Home » Binoculars » Carson RD Series 8x26 Open-Bridge Compact Binocular Review (RD-826)

Carson RD Series 8x26 Open-Bridge Compact Binocular Review (RD-826)

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Carson RD 8x26 binoculars
Image Credit - Carson

Magnification: 8X
Power Variability: Fixed
Objective Diameter: 26 mm
Close Focus Distance: 13.1 feet
Dimensions: 4.5 x 1.7 x 4.6 in
Weight: 10 oz
Field of View: 356 ft/1000 yards
Eye Relief/Exit Pupil: 16 mm/3.25 mm
Optics Coatings: Multi-coated
Glass: BaK-4
Prism System: Roof
Focus System: Center
Waterproof/Fog-proof: Yes
Eye cups: Twist-up
Tripod adaptable: Yes
Rangefinder: No

Best Uses: Bow Hunting, Event Observation, Hiking, Sight Seeing

Carson RD 8x26 Binocular Review

When it comes to compact binoculars, it's hard to get over the "they're just cheap" mentality. It doesn't help when we push the mantra "you get what you pay for." But, these Carson's will change your mind since they're the exception to the rule.

Carson 8x26 RD binoculars
Image Credit - Carson

The 8x26 platform might mean small barrels, but it's got full-size performance under its belt. Sitting up in a tree stand with your bow at the ready, the RD binocular is all you will need and want when it comes to scanning for movement and judging deer. Being able to shave off excess weight with the open bridge design makes it a breeze to hold, although its light weight of 10 oz might mean you'll need a little practice of steadying your image if you're a newbie.

Looking through the eyepieces of the binocular, you'd never guess that they're not fully multi-coated. With multi-coated optics, well-placed BaK-4 prisms, and quality construction, you'll be ecstatic with just how much image quality you have.

When it comes to durability, it's all there. Carson doesn't skip a beat when it comes to fully weatherproofing and armoring and their optics. Take it from our field test, these will survive being dunked in water, frozen, and thawed out - now that's tough!

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Being a brand new optic to the year, there's little input from the masses. But, we're absolutely positive that this little shiner is going to do as well as its other Carson cousins - we have no doubts.


  • Price
  • Open bridge
  • Lightweight/compact
  • Wide field of view
  • Excellent optics


  • Not fully multi-coated

Carson RD 8x26 Q&A:

What is the Difference between Fully and Multi-coated Coatings?

Objective lenses on RD 8X26 Binocular
Image Credit - Carson

Fully multi-coated and multi-coated coatings are terms used by the optics industry to define how many air-to-glass surfaces have been coated to improve light transmission and reduce glare. While there is no industry-standard to define these coatings in terms of quality, quantity, density, and evenness, fully multi-coated coatings are considered the best and multi-coated is considered second best.

To see the primary types of coatings available, swing by our "Binocular Glass Coatings" subsection for a quick update.

What are the Advantages of an Open Bridge design?

An open bridge binocular is lighter in weight than closed bridge binos. It also allows for a full wraparound grip with one hand around a singular barrel of the binocular for easy holding which is found to be more comfortable for many glassers to handle.

What are the Models in the RD Series?

This 8x26 model has the smallest magnification and aperture platform of the entire series. You can also scope out their 10x34, 10x42, 8x42, and 10x50 models. There are no other finishes available on these models.

What can Carson's 8x26 binoculars be used for?

While you might not want to glass for long sessions over wide expanses with these hunting binoculars, they would be perfect for thick timber hunting like bow hunting in blinds, tree stands, etc. They're also excellent on-the-go binoculars for hiking, sight seeing, and event observation. The high power can be susceptible to shakiness when using them for a long period of time, and eye strain may be likely with an exit pupil of 3.25mm over a wide area in less than ideal conditions.

Can the 8x26 Carson binoculars be mounted to a tripod?

Refreshingly, these 8x26 binoculars can be mounted to a tripod. The threading for the adapter can be found on the connecting piece between the objective lenses. Rotate it counterclockwise to expose the bushing for the adapter for mounting.

What Accessories are Included with the RD 8x26 Carson binoculars?

You can expect your brand new binocular, hard case, and carry strap for the case; neoprene neck strap, lens covers, and lens cleaning cloth.

What is Carson's Binocular Warranty?

These 8x26 binoculars come with Carson's No Fault, No Hassle Warranty. While the warranty practically covers everything, there is a little bit of a round-about procedure to make a claim. Just ensure you call Carson first for an authorization number, prepay for the shipping, and send in your receipt for proof of purchase.

Noteworthy Features:

  • Exceptional image quality
  • Very compact and lightweight with polycarbonate chassis
  • Open bridge for comfortable handling
  • Extremely durable and fully weatherproof
  • Protected with Carson's No Fault, No Hassle Warranty

Our Verdict on the 8x26 Carson RD Binoculars

To glass it up, the Carson RD 8x26 binoculars are one of the best compact binoculars in the market. Carson puts all the quality in the small details that matter the most: glass, optical quality, and into the integrity of the construction. Being so compact and lightweight, you'll forget it's there - that's the point right?

However, our favorite Carson binocular is none other than the 3D ED 10x42 binoculars. They're definitely worth the price for the extraordinary image quality, exceptional build integrity, and the awesome and practical accessories that are included. These aren't your mediocre accessories either, they're top-notch! Check out our field test for proof.

Side View of Carson RD Binoculars 8x26
Image Credit - Carson

With the RD 8x26 specs, you're going to be hard-pressed to find another roof prism binocular that's as compact with the roof prism design in the same price range. If you want to know all your options with a budget limit of around $100, you'll be better off with a Porro prism binocular like the Vortex Raptor 8.5x32. You'll have more weight, but you'll also have an extremely wide field of view with fully multi-coated optics.

Carson is one of those brands that have put themselves on the map with their excellent optics for excellent prices. More often than not, the quality of their optics far supersede their competitors in their price range. To have an open bridge binocular available in and under $100 is just proof that Carson can do it, and can do it better than other brands.

Further Reading

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Simon Cuthbert - Founder

Simon is an avid outdoor enthusiast and the founder of Target Tamers. He is passionate about bringing you the most up to date, accurate & understandable information on sports optics of all kinds and for all applications. Simon has contributed to notable publications online and teaches beginners the technical side of optics through his extensive library of optics guides.

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