• BirdForum is the net's largest birding community dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE!

    Register for an account to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

New Maven Models (1 Viewer)

gcole

Well-known member
Gwen, we're surrounded by fire, 400,000 acres of contained, but still burning internally Bootleg Fire, the Patton Meadow Complex , both to the east of us, the 600,000 acre Dixe Fire and the 200,000 acre Caldor fire to the south. Much closer to us in the south is the 10,000 acre Antelope Fire. There is a Fire complex to the north around the town of Oakridge, so whichever way the wind blows, we get smoke. However the fires to the south in Ca are the worst contributors. Most fire officials are saying it will take the onset of winter to put it all out. Problem is, there needs to be an actual winter for that to happen.

The Bootleg Fire did provide some serious pyrocummulus formations The clouds in the photos are about 60 miles away. Sometimes as many as 7 of those pyrocumulus formations were visible. Those topped out at airliner height. That week in July was about the last clear days we've had.
WOW … that’s pretty bad. We hear and see all this forbidding natural disaster stuff on our television and for most of us it’s just bad news. My heart and prayers go out to you and your family. I will pray that your area gets the winter weather/rain it needs and that the quality of air you need will improve with the fires staying far way from your home. Stay safe …..Gwen
 

Steve C

Well-known member
WOW … that’s pretty bad. We hear and see all this forbidding natural disaster stuff on our television and for most of us it’s just bad news. My heart and prayers go out to you and your family. I will pray that your area gets the winter weather/rain it needs and that the quality of air you need will improve with the fires staying far way from your home. Stay safe …..Gwen
Thanks for the thoughts, but aside from the smoke, we're not in any danger from fire damage.
 

dries1

Member
Let us know how the Maven 10X50 is when you have a chance to view with it (hope fully at a clear sky). I look forward on the observations of the 10X50.
 
Just received my new Maven B1.2 8x42 today and wanted to provide an initial impressions report. These are just my initial subjective observations.

Price Point - retailing for $900 it is fairly well positioned in an extremely competitive market. Maven is direct-marketed and appears to be targeting themselves as having both high performance and value. Personally, I consider this the mid-priced, sub-alpha market - competing with the likes of Monarch HG, GPO Passion, Opticron Aurora VHD, Zeiss Conquest, Vortex Razor, etc. Probably the best value/performance binocular segment.

Packaging - Wow! Upon opening the shipping box I was disappointingly shocked. The binocular comes in a cheap/thin cardboard shell (like an egg-crate). There is also no included binocular case - just a cloth bag, strap and synthetic rubber lens covers. While some might say that’s just the wrapper the product comes in, it certainly does not inspire or exude an initial impression that the package contains a high-quality optical instrument. We’ll see.

Housing and Physical Characteristics - the B1.2 is very compact for an 8x42 binocular, in fact it is roughly the same size as my Monarch HG. Upon fist glance and handling the build quality appears excellent. The rubber armor is first-rate, very grippy, and has a more pleasant feel than that of the Zeiss Conquest. Found no obvious flaws with fit and finish. Ergonomically, the barrels have a nice contour that easily fit my medium-sized hands - they are slightly heavier (26.8oz) than my Monarch HGs (23.5oz) but the weight feels about right to stabilize my hold on this glass. All very good. If there was a physical characteristic negative - although recessed, the objective lenses did not appear as deeply recessed as most of my other binoculars.

Focus and Diopter Adjustment - the focus mechanism is exceptionally smooth with just the right amount of resistance. There is no play or spongy feel. Focus speed is fast - which is my preference in an 8x birding glass. The diopter does not lock but it is sufficiently stiff to avoid accidental readjustments. Played with the focus quite a bit and once set the diopter needed no further adjustment. Looks to be “set it and forget it.”

Eyepieces - multi-position with 3-click stops. They are covered with a similar synthetic rubber to the rest of the body and rested comfortably against my eyes. I don’t wear glasses and felt the eye-relief was fine. No blackouts or kidney-bean effect while glassing/panning. Only negative was the resistance when expanding/collapsing as I felt it was too light - may result in unintended adjustment.

View - sorry this section is not more detailed as I’ve only had an initial look and haven’t even taken them birding yet. Will certainly post again after I’ve used and them a bit. However, while I do not anticipate a wholesale replacement of my Victory SFs, there are no obvious flaws and the view satisfies. On first look, they are crisp and bright, with very good depth-of field and exceptional close-focus. With a 420ft FOV the view felt open and unrestrictive. Center-field resolution is quite sharp and while I’m uncertain if this model is supposed to be “flat-field,” they were fairly sharp across most of the image without pronounced edge distortion. Colors appear quite neutral - some may prefer more pop or warm/cool bias. Overall, I felt the view quite good, especially at this price point. Won’t give firm comparisons yet as the view is quite different from my everyday MHGs (trying to avoid bias toward the familiar).

