• 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.

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

Steve C

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
Matt,

There are no worries on my part. I mostly led myself into the CA discussion anyway. I'd still like to know if people trust CA comments from a CA sensitive like you, or a CA insensitive type like me, or if we are both suspect.

I have a hunch the B1 is a lot like the Leupold GR, any thoughts there?

I don't worry about critical responses much. I knew they would come here. But as I keep saying I did the review because I think this is a binocular worthy of discussion.
 

Steve C

Well-known member
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 :)

Brock
Curiosity leads me to the question. If I am serious binocular viewer why should it be necessary to have to buy a binocular to have credence in a review? Maven does not have enough money to buy the review they got. I did it because I wanted everybody to know what I thought of it because it think it is worth it. If I would not have liked it they would have it back and I would not have posted anything.
 

Alexis Powell

Natural history enthusiast
United States
Steve C,

I didn't/don't want to turn this thread into a CA discussion (but see responses below) and I appreciate that your responses on that topic are earnest and measured.

Thanks for your review of these interesting binoculars. The impressive close focus and focusing ratio makes them potentially of great utility for birding+butterflying, though it seems they have a _very_ fast focusing rate, like the B&L Elite (waterproof version) and the Nikon x32 LXL models. Do you find it difficult to get precise focus at distance, or when tracking birds flying towards/away from you?

I am disappointed by the counter-clockwise to infinity direction. I use bins of both types, but since I focus with my right hand I much prefer clockwise to infinity. I wish all manufacturers would follow the L/Z/S and top-end Nikon "standard".

...I'm still looking for my first CA aware non binocular nut...

You'll find them among photographers and astronomy enthusiasts. But perhaps you mean a CA-aware person who is optics naive. I've encountered many of them among my students, using bins for the first time. Many don't comment on CA because they don't have the vocabulary, but mainly because they expect all sorts of optical ills when they look through an optical device. In other words, they don't comment on _any_ optical ills and just accept, based on their past history with cheap and horrible binoculars, cameras, telescopes (installed for public use at scenic overlooks), etc that a fun-house view is inherent to all optics. When the topic of bins first comes up, many react by saying "Oh, I've found I can see things as well or better with my eyes". They are so used to not being able to see through bins that they often don't understand why birders use them. What they find amazing is the view through a quality bin or scope. They say things like "Hey, you can actually see things better through the binoculars!" or "With these, you can actually see the bird, like you are looking at it!" or "It makes the bird look different and more real because you can see how it looks!" or "With these, you can see that the bird has details that you have to use binoculars to see!"

...I'm not sure you CA sensitive guys have the ability to grasp what a non CA sensitive view is...

Actually, I think many of us do. When I don't direct my consciousness to it, I am able to ignore it much of the time and many circumstances, whether in my eyeglasses or my binoculars.

...AP posted earlier about the importance of CA, whether you see it or not... ...I have always thought it was a step less my brain needed to go through to eliminate the sight... ...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?... ...How do I see the image as degraded when it clearly is not?...

Our brains probably have some ability to correct for CA (a sort of deconvolution ability), but that ability has to be very limited (as is that of image editing programs, like Adobe Photoshop) in comparison to our ability to remove its presence from awareness, which has almost no limits when it comes to CA and many other aspects of perception, visual or otherwise. So even when we are not aware of CA, our view is made up from point "data" where different colors of light coming from the same point coordinates in the world do not focus to the same point on our retina. Consequently, the view will be lower in contrast and color definition, and ultimately, in apparent sharpness.

The ability/inability to "see" rolling ball (that others sometimes make) is to me not the same. In that case, it is an issue of how the brain interprets the sensory information, so if the spatial interpretive framework is correct or once it is corrected, the problem is nonexistant or fixed. Rolling ball exists in the mind's eye only, it is an issue of perception, not the underlying "data", not the way light reaches the eye and is brought to the retina. It can't be photographed, though photos or videos can evoke it.

Perhaps a better comparison is to when one's brain corrects for pincushion, barrel, or other such distortions. The inferences that the brain makes about proper dimensional relationships can be quite accurate, so when the "data" is replotted properly on the spatial coordinate grid of the mind's eye, it can be fixed (kind of like correcting for pincushion, barrel, or keystone distortions in Adobe Photoshop), not just removed from consciousness. But we can still be fooled, as sometimes is made use of in architecture (e.g. in the design of some Greek columns and colonnades). Luckily, being fooled in those ways probably has little importance for birding, which is all about fine scale color and contrast distinctions, and where shape discernment is done at a spatial scale too small to be affected by small errors in the overall projection of a scene in our mind's eye.

