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

Steve C

Well-known member
Nice review Steve.

I reviewed the 10X42 B1 (SP prism) model, and found much the same as you did with the B2. The B1 really is an impressive binocular at that price point, and offers other great real world features including standard 49mm filter threads and very good hydrophobic coating performance.

I must agree with Alexis on CA control: It is important to all viewers, sensitive or not.

Hey Matt, nice review on the B1 ;). It took a minute for your name to sink in past the OT handle. To repeat, I do agree it is important for everyone. To repeat again, I think readers of a review would be better served to know whether the reviewer sees CA or not. That is why I always indicate I do not. I find I tend to skim past reviewer concerns over CA. Since I'm not sensitive to it, I don't want to maybe mislead somebody.

Like many things, some features have more or less importance for some than others. I really don't like to spend a lot of time on CA. I do not want to sensitize myself to it. I think you understand that.
 
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james holdsworth

Consulting Biologist
What is Maven then? Are they just the media arm for Kamakura in America? They certainly don't look like an optics company, more of a restyler, customizer.
 

perterra

Well-known member
What is Maven then? Are they just the media arm for Kamakura in America? They certainly don't look like an optics company, more of a restyler, customizer.

They appear to be a marketing and sales company. They dont appear to be tied to anyone. If you type in their street address in google there are several companies that pop up.
 

jgraider

Well-known member
From what I've gathered so far, it's quite OK for the Swarovision fan clan to bash a reviewer who sees the dreaded rolling ball, by saying not everyone sees it so it really isn't worth mentioning in a review, but it's very much OK and expected that a reviewer mention CA in a binocular that's not a household name, even though not everyone will ever see it. Very predictable in many ways.
 

NDhunter

Experienced observer
United States
Hey Matt, nice review on the B1 ;). It took a minute for your name to sink in past the OT handle. To repeat, I do agree it is important for everyone. To repeat again, I think readers of a review would be better served to know whether the reviewer sees CA or not. That is why I always indicate I do not. I find I tend to skim past reviewer concerns over CA. Since I'm not sensitive to it, I don't want to maybe mislead somebody.

Like many things, some features have more or less importance for some than others. I really don't like to spend a lot of time on CA. I do not want to sensitize myself to it. I think you understand that.

Steve:

You have provided a nice review, but I do find some highly subjective
things in it, and that is common with many reviews.

The CA thing, that is in the Rokslide review, shows a resolution chart
with photos, and the CA difference is apparent. You don't want or care
to spend any time with this issue, but it is there, and important to
many observers. Most reviewers know and understand CA, and how it affects binocular performance.

Your review says "I am not able to give the resolution specs. but this binocular is as close to the limit of human optical acuity as anything you will buy." That is hard to judge without careful study and comparison.

The comparisons you made in your review would have been better if you
had the Maven B1 with the SP design, to compare with the
similar Zeiss and Swarovski models.

Maven made the B2 with Abbe Koenig prisms to compete with the Zeiss
Victory HT.

Reviews are subject to evaluation, so don't feel bad, you told us what
you thought. Nothing wrong with that. ;)

Jerry
 

perterra

Well-known member
From what I've gathered so far, it's quite OK for the Swarovision fan clan to bash a reviewer who sees the dreaded rolling ball, by saying not everyone sees it so it really isn't worth mentioning in a review, but it's very much OK and expected that a reviewer mention CA in a binocular that's not a household name, even though not everyone will ever see it. Very predictable in many ways.

I suspect it's more of an effort by Steve to keep from turning this into a Denco maven bashfest while he pumps what ever it is he wants to sell this time.
 

Pinewood

New York correspondent
United States
Just because a person is not consciously aware of CA doesn't make it go away--it is still there degrading the view. So even users who don't see CA should be interested from reviews whether a binocular deals with it well or not. Binoculars with low CA will provide a better view for all users.

--AP

Hello Alexis,

Quite so. Colour fringing is just the most egregious form of CA. Fuzzy edges, in high contrast situations are not so obvious but detectable with a little effort.

Fast lenses and internal focussing add to CA, which is why some older designs, like the later Zeiss ClassiCs 7x42 and 10x40 with phase coating, still keep some bird watchers happy.

Happy bird watching,
Arthur
 

Steve C

Well-known member
Steve:

You have provided a nice review, but I do find some highly subjective
things in it, and that is common with many reviews.

The CA thing, that is in the Rokslide review, shows a resolution chart
with photos, and the CA difference is apparent. You don't want or care
to spend any time with this issue, but it is there, and important to
many observers. Most reviewers know and understand CA, and how it affects binocular performance.

Your review says "I am not able to give the resolution specs. but this binocular is as close to the limit of human optical acuity as anything you will buy." That is hard to judge without careful study and comparison.

