Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!
Magnifying the passion for nature. Zeiss Victory Harpia 95. New!

Welcome to BirdForum.
BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE! You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rating: Thread Rating: 12 votes, 5.00 average.
Old Friday 2nd December 2011, 15:04   #1
litespeed
LITESPEED

 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: lancaster
Posts: 21
Thumbs up Hawke Sapphire 8x43 ED

Paul,
Firstly thankyou for your response to my last post! Im still on the lookout for some new glass and would be keen to know if anyone has had a chance to look through Hawkes latest offering (Sapphire ED 8X43)? I have been lucky enough to have owned alpha binoculars in the past (Swarovski 8.5x42EL & Leica Ultravid 8x42) until i fell upon hard times!!!!!! Austerity,who needs it? I am now on the lookout for some new glass around the 500 mark. I know that sort of money will not give me the view i have been lucky enough to have but something close would be good!
So, with a 500 budget what would the discerning birder buy?

That's where you come in!

Any advice welcome.

Regards
Nick

Last edited by litespeed : Friday 2nd December 2011 at 15:07. Reason: missing text
litespeed is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 2nd December 2011, 21:43   #2
FrankD
Registered User
 
FrankD's Avatar

 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Eastern Pennsylvania
Posts: 8,365
Interesting. When I first saw the shortened traditional hinge design I thought that maybe Hawke had beaten Zen Ray to Prime production but the specs they have listed don't entirely jive with what we have seen for the Prime.

Still, I like the looks and specs of both the open bridge and short bridge designs.

Is it just me or does the shorter bridge design remind you of the Swaro CL?
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	hawke_sapphire_ed_tophing.jpg
Views:	557
Size:	33.7 KB
ID:	359278  Click image for larger version

Name:	hsopenhinge.jpg
Views:	526
Size:	33.5 KB
ID:	359279  
FrankD is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 2nd December 2011, 22:56   #3
squidge
Wha Whassssat
 
squidge's Avatar

 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Ireland
Posts: 1,446
Quote:
Originally Posted by litespeed View Post
Paul,
Firstly thankyou for your response to my last post! Im still on the lookout for some new glass and would be keen to know if anyone has had a chance to look through Hawkes latest offering (Sapphire ED 8X43)? I have been lucky enough to have owned alpha binoculars in the past (Swarovski 8.5x42EL & Leica Ultravid 8x42) until i fell upon hard times!!!!!! Austerity,who needs it? I am now on the lookout for some new glass around the 500 mark. I know that sort of money will not give me the view i have been lucky enough to have but something close would be good!
So, with a 500 budget what would the discerning birder buy?

That's where you come in!

Any advice welcome.

Regards
Nick
I recommend a pair of German made Minox HG's 8x43. There are some good deals at the moment on these bins. I had the 8x43 and now have the 8x33 and I am really impressed with them. The build, feel, optics and weight are all excellent. If you can, try a pair, you will be surprised.

Ger.
__________________
Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/squidgepics/
squidge is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Saturday 3rd December 2011, 00:03   #4
typo
Registered User

 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Hertfordshire
Posts: 3,334
This older, made in Japan, Minox APO HG 8.5x43 looks like a good deal.
http://www.harrisoncameras.co.uk/Sho...MINX-62174.htm

David
typo is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 3rd December 2011, 15:30   #5
Veracocha
Registered User
 
Veracocha's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Birmingham
Posts: 547
I think you are going to get a nice surprise if you try the Hawke ED's. For me they provide an image that equals the Swaro's and in the case of my chums EL's then even better.
Veracocha is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 3rd December 2011, 19:26   #6
CliveP
Registered User

 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Ireland
Posts: 833
Well sign me up as a Hawke fan as a happy owner of 2 pair ,one of which 8x25 I have had to develope a new Ninja grip to acheive enlightenment and don't mention the 10x36 frontier that didn't merit a second eyestraining look and my Leica HD that have that alpha maigic as did my el before.

But I am a person and engineer in general that see's progress in Hawke and I am very interested to see how this Safire fares and I am thinking that its going to be very interesting, if as seems to be, they are now upping the game even more.

