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Bushnell Legend M 8x42 focus wheel

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Old Thursday 6th December 2018, 14:22   #1
justabirdwatcher
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Bushnell Legend M 8x42 focus wheel

As I said on another thread, I'm very, very impressed with the image quality of these "great big" Bushnells.

What I'm wondering is if everyone's focus wheel is as hard to move as the one on my copy? And if so, does it get easier to move with use?

If there was a way to adjust the focus wheel tension, I think I would be inclined to use them more. Yesterday evening after sunset, I went back and forth between these Legend M's and my Conquest HD's. The Bushnells are noticeably brighter, which is what I'm looking for, but the Zeiss snapped into focus so much easier.
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Old Thursday 6th December 2018, 15:25   #2
mskb
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This has been one of my gripes with my copy of the Legend M as well. It did not ease up with regular use over two months, and it worsened when the temperatures dropped. I also tried rocking the wheel back and forth several times, and then it would soften for immediate use, but the problem comes back again. Ultimately I decided to return mine back. ( I also had quite a bit of glare/scatter problems with my copy. The CA control was the best I have ever seen though! )
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Old Thursday 6th December 2018, 16:04   #3
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Thankfully, a lot of the time I can just set them to infinity and I don't need to change the focus for anything 70 yards and beyond.

It really is a shame since these are very pleasant and useful binoculars.
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Old Thursday 6th December 2018, 18:18   #4
dries1
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The problem with the Legend M is,... did you get a good sample. My first one had a focus with free play and it went back, then the next one the focus was not consistent in movement, my third one is good. Like many of these new lower priced glass, the optics are good, but the mechanical s suffer and are not consistent in manufacture.
If you can get a good one, they are a good value for the money.

Andy W.
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Old Thursday 6th December 2018, 18:29   #5
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I have had good luck with 3 of these. Gave one away to a friend, loaned one to another,
and I did keep one myself.

These all worked just fine.

Jerry
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Old Friday 7th December 2018, 04:35   #6
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Mine is a very good sample optically. Honestly, I can't tell any difference in sharpness between my Legend M's and Conquest HD's other than the Legend M's are brighter being 8's instead of 10's. If the focus wheel was even a tiny bit easier to turn, I'd have only the size to complain about! LOL
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Old Friday 7th December 2018, 19:04   #7
Josh Exmoor
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I have two 8x42 Legend M's. One has fine focusing, probably not as good as other bins I've used, but not terrible. The other pair is pretty stiff. Not unusable, but close. It's too bad that Bushnell can't get this right since the optics, as others stated, are pretty damn good.
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Old Saturday 8th December 2018, 02:20   #8
justabirdwatcher
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Exmoor View Post
I have two 8x42 Legend M's. One has fine focusing, probably not as good as other bins I've used, but not terrible. The other pair is pretty stiff. Not unusable, but close. It's too bad that Bushnell can't get this right since the optics, as others stated, are pretty damn good.
I completely agree. With the Legend M's, Bushnell is one focus wheel assembly away from some pretty serious glass.
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Old Saturday 8th December 2018, 06:45   #9
Chosun Juan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justabirdwatcher View Post
As I said on another thread, I'm very, very impressed with the image quality of these "great big" Bushnells.

What I'm wondering is if everyone's focus wheel is as hard to move as the one on my copy? And if so, does it get easier to move with use?

If there was a way to adjust the focus wheel tension, I think I would be inclined to use them more.....
Quote:
Originally Posted by dries1 View Post
The problem with the Legend M is,... did you get a good sample. My first one had a focus with free play and it went back, then the next one the focus was not consistent in movement, my third one is good. Like many of these new lower priced glass, the optics are good, but the mechanical s suffer and are not consistent in manufacture.
If you can get a good one, they are a good value for the money.

Andy W.
JABW,

I don't know if you caught what I said on another thread, but the general rule seems to be that there is an inverse correlation between 'stiffness' and 'play' .ie. The stiffer the focus wheel the less the play & the freer the focus wheel the more the play. As Andy said this is the subject of unit to unit variability - you just have to be in luck with your particular unit, preferences, and environment.

The only thing that will influence this relationship externally is temperature. ie. take a stiffer turning unit to Death Valley in the middle of summer and it will loosen up somewhat. As I see you're in Texas, there is perhaps not that much to be gained on your particular unit. I had a similar situation once with a Swift Audubon in the Central West of NSW - as 40C summers were nothing out there, the stiff focus of the Swift didn't have much room to improve - so for that (& other various reasons) - back it went.

