271 of 276 people found the following review helpful
on March 5, 2014
I own both the Vanguard Endeavor ED 10x42 and the Bushnell Legend Ultra HD 10x42, and am able to provide a direct comparison between these two very similar binoculars.
The Vanguard and Bushnell both have 10x magnification and 42mm objective lens. Both use ED (Extra low-Dispersion) glass, have a magnesium alloy body, use BaK4 Roof Prism system, are fog-proof and waterproof, and both have a Field of View of 340-feet at 1000 yards. Both can be mounted on a tripod with an optional tripod adapter (a separate purchase for each). Both are made in China and come with a lifetime warranty.
When looking at near and far objects in different lighting conditions, I actually can’t see any difference in the optics. The images through both binoculars appear to be the same. Both have bright, clear optics and sharp detail.
Both binoculars have twist-up eyecups to allow for different eye relief. The Vanguard eyecups twist up in 3 stages, with a distinct stop at each one. This allows for 4 different positions for eye relief. The Bushnell eyecups twist up to only one additional position, for a total of two positions available for eye relief.
Locking Diopter Ring:
Both binoculars use a locking diopter ring to allow for a +/- right-eye adjustment if needed (if you have slightly different vision between your right and left eye). The Vanguard’s diopter ring is rubber coated and easily adjusted. The Bushnell’s diopter ring is a harder plastic and slightly more difficult to manipulate. Since you should only need to make this adjustment one time, it’s probably not a big deal. But if several people will be using these binoculars, you could be adjusting this ring more frequently. The diopter ring on the Vanguard is directly above a graduated scale that can be referenced for +/- adjustments of the ring. If multiple people are using these binoculars, it would be easy to remember your specific diopter setting on this scale, and you could return to that setting quickly. The Bushnell diopter ring does not sit above a graduated scale, so returning to a specific setting would not be as easy.
Rubberized Coating / Grip:
The Vanguard’s rubberized coating is textured and fitted tightly to the chassis of the binocular. This allows for a very firm and positive grip. The Bushnell’s rubberized coating has a slicker feel to it, and it also feels spongy in some areas over the chassis. The Bushnell just doesn’t have the same positive grip as the Vanguard.
Center Focus Knob:
Both binoculars use a center focus knob that can be adjusted with your index finger when holding the binoculars up to your eyes. This knob also has the same type of rubberized coating that’s used on each of the respective bodies of the two. Both center focus knobs have a smooth rotation, but the Vanguard just has a better feel to it.
Objective Lens Protective Covers:
Both binoculars have protective covers over the objective lens, and both sets of covers are designed to stay attached to the binoculars when you’re using them, to avoid losing the covers. The Vanguard protective covers stay firmly attached to the body of the binocular and there is almost no danger of losing them. The Bushnell covers are not attached as firmly, and they could very easily slip off unnoticed. You would be well advised to find an alternative method of securing the Bushnell covers, or else keep a very close eye on them frequently.
Both binoculars have short straps attached to their right and left sides to allow for the neck straps to be quickly connected or disconnected. Both neck straps are made of a neoprene-like material, and the Vanguard neck strap connects via quick-release buckles while the Bushnell neck strap connects via plastic clips. Both work just fine, but if you want to remove the neck strap from the Vanguard binoculars, the short straps remaining on either side can be connected to each other with the same quick-release buckles to form a very convenient carry handle. The Bushnell binoculars do not have this capability, and the two short straps on the sides would just flop around unless you devise your own method of connecting them.
The Vanguard comes with a nylon carrying case, neck strap, and cleaning cloth. The Bushnell comes with a more rigid carrying case, neck strap, cleaning cloth, a soft microfiber bag to store the binoculars in, and a deluxe binocular harness to use for long days of hiking.
Size and Weight:
The Vanguard binoculars stand 6.1 inches high and weigh 28.2 ounces (1.76 pounds). The Bushnell binoculars stand 5.6 inches high and weigh 25.7 ounces (1.61 pounds). Both were measured and weighed with their protective lens covers in place, but no neck strap attached.
Slight Advantage: Bushnell.
