A Work Commenced January 8 2023
Product: Hawke Endurance ED 8 x 42
Country of Manufacture: China
Field of View: 133m@1000m(7.6 angular degrees)
Exit Pupil: 5.25mm
Close Focus: 2m advertised, 1.83m measured
Eye Relief: 17mm
Chassis: Rubber armoured magnesium alloy
Coatings: Fully multicoated optics, phase corrected BAK4 prisms
ED Glass: Yes
Tripod Adaptable: Yes
Nitrogen Purged: Yes
Weight: 705g advertised, 701g measured
Dimensions: L/W 14.8 x 12.7cm
Accessories: Padded clamshell case, logoed neoprene neck strap, permanently tethered objective covers, rubber rain guard, microfibre lens cloth, instruction manual.
Warranty: No Fault Lifetime Warranty
Hawke is a British family-founded sports optics company that has established a solid reputation serving the birding, hunting and hiking community. Over the last few decades the company has expanded its business, creating a US branch in 2007. Their binoculars, monoculars and spotting scopes have earned high praise over the years, producing consistent optical quality at reasonable prices. The Hawke Endurance ED series has received various makeovers over the 15 years or so since its first incarnation and represents the company’s entry level mid-tier optic. In this blog, I’ll be reporting on the Hawke Endurance ED 8 x 42 model, which is available in black or green colours. I elected to choose the green coloured chassis. The unit was kindly loaned to me by First Light Optics.
The instrument arrived in a small, attractive white box containing a high quality clamshell case(with strap), a logoed neoprene lanyard, lens cleaning cloth, a soft pouch, rubber rain guard, permanently attached objective lens covers and multi-language instruction manual. First impressions of the instrument were really good. The magnesium alloy chassis is covered in a grippy dark green rubber armouring with prominent ribbing on the sides. The central hinge has very nice rigidity ensuring that your preferred inter pupillary distance is reliably maintained. The instrument feels really solid in the hands even though it tips the scales at just over 700g.
I really like the metal focus wheel. Covered in large ridges, it rotates very smoothly and accurately with no free play. Just over two full rotations anticlockwise brings you from closest focus to infinity. The bridge is narrow – something I personally like very much, as it affords plenty of space to wrap your fingers round the barrels to hold the instrument steady. The twist-up eye cups are covered in soft rubber and are very comfortable to rest your eyes on. Four different locking positions are offered from fully retracted to fully extended. The cups hold their positions very well. Eye relief is decent, but I couldn’t quite see the entire field wearing my regular glasses. The enlarged ocular lenses are very easy to engage with and the objective lenses are quite deeply recessed to protect the optics from rain, peripheral light and aeolian borne dust.
The dioptre compensation is achieved by rotating a metal ring under the right ocular lens. Though it’s not lockable, it has a decent amount of resistance so won’t budge easily out of your desired position. The strap lugs are among the largest I’ve experienced on any full-size binocular, protruding quite a bit from the side of the barrels making them a bit more susceptible to getting snagged on a bush or some such during field use.
All in all, this is a very well thought-through binocular with well above average ergonomics that make it a pleasure to hold in one’s hands. Good job Hawke.
My first tests involved shining a bright light located a few metres away and examining the images captures while looking through the binocular. I detected a few minor internal reflections and quite a bit of glare around the light source. The same was true when I turned the Hawke Endurance ED on a bright sodium streetlamp after dark. From previous experience, I anticipated that such glare would also reduce the contrast a tad on daylight targets, as my later tests were to verify.
Examining the exit pupils, I was relieved to see that were round with no signs of truncation, though one did reveal a small false pupil very near the true exit pupil as the photos below show.
Testing in dull winter light which generates the worst possible lighting conditions generated good results. The field stop is very easy to see and very well defined: something I’ve grown to really appreciate. The image is nice, wide(7.6 degrees) and sharp, with good contrast though a small amount of glare reduced its punch by a notch. Colours are true to life, and quite warm compared to other 8x 42s I’ve experienced. The sweet spot of the Hawke Endurance ED 8 x 42 is quite large, with just a little bit of peripheral softness creeping in around the edges which I didn’t find particularly distracting. Colour correction is very well controlled, even off axis, where only a trace was seen on some high contrast targets. Barrell distortion was also very low on this test unit.
Notes from the Field
Close focus on the Hawke Endurance ED 8 x 42 was found to be 1.83m, a little better than the advertised 2m. Tracking a small flock of Redwings flying across an open field from 10 metres to beyond 100 metres only required about a one third of an anti-clockwise turn of the focus wheel to maintain a sharp image. Viewing through the instrument gives nice, relaxed images with no blackouts or rolling ball effect encountered while panning. Colour rendering is what I would describe as warm, with reds and yellows being most notably enhanced. Low light performance is decent but was not as bright as my control binocular with dielectric coatings, possibly indicating lower reflectivity aluminium or silvered( non-enhanced) roof prisms. I also detected some veiling glare while glassing a group of Carrion Crows perched high in some conifer trees against a grey overcast sky.
The Hawke Endurance ED served up some very nice images of the night sky. The full Moon was nice and sharp but I could see some glare in the sky around it. Moving the bright silvery orb to the edge of the field showed up some weak lateral colour and some mild field curvature. The winter showpieces of the sky including the Pleiades, the Hyades, the Perseus Double Cluster and the Sword Handle of Orion were nicely framed in this light weight 8 x 42. Stars remain nice tight pinpoints across about 70 per cent of the field after which field curvature begins to distort them, but overall, I judged its edge of field performance to be good.
The Hawke Endurance ED 8 x 42 proved to be a pleasant experience. It’s very nice to hold and everything works well. And while not a world class performer, it serves up very decent optical performance at this price point. And it’s good to know that should you encounter any hiccups, Hawke’s lifetime warranty should reassure you that they will take care of any issues you may encounter going forward
I would like to thank Steve from First Light Optics for lending me the Hawke Endurance ED 8 x 42 for review.
Dr N English’s new book dedicated to binoculars will be published later this year. Check out Choosing and Using Binoculars: A Guide for Stargazers, Birders and Outdoor Enthusiasts published by Springer Nature.