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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

New Maven B.6 10x50: A brief comparative review (2 Viewers)

Canip

Well-known member
1.
US company Maven is by now a well-known player in the market for outdoor gear and sports optics such as riflescopes and binoculars. Looking at their website, brochures and marketing material, the target markets seem clearly to be hunting and wildlife observation.

Now, Maven has come out with a new "B.6" series of binoculars in the formats 10x50 and 12x 50. The B.6 are Maven's first binoculars with 50mm objective lenses - a format which traditionally has neither had much appeal for hunters, who seem to prefer either smaller (8x32, 10x42) or larger (8x56, 10x56) binos, nor really to birders. As far as I am aware, 10x50 and 12x50 is more often found with hobby astronomers. Is Maven entering that market now??

I had been intrigued by what looks like really attractive specifications of the B.6 models and ordered the 10x50 version.

This was my 4th purchase from Maven, and it confirmed the excellent customer service for which Maven (and UPS for delivery) is famous: they dispatched on the day of my order (it then took the parcel exactly 4 business days from Lander, Wyoming to my home in Switzerland, including customs clearance), and when I found that the objective covers were missing, Maven dispatched those again on same the day of my enquiry and they arrived within another 5 days).

2.
I compared the Maven B.6 10x50 with 6 other very good 10x50s to which I have access:

  • Swarovski EL SV 10x50
  • Leica UV HD+ 10x50
  • Meopta MeoStar B1 10x50
  • Fujinon 10x50 FMT-SX2
  • Docter Nobilem 10x50
  • APM MS 10x50 ED APO

and, for the sake of completeness, I added data/specs for 4 additional good 10x50s to which I have no direct access (although I do know Razor, Passion HD, Pentax and Kite Ibis binoculars, but in sizes other than 10x50):

  • Vortex Razor HD 10x50
  • GPO Passion HD 10x50
  • Pentax ZD 10x50 ED
  • Kite Ibis 10x50 ED

3.
Looking at how the Maven B.6 competes on paper, its specs look impressive. It is the smallest and lightest, yet it offers excellent optical parameters, even when compared to competitors twice its price.

See for yourself (text hereafter and and table attached).

a) Field of View RFOV

1. Docter Nobilem 10x50 6.7 degrees
1. Leica UV HD+ 10x50 6.7 degrees
2. Swarovski EL SV 10x50 6.6 degrees
3. APM MS 10x50 ED APO 6.5 degrees
3. Fujinon FMT-SX2 10x50 6.5 degrees
3. Maven B.6 10x50 6.5 degrees
4. Meopta MeoStar B1 10x50 6.3 degrees
5. Vortex Razor HD 10x50 6.0 degrees
6. GPO Passion HS 10x50 5.9 degrees
6. Kite Ibis ED 10x50 5.9 degrees
7. Pentax ZD 10x50 ED 5.0 degrees

b) Minimum Focus Distance

1. Maven B.6 10x50 2.1 m
2. Kite Ibis ED 10x50 2.6 m
3. GPO Passion HD 10x50 2.8 m
4. Swarovski EL SV 10x50 2.85 m
5. Vortex Razor HD 10x50 3.0 m
6. Leica UV HD+ 10x50 3.3 m
7. Meopta MeoStar B.1 10x50 3.35m
8. Pentax ZD 10x50 ED 3.5 m
9. Docter Nobilem 10x50 5.3 m
10.APM 10x50 ED APO 9.8 m
11.Fujinon FMT-SX2 10x50 13.9 m

c) Focus Wheel: Excess Travel beyond Infinity

1. Maven B.6 10x50 > 6 dpt
1. Meopta MeoStar B1 10x50 > 6 dpt
2. Docter Nobilem 10x50 6 dpt
3. Swarovski EL SV 10x50 5.5 dpt
4. Leica UV HD1 10x50+ 4.5 dpt
-. APM 10x50 ED APO N.A. (individual focusing)
-. Fujinon FMT-SX2 10x50 N.A. (individual focusing)

d) Eye Relief (according to specs)

1. Pentax ZD 10x50 ED 22 mm
2. APM 10x50 ED APO 20 mm
2. Fujinon FMT-SX2 10x50 20 mm
2. Swarovski EL SV 10x50 20 mm
3. Kite Ibis 10x50 ED 19 mm
4. Maven B.6 10x50 18.1 mm
5. GPO Passion HD 10x50 17 mm
5. Meopta MeoStar 10x50 17 mm
6. Vortex Razor 10x50 HD 16.5 mm
7. Docter Nobilem 10x50 15 mm
7. Leica UV HD+ 10x50 15 mm

e) “Usable” Eye Relief (measured from rim of eyecup)

1. Fujinon FMT-SX2 10x50 18.5 mm
2. Swarovski EL SV 10x50 17 mm
3. APM 10x50 ED APO 16.5 mm
4. Maven B.6 10x50 15.5 mm
5. Meopta MeoStar B1 10x50 14.5 mm
6. Leica UV HD1 10x50+ 12.5 mm
7. Docter Nobilem 10x50 11.5 mm
-. Vortex Razor 10x50 HD … mm
-. Pentax ZD 10x50 ED … mm
-. Kite Ibis 10x50 ED … mm
-. GPO passion HD 10x50 … mm

f) Weight (without accessories, according to specs)

