Binoculars reviews

Endurance test of 8x42 binoculars

30 April 2013
Arkadiusz Olech

4. Bushnell Elite 8x42 ED

Endurance test of 8x42 binoculars - Bushnell Elite 8x42 ED

The Bushnell Elite 8x42 ED belongs to the most expensive devices, produced by that American company. It superseded the very well-made Elite series (without ED in its name) which performed well in our 10x42 binoculars test but was also noticeably more expensive. The 8x42 ED model in our classic test got the final result of 129.2 points, closing the list of top ten devices of  our ranking.

Low temperature

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After 24 hours of sub zero temperatures the central wheel moves exactly as it should – its work is smooth, without any increased resistance. The dioptre regulation joystick is also beyond reproach. The rest, however, cannot be praised. The eyecups regulation is possible but they are noticeably harder to move. In order to change the gauge of the tubes you have to summon up your all strength. Still no matter how hard you try, you can’t screw off the tripod mounting blockade.

High temperature

Also the high temperature test didn’t end without consequences. The central focusing wheel works properly but with a slightly less resistance than in the room temperature. The eyecups have a lot of slack for a change – in fact it becomes impossible to set them at intermediate stops because then the eyecups collapse on their own as soon as you put the binoculars to your eye. Still we don’t have any reservations concerning the gauge regulation of the tubes and the tripod mounting point blockade. Inside the tubes we didn’t manage to notice any grease leakages and while moving different parts we didn’t hear any squelching or any other worrying sounds. What’s interesting, though, several hours after the high temperature test you could notice some damp patches of grease at the base of eyecups (visible in the photo below).

Endurance test of 8x42 binoculars - Bushnell Elite 8x42 ED

Waterproof qualities

No reservations whatsoever – the binoculars survived one hour in the water without any problems.


Two falls from different heights didn’t cause any problems – the binoculars remain properly collimated and the eyecups weren’t damaged as well. A slight dent on the rim of the left objective is the only visible mark.

Endurance test of 8x42 binoculars - Bushnell Elite 8x42 ED

Optics cleaning

Fingerprints on front elements are not distinct and are easy to remove with even a dry cloth. Residue of water, which got stuck after applying high temperature, didn’t have any tendency to cumulate on the elements and could be cleaned without any problems. The drops of rain dribble down perfectly well. A big grease stain on the element of the objective didn’t change even after a long time but it could be removed with several energetic swipes of a dry cloth, without the necessity of using a special optics cleaner.


No other flaws.


The chart below shows the results the tested pair of binoculars got in particular categories:

Low temperature:
High temperature:
Waterproof quality:
Optics cleaning:

In the case of the Bushnell we get the direct correlation between the result of the optical and endurance test. In both cases the binoculars fared well or even very well. The most important thing is that, after all those hard tests we conducted the device is completely functional. You can have reservations concerning its appearance because damp patches near the eyecups’ bases can be still visible and if you look closely at the objective rim the dent is rather conspicuous as well.