Carson RD Series 8X26 Open-Bridge Compact Binocular (RD-826)

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Magnification: 8XCarson 8X26 RD
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

Our Rating:

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Carson RD-826 Binocular Review

When it comes to compact binos, 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 Carsons will change your mind since they’re the exception to the rule.

Eyepeices of RD 8X26 binoThe 8×26 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 bino 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 newb.

Looking through the eyepieces of the bino, 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!

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.

PROS:
  • Price
  • Open bridge
  • Lightweight/compact
  • Wide field of view
  • Excellent optics
CONS:
  • Not fully multi-coated

 

Carson RD-826 Q&A:

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

Objective lenses on RD 8X26 BinocularFully 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 8×26 model has the smallest magnification and aperture platform of the entire series. You can also scope out their 10×34, 10×42, 8×42, and 10×50 models. There are no other finishes available on these models.

 

What can 8×26 binoculars be used for?

While you might not want to glass for long sessions over wide expanses with these binos, they would be perfect for thick timber hunting like bow hunting in blinds, tree stands, etc. They’re also excellent on-the-go binos 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 Carson binoculars be mounted to a tripod?

Refreshingly, these 8×26 binos 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 Carson binos?

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 the Binocular Warranty?

These binos 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

Side View of Carson RD Binoculars 8x26To glass it up, the Carson RD 8×26 binoculars are one of the best compact binos 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 10×42 binos. 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.

With the RD 8×26 specs, you’re going to be hard-pressed to find another roof prism bino 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 bino like the Vortex Raptor 8.5×32. 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 bino available in and under $100 is just proof that Carson can do it, and can do it better than other brands.

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Simon is an avid outdoor enthusiast who is passionate about bringing you the most up to date, accurate & understandable information on hunting, optics, and the outdoors.