1. Maven 786 g
2. Vortex Razor 10x50 HD 797 g
3. Pentax ZD 10x50 ED 855 g
4. Kite Ibis 10x50 ED 887 g
5. GPO passion HD 10x50 960 g
6. Swarovski EL SV 10x50 998 g
7. Leica UV HD+ 10x50 1000 g
8. Meopta MeoStar 10x50 1020 g
9. Docter Nobilem 10x50 1300 g
10. APM 10x50 ED APO 1380 g
11 Fujinon FMT-SX2 10x50 1400 g

g) Weight (measured with eyepiece covers and strap)

1. Maven 865 g
2. Leica UV HD1 10x50+ 1094 g
3. Swarovski EL SV 10x50 1111 g
4. Meopta MeoStar 10x50 1161 g
5. Docter Nobilem 10x50 1320 g
6. APM 10x50 ED APO 1418 g
7. Fujinon FMT-SX2 10x50 1450 g
-. Vortex Razor 10x50 HD ? g
-. Pentax ZD 10x50 ED ? g
-. Kite Ibis 10x50 ED ? g
-. GPO passion HD 10x50 ? g

H) Typical Prices (USD equivalent)

1. APM 10x50 ED APO 470-550
2. Fujinon FMT-SX2 10x50 850-1000
3. Meopta MeoStar 10x50 900-1100
4. Maven 1000
5. Pentax ZD 10x50 ED 1000-1200
6. Kite Ibis 10x50 ED 1100-1200
7. GPO passion HD 10x50 1100-1250
8. Vortex Razor 10x50 HD 1200-1500
9. Swarovski EL SV 10x50 2400-2800
10. Leica UV HD+ 10x50 2500-2700
-. Docter Nobilem 10x50 N.A. (only second-hand)

4.

What looks good on paper looks even better in reality, both at home and out in the fields.

A. GENERAL

- External Finish, Build Quality: very good; armour sits tight, no gaps, everything appears high quality

- Pleasant haptics

- Grip: good to very good, both in dry and wet conditions

- Balance, ergonomics: binocular is well balanced, neither front- nor back-heavy. There is almost no thumb-trough, but when grabbing the bino, position of hands feels natural and comfortable, index finger easily finds focus wheel

- Weight: surprisingly leightweight for a 10x50 (thinner body armour than on some other binos, and body made of magnesium), feels and looks almost like a solid 10x42

- Accessories: neckstrap, eyecaps and objective covers are included; no solid bag, though, only a soft pouch.

B. MECHANICS

- Central hinge: neither too stiff nor too loose; easy to adjust. The range of adjustment starts at 58 mm, which is a bit more than on some other 10x50s, so people with very narrow lateral eye distance need to check whether this works for them

- Eye cups: Fold up/down with 4 positions (fully in / fully out / 2 intermediate click-stops). Click-stops could be slightly firmer, but do hold position well. Soft rubber eyecups are comfortable on eye sockets and nose.

- Focus mechanism: medium fast (no as fast as e.g. Maven B.2), good balance between speed and easily finding focus. Direction of rotation from near to infinity is clockwise. Focusing is very precise, smooth, even and consistent between the two tubes. There is lots of extra travel of the metal focus wheel beyond the infinity position.

- Diopter adjustment: The „0“ sign on the right tube marks true zero diopter adjustment between left and right eye. It works evenly and precisely with no play. The mechanism cannot be locked, but operation is sufficiently stiff to prevent unintended adjustment.

C. OPTICS IN GENERAL

- Quality of antireflection coatings appears high, judging from intensity of reflections. The exit pupils appear round, there are no false pupils or other bright structures, reflections etc. around them. Vignetting is relatively modest.

- Ease of view (“Einblickverhalten”): good; it is easy to comfortably position the eyepieces against your eye sockets, allowing to view the entire field of view with no shadows, “kidney beaning”, or similar effects in the image.

- Eye relief: Technical eye relief (measured from the surface of the eyelens) is 18.1 mm according to specs, “usable” eye relief (measured from the rim of the eyecups in their innermost position) is 15.5 mm. That is sufficient to use the instrument while wearing glasses

- Close focus: with 2.1 m not superb, but probably sufficient for most users.

- Field of view: RFOV is 6.5 degrees, AFOV 65 degrees. These values put the B.6 right in the middle of the comparator group of 10x50s. None of the competitors has a much wider field, some have a clearly narrower FOV.

D. IMAGE QUALITY

- Sharpness (distinction of small details) and contrast (differences between bright and dark areas) are very good in my view. Brightness is outstanding, image “brilliance” reminds me of the EL SV. The class leading transmission rate (94.75 %, according to specs, although no details are given about the range of frequencies for which this number is valid) ) seems to pay off.

- Off-axis sharpness: the sweet spot appears quite wide, slight blurring becomes visible only in the outer 20% of the image, but remains modest throughout. Not as good as flatfield binos such as EL SV or Fujinon, but better than e.g. UV HD+ and MeoStar. Overall very satisfactory.

- Distortion characteristics: I can perceive a little bit pincushion distortion; panning is smooth and comfortable, with (for me) no globe effect visible.
Field curvature is very modest.

- Chromatic aberration: that was a concern of mine, given the short build of the Maven. But CA is very well corrected, almost not perceptible at the center of the image, slightly visible towards the edge of the image. Again a good performance.