--AP
 
Last edited:

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
OK. We will see if these Maven's are any good. I ordered a B.3 8x30 in grey/ black which is a stock color for $500. These have piqued my curiosity. Full report to follow.
I will compare my Maven 8x30 to my Swarovision 8x32. I know you may say it is not in the same league but Steve says these are near alpha quality. They both have similar specifications. ED glass, dielectric prism coatings, 430 foot FOV and SP prisms. I will start a new groundbreaking thread called "Alpha's for less Moola $$?". How does that sound? A full review to come on Steve's wonder binocular. I must say the ordering process was very stress free. I just ordered online and within an hour I received confirmation that my binoculars were shipped out and I would have them Thursday. Not too bad! So I will evaluate them over the weekend and the big honest review will be coming. I will evaluate them especially for CA since that seems to be a weak point on these and I will really look at glare because to me they look suspiciously like Nikon Monarch 7's which had a glare problem. If these do too they might have similar optics. The Nikon's are made in China these are supposed to be made in Japan. We will see. Watch for the big review. So Steve make sure I get a cherry pair because the future of Maven is dependent on my much publicized review.
 
Last edited:

Bitterroot Birds

Well-known member
I will compare my Maven 8x30 to my Swarovision 8x32. I know you may say it is not in the same league but Steve says these are near alpha quality. They both have similar specifications. ED glass, dielectric prism coatings, 420 foot FOV and SP prisms. I will start a new groundbreaking thread called "Alpha's for less Moola $$?". How does that sound? A full review to come on Steve's wonder binocular. I must say the ordering process was very stress free. I just ordered online and within an order I received confirmation that my binoculars were shipped out and I would have them Thursday. Not too bad! So I will evaluate them over the weekend and the big honest review will be coming. I will evaluate them especially for CA since that seems to be a weak point on these and I will really look at glare because to me they look suspiciously like Nikon Monarch 7's which had a glare problem. If these do too they might have similar optics. The Nikon's are made in China these are supposed to be made in Japan. We will see. Watch for the big review. So Steve make sure I get a cherry pair because the future of Maven is dependent on my much publicized review.

What a funny post!

I am certainly interested to get your take as I haven't heard about any reviews of the 30mm model (B3).

Frankly, your sarcastic tone makes me concerned about your ability to take an honest look at them.

I don't think Steve mentioned looking at that model, which is significantly different than the model (B2) he reviewed. He didn't say anything remotely like the B3 is alpha quality.

So who is to say CA is or may be a weak point on that model? Why would you approach it with any preconceived ideas about how it will perform if you are really interested in reviewing it?
 

perterra

Well-known member
What a funny post!

I am certainly interested to get your take as I haven't heard about any reviews of the 30mm model (B3).

Frankly, your sarcastic tone makes me concerned about your ability to take an honest look at them.

I don't think Steve mentioned looking at that model, which is significantly different than the model (B2) he reviewed. He didn't say anything remotely like the B3 is alpha quality.

So who is to say CA is or may be a weak point on that model? Why would you approach it with any preconceived ideas about how it will perform if you are really interested in reviewing it?

He normally tries to make every thread about himself. He is the "internet expert".
 

brocknroller

A professed porromaniac
United States
Curiosity leads me to the question. If I am serious binocular viewer why should it be necessary to have to buy a binocular to have credence in a review? Maven does not have enough money to buy the review they got. I did it because I wanted everybody to know what I thought of it because it think it is worth it. If I would not have liked it they would have it back and I would not have posted anything.

The answer is because you review so many binoculars, but you don't buy all of those you review, do you? If so, you must have a warehouse full at this point! So when you actually buy one that you reviewed, particularly one that costs a grand (or more, depending on which options you choose), that kicks up the credence level in my book (which will likely be out before Bill Cook's ;)).

I don't understand about Maven not having enough money to buy the review they have. If you bought the bin to promote it (which I didn't think was your motivation, but that's what you wrote above), then why "sell" your review to Maven? I'm a professional writer, so I get paid for what I write (except on BF, which is a tax write-off), but if I were impressed with a product from a new company and wanted to help them grow, I wouldn't charge them money for my review, I'd ask to get paid in color options. ;)

What you wrote above about not posting a review if you didn't like the bin was a bit shocking, because you're implying that if a company sends you a bin to try for free, you feel obligated to either give it two thumbs up or not say anything at all.

One thumb down or two thumbs down reviews are just as important as two thumbs up reviews. After all, how are we to separate the wheat from the chaff if the only binoculars reviewers reviewed were the ones they liked? :h?:

If Stephen Ingraham had done this, Zeiss might never have fixed the resolution problem with the original Victories and the meat-hook strap lugs, and Ingraham probably would never have gotten an job at Zeiss!
 
Last edited:

ceasar

Well-known member
I will compare my Maven 8x30 to my Swarovision 8x32. I know you may say it is not in the same league but Steve says these are near alpha quality. They both have similar specifications. ED glass, dielectric prism coatings, 430 foot FOV and SP prisms. I will start a new groundbreaking thread called "Alpha's for less Moola $$?". How does that sound? A full review to come on Steve's wonder binocular. I must say the ordering process was very stress free. I just ordered online and within an order I received confirmation that my binoculars were shipped out and I would have them Thursday. Not too bad! So I will evaluate them over the weekend and the big honest review will be coming. I will evaluate them especially for CA since that seems to be a weak point on these and I will really look at glare because to me they look suspiciously like Nikon Monarch 7's which had a glare problem. If these do too they might have similar optics. The Nikon's are made in China these are supposed to be made in Japan. We will see. Watch for the big review. So Steve make sure I get a cherry pair because the future of Maven is dependent on my much publicized review.

