The Bushnell Powerview 10×50 received good reviews from the public, but production has been discontinued due to more recent optical developments.
The American manufacturer then innovated with the new Powerview 2 10×50, which incorporates interesting features: lightened aluminum chassis, multilayer lens treatment, “Ironclad” lifetime warranty, etc.
The 10 magnification provides a sharp image that is still fairly easy to stabilize. This is an option that many ornithologists choose to spot small birds hidden in a tree. The lens diameter of 50 makes this pair a larger format model that is certainly heavier but also captures more light.
Displayed at a price of around $100, does their performance reach a satisfactory level in practice?
Here is our test and opinion on the Bushnell Powerview 2 10×50!
Bushnell PowerView 2 10×50 Binoculars Review
- Magnification: 10
- Lens diameter (mm): 50
- Perceived linear field at 1000 meters (m): 104
- Exit pupil (mm): 5
- Eye relief (mm): 16
- Brightness index: 25
- Minimum focusing distance (m): 7.6
- Dimensions (mm): 165 x 189 x 67
- Weight (g): 790
- Interpupillary distance (mm): 56 – 72
- Water resistance: none
- High brightness even with BK-7 prisms
- Low lens astigmatism
- Low distortion which gives good flatness to the image
- Aluminum frame that lightens the binoculars
- Build quality and impact resistance
- Overall ergonomics of the pair
- Competitive price
- Decrease of sharpness in the periphery of the image
- Easily visible chromatic aberrations
- High minimum focusing distance
- The visual field that lacks horizontal range
- No waterproofing or anti-fog treatment
Performance and ergonomics
Image quality is not entirely consistent across the entire field of view. If the center displays a good resolution during development. The definition of the objects in the periphery loses slightly in precision in the last quarter approximately.
On the other hand, the distortion is low from the center to the edge of the image: the curvature of the lines is limited. A slight astigmatism is also noticeable on both tubes without being really disturbing.
Colored fringes are detectable. This reflects the presence of chromatic aberrations. If they are not too pronounced in the center, they gain in intensity as they approach the edges.
Some coma aberrations are created on the last outer third of the image. The latter is moderate at the start and stronger at the limit of the exit pupil. Concretely, they give a stretched aspect to the luminous points, mainly the stars during the night.
Good brightness even with the use of BK-7 prisms
The Bushnell Powerview 2 10×50 only uses Bk-7 prisms instead of BaK-4 prisms. And yet, they achieve a very good level of luminosity. With a maximum transmission of 83%, images benefit from excellent clarity.
The color rendering is fairly homogeneous, but the red and orange nuances are a little stronger. This is especially noticeable when the ambient light is strong.
A multilayer treatment has been applied to the lenses to prevent light loss when it is reflected on the surface of the lenses. The lenses of the objectives and eyepieces thus sport a bluish tint.
The prisms are coated with a high-reflectivity aluminum-based coating. Their Porro-type assembly gives them the advantage of capturing more light rays. The objective diameter of 50 millimeters also increases light transmission.
With Bk-7 lenses, the exit pupil cannot be completely circular. We can clearly see the truncation of this one in the shape of a diamond. The vignetting is very little present on the edges of the image.
Fast and smooth focusing
On the first Powerview series, focusing was done via a lever with a very short adjustment range. The focus was then done very quickly, but at the expense of precision.
The new Bushnell Powerview 2 10×50 now incorporates a classic wheel, positioned on top of the binoculars. It is quite large and easily accessible with the tip of the index finger, even when wearing thick gloves.
The diopter correction is adjusted with a ring placed under the right eyecup. It offers enough amplitude to compensate for differences in visual acuity between each eye, even those that are strong.
The eyecups are extendable. They allow the Powerview 2 10×50 to be used with or without glasses. All you have to do is turn them to adjust the eye relief. The value of the latter reaches 16 millimeters. Without being especially high, it should be suitable for everyone.
In addition, you can adjust the interpupillary distance from 56 to 72 millimeters.
Good ergonomics and reduced weight
Porro prism binoculars often have the disadvantage of being heavier than their roof prism variants. Still, the Bushnell Powerview 2 10x50s are relatively light, weighing just 790 grams. This is made possible thanks to an aluminum frame, which is lighter than steel.
With its dimensions that do not exceed 19 centimeters, these binoculars are easy to handle.
The lens tubes are widely spaced from each other, which leaves plenty of room to place your hands with optimal comfort. The rough texture of the rubber coating provides better grips, thus limiting the risk of dropping the binoculars.
Although the eyecups are quite wide, they flatten evenly around the face without creating any discomfort or discomfort.
A strap is supplied with the Bushnell Powerview 2 10×50, it will relieve the arms during long outings. You can also screw an adapter on the front of the binoculars to mount them on a tripod. This is a big advantage that is not always found at this price. However, the adapter will have to be purchased separately.
Rugged but not waterproof
Porro prism binoculars are more difficult to protect from water, and the Powerview 2 10×50 are no exception as they are neither certified waterproof nor nitrogen filled. It will therefore be necessary to limit exposure to rain and ambient humidity.
On the other hand, the manufacture of the Powerview 2 10×50 is robust. The various moving parts are assembled together without mechanical play. And the collimation of the tubes is perfect.
The rubber coating offers better protection against shocks and drops. The aluminum construction of the chassis has better resistance than the commonly used polycarbonate.
The finishes are meticulous and the exterior appearance is uniform. The interior of the optical barrels is almost matte, it strongly limits the appearance of parasitic reflections around the exit pupil.
The accessories delivered in the Powerview 2 package include a lanyard, a nylon storage case, eyepiece and lens covers, lens cleaning cloth, and documents (including warranty). By providing a minimum of maintenance, these binoculars will accompany you for a long time on your excursions.
High focusing distance
The minimum focusing distance is 7.6 meters. Below this value, the image will be blurry almost all the time. This is a high value even for Porro Prism binoculars. They will be used over medium to long-range distances.
The range of the visual field
The horizontal range of the visual field does not exceed 104 meters at 1000 meters distance. It is weak, even for a magnification of 10. This can be partly explained by the fact that the Bushnell Powerview 2 10×50 use a reduced number of lenses, which limits the opening of the field of vision.
It’s a shame, especially since a slight field curvature somewhat reduces the sharpness of the image at its periphery to the truncated exit pupil.
Are the Bushnell Powerview 2 10×50 right for me?
The Bushnell Powerview 2 10×50 is ideal for beginners and training in nature and stargazing. If you intend to use them for astronomy, we recommend that you acquire a tripod in addition. Even if some coma aberrations are visible on the edges, you will benefit from a fairly good definition of the stars in the center of the image. For birdwatching, it’s a great choice, as it is for animal watching.
It is not a really suitable pair for hiking because of its large lenses and its high dimensions in absolute terms. If you sail at sea on small boats (kayak, small motorboat, etc.), it may be difficult to stabilize the image. On the other hand, no problem for cruise ships and the like.
The Bushnell Powerview 2 10×50 is generally satisfactory. We recommend them if you want to take advantage of economical binoculars for your outdoor activities, which do not require a lot of precision. You can easily observe birds and wildlife with it, or simply enjoy the landscape that awaits you.
The image has a good definition in the center in addition to being bright, but its quality decreases on the periphery. This is explained by the use of Bk-7 prisms which create a truncated exit pupil.
However, the excellent ergonomics provide optimum viewing comfort. Bushnell has managed to find an ideal compromise for its new Powerviews.
Our other reviews designed by Bushnell offer superior image quality while keeping the Porro prism configuration.