I think if they are charging more than the frontier then there genuinely is something extra to be expected. Hawkes have never dazzeled in the body engineered quality stakes but their lenses are good and I think that they have taken a practical approach which works well and caters to the more mass market than rather the disposable income elite or somewhat disiplined scrimping used buyer like myself.

I think these new Hawkes are going to be very good.

Last edited by CliveP : Saturday 3rd December 2011 at 19:30.
CliveP is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 17th December 2011, 18:47   #7
macbirder
Anything about ?

 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: gloucestershire
Posts: 79
Saphires no better than ED's in my opinion , not looked through new Panorama model yet but in pics build looks superior.

Nothing beats Swaro EL's imho , but we all have different priorites and budgets :)
__________________
UK List 324
County List (Gloucestershire) 216
Last Tarts Tick - Surf Scoter
macbirder is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 18th December 2011, 11:21   #8
CliveP
Registered User

 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Ireland
Posts: 833
No better?

None at all? That seems very strange?

Haven't very unfortunately been able to try any for myself.

I do wonder when I use my 8x56ED Pro-Stalk though what the prisms are if not dielectric as they seem incredibly clear but moreso in good light despite the 7mm exit pupil, in fact they seemed just as clear as a pair of 8x56 Swaro SLC that i breifly tried.

I remember my el 8x32 could be very bright in snow storm conditions or murky days but not so much in the evening.

I imagine if my 8x56 had dielectric prisms then they should be even better in low light and therefore I would expect Hawke to be uprating these in the not to distant.

Please report on the Panorama if you get to try those. Do you know when they will appear?

The spec looks very good.

Last edited by CliveP : Sunday 18th December 2011 at 11:52.
CliveP is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 18th December 2011, 16:25   #9
Steve C
Registered User
 
Steve C's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Klamath Falls, Oregon
Posts: 3,375
That Sapphire looks too short to have the focal length for ED glass to assert itself.
__________________
Steve

"Do what you can, where you are, with what you have" Teddy Roosevelt.
Steve C is online now  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2009 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Sunday 18th December 2011, 16:28   #10
Chosun Juan
Given to Fly
 
Chosun Juan's Avatar

 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Central West NSW, Australia
Posts: 3,474
Quote:
Originally Posted by typo View Post
This older, made in Japan, Minox APO HG 8.5x43 looks like a good deal.
http://www.harrisoncameras.co.uk/Sho...MINX-62174.htm

David
David,
I think there's a boo-boo in the specs listed on the website major bummer!
The specs listed (apart from the mag - which they have right - at 8.5x) are identical to the 8x APO MIG model -i.e. the newie where they fixed the FOV but lost the bl**dy 0.5x of mag!
I've pointed it out to them, and aksed for confirmation.......but I'd hate to be hangin' by my tts waitin' for good news........

Chosun
Chosun Juan is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2016 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Monday 19th December 2011, 08:55   #11
typo
Registered User

 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Hertfordshire
Posts: 3,334
Chosun,

PM sent.

David
typo is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 9th February 2012, 20:10   #12
Veracocha
Registered User
 
Veracocha's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Birmingham
Posts: 547
Has anyone tried these Sapphires yet? I think I want to make the move from Frontier to Sapphire but could do with a steer first.
Veracocha is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 25th April 2012, 13:18   #13
CliveP
Registered User

 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Ireland
Posts: 833
Verdict Very Good

Ok I got a pair of 8x43 Sapphire for a pretty good price.

My opinion is they are very good and enjoyable to use but of course not perfect.

Colour don't like as much as the richness of my Prostalk and even prefer the Prostalk handling and they don't handle sidelighting etc as well as the ProStalk...

but

They (mine) are very sharp near and far (surprising distant detail, light permitting), do have a big bright view and can really nail birds in flight, are relaxing on the eyes, do work very nicely in the evening displaying a nice sparkly contrast, do work very well for close up stuff and the big focus wheel is great. Generally are a very nice bin for allround use. Not to heavy and the strap is a fancy bent shape which puts the weight on your shoulders rather than the neck.

