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Good, Gimmicky Golf Glass
on June 13, 2007
After a number of noteworthy nature encounters on the golf course, I decided it would be wise to purchase a compact binocular for my golf bag. To that end, I purchased the Bushnell Powerview 7-15x25 reverse porro prism binocular.
My overall impression has been quite positive. At 7x magnification, the optics are wholly sufficient, providing crisp, bright views with only minor distortion toward the edges. The 262 foot (@ 1000 yards) field-of-view is somewhat narrow, but appears clear and deep.
Taking the magnification higher, the optical quality predictably declines. At full 15x zoom, the field-of-view shrinks to 183 feet at 1000 yards, and significantly less light passes through, leaving objects conspicuously darker by contrast. Nevertheless, the higher magnification can reveal details that are not visible at 7x, provided that the user has a very steady hand and good eyes to begin with.
The zoom function itself is intuitive and simple, completed with a quarter-turn of the collar that frames the right eye cup. The instruction manual recommends beginning at full zoom, then drawing back. This way, less refocusing is required. I prefer to begin with the full field-of-view, increasing magnification if desired. It is entirely possible to increase from 7x to 15x without losing sight of an object, but some refocusing is required once the desired magnification has been reached.
Relative to price, I am quite pleased with the Bushnell Powerview binocular. It fits comfortably in a small pocket in my golf bag, and provides excellent views at lower magnifications. I am, as yet, unsure what value to place upon the zoom feature. Whether it will be of use to you depends upon how you weigh the relative importance of magnification versus light-gathering capacity. While the zoom feature is somewhat amusing, consumers in search of a quality optical instrument will find a nice, standard compact to be a superior purchase.
- Optics at lower magnification are crisp, clear, and bright.
- Size: fits comfortably in a large pocket.
- Appearance: well-designed reverse porro compact.
- Eye Relief: Fold-down rubber eye-cups make viewing through sunglasses (and presumably eyeglasses) possible.
- Optics at higher magnification are darker and more difficult to focus.
- Not comfortable for extended viewing.
- No objective lens covers.