Despite being a slightly smaller binocular, the Bushnell carrying case is huge compared to the Vanguard case. Even though the Bushnell binocular is 0.5 inches shorter than the Vanguard, the Bushnell carrying case is taller, wider, and much thicker than the Vanguard case. The Bushnell case is 4.6 inches thick while the Vanguard case is only 3.3 inches thick. The Bushnell case has a removable carry strap, and it contains a separate pocket inside to store the carry strap, binocular neck strap, and the deluxe harness, which is why it’s so large. The Vanguard case is much more streamlined in appearance, and is sized to hold only the binoculars and neck strap. The Vanguard case also has a carry strap with a quick-release buckle, but is not completely removable. The case also has a belt loop sewn onto the backside so you can wear it on your belt or attach it to the webbing of a backpack.
Advantage: I prefer the carry-friendly size of the Vanguard.
While the optics of both binoculars appear to be the same to me in terms of brightness, clarity, and sharpness, the overall design and construction of the Vanguard Endeavor ED 10x42 binocular is definitely far superior to the Bushnell Legend Ultra HD 10x42 binocular.
Between these two models, I would strongly recommend the Vanguard.
325 of 351 people found the following review helpful
on July 18, 2012
A brief summary of this review is that, after comparison with the Bushnell Legend HD 8x42, A Nikon Prostaff 7 10x42, a Nikon Monarch 5 10x42, and a REI 10x50, I decided to stick with the Bushnell 10x42 Legend HD; BUT the decision is a compromise, and I an not totally happy with the Bushnell product.
To understand how I came about to compare so many models, let me give you the entire story. Firstly I had decided to get a good pair of binos. I decided to get the Legend HD 8x42 mostly because of the good reviews, its larger Field of View and brighter image (as compared to the 10x42). So after I got it from Amazon and carefully testing the optics visually, I noticed that in the left side scope there was a slight misalignment of optics so that there was a larger than normal area of image blurring on the left side field of view (the normal for the Legend series, from my subsequent observation, being about at 25% of the edge area you begin to get blurring). This was only noticeable when focused on a uniform flat surface; something I could possibly live with. So I took the binos out to the beach for an afternoon of testing. The image clarity was great, so was the color saturation and contrast... but there was one thing I couldn't live with--the eye relief was too long for a non-eyeglass wearer like me. Observing objects at eye-level and above was okay, but when the binos were pointed downward, say at birds at the waterline from above, the binos actually had to be awkwardly positioned away at a distance without touching any part of your eye socket or face. Very awkward, unnatural, and uncomfortable positioning of the binos; something not sustainable for a any extended period of time without introducing hand-shake.
So I decided to return the 8x and buy a 10x Legend because the latter had slightly shorter eye-relief. The process was very easily done with Amazon, and the 10x binos came quickly. Immediately, out of the box, I noticed the right side eye-cup was crooked at an off-angle. I tried to lightly adjust it, but it was permanent. As I retracted the cup, it was rough and had no click stop like the other side. BAD QUALITY CONTROL. So I decided to give it a comparison test so I can decide whether to exchange it or simply return it and buy another brand of binoculars. I went to a local REI store which carried Nikon binos, and had the salesperson let me take a look at the afore-mentioned Prostaff 7, Monarch 5, and REI models. The quick summary is that REI unit did not stand out (even with the extra 50mm aperture)... the Prostaff and Monarch models performed very close optically (the salesman said the Monarch was slightly better but he bought the Prostaff for himself because of the price; I personally thought the Monarch had some flare/fringing issues worse than the cheaper Prostaff!) but the Monarch had better build quality... From the build quality of both Nikons, it was immediately obvious that they were built better than the bushnells: the materials were more solid, and the movements smoother than the Bushnells.
So after taking the 3 binos outdoors and looking through them, I asked if it was okay if I were to pull out the Bushnell I had to compare side-by-side. He said no problem. (I have to commend REI staff on their sales service!) Pretty obviously, optically, the Bushnells were superior. This was obvious in the color saturation and contrast. Even the salesperson, after looking through the Bushnells, stopped trying to sell me on the Nikons.
Since binoculars are mostly optical instruments, you pretty much have to judge them via optics--and not build quality, so I decided to stick with Bushnell and ask Amazon to exchange my current unit due to the eye-cup problem. And the 2mm-shorter eye-relief of the 10x model made it useable for me--a non-eyeglass-wearer.
