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#3429561 - 10/28/09 Bushnell 7x26 Custom Compacts or...?  
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BlackFrog Offline
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I've been hearing good things about the Bushnell Elite 7x26 Custom Compacts:

http://bushnell.com/products/binoculars/elite-e2/620726/

Was thinking of giving them a go for a compact backpack set of binos. But also on my list are the well-touted Yosemite 6x30 that many here seem to really like (especially for the $), and the Vortex Fury 6.5x32.

Anyone play with the Elite 7x26?

Last edited by BlackFrog; 10/28/09.
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#3430007 - 10/29/09 Re: Bushnell 7x26 Custom Compacts or...? [Re: BlackFrog]  
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Brad Offline
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The Elite 7x26 is one of the "best buys" in the binocular world IMO.


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#3430361 - 10/29/09 Re: Bushnell 7x26 Custom Compacts or...? [Re: Brad]  
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hmmmmm... I just might have to try them to. Bushnell has an offer going on until the end of the year that if you buy any binoc or scope with Rainguard HD or Rainguard (the 7x26's qualify), you get a windproof/waterproof microfleec camo pullover for free.

Well, you gotta pay $15 for shipping of the garment. Not bad though, usually those things are $75 or more.

http://bushnell.com/downloads/rebates/Bushnell_Jacket_Rebate.pdf

Last edited by BlackFrog; 10/29/09.
#3430419 - 10/29/09 Re: Bushnell 7x26 Custom Compacts or...? [Re: BlackFrog]  
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Blackfrog,

I don't know if you have seen my post about how wonderful my Nikon binocs are. They are. But when I compared them side by side with the Elite 7-26 Bushnells mine came a close second. The 7X26, to me, were slightly better than the Minox 8-44 porroprisms for clearness.


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#3430454 - 10/29/09 Re: Bushnell 7x26 Custom Compacts or...? [Re: Ringman]  
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BlackFrog Offline
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thanks for the input! I've read how much you like your Nikons, but I'm leary of the variable power in binocs. I can be pretty rough on equipment at times. I'm clumsy.

To me, having that variable power mechanism in there is just more to 'go wrong' for a guy like me. I like simple, rugged, and foolproof. So I'd prefer to stick with fixed power, in the 6x to 8x range.

#3430709 - 10/29/09 Re: Bushnell 7x26 Custom Compacts or...? [Re: BlackFrog]  
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The Bushnell 7x26 is the best affordable small binocular in existence. The Yosemite is one of the true bargains in the optics market. The optics are really pretty comparable, but the Yosemite is a lot larger than the Bushnell. So the ultimate choice will be the size of the binocular. The Yosemite is small enough to be easily packable and large enough to be comfortable to use all day. The 7x26 has superb optics, but it is small enough to be difficult to hold and do much long term glassing with. The 7x26 is a little too large to be pocket size.

I have both and they are really an apples to oranges comparison. I guess if I had to choose just one it would be the 7x26.


Steve

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#3430962 - 10/29/09 Re: Bushnell 7x26 Custom Compacts or...? [Re: SteveC99]  
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Thanks Steve! Appreciate the input.

I have use for a couple of pairs of binocs in this range, like leaving a cheap pair in the truck, one for the backpack, etc..

From many years ago I have a some Nikon Sportstar II's 10x25 that were my first pair of compacts. They had decent optics for the price point, but wished I would've got the 8x instead. I didn't know better at the time.

So now that I have this new compact binoc kick going, I ordered a bunch to compare all at once. Probably end up sending a few back, but most likely keeping three pair. Here's what I ordered:

Bushnell 7x26 Elite
Nikon Trailblazer 8x25
Nikon Sportstar 8x25 (new model)
Yosemite 6x30
Vortex Fury 6.5x32

Should have in a few days and give them a good comparison side by side.

Last edited by BlackFrog; 10/29/09.
#3431082 - 10/29/09 Re: Bushnell 7x26 Custom Compacts or...? [Re: BlackFrog]  
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These started out as the Bushnell 6x25 Custom compact and went through many small evolutions and re-naming and often wore the B&L logo. I have owned and used many sets in 6, 7,8 and 9 powers and everyone was top notch. Over the years I compared them with all the little Zeiss, Leica and Swaro roof prism binos and optically they always the best.
Depending upon the version some were and some were not waterproof but all are great, useable binos.


