Bushnell Legend Binoculars: Are They Worthy of the Name?

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Think of some of the people or characters that most people would consider legends. All of them define greatness in some way, don’t they? Otherwise, they wouldn’t be called legends. Do Bushnell Legend binoculars deserve to be called by that name too?

We’ll take a look at the four Bushnell binoculars series that have the Legend tag attached to them to see if they truly have qualities of greatness or not. In the end, you should be able to determine whether any of them are great enough for you and your needs.

The table below lets you skip to the section you find most interesting. Otherwise, just read on to get all the information.

Does the Legend Series Have the Binoculars I Want?

Bushnell’s Legend binoculars come in four different series:

  • Ultra HD
  • E Series
  • L Series
  • M Series

Within the Ultra HD series, there are five models. In some ways, you might wonder why some of those models exist, but when you take a closer look, you see that each is quite different from the others.

Each of the E, L, and M series has an 8×42 and a 10×42 model. Again, at first glance, these look very similar on paper. However, there are good reasons for having the three distinct series.

You might see listings online (notably on Amazon) that tend to confuse these series. You can see items such as an Ultra HD M series set of binoculars. However, according to information on the official Bushnell site, the Ultra HD and M series (or E series or L series) do not mix.

The reason you might find confusion elsewhere is that it’s not Bushnell that is creating those listings. Third party vendors sometimes don’t do their homework thoroughly and end up offering descriptions that don’t really fit the product available.

With eleven Legend models from which you can choose, Bushnell very likely has a pair that will fit your situation. Let’s take a close look at them now so you can see for yourself.

Legend Ultra HD: Compact, Camo, and More

Three of the five Ultra HD (high definition) models are compact size. They all weigh 15 ounces or less. When you’re out and about birding or hunting, you really appreciate such lightness.

The lightest of these, the Legend Ultra HD 10×25, weighs in at just 8.1 ounces. This model can make itself even more compact when not in use. You can fold the eyepieces in on their hinges so you can tuck them into just about any coat pocket.

The field of view isn’t as wide on the compact models as it is for the others. Still, the 10×25 gives you a respectable 285 feet. That’s nearly a football field wide.

The close focus point on the 10×25 binoculars is just 6 feet. If your subject will sit still for you, you can get quite close to see even more detail than usual.

Bushnell Legend Ultra Compact 10x25
Bushnell Legend Ultra Compact 10×25

Eye relief on all the Ultra HD models is between 14 and 15mm. That should be good enough to accommodate most users who want or need to keep their glasses on when using these binoculars. The eye relief on the E, L, and M series models is even longer, but we’ll get to those details later.

The other two compact models, the 8×26 and the 10×26, both have a close focus of 10 feet – still not bad – but they are a shade heavier, 14 ounces and 15 ounces, respectively.

The only possible negative with these three compact binoculars is that you can’t attach them to a tripod. That’s not really surprising though because you don’t normally need to attach such lightweight gadgets to a tripod. Tripods are for bigger units that you can’t hold steady in your hands alone.

One of the standard sized Ultra HD binoculars is the 8×36 Realtree AP (all purpose) camo set. Realtree camouflage is supposed to blend in with a natural background better than most camo colorings. When appropriately dressed for hunting, birding or going on safari, your binoculars won’t give you away.

With their medium size, you can expect a medium weight. Both the 8×36 and the 10×36 binoculars weigh almost 21 ounces. You should still be able to use either of these for several hours with little arm fatigue.

Legend Ultra 10x36
Legend Ultra 10×36

Obviously the 8×36 will magnify 2x less than the 10×36, but their big benefit is that you get a 426-foot field of view. That said, the 10×36 will still show you just over 340 feet from left to right. It’ll be pretty hard to miss finding your target even at 1000 yards.

Bushnell Legend: The E, L, and M Series

I’m not sure what the E, L, and M stand for, if anything. Most likely they’re similar to the original Ford lines of cars – Model A, Model T, etc.

All three series have two models in each – the 8×42 and the 10×42. There’s no difference there. The 10x is simply more powerful than the 8x.

The field of view (FOV) and the close focus distance are the same from one series to another as well. For the 8×42, the FOV is 426 feet (the same as the Realtree AP camo above) and the close focus comes at six and a half feet. Both of these are good numbers for the same reasons mentioned earlier.

For the 10×42, the FOV is 340 feet and the close focus is 8 feet. Both of these are also respectable distances.

So what would make you prefer one series over another?

The E series is the most basic of the three. There are three features that are added progressively to the L and M series that you don’t get in the E series. Generally speaking, this will make E series binoculars less expensive. That will be their biggest selling point compared to the L and M series.

The L series adds two of the three new features – ED Prime glass and a locking diopter. The ED Prime glass intends to make your viewing better by reducing light dispersion. You’ll get better color resolution and contrast with virtually no blurring.

The diopter is the control that lets you adjust just one of the sides of your binoculars in case you have eyes that are not of the same strength. Once you adjust one side so the set of binoculars works well for both your eyes, you can lock it in place. After that you can use the main focus control, and it will adjust for both your eyes appropriately.

The L series 8×42 is pictured below.

The M series includes those two features and add dielectric coating on the mirrors. The coating increases reflectiveness giving you an even better view since more light make it through the binoculars to your eyes.

The M series 8×42 is pictured below. Obviously it looks similar to the L series binoculars above.

Adding those features apparently increases the weight of these binoculars just a little. The L series models each weighs 23.5 ounces. (Those figures are from Bushnell. You’d think the 10×42 would weigh about an ounce more.) The M series 8×42 weighs 25.5 ounces, and the 10×42 weighs 26.5 ounces. That’s still just a moderate amount of mass in your hands though.

Which Bushnell Legend Model Is for You?

Let’s ask a few questions to zero in on which of these models you might like the best.

Will you have to keep your binoculars in a small compartment? Or do you plan to use it for long periods of time? If the answer to either of those questions is a yes, then look again at the three compact Ultra HD models.

If you’re really short on space, go for the smallest of those three, the Ultra HD 10×25. Remember it’s also the lightest of all of these by almost a full six ounces.

Are you a hunter? If so, or if you need total camouflage for any other reason, you probably want the Ultra HD 8×36 Realtree AP camo binoculars.

Do you want a really wide field of view? Choose any of the 8×42 models from the E, L, or M series. Narrow that according to price and additional features – ED Prime glass, locking diopter, or dielectric coating on the mirrors.

Do you want some or all of those features in but a more powerful magnification? Look at the 10×42 models of the E, L, and M series.

The binoculars Bushnell has developed here are worthy of their name. It’s hard to go wrong selecting a pair of binoculars from any Legend series as long as you know how you plan to use them most often.

If none of these have tickled your fancy, you might be interested in the PowerView series instead.

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