Voila, in two days, my replacement came. The eye-cups are okay... but left/right performance still had some variance--indicating bad quality control. Also the focusing knob was not smooth through its entire range. I can live with this as the image quality is excellent. So, if you think you can handle the possible need for returns and exchange, I feel the Bushnell Legend HD 10x42 is an excellent binoculars for its price... but only 4-and-half stars, not 5. (I want to add that if your budget only allowed spending below $150, the Nikon Prostaff 7 would be a great choice. You forego some saturation, contrast, and FOV, but still get sharp optics, and get better build quality at a lower price... At about $300, I would not recommend the Monarch 5.) (Have to also give kudos for Amazon and REI too--for their excellent customer service '.)
125 of 136 people found the following review helpful
on August 24, 2012
First - don't order the Bushnell binocular harness package that is offered - it is included with the binoculars!! (Amazon, you should remove this package option!)
Secondly - I am a docent at a seaside California state park and I use these often in all weather conditions. Had to have waterproof/fogproof. I just bought and received my 2nd pair of these, the first pair I have owned for about 7 years. I am not surprised they won the Binoculars of the Year award in 2012. They have made many improvements in the product design and have a nicer case and include the cool harness, and other extras. These binoculars are excellent and every one I lent the old pair to is impressed. I often get asked for info on what type they are. My first impression of these is that they are even better for viewing than the first pair, and with all of the upgrades, it makes sense. They are not too heavy, I didn't want to hike with a lot of extra weight.
I use them to view wildlife, on the beach or at sea, and I use them for bird watching as well. A respected mentor had told me long ago that the 10x42 size is very good for birdwatching, and I agree.
Due to sand getting into the eyecups from the blowing wind, etc. and me lending them to tourists who tend to be too rough with adjusting the eyecups (I will lend no more! ;-) I have sent my first pair into Bushnell for repair twice. They are very good, and usually a very quick turnaround time, with reasonable prices and excellent customer service by phone.
I highly recommend these binoculars, I will be loyal to Bushnell forever!
79 of 89 people found the following review helpful
on September 13, 2013
I never write a review but felt I must to help others decide from my experience. Looking for a decent set of binoculars is a daunting task considering all the options available. I am a Home Inspector and rely on binoculars for the things I can not get close enough to inspect. A lot of times in low light situations like in attics. I don't look at birds but I think what I do look at can be applied to those nature lovers who expect detail and color. I set out to spend no more than $800 dollars. Ive tried Nikons, Vortex, Vanguards, Zeiss and a $1200 pair of Swarovski's. About 10 different models @ 10X42. I did research and read all of the reviews including trips to Cabela's and Sportsmans Warehouse. There is a lot of good info on bestbinocularsreviews.com which leaned me toward the Vanguard's top-of-the-range 10x42 Endeavor ED. I tried 3 different pairs of the same Vanguards. The first pairs had a loose focus knob and the emblem fell off. The second pair, I could not focus both side,s even after rotating the diopter its full range. And the third pair had terrible color aberrations even in the center. A red purple hue was around everything.
Now the Bushnell Legend Ultra HD's 10X42. What a great experience looking through them. Colors come alive. Clarity and detail pop out at you like no other companies binoculars. In low light situations, the light looks amplified. There is only a slight color aberration at the very edge of the lenses. All the other companies had some degree of color aberrations even in the center except for the $1200 Swarovski's, which is the only ones I would relish. Dream on! I could not see any curvature across the field of view. The build quality is excellent with a smooth focus knob that gets you sharp images effortlessly. They are also comfortable to hold with a soft rubber coating. For the money up to the $1200 Swarovski's, you would be hard pressed to fine such a great set at this price. These have a better image to me than a set coasting $900. My wife loves them. She is a Sisters on the Fly member and pry's them out of my tool bag whenever she goes off on one of the clubs camping trips.
They have won the best in class award by binocularreviews.org 3 years in a row. Buy them! For $209 bones, You wont be disappointed.
40 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on December 17, 2012
I ordered two Bushnell Legend Ultra HD 10x42 binoculars (from Cabela's). One was shipped from Wisconsin, and the other was shipped from Colorado. The first one arrived in good working order, although adjustments were quite stiff and the optics were not as crisp as anticipated. The second pair arrived properly boxed, but it had several obvious problems. The zipper teeth on the semi-hard case were not meshed properly, as if someone had been careless or rushed when closing it. There were also plastic pieces and a spring in the bottom of the case, apparently from the demolished closing device on an inner cloth bag containing the binoculars. Upon taking these Bushnells out of their bag, I immediately noticed a bare, machined piece of metal below the right eyecup. In the bottom of the bag were two broken parts of a thin plastic ring that was supposed to cover the bare metal, which served as the diopter adjustment. Apparently, quality control was severely lacking. Examining both binoculars, I also noticed that the two were made with different specifications. The first one has eyecups that twist up in one smooth motion, whereas the second one has eyecups that twist up with two distinct clicks or positions. Furthermore, the optics on one (the second one, unfortunately) are noticeably better. The objectives even have different coatings; when viewed in exactly the same lighting conditions, lenses in the first one appear reddish and those in the second one appear more blueish. Both binoculars are disappointing in some way, although I will probably keep the first one.
