Leupold BX-1 Mckenzie 8x42 Binoculars Review
Today I’m reviewing my pair of Leopold BX-1 Mckenzie 8x42 waterproof binoculars. I’ve been using these binoculars for the past 6 months while out shooting nature photography and they’re almost always the binoculars I reach for while packing my gear bag for two reasons: They are light, and they are sharp! I mean really sharp. Leopold is quickly becoming my go-to for exceptionally sharp optics. Images are crisp and contrasty compared to other binoculars I’ve reviewed, even much more expensive binoculars. They are simply a pleasure to use.
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Focusing these Leupolds is easier than most binoculars at this price point (Around $160). The focus is smooth and does not hang up at any point. Focusing the full range from infinity to minimum distance takes about 1.5 turns. I found this to be about 6 finger rolls, which is a decent amount for precise focusing.
Are these binoculars right for you? check out my article on choosing a pair of binoculars for an explanation of the various factors that go into choosing a pair of binoculars. If 8x42 is what you need for your particular use you can't really go wrong with these. I find 8x42 to be a great compromise for bright images without a lot of hand shake, but still a fair amount of magnification. Keep in mind that great optics with great coatings will allow you to resolve greater detail than higher magnification binoculars with poor optics.
Features of the Leopold BX-1 Mckenzie binoculars include:
Fully multicoated lenses
Leupold doesn't skimp on their coatings here. Front and rear optics are coated with anti-glare/anti-reflective coatings.
Waterproof & fogproof
While pretty much standard on higher-end binoculars these Leupolds can handle being used out in the rain and are much less likely to develope internal mold if out in wet conditions or stored in damp environments.
Filling the binoculars with the dry inert gas nitrogen adds to the Leopold Mckenzie's fogproofing abilities. This ensures a dry environment inside the binoculars so that temperature changes will not cause fogging on the inside lens elements.
BAK-4 Roof Prism
This lens design allows the Leopold BX-1 binoculars to be smaller and lighter than their porro cousins.
- Extendable eye cups
Pretty standard fare on most binoculars. Some are built better than others. I haven't had any problems with the eye cups on this model.
As with most binoculars the BX-1 Mckenzie binoculars come with rubber lens protectors for the front and rear lenses. I only use these while storing in the supplied nylon case for one simple reason, they will fall off and get lost. The front caps have an extra ring which helps this from happening to some extent. The only caps I trust in the field are the ones that connect the front and rear caps with a tentioned bungie cord, thus preventing them from falling off. Since these do not I'm forced to leave the lenses unprotected while hiking out in the woods, not really a big deal but worth noting.
All in all, if you’re looking for a great pair of binoculars and don’t want to break the bank I certainly recommend these binoculars.
The Mckenzie also comes in 10x42 if you want a little more reach. If you're on a tighter budget they also make the BX-1 Yosamite. It's larger and heavier but also about half the price. Check out other binoculars Leupold has to offer Here.