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Rangefinder binoculars are picking up a lot of steam lately. You will even find talks on online forums that say that regular binoculars will, at some point, be completely replaced by rangefinders. This isn’t so hard to believe, honestly. There are some flagship models from big players such as Bushnell or Nikon, but there are also some smaller manufacturers. They often offer budget models that do a lot of what the big dogs do, but at a much smaller price. These budget-oriented models have a pretty high quality construction, as well as clear optics that can provide a vivid image of whatever it is you’re looking at. Regardless of whether you use them for, they will work.
One such budget-oriented offering is the Hooway 7×50. They’re a pair of rangefinder binoculars that are primarily aimed at the military/water crowd. If you read though our review, you’ll find they work for plenty of other situations too. The asking price is very cheap, but don’t let that fool you – you’re getting a lot of functionality, a good quality build, as well as clear and sharp optics. Interested? Read on for the full review. If, however, you think that you might need something that’s a bit different, head over here, where you’ll find some alternatives that may be better for your specific use case.
What’s the Hooway 7×50 all about?
If you’re a person who has some experience with binoculars, you’ll know what the numbers mean. If you’re not, that “7×50” means that the Hooway has a magnification factor of 7x, which is plenty for when you’re out on the water. It also has a 50mm lens, which is enough to let in light and make sure that even in conditions that aren’t extremely bright, visibility isn’t a problem. The field of view is 396 feet at 1,000 yards, which translates into 132 meters at 1,000 meters. The 22mm eye relief is enough for people that might be wearing glasses when using them, so if you’re such a person, you will absolutely appreciate it.
You will notice that these are a pair of floating binoculars. This is a great thing to have if you’ll be using them out on the water. If you happen to drop them in the water, they won’t sink, so you can easily recover them. And you don’t have to worry about any water getting inside either – they’re completely sealed and waterproof. This makes them ideal for situations where you might be having issues with rain or thunderstorms, as they won’t leak. The lenses are nitrogen-purged, which ensures that they won’t fog up, even if you’re out in fairly humid conditions.
While we’re at the construction, and before we get into the internals, the binoculars have an army green color, and are completely covered in non-slip rubber armor. This gives you a firm grip, even if your hands aren’t dry. It also means that you will get some shock absorption, which is always useful. Another very useful thing that, honestly, should be on any pair of binoculars, is the tripod mount. If you’re stationary, you can mount the binoculars on a tripod and get some weight off your neck.
On the inside, you will find a porro prism system which gives you that wide field of view we talked about earlier. The prisms are BAK4, and are completely multi-coated. This will make sure that you get a crisp and bright image that’s more than satisfactory. Since this is a pair of rangefinder binoculars, there is an internal rangefinder which works great. It is accurate, and you can determine both the distance and the size of the objects you’re looking at. There’s also an illuminated compass which helps a lot with direction location, and will prove useful at some point.
How does that translate into practicality out on the field?
Sure, the specs on paper are very good if floating binoculars are what you need. However, you do need to know how they’d perform in real-world scenarios. And, to answer that for you, they are amazing. You wouldn’t be expecting a pair of binoculars that cost this much to work that good. The image, which is the important part, is clear, sharp and vibrant. The optics are really, really good, and this shows when you start using them.
The construction and build quality are great – they feel like a pair of quality binoculars that are built to handle some abuse, and last a good while. The rubber coating gives you great grip, and things such as the focus adjustment are smooth and precise.
Conclusion: What kind of user would benefit from such binoculars?
If you’re a person who’s well versed in binoculars and what kind works where, you already know the answer to this question. But if you’re not, you might be on the verge. Know that if you’re a person who spends plenty of time out on the water, you do need a pair of waterproof binoculars, and if they float, that’s a great benefit that’s worth investing into. The 7x magnification is enough, and even though you might think you need 10x, you will find that it is often too much.
They aren’t really built for anything else, but to be honest, they will work in a pinch. The optics are clear in any conditions, and they’re properly sealed so not even dust can enter them, which can work good for wildlife observation or hiking.
To sum things up, the Hooway 7×50 are absolutely a pair of binoculars that you should be looking into. They have a good field of view, great optics, an accurate rangefinder, and most importantly, they don’t cost a lot. A great option for budget-oriented users, even more so when you factor in all the functionality you’re getting, and the quality isn’t something to be neglected either. Definitely worth a shot!