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Review: Maven B2 9x45: Has the $1,000 game just changed? (1 Viewer)

ailevin

Well-known member
Thanks for all your notes on the B3 ailevin. I am thinking about these for my birthday in June and am hoping they are sufficiently better than the ~$200 crowd to warrant the extra money, and not obviously worse than the Conquest HD level (so as to avoid buyer's remorse). I intend for these to be my smaller counterparts when not carrying the Conquest 8x42s and don't want to feel I am downgrading in quality/optics when I switch up.

I appreciate the kind words, but frankly I enjoy the opportunity to share and talk about binoculars. I am after all a binoholic.

You have already gotten sound advice. Choice of binocular always has a personal/subjective component, and my impression is that these subjective preferences dominate as the price goes up. At $200 I found a binocular on Amazon that had very few things that bothered or distracted me, and it was very comfortable to use. In fact, I still really enjoy using it. This $500 binocular is clearly superior optically and mechanically and it is truly a pleasure to use. Also I feel as though I have a relationship with the company that makes it, although they are new kids on the block vs. say Zeiss. If eye relief was an issue, I would be trying a Conquest 8x32.

Speaking of Zeiss, they are going to be at the birding festival in San Diego next week, so I may be able to do some side-by-side comparison of Maven with Conquest. If I do, I will report.


Alan
 

PeteQuad

Well-known member
Thanks for the advice guys. I would love a comparison if you are able to get it. I actually have the opposite problem with eye-relief in that my current Conquests have too much so that I have to use both o-rings and extended cups to not get blackouts. However I have heard that the 32mm version does not cause this problem as much as the 42 for people like me.

I'd prefer not to spend the money on another Zeiss since I can re-purpose the savings to photography equipment which I've been getting into lately. Also, in addition to being cheaper, the Maven is slightly wider and lighter. If the build quality is good (my current Conquests feel like I could chuck them against a brick wall and they'd be fine) and the optics are similar I will be sold. I do intend to do the demo to save the $50.
 

ailevin

Well-known member
Maven B3 8x30 vs. Zeiss Conquest 8x32

Pete,

I was down in San Diego yesterday, and in addition to seeing quite a few birds I've never seen before, I had a chance to look through some binoculars. As a preface, this was a relatively quick look and not a detailed side by side comparison, but frankly I believe a more detailed comparison has already been done (oddly by Frank). Also, it was not quite a apples to apples, since the conquest was a 10x32 rather than an 8x32.

First impression is that the Conquest 8x32 is bigger and beefier (as in heavier). However, it's not really heavy and it is well balanced. In hand, the slightly longer barrel is comfortable and the tactile feel of the rubber coating is good. The view is very nice, with a large sweet spot, however as I move to the very edge there seems to be more to the aberrations than just field curvature. Also, at the very edge the image loses some brightness. BTW, all of these criticisms are at the very edge and you have to look for them. It is a fine binocular. I think the speed of focus is similar, CA control is similar, snap to focus is similar. I couldn't really detect any difference is color presentation but that is really tough without more careful side by side comparison. I believe that contrast and sharpness of the Maven is at least as good as the Conquest, but that could be pride of ownership. I'd need tripods and some time to really determine a winner there.

I had no urge to return my Maven B3 and purchase the Conquest. In fact, I really prefer the Maven, and this has nothing to do with price. Maybe I'm just used to the B3 now, and I can image a Conquest owner not wanting to swap for the B3. I prefer the compactness and lighter weight of the Maven, I prefer the edge field of view of the Maven, I prefer the metal focus knob with cross hatched texture of the Maven. The Conquest has Zeiss behind it, and I'm sure part of the weight is the Mg frame, so the Conquest could be more rugged.

Alan
 

PeteQuad

Well-known member
Thanks Alan, that's very helpful. It is hard to hold back until my birthday for these binos. I think my mind is pretty much made up now.
 

ailevin

Well-known member
Not to confuse things further, but I also had a quick look through the new Opticron Traveller 8x32 ED in San Diego. There is an ongoing thread about it in the Opticron section. It has a much more similar form factor to the Maven B3 than the Conquest, and the table talk leads me to believe it is made by the same manufacturer in Japan. Frank has one and says he will post a review shortly. My impression was that it is similar to the B3 and while I can't remember the price, I remember they were cheaper than the B3 and of course much less than the Conquest--perhaps $400?

