Sapphire ED 8x43 Binoculars - Hawke
PUBLISHED: 14:56 10 June 2016
A review of the Hawke Sapphire ED 8x43 Binoculars
Hawke’s assault on the established optics order continues with these Sapphire ED 8x43s. But I must admit that I should have tested these a few weeks ago… and the reason I didn’t is because I was put off a bit by the hefty brown leather case. It smells nice, and seems well made but it looks a bit 70s to my eyes and is fairly bulky. If Swarovski, Zeiss and Leica don’t feel the need to package their premium optics in this way, why should Hawke? Especially on such a contemporary-looking design. Something sleek and cordura-tough would do me. But I guess that’s just a matter of taste.
However, I’m glad I got over my misgivings because uncasing them is about the lowest point of the whole experience. These binoculars are very solid performers. They look really good (with their Swaro EL-aping open-bridge design and soft-touch green rubber armour) and the spec list reads like something from a far more expensive bino.
They feature fully multi-coated lenses, Extra-Low Dispersion glass and a lightweight magnesium alloy body. There is a nice large quick-ratio focus wheel that falls perfectly under your finger.
The focus is quite solid in feel on this test optic, but adjustment is smooth and accurate. These binos focus right down to just six feet.
Multi-position eyecups are easy to adjust and there is a diopter adjustment. However, this doesn’t lock and it is possible when using the eyecups with gloved hands to alter the setting without realising – so be aware. It might pay to mark your own setting…
The design makes one-handed operation very simple and they are just the right size for my hands; compact and wieldy without ever feeling too small. The thumb indents beneath guide you to the right ‘hold’ and balance is good for periods of prolonged viewing.
The field of view is an impressive 426ft at 1,000 yards, making scanning large areas for quarry a real delight. You do lose a little image sharpness on the very edges of the picture but no more so than on my Zeiss Conquest HDs which are nearly double the money… Colour rendition is very accurate.
At this price point, you can’t expect to have the ultimate optical performance. But no longer do you need to compromise. I cannot believe how much specification and performance Hawke has packed into such a competitively-priced unit. They look great, are extremely nice to use and will not leave you feeling short-changed in all but the most extreme viewing situations. Factor in the Hawke Worldwide Warranty for added peace of mind, and the Sapphire ED is well worth a try.