The Bushnell Engage X 10×42 are popular binoculars due to their ability to be used in any condition. It is a popular model for animal observation and hunting, or for ornithology.
The magnification of 10 is a good compromise between power and stability. Without being too large, the lens diameter of 42 millimeters makes it possible to capture more light than on the smaller models, especially in the forest and in dark environments.
They are rather affordable binoculars with specifications focused on performance and comfort.
Here is our opinion on the Bushnell Engage X 10×42.
Bushnell Engage X 10×42 Binoculars Review
- Magnification: 10
- Lens diameter (mm): 42
- Perceived linear field at 1000 meters (m): 113
- Brightness index: 17.6
- Exit Pupil (mm): 4.2
- Eye relief (mm): 19
- Minimum focusing distance (m): 2
- Dimensions (mm): 140×129
- Weight (g): 666
- Interpupillary distance (mm): 56 -73
- Type of prisms: Roof
- Small dimensions and easy to hold
- Excellent distortion correction
- Moderate lens astigmatism
- Well-balanced color rendering
- Shallow minimum focusing distance and wide field of view
- Few internal reflections in the tubes
- Quality Bak-4 prisms
- Good light transmission
- Fairly strong coma aberrations
- Many chromatic aberrations in the periphery of the field of vision
- Decrease in sharpness which appears quite quickly when moving away from the center of the image
- Eyecups with intermediate notches are not necessarily very useful
Performance and Quality
The definition of the image is the most important point for a good pair of binoculars. The Bushnell Engage X 10×42 offers a rather sharp image but is not free from defects.
The correction of astigmatism is quite well mastered, which makes it possible to have an identical focus in all directions. There is almost no visible distortion, the image undergoes only a slight curvature on the periphery only.
On the other hand, we can see quite easily the chromatic aberrations created by the lenses. As often on entry-level pairs, these aberrations gain in intensity at the edges, especially when the ambient light is strong.
Comas appear over the entire outer half of the visual field, which can pose a problem for observing the stars: the luminous points then take on the shape of a fan.
The definition of the image decreases slightly away from the center. The development is not perfect on the last third of the visual field, even if we can quite distinguish the details.
Good light transmission
The measured light transmission reaches a maximum of 85%. That’s a high score for an entry-level pair, which benefits from the multi-coated lens treatments.
Bushnell also emphasizes the optical prisms of its binoculars, which are made exclusively from BaK-4 glass. The latter is also coated with a high-reflectivity treatment based on aluminum.
Green tones have a very low dominance over other shades without significantly impacting the color balance, which has a good balance. Even if the exit pupil is not perfectly circular on the two tubes, the vignetting is much lower than that of many other pairs in the same price segment: the brightness decreases very little at the periphery of the field of vision.
Easy focusing and good precision
The focus wheel has a large diameter, making it easy to reach with your finger. Its ridged outline allows precise rotation over a range of 570 degrees, or about one and a half turns. It’s a good combination of speed and accuracy.
The eyecups are extendable on 4 distinct notches, which ensure a good hold in position. Since they are very close to each other, those in between are of little use. Wearing glasses isn’t a problem, with the 19mm eye relief being far higher than on many other 10×42 binoculars.
The diopter correction dial is located under the right eyecup. It allows a balancing of the visual acuity between each eye. It has great rigidity and a lot of resistance to movement: there is no risk of unintentionally disrupting it by handling the binoculars.
Tripod mounting is possible thanks to a mounting notch on the front of the Engage X 10×42. It will still be necessary to buy a compatible adapter, not supplied by Bushnell in the packaging of its binoculars.
Compactness and ergonomics
The Bushnell Engage X 10×42 is particularly ergonomic. The ends of the tubes are equipped with a rough rubber coating which guarantees a better grip on the hand.
The junction between the two tubes has a slightly hollow shape, which leaves more room for the positioning of the fingers. The eyecups sit well on the face, without creating pressure points.
Bushnell typically produces roof prism binoculars that are often smaller in size than its competitors. This is the case here with the Engage X 10×42 which is only 140 millimeters long. You will have a compact pair, which is an advantage for your trips that require carrying a lot of equipment.
The weight is the average of 10×42 binoculars. With its 666 grams, you will normally have no difficulty using the Engage X 10×42 for long periods of time. Bushnell also provides a padded strap to attach his binoculars, which is very comfortable and quite thin at the same time.
Robust manufacturing despite the few optical defects
Even though the optical components may have some flaws, Bushnell always places emphasis on the other parts of their binoculars. The various moving parts are correctly assembled on the chassis with no residual play or jolts.
The tubes are linked together by a fairly wide junction axis, which reflects the good solidity of the spacing mechanism. The finishes are excellent and the inside of the tubes is very matt. No reflection is visible on these.
The Engage X 10×42 will withstand light shocks to withstand immersion in water up to 1 meter deep for up to 30 minutes. The tubes are resistant to internal fogging, thanks to a nitrogen filling.
The outer lenses are protected by Bushnell’s “EXO Barrier” coating. It is a coating layer that prevents water, grease, and dust particles from adhering to the lenses. They are thus less easily covered with abrasive particles that cause scratches, in addition to keeping a clear field of vision.
The Bushnell Engage X 10×42 is delivered in a kit that also includes the “Spudz” cloth for wiping the lenses, a nylon storage case and the lanyard. A lifetime warranty card is also included. Lens protectors are also provided and held securely in place.
Advantageous minimum focusing distance
With a minimum focus distance of 2 meters, the Bushnell Engage X 10×42 does very well. You will be able to observe your targets at very close range without making it difficult to focus. Even if we will rather use these binoculars to observe animals in the distance, we can still make some close observations without too much difficulty.
High linear field
The field of view of the Engage X 10×42 is 113 meters wide at 1000 meters away. You will enjoy a slightly larger panorama than on competing models, which will allow you to more easily spot what is happening around you while having a large zoom.
What activities are the Bushnell Engage X 10×42 suitable for?
With a wide enough field of view and a balanced magnification between performance and stability, the Bushnell Engage X 10×42 will be satisfactory for many activities. Their compact size will allow you to store this pair in a bag without worrying about bulk, to go anywhere.
Ornithology, observation of animals, and nature will be activities adapted to the use of this model.
Stargazing may be more difficult because of the fairly strong comatic aberrations at the periphery of the visual field. On the other hand, the good luminosity of the Bushnell Engage X 10×42 will make these binoculars suitable for dark environments, such as at dusk or in very overcast weather.
The Bushnell Engage X 10×42 has many advantages, especially in terms of its manufacturing quality and robustness. Despite well-corrected astigmatism and almost non-existent distortion, some chromatic aberrations are visible and the visual field suffers a slight loss of sharpness at the periphery.
On the other hand, the brightness is rather homogeneous, the image benefits from a good color balance, and the exit pupil is well circular. This is partly due to the quality of the prisms used and the dielectric treatment from which they benefit.
Overall, we recommend the Engage X 10x42s, which are very good value for money. Their ergonomics is undoubtedly one of their best assets.
If you are looking for a pair with optical components that approach the top of the range and similar ergonomics, let’s follow the links below…