Bushnell Infinity 8.5x45

  • Lightweight, despite the chunky looks
  • Crisp, sharp, bright image
  • Good close focus – excellent for all-round nature watching
  • Smooth, light focusing
  • Excellent eye relief for glasses wearers

Launched in 2007, Bushnell’s Infinity range consists of two models with unusual specifications – 8.5x45 and 10.5x45. I tested the 8.5x model. This is a chunky binocular, perhaps to make space for those bigger than average objective lenses. It felt good in the hands though and seemed reassuringly well put together. It is quite sizeable, but is a lightweight, tipping the scales at a tad over 700g, thanks in part at least to the reinforced polycarbonate composite body. The Infinity feels tough and solid. It is rubber armoured, nitrogen-filled, waterproof, fogproof and has a water repellent coating on the lenses. The open bridge design causes no problems.

Focussing with the two-finger-wide focusser is smooth, precise and light (perhaps too light for some tastes). There’s over 1.5 turns of focus movement, but for most birding, you won’t have to turn it more than about 75 degrees. The eyecup mechanics are good. They twist up and down and have four click-stopped positions providing a maximum quoted eye relief of 19.5mm, which should be good for glasses wearers. To adjust the dioptre you pull up the focussing knob, turn it, then push it down to lock it. The adjuster is click-stopped and calibrated.


FACTFILE

  • RRP: £399.95
  • Close focus: 2m
  • Dimensions (height x width x depth, approx): 165x140x65mm
  • Weight: 708g
  • Field of view: 6.1 degrees (107m at 1,000m)
  • Warranty: Lifetime
  • Also supplied: Rainguard, objective covers, wide strap, strap adaptors, hard case with removable strap, lens cloth.
  • Distributed by: JJ Vickers, Unit 9, 35 Revenge Road, Lordswood, Kent, ME5 8DW. Tel: 01634 201284. Fax: 01634 201286. E-mail: sales@jjvickers.co.uk Website:www.jjvickers.co.uk

The Infinity delivers a good view of the bird too. The image is very crisp, and sharp almost to the edges. Brightness is very good and there’s plenty of contrast. I found no major colour fringing. At two metres, the close focus is very good too, though as is often the case, closing an eye for close up work adds to the viewing comfort. I was particularly impressed with the Infinity’s performance when viewing subjects against the light and it did well in pulling detail out of the shadows.

Regular review readers will know that I’m not convinced about push-in and pull-up strap attachments – as ever, I’d prefer the more traditional approach. And once again, Bushnell have provided a strap that is dangerously long. The short adaptors allow you to fit your own strap, but would interfere with the rainguard if you had the eyecups wound down. All in all, this is a chunky but lightweight all weather binocular that delivers a very good view.