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Reviews > Eye Protection and Binoculars > Binoculars > Bushnell NatureView binoculars > Test Report by Katie Montovan


Bushnell NatureView Binoculars

Bushnell NatureView
Picture from http://bushnell.com

Test Series by Kathryn Montovan

INITIAL REPORT: July 27, 2013

FIELD REPORT: November 1, 2013

LONG TERM REPORT: January 10, 2014

Tester Information

Name: Kathryn Montovan

Biography:

I have been backpacking, climbing, kayaking, canoeing and winter camping for over 12 years. My excursions are mostly weekend and occasionally weeklong backpacking and kayaking trips in the wooded and often wet, mountainous terrain of easter New York, and the western Vermont. I usually tarp camp with a small-to -large group and love to cook fun and delicious foods on my trips. In general, I strive for a compact and light pack and value well-made and durable gear.

E-Mail: sull0294(at)gmail(dot)com
Age: 30
Location: Bennington, Vermont USA
Gender: F
Height: 5' 5" (1.65 m)

INITIAL REPORT

Product Information and Specifications:


Manufacturer:

Bushnell Outdoor Products

Year of Manufacture:

2013
Manufacturer's Website: http://bushnell.com
MSRP NA
Listed Weight: 17.3 oz (490 g)
Measured Weight (binoculars with strap and lens covers): 18.9 oz (536 g)
Measured Weight of Case:
2.8 oz (79 g)
Measured Size:
6.625 x 5 x 1.875" (16.8 x 12.7 x 4.8 cm)
Magnification X Obj Lens:
6 x 30mm
Close Focus:
9 ft (2.7 m)
Lens Coating:
Fully Multi-Coated
Field of View:
419 ft at 1000 yards (140 m at 1000 m)
Exit Pupil:
5 mm
Included:
Binoculars, lens caps, neck strap, slightly padded fabric case, instruction booklet

Bushnell NatureView
The Bushnell NatureView Binoculars and included items

Product Description

The Bushnell NatureView 6x30mm Binoculars are small but highly effective binoculars. Included in the package is a neck strap that attaches to the side of the binoculars, lens caps (the ones over the viewing end attach to the neck strap), a lightly padded fabric case, and a soft lens cleaning cloth. These binoculars have an adjustable distance between the lenses to account for different interpupillary distances.  According to the manufacturer directions I moved the barrels closer together and further apart until I saw a single circular field.

The eye caps twist-up to adjust the length for "comfort and to exclude extraneous light". The directions recommend that glasses users adjust the eye caps to their shortest setting to decrease the distance between the binoculars and the eyes. The NatureView binoculars have a diopter setting feature which adjusts for individual eye strength. To set this properly, the manufacturer recommends covering the lens with the diopter adjustment, then using the center focus knob to focus on a far away object. When focus is achieved, cover the other side of the binocular and adjust the focus using the diopter adjustment to make the same object clear for the other eye. Once I did this step I was able to look through both sides and adjust the focus for objects at different distance by only adjusting the center focus knob.

The NatureView binoculars come with a neck strap that inserts into strap lugs on each side. I found that the strap was difficult to insert into the strap lugs because it is slightly too wide. I needed to use a strong needle to catch the end and pull it through and then it was difficult to move it through the lug to get the proper strap length. The version of NatureView binoculars that I am testing (6 x 30mm) is not compatible with a tripod.


Initial Impressions

The NatureView binoculars have a good weight and nice rubberized textured grips that make the binoculars easy to hold securely. They appear to be carefully designed and constructed. The included carrying bag fits the binoculars well and seems sturdy enough to hold up to a fair amount of use. It also has an adjustable strap for easier carrying. The size is small enough to easily carry along on a hike and the carry strap and protective case help make the binoculars more portable. The view through the binoculars is clear, crisp and well lit.

Trying It Out

When I was younger I remember trying to use binoculars and being very frustrated when I could not focus them and could not find what I was looking for through the binoculars. I have never successfully used binoculars before and have to say that I am thoroughly impressed with how easy these NatureView binoculars are to setup and use. The image is very clear and I was able to focus on and clearly see everything within sight of my house. The level of clarity, detail and image size are all highly impressive to me. I inspected the pine needles and peeling paint on the house across the street and down the hill, looked closely at the bark of my neighbors trees, and could also focus clearly on objects fairly close to myself. The images were crystal clear and the focus was very easy to adjust. I need to go to a more open area to test out the longest distance capacities of these binoculars but so far am pleased with their performance.

