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Older Legend 8x32's - shockingly good (1 Viewer)

justabirdwatcher

Well-known member
I have been a fan of 8x32's most of my life, and have been poking around for a new pair for a while now. I've been happy with my Sightron Blue Sky II's for the past 5 years, but I guess I was just ready for a change (for reasons only fellow binohaulics like myself can understand). So I scoured the forums and looked over all the mid-priced 8x32's reviews. Over and over I kept seeing very positive reviews of the humble little Bushnell Legend (non-HD) 8x32's and when I learned they were made in Japan, I was really intrigued.

Eventually I made an offer on a pair and within a few days, a like-new pair of 8x32 Legend's were at my doorstep. To my disappointment, I was not thorough enough in my shopping and I managed to get a later pair that was made in China. Seeing that, my expectations dropped but it turns out they didn't need to. These little bins, despite wearing a made in china label, are fantastic! The image quality is everything that I read in the reviews. Tack sharp with great contrast and a sweet spot that is at least 50% of the image circle, if not more. Plenty good enough for my purposes.

Better yet, they have a great feel and balance, seem to be extremely well built, have a locking diopter! and eyecups that fit my eye sockets as well as anything I've ever used. Ergonomically, they are nearly perfect for 8x32's in my opinion.

I'm not sure who else is still using theirs, but considering all the new HD/ED glass that's out there, these older original Legend's really hold their own. I can tell no difference between them and my wife's Legend M 8x42's and my Cabelas Outfitter HD 8x42's other than a little brightness. But the image quality is just as good, which is saying a lot for a pair of binoculars I got for less than $150!

Once again, Bushnell and Nikon are doing something with their chinese manufacturers that other companies don't seem to be doing. The only chinese-made optics I have in my house now are Bushnells binoculars (2) and my Nikon ED50 scope body. After going through probably 12-15 pairs of binoculars and two other scopes that were made in china, I wondered if I would ever find another pair of chinese optics that suited my eyes.

If you find you have a need for a solid mid-size pair of 8x32's, I can strongly recommend these original Bushnell Legends. They were a great acquisition for me.
 

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Alexis Powell

Natural history enthusiast.
United States
...I'm not sure who else is still using theirs, but considering all the new HD/ED glass that's out there, these older original Legend's really hold their own. I can tell no difference between them and my wife's Legend M 8x42's and my Cabelas Outfitter HD 8x42's other than a little brightness...

I don't have the exact model you describe but I do have, and still use (mainly while casually birding+bicycling), the Browning 8x32, which I understand to be a rebadged version of the older production (identical in appearance to your unit, but made in Japan) Bushnell 8x32 Legend. It is a superb bin in most respects--big sweet spot, capable of being sharp at the edge (moderate field curvature so requiring re-focus, but almost no astigmatism), 4 ft close focus, and very rugged/solid. It's _big_ flaw is its _terrible_ performance against the light. By contrast, I found that the later 8x42 and 8x32 Legend Ultra HD models perform exceptionally well (as good or better than alphas) against the light, but they were not as robust.

--AP
 

justabirdwatcher

Well-known member
I don't have the exact model you describe but I do have, and still use (mainly while casually birding+bicycling), the Browning 8x32, which I understand to be a rebadged version of the older production (identical in appearance to your unit, but made in Japan) Bushnell 8x32 Legend. It is a superb bin in most respects--big sweet spot, capable of being sharp at the edge (moderate field curvature so requiring re-focus, but almost no astigmatism), 4 ft close focus, and very rugged/solid. It's _big_ flaw is its _terrible_ performance against the light. By contrast, I found that the later 8x42 and 8x32 Legend Ultra HD models perform exceptionally well (as good or better than alphas) against the light, but they were not as robust.

--AP

Alexis, I have read the same thing about the Browning 8x32's.

When I ordered these, I mistakingly thought they were the made-in-Japan version, but as I said, I am still very delighted with their performance. I may pick up a MIJ version, or the Browning you have, if I come across one at a very good price.

My friend had a pair of the 10x42 Ultra HD's and I can't say I was all that impressed with them. But then, I was comparing them to my Nikon LX-L's at the time which is a tall order.

Oh what I wouldn't give for this exact same form factor in premium optics. For me, this is nearly the perfect traveling binocular in size and function. Perfect eyecups that stay put, locking diopter, smooth (if not a bit stiff) focus wheel with zero slop, perfect size body to handle with my oversized hands. I so wish Swaro had made their SLC 8x30's in this design.
 
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