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Vanguard Endeavor ED II vs. IV..my take

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Old Monday 3rd September 2018, 20:14   #1
chill6x6
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Vanguard Endeavor ED II vs. IV..my take

Greetings!

I probably should have posted something about this subject sooner, a LOT sooner. But nevertheless....here goes.

I've owned the ED II for about three years, the ED IV thirteen months. One reason for my extended time to really say anything about the ED iV is because of the word/rumor of quality issues with the new ED IV. I really like to have a binocular for a while and use it and see if any issues crop up. At this point I am happy to say no issues of any type have made their way to either of the two Vanguard specimens I have. These two binoculars have been perfect in terms of function and any other reason one can come up with. So as far as quality and /or any other issues there have been ZERO with mine.

So some facts and figures....

I weighed both binoculars naked...nothing but binocular and weighed on my digital scale:

ED II- 27.2 ounces
ED IV- 27.6 ounces

So essentially the same weight.

Close Focus:

I put down a tape measure and moved until ELO "Out of the Blue" CD case was in focus. Did this a couple of times.

ED II- Just over 5 feet
ED IV- Just under 6 feet

Close enough to not matter...

FOV...

Vanguard list both as 377ft @ 1000 yards. That's a little less than what a premium binocular offers. Both SEEM to have more.

Some new features of the ED IV:

1. Nicer case
2. Indents in each objective barrel to help with keeping the objective covers from sliding off
3. Central diopter adjustment

Function observations..

Focus..
Out in the field BOTH binoculars offer about as good of a focus adjustment as there is. In fact, either may be in fact the best there is. The ED II is a pretty fast focus, the ED IV is slightly slower AND lighter. When I say there is no slack or slop in either focus adjustment, you can BELIEVE it! Remember both aren't right out of the box....BOTH have been used a good bit and of course the ED II the most.

Hinge tension..
Both...PERFECT. I like hinge tension pretty tight and both of theses are but both will move and adjust with the perfect amount of effort.

Diopter adjustment..
A little difference here. ED II is conventional and under the eyepiece on the right barrel. The ED IV is centrally located and behind the front hinge. The ED II adjustment features "adjust/lock" collar that moves up and down to lock or unlock the diopter adjustment. This has been my most suspect part of the whole binocular. But you know what? After three years it's never been an issue. It's never moved or became "unlocked" when I've checked it. The diaper adjustment on the ED IV clicks forward for adjustment and back against the hinge to lock. Everything about the adjustment has been perfect. I would prefer a metal adjustment wheel to plastic BUT it has held up and works perfectly so far! Just the right about of effort to "click" forward for adjustment then click rearward to lock. Easy as can been and in overall function I'll give it an "A-."

Eyecups...
Ok....So IMO a Leica UVHD+ has the best adjusting eyecups in binocular land. Period. Everything else is not as good. Both of these binoculars have ALMOST the same eyecups. They both adjust to four positions including all the way in and all the way out. The ED IV SEEMS to have a slightly better feel and a more positive "stop" at each of the "out" positions. I use one up from the bottom on both and neither has ever collapsed during use. I'll give these eyecups a "B."


In the Field...

I like both of these binoculars...a LOT. When I think of the lowest priced binocular I can really recommend for even a SERIOUS birder, the Vanguard Endeavor ED II is it. When I bought mine I believe I paid about $360 as at the time it was one of the latest/greatest. Quite honestly, I felt a little stupid for buying a $400 made in China binocular. This has been one of the FEW binoculars that I felt was worth price paid and maybe more. It's a better binocular that the Vortex Viper HD I had at the same time and for sure gives the UVHD+ 8X42 a run for the money. I have no doubts about the optical ability and overall quality of this binocular.

So over the winter I used the ED IV and compared it to others in it's price class and even with some costing much more such as an EDG II 8X42. The view is VERY EDGish. Of course the EDG has more FOV the rest is more difficult to discern. When a binocular compares well with an EDG that certainly says something.