Bottom Line - my initial impressions of the B1.2 are quite positive - solid build quality with an exceptional focus mechanism, very good ergonomics and handling, sharp and satisfying image with very good depth of field and neutral colors. Once a consumer gets over the initial horror of being sent a $900 optic in a cheap cardboard box, the experienced will realize a quality binocular was hidden inside.

Will use it a while and directly compare with my everyday Nikon Monarch HG 8x42 with a report at a later date.

View attachment 1402704 View attachment 1402705 View attachment 1402706 View attachment 1402707
Hi, thanks for spending the time to write your impressions on the B1.2 8x42! I was wondering if the impressions are still the same after ˜1.5 months using this new binoculars. Cheers, Christian
 

AlphaFan

Well-known member
United States
Hi, thanks for spending the time to write your impressions on the B1.2 8x42! I was wondering if the impressions are still the same after ˜1.5 months using this new binoculars. Cheers, Christian
Hi Christian,

I spent a few weeks with them and tried to get as much field time as possible. To sum up my subjective impressions:

Pros:
  • Housing and overall build quality are superb
  • Armor is quite grippy and pleasant to the touch
  • Exceptionally smooth focus mechanism and diopter
  • Wide and unrestrictive FOV with large “sweet spot”
  • Very clear that Maven listened to customer reviews and attempted to build a more compact form that offered increased light transmission with a wider FOV, definite improvement over the B1s
  • Maven warranty is very good

Cons:
  • Eyecups just don’t have enough resistance and collapsed on their own quite a bit - a very annoying design flaw or I just got a bum copy
  • Focus speed is just too fast for a ”snappy” and precise focus; found myself going not enough or past the sweet spot and sharpest image wasn’t naturally easy to find
  • Contrast = while resolution was similar to other binoculars in this class, found that birds and animals didn’t “pop” out and contrast with their surrounding as much as with some of my other binos - felt this might have been more of a color/hue issue
  • Overall View = is wide and bright with good depth of field and close focus; yet while there are no obvious flaws I personally prefer the views from other binoculars in the same price range. To my eyes the Maven had a bit more of a white bias to the image.

After a few weeks I decided to return the B1.2 8x42 for a refund. They are a fine binocular and my decision to return them is probably more a matter of personal taste.
 

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
Overall View = is wide and bright with good depth of field and close focus; yet while there are no obvious flaws I personally prefer the views from other binoculars in the same price range. To my eyes the Maven had a bit more of a white bias to the image.
I don't think I've ever heard a view described as "more of a white bias" ..... ??

This bin has got some pretty high falutin transmission % - yeah ? So if the image comes across as 'white' or neutral, it would mean that the blue and red extremities of the spectrum would be similarly high as the green/yellow and well balanced - ie a flat curve.

Most other brands that don't do this (it is rarish) , tend to have a colour tint bias - usually green, yellow, orange, or reddish (the so called warmer bias). Only the widely touted Swaro SV and NL have both a flattish curve at the extremities, a very slight dip in the green, and high transmission - which along with good microcontrast gives that wonderful 'crystalline' view and colour pop. (some folks prefer the richer saturation of the Leica UVHD+ and NV though, even if it comes at the expense of a slight warm bias).

So I'm a bit flummoxed as to what "more of a white bias" means ?

Is this purely a colour cast assessment ? and/or does it have something to do with veiling glare ? and/or something to do with lack of microcontrast ? and/or something else ??

Could you expand a bit on what was meant by that .... thnx

** [EDIT]** - How would you say that the Maven B1.2 stacks up against the Nikon MHG overall ?? **



Chosun 🙅‍♀️
 
Last edited:

Blue72

Well-known member
  • Contrast = while resolution was similar to other binoculars in this class, found that birds and animals didn’t “pop” out and contrast with their surrounding as much as with some of my other binos - felt this might have been more of a color/hue issue
  • Overall View = is wide and bright with good depth of field and close focus; yet while there are no obvious flaws I personally prefer the views from other binoculars in the same price range. To my eyes the Maven had a bit more of a white bias to the image.
can you list the other binoculars specifically….thanks
 

AlphaFan

Well-known member
United States
This bin has got some pretty high falutin transmission % - yeah ? So if the image comes across as 'white' or neutral, it would mean that the blue and red extremities of the spectrum would be similarly high as the green/yellow and well balanced - ie a flat curve.