I gave them less time than the Conquest, and just noted that they felt like the B3 in hand and had a nice central image. The focus was quite tight, but seemed similarly fast. If you can wait for Frank's review, that would be interesting since I believe he owns and regularly uses the B3.
 

ailevin

Well-known member
In a desperate effort to bring this thread back on topic, I purchased Chuck's B2 9x45. As I told him, I was suffering from return remorse, and he lowered the price to where I lost self control. I'll have my first true field test tomorrow at Madrona Wetlands, a local marsh.

Alan
 

ailevin

Well-known member
I had the 9x45 out in the field for about three hours this morning. Saw about 25 species including a Red-tailed Hawk munching on a gopher. The views through the B2 were spectacular. I was a bit worried that after using the B3 8x30 I might regret the weight of the B2, but it actually was not a problem at all, and this surprised me. At least for me, there is a significantly greater Wow factor using the 9x45 compared with the 8x30. This isn't a knock on the 8x30, but whether it is the design, the glass, the greater magnification, or the larger aperture, even in bright daylight the B2 seems special.

Thanks Chuck!

Alan
 

Steve C

Well-known member
Alan,

That is a pretty accurate summation of those two binoculars. I find the combination of those two will pretty much handle almost any needs filled by a hand held binocular.

You have hit on a point that most will simply refuse to believe. EEwww, that thing is just tooooooo big! (oops, forgot the smiley) Like the same complaints of the supposed too big dimensions of the Leupold Gold Ring, the only people who complained were those who didn't have one.

The Maven evidently balances in a similar fashion to that described for the Zeiss SF. It is long, but it does not feel as heavy as one would think.
 
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ailevin

Well-known member
Steve,

The Zeiss SF comment is interesting. What brought me around was trying out the Noctivid 10x42 and SF 8x42 down in San Diego. Neither one struck me as particularly heavy, though the Leica was more compact and the Zeiss was longer. Then when I looked at the specs and saw they were only 3-4 oz lighter than the B2 I was already rethinking my return of the B2 demo.

I have a prejudice born of my experience with astronomy newbies that I was applying to myself as a birding newbie. The tendency is to get a telescope that is too large and then use it less because it is such a PITA to transport, set up, and tear down. When I was demoing the B2 I was doing long sessions of critical viewing mostly from a reclining position and sometimes standing. I did find it more fatiguing, but that just isn't how I use binoculars in the field. And I really never took the B2 birding during the demo period because schedule just didn't allow.

There is much more up and down between binoculars to the eyes and back to the chest (harness) in the field. I never found it fatiguing today, though I still cannot get 9x as steady as 8 or 7. Yet particularly during the day, I find the added motion less disturbing and the increased image scale more appealing, especially in the sorts of environments I've birded in most. The trip today was a repeat of the same marsh I did yesterday with the B3. (different birding group and leader). I'm surprised that even at the same time of day, we saw quite a few different sights than yesterday. It is rather subjective, and you could always put it down to excitement over a new toy, but as much as I love the B3, the B2 was the better view.

In all fairness, the B3 easily slips into my jacket pocket, and the B2 is a rather big heavy lump in my backpack, but as you say, the combination covers a lot of ground.

Alan
 

ailevin

Well-known member
I've been pretty much strictly using the Maven B2 9x45 binocular on all my birding outings for the past 10 days, and I'd like to finish off my contribution to this thread with the comparison I never really did between the B2 and the 8x30 B3 in the field. I've used both in a number of different habitats and geographies. These days I use a RYO harness on all my binoculars. I like the way the harness distributes the weight (important for the B2), and I like like where they put the binoculars up high and relatively tight to the chest. This is convenient not only for moving in variable terrain (here that has meant rutted and muddy lately), but I just find it handier for quickly getting on target. This is true even with the B3 8x30 that is less than half the weight of the B2.