Comparing the Endeavor ED II to the IV..... Of course there are more similarities than differences. Upon casual observation the ED IV "looks" like a more expensive binocular. In the field I carried the ED IV front and center on a RYUL harness with the ED II at easy reach "bandolier style" under my arm using the OEM supplied strap. It was easy for me to swap between binoculars when I had a non moving bird or even flowers to check for color. I did this frequently and often! So YES I believe the ED IV is an optically superior instrument. Not by much but it's there. Both binoculars seem equally crisp from edge to edge. Not to the level of an EDG/SV but CLOSE....VERY close. So YES...EDGE to EDGE performance from the ED IV. Checking colors on morning glories is a GREAT test of color as they range from blue to violet... Blues are more blue with the ED IV....yellows are more yellow...and yes I do perceive an increase in brightness. So colors looks more vivid and brighter. Viewing tree limbs well exposed to sunlight the ED IV appeared to have less CA than the ED II. For ME, CA is not an issue whatsoever wth either binocular!


So which BINOCULAR do you buy?

Currently, the Endeavor ED II is about $320 after rebate or MAYBE even less depending on where one purchases it from. The Endeavor ED IV is available from about $441 with Labor Day discounts. So at least $120 difference. I think the ED IV is worth it. It's a better binocular with better features. I can recommend either without hesitation.
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Old Monday 3rd September 2018, 21:50   #2
zzzzzz
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Chuck,

How does the ED IV stack up against the Toric? If you had choose one at the $500 price point.
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Old Tuesday 4th September 2018, 16:34   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zzzzzz View Post
Chuck,

How does the ED IV stack up against the Toric? If you had choose one at the $500 price point.
I didn't have those two at the same time. I DID have the ED II and the Toric at the same time briefly. To me there was no doubt that I liked the ED II better optically BUT at the time I thought the Toric was better made but now the ED II has made it three years without an issue. The Toric weighed about an ounce less. So I would say save 50% and get the ED II or maybe move past the Toric with the ED IV for still less money.
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Old Tuesday 4th September 2018, 18:27   #4
jremmons
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Thanks Chuck. The Endeavor is a model I've never had a chance to look at in store, but have been interested in it as a second pair based on reports in this and other forums. The EDIV looks like quite a bargain, and sounds as though it punches far above its weight (any positive comparison to the EDG cannot be disregarded).
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Old Tuesday 4th September 2018, 21:04   #5
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Nice write-up Chuck, but I'm afraid my take on the EDIV is rather different.

I first saw a prototype of the EDIV about a year before it went on the market, and was far from complimentary at the time. I have now tried three different production versions. The most recent was at BirdFair a couple of weeks ago. I do not think any of the versions I've tried were remotely comparable with a UVHD+ or an EDG, but that last sample was particularly poor for effective resolution. I do find it a bit more comfortable in the hand than the EDII though. I was told the model has not sold well and will not be restocked in Europe, but it was unclear if it was totally discontinued. The EDII will remain in the catalogue for the foreseeable future. A new model is scheduled for next year.

Definitely one to try before you buy IMO.

David

Last edited by typo : Tuesday 4th September 2018 at 22:00.
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Old Wednesday 5th September 2018, 14:45   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jremmons View Post
Thanks Chuck. The Endeavor is a model I've never had a chance to look at in store, but have been interested in it as a second pair based on reports in this and other forums. The EDIV looks like quite a bargain, and sounds as though it punches far above its weight (any positive comparison to the EDG cannot be disregarded).
You're welcome! After spending more than a year with it, I'd have no problem with it as a primary binocular for the price conscious birder!

Quote:
Originally Posted by typo View Post
Nice write-up Chuck, but I'm afraid my take on the EDIV is rather different.

I first saw a prototype of the EDIV about a year before it went on the market, and was far from complimentary at the time. I have now tried three different production versions. The most recent was at BirdFair a couple of weeks ago. I do not think any of the versions I've tried were remotely comparable with a UVHD+ or an EDG, but that last sample was particularly poor for effective resolution. I do find it a bit more comfortable in the hand than the EDII though. I was told the model has not sold well and will not be restocked in Europe, but it was unclear if it was totally discontinued. The EDII will remain in the catalogue for the foreseeable future. A new model is scheduled for next year.

Definitely one to try before you buy IMO.

David
Thanks for your comments David! I'm pretty confident in my findings after about a year usage of each binocular and going from the ED II, to the ED IV, to several different makes/models while birding....different lighting and birding situations and such...

HOPEFULLY the ED IV remains on the books!
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Old Monday 10th September 2018, 00:02   #7
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No expert by any means, but here's my tupence.

