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Maven B3 8x30? (1 Viewer)

sbpbirder

Well-known member
I see these can be purchased via Amazon UK. They get mentioned when posters talk about the Nikon 8x30s. Are they really any good? And how would their warranty be 'used' if ever necessary?
 

pbjosh

missing the neotropics
Switzerland
My understanding is that the Maven, M7, Kite Lynx 8x30s, and Opticron Traveler 8x32 are all based on the same basic binocular. The Maven and Kite are the better versions and I guess this means the same lens formula but better physical build and better coatings. I believe the Opticron and M7 are made in China, the Maven and Kite perhaps in Japan?

The MHG is a different bin, optically, but the physical format is very similar. It is made in Japan. I find the MHG quite superior to the M7, but have never been able to compare it to the Maven or Kite. I would guess that the Kite and Maven are going to be very similar, probably from the same factory. Being in the UK, you might more easily track down the Kite to test, or be able to purchase with an easy return? Just a thought.

There was an amazing sale on refurbished 8x30's in the US recently - if you'd been able to pick one up ($500 and change depending on tax) it would have made the considerations of the Maven/Kite/etc inconsequential!

Cheers and good luck,
Josh
 

sbpbirder

Well-known member
...
There was an amazing sale on refurbished 8x30's in the US recently - if you'd been able to pick one up ($500 and change depending on tax) it would have made the considerations of the Maven/Kite/etc inconsequential!

Cheers and good luck,
Josh


Thanks Josh, yeah we always get stiffed by (almost) £ for $ prices in the UK! But even if I'd bought at that price I'd have to pay import duty and VAT (I think). They're currently showing at £699 on Nikon UK.
 

lmans66

Out Birding....
Supporter
United States
After my extensive in house reviews during the COVID season of the Maven, ....Optricon Traveler, Hawke, ....my thinking is that the Opticron Traveler is the best of 'those three'.....The maven suffered from extreme glare I felt. Also not having a padded focus wheel was a real bummer physically as ergonomically that lack of padding made a difference.

I see someone mentioned the MHG...well...the MHG is in class above either of those three mentioned. The MHG is more akin to the Conquest, Meostar...CL etc....while the Maven, Traveler and Hawke Frontier are a step down.

The Monarch 7? is below those three. The kite? I don't know anything about....
 

pbjosh

missing the neotropics
Switzerland
After my extensive in house reviews during the COVID season of the Maven, ....Optricon Traveler, Hawke, ....my thinking is that the Opticron Traveler is the best of 'those three'.....The maven suffered from extreme glare I felt. Also not having a padded focus wheel was a real bummer physically as ergonomically that lack of padding made a difference.

I see someone mentioned the MHG...well...the MHG is in class above either of those three mentioned. The MHG is more akin to the Conquest, Meostar...CL etc....while the Maven, Traveler and Hawke Frontier are a step down.

The Monarch 7? is below those three. The kite? I don't know anything about....

Great to have a real comparison between some of those presumably clone models. I hadn't realized that the Hawke is in the same family - I believe that is what you're implying, no?

A longer writeup of your experience / feelings about them would be a good read if you're ever inclined.

Cheers!
 

Steve C

Well-known member
I have both the Maven and the Traveller, have had each for over two years. I simply cannot get my mind around the idea the Traveller is the better glass. The Maven outclasses it pretty definitively in every review type test I put each of them to. The Traveller is certainly a nice glass, I use mine a lot, and enjoy it. To best the Maven, be prepared to bust out $1,000.

The thing is that binoculars in the 30-32 mm class seem to have more issues with eye placement and resultant eye relief and glare issues. I suppose if somebody has glare issues with a binocular, then it tends to lead to discounting its performance. But in many cases, the problem is not a bad binocular as much as a bad ergonomic fit.
 

Jaywalk

Well-known member
I had a B1 8x42 and a B3 8x30 in 2018. Both models showed significant internal reflections. 8X42 had specs of dust in left barrel, while the right was clean. Both barrels had reflective items within barrel, such as silver connecting screws and what appeared to be the inside of the silver-ish strap lug. I wasn't impressed with the quality and returned both pairs.
 

gcole

Well-known member
My custom Maven B3 6x30 I now own has a tighter central hinge movement than I am used to but other than that it arrived in perfect condition with clean barrels, significant blacking and I have yet to experience any uncomfortable glare issues. Quality control issues ? I do not know, but as opinions vary with expectations as well as our individual physical facial characteristics will always effect how and what we see.
 