Bit of edge softness which seems to depend on light levels. For high light I use the mid eyecup position and the softness is not really noticable and for low light I can use the eyecups right down and again this seems to help with any edge softness. Its the inbetween stages where its most noticable so these Sapphire don't have big eye relief. I don't wear glasses.

Don't personally particularly like the rubber coating or green colour to much but it is kind of sticky and grippy as they claim. Prefer the Prostalk (I have a soft spot for these which you probably notice) covering which even has padding under the thumb placements but the Sapphire has pretty good large thumb indents. Strap lugs are well out of the way and the bins hang absolutely fine. Diopter adjuster is perfectly stiff and won't move. Hinge is also fine at holding its position or being easily adjusted. Lens covers are fine although the eyecup one is a bit to tight but might loosen with use.

Lack of CA is very impressive indeed, definitely less that the 8x32 el's I used to own in fact more like the Zeiss 8x32 FL I also once owned. The general image seems something like a mixture of the two.

They come with a very high - new leather smelling- quality actual leather case but to be honest a simple cordura one like the Zeiss or Leica would be most useful and space saving.

I think finally I imagine the Panorama will be very good but a bit heavier than these and I think if you get a pair of these you won't really need to upgrade, in fact you won't need any other binocular except maybe a pocket pair.

Probably have to say the favourite of my 4 Hawke bins the biggest issue being light control but thats when comparing them to an 8x56 against which I did most comparing (also compared them with my Leica 10x32 HD against which they competed finely although they are quite different most notable in colour warmth were the Leica is strong). For a 43mm they do very well, the objectives are highly recessed which helps.

I've added a photo showing them alongside the ProStalk (the greens are quite different but the flash isn't showing this) as there isn't to much difference in size but the Sapphire are some ~ 330g lighter.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_3586.JPG
Views:	1093
Size:	363.1 KB
ID:	380768  

Last edited by CliveP : Thursday 26th April 2012 at 09:04.
CliveP is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 25th April 2012, 20:10   #14
chartwell99
Registered User

 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: houston, texas, usa
Posts: 614
Quote:
Originally Posted by typo View Post
This older, made in Japan, Minox APO HG 8.5x43 looks like a good deal.
http://www.harrisoncameras.co.uk/Sho...MINX-62174.htm

David
The older MIJ 8.5 x 43 had a fairly narrow FOV for an 8x but optics and build quality are superb. The 8 x33 HG, both MIJ and MIG versions, are remarkable binoculars and very. very close to alpha levels. The MIG version has a wider FOV but both are otherwise identical with handling surprisingly similar to the Leica 8 x 32 BA/BN but the Minox HG optics are better.
chartwell99 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 2nd May 2012, 09:20   #15
ionh
Registered User
 
ionh's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: rickmansworth
Posts: 92
I'm very happy with recently-purchased Hawke Frontier 8x43s - ludicrously good for under 300 quid. Still, other than macuser, no-one seems to have addressed the original question: are the sapphires any better? A hefty 50% more expensive, yet the only difference on paper that I can see is dielectric vs. phase-corrected coatings on the prisms. Anyone managed side-by-side comparisons?
ionh is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 13th June 2012, 10:19   #16
ionh
Registered User
 
ionh's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: rickmansworth
Posts: 92
Okay, I can answer my own question, because the rubber coating on my Frontiers "bubbled" by the eyepiece (i.e., came away, very slightly, from the core body) and they had to go back, and in the shop i was able to do a side-by-side. Conclusions:

(i) There must be more differences than just the coatings; the sapphires are about a cm shorter.

(ii) To my (colour-blind) eyes, the view through the sapphires was slightly less vivid; otherwise, no perceptible difference.

(iii) Other than the size difference, there's nothing that would make me choose the sapphires over the frontiers - in fact, just the reverse, my (spectacle-clad) eyes found the eye relief more comfortable on the frontiers.

(iv) The "bubbling" was a bit disconcerting, but there isn't much by way of complaints about build quality in the forums, so i probaby just drew the short straw (not for the first time...)