I bought the ED II version a year+ ago, I guess it was a clear-out making way for the ED IV - I paid 175. When it arrived it was miles better than my cheap bins that I had had for years, well you would expect that.

The first thing that got me was that it was so bright in low light, I fell in love with it immediately. I mention low light because we get plenty of that in the UK. I had been using some poor bins and a half decent ED scope. The scope was slowing me down, I like to be on the move. Apart from the weight. So decided to move from the scope to a half-decent set of bins, hence the ED IIs.

The fast focus took some getting used to but once I did - awesome.

I have loosely compared it to a number of other bins. Just while out birding with other people. There are a lot around here with Swarovski and Leica and they are amazing instruments, at 10x the cost. One thing was interesting, one guy said that he was surprised how good the ED II was, when I told him how much I paid, he nearly fell over. He preferred his Swarovski but he admitted there wasn't that much in it.

I saw the ED IV at a birdfair, had a look through and didn't really see too much difference but I am no expert, and others might be able to see what I don't see.

Just my take on it.

Gareth
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Old Saturday 29th September 2018, 14:24   #8
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I have had the EDIV for about a week now, having completed a waterfowl survey along with some just daily viewings... Initial thoughts are it is a very good value for the price, though I would like to see the EDII to compare improvements.

Pros: Very sharp, wide sweet spot without noticeable peripheral distortion, "saturated" colors, very little CA in the center of the field of view, very good control of glare
Cons: Noticeably less bright than other mid-tier binos (e.g. Meopta Meopro HD and Leupold BX-4 Pro Guide HD), prone to blackouts (this is mostly just due to my facial shape and eyeglasses), focus knob has some level of slack

Overall, a good value, but is it better than either the BX-4 or the Meopro HD? Difficult to say. In this mid-tier bracket I think what you'll ultimately find is many very capable binoculars that are 'alpha-level' on some aspects, but maybe below alpha grade in others. I believe the EDIV has less distortion and is less prone to CA than the Meopro HD and is better at controlling glare than the BX-4; that said, the Meopro HD and BX-4 are both noticeably brighter than the EDIV. The Meopro has the widest FoV and the BX-4 the most narrow.
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Old Monday 1st October 2018, 00:44   #9
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Enjoy your write-up...I hate you weren't as pleased with yours as I was mine... Concerning the slack in the focus adjustment....mine has absolute ZERO slack...it's really among the best.... I'd send it back for replacement for sure.
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Old Monday 1st October 2018, 22:16   #10
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Chuck - I did not mean to imply I was disappointes with the EDIV as in fact I believe it is a very good pair of binoculars which exceptional sharpness, a relatively distortion free FoV, and solid control of CA. If it were brighter and with a wider FoV, it'd be top class and comparable in my mind to the Conquest HD/Genesis/Meostar. As it is, I'd say it competes very well with the others in its price range and exceeds them all in one aspect or another.
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Old Tuesday 2nd October 2018, 16:11   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jremmons View Post
Chuck - I did not mean to imply I was disappointes with the EDIV as in fact I believe it is a very good pair of binoculars which exceptional sharpness, a relatively distortion free FoV, and solid control of CA. If it were brighter and with a wider FoV, it'd be top class and comparable in my mind to the Conquest HD/Genesis/Meostar. As it is, I'd say it competes very well with the others in its price range and exceeds them all in one aspect or another.
Gotcha! I agree with that!
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Old Wednesday 3rd October 2018, 06:28   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jremmons View Post
Chuck - I did not mean to imply I was disappointes with the EDIV as in fact I believe it is a very good pair of binoculars which exceptional sharpness, a relatively distortion free FoV, and solid control of CA. If it were brighter and with a wider FoV, it'd be top class and comparable in my mind to the Conquest HD/Genesis/Meostar. As it is, I'd say it competes very well with the others in its price range and exceeds them all in one aspect or another.
Interesting in that - despite the slightly different set of ingredients included in the EDIV - this was the final conclusion i reached with the EDII. Needs to be a little brighter, with an increased FoV. The principal reason i preferred the EDII was the edge-to-edge sharpness.
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Old Thursday 11th October 2018, 19:53   #13
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I've spent some more time with the ED IV and thought I'd comment.