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Susurrus

New member
I own the Maven B3 8x30 and Nikon Monarch 7 8x30. I bought them to compare, and ended up keeping both. As has been stated elsewhere on the web, they're nearly identical binoculars, optically, and purportedly have the same guts. I no longer carry my Zeiss Conquest HD 8x42 binoculars because the 8x30's are just so much easier to carry (especially since I put an ultralight binocular harness on them vs. the thicker webbing harness needed to spread the weight of 8x42 or larger).

However, there are huge differences in the feel between these two. The Maven is slighly heavier and feels much sturdier in the hand (metal focus wheel, diopter ring, decal, etc. The eyepieces even feel sturdier on the Maven. The Maven B3 feels like a high end binocular, the Monarch feels like a mid-range binocular. The Maven metal focus ring is colder and the eye pieces are textured, so after long days birding, I've actually felt like the eyepieces were too abrasive. But they still feel higher quality.

Optically, both of these binoculars are superb, and I'd love to be able to do a blind optics test because I don't think many people would notice the difference between them and higher end, or even 42mm objective bins (I use Zeiss Conquest 8x42 and Swarovski EL 10x42 at work). The field of view is larger and the close focus distance is closer than other 8x42 binoculars, which is a great perk, and most people who look through them say, "Wow, these seem as good as my binoculars!" (comparing them to larger high-end 42mm binoculars).

There is one downfall of the 30mm lenses though: light flaring. This takes a while to get used to, and can be very frustrating if you're looking toward strong light or have light coming from the side. Because they're small, I'm usually able to shade the lenses with my hands, so that can help, but still really worsens the contrast in some lighting situations.

Like others said, they're a bit more sensitive to holding them square to your eye, but you get used to that very quickly. Sometimes when I go back to my Zeiss 8x42's, I feel like they're more comfortable because they're more forgiving, but I rarely feel like the optical quality is any different. If I only had one or the other, I'd never have the feeling that I'd need to keep shopping for something better. They're both great.
 

Susurrus

New member
Forgot to mention, I lost the Maven tripod adapter screw/front hinge screw/cap while on a hike. Sent an email and got a near instant response and a replacement in the mail.

A few years ago when my Nikon spotter eyepiece quit zooming, I sent it in, waited for over a month, emailed, emailed, and finally got a response that it'd be done soon. After a month I had to email again, and they returned it. I don't think they ever opened it, the eyepiece was exactly how it was when I sent it--twisting to zoom doesn't engage anything, just spins freely.

Small sample sizes, but big difference from my 2 experiences with the companies.
 

Upland

Well-known member
The Mavens are not a M7 clone. They are far superior and handle glare better than the MHG. If they are available on Amazon you have the perfect opportunity to check them out and return if you don’t like them. Mavens are assembled in the US from Japanese components. M7 is pure Chinese and has the worst glare control of any of the 30 plus binoculars I’ve owned. MHG is better in this regard but still not as good as the Maven. I’d venture a guess that you would like them a great deal.
 

Labdad

Member
Back in early 2019, I bought the Maven B3 and the Traveller for comparison, and compared both to the M7 8x30s in a nearby shop. I ended up rejecting the M7 early on because I found it too finicky for proper eye alignment. The view was great when I could get it properly aligned, but I had more difficulty with that than any binocular I've used in 40 years. Obviously different people will have different experiences in this regard. Comparing the Maven and the Traveller, I opted to return the Traveller because (a) the Maven appeared brighter and sharper in low-light conditions (viewing various indoor targets at night with artificial light in the room), and (b) as others have said, the Maven just felt more solid in the hand, more like a top-quality instrument. Have used the Mavens nearly daily for two years now and continue to be very happy with their brightness, sharpness, light weight, and easy handling. My only small quibble is that I wish the eyecups were about 1 - 1.5 mm deeper.
 

