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Legend 8x42 Ultra HD Impressions

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Old Saturday 16th January 2010, 01:14   #1
RJM
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Legend 8x42 Ultra HD Impressions

Silly me. I had been following the wrong USPS tracking# all week and had thought my package fell off the postal truck. So I was suprised when my spanky new Legends Ultra HDs were delivered this morning.

This is one impressive package deal. Excellent clamshell hardcase. Probably the best harness I have seen even though wearing it will make me a true bino geek! Very nice padded strap too. The flip down mongramed lens covers were an unexpected surprise.

Mechanical construction and optics...well let me say I am somewhat giddy. If they field test today as good as they appear so far I will be dancing the jig.

Excellent ergonomics with cushy soft rubber thumb indents. Easy one-hand operation. Fast focus taking less than 1/4 turn from infinity to ~10m. Going from ~10m to 1.5m takes another 3/4. Tactile smooth turning knob. Firm twist lock eyecups and locking diopter adjustement. Weight 745g including rainguard, lens covers and strap attachements. So about ~100g more than the bare spec 635g.

Optics:
Clear aperture is 42mm from infinity to close focus.
Nice objective lens AR coatings.
WIDE FoV! Almost as wide as the Nikon 8x32 EII and wider than the Swift 820 that is spec'd at 430ft/1000ft!
Eyerelief good enough to see most of the field even with sunglasses.
Very large sweet spot blending into mild field curvature that I find easy to focus adapt. The last bit near the edge has some astigmatism. Pincushion distortion about equal to the Swift but seems more than the EII.

The ED glass does its job, eliminating all lateral color and improving saturation. Seems also to have the same warm tint as the Swift ED while both the EII and Kowa BD seem whiter (or maybe brighter?). Frankly, if I did not have these side-by-side to compare I probably would not notice tint.

All for now. Heading out soon to the park for some field work. I plan on taking these to Hokkaido the first week of Feb. to see Stellar's Sea and White Tailed Eagles so I can report about sub-zero temp performance afterwards.

cheers,
Rick

Last edited by RJM : Saturday 16th January 2010 at 01:45.
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Old Saturday 16th January 2010, 01:35   #2
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I presume the 8x.

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The flip down mongramed lens covers were an unexpected suprise.
Oh yeah, I forgot, threw those back in the box. I will put on the rain guard. To keep out bread crumbs when I have lunch.
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Old Saturday 16th January 2010, 17:45   #3
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Outdoor testing went well. I am planning to keep these 10x Bushnells. I travel with a small pair, usually an 8x32, but may take these on some trips. The harness will stay home, will take the neck strap.

I have had numerous 10x pairs. Currently the favorite is my Promaster 10x that is out for repair.

I still have a 10x43 Pentax SP. It was the favorite prior to the Promaster. Still has the best build of all my pairs. Focus is half a turn from near to far. Never lost a bird due to focusing there.

I expect my Pentax to be working when my Promasters and Bushnells are old or develop problems. So I am keeping three 10x. It does not present a problem, as I have gotten rid of all my junk and curiosity items.

The Bushnell was my choice over the 9x36 Vortex. I guess I have given up on 9x, as my two 8x32 are of better quality, and I fail to see a difference in 9x vs. 8x. 8x vs.10x yes.

Leaves just the IS binoculars to explore.
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Last edited by Tero : Saturday 16th January 2010 at 17:48.
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Old Saturday 16th January 2010, 19:29   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tero View Post
..................

The Bushnell was my choice over the 9x36 Vortex. I guess I have given up on 9x, as my two 8x32 are of better quality, and I fail to see a difference in 9x vs. 8x. 8x vs.10x yes.

Leaves just the IS binoculars to explore.
.

The 9 x 36 is what I call an "Orphan Format." There isn't much interest in it among users or manufacturers. The introduction of the 8.5 x 42/44 hasn't helped it either, but properly made it could be lighter and more useful than that format. The market speaks, we listen.

I am keeping my Vortex 9 x 36 Diamondback. I used it a lot over the past year and was pleased with it's performance and although it's not nearly as good as my Swift 804 8.5 x 44, it's ruggedness and very low cost make it a winner in my book. I don't have a big investment to worry when it is in my car. I can lend it to any ham handed friend if need be or to my brother if I don't care about getting it back again. (He still has m 6 x 30 Yosemite!) It is slightly heavier but not much larger than a Nikon 8 x 32 LX-L and can be tossed easily into any kit bag or luggage. It cost $179.99.

It isn't the brightest binocular in the world, but then, I'm not the brightest birder in the world either.

Cordially,
Bob
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Old Saturday 16th January 2010, 20:31   #5
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I had an interest in it as an "only" binocular to take along on trips. But as I say, I often decide between 8x and 10x in that situation when a scope is not handy to bring along.

I had a Denali scope for a while, but it just is not going to be of use on business trips where I may wind my way thru all the city parks to my hotel. A lot of walking and a briefcase in one hand or maybe a shoulder bag.