30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on March 19, 2015
Very good and worth the money. Before I purchased these binoculars I shopped around for about a year. I eventually went into West Marine and looked through their binoculars. They had west marine brand and Steiners as well, I was not impressed at all. Maybe because of the huge price tag but whatever the reason when I looked through them at the store out the window I was not impressed at all. When I got these I was impressed. I am not saying that they are better because I would not be surprised at all if the $500 Steiners are better but what I am saying is that every single time I look through these $200 binoculars i am impressed. Every time! I viewed images out to about 400 yards and they work great. I'm sure when I get a chance to take them hunting for the first time they will be my best friend! Next to my rifle of course. I was also worried about 10x being to strong but no way, it's great. If I was in a wooded area where all I could see is 100 yards I would not want binoculars anyway. Past that 10x is fine. I even used them in the dark and they were fine! I didn't expect that.
8x should be better in the dark. I think these are great for anyone who needs small binoculars without sacrificing performance. I feel if you go smaller you will lose performance. I don't know how to explain the quality of the image but the way I did it was I looked at an object far away and I could clearly see the screws holding the object in place. Also when looking at animals the colors were great. If u look at my photo below you can see the difference between my 7x50s and the Bushnells. Hope this helps u make a decision.
30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on December 14, 2012
Look through these binoculars and see a bright, sharp image. They're comfortable to hold, not heavy for full size binoculars, the hinge and focusing wheel feel comfortably snug and adjust smoothly--a very solid build. I stopped by a local reservoir to observe some ducks on the opposite side, hooded mergansers; a terrific view with these, no struggle making out field marks. Everything was picture perfect.
Buy these for very reasonably priced nature observation or hunting glass; you may never find the need to upgrade. Buy them for a second pair; I don't know if your top of the line firsts can be that much better. I'd be interested to read a review from someone who tested them opposite Swarovskis, Leicas, or others of that ilk. I'm going to look if someone already has.
Since purchasing, besides casual use I took these with me on a Christmas bird count, out in the field for 8-1/2 hours or so. I remain very pleased. Also, swapping binoculars briefly with other birders, I had a casual look through older pairs of Nikon Monarchs, and Bausch and Lomb Elites (now a Bushnell model). I'd have to spend more time with other binoculars to see if I could tell the difference with higher priced glass. Also, over time, I will see how durable these prove to be.
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on March 26, 2014
I purchased the non-camo version of these binoculars from Amazon less than a month ago. By now, at what is hopefully the end of a brutal winter, I have used them to observe the bald and golden eagles that are returning to the hilltop behind our house to hunt for emerging ground squirrels. The Bushnells are optically very impressive, bright and sharp with good edge clarity. They feel good in the hand, and the moving parts (central hinge, main focus, diopter focus) are smooth and precise. The relatively high power (10x) means you need a steady hand, but I find them easy and comfortable to use. They come with a good assortment of accessories, including lens caps with keeper loops to prevent loss, a comfortable padded carrying strap, a substantial semi-rigid case, and a binocular harness.
Reviews on hunting and birding sites praised the optical quality, but a very few mentioned build quality problems such as broken diopter rings or similar issues. The reviews were of two or more years ago, and hopefully Bushnell has addressed these problems by now. In my own purchase, the cardboard Bushnell box was crushed, but the binoculars seem to be unharmed. The Amazon shipping box was pristine, meaning that the binoculars were put into the shipping box despite the Bushnell box having been previously crushed.
Give these a try. I think you will be pleased. If you want a lot more detail, see the update, below.
I have carefully compared these Bushnell Legend Ultra 10x42 binoculars with two pairs of Vanguard Endeavor ED binoculars, in 10x42 and 8x42 models, all of which I purchased from Amazon. Aside from the difference in magnification, the two Vanguards are identical in appearance and function. Subsequent references to "Vanguards" include both magnifications. The Bushnells are similar to the Vanguards in design and features. The differences noted below are slight.