Most other brands that don't do this (it is rarish) , tend to have a colour tint bias - usually green, yellow, orange, or reddish (the so called warmer bias). Only the widely touted Swaro SV and NL have both a flattish curve at the extremities, a very slight dip in the green, and high transmission - which along with good microcontrast gives that wonderful 'crystalline' view and colour pop. (some folks prefer the richer saturation of the Leica UVHD+ and NV though, even if it comes at the expense of a slight warm bias).

So I'm a bit flummoxed as to what "more of a white bias" means ?
First wish to restate that I found the B1.2 a quality binocular at the $900 price point. As you point out the highly touted specification upgrades increase expectations of an immediate and sustained “wow“ from the image. But after multiple field outings I didn’t find it to offer either the crystalline view of a Swarovski or the immersive saturation of Leica. It was bright and resolved well, but the image appeared to me to lack enough color/hue contrast and offered a bit of a filtered/unnatural/whiteish look. Experts with lab equipment here on birdforum may be able to tell us if the increased transmission rates are representative of all spectrums or identify any other optical design strengths or flaws. Short focal length, ultra-wide FOV (today’s holy grail in specifications), distortion-free, extreme close focus and high light transmission do not naturally combine within the same design at a mid-grade price, especially during a global supply shortage - something’s likely to not quite measure up to the initial visions of the designers. After all, Maven and other manufacturers are just doing their best to respond to consumer demand.

How would you say that the Maven B1.2 stacks up against the Nikon MHG overall ?? **
Favoring the Maven B1.2
  • Build quality, armor, fit/finish are all first rate and IMO a bit superior to the MHG. I really liked the feel of the Maven armor
  • Focus mechanism is buttery smooth (but a bit too fast for precisely snapping to the sweet spot)
  • Diopter adjustment is “set it and forget it”
  • Maven’s warranty and customer support
  • Maven’s company support to military/first responders
  • EDIT Maven’s demo program that allows one to try the binoculars for a time and return for refund if not satisfied

Favoring the MHG
  • Handling - at 23.5oz they are the lightest 42mm binocular and handle more like a 32mm
  • Focus speed is about perfect for an 8x birding glass - but mechanism has a bit of a “spongy“ feel
  • Better eyecups - both detents and resistance was better than the Maven - also fit me very well
  • View = while it isn’t perfect (top end alphas are better), they are sharp, bright and very detailed - overall a very easy, wide and natural looking view

MHGs - they aren’t perfect and many binoculars best them in individual performance categories. But every optics purchase is a compromise of price/features to some degree. As a complete package I‘ve yet to find anything that best them at the $1k and under pricepoint. However, if able to combine the best features of the Maven with the MHG that would truly be something special.

All above are just my subjective impressions in response to member questions.
 
Last edited:

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
AlphaFan - post#31 - thanks for the detailed response. That answers a lot of questions. 👍

I agree - those optical design features and physics are diametrically opposed.

The body shape actually looks like a very nicely designed bit of kit. Ticks all the boxes - slightly curved fatter barrels than the excellent MHG, slighty larger metal focusing wheel = tick, positioned a smidge further forward. I would actually like the faster focuser of the B1.2. The focus 'snap' issue may be something else, or a combination. And of course it would be nicer if it were MHG weight too. The B6 10x50 making a pleasant change in this regard.

It will be interesting to see if the B6 10x50 also exhibit the same type of "filtered/unnatural/whiteish look" (milkiness ?) that you describe.


Chosun 🙅‍♀️
 

AlphaFan

Well-known member
United States
It will be interesting to see if the B6 10x50 also exhibit the same type of "filtered/unnatural/whiteish look" (milkiness ?) that you describe
I’m also interested in the B6 10x50 and hope that is the “cherry” of the new Maven lineup. Hope Catnip and Steve C find the time to share their impressions.

BTW - I wouldn’t describe the B1.2 image as “milky” as that connotes a lack of optical clarity which it doesn’t suffer from. There really are no obvious flaws in the B1.2 image. My descriptor of “filtered/unnatural/white” is just my clumsy way of articulating the subtlety in the B1.2 optical characteristics that I personally find slightly less satisfying than the views provided by the MHG, SLC, SF, etc.
 

Steve C

Well-known member
I'm a little curious about your whitish image description as well. I have quite a few Maven binoculars and have time with others that are not mine. The one thing I would personally not use on any of those images is to call them being a whitish balance. I wonder if you are referring to color saturation. The one place I can fault the B3 to some small degree is that it does seem to have a bit less color than some of its other relatives.

I agree that all of the features mentioned don't seem to fit well, even t times when paying a lot more.
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

Users who are viewing this thread

Top