If you have a 9x and you like it, keep it. Will be as good as an 8x36 most times.
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Old Sunday 17th January 2010, 00:55   #6
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Here are the obligatory pics of the package. The binos come in a satin bag. I noticed the thumb indents of the second pair are far less cushy than the first. The first pair feel like they first have "holes" in the body underneath the rubber armor. Don't know why, but I find the monogramed lens covers cool.

The neckstrap is longer than I prefer, with the shortest position leaving the binocular resting on my diaphram instead my breast bone. I am 187cm (6'2") tall too so for shorter users the bino could dangle at waist level or below! At least the harness fits well though it seems overkill for such a lightweight bino. I could then use the neckstrap on the clamshell case.

The attached quick connections are far too long too but when shortened there is not much strap space to attach the rainguard. Took some ingenuity but I figured a solution.

Rick
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Old Sunday 17th January 2010, 01:05   #7
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It is a little low but I did not have a problem with the strap. I am 6' tall.
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Old Sunday 17th January 2010, 01:15   #8
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Hi Rick, The hardcase sort of looks like the one that comes with the ZenRay 7x36 ED2.
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Old Sunday 17th January 2010, 01:35   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tero View Post

I had a Denali scope for a while, but it just is not going to be of use on business trips where I may wind my way thru all the city parks to my hotel. A lot of walking and a briefcase in one hand or maybe a shoulder bag.

If you have a 9x and you like it, keep it. Will be as good as an 8x36 most times.
When you travel with scope and pod...how do you travel? Do you have a model of a backpack or bag you prefer?
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Old Sunday 17th January 2010, 02:30   #10
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Heh, I never figured it out. I usually go by car, so just carry the scope in hand from the car. I think we might have a thread on bags under scopes. I know they sell bags for all the gear.
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Old Sunday 7th February 2010, 21:45   #11
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Just to update on my experience with the Legend Ultra HD here in Hokkaido over the last few days. After about 30min in -10C to -20C temps the focuser stiffens up considerably. BUT because focus is so fast it is really not really a problem since only a slight rocking of the knob is needed to cover most usuable distances. Never stayed out more than 1 hour at time in those temps before hopping back into the car to head to a new spot though. Perhaps it eventually would freeze solid!

Despite the bright sun reflecting off the snow and frozen lakes there seem to be no isssues with glare or stray light either.

Also got to do some star gazing and confirmed mild field curvature is the predominant aberration in the outer field. Otherwise, stars focused to tight pinpoints with brilliant color. These are VERY NICE optics!

Finally, some folks on CN bino forum are having issues with the eyecups not extending far enough for the 17mm of eyerelief. I think this is a blessing since it allows air to circulate and keep the oculars from fogging and still allow the full FoV to be seen.

cheers,
Rick

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Old Monday 8th February 2010, 18:51   #12
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Yes, this is true of the 10x as well, the eye cups in and out positions are not far apart. Less than my other pairs.
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Old Sunday 28th February 2010, 13:31   #13
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I have been using 8x32s quite a lot for the past few years. The Ultra 10x42 was OK in my hands. It takes me a few weeks to get used to a new model in hand. Focusing is fast enough for me. So I went and ordered the 8x42 as well. It may take the place of my 8x32 Pentax in all year use, they are compact and travel well. Fov is 420ft. Google for price, you can get them for less than the 290 at EO.

So my porros probably become a pair to lend to my one and only birding visitor, brother in law. Mostly due to weight, the optics are fine.
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Old Thursday 4th March 2010, 22:18   #14
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Well, the 8x42 is here. First thought is that I like the 10x42 better. I have no problems with it. I can use the 8x42 with no unsolvable problem, but some people will not like it. Depending on your facial features, it will give blackouts. This is because you can jam the binos too close to the eye with the eye cups out. I have technique that I use anyway, to rest the binos on the top of the eye area, not jammed in. But the blackouts should not be there. The eye cups are on the small side.

On top of that, the are not even ideal with the eye cups in and my glasses on. No blackouts, but not ideal. My Legend Porros 8x42 are way better in both situations, glasses on and off.

Optics A
Ergonomics B-
Overall B+

I have a few days to decide on these. They will be competing with my Pentax 8x32s, and they are not going to beat those for comfort. They are just a little longer, weight feels the same.
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Old Thursday 4th March 2010, 23:39   #15
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Do you see the whole field with your glasses on, Tero?

Quote:
They will be competing with my Pentax 8x32s, and they are not going to beat those for comfort. They are just a little longer, weight feels the same.
Pretty good for a 42mm bin!
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Old Friday 5th March 2010, 00:16   #16
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Most likely I will keep them. They will be my no worries binoculars. I will even lend them to whoever wants to use them. "Regular folks" are not usually as fussy, they are just happy to see stuff a little bigger. I will take them on some travel.

