Hawke Frontier ED 8x43mm Premium Binocular
article is Hawke Sports Optics (www.hawkeoptics.com) “Frontier ED” magnesium body binocular, in the
green body edition. They are Hawke #HA3782, eight power, with 43mm objective
lenses. The main feature is the extra-low dispersion (ED) glass, which promises
better lateral color correction than possible with conventional glass. ED
glass, as best I can determine, came about in the mid 1970s. Chromatic aberration
is at least a five dollar word, unadjusted for inflation. Chromatic aberration or
later color refers to color fringing due to the optic's inability to focus all
three primary colors of light to the same point.
you'd have to be a true optical aficionado to discuss all the fine points, something
I'm not, the goal is to reduce or eliminate purple, green, cyan, or other
unwanted colors around contrasting areas of the image. When light goes through
a prism it slows down and gets bent. ED glass bends the light less, so you have
less color fringe issues. That's the short version, anyway. Here are the basic
Model: HA3782 8x43
Prism: Roof, BAK4
Coating: Phase ED
FOV at 1000 yards: 466
Eye Relief: 0.65
Exit pupil: 5.375mm
Near Focus: 6.6 feet
Length: 6.57 inches
Weight: 26.2 ounces
2011 discount retail price: Approx.
weight, Hawke uses a magnesium body for this binocular and what they call their
open hinge design, the result of which is that these binoculars are close to
what you would expect for a typical 8x42mm binocular in weight. They are
waterproof with fully multi-coated lenses, the usual set of features expected
in higher-end binoculars. They are about an ounce lighter than the Nikon 8x42
EDG binoculars, for example.
thing are impressive about the Frontier ED binocular. The overall build quality
is confidence inspiring. The center-knob focusing is smooth with an excellent
feel of slight resistance, as opposed to the loose and sloppy focusing I've
often seen in lesser binoculars. The twist-up eyecups have two extended positions
and they stay in place. Too many binoculars have unstable or instant collapse eyecups
that can drive you nuts. These don't, a very good thing.
profiled indentations in the body of the binoculars for your thumbs make them
easy to handle and the checkered portions of the barrels make them easy to hang
on to. The diopter adjustments for the right ocular portion aren't the sloppy
twist type; instead they are crisp click adjustments that stay in place once
you set them. I spent several hours looking at bushes, grass, signs, into
shaded areas and so forth. The images are sharp and crisp and if there is any
fringing it is beyond the ability of my eyes to detect it.
I did my
best to look at what could be considered the closest thing in the marketplace
today to this Hawke set. What I came up with is the Vortek Talon HD 8x42 that
is very similar in features, or in advertised features, anyway. Check it out
for yourself, the Vortek is so similar in design if not a clone, it is as close
as you'll get. Yet, the Vortek has a MSRP of $539, a street price of $440 or
so, making the Hawke Frontier HD's a deal by comparison.
historically, have run the same path as riflescopes. There is a world of
difference between the opera glass, disposable level of binocular and mid-range
price point sets. If it comes in a bubble pack for $69.99 at your local chain
store, odds are it is going to be more toy than reliable gear. That's my
experience. Yet, beyond a certain level in optics, as in most products, you get
into the realm of diminishing returns. Amateur astronomers, for example, may
require better optics than boaters, with hunters and bird watchers somewhere
Where these Hawke units are priced at, about a $350 street price, I have no problem recommending them. They are certainly worth consideration and I can't think of anyone who wouldn't be delighted with them. If the image they produce doesn't sell you (I believe it will), the overall ease of operation, build quality, ergonomics and positive controls and adjustments should seal the deal.
Copyright 2011, 2016 by Randy Wakeman. All rights reserved.