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Bushnell H20 Roof Prism 8x 42 Water Proof Binocular
on 25 October 2013
After using the 10X42 version of this instrument for 3 months, and having been delighted by everything but the less-than-bright view in dull or twilight conditions, I decided to purchase an 8X42 for use when the sun is not shining. If you have read my review of the 10X42, (and you will find additional information there, if you have not already read it), you may now like to consider my further thoughts on the Bushnell H20 8X42 roof prism:
The 8x42's field of view is of course somewhat wider than that of the 10X42, but what really strikes one is that in dull conditions the 8x42 is noticeably brighter. (The 8X42 lets in 25% more light with an exit pupil of 5.25mm as opposed to the 10X42's exit pupil of 42mm, and I can assure you that on a dull day you will notice the difference.) So in a nutshell, if you are buying only one pair, my advice is to get the 8x42. You will find that because it gathers more light it can be used effectively both earlier and later in the day than the 10x42. If you buy the 10x42 instrument first, you will probably find, as I did, that you also need the 8x42. On the other hand, if you buy the 8x42 first, it is quite possible that you will never feel the need of a 10x42. (Incidentally, I use both instruments about equally; each is suited for different purposes and each functions optimally in slightly different conditions. On a dull day the 8X42 will show you more than the 10X42; On a bright day, the opposite is normally the case.)
Some reviewers criticise these H2O roof prism binoculars on the grounds that they lack they lack the brightening effect of "phase-correction" and "fully" multi-coated optics. This may indeed be a point to consider if for some reason your heart is set on a 10X42 instrument and nothing else will do. But as far as the 8X42 is concerned: judge the instrument on its merits, I say! For the money, it represents excellent value to the casual user. (Before deciding to purchase the Bushnell 8x I made it my business to look through entry-level Swarovski binoculars. Phase-correction, full multi-coatings......the lot! Were they preferable to the Bushnells? Of course they were! They were also ten times the price! Are they ten times better binoculars? Hmmm.....Well, let's just say that for one quarter of the Swarovski price I was able to become the more-than-satisfied owner of two "not-quite-top-of-the-range" and undoubtedly less aesthetically pleasing, but (for my purposes) better than adequate, instruments - and thereby save myself £600!)
One small concern -it may never become a problem- about both purchases is the lack of accompanying UK warranty information. The documentation included in the box is not very helpful about where UK residents should turn in the event of a fault developing.