- Stray-light / glare / etc: excellent suppression of stray-light in all my tests, including artificial and natural light sources within and outside the field of view, with and without direct sunlight on the front lenses, no “wash-out” of the image, even in twilight situations.

- Flares, Spikes: no flares even on very bright light sources, whereas spikes (reflections at the roof edge) are clearly visible but do not excessively disturb observation at night

- Color fidelity: excellent. For my eyes, the image appears very bright and natural, with no significant tint of any kind.

5.

“Mini side-by-side comparisons”


Of the 6 10x50s which I put side-by-side on a tripod and compared with the Maven,

  • 3 are central focus roof prism
  • 1 is a central focus porro prism
  • 2 are individual focus porro prism
  • 4 feature ED glass, 2 don’t

In the market, the B.6 is more likely to get compared with roof prism binoculars, but I wanted to include 3 well-known porro 10x50s in the comparison, since these are widely used today, at least in the astro community.
  • Maven B.6 and Swarovski EL SV

    The EL SV 10x50 is regarded by many as the best 10x50 on the market. It costs 2.5 x as much as the Maven; nevertheless, the Maven competes bravely with it. Brightness, central sharpness, color fidelity and CA correction are amazingly close in my eyes; but off-axis sharpness is of course significantly better in the flat-field Swarovski. The EL SV’s FOV is only 0.1 degrees larger, hardly perceptible even side-by-side. Thanks to the superb edge sharpness, the Swaro “wins” the competition for “best image” when viewed side-by-side on a tripod; however, panning is more comfortable for my eyes in the Maven which has less of a globe effect. And again, the Swaro costs two and a half times the price of the Maven.

  • Maven and Meopta MeoStar

    I am a big fan of the MeoStar line of binoculars and love them for their nice and relatively “warm” image, good contrast, ease of view and their robustness. Side-by-side with the B.6, the image in the Meopta shows quite a yellow tint, the image in the Maven is much “whiter” and more brilliant. This leads me to the impression that I see more fine detail with the Maven; also, the Maven is slightly ahead in edge sharpness, despite its slightly wider FOV. In addition, I have the feeling that finding sharp focus is somewhat easier in the Maven with its very precise metal focuser. The MeoStar exhibits a bit more field curvature than the Maven and. As far as I can see, the 10x50 MeoStar does not figure on Meopta’s website anymore, but it is still available in many places; prices for the MeoStar and the Maven are relatively close.

  • Maven and Leica UV HD+

    Like in the comparison with the Meopta, the Maven shows a clearly “whiter” and more neutral image than the UV HD+. The Leica is a superb binocular in its own right, with its perfect design, great color-saturated image, perfect focuser, and unique “Leica feel and smell”. It has a bit more FOV than the B.6, this however only shows side-by-side; for observers wearing glasses, the Leica’s usable eye relief is a bit tight. Like the EL SV, the Ultravid costs roughly 2.5 times as much as the Maven; I love the Ultravid, but have to say that the Maven competes very well with it in my eyes.

  • Maven and Fujinon FMT-SX2

    Central focus non-flatfield roof vs. individual focus flatfield porro: The Fujinon has earned an excellent reputation, mainly among astronomers, and is formidable instrument for many uses. Same FOV as the Maven, with a wonderfully bright image but, compared to the Maven, a slight yellow tint, clearly more CA (no ED glass), the Fuji is a large and heavy porro glass, probably rock solid. Also, its edge sharpness is ahead of the Maven, so for uses where edge sharpness counts, but weight and size and individual focus are not an issue (astro), I might prefer the Fujinon which sells at prices bit below the Maven.

  • Maven and Docter Nobilem

    The Nobilem goes back many decades, its design originated in the Zeiss Jena era, but it is still a wonderful instrument today. It features the widest FOV of all binos in this comparison, has central focusing but isn’t fully waterproof (like all the others). Its short usable eye relief may be an issue for spectacle wearers. The Nobilem exhibits a minimal yellow tint, but shows good contrast and good central sharpness. The Maven is ahead in edge sharpness, CA correction (no ED glass in the Docter), image brightness/brilliance and color fidelity.

  • Maven and APM MS ED

    The “APM MS 10x50 ED APO” is an insufficiently disguised Chinese clone of the Fujinon FMT-SX. It has been on the market for several years and has been well received, mainly by hobby astronomers; at half the price of the Fuji, but with ED glass, it represents incredibly good value, even if it’s eyepieces don’t turn as smoothly as those on the Fujinon. But is large and heavy and features individual focusing, so may not be first choice for some usages. It has clearly better CA correction than the Fujinon, but no better than the Maven, and the latter is ahead in terms of color fidelity and brightness of the image. On the other hand, edge sharpness is a bit better in the APM, which has been designed with the astro markets in mind.
6.

Conclusion

Is the gap between $1k Japanese and $2.5k German / Austrian optics getting smaller?

I know two other instruments from Maven, including the very good B.2 11x45, but I have not been as impressed by them as by the new B.6 10x50. At a price point of $ 1’000, I get close to premium performance in most relevant disciplines and an overall very “well rounded”, attractive binocular.

Market reaction is a thing that is hard to predict, but I suspect that many people will share my impression once they had a B.6 in hand.