lmans66

Out Birding....
Supporter
United States
Back in early 2019, I bought the Maven B3 and the Traveller for comparison, and compared both to the M7 8x30s in a nearby shop. I ended up rejecting the M7 early on because I found it too finicky for proper eye alignment. The view was great when I could get it properly aligned, but I had more difficulty with that than any binocular I've used in 40 years. Obviously different people will have different experiences in this regard. Comparing the Maven and the Traveller, I opted to return the Traveller because (a) the Maven appeared brighter and sharper in low-light conditions (viewing various indoor targets at night with artificial light in the room), and (b) as others have said, the Maven just felt more solid in the hand, more like a top-quality instrument. Have used the Mavens nearly daily for two years now and continue to be very happy with their brightness, sharpness, light weight, and easy handling. My only small quibble is that I wish the eyecups were about 1 - 1.5 mm deeper.
Funny....I looked at the same bins and concluded differently. Of course the M7 you looked at was not the MHD I looked at which I feel is in a different ball park than either the M3 or Traveler. But between the M3 or Traveler, I thought the Traveler has better light, less glare...better ergonomics. Now, not casting doubt on your evaluation as 'each to our own' but just another prime example how each person has to try and compare the bins prior to purchasing and see what fits your eyes, your hands.... :) jim
 

gcole

Well-known member
Funny....I looked at the same bins and concluded differently. Of course the M7 you looked at was not the MHD I looked at which I feel is in a different ball park than either the M3 or Traveler. But between the M3 or Traveler, I thought the Traveler has better light, less glare...better ergonomics. Now, not casting doubt on your evaluation as 'each to our own' but just another prime example how each person has to try and compare the bins prior to purchasing and see what fits your eyes, your hands.... :) jim
I could not agree more on the topic .... of one Brand/Roof or Porro type of binocular surely will not fit everyone the same when it comes to their Eye Relief, Ease of use or how our Individual eyes perceive things like CA, Glare and Blackouts. It was not til I became a member of this forum that I realized just how different our Facial individuality played in our many different opinions on how each of us either liked or disliked one pair of binoculars over another. I would even say those of us who have the many years of trying/buying all sorts of optics behind us are more prone to experiencing all those things I just mentioned, making us even more opinionated on which binocular is best .... Gwen
 

Bob_McBob

Well-known member
My only small quibble is that I wish the eyecups were about 1 - 1.5 mm deeper.
A couple of M2 x 29 o-rings will get you exactly what you want. The eyecups have standard threading and come off easily, and there's enough space to add an o-ring and snug them back down with plenty of thread. It adds just enough to the eyecup length to make them much more comfortable for me to position, and it even looks pretty decent.
 

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Labdad

Member
Funny....I looked at the same bins and concluded differently. Of course the M7 you looked at was not the MHD I looked at which I feel is in a different ball park than either the M3 or Traveler. But between the M3 or Traveler, I thought the Traveler has better light, less glare...better ergonomics. Now, not casting doubt on your evaluation as 'each to our own' but just another prime example how each person has to try and compare the bins prior to purchasing and see what fits your eyes, your hands.... :) jim
I should add that I did not evaluate glare performance of the B3 vs the Traveller (clearly an oversight on my part) so can't comment on that directly. From reading more on this forum since that time, I've come to understand that glare is a common challenge for 8x30/32 bins. But in near daily use over two years, it has rarely been all that noticeable.
 

Labdad

Member
A couple of M2 x 29 o-rings will get you exactly what you want. The eyecups have standard threading and come off easily, and there's enough space to add an o-ring and snug them back down with plenty of thread. It adds just enough to the eyecup length to make them much more comfortable for me to position, and it even looks pretty decent.
Ah, thank you for this! Does indeed look like just the right thing!

Just to be clear about removing the eyecups-- I assume I twist them up to their full normal extension, and then just twist harder to unscrew. Is that right? I obviously don't want to damage them in the process!
 

Bob_McBob

Well-known member
Ah, thank you for this! Does indeed look like just the right thing!

Just to be clear about removing the eyecups-- I assume I twist them up to their full normal extension, and then just twist harder to unscrew. Is that right? I obviously don't want to damage them in the process!
Yes, they have the standard threading direction; just twist them up and keep turning and they should come off fairly easily. You'll see a little channel you can slip the o-ring into, then lightly snug the eye cup back down onto it.
 

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