The comparisons you made in your review would have been better if you
had the Maven B1 with the SP design, to compare with the
similar Zeiss and Swarovski models.

Maven made the B2 with Abbe Koenig prisms to compete with the Zeiss
Victory HT.

Reviews are subject to evaluation, so don't feel bad, you told us what
you thought. Nothing wrong with that. ;)

Jerry

You are right about the subjective nature of reviews. Consider also the subjective nature of the objections.

Your eyes sees a image that it likes or it doesn't. I think your eye could care less what binocular design it is. That test is sort of pass fail.

I welcome discussion of the evaluation I gave. This is a good binocular and deserves a look. That is the only reason I did the review in the first place. Believe it or not ;)
 

brocknroller

A professed porromaniac
United States
Brock,

Well I more or less expected this, not critical, just an observation. ;)

I sent them the Conquest video with the suggestion they replicate it. Since the B2 is Kamakura and so is the Conquest HD, I figured it might be a good idea. The dealer thing is problematic, you are right. They are aware of that. I suggested a couple of things along with the video. They are planning to upgrade their site and are probably monitoring this so this may be a good place to make helpful suggestions. With no dealers they need to figure ways to get people inside the binoculars more or less virtually through the website. You are correct I have plenty of stuff to shoot it with ;).

This is the link to the build your own page, maybe that will get you there.
http://app.mavenbuilt.com/#/B1/0842...072/2900082L/2900082R/2900103/2900092/2900112

You are full of it about your CA sensitivity being normal. ;) We've gone around with this before. I have checked with everybody I know in the Optics world from engineers to product managers, to dealers and every one of them thinks that most people do not see CA. Because you do see it, you think your reality is or should be everybody's reality. CA control is a design goal because it is an optical fact of life, some people don't see it, some people do see it, and they are vocal about it, so a well controlled CA design is therefore a good thing. I can see why they are vocal about it too, don't get that wrong, but because I don't see does not mean I don't think there are those that do. I do know some who have, to their ultimate grief, taught themselves CA sensitivity. You have even questioned my eye sight (thinking I'm color blind) because I don't see it. Those that do see it can not seem to come to grips with the fact there are those who don't and that there may well more that don't see it than those who do. Now I am wide open to well documented information that says otherwise. I've been wrong before, and might be here, but I'm not wasting any time chasing that weasel around the mulberry bush.

I'm glad you liked the review. This is a heck of a binocular and it deserves a good review. I tried to be as straight forward, objective and realistic as I could, but I see there is no way I'll escape the glowing thing ;).

Steve,

If Maven can duplicate the test results of the Conquest HD, that would be the best marketing they could do, better than their "mountain town" mumbo jumbo. I was really impressed with that video. It's comforting to know that if I'm out birding on gamelands and a hunter shoots at pheasants or turkeys and misses, the Conquest will absorb the buckshot. :eat:

That link is what I posted earlier, but I had to turn on four cookies in order to make the options work. It's amazing how many options there are, you can even make different colored ocular rings or objective rings on ether side, though why anyone would want asymmetrical coloring is a mystery.

I made my B2 all black since I don't like shiny surfaces on my bins for aesthetic reasons and because they glint in the sun. The only thing I like two-toned are women in bikinis and 1950s cars. I call the all black B2, the Stealth. The only part I colorized was the "M" logo, which looked cool in red.

You can make any of the options black or gray/silver without charge. For the armor, they offer FIVE styles of camo, which will cost you $50 to $100 extra, depending on the pattern. Alas, no pinko camo for ladies and socialists. ;)

The funny thing about your remarks about ME seeing the world through chromatically aberrated glasses is that I was thinking the same thing about YOU when I read your dismissive post about CA, that you see the world through ED glasses.

I thought the fact that so many companies offer ED glass now and that all the alphas top models have it, and the experts weighed in on why companies added it to roofs would have persuaded you otherwise. As to all the engineers and industry people you polled, what do you expect them to say? Yes, our binoculars do have chromatic aberration, we need to add ED glass, but we're afraid the extra cost will drive customers away? I think we need to do a BF poll on CA. Do you see it, yes or no. If you see it, does it bother you? However, it's not that simple.

Under the right conditions, I see CA in every bin without ED glass and even in some with ED glass, but not to the same degree. Some non-ED bins such as my SE show very little CA. Conditions have to be deplorable for the SE to show enough to be distracting whereas the EII shows more. That's partly due to the much wider FOV (more edge, more CA).

The 10x42 SLC-HD showed no CA on-axis no matter how high the background contrast whereas I could induce some CA slightly off-axis in the 10x42 EDG. Both use ED glass.

So it's not like either you're "sensitive" to it or not, but if you can see it, how much do you see in a particular bin, and is it enough to be distracting to you?

