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Bushnell PowerView 10x50 WA Porro Prism Binoculars
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Legacy Reviewer's Review of Bushnell PowerView 10x50 WA Porro Prism Binoculars

Not much to dislike. Excellent quality, outstanding value for the price.

What I liked:
- Multi coated optics and Bk7 prisms (borosilicate crown glass) result in a very clear, sharp image. The large 50mm objectives gather light well even in low-light level conditions. Have used them for moon- and star-gazing, birdwatching and general outdoor use. In all circumstances they have performed exceptionally well.

- Image quality. In my opinion, is equal to the Steiner binos I was issued when deployed to Anbar Province and Baghdad, Iraq on a US Army Military Transition Team (MiTT) mission in 2006-2007 - a Steiner 8x30 porro-prism bino with a mil-scale reticle which sell for $600 to 800.00 + on the the civilian market. These Bushnells also compare favorably with some of the expensive Nikon, Zeiss, Zeiss/Jena, Leica and Hensoldt/Wetzlar binos I have had the opportunity to use during a 24 year career in the US Army. However, I do NOT believe that, for most use, the increase in image quality in those far more expensive binos justifies paying 10 to 20 times the cost of these Bushnells.

- Toggle lever focus system. Bushnell calls it "InstaFocus", works well, I have found it precise enough for small focus adjustments once you have gotten used to it. Particulary useful for tracking moving objects such as ground vehicles, aircraft in flight and people moving across terrain at varying distances. I have also found it works exceptionally well for tracking moving animals in the field and birds moving through trees and in flight.

- Rubber armor. Covers the entire body of these binoculars - makes them easy to grip even when wet and should serve well to protect the internal optics from damage if they see some rough and tumble use.

- Wide woven neck strap. Works well for my use, does not dig into neck/shoulders during field carry. For those wanting increased comfort and utility recommend investing in an upgraded strap or even a bino harness system.

- Padded nylon case. Suitable for average use, same as what came with far more expensive Nikons I bought recently. For more protection, recommend buying a case that is more water/humidity/dust resistant, better padded and shuts more completely with a zipper. Most of these, such as the FieldLine tm brand models are low-cost and often come with additional internal and external storage pockets.

- Lens covers. The ones that come with binos are not attached to bino body, so one could conceivably lose them easily if using them in the field. I bought lens covers that stay attached to bino -available at Amazon and at most optics stores and online optics vendors.

Other notes:
- I have noticed some minor color fidelity issues (called chromatic aberration) under some conditions, as well as slight image distortion/bluriness at the edges of the field of view.
Be aware that this inherent problem with any optics. Routing light through any lens system will cause this, thus it also occurs in more expensive binoculars to varying degrees. It is not an indication of any inherent manufacturing or design flaw. Everything in the center of the field of view is in color-correct crisp focus with no distortion, so I do not find these issues objectionable given the relatively large field of view of 341 feet @ 1000 yards.

- Close focus distance is 20 feet. You cannot bring anything into focus that is closer than this. Note that this not a flaw or malfunction, this is just how Bushnell designed the optics on these particular binoculars. I personally have not found this to cause any problems as I seldom have has the need to look at anything that is closer than 20 feet.

- 5mm exit pupil makes prolonged use of this bino easy on the eyes.

- 26 oz weight. Among the lighter 10x50 binos you will find (Our family use Nikon 8x40 binos weigh motre than these.) Light enough to be easy to carry for prolonged periods of time. While hiking, walking: if not planning on using them soon, I keep them in my bino case on my belt or over my shoulder until I need them; I find this makes it easier to carry them that way.

- Fold down eyecups and 100mm eye relief allow those who wear glasses to use these easily. I wear glasses but I personally find it easier to remove my glasses before using binos, so I leave the eyecups up.

- Right side adjustable diopter. Makes it easy to adjust to your individual eyesight requirements.

- Even though these binos are not waterproof or fogproof (ie: not dry-nitrogen purged) I have yet to experience any internal fogging in the rain, warm humid conditions or in situations when they went from warm to cold temperatures.
If you want a waterproof fog-proof binocular, highly recommend the Bushnell Legend series porro-prism binoculars. They also have the more newly developed BaK4 (Barium Crown Glass) prisms, can focus closer (18 ft for the 10x50 model) and come in three models: 8x42, 10x50, and 10-22x50 Zoom. You can find them for around $100.00 =/- at Amazon. Bushnell also has many other porro-prism and roof-prism binos in a wide price range to suit your particular needs.

Pros: value, optics, field of view, light weight for a 10x50
Cons: not waterproof or fogproof

This review was written in the old system and had content requirements that are different than reviews written today.

Would Recommend: Yes
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