Summary

I am very excited to use the NatureView Binoculars. They are clear, crisp, easy to focus and fun to use. I look forward to observing wildlife from afar in a way that feels much closer. I also think that these binoculars could be very helpful when scouting on camping trips to help identify faraway markers and landmarks.

FIELD REPORT

Field Conditions

I tested the NatureView Binoculars on two two-night car camping trips, weekly day hikes, and for daily bird and wildlife watching out my kitchen window. I encountered temperatures ranging from 45 F to 90 F (7 C to 32 C) and weather in the range from beautifully sunny to mildly rainy. The elevation remained primarily between 500 and 1000 ft (150 to 300 m) above sea level.

Performance

I have tried to use binoculars before but have always been frustrated because I couldn't seem to get them adjusted right and then I couldn't see anything clearly enough through them and couldn't locate the thing I was trying to look for. These binoculars are so easy to use and the instructions are clear enough on how to focus the binoculars that I have had none of these problems. I can easily adjust these binoculars to get a bright crisp image and can quickly find the animals I am looking for. They are so easy that I wonder how I could have possibly had so much trouble doing these things with binoculars in the past.

With these binoculars I have been able to identify a flying hawk, a stray cat from approximately 100 meters (300 ft) away, birds in nearby trees, and far away trail markers.

Recently I had family to visit and let them use the binoculars and my aunt was greatly impressed that she could adjust the intraocular distance enough to use the binoculars. She said that usually the adjustment did not allow the eyepieces to get close enough together for her to see clearly out of the binoculars.

Summary

The Bushnell NatureView Binoculars are easy to focus and use. When I look through them, everything is bright, crisp, and well magnified. I have loved using these binoculars and am amazed at the observational world that they have opened up to me. I have pretty terrible eyesight and have always resigned myself to not seeing the details on far away objects when people point them out to me. I have always written off birding as something I couldn't do because I can't hear the calls very well and can never locate the small birds that my friends see. With these binoculars, I can see all of the details, find the small birds in the trees and bushes, and can enjoy wildlife watching in a whole new way.

LONG TERM REPORT

Field Conditions

I tested the NatureView Binoculars on three snowshoeing day trips. I encountered temperatures ranging from 0 F to 25 F (-18 C to -4 C) and both sunny and snowy conditions. The elevation ranged from 400 to 1200 ft (120 to 365 m) above sea level. I also used them frequently to watch the birds out of my kitchen window.

Performance

I have continued to be very happy with these binoculars through the last phase of testing. During this phase of testing I was able to use these binoculars in cold, wintery conditions. I brought them on multiple snowshoeing day trips and was happy with their performance. My only complaint is that the binoculars are large and when I carried them in their case around my neck they flopped around while I snowshoed. This was less of a problem while I was hiking because I didn't have nearly so many layers or so much equipment to deal with. I ended up tucking the binocular case inside my jacket, but this made my jacket fit tightly and was a little awkward.

Summary

The Bushnell NatureView Binoculars are easy to focus and use. I am a novice binocular user and have really enjoyed using these binoculars. They are quite large and pretty heavy for use on the trail. They will continue to live on my kitchen window sill for daily wildlife watching and will be on our gear list for car and canoe camping trips but I don't think that I will do much more hiking or backpacking with them.

Overall, I think that these binoculars are great. I liked that they have enough focal adjustments that I could clearly see through them with or without my glasses with some easy tweaking of the individual eye focus. The image through them is bright, crisp, and well magnified. I have really enjoyed using these binoculars on nature observation hikes, in the backyard and on car camping trips but do not think they would make the cut on a backpacking trip due to their size and weight.

Pros

  • It is easy to adjust focus for each eye, general focus, and the distance between eye pieces
  • The images are crisp, bright, clear, and well-magnified
  • They are sturdy and have held up to careful field use (I have jostled but not dropped them, I have used them in mist but not rain)
  • The carrying case provides nice protection while being light and compact.

Cons

  • The lense caps on the non-eyepiece end are not attached to the binoculars in any way and have a tendency to fall off. They usually fall into the carrying case, but I can see that I will need to be careful not to lose one of them.
  • The carrying case flops around a lot when carried around the neck while snowshoeing.
  • Large and heavy for backpacking or strenuous or high activity hikes or snowshoe-trips.

I would like to thank Bushnell and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test the NatureView Binoculars.




Read more reviews of Bushnell gear
Read more gear reviews by Katie Montovan

Reviews > Eye Protection and Binoculars > Binoculars > Bushnell NatureView binoculars > Test Report by Katie Montovan



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