The fact that you can't see CA in any bin doesn't mean it's not there, it's there and it can be photographed, but somehow your brain chooses to filter it out. I think having a CA filter brain is less common than those who see CA to some degree or another, depending on lighting conditions, but since you think I'm "full of it," I'd need a poll to convince you since in addition to your brain filtering out CA, it apparently also filters out posts from members who report seeing CA with their bins! ;)

If you send me the Maven B2, I'll let you know how much CA it has, and then I'll send it to Henry so he can prove me right. :smoke:

Brock
 
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Steve C

Well-known member
Steve,

I think we need to do a BF poll on CA. Do you see it, yes or no. If you see it, does it bother you? However, it's not that simple.

So it's not like either you're "sensitive" to it or not, but if you can see it, how much do you see and is it enough to be distracting to you. The fact that you can't see it doesn't mean it's not there, it's there and it can be photographed, but somehow your brain chooses to filter it out. I think having such a filter is less common than those who see CA to one degree or another, but since you think I'm "full of it," I'd need a poll to convince you of that since in addition to your brain filtering out CA, it apparently also filters out posts from members who report CA in this or that bin! ;)

Send me your B2 and I'll let you know how much CA it has and then I'll send it to Henry so he can prove me right. :smoke:

Brock

I don't disagree totally with your post. However I would tend to think differently if I had ever quizzed anybody in field, use encounters that had even a remote idea of what CA was. I'm still looking for my first CA aware non binocular nut. I don't think that CA sensitive types can have a proper viewpoint on what it is like to not see it, save crappy optics and severe conditions where guys like me can maybe get it to show itself.

Personally, I like the leafy looking $100 camo. Throw in gray ocular rings, gray main focus wheel, and green focus wheel borders with green objective rings. My second choice sounds a lot like yours.

AP posted earlier about the importance of CA, whether you see it or not. So did you, so did Jerry, so did Arthur, so probably there will be others. I have always thought it was a step less my brain needed to go through to eliminate the sight. I'm not sure you CA sensitive guys have the ability to grasp what a non CA sensitive view is. If I don't see it and you do and we both oohh and aaahhh over the view in a terrific binocular neither of us see CA in, is the image brighter/better for me? Is it worse for you? Does it matter? How do I see the image as degraded when it clearly is not?

I keep getting to the point where I feel obligated to state my CA insensitivity.

I understand CA exists. I understand it can be photographed. I can see it in photos, but not in the actual view through the glass. When I do get it to pop up, trust me, I can see where it is a MAJOR problem if you do see it. I understand I don't normally see it. A lot of people don't understand that.

Anyway, enough of CA.
 

FrankD

Well-known member
A couple of thoughts after reading the thread up until this point.....


1. It is funny how the direction of this thread has now become all CA-oriented. This stemming from the linked review on Rokslide primarily. Anything else worth discussing about this binocular? Light transmission maybe? Sweet spot size?, etc...?

2. If memory serves me correctly there was some discussion about CA being notably present in AK prism binoculars. I think that originally came up with one of the pre-FL Zeiss Victory models and possibly also the original Zeiss Conquest 40 mm models...both of which had AK prisms but did not use ED glass in the objectives. Well, the Mavens have ED glass with the AK prisms (in the 45 mm models that is) so is it possible that less CA is present in the 45 mm models versus the 42 mm models? That could possibly be another explanation for the difference in reviewers opinions beyond the issue of how sensitive one is to CA.

3. Speaking of CA, folks have been sort of discussing the issue without really being specific. Are we talking longitudinal or lateral CA? I am assuming longitudinal since the 42 mm review specified resolution charts which are typically centered in the field of view. However it should be mentioned in discussion because pretty much every binocular I have looked through displays some lateral CA but not necessarily longitudinal CA. I think it is a fair point to make the some folks don't differentiate between the two when commenting on the issue.
 

Pileatus

"Experientia Docet”
United States
Counter clockwise focus. End of story.

PS
Color options are not going to sell a $1000 bin. By the way, what's the return policy on customized bins...if there is a return policy?
 

FrankD

Well-known member
Counter clockwise focus. End of story.

PS
Color options are not going to sell a $1000 bin. By the way, what's the return policy on customized bins...if there is a return policy?

Another good point John but this reminds me somewhat of the CA issue but to different extent. Some folks don't have an issue with counterclockwise focus while others do. Some may even prefer it.
 

Pileatus

"Experientia Docet”
United States
Another good point John but this reminds me somewhat of the CA issue but to different extent. Some folks don't have an issue with counterclockwise focus while others do. Some may even prefer it.
I'd follow the alphas as much as possible if I was putting out a "new" model. We have a clockwise 6X32 that I no longer use, in part due to focus direction. Guests seem to enjoy it!:-C
 

perterra

Well-known member
I'd follow the alphas as much as possible if I was putting out a "new" model. We have a clockwise 6X32 that I no longer use, in part due to focus direction. Guests seem to enjoy it!:-C

I never pay much attention to focus direction, just adapt and go.