I would welcome comments from colleagues who may also have tried the new Maven 10x50.

fwiw Canip
 

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Steve C

Well-known member
I have one of these on the way. The first thing I'm going to check is the fov. Maven has a quite conservative OEM as far as fov specs are concerned. I'm not alone in inquiring to Maven as to the discrepancy. For example the 9x45 B2 is listed at 377' and measures 405. I wonder if the same thing will be true of the B6. By the way, if not impressed with the 11x45 B2, do yourself a favor and try the 9x45. That is the sweet spot in the B2 line.

I'll post a review of the B6 vs the B2 and the B1 in 10x42, plus some others.

Your review sounds encouraging and seems spot on with other Mavens I have.
 

zzzzzz

Well-known member
Canada
1.
US company Maven is by now a well-known player in the market for outdoor gear and sports optics such as riflescopes and binoculars. Looking at their website, brochures and marketing material, the target markets seem clearly to be hunting and wildlife observation.

Now, Maven has come out with a new "B.6" series of binoculars in the formats 10x50 and 12x 50. The B.6 are Maven's first binoculars with 50mm objective lenses - a format which traditionally has neither had much appeal for hunters, who seem to prefer either smaller (8x32, 10x42) or larger (8x56, 10x56) binos, nor really to birders. As far as I am aware, 10x50 and 12x50 is more often found with hobby astronomers. Is Maven entering that market now??

I had been intrigued by what looks like really attractive specifications of the B.6 models and ordered the 10x50 version.

This was my 4th purchase from Maven, and it confirmed the excellent customer service for which Maven (and UPS for delivery) is famous: they dispatched on the day of my order (it then took the parcel exactly 4 business days from Lander, Wyoming to my home in Switzerland, including customs clearance), and when I found that the objective covers were missing, Maven dispatched those again on same the day of my enquiry and they arrived within another 5 days).

2.
I compared the Maven B.6 10x50 with 6 other very good 10x50s to which I have access:

  • Swarovski EL SV 10x50
  • Leica UV HD+ 10x50
  • Meopta MeoStar B1 10x50
  • Fujinon 10x50 FMT-SX2
  • Docter Nobilem 10x50
  • APM MS 10x50 ED APO

and, for the sake of completeness, I added data/specs for 4 additional good 10x50s to which I have no direct access (although I do know Razor, Passion HD, Pentax and Kite Ibis binoculars, but in sizes other than 10x50):

  • Vortex Razor HD 10x50
  • GPO Passion HD 10x50
  • Pentax ZD 10x50 ED
  • Kite Ibis 10x50 ED

3.
Looking at how the Maven B.6 competes on paper, its specs look impressive. It is the smallest and lightest, yet it offers excellent optical parameters, even when compared to competitors twice its price.

See for yourself (text hereafter and and table attached).

a) Field of View RFOV

1. Docter Nobilem 10x50 6.7 degrees
1. Leica UV HD+ 10x50 6.7 degrees
2. Swarovski EL SV 10x50 6.6 degrees
3. APM MS 10x50 ED APO 6.5 degrees
3. Fujinon FMT-SX2 10x50 6.5 degrees
3. Maven B.6 10x50 6.5 degrees
4. Meopta MeoStar B1 10x50 6.3 degrees
5. Vortex Razor HD 10x50 6.0 degrees
6. GPO Passion HS 10x50 5.9 degrees
6. Kite Ibis ED 10x50 5.9 degrees
7. Pentax ZD 10x50 ED 5.0 degrees

b) Minimum Focus Distance

1. Maven B.6 10x50 2.1 m
2. Kite Ibis ED 10x50 2.6 m
3. GPO Passion HD 10x50 2.8 m
4. Swarovski EL SV 10x50 2.85 m
5. Vortex Razor HD 10x50 3.0 m
6. Leica UV HD+ 10x50 3.3 m
7. Meopta MeoStar B.1 10x50 3.35m
8. Pentax ZD 10x50 ED 3.5 m
9. Docter Nobilem 10x50 5.3 m
10.APM 10x50 ED APO 9.8 m
11.Fujinon FMT-SX2 10x50 13.9 m

c) Focus Wheel: Excess Travel beyond Infinity

1. Maven B.6 10x50 > 6 dpt
1. Meopta MeoStar B1 10x50 > 6 dpt
2. Docter Nobilem 10x50 6 dpt
3. Swarovski EL SV 10x50 5.5 dpt
4. Leica UV HD1 10x50+ 4.5 dpt
-. APM 10x50 ED APO N.A. (individual focusing)
-. Fujinon FMT-SX2 10x50 N.A. (individual focusing)

d) Eye Relief (according to specs)

1. Pentax ZD 10x50 ED 22 mm
2. APM 10x50 ED APO 20 mm
2. Fujinon FMT-SX2 10x50 20 mm
2. Swarovski EL SV 10x50 20 mm
3. Kite Ibis 10x50 ED 19 mm
4. Maven B.6 10x50 18.1 mm
5. GPO Passion HD 10x50 17 mm
5. Meopta MeoStar 10x50 17 mm
6. Vortex Razor 10x50 HD 16.5 mm
7. Docter Nobilem 10x50 15 mm
7. Leica UV HD+ 10x50 15 mm

e) “Usable” Eye Relief (measured from rim of eyecup)

