Bushnell Permafocus Binoculars
By: Antone Oseka
Two hundred yards off, the geese were just getting ready to move. I could see them clear as day. My buddy kept saying, "Where? Where?" while fumbling with the focus on his binoculars. With the Permafocus¨ 10x42 binoculars, I didn't have that problem. By the time he focused, the geese were gone and flying overhead.
I wish I could say that I discovered the Permafocus binos on my own, but my Dad has been raving about them for a couple of years. He's mainly used them for sporting events like college football and NASCAR and wouldn't trade them for even the highest-priced optics. Even when I wanted him to try out other optics, he would ask, "Do they have that permanent focus thing?" When I replied in the negative, he wouldn't even consider changing.
So, when I went shopping for a new pair of binos for hunting season, I wanted to give them a try. And this pains me to say, but he was right. I'm hooked. The Permafocus binoculars are the easiest and most worry-free pair of optics I own. I really don't want to go hunting without them. They have a few limitations, but are the perfect binos to keep handy in many hunting situations — especially when fast target acquisition is required.
While the Permafocus doesn't boast the crystal-clear, high-end glass that some other binoculars have, they don't carry the high price tag either. That makes them perfect for heavy use with a minimal cost of replacement if dropped, damaged or lost. What they do have is a reliable design that eliminates focusing when scanning the area around you. Whether you're looking at nearby decoys or far-off buck racks, you never have to adjust the focus. Once your eyes focus, that's all it takes.
The focus limitations are actually set by your eyesight, so the close focus limit will be totally subjective to the user. For me, the limit is about 20 ft. I don't need optics to see anything that closely, so it's not a big deal. The biggest detractor is that they're not waterproof or fogproof. Adding those two features would up the price tag, but would be well worth it.
They're fairly lightweight, coming in at just 18.3 oz. for the roof-prism design, and compact, 5.5 inches for the roof-prism models. The porro-prism models vary from 9.3 oz. for the 8x25's to 31 oz. for the 12x50's. While not quite as compact as the roof-prism models, they're still comparable to other available optics. All models have a nonslip rubber armor to absorb shock and provide a firm grip when using. All the lenses are fully coated as well for better light transmission and brightness.
All in all, the focus-free performance and light
price tag outweigh the fact that they're not waterproof or fogproof. I
can see why my Dad would never give his up. And I agree with him. Gosh,
I hate doing that.