Just to quickly review the bidding here, I bought the 8x30 under the demo program and I bought the 9x45 used from chill6x6. Both came with padded straps, soft case and hard case. These two have much in common. The touch or feel is quite similar--the tactile feel of the armoring, the feel of the eye cups, the cross hatched metal focusing knob, the speed and precision of focus, and the overall feeling that you are holding a well designed instrument that was put together with care. I actually really like the soft case, and don't think I would use the hard case unless I was on a road trip where I thought the binocular might get tossed around with luggage or something. The soft case is perfect for backpack or in the case of the 8x30, pocket.

The immediately notable differences include size, weight, and direction of focus. The size and weight have been batted around this thread enough already, and I'll just reiterate that after 10 days using the 9x45 it is worth every ounce when I am out birding. My only complaint is that once on a warm day, while wearing a very thin shirt with no jacket over or tee beneath, I noticed the harness rubbing slightly on one side and adjusted it. The direction of focus thing was not a big deal either as my Sightron binoculars were counter-clockwise to infinity as well. Also the speed of focus means that even if I screw up, I can quickly readjust with very little motion.

The optical characteristics are similar. They both have large sweet spot and field curvature seems to be the only, or at least the dominant aberration as you move to the edge of field. They have similar apparent fields of view, but the B3 at 8x has a noticeably, though not dramatically, wider actual field of view. The color presentation is extremely similar though the B3 may be just a hair "warmer." Yet optically the B2 has a number of advantages, some of them due to physical optics (more aperture and magnification, larger exit pupil) and some of them due to design choices I expect (prism type, coatings, ?). The B2 has better snap to focus and better depth of focus as well (this seems surprising to me, maybe I'm wrong as these are not precise measures). The B2 also has better baffling and less in the way of diffraction artifacts when viewing a halogen bulb (yeah I know a crazy test, but it is like putting a short audio spike through a hifi, you see its full response).

I am neither expert enough nor patient enough to try to dissect what makes the view through the B2 so nice. It puts me into the scene more than the B3, and my ability to distinguish color shades or differences seems better, even in bright light. I also get a great sense of depth. I am not trying to enter the waters of true 3Dness in binoculars, but part of the sense of being in the scene is that it doesn't feel as flat. If that is an illusion created by more magnification, more light, or something else, so be it.

The advantages of the B2 are not in any sense a criticism of the B3, in fact I feel almost disloyal praising the B2 when the B3 so clearly punches above its aperture. I had little or no trouble finding my eye placement with the B3 even with the smaller exit pupil, and I have had no glare problems in the field. (Testing at night I found that a street light at just the right distance and angle way out of field could cause a slight reflection. I've since determined that it was a reflection off of the filter threads at the end of the barrel.) The B3 disappears when I am carrying it and produces excellent views when I look through it. In fact, I expect to have the B3 with me much more often, but when if I specifically set out birding or to do astronomy I'll bring the B2. The B3 may be a better general purpose binocular, but it just cannot quite perform like the B2.
 

Theo98

Eurasian Goldfinch
Alan,

Great to hear all of your comments! I'll be spending some time tomorrow at the Louisiana Sportsman Show & Festival in Gonzales, La. Will be over at the Maven Optics booth with my two EL SV's (10X50 & 8x32) for direct comparisons to the B2 & B3...ought to be very interesting!! :smoke: :t: B :)

Ted
 

Canip

Well-known member
Alan,

Great to hear all of your comments! I'll be spending some time tomorrow at the Louisiana Sportsman Show & Festival in Gonzales, La. Will be over at the Maven Optics booth with my two EL SV's (10X50 & 8x32) for direct comparisons to the B2 & B3...ought to be very interesting!! :smoke: :t: B :)

Ted

Looking forward to your reporting back !!!
 

Theo98

Eurasian Goldfinch
Comparisons

My little trip to the La. Sportsman's Show & Festival was an educational "eye opening" excursion. Meeting Brendon, co-owner, designer and marketing guru for Maven Optics, was as great as getting hands-on experience with the products he has brought to market. Very personable and knowledgeable, Brendon displays passion and pride for the outdoor optic tools they offer. My visit to their booth was filled with sharing of stories, life, but in particular, the Maven binoculars I came to "see"!