1. Fujinon FMT-SX2 10x50 18.5 mm
2. Swarovski EL SV 10x50 17 mm
3. APM 10x50 ED APO 16.5 mm
4. Maven B.6 10x50 15.5 mm
5. Meopta MeoStar B1 10x50 14.5 mm
6. Leica UV HD1 10x50+ 12.5 mm
7. Docter Nobilem 10x50 11.5 mm
-. Vortex Razor 10x50 HD … mm
-. Pentax ZD 10x50 ED … mm
-. Kite Ibis 10x50 ED … mm
-. GPO passion HD 10x50 … mm

f) Weight (without accessories, according to specs)

1. Maven 786 g
2. Vortex Razor 10x50 HD 797 g
3. Pentax ZD 10x50 ED 855 g
4. Kite Ibis 10x50 ED 887 g
5. GPO passion HD 10x50 960 g
6. Swarovski EL SV 10x50 998 g
7. Leica UV HD+ 10x50 1000 g
8. Meopta MeoStar 10x50 1020 g
9. Docter Nobilem 10x50 1300 g
10. APM 10x50 ED APO 1380 g
11 Fujinon FMT-SX2 10x50 1400 g

g) Weight (measured with eyepiece covers and strap)

1. Maven 865 g
2. Leica UV HD1 10x50+ 1094 g
3. Swarovski EL SV 10x50 1111 g
4. Meopta MeoStar 10x50 1161 g
5. Docter Nobilem 10x50 1320 g
6. APM 10x50 ED APO 1418 g
7. Fujinon FMT-SX2 10x50 1450 g
-. Vortex Razor 10x50 HD ? g
-. Pentax ZD 10x50 ED ? g
-. Kite Ibis 10x50 ED ? g
-. GPO passion HD 10x50 ? g

H) Typical Prices (USD equivalent)

1. APM 10x50 ED APO 470-550
2. Fujinon FMT-SX2 10x50 850-1000
3. Meopta MeoStar 10x50 900-1100
4. Maven 1000
5. Pentax ZD 10x50 ED 1000-1200
6. Kite Ibis 10x50 ED 1100-1200
7. GPO passion HD 10x50 1100-1250
8. Vortex Razor 10x50 HD 1200-1500
9. Swarovski EL SV 10x50 2400-2800
10. Leica UV HD+ 10x50 2500-2700
-. Docter Nobilem 10x50 N.A. (only second-hand)

4.

What looks good on paper looks even better in reality, both at home and out in the fields.

A. GENERAL

- External Finish, Build Quality: very good; armour sits tight, no gaps, everything appears high quality

- Pleasant haptics

- Grip: good to very good, both in dry and wet conditions

- Balance, ergonomics: binocular is well balanced, neither front- nor back-heavy. There is almost no thumb-trough, but when grabbing the bino, position of hands feels natural and comfortable, index finger easily finds focus wheel

- Weight: surprisingly leightweight for a 10x50 (thinner body armour than on some other binos, and body made of magnesium), feels and looks almost like a solid 10x42

- Accessories: neckstrap, eyecaps and objective covers are included; no solid bag, though, only a soft pouch.

B. MECHANICS

- Central hinge: neither too stiff nor too lose; easy to adjust. The range of adjustment starts at 58 mm, which is a bit more than on some other 10x50s, so people with very narrow lateral eye distance need to check whether this works for them

- Eye cups: Fold up/down with 4 positions (fully in / fully out / 2 intermediate click-stops). Click-stops could be slightly firmer, but do hold position well. Soft rubber eyecups are comfortable on eye sockets and nose.

- Focus mechanism: medium fast (no as fast as e.g. Maven B.2), good balance between speed and easily finding focus. Direction of rotation from near to infinity is clockwise. Focusing is very precise, smooth, even and consistent between the two tubes. There is lots of extra travel of the metal focus wheel beyond the infinity position.

- Diopter adjustment: The „0“ sign on the right tube marks true zero diopter adjustment between left and right eye. It works evenly and precisely with no play. The mechanism cannot be locked, but operation is sufficiently stiff to prevent unintended adjustment.

C. OPTICS IN GENERAL

- Quality of antireflection coatings appears high, judging from intensity of reflections. The exit pupils appear round, there are no false pupils or other bright structures, reflections etc. around them. Vignetting is relatively modest.

- Ease of view (“Einblickverhalten”): good; it is easy to comfortably position the eyepieces against your eye sockets, allowing to view the entire field of view with no shadows, “kidney beaning”, or similar effects in the image.

- Eye relief: Technical eye relief (measured from the surface of the eyelens) is 18.1 mm according to specs, “usable” eye relief (measured from the rim of the eyecups in their innermost position) is 15.5 mm. That is sufficient to use the instrument while wearing glasses

- Close focus: with 2.1 m not superb, but probably sufficient for most users.

- Field of view: RFOV is 6.5 degrees, AFOV 65 degrees. These values put the B.6 right in the middle of the comparator group of 10x50s. None of the competitors has a much wider field, some have a clearly narrower FOV.

D. IMAGE QUALITY

- Sharpness (distinction of small details) and contrast (differences between bright and dark areas) are very good in my view. Brightness is outstanding, image “brilliance” reminds me of the EL SV. The class leading transmission rate (94.75 %, according to specs, although no details are given about the range of frequencies for which this number is valid) ) seems to pay off.

- Off-axis sharpness: the sweet spot appears quite wide, slight blurring becomes visible only in the outer 20% of the image, but remains modest throughout. Not as good as flatfield binos such as EL SV or Fujinon, but better than e.g. UV HD+ and MeoStar. Overall very satisfactory.