(v) I bought from Rother Valley Optics, who had comfortably the best price I could find, and who also, it turned out, provided a very good service, both in the original purchase, and in handling the fault. Recommended.
ionh is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 13th June 2012, 15:04   #17
wingman28
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Yorkshire
Posts: 11
Funnyly enough, I called into Rother Valley Optics yesterday whilst passing, and ended up buying the same bins. I was there a good hour comparing, and after looking through a good few, decided on the Hawke Frontier 8x43. Everyone has there own opinions and views, but from my view, I could'nt see any difference in the (Hawke Frontier ED 8x43) (Hawke Sapphire ED 8x43) or the (Eagle Optics Ranger ED 8x42), maybe the Ranger ED was slightly brighter, it was difficult to tell. And as said, at less than 300, 285 to be exact for the Hawke Frontier ED 8x42, I think they are excellent bins for the money, well worth checking out. I'm thinking of getting the Frontier 8x36 for the Mrs.
wingman28 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 13th June 2012, 15:40   #18
Torview
Registered User
 
Torview's Avatar

 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Dartmoor.
Posts: 2,010
I`d have to agree with mac birder, I did`nt think they were any better than the ED.

Very impressed with the new Opticron Dba mg.
Torview is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 13th June 2012, 16:14   #19
wingman28
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Yorkshire
Posts: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Torview View Post
I`d have to agree with mac birder, I did`nt think they were any better than the ED.

Very impressed with the new Opticron Dba mg.
I looked at the OPTICRON DBA S-COAT 8x42 last weekend at Infocus, I was impressed, but at 449 I just could'nt decide. Anyway, I'm more than happy with these Hawke Frontier ED 8x43.
wingman28 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 18th June 2012, 08:47   #20
CliveP
Registered User

 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Ireland
Posts: 833
Quote:
Originally Posted by ionh View Post
Okay, I can answer my own question, because the rubber coating on my Frontiers "bubbled" by the eyepiece (i.e., came away, very slightly, from the core body) and they had to go back, and in the shop i was able to do a side-by-side. Conclusions:

(i) There must be more differences than just the coatings; the sapphires are about a cm shorter.

(ii) To my (colour-blind) eyes, the view through the sapphires was slightly less vivid; otherwise, no perceptible difference.

(iii) Other than the size difference, there's nothing that would make me choose the sapphires over the frontiers - in fact, just the reverse, my (spectacle-clad) eyes found the eye relief more comfortable on the frontiers.

(iv) The "bubbling" was a bit disconcerting, but there isn't much by way of complaints about build quality in the forums, so i probaby just drew the short straw (not for the first time...)

(v) I bought from Rother Valley Optics, who had comfortably the best price I could find, and who also, it turned out, provided a very good service, both in the original purchase, and in handling the fault. Recommended.


I think you confused the original question but your question is also a good question as to how the Frontier ED stack up against the Sapphire ED.

Don't have the Frontier ED but I can say that I am very happy with the Sapphire 8x43 which seem to grow on me. I think my Prostalk 10x56 ED have similarities with the Frontier ED coatings, vividness etc but the Sapphire definitely have better light transmission and it's this that I am finding so rewarding about using them and also that I find them very relaxing on my eyes (no glasses though).

No harm in sticking with the Frontier but I think the Sapphire is one that grows on you more and more so a shop viewing might not truely show what they can do. Maybe its also because mine focus the sharpest of all my bins i.e that both barrels achieve focus exactly together whereas my other 10x bins don't seem to be just as good.

I will admit that I had some mixed feelings about the Sapphire initially regarding the colour coolness but I wouldn't go back now that I've got to know them more and so personnally I think they are defintiely a good buy but I'm sure the Frontier ED are also. I really rate my Sapphire up there with my Leica HD. Both very different but both very good optics. My 10x56 Prostalk I would rate a little behind becasue of the lower transmission and contrast. The 8x56 Prostalk was better and still possibly the best or most impressive of the lot! I still miss them a little.

Last edited by CliveP : Monday 18th June 2012 at 18:31.
CliveP is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 9th July 2012, 18:42   #21
looksharp65
Registered User
 
looksharp65's Avatar

 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Varberg, Sweden
Posts: 1,766
CliveP,

what's the direction of focus on the Sapphire?