See if it is an option to swap your unit and get a good one suitable to your preferences/environment. Otherwise I believe (there maybe) is a screw internally that has some bearing on the focus tension/play relationship - so some degree of adjustability ["may"] be an option, though you (or someone more qualified or experienced) will need to access the guts of the bin and then probably have them repurged*.
* You should check that with Bill Cook - I seem to recall he made some helpful comment on that once - but in my present state can't recall where or what it specifically was ......

Good luck!





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Old Saturday 8th December 2018, 18:26   #10
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Originally Posted by Chosun Juan View Post
JABW,

The stiffer the focus wheel the less the play & the freer the focus wheel the more the play.
Chosun
The free-play is there when the drive from the focus wheel isn't being transmitted to the focusing lens and you notice it because of two things. With your eyes you notice that the focus point doesn't move if you rock the focus wheel backwards and forwards within the free-play section. With your fingers you notice when the drive resumes at either end of the free-play section because there is a sudden increase in the 'stiffness' of the focus wheel as it now begins to transmit the drive down to the focusing lens.

Stiffen up the action of the focus wheel and this disguises the presence of the sudden increase in stiffness and thus can cover up the presence of a small amount of free-play. If the focus wheel is very free-rotating even small amounts of free-play are noticeable.

Lee
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Old Saturday 8th December 2018, 21:45   #11
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Originally Posted by Troubador View Post
The free-play is there when the drive from the focus wheel isn't being transmitted to the focusing lens and you notice it because of two things. With your eyes you notice that the focus point doesn't move if you rock the focus wheel backwards and forwards within the free-play section. With your fingers you notice when the drive resumes at either end of the free-play section because there is a sudden increase in the 'stiffness' of the focus wheel as it now begins to transmit the drive down to the focusing lens.

Stiffen up the action of the focus wheel and this disguises the presence of the sudden increase in stiffness and thus can cover up the presence of a small amount of free-play. If the focus wheel is very free-rotating even small amounts of free-play are noticeable.

Lee
Lee,

As I said to JABW, it's more than just a perceptual component, or generalisation. In this particular mechanical design, there is a correlation which has an inverse relationship.

You described the operational observation somewhat accurately, except you left out the Mark I eyeball! When you are holding the bins in your hand and rocking the focus wheel back and forth and looking at the focus wheel turning (sometimes a mm or two) and not feeling any engagement movement (or watching the focus lens group not moving if looking down the objectives) is quite annoying!

There are things that can be done:
* Swap the bin
* Get a bin with more suitable 'stiffness/play' characteristics for your climatic zone
* Adjust the unit's mechanics as I described
* Forget about it (this may take some time!)

Serious about that last point. The kissin' cousin Zen-Ray ED3 has slightly worse play overall. My particular unit has a silky smooth light action (very reminiscent of Zeiss/Nikon), but has a lot of play (more than I would like and definitely not Zeiss/Nikon like). As we have people here seeking to emigrate to hades in search of somewhere cooler, then perhaps I could have done with a unit with more tension/less play.

This backlash used to annoy the living bejayzus outta me ! Grrrrr ! After living with it for ~8 years now, I hardly give it a second thought. The bin's better points such as:
* hands down best ergonomics in the business
* lighter than a Zeiss SF
* bright, neutral view
* outstanding CA control
* very wide fov
* nice quasi 3D effect
* rugged enough to just chuck em in the car
* cheap as chips so outstanding value.

So focus play that used to be a deal breaker is now a non-issue ...... :)




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Old Yesterday, 17:43   #12
justabirdwatcher
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There is no free play or backlash in these M's. I've had both in other Bushnells in the past, including the Elites (which drove me nuts). These are just stiff. Not stiff at the beginning and looser as you move them (like my Swaro SLC's) but steady stiff. And yes, they are looser when warm and stiffer when cold.

As my wife will be the primary user of the M 8x42's now, she probably won't even notice. Eventually, if it bothers her I'll look closer into it. One thing she remarked when choosing those as her favorite was that "everything looks in focus, from far to near" - in other words, they have an outstanding depth of field. And they do. So that means you don't really have to work the focus wheel as much as you would in another optic (my 10x42 SLC's for instance). And that's good news for her.

I just wish Bushnell would figure out how to make a decent focus wheel. It's really all that keeps these M's and their Elites from being the best in their price class IMO.
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