The Bushnell Trophy Xtreme 8×56 has a good reputation in the binocular world. Their 8 magnification offers a wide field of view while their objective diameter of 56 millimeters allows capturing a lot of light.
Marketed at just under $300, they are in the mid-range and are suitable for beginners as well as those who are experienced. It is ideal for observing nature, practicing ornithology, and even observing certain starry skies at nightfall.
The Trophy Xtreme 8×56 incorporates interesting optical characteristics, including phase correction and multi-layer lens treatment. Here is our opinion on these binoculars.
Bushnell Trophy Xtreme 8×56 Binoculars Review
- Magnification: 8
- Lens diameter (mm): 56
- Perceived linear field at 1000 meters (m): 100
- Brightness Index: 49
- Exit pupil (mm): 6.9
- Eye Relief (mm): 17
- Minimum focusing distance (m): 3
- Dimensions (mm): 162 x 145
- Weight (g): 1080
- Interpupillary distance (mm): 58 -75
- Type of prisms: Roof
- Virtually undetectable loss of sharpness at the periphery
- Excellent brightness
- Well-balanced color rendering
- Low distortion and moderate lens astigmatism
- Robustness and build quality
- Accurate and fast focusing
- Affordable price with good optical performance
- Some chromatic aberrations in the center and on the edges of the image
- The visual field could have been wider
- A bit high minimum focusing distance
- No adapter was supplied for a tripod
High image sharpness with a few chromatic aberrations
The Bushnell Trophy Xtreme 8×56 has excellent image definition, thanks to the phase correction applied to the prisms. The astigmatism of the lenses is relatively low, resulting in consistent sharpness in the vertical and horizontal planes.
The distortion, which gives an effect of curvature to the image, only appears on the last quarter of the field of vision, thus leaving an image that appears flat.
Although the lenses are not equipped with field flattening technology, the loss of sharpness is minimal at the edge of the visual field: almost the entire field of vision is usable.
Some coma aberrations are visible. We do not see them in the center, but moderately away from it. They get stronger in the extremities, but that’s not the most important area. The only more easily noticeable defect is the presence of chromatic aberrations. They are seen as colored fringes around objects with low intensity in the center and more developed at the edges of the image.
This sometimes has an impact on the resolution when the ambient light is high, typically in backlight or when there are reflections like on water for example.
The details of the elements observed are easily identified and two objects very close to each other can be clearly distinguished. The Bushnell Trophy Xtreme 8×56 do very well in this aspect.
High brightness increased by large lens diameter
The advantage of having binoculars with large lenses is that you capture a lot of light without difficulty. Here the Trophy Xtreme 8×56 achieves excellent light transmission, up to 87%.
The images obtained have high contrast, even in a dark environment such as at dusk or in the forest. At night, the lenses are able to effectively capture the light rays of the stars, even those that sparkle little. It is a pair that will be perfect in addition to a telescope.
However, the brightness is not completely homogeneous over the entire field of vision. We notice a slight reduction in the contours of the image, which indicates a small vignetting. The latter is not particularly disturbing, insofar as the exit pupil is indeed circular on the two tubes.
The color rendering is almost flawless. Yellow and orange shades very slightly dominate the visible light spectrum. In practice, we will rarely pay attention to it and the images will have a hue similar to reality.
Ease of adjustment and focus
No surprise on this point, Bushnell always manages to design binoculars that are easy to focus on. The focus is done with an adjustment wheel located in the center between the two eyecups of the pair.
It is large enough to be accessible with the index finger while looking through the tubes. Its ridged texture provides good grips which improve precision during focusing. Focus is reached very quickly by targeting an object in the background of another and vice versa, without difficulty.
The diopter correction is done in a classic way with a rotating ring located under the right eyecup. If your visual acuity varies slightly from one eye to another, you will have no problem seeing a sharp image with both eyes simultaneously.
The eyecups are extendable all you have to do is turn them. The 17-millimeter eye relief provides a comfortable range for wearing glasses.
Good ergonomics but heavy
The main problem with large-lens binoculars is often their weight. With their 1080 grams, the Bushnell Trophy Xtreme 8×56 is not among the lightest pairs, even if their length does not exceed 162 millimeters.
Fortunately, the design includes a mounting hole to mount the binoculars on a tripod via an adapter. We only regret that this adapter is not supplied as standard in the packaging. It will have to be purchased.
The curved shape of the tubes allows an excellent grip, improved by their grooved surface. The fingers fit easily on the chassis and plenty of space is available even for large hands.
The eyecups are comfortable to the touch on the face although they look imposing at first glance. Their diameter is nevertheless quite large, which will require a short period of adaptation to find the most comfortable position.
For long sessions, use the strap supplied with the Trophy Xtreme 8×56. The area that rests on the neck has an extra thickness that guarantees optimal comfort. Here we have truly ergonomic binoculars.
Robust construction and careful manufacture
From the first grip, we notice that the finishes are neat on the Bushnell Trophy Xtreme 8×56. The various moving components are well assembled together and have no mechanical play like the tubes or the focusing wheel. The chassis has a thick rubber coating, which provides good protection against shocks that may occur during use.
The Trophy Xtreme 8×56 is sealed using O-rings. An anti-fog treatment is also applied by filling the tubes with nitrogen. This is a pair of binoculars that will require minimal maintenance and will last for many years. Bushnell also offers a lifetime warranty on this model.
The binoculars are sold with protective covers for the eyepieces and objectives. They are flexible and stay quite well in position once fitted.
A nylon storage case is also available as standard. It fulfills its role but it is in our opinion a little too small for the size of the binoculars: you have to force a little to close the scratch.
High minimum focusing distance
The minimum focusing distance is 3 meters. This is quite a high value for binoculars with an 8 magnification. Bushnell offers many binoculars with a magnification of 10 yet capable of focusing to less than 3 meters.
However, this will not prevent you from observing animals or birds at very short distances. Focusing will just be a bit more tedious.
Narrow linear field
This is the weak point of these binoculars. The linear field perceived at 1000 meters distance does not exceed 100 meters wide. This is again quite a low value for a pair with an 8 magnification. In comparison, some binoculars of the same caliber easily exceed 120 meters.
Fortunately, the loss of sharpness is low at the periphery of the image, which makes it possible to exploit almost the entire field of vision and compensate for the small extent of it.
What use for the Bushnell Trophy Xtreme 8×56?
The Bushnell Trophy Xtreme 8×56 are totally versatile with their 8 magnification. You can use them for ornithology, to observe animals, or to go to sea. Their ability to capture a lot of light makes them an ideal pair for astronomy. You will be able to detect the position of the stars in a preliminary way.
Hiking will undoubtedly be the only activity less compatible with these binoculars due to the slightly higher weight per kilogram. However, this point remains subjective since the Trophy Xtreme 8×56 is quite small and their size is limited. Everything will depend on the maximum weight you carry in your backpack.
Bushnell offers a successful pair that we recommend. The Trophy Xtreme 8×56 are indeed binoculars with good image quality, high sharpness, and even light transmission. The ergonomics are not to be outdone since this model is handled comfortably, and the development is easy. Even if its field of vision could have been larger, it is a pair that will provide nice panoramas and will be suitable for most outdoor activities.
These are good quality binoculars offered at a more economical price…