Was it fair for me to make direct comparisons (in the venue and outside-bright daylight) with my Swaro EL's that I traveled with...after all, they cost A Lot more $$$ and power or objective sizes didn't perfectly match...well, YES! These are my best, the best (to my eyes) I've ever had the pleasure of glassing with and the tools I use to achieve high quality wildlife\scenic observations in the big outdoors. Brendon welcomed and was appreciative of my hands-on direct approach and at no time offered contradiction or qualification comments and opinions...simply, he was a perfect gentleman! :t:

I do need to qualify that Most areas of performance differences that I mention are very close, subtle and in reality, probably not noticeable without side-by-side glassing actions. A few hours of viewing versus several weeks or months of usage could yield different impressions, but today is what I had and I tried my best to observe as objectively as possible. If you want to skip the below gruesome and gory details, I'll just state up front that IMO (as many others on BF already know), the B2 and B3 perform Way Over their price points and their marketing design and philosophy do offer a superior optical product as a great dollar value to the public! There...said it, recommend it, nuf said (or read on)...


Maven B2 9X45 \ Swaro EL 10X50 SV
Optics
*Resolution- EL due to extra Details and Sharpness from higher power. I can hand hold a steady sight picture with both, giving the SV the edge.
*Colors- Tied, as both offer extremely neutral color renditions throughout the full spectrum. Reds, Greens, Blues etc. are all Very Natural with no detectable color shift hues.
*FOV- Tied. Even though the B2 offers 32ft more, their 90% sweet spot equals out with the FF's in the EL!
*Transmission- Tied. Again, the B2 is rated higher with AK prisms, but the EL has larger objectives. No opportunity to test in challenging light conditions.
*Step-In-View- EL, but with the B2 AK's, very close. Stereopsis king is still in my view, the 10X50 SV.
*Eye Placement- EL. I do not wear glasses, thus fully extend the eye cups. For me, ER on the SV gives me more wiggle room for easy eye placement and quicker FOV acquisition. With the B2, I had to work a little to achieve the perfect EP position...once there, Nice.
*CA- EL. I was able to view bare branches at 150yds against the bright mid-morning blue eastern sky and noticed the B2 rendered their silhouetted edges less defined, less sharp than the EL, which presented the bright lighting challenge edges with clarity and ease.
Ergonomics
*Hand Holding-Tied...both offer balanced holds that are comfortable and allow quick focus access and well controlled image shake. Single hinge on B2 and open bridge on EL are smooth, positive and robust. They are within 2oz of weight and Overall, I could live with either.
Functions
*Focus Wheel- B2...Smooth, Even, Perfect resistance, No Slack, Better tactical feel. I have the "GenII" EL's (2012) and they do have a little stickion and uneven resistance, been thinking of sending them in for service. FWIW, newest GenIII FP 10X50 SV's have focus wheel performance Much Closer and very pleasing as per these B2's!
*Eye Cups- Tied-Although different materials, both adjust smoothly, hold their settings well and are very comfortable on the eye sockets.
*Diopter- Tied-EL is internal to the focus knob and secured, B2 is set on the right barrel and exposed, but is stiff to adjust, thus stays in place.
Build
*EL - Only because they have a long term track record. To be fair, the Maven B2 is the first full size bino I've held or used that feels as well made as the EL SV...that is a Big Compliment!
Value
*B2 - To achieve 95%+ overall performance for 1\3 the retail price...I told Brendon that if I hadn't already invested in the Swaro, a B2 purchase would be a no brainer for a performance\cost ratio consideration!

Maven B3 8X30 \ Swaro EL 8x32 SV
Optics
*Resolution- EL is sharper and resolves more detail, both inside and out. However, any differences were real small.
*Colors- Tied-Same results as with the EL vs B2 above.
*FOV- Tied-Same results as with the EL vs B2 above.
*Transmission- EL-Surprisingly brighter, however I suspect the B3 would be much closer in low challenging lighting conditions.
*Step-In-View- Neither this EL or B3 have as easy a picture-window step in view as their big brothers above. Steropsis is there...barely.
*Eye Placement- Tied as both have comfortable and quick sight achievement, even though the B3 has a smaller EP.
*CA- EL. Same results as with the EL vs B2 above.
Ergonomics
*Hand Holding- Similar to results as with the EL vs B2 above, except EL weights 5 oz more...for me, no big deal.
Functions
*Focus Wheel- Tied-Both are smooth, even, no stickion or slop and have even perfect resistance. As above, the newest FP EL 8x32 SV is even better.
*Eye Cups- Tied-Although different materials, both adjust smoothly, hold their settings well and are very comfortable on the eye sockets.
*Diopter- Tied- Same results as with the EL vs B2 above.
Build
*EL - Only because they have a long term track record. To be fair, the Maven B3 is solid and feels very well built.
Value
*B3 - To achieve 95%+ overall performance for 1\4 the retail price...I told Brendon that if I hadn't already invested in the Swaro, a B3 purchase would be a no brainer for a performance\cost ratio consideration!

