Binoculars review

Bushnell Legend Ultra HD 10x42

Bushnell Legend Ultra HD 10x42
7 July 2014
The Bushnell company feature a very wide line-up of binoculars. As they are active mainly on the American market, their production focuses on roof prism devices with 40-42 mm objective lenses, very popular with American customers. In that class of instruments you are really spoilt for choice: from the Powerview series, costing merely 100 Euro, through the H20 or the Permafocus, to the top-of-the-range Elite series for which you must pay about 500 Euro.

Somewhere in the middle of that range you can find the Legend Ultra HD series, with the following models: 8x26, 10x26, 10x25, 8x36, 10x36, 8x42 and 10x42. First two of these pairs of binoculars are reversed Porro prisms, the rest are roof prism Schmidt-Pechan devices.

The producer boasts of using low dispersion ED glass, high quality antireflection coatings, and hydrophobic RainGuard HD coatings. The length of the warranty period is really impressive and you get a great accessory kit with every device.

  • Lornetka Bushnell Legend Ultra HD 10x42
  • Lornetka Bushnell Legend Ultra HD 10x42
  • Lornetka Bushnell Legend Ultra HD 10x42
  • Lornetka Bushnell Legend Ultra HD 10x42
Manufacturer data


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Magnification Lens diameter Angular field of view Prisms Eye relief Weight Price
10 42 113/1000(6.45o) BaK-4/roof 15.2 mm 700 g 1679 PLN
Results of the review
Real front lens diameter Left:   42.1+/- 0.05 mm
Right:  42.1+/- 0.05 mm
8 / 8.0 pkt
Real magnification 10.21+/- 0.05x 3/3.0
Transmission 81.8+/- 1.5% 10/25.0
Chromatic aberration Very low in the centre, a bit lower than medium on the edge. 7.8/10.0
Astigmatism Slight. 7.5/10.0
Distortion The distance between the first curved line and the field centre compared to the field of vision radius: 45% ± 3% 5/10.0
Coma Appears in the 3/4 of the field of vision and is on the borderline between medium and high on the very edge. 6.5/10.0
Blurring at the edge of the FOV The blur occurs in a distance of 61% ± 5% from the field of vision centre. 1/10.0
Darkening at the edge the FOV Visible quite well. 2.8/5.0
Whiteness of the image Yellow-orange cast. A significant loss in blue light, the highest transmission level near 570-610 nm. 2.9/5.0
Collimation Perfect. 5/5.0
Internal reflections
Left: Right:
Bushnell Legend Ultra HD 10x42 - Internal reflections - Left Bushnell Legend Ultra HD 10x42 - Internal reflections - Right
Some light escapes on the side of the pupil.
Housing A typical 10x42 pair of binoculars when it comes to physical dimensions. Good quality rubber armour, black and matt, which clings well to your hand; it sticks out near the objectives but only slightly so, in other places it adheres very well. Rubberized, small eyecups with smooth regulation. Produced in China. 7.5/8.0
Focusing Big, ribbed central wheel. It moves a bit heavily but still within the acceptable range; a bit uneven in some places. Running through the whole scale needs a turn through 560 degrees. Individual focusing on the right eyepiece done with the help a ring which you shift upwards or downwards; the ring is quite comfortable to use but it moves the outer element. 4/5.0
Tripod There is an exit available. The covering screw is a bit small and there are some problems with the access. 2.5/3.0
Interpupilary distance from 56 to 73.7mm 4/6.0
Closest focusing distance 1.90 m 2/2.0
Eyepieces FOV Apparent field of view of 66.3 deg (according to simple formula) and 60.1 deg (according to tangent formula). 14.5/20.0
Field of view Measured by us amounted to 6.49 +\- 0.04 degrees and it was in accordance with the specifications. A large field of view for this class of equipment. 7.5/8.0
Quality of the interior of the barrels Black and matt tubes but only near the objectives; deeper on you see gray metal which wasn’t blackened or/and matted at all. Near the prisms the situation is a bit better. Very clean. 3.8/5.0
Left: Right:
Bushnell Legend Ultra HD 10x42 - Vignetting - Left Bushnell Legend Ultra HD 10x42 - Vignetting - Right
OL: 0.58%, OR: 0.93%
Prisms quality Good quality BaK-4. 8/8.0
Antireflection coatings Pink-purple-orange on objectives, green-purple on the eyepieces and greenish on the prisms. Medium intensity. 4.5/5.0
Warranty [years] 30 years 5/6.0
Final result
133 / 190 pkt
Econo result 0pkt.


  • good build quality of the casing,
  • well-corrected chromatic aberration,
  • slight astigmatism,
  • moderate coma,
  • wide field of view,
  • relatively circular exit pupils,
  • good quality BaK-4 prisms,
  • long warranty period.

  • weak image resolution on the edge of the field of view.

The predecessor of the Legend Ultra HD model, the Bushnell Legend 10x42, was tested by us during our big test of 10x42 devices. It got a very good result – over 130 points.

Still the producer decided to launch a successor, with a lower physical weight and a wider field of view, with better coatings and low dispersion ED glass elements.

The influence of those changes is easy to spot. The ED glass made the aberration correction better, the transmission of the binoculars is higher and the field of view – wider by 0.5 of a degree. These are clearly significant advantages.

Unfortunately the disadvantages are here as well. You can’t reduce the dimensions and the weight of a pair of binoculars with impunity; such a move must influence directly the image quality on the edge. The images given by the new Bushnell Legend become fuzzy right after the half point of the field of view radius and the brightness loss near the edge is noticeably higher than that of its predecessor.

That’s why it would be difficult to assess the changes, introduced by the producer, unanimously. There are some pros, like the lower weight, smaller physical dimensions and a wider field of view. On the other hand a weak image quality on the edge, even if you deal with such a large field, spoils the assessment of this pair of binoculars. I am not quite sure what to think of it; perhaps it would be better to stop halfway, increasing the field to 6.2-6.3 degrees and keeping good resolution in 80-90% of the surface, enjoying the lack light fall-off on the edge.