- Distortion characteristics: I can perceive a little bit pincushion distortion; panning is smooth and comfortable, with (for me) no globe effect visible.
Field curvature is very modest.

- Chromatic aberration: that was a concern of mine, given the short build of the Maven. But CA is very well corrected, almost not perceptible at the center of the image, slightly visible towards the edge of the image. Again a good performance.

- Stray-light / glare / etc: excellent suppression of stray-light in all my tests, including artificial and natural light sources within and outside the field of view, with and without direct sunlight on the front lenses, no “wash-out” of the image, even in twilight situations.

- Flares, Spikes: no flares even on very bright light sources, whereas spikes (reflections at the roof edge) are clearly visible but do not excessively disturb observation at night

- Color fidelity: excellent. For my eyes, the image appears very bright and natural, with no significant tint of any kind.

5.

“Mini side-by-side comparisons”


Of the 6 10x50s which I put side-by-side on a tripod and compared with the Maven,

  • 3 are central focus roof prism
  • 1 is a central focus porro prism
  • 2 are individual focus porro prism
  • 4 feature ED glass, 2 don’t

In the market, the B.6 is more likely to get compared with roof prism binoculars, but I wanted to include 3 well-known porro 10x50s in the comparison, since these are widely used today, at least in the astro community.
  • Maven B.6 and Swarovski EL SV

    The EL SV 10x50 is regarded by many as the best 10x50 on the market. It costs 2.5 x as much as the Maven; nevertheless, the Maven competes bravely with it. Brightness, central sharpness, color fidelity and CA correction are amazingly close in my eyes; but off-axis sharpness is of course significantly better in the flat-field Swarovski. The EL SV’s FOV is only 0.1 degrees larger, hardly perceptible even side-by-side. Thanks to the superb edge sharpness, the Swaro “wins” the competition for “best image” when viewed side-by-side on a tripod; however, panning is more comfortable for my eyes in the Maven which has less of a globe effect. And again, the Swaro costs two and a half times the price of the Maven.

  • Maven and Meopta MeoStar

    I am a big fan of the MeoStar line of binoculars and love them for their nice and relatively “warm” image, good contrast, ease of view and their robustness. Side-by-side with the B.6, the image in the Meopta shows quite a yellow tint, the image in the Maven is much “whiter” and more brilliant. This leads me to the impression that I see more fine detail with the Maven; also, the Maven is slightly ahead in edge sharpness, despite its slightly wider FOV. In addition, I have the feeling that finding sharp focus is somewhat easier in the Maven with its very precise metal focuser. The MeoStar exhibits a bit more field curvature than the Maven and. As far as I can see, the 10x50 MeoStar does not figure on Meopta’s website anymore, but it is still available in many places; prices for the MeoStar and the Maven are relatively close.

  • Maven and Leica UV HD+

    Like in the comparison with the Meopta, the Maven shows a clearly “whiter” and more neutral image than the UV HD+. The Leica is a superb binocular in its own right, with its perfect design, great color-saturated image, perfect focuser, and unique “Leica feel and smell”. It has a bit more FOV than the B.6, this however only shows side-by-side; for observers wearing glasses, the Leica’s usable eye relief is a bit tight. Like the EL SV, the Ultravid costs roughly 2.5 times as much as the Maven; I love the Ultravid, but have to say that the Maven competes very well with it in my eyes.

  • Maven and Fujinon FMT-SX2

    Central focus non-flatfield roof vs. individual focus flatfield porro: The Fujinon has earned an excellent reputation, mainly among astronomers, and is formidable instrument for many uses. Same FOV as the Maven, with a wonderfully bright image but, compared to the Maven, a slight yellow tint, clearly more CA (no ED glass), the Fuji is a large and heavy porro glass, probably rock solid. Also, its edge sharpness is ahead of the Maven, so for uses where edge sharpness counts, but weight and size and individual focus are not an issue (astro), I might prefer the Fujinon which sells at prices bit below the Maven.

  • Maven and Docter Nobilem

    The Nobilem goes back many decades, its design originated in the Zeiss Jena era, but it is still a wonderful instrument today. It features the widest FOV of all binos in this comparison, has central focusing but isn’t fully waterproof (like all the others). Its short usable eye relief may be an issue for spectacle wearers. The Nobilem exhibits a minimal yellow tint, but shows good contrast and good central sharpness. The Maven is ahead in edge sharpness, CA correction (no ED glass in the Docter), image brightness/brilliance and color fidelity.

  • Maven and APM MS ED

    The “APM MS 10x50 ED APO” is an insufficiently disguised Chinese clone of the Fujinon FMT-SX. It has been on the market for several years and has been well received, mainly by hobby astronomers; at half the price of the Fuji, but with ED glass, it represents incredibly good value, even if it’s eyepieces don’t turn as smoothly as those on the Fujinon. But is large and heavy and features individual focusing, so may not be first choice for some usages. It has clearly better CA correction than the Fujinon, but no better than the Maven, and the latter is ahead in terms of color fidelity and brightness of the image. On the other hand, edge sharpness is a bit better in the APM, which has been designed with the astro markets in mind.
6.

Conclusion

Is the gap between $1k Japanese and $2.5k German / Austrian optics getting smaller?

