does anyone) have a timeline for the early days of the Bushnell/B&L Custom 7x26? When was it originally introduced?

I know that it was selected by NASA for use by astronauts on Gemini spaceflights in the mid-1960s, but I've heard that the design goes back even further, to the 1950s.
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Old Monday 28th January 2013, 17:16   #16
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The Custom 6x26 in SimonS's collection has a JB code for Taisei Kogaku Kogyo (Tamron) which Bushnell used in the '50s and 60s and were involved in subcontracted binocular manufacture from 1952. I'm sure I've seen earlier versions of this moving objective, compact design.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/binocul...in/photostream

David

Last edited by typo : Monday 28th January 2013 at 17:49.
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Old Monday 28th January 2013, 21:01   #17
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I found this from a transcript of an interview with David Bushnell.

"Paul McGuire was the design engineer of the 7 x 35 prototype that we sent to Japan with a request
to make such a binocular, which became the Custom model, the first model of our own design. He
also did the Custom Compact. This would have been close to 1960. We used him from time to time,
but he was not on our staff. Later on he worked for Tamron, designing their aspherical lens
housing."

http://www.europa.com/~telscope/bushnell.txt

David
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Old Tuesday 29th January 2013, 08:58   #18
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Typo,

Many thanks for the quote and the links. "Around 1960" seems to be time the original Bushnell Custom Compact 6x25 (8º) and 7x26 (7º) models first appeared.

From the picture of Simon S's 6x25, Mike V's post and Fred Bieler's 2007 BVD article (http://www.betterviewdesired.com/Bus...x26-Custom.php), the original metal-and-leatherette body design seems to have lasted over 30 years, from the ~1960 launch to the 1993 polycarbonate revamp, with the 6x25 model discontinued somewhere along the way.

But, improved coatings aside, how has the Custom Compact's optical design changed over time? Has it always had long eye relief eyepieces? In his post, Mike V says, "The later Bushnell 1980s thru the Bausch & Lomb 1993 metal ones had improved eyepieces and diopter adjustment, and can focus a bit closer than older original Bushnell 1960s thru 1970s vintage ones". This suggests an eyepiece redesign in the late 1970s or early 1980s.
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Old Tuesday 29th January 2013, 15:23   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by typo View Post
I found this from a transcript of an interview with David Bushnell.

"Paul McGuire was the design engineer of the 7 x 35 prototype that we sent to Japan with a request
to make such a binocular, which became the Custom model, the first model of our own design. He
also did the Custom Compact. This would have been close to 1960. We used him from time to time,
but he was not on our staff. Later on he worked for Tamron, designing their aspherical lens
housing."

http://www.europa.com/~telscope/bushnell.txt

David
David,

Many thanks for this amazing story!
Jan
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Old Wednesday 30th January 2013, 08:46   #20
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Quote:
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... how has the Custom Compact's optical design changed over time? Has it always had long eye relief eyepieces? In his post, Mike V says, "The later Bushnell 1980s thru the Bausch & Lomb 1993 metal ones had improved eyepieces and diopter adjustment, and can focus a bit closer than older original Bushnell 1960s thru 1970s vintage ones". This suggests an eyepiece redesign in the late 1970s or early 1980s.
I notice that the Monk Explorer 7x26 (http://www.monkoptics.co.uk/Compacts/explorer.html), which looks to me like a derivative of the polycarbonate-era Custom Compact, claims to have Plössl type eyepieces.

Is/was this true of the Bushnell?

Last edited by Brigadier : Wednesday 30th January 2013 at 08:52.
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Old Thursday 16th May 2013, 21:43   #21
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nice work-around

Bushnell sells a replacement eye cup (w/ part number BN05) that is a nice work-around for the out of stock eye cups for the Bausch & Lomb custom compact 7x26 (mn: 61-7261) and works very well.

Last edited by misanthorpe : Thursday 16th May 2013 at 21:51.
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Old Friday 17th May 2013, 09:49   #22
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Thanks for posting. I know a few here treasure that model (though I went for the newest version).

On a separate note, Brigadier mentioned the Monk 7x26. They came up in a conversation with the owner. He confirmed they were from one of the 4 companies that have historically manufactured the B&L/Bushnell customs, but he couldn't (wouldn't?) say if they were the same as the Customs. I forgot to ask about the ocular lens configuration. I thought the Customs had a Kellner eyepiece but that may be a bit of misinformation. It's stated the Monks have a Plossl.

David
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Old Tuesday 28th May 2013, 19:39   #23
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Bushnell sells a replacement eye cup (w/ part number BN05) that is a nice work-around for the out of stock eye cups for the Bausch & Lomb custom compact 7x26 (mn: 61-7261) and works very well.
Now THAT is great information. I will be inquiring at Bushnell immediately! Have you tried it yet? Close fit, or need cutting or trimming, etc.?

I hope to post a photo chronology of various Custom Compacts soon. Took a series of photos, but not happy with them, so I will re-do soon. (It is tough to get good photo detail on all black objects!) I have 6 metal Custom Compacts encompassing 4 distinct variations out of 5 that I know, and that fifth is a combo of two features found on 2 of the other 4, as well as the polycarbonate one and the latest Elite version, so I hope we can make some sense of it all. The polycarb one is all the same, except for branding, Bausch & Lomb until 2004 and Bushnell afterwards. But the metal ones have three different eye cup variations, two, possibly three ocular lens variations, three neck strap variations, two lens coating types plus several branding variations.
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Old Tuesday 28th May 2013, 23:41   #24
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Mike,

That sounds terrific. I've seen bits and pieces posted here and elsewhere but it would be great to have a more complete story.

David
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Old Wednesday 29th May 2013, 19:25   #25
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Originally Posted by misanthorpe View Post
Bushnell sells a replacement eye cup (w/ part number BN05) that is a nice work-around for the out of stock eye cups for the Bausch & Lomb custom compact 7x26 (mn: 61-7261) and works very well.
Hi Misanthorpe, I called Bushnell and they told me that BN05 is just the generic code for eye cups. You also need to tell them what model it is for. I told him, and he advised none in stock for the metal Custom Compacts. Did you order one that was for a different Bushnell/B&L model that you were able to fit, as you said it was a work-around?
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