This question is from a BBR reader with a maximum budget of $350 (£300) for general use, birding as well as some closer range observation of insects and flowers and has narrowed their shortlist down to two cracking binoculars:
I can’t decide between Hawke Endurance ED 8x42 (U$230 / £210) and Snypex Knight ED 8x42 (U$350). Both are in my price range.
As my first purchase of this type of equipment, I want it for general use, especially bird, insects and flowers watching.
Can you give me some tips?
Thanks a lot. Great site.
Hi there and thank you very much for sending in the question, it is a tough one as both options are good in their own way and in almost all respects are very evenly matched, but I will do my best to answer it for you:
How To Choose between Binoculars
I get a lot of similar questions to this one and so have actually written a guide on how to choose between different binoculars, which is basically how I choose and I think will really help you to spot the main differences between most models and then all you have to do is decide which relative strengths of each of your choices best match your needs or preferences.
I also think before going on further, I would first like to stress that either option will be a good choice for your desired uses for them and there really is no wrong choice here. It just boils down to a few very minor points and your preferences:
Hawke vs Snypex
As I said, both the 8x42 Hawke Endurance ED and the Snypex Knight ED are excellent binoculars at their respective price points and as you can see from my scores that I gave them after testing, they are very evenly matched.
Taking a closer look (see the table below), you can see that most of their specifications are very similar:
|Hawke Endurance ED 8x42||Snypex Knight ED 8x42|
|Approx Price:||$230 / £210||$350 / £400|
|Weight:||23oz / 652g||26.8oz (760g)|
|Length:||5.6in / 14.2cm||5.5in (14cm)|
|Width:||4.9in / 12.4cm||5.2in (13.2cm)|
|Min Focusing Dist:||6.6ft||6.6ft|
|FOV at 1000yds:||388ft||393ft|
|High Reflective Prism Coatings||Silver/Dielectric?||Silver|
|Lens Coatings||Fully Multi-Coated||Fully Multi-Coated|
Both have the same close focus distance which for insects and flowers is important.
The Snypex does have a slightly wider field of view, but the difference is minimal. The Snypex also use a Apochromatic lens (APO) design, which is excellent, but other than that their optical components are also about equal although I am still unsure as to if the Hawke uses Silver or Dielectric coatings on the prisms.
However the Hawke is more lightweight and cheaper, but still almost matches the Snypex in almost every other area, so I would say that the Hawke is a better value for money binocular.
So for for me if I was not considering price, I’d probably go for the Snypex, but if I wanted that extra $100 or so in my pocket, I’d go for the Hawke. Either way, I would be more than happy to own either as as I said, there really is no wrong choice here.
Hope this helps and I would love to know which one you do choose and how they perform for for you.
More Alternatives & Further Reading:
I hope that at least some of these recommendations help, for some more advice, please refer to the links below:
Need Some Help?
If you have spent some time browsing the BBR website and still cannot find the answers that you are looking for, then please do feel free to send in your question to me and as always I will try my best to answer it for you: Ask Your Question Here