I know two other instruments from Maven, including the very good B.2 11x45, but I have not been as impressed by them as by the new B.6 10x50. At a price point of $ 1’000, I get close to premium performance in most relevant disciplines and an overall very “well rounded”, attractive binocular.

Market reaction is a thing that is hard to predict, but I suspect that many people will share my impression once they had a B.6 in hand.

I would welcome comments from colleagues who may also have tried the new Maven 10x50.

fwiw Canip
Great review Pinac sounds like you are describing a 50mm version of a Zeiss Conquest 10x42 HD how does the Maven fair side-by-side with the Zeiss Conquest 10x42 HD mounted on a tripod.

Perceived brightness, central sharpness, color fidelity, CA correction etc
 
Last edited:

Canip

Well-known member
Great review Pinac sounds like you are describing the Zeiss Conquest 10x42 HD how does the Maven fair side-by-side with the Zeiss Conquest 10x42 HD mounted on a tripod.

Perceived brightness, central sharpness, color fidelity, CA correction etc
Give me a few days, I will compare them side-by-side.
Canip

By the way: you mean "fare", not "fair", right? ;)
 

pat mitchel

Well-known member
Canip; Thanks so much for the excellent review- I appreciate the detail on the small things like infocus and ER (stated and real) . Regards, Pat

Typo on text- under4 B- Mechanics "central hinge" lose - should be loose.
 

Canip

Well-known member
Canip; Thanks so much for the excellent review- I appreciate the detail on the small things like infocus and ER (stated and real) . Regards, Pat

Typo on text- under4 B- Mechanics "central hinge" lose - should be loose.
Thank you for this, corrected (such a typical error/typo, and of course, text editor would not pick it up)
 

DrewskiMT

Observer
Wow wow wow! Thank you for another excellent comparison post! Sadly the 58ipd is too wide for my 56mm eyes. What a shame. I guess I will have to settle for a new B1.2 10x42 and test it against the new Opticron Aurora flagship!
 

Patudo

Well-known member
Interrrrresting stuff Canip... and thanks for taking the trouble to acquire this binocular and review it for our benefit!

About the 10x50 format - I actually like it very much - I use 10x a lot (in 10x42) but like many, feel a 5mm exit pupil has real advantages in viewing comfort when scanning for long periods and/or scanning at distance. My 10x50 (Oberkochen porro) has very outdated coatings so I normally use my 10x42 SE for long distance scanning, but a 10x50 with a wider field of view (6.5 degrees versus 6) and strong optical performance, as close to the EL SV as you describe, is something that sounds well worth trying. Unfortunately the chances of getting hold of a secondhand one here in the UK, now or in the future, are very low. Maybe another Kamakura client will take up the same design - a 10x50 Conquest HD would be more expensive, I suppose, but also more available...

If I were a prism snob, I'd bewail the fact that it doesn't have the Abbe-Koening prisms of the 9x45, but there are some great binoculars out there with Schmidt-Pechan prisms (like the 10x50 EL) - no problem there for me.


PS. I noted your comment that the APM 10x50 ED had better CA correction than the Fujinon with interest, as I've considered trialling the Fujinon in the past but been deterred by what some considered too much CA. The APM looks like a well executed binocular and what I've read from yourself and others suggests a better build quality than most PRC-made birding binoculars. Reading between the lines, the FMT still seems ahead of the APM in apparent brightness?
 

Blue72

Well-known member
Thanks

Found this on another forum New Maven Binoculars B1.2 and B6
That review is compared to the non HD meopta which has some drastic improvements

my experience with B3 Mavens is that I was impressed with the edge to edge clarity and color fidelity. However, the Meopta are way sharper in the sweet spot. Even the cheaper meopta meopro are sharper. you see the difference when looking at animals over a mile away. But the outer edge of the meopro are more distorted

But the maven B 1.2 might be different

binoculars are such a big investment it’s best to buy all the ones you are interested in and decide for yourself. I often landed up with optics which I thought were not players. Such as Kowa
 

Canip

Well-known member
.... The first thing I'm going to check is the fov. Maven has a quite conservative OEM as far as fov specs are concerned. .....
....
.....

.....

RFOV is 6.5 degrees, as stated by Maven (to be precise: I measured 6.49 degrees in the right tube and 6.46 degrees in the left tube.
 

Canip

Well-known member
Great review Pinac sounds like you are describing a 50mm version of a Zeiss Conquest 10x42 HD how does the Maven fair side-by-side with the Zeiss Conquest 10x42 HD mounted on a tripod.

Perceived brightness, central sharpness, color fidelity, CA correction etc

Micro-comparison Zeiss Conquest HD 10x42 mounted side-by-side with Maven B.6 10x50:

  • Perceived brightness: in broad daylight just slightly better in the Maven. In twilight, the Maven is clearly ahead of the Conquest
  • Color fidelity: image in the Conquest is quite neutral, but still slightly warmer than in the Maven. The difference is noticeable, but not big
  • RFOV Maven 6.5 degrees, Conquest 6.6 degrees; difference hardly visible, even directly side-by-side
  • Central sharpness: both are very good, I cannot reliably say which I find sharper
  • Off-axis sharpness: Maven wins; wider soft spot and better edge sharpness
  • CA correction: for my eyes, clearly better in the Maven
 

Canip

Well-known member
Interrrrresting stuff Canip... and thanks for taking the trouble to acquire this binocular and review it for our benefit!

