Hawke Endurance ED 16-48x65 telescope
Three juvenile Pectoral Sandpipers and a first-winter Mediterranean Gull lined up at one of my local reservoirs to provide a great start for testing Hawke’s Endurance ED 16-48x65 telescope this autumn.
The Endurance ED range comprises 65 mm and 80 mm scopes. Both are sold with detachable zoom eyepieces as part of the standard package; 16-48x with the 65 mm and 20-60x with the 80 mm. Optional fixed magnification eyepieces of 16x, 20x, 26x and 43x are available and translate to higher magnifications of up to 59x with the 80 mm scope. Attachment to both scopes is by a bayonet fitting and there is a locking collar built into the eyepiece port, which is turned and tightened to secure it in place. Peripheral to this is a threaded mount which allows a cylindrical shroud of hardened plastic to be screwed in place to fully protect the whole eyepiece while being transported.
This is an attractive scope with a sturdily constructed green magnesium alloy body, and the wide prism housing benefits from a solid covering of black rubber armour. A thin rubber coating also protects the pull-out objective lens hood. There is an adjustable tripod mount, which can be rotated to any position around the circumference of the body and locked in place. The mount is drilled with three holes of the same standard diameter and thread, allowing the position of the scope on the tripod head to be changed, as well as ensuring that there are second and third holes to fall back on should the thread wear out on the first.
At 1,729 g, this model is relatively heavy when compared with other 65 mm scopes currently on the market. Most of the weight is packed into the prism housing and, when combined with the weight of the eyepiece, this produces an imbalance which I found caused the scope to tip backwards (eyepiece down) unless the tripod’s vertical tilt is locked. However, this is not an issue if the scope is mounted on one of the latest counterbalanced tripod heads, which have been designed primarily to restore balance to end-heavy digiscoping combinations.
There is a dual-focusing mechanism with a very smoothly turning, rubber-covered fast-focusing knob and a slightly smaller one in line with it for fine focusing. I found the latter came into its own at the high end of the magnification range, where it provided the means to a sharp focus which would have been otherwise difficult to achieve.
The image was generally pleasing, with almost edge-to-edge sharpness and very little curvature of field. Bright, natural colours contrast and stand out against a largely neutral – though perhaps cold – overall colour cast. There is a tolerable amount of chromatic aberration, which is present in the middle of the image, but it did not give cause for too much concern. Though generally bright, I noticed the brightness diminishing after about 35x magnification, which is varied from low to high by rotating the eyepiece anti-clockwise. It’s also worth noting that the rubber-covered eyecup twists out, but does not lock in any one position. A waterproof canvas stay-on scope cover, with a toggle-tightened inner sleeve, adds protection against the elements and body scratches, while Hawke has gone to town with the high-quality, robust transport and storage case. The company also offers a universal digital camera adapter compatible with this scope if you want to use it for digiscoping.
This is a lot of telescope for £399. ED glass and fully multi-coated optics have helped to lift it considerably in comparison to previous models. Check it out for yourself if you are considering purchasing a new scope in the mid to low end of the market.
|Price: £399 (inc zoom eyepiece)
Size: 395x100 mm (inc zoom eyepiece)
Weight: 1,729 g
Field of view: 50-25 m at 1,000 m
Close focus: 6.1 m
Guarantee: 10 years