After trying a few sets of compact binoculars at our Optics weekend open days, a customer opted for the Hawke Endurance ED 10×25 binoculars. Other sets they tried were the ED 8×25, and lesser priced 8×26 and 10×26.
The extra spend on the Endurance 10×25 ED was justified, as the customer could tell a difference the ED glass and fully multi-coated optics made compared with the non ED multi-coated options at less than half the price. They mentioned straight away the increase in brightness and sharpness and better optics gave.
The Endurance also feature a double hinge body, which makes them much more compact when storing in pockets. They come complete with case, padded neck strap, lens covers , cleaning cloth and a lifetime warranty
Available to purchase from Northern Optics
A customer came to the Northern Optics Optics weekend public outlet at Barton Upon Humber looking for a high grade compact set of binoculars. I could see optical and build quality was high on the list, as they already owned Carl Zeiss and Leica binoculars. After showing me the Leica Ultravids, they said they wanted something as good, or better.
At this point, I knew the choice had to be something special. The customer needed a compact set, and was very happy with the Hawke Endurance ED 8×25 binoculars, as they matched the size of the Leica 10x25s they owned, and the optics were up to standard.
42mm binoculars were just too large. But at only 539g the Hawke Endurance ED 8×32 split the difference . At first the buyer thought they would be larger. But this was only due to the larger outer boxing, which needed to house the extra thick padded strap. The brighter image from the 32mm objectives was an instant hit. And despite being slightly heavier than they wanted, the “felt right”, and they had no hesitation in purchasing. The comprehensive Hawke warranty was an added bonus.
As with all out customers who visit our Optics weekends, the fact they can test binoculars looking over a nature reserve lake, instead of the bricks and mortar of the high street is a major plus point.
Hawke binoculars can be purchased from Northern Optics
The celestron Inspire 90 AZ telescope is a true dual use telescope. Erect image eyepieces with a wide field of view makes it ideal for both astronomical and terrestrial targets.
A no tool set up means it is very easy to put together and get using in fast time. Unlike a number of Celestron telescopes, the Inspire series come with a Starfinder-Pro finderscope, and an illuminated accessory trap. On the subject of the accessory tray, the design allows for the legs to be folded with no need to remove it.
The 1.25″ 10mm and 20mm eyepieces give a sensible 33x and 66x magnification, with many more eyepieces available.
If not using for visual work, the fast 660mm f7.3 focal length makes it ideal for deep sky imaging with aDSLR camera. But you will need to upgrade the mount to an EQ version with a motor for this.
Fully coated optics, helps keep the price affordable. But do not be put off by the standard lens coatings, as many telescopes nowadays with FC optics can be very good. In particular if you keep the magnification at a sensible level (hence the eyepieces included)
One last bonus with the inspire range of Celestron telescopes is the smart phone adapter. This allows photos and videos to be taken through the eyepieces. We recommend using the 33x (20mm) for this
Available to purchase from Northern Optics
The Hawke Nature-Trek 8×42 monocular (10x also available) is the replacement for the old 10×50 version. There are many added benefits with this new model, which firstly include the more compact size.
Handling The more compact size makes for much more easy hand holding, with the lighter weight making for less arm strain. Although it has a close focus of 2m, you will find for general use from around 20m to infinity, you will only need around half a turn of the focus wheel, meaning there is no need to keep lifting your finger off the wheel for speed of use. The twist eye cup feels comfortable against the eyes.
Optics Quoted as fully multi-coated optics with BaK-4 prisms. Firstly, I must say that despite not being ED glass, the amount of chromatic aberration around high contrast subjects is very low on or near the centre, with just a thin line (colour fringing) around the edge. Contrast and brightness is on par with other 8×42 binoculars with the same spec. Excellent internal baffling helps reduce reflection and helps improve contrast. On the edge of view is a thin blue line, which is better than some that have a slight orange cast. The 129m @ 1000m field of view makes easy tracking of moving wildlife. Birds in flight for example.
Accessories The monocular comes packaged in a hard box, like the rest of the current crop of binoculars , which helps protect then when in storage. The case is a basic but functional nylon soft case with belt loop. Although there is accommodation for a mini tripod on the side, this is not included. The black wrist strap is very nice and comfortable to use , with white stitching. Complete with lens caps, which is a drop down one on the main objective and a push on one for the eyepiece. The eye piece lens cover features an opening for the strap to feed through , so keeping the cap attached. Lens cleaning cloth is a small microfibre. A basic instruction books shows you how to focus, care for your monocular and details about the warranty. The 42mm Nature-Trek monoculars come with a thread for tripods etc.
