Well.. I am so pleasantly surprised I felt I had to jump on here and tell you all!
Due to the Vipa austerity measures currently in place, as I'm sure many would have noticed, I have had to sell an awful lot of high end gear.. I thought that was going to mean a semi permanent hiatus from shooting but, like any addiction, it isn't that simple and I have resigned my self to the fact I am a shooter and fieldsportsman plain and simple.... I just need to live with it!
Now.. whilst replacing the Blaser R8 and getting me a nice Beretta O/U is a long way off right now.. there are a couple of things I couldnt do without, binoculars being one thing.. I started looking around and came accross american positive reviews for the new Bushnell Legend Ultra HD bins...
These have an rrp of approaching £500 and to be honest, if I'd been looking at that kind of outlay and had that kind of money I would have probably got a pair of Pentax's like I used to have.. but, I found someone online selling for £199.. At that price I thought I'd give them a go..
So.. 10x42 (would have prefered 8x but they are more expensive for some reason)........ Zeiss Victory or Leica Geovids they aint but I am pleasantly surprised at the image clarity, compact size and construction.. They are rubber over magnesium so feel substantial and well built and extremely compact in the hand. They are comfortable to look through and certainly don't come accross as cheap rubbish.. far better than my father in laws Nikon Monarchs which I recomended my MIL buy him for christmas last year with the same £200 budget!
My ONLY criticisms are that the focus wheel is not as positive as I am used to, i.e. there is a little bit of free play, not a problem just not what I'm used to feeling. And the Interpupilary distance hinge could do with being tighter (I'm sure if I could get at the tensioning screw it would be a quick fix but don't want to break them just yet.) These are 2 minor niggles, nothing more and certainly don't detract from the overall piece of kit. They are even supplied with a semi rigid cas and chest harness.
So.. there you have it... hats off to Bushnell... If you are on a limited budget give these a shot.. at £500 they would be overpriced knowing what the competition is like at that price but at or around £200 I doubt anything could beat them.. I had, briefly, a pair of Minox HGs in between the Geovids and the Victorys and I honestly wouldnt put these a million miles away from them other than the niggles I have already mentioned!
A big thumbs up from (up to now) a top shelf only £2k plus glass user!