Review: Hawke Endurance ED 8x32 binoculars
- Credit: Archant
Mark Camoccio peers through the new Hawke Endurance ED 8X32 Binoculars
When we take to the field for a hunting trip, we're often equipped with a fairly high magnification scope, and that in itself allows us to survey some of the area in question, but a decent pair of binoculars is the professional tool, to do the job properly - and safely.
Field of View is perhaps the biggest advantage of bino's, and that huge panoramic view is hard to beat when out in the countryside. On test here is the Hawke Endurance ED 8X32, and with the Endurance range overall sitting somewhere around mid-price, this model offers a pleasing specification, for reasonable money. ED denotes Extra-low Dispersion glass, and this is specifically designed to reduce colour fringing. Lenses are also 'Fully Multi-Coated', which is a common feature on modern optics.
Where the internal spec' is concerned, Hawke advertise the use of 'high resolution, phase corrected BAK-4 roof prisms', and whilst that means little to me, the performance comfortably does the talking, which I'll come to. These bino's can be specified in green or black, and come with a semi-rigid case complete with adjustable carry handle, There's an adjustable padded strap for the binoculars, instruction booklet, front and back lens covers and lens cloth.
Take time to fit the carry strap into the clips in the binocular body. It's a surprisingly fiddly job, but of course, once it's done, if you do it right, the bino's are safe out in the field. Something to bear in mind is the lens caps, and whilst the front lenses get flip-down covers which stay attached, the rear lenses get that dual flexible rubber cap. Easy to remove, for sure, but something to lose, so my advice is to thread them onto the strap at the start.
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Next basic task is to check that the binoculars are set to your eyes. First set the dioptre to the centre, cover up the right front lens, and using the central focus wheel, twist until the image in the left eyepiece is nice and sharp. Cover up the left lens, and twist the rear dioptre adjuster until the image is again sharp. On test, as far as my eyes were concerned, and after that routine, the dioptre was only just off centre. Take the time to check though, and again, performance will be maximised.
In the field
Compactness is a big part of the appeal of these Endurance ED's, and initial impressions on handling, are of a well made, nicely finished product, that just feels right. The exterior gets a rubber textured feel to the magnesium alloy body, with the result that grip and comfort are at a premium. Those small indents on the body allow the thumbs to find their position naturally, whilst panels of moulded 'chequering' aid grip still further. Eye position is set in the classic way, by slowly pulling the two barrels apart or pushing together, and the built-in resistance to do this is spot on. Need to scale down, and go 'ultra compact'? Then ditch the rigid case, push the barrels together, and these binos will condense down to a pocket-friendly, four inches across.
On test, I tended to grab these bino's and view objects instinctively, and encountered few problems, I have to say. However, subtlety does exist if needed. Twist those ultra-slick 'twist-up' eye cups at the rear, and the eye can be kept at just the right distance. Set the eye relief in this way, to suit, then tape up the eye pieces if necessary, and thereafter, comfortable viewing should be simple.
Hawke as a brand, seem ever-aware of their intended market, and these Endurance EDs really do open your eyes to a pin-sharp world. Performance overall throughout my test, was excellent, and the depth of field on offer is another massive plus point. Focusing is positive, yet seemingly effortless, whilst the image is ultra-crisp and clear, with a level of brightness and definition, that's hard to beat, irrespective of unit cost. At £199, these Endurance ED 8X32s sit well against several more expensive rivals, easily justifying Hawke's strap line of 'High resolution, with no loss of detail'.
At the end of the day, what do we demand from a pair of binoculars? Easy, smooth operation, and sharp, vibrant visuals, about sums it up, and that's exactly what's on offer here.
On a minor negative front, there is no camera mounting point, which some rivals offer, but hey, I'm probably nit-picking.
Open your eyes
Of course, there are several scenarios when the use of quality optical gear can really make a difference, and whilst hunting in the great outdoors remains high on the list, just enjoying Mother Nature at her best can be equally rewarding. These Hawke Endurance EDs are ideal, being well designed, satisfyingly well made, and sensibly priced. Unsurprisingly, they're also waterproof and fogproof (nitrogen purged), and come with Hawke's original owner warranty.
Performance on test was hard to fault, so all in all, an impressive product from Hawke Optics, designed with the serious sportsman in mind.
Model: Endurance ED 3x32
Manufacturer: Hawke Optics
Magnification: Fixed 8x
Objective lens diam: 32mm
Field of view: 388ft at 1000yds
Min focus: 6.6ft
Eye relief: .7"
Optical coating: Multi-coated-extra-low dispersion (ED) glass
RRP: £199 including carry case, padded strap, front and rear lens cap, available in green or black