Hawke Endurance CF 8x32 and 8x42 and Nature-Trek 8x42 binoculars


Hawke has recently updated its choice of budget binoculars. Along with a change in the manufacturing process, the existing Endurance CF range has been significantly upgraded; the manufacturer claims that the improved models are “25 per cent better optically”, as well as having a far better depth of field. Additionally, the new Nature-Trek bins, which have been available since August, have replaced the BlackWatch WP range and now constitute some of the lowest-priced binoculars in their class.

Selecting the 8x32 and 8x42 models in the Endurance CF range and 8x42 Nature-Trek, I set out to compare and contrast these three binoculars in the field. Each has its own set of characteristics, strengths and weaknesses, and each will appeal to different observers.

Both Endurance CF models have die-cast aluminium bodies, with smooth rubber armouring with a non-slip stippled grip. The rubber is reasonably thick and offers better protection to the objectives than the corresponding area on the Nature-Trek, the armouring of which has no stippled grip area and appears thinner with a shallower objective cushioning. The rubber is coarser, however, and thus more ‘grippy’.

The Nature-Trek’s body is light-weight polycarbonate, and is both smaller and lighter than the 8x42 Endurance. In fact, all three models compare very favourably with top brands in terms of weight, with the 8x32 Endurance being amazingly light at just 430 g.

I found the mechanics sound in all models. The hinge is stiffer in the Nature-Trek, but the focusing wheel turns more smoothly than in the Endurance models, although it takes two full rotations to move from close focus to infinity compared to approximately 1.3 in the 8x32 and 1.75 in the 8x42 Endurance models. In the smaller model I was able to move from close focus to long distance in well under one full turn, which is an advantage if switching quickly between watching a nearby bird and a distant one in flight.

The dioptre is located on the right ocular in all three models, turns freely in each case and can be set to a simple +/- marker on the body, although it is not possible to lock the setting. The rubber-covered eyecups are clearly sturdier and more contoured in the Endurance models. They turn smoothly and loosely click-stop in three positions. Those of the Nature-Trek appear rather more ‘ratchety’ and loosely click-stop only at the base and fully extended positions.

A comparison of the images delivered by these models could easily give rise to considerable indecision for the prospective buyer! I found highs and lows associated with all three, along with some surprising results.

The 8x32 Endurance appears to have the best depth of field, with an estimated 50 m to long distance in focus against an estimated 80 m to long distance in the other two models. It also has the widest field of view: a respectable 131 m at 1,000 m, slightly better than the 8x42 at 129 m and considerably more than the Nature-Trek’s 118 m.

Curvature of field is relatively low in all models, but is surprisingly less evident in the cheaper Nature-Trek. Tthe extent of softness at the edges of an otherwise sharp image in all three models also appeared to be reduced in the Nature-Trek.

All models have fully multi-coated lenses and produced an overall warm to neutral colour tone, with a pleasingly bright, clear, good-quality image in terms of both contrast and natural colouring. There were some differences in brightness, though, with the 8x42 Endurance coming out fractionally brighter than the 32 mm model and the Nature-Trek. This was more evident in poor light conditions, when even the 32 mm Endurance marginally outperformed the 42 mm Nature-Trek.

Each of the models under test has something to offer the prospective entry-level buyer. All three are light, handle well and are easy to use and all, in my opinion, are exceptionally good value for money. Accessories for the Endurance range include a padded neck strap and case plus articulated rain guard, while a basic lanyard is supplied with the Nature-Trek.

Tech spec


Endurance CF 8x32

Endurance CF 8x42

Nature-Trek 8x42

Field of view
Close focus

107x111 mm
430 g
131 m at 1,000 m
1.5 m
10 years

138x123 mm
780 g
129 m at 1,000 m
1.2 m
10 years

136x111 mm
665 g
118 m at 1,000 m
2.5 m
10 years