At one point I had all at the same time, a motorcycle that was right side shift, two that were left side shift. One had a four down rotary pattern, one was one up and four down, the other was one down and four up. It's just what it is.
 

Steve C

Well-known member
Counter clockwise focus. End of story.

PS
Color options are not going to sell a $1000 bin. By the way, what's the return policy on customized bins...if there is a return policy?

Put the focus aside. The whole point is that if this binocular has, oh Zeiss for example, armor and logo, not even you would bat an eye at a $2,000 price tag. This is not the typical $1,000 binocular. That's why I bought it and why I posted the review.

This will go to Frank in a while and he can have it for awhile. If you really think you can put petty objections aside and really take a long hard look at it for yourself, you might get what I'm saying. If my recollection are right you and he are reasonably close to each other.

I have no idea how much you might like it, or even how much you think it compares to whatever else, I'm not wanting to get anybody to trade off anything they have and are happy with. That is not the point.

The bulk of their custom purchases come from folks who use the demo function, decide pretty quick they like it and send it back for the custom work. If they do that the return rate will be close to zero. Unless the function of the binocular fails somehow, then the warranty is still in full force.

I realized from the outset this was going to be a difficult point to make.
 
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SteveTS

Well-known member
I realized from the outset this was going to be a difficult point to make.

Some of us aren't finding it difficult, and thanks for the excellent practical review, Steve, I appreciate all the time and attention you put into it.

I tend to buy what I wish without regard for company longevity or pride of position ; I have binos from discontinued lines sold without any warranty (Burris), binos that have no overseas warranty (Weaver), binos with short warranty (Byfield), binos with long warranty (Zeiss), binos where the aftermarket service can be an expensive experience (Nikon) or a delight (Vortex), amongst others. Some commentators get really tied up with what they think 'most people' would do, well I don't know most people ... and I'll probably end up buying a Maven 9x45 just because I'd like to see the field and have a lot of practical use for it. The balance of ergos looks good even if it doesn't have a centre dioptre or ipd lock !

Cut out all the relentless repetitive merry-go-round of CA and this is quite a good thread.
 
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henry link

Well-known member
I don't have any trouble believing that this binocular could be as good or even better than similar models from "alpha" brands. I doubt that I will order one, just because 9x45 is not quite what I want. An 8x50 with the same AFOV would have harder to resist.
 

brocknroller

A professed porromaniac
United States
Put the focus aside. The whole point is that if this binocular has, oh Zeiss for example, armor and logo, not even you would bat an eye at a $2,000 price tag. This is not the typical $1,000 binocular. That's why I bought it and why I posted the review.

This will go to Frank in a while and he can have it for awhile. If you really think you can put petty objections aside and really take a long hard look at it for yourself, you might get what I'm saying. If my recollection are right you and he are reasonably close to each other.

I have no idea how much you might like it, or even how much you think it compares to whatever else, I'm not wanting to get anybody to trade off anything they have and are happy with. That is not the point.

The bulk of their custom purchases come from folks who use the demo function, decide pretty quick they like it and send it back for the custom work. If they do that the return rate will be close to zero. Unless the function of the binocular fails somehow, then the warranty is still in full force.

I realized from the outset this was going to be a difficult point to make.

Steve,

I apparently missed this earlier, I thought the Mavens were loaners like others you have reviewed, I didn't realize you had purchased them. That's a horse of a different CA-free color. You put your money where your mouth is (probably some minnows in there, too :).

I know you don't have silo full of money unless you're a tax-evading rancher like Cliven Bundy, so if you laid out a grand for these and are willing to take a chance on this new company, the B2s must be exceptional, because you're an experienced user of binoculars. You should send your review to Maven and let them excerpt it on their Website. They have one excerpt on there already. I give more credence to user reviews than I do marketing copy.

Thanks for explaining the return policy, how you get to try the stock item first, and then if you like the bin, send it back for customization. I was wondering how that worked last night when I kept trying different combos before finally coming up with the options I liked best, which was rather minimalist, just a little white up top and red objective rings (to indicate the ED glass). Unfortunately, the program wouldn't let me download my finished bin, otherwise, I would have posted a photo of it.

I hope I have sufficiently ingratiated myself. Frank, you have my address, don't you? ;)

Brock
 

Bitterroot Birds

Well-known member
Steve,

I am sorry if the CA pic from my review has caused you any grief. It is particularly interesting in that we did not even review the same model of binocular.

If it is any consolation, I have also been receiving angry responses from certain brand aficianados. Some might be surprised that they really like these binoculars, even if they are not perfect in every way.

-Matt
 

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