Google for prices, mine were $208.
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Old Friday 5th March 2010, 00:28   #17
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Yes, for whatever reason Bushnell left off an extra click or two of eyecup extension on this Ultra HD compared to the older Legend 1.0. Hard to judge if it is done to accomodate the ultrawide FoV. But most folks still seem to prefer their eyes resting against the eyecups and those that cannot adapt will not appreciate this optic.

My body must also give just off an abnormably large amount of heat because it is impossible for me to use bins with their eyecups pressed against my face in anything else but ideally mild temps and low humidity. In the extremes of Winter and Summer the oculars will immediately fog if I don't keep space between my eyes and the oculars.

And as they did in the frigid/dry air of Hokkaido a few weeks ago, the Ultra HD again impressed me with their excellent views in the warm/dripping wet air of Hong Kong's Mai Po Wetland Reserve the last 3 days.

FWIW, the highlight for me and the Ultra's was last Monday as we were the only bino "team" to make out the pale pink breast plummage of a rare slender bill gull, besting both the other Swaro EL and Leica Trino "teams" in the hide. Yay!

cheers,
Rick

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Old Friday 5th March 2010, 17:08   #18
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Thanks, Rick, for you starting this thread!

I just received a 10x42 Legend Ultra last week. (My 10x42 interest these days)
The eye cups are not too short for me. I even actually have to retract them one quarter of the way so that I can see a crisp field stop at the edge of the view. Must be that my face is different than you guys. [I am not a snail]

Two days ago I took them to the zoo with another 10x50 roof I owned. (celestron Noble.) The view was wider, and the chromatic abberations was distinctly controlled to a lower level. (where the Nobles showed a wide green patch on an elephants back bordering the sky, the Ultra only showed a thin green line.)

The view is very clear, like a Porro. The focusing is quick. It almost disturbs me how quickly I come to focus. It makes me worry if I can improve-- but I try and it seems to be fine.

This is a small size 10x. 5 and a half inches or 14 centimeters. It seems small to me.

I like it quite a bit. One of you guys sold me your Promaster 8x ED --6.25 inches long. This Bushnell seems to work similarly, but I like the center focus knob of the Promaster. (Arrival at focus is better) This Bushnell works beautifully, but without calling attention to itself like the clothing of the Promaster or the Zen Ray.

This pair was $163 from Amazon Warehouse that was "open box". Dicey choice there, because I asked for the ones with the rubber armoring with markings. I received the one with rubber armoring perfect, eye piece anti-reflection coatings with defects. However, I cannot detect anything detracting from the view. (I have not done resolution tests though.)

Rick, it is a good reference!

Rob.
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Old Friday 5th March 2010, 18:54   #19
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Rob, it is mainly the 8x that has the too much eye relief and not long enough eye cups issue. I have both and the 10x was never a problem.
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Old Saturday 6th March 2010, 19:36   #20
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I had the 8x42 and a Pentax SP 8x32 out. The Pentax really did extremely well against this HD glass. Without glasses, the ergonomics are also better. With glasses on, the Bushnell gave me a wider field as expected.

Birds wfound: Yellow rumped warbler, two hawks, purple finch. Distant red bellied woodpecker was OK with both.

No reason not to get the Ultra and try it out and see if it works for you. Focus was about one turn from near to far.
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Old Sunday 7th March 2010, 15:34   #21
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Quote:
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I had the 8x42 and a Pentax SP 8x32 out. The Pentax really did extremely well against this HD glass. Without glasses, the ergonomics are also better. With glasses on, the Bushnell gave me a wider field as expected.

Birds wfound: Yellow rumped warbler, two hawks, purple finch. Distant red bellied woodpecker was OK with both.

No reason not to get the Ultra and try it out and see if it works for you. Focus was about one turn from near to far.
Tero, it's hard not to like the SP 8x32! I will never part with the one I have, though it currently is on the back burner! Bryce...
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Old Tuesday 9th March 2010, 02:07   #22
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Ultra review from OP sales and adviCe person.
http://www.binocularsblog.com/2009/0...ll-legend.html
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Old Wednesday 24th March 2010, 02:02   #23
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Just to update. The first of two Camo Fleece pullovers we got as a freebie from Bushnell arrived today. Well-made fine-weaved thick fabric with weather sealed zipper. NICE!

Rick
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Old Friday 26th March 2010, 16:01   #24
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First two lifers with the 8x42s, a gull and a chickadee. I only took that pair along for some casual birding. Have got used to the eye cups now.

I notice there are some plastic parts in the strap, as there are in other brands. May change the strap to another one, though it was comfortable enough.
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Old Thursday 1st April 2010, 02:20   #25
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I went and replaced the original complicated strap, a bit oo long, with a standard Eagle Optics strap. That may be a bit shorter than my typical one by an inch or two, but works OK for this one. That is the one with my belt showing. Fot the 10x model, I left the longer strap, as I may have a heavy coat on for that, in winter. The 8x will get a lot of spring and fall use.
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