The focus has more or less smoothed out to the point that, if it is still there, I no longer notice 'slack' in any appreciable amount when in use.

I think the biggest downfall of these binoculars definitely relates to color cast and brightness; to my eyes and in comparison with other binos I've got on hand, these show a distinctive 'pink' hue to images and appear less bright than some of the other mid-range options. Additionally, the eye cups tend to move out of the 'lowest' position I have them in when in use with my eyeglasses.

CA control and edge to edge performance still seem superior to other options in the price range. In hand, I also like the feel of these better than either the Meopro HD or BX-4 Pro Guide HD.

Justin
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Old Wednesday 19th December 2018, 20:36   #14
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I bought both 8x32 EDIIs and 10x42 EDIIs a year ago at the same time as the year end rebates were hard to resist.

Though the 8x32s are quite good, the 10x42s are kind of amazing. Really excellent optics. I wound up keeping the 8x32s and returning the 10x42s for no other reason than I just had no specific use for them. I give them my unequivocal endorsement however.

Now to the point of this post. Eyecups.
I took out the 8x32s yesterday and found the left eyecup all catawampus, as in broken. I stow the bins in a Leupold soft case without caps as I do with my other field bins. I have no recollection of dropping or otherwise causing shock to them and yet here they are, broken.

I contacted Vanguard and they wrote send them to us and a check for $10. and we'll replace them. I called them to ask why I just couldn't buy a replacement eyecup and save us both the hassle of shipping. I was informed that the eyecups are non replaceable and that the bins would be replaced.

Huh?

This got me to thinking of the short sighted, disposable mentality of so many companies producing products mostly in China and it bothers me. I won't wax on about it but be forewarned, these eyecups are fragile.

Added: I should point out that when I put any bins away I leave the eyecups extended. I do this to add a little protection to the ocular lenses and to leave them in a ready to use position. By having the eyecups extended undoubtedly makes them more vulnerable. The point is that I have used this same procedure for many years with lots of other bins with no issues.
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Old Wednesday 19th December 2018, 23:38   #15
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Kevin:

Your post has now confirmed any thoughts about buying a Vanguard.

Jerry
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Old Thursday 20th December 2018, 01:01   #16
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I had a similar experience with the 10x42 EDII. Great optics, but the eyecups were incredibly tight and difficult to extend. The focus wheel was also lightly rubbing on the barrel. I submitted a review on the Vanguard website but it was immediately deleted, apparently they only accept 5 star reviews.
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Old Saturday 22nd December 2018, 13:25   #17
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Ten bucks for a new binocular? Sounds like a plan to me!

In the past, I've wished some of the big guns would have done that!
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Old Saturday 22nd December 2018, 20:23   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chill6x6 View Post
Ten bucks for a new binocular? Sounds like a plan to me!

In the past, I've wished some of the big guns would have done that!
My complaint isn't with their warranty. It's why does the bin have to be replaced at all? Because the eyecups are non replaceable.

Also, this was my second pair of 8x32 EDIIs. The first pair was returned because it had about 1/4" of free play in the focus wheel. This now damaged pair that was returned worked fine and I hope the replacement pair is OK.
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Old Monday 24th December 2018, 14:17   #19
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My complaint isn't with their warranty. It's why does the bin have to be replaced at all? Because the eyecups are non replaceable.

Also, this was my second pair of 8x32 EDIIs. The first pair was returned because it had about 1/4" of free play in the focus wheel. This now damaged pair that was returned worked fine and I hope the replacement pair is OK.
I supposed it would cost more to have a facility/parts/personnel in place to repair said binocular than to replace it. They are probably not even made/designed FOR easy repair. I wonder how much money is actually IN any like-priced MIC binocular? Obviously, not much. OR....perhaps Vanguard ops to send you a new binocular in a timely fashion and repair the one sent in on their on time and sell it later as a refub.

I ALMOST bought the Vanguard EDII 8X32, FOV from a 32mm kept me from it. It may not be Vanguard's best work, IDK. With the issues you've had it doesn't sound like it. I can only say the two Vanguards I have right here on Brownsferry Road have been literally perfect as in zero issues whatsoever. The Endeavor ED IV has had an easy life up to now but the ED II hasn't, and not even a hiccup.
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