In both brands, overall image sharpness, image-edge sharpness, and brightness are excellent. These are the most important features in any binoculars. I studied a frost-laced spider web at 100 feet, and the clarity was amazing in both binoculars. Advantage - Draw.
Mechanical operation (main focus, interpupillary distance) -- The interpupillary distance adjustment (width), and the main focus are somewhat stiffer in the Bushnells. The main focus in the Bushnells is also a bit awkward to adjust because it has some slack that must be taken up when changing the direction of rotation of the focus wheel. By contrast, the Vanguards have no slack in the focus wheel, with immediate reaction of the focus when the wheel is turned. One reviewer noticed a faint clicking in the Bushnells when operating the main focus wheel. This is not a mechanical flaw in the adjustment mechanism, but merely a "creaking" of the rubber covering of the wheel against the plastic substrate of the wheel. Advantage - Vanguard.
Diopter adjustment (right eye focus) -- The diopter ring on the Vanguards is much easier to operate than that on the Bushnells. The locking mechanism to prevent the diopter setting from being inadvertently changed is easily engaged or disengaged on the Vanguards, but difficult on the Bushnells. Due to some (very few) reviewers complaining of broken diopter rings on the Bushnells, I am very careful when adjusting the diopter. When focusing the Bushnell diopter I use thumb and forefinger; when locking or unlocking the ring, I use two fingers and a thumb. On the Vanguards I can easily do both tasks with thumb and forefinger. The Bushnell diopter ring is sufficiently stiff that once adjusted it is unlikely to be accidentally re-adjusted, so I simply don't lock the ring after setting the diopter. Update: Although the Bushnell diopter adjustment is becoming less stiff with use, it is still stiffer than the Vanguards. The problem with this stiffness, beyond the possibility of breaking the diopter ring, is that you are essentially holding the binoculars with one hand while your right hand is operating the diopter adjustment, and the significant torque required makes it difficult to hold the binoculars still enough to focus the right eye. Advantage - Vanguard.
The twist-up eyecups on the Vanguards adjust incrementally with detents, and rise higher than those on the Bushnells. Those on the Bushnells have a more limited range, no detents, and the right eyecup rose noticeably higher than the left, so attention has to be paid to their respective levels. Advantage - Vanguard.
Color accuracy -- Looking at a white snow bank in the flat light of a foggy day, the Vanguards had a slightly "warm" look, as compared to the stark white of the Bushnells. I stress that this difference was very slight, and noticeable at all only because I had both pairs of binoculars in hand at the same time. Advantage - Bushnell.
Chromatic Aberration (CA) -- the various colors of the visible light spectrum are transmitted differently through a medium such as glass, water or air. In binoculars this can lead to a fringe of color around the edges of an object silhouetted against the background, typically a dark foreground object against a light background. Both the Vanguards and the Bushnells use ED glass, which stands for Extra-low Dispersion. ED glass reduces or eliminates CA by more narrowly focusing the different wave lengths of light onto the same point so that no color fringes appear. Because a small number of Amazon reviewers said they experienced chromatic aberration with one or the other of these binoculars, I tried to force my Vanguards and Bushnells to display CA by viewing dark tree branches and dark standing rocks silhouetted against the blue sky, sunlit white clouds, or snow. I did this with the foregrounds back-lighted, and then front-lighted, and in no case could I get either pair of binoculars to show chromatic aberration. As a check, I got out some of my cheap binoculars, and had no difficulty forcing them to display CA, especially toward the edges of the image. Update: today (29 May 2014) I was able to notice chromatic aberration in both the Vanguards and the Bushnells. Viewing a distant green, grassy hilltop, obliquely backlit and silhouetted against the blue sky, I could see a narrow color fringe on the hilltop only at the extreme upper limb of the field of view. In the Vanguards the color was purple, in the Bushnells it was orange. This is no hindrance to viewing, as it is in a non-critical portion of the field of view, occurs only under rare circumstances, and is barely noticeable even if you look for it. Advantage - Draw.
The carrying cases both have zippered closures. The Bushnell case is a very nice semi-rigid clamshell design. Velcro tabs are provided to prevent the clamshell from falling completely open when the binoculars are taken out. The Vanguard case is a padded soft case with ballistic nylon outer cover, and about half as bulky as the Bushnell case. Unless bulkiness is a problem, the Bushnell case is better. Advantage - Bushnell.
