The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of gear

Bushnell Legacy 8x42 Review

Bushnell Legacy 8x42
Photo: Bushnell
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $126 List
Pros:  Wide field of view, crisp and clear image, multiple lens caps
Cons:  Incredibly wide, difficult to hold, sticky focus knob, uncomfortable fit
Manufacturer:   Bushnell
By Stephanie Bennett ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jun 3, 2015
  • Share this article:
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
  • Magnification - 20% 8
  • Clarity - 50% 8
  • Ease of Adjustment - 10% 5
  • Durability - 10% 7
  • Portability - 10% 5

Our Verdict

The Bushnell Legacy shone in quite a few different categories during testing; it had the largest field of view of any binocular tested (430 feet/1000 yards), presented one of the clearest images, and is a great value at $129.95. So then, you may ask, why did the Legacy not gain the coveted prize of Editors' Choice? The size and width of the barrels and the binoculars in general were the downfall to the Legacy during testing.

Due to the width of the binoculars (3"–5" depending on adjustment), and their weight (26.5 ounces), it is difficult to hold the binoculars while trying to adjust the focus knob. What is also an issue, and a common theme amongst the Bushnell models tested, that the focus knob is very sticky. So, a sticky focus knob on top of wide and heavy binoculars sometimes results in frustration while trying to focus in on an object. Another issue is that the width of the binoculars does not fit various faces well. However, once you are able to set the focus knob to the desired result, the Bushnell Legacy 8x42 provides a spectacular clear and crisp image!

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Legacy is a large, heavy, high-powered binocular with a large field of view.

Performance Comparison

Peering through the eyepiece of the Bushnell Legacy.
Peering through the eyepiece of the Bushnell Legacy.
Photo: Stephanie Bennett


When viewing images through the Bushnell Legacy 8x42, it is on par with our Editors' Choice, the Nikon Monarch 3 8x42 ATB. One could extrapolate that it is because it has the same magnification and optical lens size, but striking clarity was a notable feature with all of the Bushnell models.


As you will see in our How to Choose Binoculars article, 8x magnification can be preferred over 10x. For most people, hands will have the slightest tremor while holding an object, and 10x will amplify that shakiness. The magnification of the Bushnell Legacy hits the sweet spot with an 8x power rating.

Ease of Adjustment

As mentioned above, are were a few ease-of-use issues with the Bushnell Legacy. The Legacy falls victim to "sticky" focus knob syndrome, like most of the other Bushnell models we reviewed; the Bushnell NatureView 6x30, Bushnell H20 10x26, and the Bushnell Powerview 10x25 Compact.

Another issue with the Legacy is that the barrels are incredibly wide and overbuilt, causing the entire pair of binoculars to be heavy. This binocular is perfect for someone with large hands, but if you consider yourself average, this is not the binocular for you.


The Bushnell Legacy 8x42 is an incredibly durable binocular with a thick outer coating. Our only issue is that the Legacy has loose lens caps. They are incredibly easy to lose and are not affixed to the binoculars, which loses durability points in our book. The best pair of binoculars with lens caps affixed are the Nikon Monarch 8x42, where they are part of the binoculars, and not just an easy to lose piece of plastic.


The Legacy is on the larger side, but can still be held with one hand.
The Legacy is on the larger side, but can still be held with one hand.
Photo: Stephanie Bennett
The Bushnell Legacy 8x42 is the opposite of "compact." Using a Porro-Prism design, and then an additional wide-barrel design, the Legacy is incredibly heavy (26.5 ounces). The size of the binoculars makes it difficult to pack efficiently in a pack, and takes up almost ½ the space of a 20 liter bag.

Best Application

The Bushnell Legacy is great for viewing wildlife from the car, or birding if you do not have too far to walk. We would encourage you to avoid purchasing this binocular if you plan on hiking more then 1 mile with this binocular in your pack. A better option would be our Editors' Choice, the Nikon Monarch 8 x 42, which has the same magnification but is lighter, more compact, and easy to pack along.


These binoculars do retail for around $100 less than the Monarch, so if you are on a budget but prefer this level of magnification, and don't mind the weight or large size, these binoculars may be the right choice. They offer outstanding clarity for the price.

Stephanie Bennett