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Looking at the specifications on the Bushnell Excursion EX 8x42 binoculars compared to the others we reviewed you won't see many things that stand out. It's not that they have bad optical performance nor are they lacking in features but they aren’t very flashy either. They're a perfect example of an average high-end pair of binoculars. None of the binoculars we looked at were exponentially better than all the rest so the degree between one and another is very minute. The biggest differences were mostly in lens and prism coatings, field of view, housing material, weight, help and support in general. These binoculars straddled the line with almost all of these though. If you want to check out the competition and do some comparing then see the rest of our binocular reviews.
All the essentials can be found when it comes to the optics. The lenses are fully multi-coated to help with contrast and clarity. They also have phase correction which counter acts the partial polarization that roof prism binoculars are susceptible to. Both fully multi-coated lenses and phase correction are important for the optimal visual experience. For one reason or another, some manufactures won't put one or both of these but they're both on these Bushnells.
As far as optics are concerned, there is one thing that the Excursion EX has that is better than the others we reviewed and there is one thing that is worse. The "worst" is the eye relief. Most of these binoculars have an eye relief of between 19 and 20 millimeters. The Bushnell Excursion's is only 17.2 millimeters. 2 or 3 millimeters really isn't that much and the only people that have to worry about it are those that wear glasses. Even then, usually anything over 17 millimeters is enough which means that this isn't all that negative - only comparatively.
The "better" feature really is better because it applies to everyone and that is the field of view. The linear field of view on the Excursion EX 8x42 is 138 meters. Most of the others we looked at were between 110 and 120 meters. That extra 20 or so meters aren't needed but the more you can see the better, especially if you're looking for something in particular. Limiting what you can see is mostly an annoyance, which is why in this aspect this Bushnell is the winner.
Bushnell doesn’t currently have email support but it is something that they are supposedly working on. For that reason, the only way to get a few questions we had answered was to call them. They put us on hold until someone was available to help which was only about 5 to 10 minutes. They were polite and did their best to answer all our questions. All in all, it wasn't a bad experience but it will be nice to email them and then go about your business till they get back with you rather than standing around on hold.
There are a lot of binoculars that are in the area of "8x42" and they are all pretty similar. Out of those that we researched, the Bushnell Excursion EX 8x42 falls in the middle. The reason for that is that nothing was extremely better than the others and nothing was really lacking. They're also priced in the middle ground, which makes them not a bad choice. Bushnell is one of the leading manufacturers of binoculars in the United States because they make good products. For that reason, they remain to be a great choice.
It has a wide field of view.
It has only the minimal eye relief.
It's a fairly average set of binoculars that works great.