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#3431374 - 10/29/09 Re: Bushnell 7x26 Custom Compacts or...? [Re: 458Win]  
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I believe this is the one that started it all. I still have these, a Bushnell Custom Compact 7x26 with the B&L stampings. I bought these back in the late 70's after being very disappointed with a Zeiss 8x20 BG/A compact that had lots of glare issues. These were far better.

[Linked Image]

#3431661 - 10/29/09 Re: Bushnell 7x26 Custom Compacts or...? [Re: BlackFrog]  
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Well, that should give you something to look at. I personally have not seen an 8x25 Trailblazer I would keep if it was given to me. They have all been fuzzy and dim and the focus action sucks, but I hope you get one better than the ones I have looked at. The Sportstar is decent, but not in the league with the 7x26. I also have the 6.5x32 Fury and it is a real decent binocular. Very close to a CF version of the Minox IF. I don't think most people could separate the Minox and the Fury on the basis of the image alone. Same thing with the Eagle Optics Raven/Vortex Raptor in 6.5x32.


Steve

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#3445119 - 11/02/09 Re: Bushnell 7x26 Custom Compacts or...? [Re: SteveC99]  
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I don't think the Bushnell 7x26 is waterproof, if that matters to you.

#3445292 - 11/02/09 Re: Bushnell 7x26 Custom Compacts or...? [Re: DakotaDeer]  
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No it is not supposed to be waterproof. I have used mine a lot irrigating and they have gotten pretty wet several times, no problem, but if real reliable waterproof is probablay not them.

Last edited by SteveC99; 11/02/09.

Steve

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#3445406 - 11/02/09 Re: Bushnell 7x26 Custom Compacts or...? [Re: SteveC99]  
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My box came the other day, and all my binos are in for me to compare:

Bushnell 7x26 Elite
Nikon Trailblazer 8x25
Nikon Sportstar 8x25 (new model)
Yosemite 6x30
Vortex Fury 6.5x32

The Bushnells are very nice! I wish their eye cup was a little deeper, but the optics are very nice.

I can see why people like the Yosemites. I don't know where else you can get that optical quality for $80. Definitely a 'best buy'.

A little dissapointed with the newer Sportstar model. I still like my older Sportstar II model better. I'll have to search around Ebay for a older 8x Sportstar II I guess.

The Trailblazer was very compact, but I wasn't impressed with the focus adjustment. There was way too much backlash or play in the adjustment dial before anything happened.

The Vortex's are fantastic. They feel great in hand, and optically are very nice.

I'll be keeping the Yosemite's for sure. Every vehicle should have a set of these in them, good optics at a smokin' price. The perfect "truck set". The Elites are probably going to become my new backpack set. Sending back both Nikons. Undecided about the Vortex's. They are really nice, but bigger than I need and wondering when/where I would use them vs other glass I have.

Last edited by BlackFrog; 11/02/09.
#3445648 - 11/02/09 Re: Bushnell 7x26 Custom Compacts or...? [Re: Brad]  
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Originally Posted by Brad
The Elite 7x26 is one of the "best buys" in the binocular world IMO.


Yup.

My 1st generation 7x26's get carried more than my Mk 1 Swaro 7x and 8x SLC's--if I could find some used 1st generation custom compacts in great condition I'd buy 'em in a heartbet. Mine are getting a bit beat up. Fantastic eye relief, good optics, easy to use, very easy to carry.

I also have the 2nd generation, like them a lot too.

In the mid 90's, we compared the Zeiss vs Swaro vs Bushnell compacts one evening in New Mexico--the Ziess and Swaro owners were quite surprised......the Bushnells were better.

I think the 3rd generation is coming on the market.

Right now there are some good buys on the 2nd generation.


Casey




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#3445667 - 11/02/09 Re: Bushnell 7x26 Custom Compacts or...? [Re: RDFinn]  
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My 1st generation are identical, only they are 1981 vintage and carry the Bushnell name. Allegedly, Bushnell designed these, and they were built in the B&L plant.

Only yours are in much better shape than mine..... cry


Casey


Originally Posted by RDFinn
I believe this is the one that started it all. I still have these, a Bushnell Custom Compact 7x26 with the B&L stampings. I bought these back in the late 70's after being very disappointed with a Zeiss 8x20 BG/A compact that had lots of glare issues. These were far better.

[Linked Image]




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#3445987 - 11/02/09 Re: Bushnell 7x26 Custom Compacts or...? [Re: alpinecrick]  
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I had a pair of what I suppose were "Gen 1" 7x26 and they were a great little glass. Only thing I didn't like was the focusing was a bit critical and moved too easily. Always had to refocus when I pulled them out.

Unfortunately someone else liked them and stole them.


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