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on 10 August 2014
I am by no means a professional Birder, but am hoping to get to that stage. One thing is clear and that is that you need a decent pair of Bins to achieve that. I spent almost a month comparing and researching a wide variety of optics before making my decision. With a medium budget these were definitely at the top end of the price scale but man am I glad that I chose these. I compared them to the Vortex Diamondback 8x42, Vanguard Spirit, Nikon Monarchs and a few others and found that ergonomically these were the most comfortable and also felt that they were a comfortable weight. I was always a bit on the sideline as to whether to pay extra to get ED glass and i can tell you that yes it is worth spending that bit extra as the clarity is unparalleled. These are easy to focus and would feel comfortable sitting around the neck for a prolonged period of time. I think I was somewhat lucky that on my first use of these the first feathered friend i spotted was a Lesser spotted Woodpecker so i'll consider myself lucky. But I was definitely more than impressed with the quality both in construction and clarity and also the case although slightly bulky is beautiful. Overall a very impressive set of Bins that will bring me many long years of use. On a side note Hawke also have a good 10 year Warranty (I am aware that Vortex is a lifetime warranty and i believe that Nikon is 25 years)

At the end of the day you choose what works best for you. And these work best for me. Its a personal Choice.
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on 26 December 2014
Overall excellent value & performance.
Pros:
Clear and bright view. Easy, smooth focussing. Good range of dioptre adjustment (I find other makes dont have enough adjustment for me, my eyes are quite imbalanced!) Work well with / without spectacles. I have had my pair for over 18 months and they have been exposed to wet and cold, stuffed in damp rucsacs with climbing and camping kit, dropped accidently but for the moment still holding up well. Supplied with comfortable neoprene neck strap and rain guards / lens protectors.
Cons:
They are a little heavy for single handed use.The Hawkes come in a rather old fashioned hard leather case (Which I don't use, I would have rather had a soft neoprene case instead)
Comparison:
I bought a pair of these about 18 months ago from Forddes Photographic near Beauly, Inverness where I was able to compare them with similar spec Opticron models and also with the Swarovski EL 42 model. The Hawke's were I thought as good / better than the dearer Opticron Verano or DBA Oasis models.
The Swarovski's were excellent and had a flatter depth of field so didn't require as much change of focus for example when following a bird as it moved through tree canopy and most likely have less aberration BUT they cost well over £1500 more than the Hawkes.
ps...Definitely go for the ED model
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on 8 July 2015
Be aware if you drop these onto the strap lugs on the side that they will break and your neck strap will be useless.
Oh and btw the 10 year guarantee doesn't cover this.
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