Bushnell H20

The Bushnell H20 series is available in a wide variety of models, most of which have been very popular with the public. The 8×42, 10×42 and 12×42 have all been reviewed by more than 100 customers (each) at Amazon, all getting high percentages Five Star ratings. The most versatile of them all is the Bushnell H20 8×42 and this one has been reviewed along with the Bushnell Legacy WP 8×42, Trophy 8×42 and the Legend Porro prism 8×42. These four binoculars by Bushnell fall roughly in the same price range and a comparison is thus legitimate.  The following specification table reveals important facts and shows clearly the areas in which a certain model excels.

Bushnell 8x42 binoculars: $50 - $150

MODEL Bushnell H2O 8x42 Bushnell Legacy 8x42 WP Bushnell Trophy 8x42 Bushnell Legend 8x42 Porro
ANGULAR FOV 8.15 8.15 6.85 8.15
LINEAR FOV: ft/1000 YARDS 427.875 427.875 359.625 427.875
EYE RELIEF MM. 17 18 19 15
CLOSE FOCUS 5.5 m/18.04 ft 3.6 m/11.81 3.6 m/11.81 ft 3.6 m/11.81 ft
PRISMS BaK-4/Porro BaK-4/Porro BaK-4/roof BaK-4/Porro
OPTICAL COATINGS multi-coated fully multi-coated fully multi-coated fully multi-coated
WEIGHT 770 gm/27.16 oz 751 gm/26.49 oz 765 gm/26.98 oz 680 gm/23.99 oz
WATERPROOF yes yes yes yes
FOGPROOF yes yes yes yes

Similarities between the Bushnell H20 8×42, Legacy WP 8×42, Trophy 8×42 and Legend Porro prism 8×42

In addition to the similarities of magnification (8x) and aperture (42 mm.) and the features derived from this (light gathering ability, Twilight factor and Relative Brightness Index), the following features are also similar:
Optical glass: BaK-4 glass has been used in all the cases, which is considerably better than BK-7 glass.
Weatherproofing: All four are both water- and fogproof, which is excellent for a pair of binoculars this cheap.
Warranty: All four are covered by a 5 year warranty.


Differences between the Bushnell H20 8×42, Legacy WP 8×42, Trophy 8×42 and Legend Porro prism 8×42

Prism design: An important difference among these four binoculars is the fact that the Bushnell Trophy has roof prisms whereas the others have porro prisms. The porros are more bulky;  the roof prisms, on the other hand,  sleek and compact, which make them more sought after for people traveling a lot. However, the images produced by a roof prism design is not as good as in the case of porro prism designs at this low price levels. This applies only in the case of cheap binoculars like the four under review.
Optical coatings: All the optical surfaces are coated and the way this is done accounts to a great extent for the huge differences in prices between  binoculars. In the case of the four Bushnells which are reviewed, the Bushnell H20 8×42 is multi-coated, whereas the Bushnell Legacy WP, Bushnell Trophy and Bushnell Legend are fully multi-coated. This means that images produced by the Bushnell Legacy WP and Bushnell Legend will be better than in the case of the Bushnell H20 8×42. 
Although the optical surfaces of the Bushnell Trophy are also fully multi-coated, having roof prisms (and not porro) actually requires that the prism surfaces should also be  phase-corrected to prevent color aberrations. This has not been done in the case of the Bushnell Trophy, so there will be a slight distortion of colors at the edges.
Field of view: The FOV of the three porro prism binoculars, the Bushnell H20, Bushnell Legacy WP and Bushnell Legend is an excellent 8.15 degrees (428 feet @1000 yards). This is the best of all the 8×42 binoculars reviewed at this website, irrespective of price. It overshadows the FOV of the Bushnell Trophy, which is not too bad at all at 6.85 degrees (360 feet @ 1000 yards).  These very good FOV’s make these cheap binoculars excellent for viewing where movement is involved, like birding or watching moving wild animals. It also makes them excellent for your children who might still be struggling to find and follow moving objects.
Eye relief: Eye relief is important to people wearing eyeglasses and it has to be at least 15 mm. All four of the binoculars under review comply to this requirement, with the Bushnell Trophy taking the honours with an eye relief of 19 mm.
Close focus distance: The ability of a binocular to focus at an object close by is important when the viewer is into real small objects like small birds or bugs like butterflies. These binoculars do not specialize in close focusing, but the 3.6 m/11.81 ft of the Bushnell Legacy WP, Trophy and Legend is not too shabby at all.

Popularity:  Of these four Bushnell binoculars the most popular one by far is the Bushnell H20 8×42 Waterproof/Fogproof Binocular, even though it does not have fully multi-coated lenses” but only “multi-coated” ones. It has been reviewed by as many as 116 customers (Feb 2011), getting 63 Five Star and 31 Four Star ratings. “An excellent buy”, “a great binocular for the price” seems to be the overall impression. The fully weatherproof feature is also widely praised.

For a comparison of the Bushnell H20 8×42 to the Bushnell H20 10×42 and 12×42 CLICK HERE.

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