Bushnell is an American optical company specializing in optics for outdoor sports.
| Bushnell Logo on a lens cap|
image by Tom Magliery (Image rights)
Bushnell, an American optical company, was founded in 1947 or 1948 as a mail-order binocular company. The founder, David P. Bushnell (31 Mar, 1913 – 24 Mar, 2005) bought two crates containing 400 Japanese-made binoculars during a Japanese honeymoon with his second wife to start his import-export business. Until Bushnell began selling low-cost binoculars, they were considered too expensive for use by anyone other than the military or the wealthy. Bushnell's low-cost imported binoculars introduced middle-class Americans to the sporting uses of binoculars.
Bushnell specialized in optical equipment for outdoor sports. In addition to binoculars, they also sold monoculars, rifle scopes, range-finders. Later they sold laser sights, night-vision scopes, and other para-military optical gear. The company no longer sells photographic equipment but at one time offered a range of rebranded 35mm SLR lenses and teleconverters manufacturered by Japanese companies that included Tamron and Tokina. The lenses were offered in both interchangeable mounts and fixed mounts for Konica, Minolta, Canon, Nikon and M42 SLRs.
At one time Bushnell has licensing agreements with Bausch & Lomb and Browning Company. In 1995 Bushnell became a wholly owned subsidiary of Worldwide Sports and Recreation, Inc., and was renamed to Bushnell Sports Optics Worldwide. By the early 2000s, was owned by a private company named Wind Point Partners and began going by the name Bushnell Outdoor Products. On 19 July, 2007, Wind Point Partners sold Bushnell to a private equity firm named MidOcean Partners. As of 2012, the company has divisions on several continents including United States Bushnell Corporation, Bushnell-Europe, Bushnell Corporation of Canada, Bushnell Performance Optics (Australia), Bushnell Performance Optics, New Zealand, and Bushnell Performance Optics, Asia.
Over the years, Bushnell has created, licensed, or acquired a variety of well-known optics brands.
- Bausch & Lomb
- Blackwater Gear
- Browning Sports Optics
- Butler Creek
- Stoney Point
- Uncle Mike's
35mm SLR Fixed-mount Lenses
- Bushnell Automatic 21mm f/4.5
- Bushnell Automatic 28mm f/2.8, (ex sn: 7603713)
- Bushnell Automatic 35mm f/2.8, (ex sn: 700688)
- Bushnell Automatic 135mm f/2.8, 55mm filter, (ex sn: 682788)
- Bushnell Automatic 200mm f/3.5, (ex sn: 692732)
- Bushnell Automatic 300mm f/5.5
- Bushnell Automatic 300mm f/5.6
- Bushnell Automatic 400mm f/6.3, (ex sn: 716424)
- Bushnell Automatic 55-135mm f/3.5 Zoom
- Bushnell Automatic 90-230mm f/4.5 Zoom, (ex sn: 7107660)
- Bushnell 2x Auto Tele Converter
35mm SLR Adaptall Lenses (made by Tamron)
- Bushnell Automatic 300mm f/5.6, 62mm filter, (ex sn: tAm202668)
- Bushnell Automatic 80-250mm f/3.8 Zoom, (ex sn: tAm530291)
- ↑ Bushnell Company Info, bushnell.com, Internet Archive, 21 Nov, 2001
- ↑ Bushnell Outdoor Products, Company Info, bushnell.com, Internet Archive, 20 Aug, 2007
- ↑ David Bushnell, 92, Importer of Affordable Binoculars, Dies, Obituary, New York Times, 31 Mar, 2005
- ↑ MidOcean Partners and Management Announce Acquisition of Bushnell Outdoor Products, Inc from Wind Partners, bushnell.com, Internet Archive, 6 May, 2009
- ↑ Bushnell website, company contact information