You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on a new pair of binoculars for birding, and Bushnell proves that with the introduction of their latest budget-friendly model. The 133410 Falcon is considered one of the best bird watching binoculars on the market, for their porro prism high-quality optics, and their impressive adjustability.
Considering their low price, you’ll be surprised at how well they perform when put to the test. Their ergonomic design, impressive optics, automatic focus feature, and overall adjustability make these binoculars one of Bushnell’s top-selling models.
Our Verdict: These best-selling budget-friendly binoculars by Bushnell may not offer the best performance at dusk and dawn, but in regular lighting conditions that offer better than average image clarity and crispness. They come equipped with an automatic focus feature, which makes them a great choice for new birders. However, if you want to adjust the focus and image clarity, you can also take advantage of the InstaFocus feature, which allows for fast and easy adjustments. The binoculars are coated in a thick rubberized armor that improves user comfort, grip, and also adds to the durability of the binoculars.
The included neck strap is highly adjustable and heavily padded, working to free up your hands while keeping your binoculars accessible. Unfortunately, the lenses are not nitrogen filled, which means they’re prone to fogging up in humid or cold weather. Additionally, the closed bridge design can make the binoculars difficult to grip with one hand. Overall, these lower-priced binoculars performed better than I expected and make a great choice for the new birder.
Overview and Features
If you’ve purchased products from this manufacturer in the past, then you know they have a reputation for quality and durability.
These aren’t the priciest binoculars by Bushnell, and they’re certainly not the flashiest, however, for the beginner, this pair is a great choice. The lightweight design combined with the included neck strap promotes all-day use. Concerning durability, the exterior is coated in a thick rubberized armor that works to both improve grip and comfort. Additionally, it can also help to prevent damage to the chassis in the event you accidentally drop them. Considering the low price, it’s surprising to find such high-quality lenses, not to mention impressive image clarity and crispness. These binoculars are lacking some features that are important, but for the price, you’ll find it’s a fair tradeoff.
These binoculars come with thirty-five-millimeter objective lenses, offering 7x magnification, which is perfect for birding and scouting. While higher-priced models may offer 10x magnification, 7x is more than sufficient for birding purposes.
This model features a porro prism design complete with fully coated lenses. The BK7 glass lenses perform well, offering the best in optics clarity. The lenses’ single-layer coating offers better than average light transmission.
Some birders will find the fact that the lenses do not have multi-layer coating a major drawback since this can have an impact on performance. Because the lenses are only single layer coated, this model isn’t the best choice to use first thing in the morning or late at night because they are not able to transmit enough light. But in terms of regular daytime use, these binoculars work really well. These binoculars will still offer sufficient light transmission even in overcast conditions, so they’re great for birding and scouting.
This model is focus-free. This means that you’ll be able to use them straight out of the box. Additionally, the automatic focus feature works surprisingly well. However, you may need to move the binoculars around in order to get them to precisely focus on what you want. You can fine-tune the focus using the Instafocus feature, which will make focusing a cinch for beginners. You can focus on objects as close as twenty-feet, which is perfect if you want to get a closer look at a bird, without disturbing it.
This model offers a field of view of one thousand yards.
This pair comes with twelve-millimeter eye relief and features the patented fold-down eyecups, allowing you to use the binoculars with or without glasses.
Probably the biggest drawback for this low-priced model is the fact that the barrels are not nitrogen-filled. This means that the lenses will fog up in cold or humid weather.
These binoculars weigh in at just twenty-one ounces, which will allow you to easily wear them all day long.
The chassis is coated with a thick rubberized armor, which will improve durability. The binoculars themselves are rather large, so you won’t be able to fit them in your pocket. However, the ergonomic design allows you to comfortably hold the binoculars in your hands. Using the Instafocus lever you can instantly adjust the focus which moves smoothly. This feature comes in handy when you’re viewing fast-moving objects, or panning across a landscape.
The closed-bridge design can make the binoculars difficult to hold using one hand, especially if you have large hands.
The included neck strap is well-padded and comfortable to wear. They’re designed for all-day use and nicely weighted. The strap is also highly adjustable, built tough, and won’t cause skin irritation, thanks to the well-padded design.
These binoculars are best described as rugged, thanks to the rubberized armor coating. Even if you accidentally drop them, you won’t have to worry about damaging the chassis or the delicate prisms.
These binoculars are specifically designed for the birding enthusiast and will allow you to easily view the different types of black birds, capturing every detail. These binoculars are able to produce images that are crisp and clear. The automatic focus feature is pretty effective, so you might not even have to bother with using the InstaFocus lever to adjust the binocular’s focus since the automatic focus feature is so precise.
These binoculars are perfect for birders who are looking for an affordable pair that can offer a great deal of detail without breaking the bank. They can also be used by hunters, hikers, and campers in need of a reliable pair of binoculars for scouting. When it comes to ergonomics, they also rate high. The rubberized armor coating improves grip and increases user comfort. The padded neck strap will allow you to hike out to your destination spot, hands-free while keeping your binoculars very accessible. Concerning the image quality, in the right lighting conditions, this pair provides better than average crispness and clarity, but they tend to struggle in low light conditions.
Advantages and Disadvantages
- Neck strap included
- Automatic focus
- Porro prism lenses
- Low price
- Lenses are not nitrogen filled
- Cannot handle low light conditions
- The closed bridge design can make them difficult to hold with one hand
Bushnell Falcon Versus Nikon 10×42 ProStaff 3S Binoculars
So how does the Falcon measure up to the competition? Nikon is a well-known brand that’s been producing top of the line binoculars, cameras, camcorders, and more, for decades. Their newest pair of binoculars, the Nikon ProStaff 3S easily blows these binoculars by Bushnell out of the water. Of course, they come with a much higher price tag, so they’ll be a bad choice for the birder on a tight budget. The competing binoculars feature high-quality optics and come equipped with an optical system that was created out of arsenic and lead-free eco-glass.
The lenses are multi-layer coated, which is a huge plus since this means they can easily handle a wider variety of lighting conditions, which the Falcon cannot. Their lightweight design promotes user comfort, while the ergonomic rubberized armored body also makes these binoculars easier to grip and provides protection in the event they’re dropped. These binoculars are also both fog-proof and waterproof, so you won’t have to worry about them fogging up in cold or humid weather. Obviously, this pair by Nikon is the clear winner here, but if you don’t have the cash to spend on a higher-priced pair of binoculars, then this budget-friendly model by Bushnell is a great alternative.
Conclusion and Rating
If you’re looking for binoculars that are highly adjustable and easy to use, then your search is over. The Falcon binoculars by Bushnell are reasonably priced, come equipped with porro prism lenses, a thick rubberized armor for increased durability and improved grip, and an automatic focus feature, which makes these binoculars very beginner-friendly. They offer better than average image quality, in the right lighting conditions, but they cannot handle low light conditions well. Additionally, since the lenses are not nitrogen filled, you’ll notice that the lenses tend to fog up in cold or humid weather. Overall, this lower-priced pair is perfect for the beginner birder looking for a durable, reliable pair of binoculars that are designed to last. I gave this model a rating of four and a half stars out of five.