Hawke Frontier Binoculars
- By Chris Parkin
- 9 Comments
- Last updated: 23/01/2021
The Frontier ED-X Binoculars from Hawke are a great example of design filtering through from the premium market to characterise far more economical optical products. Although topend optical performance is still many hundreds of pounds away, you cannot beat good ergonomic design that, regardless of price, allows binoculars to be effectively used with the hands and eyes of everyday shooters. Eyecup fit into the orbital sockets and tactile function on the focus control can really separate the good from bad, or sometimes the very ugly.
‘Extra-low Dispersion’ glass is commonly advertised to offer optimum clarity at any price point but it’s a rather loosely used term on any product, but the flat image presented to your eyes is more than pleasing with decent low light performance and good colour balance. ‘Dielectric Coatings provide increased light reflectivity’ which can hopefully only mean within the high-resolution, phase corrected BAK-4 roof prisms of the design, where the rest of the glassware is fully multi-coated both internally and external, for light transmission of all visible colours, plus durability from rain and dirt too.
One and a quarter turns alters focus from 2m to ∞, a gentle mechanical gear ratio allowing intuitive precision when operating the 25mm long focus knob. It’s grippy, textured rubber coating allows light fingertip control without any effort, gloved or barehanded.
Grey armoured rubber coats the lightweight magnesium alloy chassis with a 10mm overhang at the objective lenses to minimise physical damage to the glass when not hidden under ‘stay-on’ lens covers.
The ocular lenses have familiar rubber caps hanging from the left side of the rubber-lined, neoprene neck harness. This threads securely to anchors projecting from the twin tubes, directly aligned with the focus knob, showing the excellent ergonomic layout for most hand sizes, without excessive reach to the controls. Dioptre is controlled on the right tube, eyecups are replaceable twist-up units with three positions for physical eye position control to tally with the 18mm optical eye relief, with or without glasses. A gentle taper on the 42mm external diameter of the eyecups offers superb comfort from various visiting angles dictated by prone, standing or seated positions to leave a great overall opinion of these economically priced, easily pocketed binoculars.
These are really nice binoculars at the price point, with fantastic ergonomics, the equal of any binocular I have had in my hands. There is a slight reddish halo at times when facing bright light reflections but this is only commented on at this price because these Hawke binos are otherwise reaching way above their price point.