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Bushnell Prime 8×32 Binoculars: Our Review

A bright, colorful image at a very low price, but with some puzzling design choices. We rated this binocular in the Middle Ground.

At A Glance

black binoculars
Bushnell Prime 8×32 binoculars. Photo by Hugh Powell.


  • Clear, bright image
  • Attractive price point


  • Inconsistent feel to focus wheel during adjustment
  • Not great close focus or field of view
  • Eyecups don’t click into position


  • Price: $120 MSRP at press time. Prices often fluctuate, so check with retailers
  • Close focus: 11.2 feet (340 cm)
  • Field of view: 6.5° (341 feet at 1,000 yards). More about field of view 
  • Weight: 18.2 oz (517 g)—that’s about 0.5 oz (15 g) heavier than the average for compact binoculars in our review. Compare binocular sizes and weights

Viewing Experience: Along with the Nikon Prostaff P7 and the Celestron Nature DX [link], the Bushnell Prime 8×32 offers a solid viewing experience at a remarkably low price. We were impressed by the Prime’s sharpness, brightness, and color (although the build quality left some room for improvement). The focus wheel is large and comfortable, but the feel and rolling resistance are inconsistent, even getting briefly stuck when the focus was adjusted all the way in. There was minimal distortion when panning. The binoculars seemed to struggle with partial glare—a Common Yellowthroat seen with light coming through leaves had a greenish wash from the leaves bleeding into the colors of the bird. However the binoculars performed well in harsh backlighting, crisply defining two Great Crested Flycatchers perched against the light. At 11.2 feet, the close focus is notably farther than most binoculars in our test.

Feel and Build: These bins had a somewhat weighty feel for their size, with basic black rubber housing and shallow depressions for the thumbs to grip onto. Build quality did not match these binoculars’ image quality: the focus wheel had an inconsistent feel, and the eyecups spun freely without clicking into any set positions. Objective lens covers had rubber fasteners instead of the usual ring tethers that had a tendency to come unfastened, and we lost one throughout the course of testing. The neck strap is medium width with some thin padding.

Comments from testers:

  • Good image
  • Focus wheel sticks
  • A little hazy around the edge

This article is one in a series of mini-reviews. To see how these binoculars compare to others we’ve tested, see our full review of affordable compact binoculars.  

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