About the 10x50 format - I actually like it very much - I use 10x a lot (in 10x42) but like many, feel a 5mm exit pupil has real advantages in viewing comfort when scanning for long periods and/or scanning at distance. My 10x50 (Oberkochen porro) has very outdated coatings so I normally use my 10x42 SE for long distance scanning, but a 10x50 with a wider field of view (6.5 degrees versus 6) and strong optical performance, as close to the EL SV as you describe, is something that sounds well worth trying. Unfortunately the chances of getting hold of a secondhand one here in the UK, now or in the future, are very low. Maybe another Kamakura client will take up the same design - a 10x50 Conquest HD would be more expensive, I suppose, but also more available...

If I were a prism snob, I'd bewail the fact that it doesn't have the Abbe-Koening prisms of the 9x45, but there are some great binoculars out there with Schmidt-Pechan prisms (like the 10x50 EL) - no problem there for me.


PS. I noted your comment that the APM 10x50 ED had better CA correction than the Fujinon with interest, as I've considered trialling the Fujinon in the past but been deterred by what some considered too much CA. The APM looks like a well executed binocular and what I've read from yourself and others suggests a better build quality than most PRC-made birding binoculars. Reading between the lines, the FMT still seems ahead of the APM in apparent brightness?

As to Abbe-Koenig prisms: good Schmidt-Pechans with dielectric coating like the Maven B.6 now reach 95% transmission. Looking at the numbers for the B.2, which has A-K prisms, there seems no distinct advantage for A-K any more. And I guess the higher mass of the glass in the A-K prism has its disadvantages too.

Re APM vs. Fujinon: brightness is very comparable in my eyes; the APM mostly wins in CA correction - and in price, of course!
 

zzzzzz

Well-known member
Canada
Micro-comparison Zeiss Conquest HD 10x42 mounted side-by-side with Maven B.6 10x50:

  • Perceived brightness: in broad daylight just slightly better in the Maven. In twilight, the Maven is clearly ahead of the Conquest
  • Color fidelity: image in the Conquest is quite neutral, but still slightly warmer than in the Maven. The difference is noticeable, but not big
  • RFOV Maven 6.5 degrees, Conquest 6.6 degrees; difference hardly visible, even directly side-by-side
  • Central sharpness: both are very good, I cannot reliably say which I find sharper
  • Off-axis sharpness: Maven wins; wider soft spot and better edge sharpness
  • CA correction: for my eyes, clearly better in the Maven
Thanks for taking the time to compare the Maven sounds nice I had the Sig 9x45 which is supposed to be a Maven B2 but the size and weight of that model was an issue for me.
 

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
Canip, thanks for the write up.

This 10x50 seems commendably and unusually light !
It even has a CW to infinity focuser - woo !
(how many turns from cf to infinity ?)

Looks like one to definitely give a go ......

Does it feel noticeably lighter in the hand /usage than the 10x50 SV ??
(I suspect giving up the sharp to the edge view would be difficult, but maybe the weight sways it)

Thanks.


Chosun 🙎‍♀️
 

Canip

Well-known member
….
It even has a CW to infinity focuser - woo !
(how many turns from cf to infinity ?)

…..

Does it feel noticeably lighter in the hand /usage than the 10x50 SV ??
……..
……..


Chosun 🙎‍♀️

Chosun,

- 1 1/2 turns from close focus to infinity (1/4 turns from 10m to infinity).

- The difference in weight is not huge, but noticeable.

Canip
 

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
Weight (without accessories, according to specs)

1. Maven 786 g

Weight (measured with eyepiece covers and strap)

1. Maven 865 g

I just had a look at the 'Binocular Comparison' pdf , and they list the weight of the 10x50 as 870g , so good to see your measurements confer 👍

Thanks for the focus turn info too.
Definitely looks like one to check out.


Chosun 👧
 

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
As to Abbe-Koenig prisms: good Schmidt-Pechans with dielectric coating like the Maven B.6 now reach 95% transmission. Looking at the numbers for the B.2, which has A-K prisms, there seems no distinct advantage for A-K any more. And I guess the higher mass of the glass in the A-K prism has its disadvantages too.

Re APM vs. Fujinon: brightness is very comparable in my eyes; the APM mostly wins in CA correction - and in price, of course!

I wonder how legit these transmission numbers are .... ?

They seem to be usefully (perhaps too usefully !) above the best of the other S-P designs that the Alpha brands can offer. Typically for your Swaro SV, Zeiss SF, Leica UVHD+ etc S-P bins those peak in the 90-92% range.

The Maven B1.2 , B.3, and B.6 bins are claiming ~94~95% transmission. How is this possible ?

Has anyone (Allbinos, Gijs, etc) independently measured and verified these figures ..... ?


Chosun 🙆‍♀️
 

Canip

Well-known member
Good question, Chosun (although I do not always trust the allbinos measurements either - they had up to 100% transmission in one case, and that‘s simply impossible)
 

Steve C

Well-known member
I wondered about those transmission numbers as well. However after having the B2 and B3 for several years and just finishing up a Maven comparison review including the 10x42 B1 and the 11x45 B2, I will say there is no real reason from the view to doubt the numbers, brightness is NOT a problem here. The B6 is in its element in twilight.
 
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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia

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