Very recommended and available from Northern Optics
It was nice to see a returning customer visit the Northern Optics outlet , which is open at the Waters` edge visitor centre at Barton Upon Humber. He was in the market for a pair of 10×42 binoculars to replace his ageing set that were in a little need of TLC. Yet after trying the Hawke Nature trek 8×42 binoculars, he was won over with the image quality, and soon realised that bird-watching is not all about magnification.
He did also try the ED glass endurance range. Although they gave much less false colour (chromatic aberration) , the Nature Treks were more than adequate for his trips to the local wildlife reserves.
These come with fully multi-coated optics and a wide field of view. Soft case, padded neck strap, lens covers and a comprehensive warranty .
A customer bought a set of Hawke nature trek 10×25 binoculars at the Northern Optics weekend outlet , Barton Upon Humber as a 2nd set to compliment a larger pair he currently owned.
Given the choice between the Hawke and another slightly cheaper set, he chose the Nature Treks due to the fully multi-coated optics giving the slightly brighter and sharper view, though it was minimal.
It was nice to meet a customer who fully understood optics and how to set binoculars. We both agreed with the minor flaw with these (and believe me this is a very minor issue). They are quite long eye relief, and the twist cups just fall short by a couple of mm when fully outward. This only means for non spectacle wearers you may need to hold them away from the eye,s even with the cups fully out. But for some, who do not like binoculars touching their eye brows, this is a good thing.
The Hawke ED X 8×32 binoculars give you the same outstanding optics and build quality as the larger 42mm models, but with a compact body only weighing 540g and only 4.7 inches by 4.6 inches in size.
Featuring waterproofing to IPX7 standards , they are a true all weather option. A wide 135m @ 1000m field of view makes tracking of moving targets easy, as the 16mm eye relief should suit most spectacle wearers.
- Extra-low Dispersion glass for optimum clarity
- Dielectric Coatings provide increased light reflectivity.
- Fully Multi-Coated optics to produce sharp images
- Focus knob with 1.5 turn – close focus 8.2ft/2.5m
- High resolution Phase Corrected BAK-4 roof prisms
- Water repellent coating on objective lenses
- Lightweight rubber coated magnesium alloy chassis
- Stay-on lens covers for maximum lens protection
- Replaceable twist-up eye cups with position stops
The Visionary M10 , 10×50 monocular was the choice for one customer visiting the Northern Optics outlet at Barton Upon Humber. The fully multi-coated optics and bright view gave a great image in low light conditions, when tested.
They chose the 10x instead of the 12x due to the wider field of view and longer eye relief. A bonus was the included mini tripod, that can be used as a hand hold to keep steady. Other accessories include lens caps, a cleaning cloth and soft case with belt loop.
Handling is very easy with a large focus wheel. Plus being nitrogen waterproof means they can be used in all conditions.
A couple came to the Northern Optics weekend public outlet at the Waters` edge visitor centre at Barton upon Humber looking for a good quality spotting scope, that was as useful for looking at birds on the back garden feeder as well as general use out and about.
Due to the excellent image quality for close up work, they chose the Celestron Ultima 20-60×80/45 angled spotting scope with stay on case. Another bonus was the long eye relief, as the user was a spectacle wearer.
Despite being around for many years, the Ultima design has stayed the same, where others have gone through updates. I guess its a case on if it aint broke, don,t fix it
The Hawke Frontier HD X binoculars come with the same waterproofing to IPX7 standard and fog proofing as the ED X versions. This means they have can operatein temperatures from -15 to +55 degrees C , and can be stored in temperatures from -40 to +70 degrees C. A final check sheet is included with your purchase.
All of the above means these binoculars are perfect for those who go out hiking and bird-watching in extreme weather conditions. Unlike the similar Frontier ED X , the HD X do not have ED glass, but do have the same dielectric coated prisms for outstanding brightness.
Available in 10x and 8x , with a choice of 32mm or 42mm objective lenses in green or grey.The lightweight magnesium alloy chassis makes the 42mm model around 30g lighter than the equivalent single hinge sapphire version.