If you are looking at getting a new pair of binoculars, then both Bushnell and Nikon are two formidable brands that you will want to consider. They are both behind some excellent models and designs which are proving to be very popular. This makes it all the harder to choose between them; which brand is best?
The truth is, whether a pair of Bushnell or Nikon binoculars are right for you all comes down to your preferences, what you will use them for, and of course, your budget.
And as you can imagine, choosing the right pair of binoculars is paramount; otherwise, you risk not being able to observe effectively.
So, it follows that you should always conduct thorough research ahead of any purchase and be sure to look at other customer reviews and case studies as these will give you a good insight into the best models.
Now, both Bushnell and Nikon have a wide selection of binoculars that you can choose from.
Generally, Bushnell is renowned for providing entry-level binoculars so are more suitable for beginners and casual observers.
In this guide, we will take a look at both of these brands and their best options.
So whether you want to use them for Astronomy (like me) or you are interested in other hobbies like Hunting, Hiking, or Bird Watching, you’ll be able to find a pair for you.
By the end, you should be able to make a more informed decision and hopefully be able to identify a specific model.
Bushnell vs Nikon Binoculars
When it comes to choosing a pair of binoculars, if you stick with two popular and reputable brands like Bushnell and Nikon; you’re never likely to go wrong. They typically use premium materials and are reputable manufacturers.
What is actually more important than either of these two brands, however, is the exact specification of the model.
This is what should form the basis of your decision when choosing a brand/pair.
So if you find models with the same specification, then whether or not to choose the Bushnell’s over the Nikon’s (or vice versa) will be all down to taste, the design, and actual aesthetics (how they look).
Always consider the specification in relation to the hobby you are looking to use them.
For example, if you want a pair of binoculars for Astronomy, then you are going to want to perhaps look for a pair with higher magnification.
On the other hand, if it’s Hunting or Bird Watching you may want to look for a pair with a wider field of view (so that you can see more at any one time).
While these are generalized comments they often hold true.
With binoculars, there are two numbers you will need to consider (and that are always included in the title, description of each pair).
You’ll often see binoculars described as saying “15×50” – but what do these numbers mean?
The first number is referencing the magnification. Using our “15×50” example, this pair will magnify a view by 10 times (compared to the naked eye).
Objects will therefore appear 10 times bigger than if you were not using the binoculars.
The second number references the objective diameter size of the lenses (outlined in millimeters).
The higher this number the more light that they can collect (which is important for how much you can ultimately see – more light = more visibility).
Now that you know roughly what to look for, let’s take a look at the models and options available from both Bushnell and Nikon:
Bushnell formed in the 1940’s and have since become a reputable and popular binocular brand in the United States, particularly in the Hunting space.
However, it is important to note that not all of their models and range can be used only for Hunting.
They are also commonly used for and at a variety of Sporting Events.
Bushnell have an expansive range with a lot of different models of binoculars on offer.
I have documented the entire Bushnell Binocular series below so you can quickly see the kind of specification available from this brand:
Porro Prism Binoculars
|8×25, 10×50, 12×50, 20×50
|10-22×50, 10×50, 8×42
|8×42, 10×42, 12×42
|10×50, 12×50, 7×35
Reverse Porro Prism Binoculars
Roof Prism Binoculars
Folding Roof Binoculars
Best Bushnell Binoculars
If you are looking for an entry-level pair of binoculars, the Bushnell Trophy Series is up there with the best.
The most affordable pair start at around $100, so these are a great option if you are on a budget.
When you consider their price, Bushnell Binoculars rival other brands and that charge double sometimes triple the price.
It goes without saying that they will not compare against binoculars in the four figure range, but this is not what they are designed to do.
Another interesting observation is that just because a pair of binoculars are more expensive doesn’t necessarily mean they are better or superior.
The Bushnell Trophy Series are are clear example of this.
Here’s what I like about the Trophy Series: they are very light, have great focus ability and come with a long warranty.
So if you think that purchasing a cheap pair of binoculars means that they were not designed to last, you’d be wrong with a model from this series.
Another highly respected and powerful range of binoculars from Bushnell are those in the Legend Series.
I can easily see how they got their name. These are some of the most premium pairs of binoculars that you can get for the price, they are fully waterproof and fog-proof and they come with HD lenses with water-repellent coatings.
The magnesium chassis makes these a sturdy and durable pair of binoculars for all weather conditions.
You will likely know Nikon for their electronics and DSLR cameras, but they are also a great and popular manufacturer of binoculars too.
Like Bushnell’s, they have number of different models which can be used for Astronomy, Hunting, Hiking, Birdwatching, Sporting Events and more.
This is the complete list of models made available by Nikon as of 2019.
Porro Prism Binoculars
|8×40, 12×50, 10×50, 7×50, 7×35, 16×50
|7×35, 7×50, 8×42 10×25, 10×42, 10-22×50, 12×50, 16×50
Roof Prism Binoculars
|8×42, 10×25, 12×25, 10×42
|8×30, 8×42, 8×56, 10×42, 12×42, 20×56
Best Nikon Binoculars
Nikon has a number of different ranges and options, the Aculon Series is perhaps the most similar to the Bushnell Trophy Range.
For the most part, any pair of binoculars from either range will prove a sound investment. But why would you opt for a pair from the Aculon range?
One of the first benefits is that they are also very affordable despite their superior design, specs and components.
If you are looking for a pair of binoculars for Astronomy, you may find their design to be slightly off-putting.
For example, the neck strap holds the lens cap in place which I do not personally particularly like).
Moreover, they are actually quite heavy but this does mean that they can provide excellent image quality.
You’ll find them to be bright and as such they will provide detailed images. This makes them some of the most powerful/affordable binoculars on the market.
Final Words and Verdict
In summary, there is a reason why Bushnell binoculars are often the brand of choice for Hunting, Hiking and Outdoor Sports.
If you are looking for a pair of binoculars for one of those hobbies, then you should probably get a Bushnell Model from a range outlined above.
I would strongly recommend a pair from the Legend Range. Bushnell have a great reputation, and lot of satisfied customers as you will see over at Amazon.
Nonetheless, do not exclude Nikon entirely, in fact I suggest you also take a look across their range.
Nikon are behind excellent quality binoculars and provide a number of options to suit your preference.
Hey, my name is Jeremy. I’m a passionate and seasoned astronomer who loves nothing more than observing the night sky. I also love researching, learning, and writing all things Space and the Universe. I created Astronomy Scope to share my knowledge, experience, suggestions, and recommendations of what I have learned along the way while helping anyone to get into and maximize their enjoyment of the hobby.