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Bushnell H2O 8x25
Reviews Views Date of last review
2 8490 Tue May 24, 2016
Recommended By Average Price Average Rating
100% of reviewers None indicated 7.5

Description: Waterproof, double-hinged compact binoculars
Keywords: Waterproof compact 8x25 roof prism double hinge

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Registered: May 2004
Location: suffolk
Posts: 1242
Review Date: Fri March 13, 2015 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 7 

Pros: Good field of view and eye relief, waterproof, sharp
Cons: Close focus poor, flare, don't hang vertically

Great cheap pair of waterproof compacts. Latest top focus wheel position model.

These work well for my eyes as some compacts don't. The eye-cups aren't too small, the focus (clockwise to infinity), accurately works on both tubes and the hinges are stiff enough to stay where you set them. The collimation is spot on. The strap luge are the proper full size. There is tons of focus travel beyond infinity. The objective lenses are nicely recessed. It has twist up eye-cups

The image is a bit dull and not that vibrant or contrasty (due to not being fully multi-coated?), and they could focus more closely. There is some flare and one of the tubes has a speck visible looking back to front but it doesn't affect the image. The focus action is a bit sticky in one point.

They come with a case, a very long strap and tiny cleaning cloth.

Overall for the price paid (18), highly recommended.
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Registered: May 2016
Location: MN
Posts: 16
Review Date: Tue May 24, 2016 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Compact, sharp, wide FOV

Bushnell H2O 8x25 compact, 2016

I have several binoculars already - Nikon Action VII 8x40 and Aculon A211 7x35 porros, and Tasco 10x22 roofies. Prefer the 7x35's for the minimal shake and clarity but the 8x40's are quite good, especially on a tripod. The Tasco's are pretty good for the size, but the 10x was ruining the view - too narrow and shaky, especially given their use as a pair to carry when climbing hills and otherwise elevating the heartbeat.

I researched compact binos looking for a lower magnification. Tried out what I could find locally. The Leupold 6x30 Yosemite's were great optically but the eyecups were shoddy loose and the focus knob was tight and yet somehow easy to overshoot focus on the demo model, so I passed. The Steiner Champs (10x) were very comfortable but the FOV was too narrow, and given I was looking for a wide FOV compact they were off the table. The 8x might have swayed me but weren't available locally. Looked through a number of 8x and 10x30-32 Vortex, Nikon, Redfield, etc. for a kind of sanity check, and found that the Bushnell H2O series 8x25 compacts had solid twist-up eyecups, wide FOV (comparatively), sharp at distance, comfortable view and eye relief, easy focus, and the compact size and weight I was looking for.

The eye cups could be more comfortable, more like the Steiners, but I think I can fix that with some neoprene. After an opening weekend fishing retreat in extreme northern Minnesota (near Ely) I found myself very impressed with the clarity and pocketability. A gray jay on a distant spruce was surprisingly far away when I lowered the glasses. The FOV made finding the bird fairly easy.

My 7x35 porros easily trumped the 8x25's in FOV and comfort to the point where the size and weight difference becomes irrelevant. I'll happily find space for the Aculons on any hike, but won't feel like I'm missing anything if I only bring the Bushnell 8x25's. The Bushnell's fit in most of my shirt pockets, whereas I'd have to carry one of my porros in my shoulder bag - a wash in my opinion, practically speaking. I am so impressed by the image quality of the Bushnell's they will likely be my constant urban hike/bike companions.

I don't think the H2O 8x25's have any phase coating. There is a certain amount of veiling glare at times, mostly seen when first raising the glasses to the eyes. I find I need to shield the eyecups with my hands if there is any significant source of light to the side, such as the sun in early morning or late afternoon. Again, some neoprene eye shields are in order.

The fact that the H2O 8x25's were quite a bit cheaper than all the other new binoculars I compared them to is simply cake. I won't knock the others, just to say I was surprised how little (or nothing) there seemed to be gained by larger, more expensive roof prism designs. I certainly couldn't see trading in my porros for anything I viewed.

Design issues that negatively impact viewing comfort are generally shared with the rest of this class of compact. The eyecups are twist-up, but sit farther inside my eye sockets due to their smaller diameter than standard size eyecups. The double-hinge design is no better or worse than most double-hinge systems when it comes to the hassle of always having to find your IPD before even a quick look. On the other hand, if I use the strap for carry, the hinges on mine are tight enough to keep IPD between uses.

On the plus side, the rubber armor is grippy and comfortable and the focus wheel tension and speed are well-matched for finding focus easily. There is enough eye relief with my eyeglasses to see just about the entire FOV (but I prefer going without eyeglasses). The size and weight make carrying in a shirt pocket convenient (not a dress shirt pocket, however). The belt case and included strap are pretty good, even considering the total package is pretty modestly priced.

TL: DR - Bushnell H2O series 8x25 compact binoculars are quite good IMHO because of the nice FOV and overall solid package. Not "good for the price" or "good for the size" but "flat-out good" for compact binoculars given what I had for comparison. Almost certainly not phase-coated, but I couldn't find any phase-coated with similar FOV and they aren't obnoxiously different daytime than my porros other than FOV, so it's probably moot at this size.
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