Hawke Endurance ED 15-45×60 Spotting Scope
For some people, myself included, a spotting scope is not a piece of gear that gets used a lot. In that case, a top-of-the-line spotting scope is a hard purchase to justify. For others, the cost of one of the top-of-the-line models is just simply too high. Can a budget spotting scope be worth carrying? I have been working through this question for quite a few seasons now. My criteria for a spotting scope are that it must be fairly compact and lightweight, it must function well and offer a clear image, and finally it must not cost a lot.
If you are looking for something similar, I would like to introduce you to the Hawke Endurance line. I chose to give the Endurance ED 15-45x60mm a try. I have tried a couple of the 50mm scopes and have been left disappointed in the magnification range and low light performance. The 60mm Endurance checked the boxes of a fairly compact and lightweight scope at a budget minded price point. With an advertised weight under 2lbs and a length of 12.1” I couldn’t resist trying one. You can find more details here.
The spotting scope arrived packaged very nicely. In the box were the spotting scope, a stay-on cover, shoulder strap, lens covers, a lens cloth, and a manual. I put it on the scale and got 31.8oz. Just a tad over the advertised weight. The stay-on cover added another 4.8oz. I set it up on the back patio to look at the mountain behind the house. When trying a previous spotting scope, one of the first things I noticed out the back patio was the chromatic aberration when looking at the trees against the clouds. I did NOT notice the same chromatic aberration with the Hawke Endurance ED. I packed it up for a trip to CO.
Colorado Scouting With The Hawke Endurance ED
Once there, I hit a few drainages and set up to glass. Getting set up and settling in to view the hillside across the canyon, the first thing I noticed was how smooth the focus wheel was. There are two focus wheels, one for large adjustments and a fine focus wheel for minor corrections. I could fine focus by hardly putting any pressure on the wheel. This was nice as it left the image steadier compared to my other spotting scopes that require a lot of force to turn the focus mechanism. A shaking image just makes it more difficult to find that sweet spot. Once in focus, I also noticed the depth-of-field on the lower magnifications was enjoyable as I didn’t have to refocus every time I looked around at different areas.
Clarity Through The Zoom Range
I paid close attention to the view as I moved through the magnification range. I noticed the image was very clear and bright at the lower magnification. However, as I cranked it up to max magnification, I did notice a darkening of the image and the clarity suffered a small amount. I would still consider the view usable at max magnification as I could easily make out most detail in the image. Edge-to-edge clarity was very good. When I got the focus right, I could make out detail all the way across the field of view. Again, the clarity did degrade slightly at higher magnification but I still felt it was very acceptable.
In my short time with the Hawke Endurance ED I am happy with the purchase and I think it is a very good balance of cost vs. performance. My only negative comment to note at this point is the stay-on case does not fit very tight. It feels a bit loose and the cover over the focus wheels kept wanting to flip back over so I had to open it every time I wanted to change focus. It’s a small annoyance that does not affect performance.
So, if you are in the market for a budget minded spotting scope that you will actually put in your pack and not mind carrying, I would recommend you take a look at the 60mm Hawke Endurance ED. Learn more and order here.
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