//L
__________________
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visby_lenses - The Viking optics
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LuBYpRkbzrs - The Viking War Cry
looksharp65 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 10th July 2012, 07:50   #22
CliveP
Registered User

 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Ireland
Posts: 833
Quote:
Originally Posted by looksharp65 View Post
CliveP,

what's the direction of focus on the Sapphire?

//L

Clockwise to infinity.

Prostalk and Frontier PC are anticlockwise to infinity but I seem to be coping with the changes without much thought. Used to prefer the anticlockwise but now don't really care which direction they go.

Last edited by CliveP : Tuesday 10th July 2012 at 07:58.
CliveP is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 10th July 2012, 09:15   #23
looksharp65
Registered User
 
looksharp65's Avatar

 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Varberg, Sweden
Posts: 1,766
Thank you Clive!
__________________
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visby_lenses - The Viking optics
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LuBYpRkbzrs - The Viking War Cry
looksharp65 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 26th July 2012, 09:09   #24
Adrien
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Cannes
Posts: 1
Hi :)

I'm French and new to the forum.
I've read you have some difficulties to compare the Sapphire and the Frontier.
I do not own them myself, but I know a test that has been done to compare them.
Obviously it's in French but google can translate it for you :)
I can translate myself if you wish so.

The conclusion of the review is that the sapphire has a better neutrality of the colours while the frontier is a bit yellowish.
(According to the tester, it's a nice effect since it heats up the picture - maybe that's why some of you may like the Frontier better).
The second difference is about the acutance being better on the Sapphire.
Other points are the size and weight - the Sapphire being smaller and lighter.
He rates them at exactly the same level as far as price/quality ratio is concerned.

http://www.topoptics.biz/Technique/B...hireED1042.htm


Hope you will find this helpful.
Kindly,

Last edited by Adrien : Thursday 26th July 2012 at 09:55.
Adrien is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 26th July 2012, 14:56   #25
CliveP
Registered User

 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Ireland
Posts: 833
Welcome Adrien (I won't try my French).

That's a good post (well your translation) because I was just thinking about getting a 10x42 Sapphire and if it's as good relatively as the Frontier then that is good!

I am actually starting to begin to favour this neutral colour of my 8x43 Sapphire over the yellowish ( I call it creamy as opposed to the Sapphire white) warmness of my Prostalk 10x56 but I loved the stronger richer colour and clarity of the 8x56 Prostalk.

What I do really find superb with the Sapphire is the amazing clarity and near perfect CA control. Definitely can provide for wonderful viewing. Sometimes reminds me of looking at a really high end photo just that bit more high end than the with the Prostalk.

So I might just get one of those 10x42 Sapphire after all as they do seem prettty compact too.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Adrien View Post
Hi :)

I'm French and new to the forum.
I've read you have some difficulties to compare the Sapphire and the Frontier.
I do not own them myself, but I know a test that has been done to compare them.
Obviously it's in French but google can translate it for you :)
I can translate myself if you wish so.

The conclusion of the review is that the sapphire has a better neutrality of the colours while the frontier is a bit yellowish.
(According to the tester, it's a nice effect since it heats up the picture - maybe that's why some of you may like the Frontier better).
The second difference is about the acutance being better on the Sapphire.
Other points are the size and weight - the Sapphire being smaller and lighter.
He rates them at exactly the same level as far as price/quality ratio is concerned.

http://www.topoptics.biz/Technique/B...hireED1042.htm


Hope you will find this helpful.
Kindly,

Last edited by CliveP : Thursday 26th July 2012 at 15:04.
CliveP is offline  
Reply With Quote
Advertisement
Reply


Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Hawke Frontier ED 8x43! FrankD Hawke Optics 186 Sunday 19th November 2017 15:03
Hawke 8x43 ED Mk11 litespeed Hawke Optics 6 Thursday 7th June 2012 01:26
Zen ED2 8x43 vs Hawke ED 8x43? matt green Zen Ray 6 Friday 9th October 2009 00:51
Hawke Frontier ED 8x43 questions Peewee Hawke Optics 43 Thursday 15th January 2009 18:37



Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Help support BirdForum

Page generated in 0.23786807 seconds with 35 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 00:12.