Well, hopefully I came across with the understanding that these Maven Optics should\can hold their heads high. It's been said before that entry to mid-tier instruments are close on the heals of the Alphas in performance, but then as far as I know, they Always were! B :)

Ted
 

jgraider

Well-known member
Outstanding Ted, thanks for taking the time and effort to post this up. This was particularly interesting to me because I own the 10x50SV, and would really, really like to find a high performing 8x30/32 that I can really like. Closest thing to that I've owned was the Cabelas Euro 8x32 HD, but had to send it down the road due to perpetutal ER issues that I got tired of fighting with. To be fair though, I've only found one 8x30 class glass that I could get along with in the ER category, and that was the 8x32SV. I sent it down the road though because I couldn't deal with the terrible (IMO) glare control issues.

Your high praise is worth something to me, as is SteveC's assessment. Sounds like the Maven really is a winner. Thanks again.
 

cycleguy

Well-known member
Maven B3 8X30 \ Swaro EL 8x32 SV
Optics
*Resolution- EL is sharper and resolves more detail, both inside and out. However, any differences were real small.
*Colors- Tied-Same results as with the EL vs B2 above.
*FOV- Tied-Same results as with the EL vs B2 above.
*Transmission- EL-Surprisingly brighter, however I suspect the B3 would be much closer in low challenging lighting conditions.
*Step-In-View- Neither this EL or B3 have as easy a picture-window step in view as their big brothers above. Steropsis is there...barely.
*Eye Placement- Tied as both have comfortable and quick sight achievement, even though the B3 has a smaller EP.
*CA- EL. Same results as with the EL vs B2 above.
Ergonomics
*Hand Holding- Similar to results as with the EL vs B2 above, except EL weights 5 oz more...for me, no big deal.
Functions
*Focus Wheel- Tied-Both are smooth, even, no stickion or slop and have even perfect resistance. As above, the newest FP EL 8x32 SV is even better.
*Eye Cups- Tied-Although different materials, both adjust smoothly, hold their settings well and are very comfortable on the eye sockets.
*Diopter- Tied- Same results as with the EL vs B2 above.
Build
*EL - Only because they have a long term track record. To be fair, the Maven B3 is solid and feels very well built.
Value
*B3 - To achieve 95%+ overall performance for 1\4 the retail price...I told Brendon that if I hadn't already invested in the Swaro, a B3 purchase would be a no brainer for a performance\cost ratio consideration!

Well, hopefully I came across with the understanding that these Maven Optics should\can hold their heads high. It's been said before that entry to mid-tier instruments are close on the heals of the Alphas in performance, but then as far as I know, they Always were! B :)

