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Binoculars review

Bushnell Prime 8x32

Bushnell Prime 8x32
31 August 2019
Optyczne.pl 
In 2018 the Bushnell company remade their binoculars line-up completely and the Prime series became one of the cheapest presented at that time. It consists of six models with the following parameters: 10×25, 10×28, 8×32, 8×42, 10×42 and12×50.

All binoculars from that series are roof prism, Schmidt-Pechan instruments with elements made of BaK-4 glass. The producers inform that their products don't feature any phase correction coatings and their reflective coatings aren't dielectric. Still they add that all air-to-glass surfaces are covered by multiple layers of antireflection FMC coating.

What's more, these pairs of binoculars boast EXO Protection hydrophobic coatings which repell water, oil, dust, debris and prevent scratches of outer elements, a real rarity at this price point.

The binoculars are compliant with IPX7 (can be immersed into water in the depth of 1 meter for up to 30 minutes). In the box you get a case, a strap and rubber caps for objective lenses and eyepieces.

Pictures
  • Lornetka Bushnell Prime 8x32
  • Lornetka Bushnell Prime 8x32
  • Lornetka Bushnell Prime 8x32
  • Lornetka Bushnell Prime 8x32
Manufacturer data

Manufacturer:

Bushnell
web site

Distribution / Sales:

Militaria
web site

Magnification Lens diameter Angular field of view Prisms Eye relief Weight Price
8 32 130/1000(7.4o) BaK-4/roof 18 mm 479 g 429 PLN
Results of the review
Real front lens diameter Left:   32.01+/- 0.05 mm
Right:  32.03+/- 0.05 mm
8 / 8.0 pkt
Real magnification 7.99+/- 0.05x 3/3.0
Transmission 83.4+/- 2% 10.5/15.0
Chromatic aberration Medium in the centre, a bit higher than medium on the edge. 3.5/10.0
Astigmatism A surprisingly good result at this price point – almost point-like images of stars! 8.5/10.0
Distortion Distance of the first curved line from the field of view centre compared to the field of view radius: 47.5% ±3% 5/10.0
Coma Starts already at 55-60% of field of view radius and is approaching high values on the very edge. 4/10.0
Blurring at the edge of the FOV Blur occurs in a distance of 73% ± 5% from the field of view centre. 4/10.0
Darkening at the edge the FOV Noticeable 3.7/5.0
Whiteness of the image Yellow-green hue but it's rather slight. Flat transmission curve. 4.2/5.0
Collimation Perfect. 5/5.0
Internal reflections
Left: Right:
Bushnell Prime 8x32 - Internal reflections - Left Bushnell Prime 8x32 - Internal reflections - Right
Sensible at this price point.
3.2/5.0
Housing Quite shapely and stylish at this price point, comfortable to hold and to look through. Black rubber armour with slightly rough texture so it sticks to your hands well. The rubber sticks out next to objective lens. Rubberized eyecups have smooth but rather too loose regulation. Produced in China. 7/8.0
Focusing Big, ribbed central wheel which moves smoothly with a slight but acceptable resistance. Its full turn amounts to 585 degrees. Dioptre correction on the right eyepiece in a form of a ring which is hard to turn. It moves the outer element too. 4.2/5.0
Tripod An easy tripod acces. In our 8x32 test we awarded all binoculars 1.5 points by default because a tripod exit is rarely used in this class of equipment. 1.5/3.0
Interpupilary distance from 54.2 to 73.6mm 4/6.0
Closest focusing distance 3.0 meters. 1/2.0
Eyepieces FOV Apparent field of view of 58.8 degrees. 6/10.0
Field of view Measured by us amounted to 7.36 +/- 0.04 degrees and was in accordance with official specifications within the margin of error. A sensible field for this class of equipment. 5.5/8.0
Quality of the interior of the barrels Dark interior of the tubes but not especially well-matted. You can notice some ribs a bit lower but they aren't matted either. Gray bottom next to the prisms with some scratches. Some specks of dust are visible too. 3/5.0
Vignetting
Left: Right:
Bushnell Prime 8x32 - Vignetting - Left Bushnell Prime 8x32 - Vignetting - Right
OL: 3.01%, OR: 4.92%
2.5/8.0
Prisms quality Good quality BaK-4. 8/8.0
Antireflection coatings Greenish on objectives and eyepieces. Prisms are very shiny as if some surfaces weren't covered. Medium intensity of layers. 3.5/5.0
Warranty [years] lifetime 6/6.0
Final result
67.5%
114.8 / 170 pkt
Econo result 0pkt.

Summary


Pros:
  • shapely, lightweight, and handy casing,
  • very good astigmatism correction,
  • proper colour rendering,
  • high quality prisms made of BaK-4 glass,
  • lifetime warranty.
Cons:
  • too high chromatic aberration on the edge of the field,
  • truncated exit pupils,
  • sharp images from 3 meters.

I should start from the fact that you deal here with a really small, physically light, and shapely pair of binoculars. Even though it features 8×32 parameters, the Bushnell remains smaller and lighter than many 8×30 models and the photo below is the proof. What's important, its officially declared weight – 470 grams- is in full accordance with our measurements.


Bushnell Prime 8×32, Swarovski CL Companion 8×30 and Nikon Monarch HG 8×30.

Of course if you deal with a roof prism instrument costing 100 Euro you shouldn't expect miracles like the newest technologies available on the market. Accordingly, you don't get here phase correction coatings and the reflection coating on the prisms is, most likely, ordinary aluminum. The transmission won't bowl you over but it remains completely acceptable at this price point. What's important, its graph is quite flat so the Bushnell, tested here, renders colours very well.

The number of pros and cons is quite short and, at this price point, it is a good piece of news. It means that in the majority of testing categories the binoculars performed moderately well. As there are a bit more pros than cons the final result of the Bushnell in our test should be called very sensible.

We also appreciate the fact that the binoculars' parameters are exactly as officially stated – hardly a norm at this price point. You get real 8×32 closed in an instrument which has dimensions exactly as declared and weighting as much as it should. Also the field of view amounts to almost 7.4 degrees and you get a very comfortable eye relief distance, that of 18 mm – not a mean feat for such a small set of binoculars.

All of this make us say that if you have an impassable limit on your hobby expenditures of about 100 Euro, the Bushnell Prime 8×32 might be your best choice. We think you will be rather pleased with this instrument.