Hawke Frontier ED X 8x42 Binoculars
- By Chris Parkin
- 2 Comments
- Last updated: 22/01/2020
The new 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 top end performance is still many hundreds of pounds away. You cannot beat good ergonomic design that, regardless of price, allows binoculars to be effectively used in the hands and eyes of everyday shooters. For example, 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.
Unquestionably, a set of Swarovski’s or Zeiss’ are superior in every way, however, they are also over £2000 more expensive and that bottom line to many shooters is unimaginable for a custom rifle, let alone a set of binos. Plus, and as I said, the level of quality compared to cost these days is very agreeable, for those who just want something to inspect what they intend to shoot and general observation.
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 fl at image presented by these Frontier’s 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. Elsewhere, the rest of the glassware is fully multi-coated, both internally and external, for light transmission of all visible colours, durability from rain and dirt too. One and a quarter turns alter focus from 6.6ft/2m to ∞, a gentle mechanical gear ratio allowing intuitive precision when operating the 25mm/1” long focus knob. Grippy, textured rubber coating allows light fingertip control without any effort, gloved or bare handed.
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 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 18mm optical eye relief, with or without glasses. A gentle taper on the 42mm external diameter of the eye cups 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 I have had in my hands. Slight halo is only commented on at this price because the Hawkes are otherwise reaching way above their price point