The Bushnells come with a binocular harness, which stores in the binocular case. Advantage - Bushnell.
Both brands have nicely padded carrying straps that can be easily switched between the carry case and the binoculars. Advantage - Draw.
Weight -- The Vanguards weigh 25.8 ounces, a little over 3 ounces more than the Bushnells. Advantage - Draw.
Handling comfort -- I find the Vanguards to be slightly more comfortable, due to the "open bridge" two-hinge design where my index fingers are on the upper hinge and focus wheel, the middle and ring fingers curve over the binoculars between the hinges, and the little fingers rest on the lower hinge. The Bushnells have a single larger hinge, and the fingers are on the hinge, except for the little fingers, which rest below the hinge. Another reason that the Vanguards are more comfortable to hold is that they feature slightly flattened areas on the backs of each of the cylinders that form the body of the binoculars, located precisely where your thumbs are positioned when holding the binoculars. Most of the weight of binoculars is borne by your thumbs, and to see what difference this feature makes, slide your hands down toward the objective end, and note the additional pressure caused by the relatively narrow cross-section of the cylinder as compared to the broad area of contact afforded by the flattened areas. As comfort is a highly subjective feature, I would call it a Draw, and suggest that each user would have to assess the binoculars for personal comfort.
The rubber covering on the Bushnells is ribbed for secure grip in wet conditions, or with gloves. It is thicker than that on the Vanguards, with slight "give" when pushed with a fingertip. The rubber covering on the Vanguards is pebbled grain, non-ribbed, and fits absolutely snugly. I find the Vanguard covering to be slightly more comfortable, but again this is subjective, and each user needs to evaluate it personally.
Lens covers -- The lens covers for the eyepiece lenses are virtually identical. Those for the objective lenses are different in that the Bushnells have a relatively loose retainer ring, while the Vanguards have a tight retainer ring. Several reviewers mentioned the looseness of the Bushnell objective lens covers (particularly when open, hanging from their retainer rings), and one went so far as to hot-glue the retainers in place. A much simpler and very effective solution is to slide the side of the retainer ring which is opposite the hinge of the lens cover upward on the binoculars. This tightens the ring, and gives a long distance that the ring must move before it could fall off. What I like best about the Bushnell objective lens covers is the tab that makes finding and opening the cover very easy, even with gloves on. Update: (15 December 2014) my new pair of Vanguard 10x42 binoculars has tabs on the objective lens covers, so presumably the 8x42 models will now also have tabs. Advantage - Draw.
As you can see from this listing of features, the Bushnell 10x42 Legend Ultra HD and the Vanguard Endeavor ED, (both 10x42 and 8x42) are close to equal. Each is available in both 10 and 8 power versions. I paid the same price for the two 10x42 models, and am pleased with both purchases. If the Vanguard Endeavor and the Bushnell Legend Ultra are on your list for consideration, I would recommend that you take the one that feels best in your hands, and/or that you can obtain at the most reasonable price.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on July 30, 2014
I bought these because of so called professional reviews. When I recieved them the eye cups fell off. One was loose in the box.Now the chintzy diopter adjustment ring of cheap plastic has cracked and fine right eye focus is no longer an option.The rubber skin on this item is loose and Id have to say that at over $200. They are a big ripoff. Optics is nowhere close to whats described in reviews and ads. Stay away from this Chinese built junk.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on April 12, 2014
I use binoculars nearly every day observing wildlife and air traffic. I have been using Nikons for many years convinced of their superior optics. I recently dropped my nice Nikons and shattered them;replacements are about $450. These Bushnells have comparable specifications for under $200 through amazon warehouse deals. I was skeptical but , confident in Amazon's return policy, I thought i would give them a try.
First of all, they were advertised as used, good condition. I don't know how they could have been any newer. Other than a taped box, they were factory fresh, still wrapped in factory plastic. The optics are stunning; bright and sharp even at 5 miles. Ease of use, smooth operation, and cleverly attached lens covers. They are every bit as good as my previous Nikons costing over twice as much. Maybe better. And they come with three different styles of neck straps (plain, padded neck, and bounce proof chest harness) so if I drop these, I have no one to blame but myself. The case is bulky, as has been observed, since it contains all three straps and harness, but I leave the binos on the window sill with the lens covers on.