Ted

Here are some of my thoughts/experiences with these two to add to the user opinion pool:
I'm on board with the group that considers the B3 a really good binocular - but not on par with top tier product.
The view thru the EL can be brilliant... the B3 is very very good. The B3 is lacking in sweet spot size where the EL has FF and brings amazing sharpness out close to the edges. Much farther out than I find useful. I think the sweet spot size of the B3 is its biggest shortcoming to considering it an alpha class glass. I was able to find best sharpness/detail with the EL much quicker and easier than with the B3... so I have to get used to the B3 for a short bit when I first take it out and then can make it work well quicker. I've admired colors thru the EL since it was first introduced and still do, however, I have no problems with the colors seen thru the B3. I suspect its how well the EL handles whites that help set it apart. The EL is a bit brighter view and has a bit more of that top tier glass clarity/sparkle to it. Both bins seem to be about equal regarding stray light which seems to be a slight bit off par when compared to the best performers. As with most decent binoculars, CA isn't apparent in the center but shows to some degree on the edge. The B3 seems to show it a bit sooner and a slight bit more than the EL.
The B3 is wonderfully small and feels great in my hand and lends itself to being toted around and backpacked along on hikes. I prefer the single hinge design and find the B3 a joy to hold. The two hinge design of the EL isn't a deal killer for me but the distance between the hinges doesn't allow me to wrap my fingers around the barrels comfortably so I have to find another way to hold the binocular and adjust for this.
The EL seems to me the better construction/build quality. I much prefer the hidden central hinge diopter adjustment of the EL with the notched settings vs the friction ring setting on the right barrel of the B3. The focus mechanism of the EL is not silky smooth like high end Nikon product, and the focus mechanism on the B3 is a bit stiffer than I prefer; but both do the job. The EL eyecups are top notch and highly comfortable, and those of the B3 do fine but are not to the level of refinement like the EL. The build quality of the EL is top notch and that of the B3 is very good.
In the end I really wanted to like the EL but it didn't happen. For any of the shortcomings I find in these binoculars, I can find it acceptable for a $500 binocular but not as much so for a $2K binocular. The big problem for me was experiencing rolling ball with the EL when doing anything more than super slow motion panning. I ended out selling the EL and holding onto the B3. I've been content enough with the B3 that I gifted a pair last year.
My B3 has resided with me for over a year and in the company of an 8x32 Conquest HD, a Nikon Eii 8x30, a 7x42 UVHD+, a Nikon 7x42 EDG, and an Opticron Bga Classic 7x36. I'd be happy with any of them as my one and only binocular ('cept for the porro as I prefer the ergs of roofs)... and the B3 gives the added benefit of being a small lightweight glass to take along on walks and hikes which is when most of my binocular use happens.

My .02, :cat:
CG
 

Theo98

Eurasian Goldfinch
The view thru the EL can be brilliant... the B3 is very very good. The B3 is lacking in sweet spot size where the EL has FF and brings amazing sharpness out close to the edges. Much farther out than I find useful. I think the sweet spot size of the B3 is its biggest shortcoming to considering it an alpha class glass. I was able to find best sharpness/detail with the EL much quicker and easier than with the B3...
CG

CG,

Thanks for your experienced thoughts (which is stirring me to retract my initial B3 FOV comments).

With my very short time using the B3 and too much "copy\paste" activity in my review, I didn't accurately state my FOV findings in post 194. The B3 has about a 75% in-focus sweet spot, with a gradual roll off to the edge in sharpness. Although it is rated with 10ft more FOV than the EL, in reality it feels like it is almost 100ft less. As you said, I still find that very usable but prefer the full edge expansive sharpness in the EL 8X32, as my peripheral vision is excellent!

The B3 is the smallest compact 30\32ish pair I have used or glassed with and is comfortable to hold and has a very solid feel to it. Braden confirmed that this was one of his goals in producing the B3 as the "pocket" market is low demand, thus he said they probably won't produce a model in that 25mm size. However, the diminutive B3 seems to fill that niche well!

Ted
 

Steve C

Well-known member
Ted,

I mostly agree with your observations. I reply mostly to indicate personal differences. From your observations I take it you must have pretty small hands. Mine are above average, 10" span, and for me the SV series is fairly uncomfortable. This applies more to the 10x50 rather than either of the 42 mm siblings. This is due largely to the small space between the barrels in the x50 SV. The greater length of the B2 as well as the wider gap between barrels due to the B 2 AK design makes the B2 far easier for me to hold. The B 2 is the best ergonomic balance for me that exists in any binocular. However that is strictly a personal deal, so this is just my personal observation. Obviously that will not apply to everybody.

The B 2 is better at CA and glare control than the SV series are. The SV was actually fine as there was not a particular problem, just the pair of attributes is far easier to induce with the SV series.

I agree there is a somewhat apples to oranges effect present in looking at the brightness of the 10x50 and the 9x45. The X50 SV did show a momentary advantage , but the effect is illusory, the effect vanishes by the second time you switch back and forth in some sort of real life outside side by side comparison. Really not much observable difference in the 9x45 and the 8.5x 42 SV, which is a better comparison. I'd call brightness a draw with the 42 mm SV, and I think it likely most would think the x50 SV was a tad brighter. One thing I think the 10x50 SV showed me was that if you want 10x, better to go to the 50 mm objective.
 

