Just picked up a pair of Bushnell Excursion WTP PC3 in Mossy Oak. well first impressions, they look great! The are nice to handle and feel well built. At first glance the optics look very good, as you would expect from BAK-4 FMC glass. Now in the interest of fairness I have to admit this isn’t my favorite brand and I have tried a pair of Legends, I managed to break those! That said I am going to look at these with an open mind and so far I’m quite impressed. I also have a pair of Nikon Monarchs, same spec and the same finish (Almost) I’ve left the Nikons in the box. I’ll save those for another day.
The Bushnell’s look very good, feel very good and in good light give a nice clear crisp image. They focus easily and look pin sharp to my eyes. Before I take them off into the wilderness and hopefully discover something rare and wonderful, here is what they claim: If you’re looking to get the best from your time outdoors, take along a set of our Bushnell Excursion 8x42mm binoculars and you’ll have more time to take in the details. The fully- multi coated lenses on these Bushnell Excursion 8x42mm stretch low light performance to new heights. Premium BaK-4 prisms with PC3 Phase coating ensure images have superb sharpness and colour fidelity. That’s what Bushnell say and here is the spec.
- Wide Field of View
- PC-3 phase coating for colour fidelity and clarity of image
- BaK-4 roof prisms
- Fully multi-coated optics
- 100% Waterproof / Fogproof construction
- Large centre-focus knob for precise focusing – even whenwearing gloves
I’m taking them to a nearby creek, it’ll be damp and boggy as well as a generally tough environment. I’ll have my trusty old horizon roof swith me too. The’ve been in the said creek at least once already. They were hanging around my neck at the time. Although I’ll be more careful this time. I’ll have an opportunity to spot some quite rare woodland birds so I really want these binos to be good.
The good news is these low cost little binoculars performed better that I expected. I didn’t see any spotted flycatchers or willow tits but the optical quality is very good. Nice wide field of view and as bright and sharp as anything I’ve looked through, for a good while. They focused down to a couple of meters (to my surprise) and were quick to refocus on a distant object. It was pretty damp and boggy, even though it was a warm day. No problems with fogging. I didn’t go for the full immersion test, luckily. as the light began to fade the image was still bright and clear. On the whole a very well rounded bit of kit.
The only gripe I have is that I broke the neck strap retaining clip on one side. It was my fault and something I can do to any binoculars. I think if you do buy a pair of these you might want to treat them with a bit more care, than I do anyway. The other point to make is not to put them down in mossy grass, especially under an oak tree. If you do you may never find them again! the camo is that good. It’s by the real tree people and very effective.
So on the whole great binos, well designed and constructed (appart from the strap retainer, maybe). They look and handle like a much more expensive pair. The optics are really very, very good. Would I buy them? ask me again in a week. I’ll take the Nikons for a spin first.
If your looking for a good all round pair of binoculars for bird watching or nature spotting, these are ideal. They look very good too. You can pick these up for about £160 which for the spec and performance is pretty good. Just one more thing, my old bashed up Horizons are just as good, (maybe better) not as pretty though. Mind you at about £90 I won’t complain.
For my money good roof prism binos are the way to go for bird watching. They tend to be lighter, smaller and easier to focus. But they have to be good ones. If you want to spend £30 go for Porro prisms, at that price level the roofs will be awful and the porros will be ok, maybe even good.