Theo98

Eurasian Goldfinch
Ted,

I mostly agree with your observations. I reply mostly to indicate personal differences. From your observations I take it you must have pretty small hands. Mine are above average, 10" span, and for me the SV series is fairly uncomfortable. This applies more to the 10x50 rather than either of the 42 mm siblings. This is due largely to the small space between the barrels in the x50 SV. The greater length of the B2 as well as the wider gap between barrels due to the B 2 AK design makes the B2 far easier for me to hold. The B 2 is the best ergonomic balance for me that exists in any binocular. However that is strictly a personal deal, so this is just my personal observation. Obviously that will not apply to everybody.

The B 2 is better at CA and glare control than the SV series are. The SV was actually fine as there was not a particular problem, just the pair of attributes is far easier to induce with the SV series.

I agree there is a somewhat apples to oranges effect present in looking at the brightness of the 10x50 and the 9x45. The X50 SV did show a momentary advantage , but the effect is illusory, the effect vanishes by the second time you switch back and forth in some sort of real life outside side by side comparison. Really not much observable difference in the 9x45 and the 8.5x 42 SV, which is a better comparison. I'd call brightness a draw with the 42 mm SV, and I think it likely most would think the x50 SV was a tad brighter. One thing I think the 10x50 SV showed me was that if you want 10x, better to go to the 50 mm objective.

Hi Steve,

I bow to the man...yours are bigger ;), but not by much :-O! Actually, the hold that I have developed over the years (on binoculars) helps me in stabilizing the 10X view image shake. I do not grip the barrels in any full size, but rather use my relatively large hands\fingers to support the underside of each tube, kind of like shock absorbers. This hold also lowers my upper arms, anchoring them to my chest providing additional weight and shake control. This "technique" allows me comfort in managing over 40oz for 10+ minutes per each viewing stretch. You are correct, the 10X50 gap doesn't allow normal to large hands to wrap the barrels. Fortunately, using a heavy large pair of 12X50 porros for 35 years, I adapted (for me), this more comfortable and stable hold. I'm sure it Looks funny to others, but works for me!

I'm not particularly sensitive to CA and not bothered by any shortcomings in this regard with the 2 EL's I have. What I saw outside with both Mavens (described in post 194) was a slight de-sharpening of branch edges in a high contrast area (bright blue sky\tops of bare trees\45 degree angle facing eastern 10am sun). There was no color bloom or fringing, so I may have called this observation incorrectly? Also the time I spent doing these comparisons (inside & outside), No glare issues appeared with any optics.

I called the 9X45 and 10X50 equal in brightness\transmission (both with a 5 EP, daylight viewing only). Dawn\dusk would have been a much better indication of any discernible differences, but that opportunity didn't arise.

I was really taken back at the substantial and solid build of the B2 (B3 is also great). It handles, feels, and looks like the top $$$ Alphas and as you stated, it does have wonderful ergonomics. IMHO, it's crystaline\accurate FOV achieves at least 95% of the big EL, this certainly being a very positive achievement! Overall, Well worth more than its price-of-admission! :t:

Ted
 
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Steve C

Well-known member
Hi Steve,

I bow to the man...yours are bigger ;), but not by much :-O! Actually, the hold that I have developed over the years (on binoculars) helps me in stabilizing the 10X view image shake.
...

I was really taken back at the substantial and solid build of the B2 (B3 is also great). It handles, feels, and looks like the top $$$ Alphas and as you stated, it does have wonderful ergonomics. IMHO, it's crystaline\accurate FOV achieves at least 95% of the big EL, this certainly being a very positive achievement! Overall, Well worth more than its price-of-admission! :t:

Ted

Ted,

OK now if we ever meet somewhere between Oregon and Louisiana we can high five and shake hands on equal terms of hand size B :)

I wondered only because I thought the overall feel of the SV 10x50 was sort of ...well, chubby.

We stand in agreement on those facets of that binocular that matter ;).
 

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