Dennis,

The Maven you are reviewing is a $500.00 binocular and you will be comparing it to your $2400.00 Swarovision.

That doesn't make much sense to me. There can be only 2 conclusions. If the Maven is as good as the SV it is under-priced and alternatively the SV is over-priced. If the SV beats it hollow it won't be news.

Why not compare it to your 8x30 CL Companion instead? You still have it don't you? The Mavin has a jump start on the FOV there.

Do you have a Monarch 7 8x30 in your possession to compare with the Maven? I seem to recall that you got rid of one a while back because of "glare" problems so will this review be based on your memory?

Bob
 

Steve C

Well-known member
Brock,
I meant that they did not buy the interview. They did not try. I post what I post because it is what I want to post. I do not want to get the idea that I can be given a few bucks or a binocular and give somebody a good review. Maven knew what was in the review after I posted it. I called them and told them it was up and going.

As far as I'm concerned it really does not matter if I buy it or if its is loaned. However, the great majority of what I have I bought. If it is a loaner and I don't like it I send it back with thanks. If I like it I post a review. Actually when I go after a loaner it is one that interests me from the get go. I am at the point where I don't surprise myself too much with a bad model. I also look at what might be of interest here or other forums where I post as well. Remember the question I ask, and that needs to be answered yes, is "would I use this myself?" I don't get into the idea of reviewing just anything. At some point there will be enough to do I'd have to monetize the effort. To be honest this B2 review took up the better part of my life for that last couple of weeks.
 

Steve C

Well-known member
Steve C,

I didn't/don't want to turn this thread into a CA discussion (but see responses below) and I appreciate that your responses on that topic are earnest and measured.

Thanks for your review of these interesting binoculars. The impressive close focus and focusing ratio makes them potentially of great utility for birding+butterflying, though it seems they have a _very_ fast focusing rate, like the B&L Elite (waterproof version) and the Nikon x32 LXL models. Do you find it difficult to get precise focus at distance, or when tracking birds flying towards/away from you?

--AP
Tracking movers seems no problem. It needs to be quicker in close if you do a lot there, but it is not difficult. The focus at distance is precise. I really don't need the focus much at all past 100 yards or so. I got surprising detail on some deer I glassed in the sage brush at over a mile and a half the other day.

I stumbled upon a personal quirk the other day I was not aware of. Quite by accident, I noticed that the hand I use to focus depends on the binocular. With the Maven at counterclockwise, I'm using my right hand. With a clockwise binocular it is the left. That way a pull toward the outboard side of either of the binoculars brings the object in. Push toward the center for distance. I'm right handed with no particular ability to use the left.

Thanks very much for your responses to the various quoted questions. I appreciate that took some effort on your part an I do appreciate it. I'm going to read it a few more times and let it sink in some more. Those are helpful.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
Dennis,

The Maven you are reviewing is a $500.00 binocular and you will be comparing it to your $2400.00 Swarovision.

That doesn't make much sense to me. There can be only 2 conclusions. If the Maven is as good as the SV it is under-priced and alternatively the SV is over-priced. If the SV beats it hollow it won't be news.

Why not compare it to your 8x30 CL Companion instead? You still have it don't you? The Mavin has a jump start on the FOV there.

Do you have a Monarch 7 8x30 in your possession to compare with the Maven? I seem to recall that you got rid of one a while back because of "glare" problems so will this review be based on your memory?

Bob
I got rid of the Swarovski 8x30 CL because of redundancy. The Swarovision 8x32 is better and I would always grab it instead. It is bigger but NOT that much and the view is worth it. The bigger FOV and sharp edges and total lack of CA make it better. I had a Monarch 7 8x30 but as you said I got rid of it because of glare problems. Just curious to see if the Maven is better than the Nikon Monarch 7 8x30 and CL 8x30 but I will have to go by memory which will be difficult. Anyway Steve is getting a lot of heat for bringing to our attention a new line of binoculars that look to be pretty good. He deserves some credit for that. His review was very good and I don't think he would have lied about the Maven. The killer on the Monarch 7 was glare and the killer on the Swarovski CL was smallish FOV and too much eye relief. If this Maven can eliminate those problem areas it might be a nice small binocular. I don't expect it to equal the Swaro but that is all I have to compare it to.
 
Last edited:

ceasar

Well-known member
I got rid of the Swarovski 8x30 CL because of redundancy. The Swarovision 8x32 is better and I would always grab it instead. ....................


................. The killer on the Monarch 7 was glare and the killer on the Swarovski CL was smallish FOV and too much eye relief. If this Maven can eliminate those problem areas it might be a nice small binocular. I don't expect it to equal the Swaro but that is all I have to compare it to.



Eye relief is a big variant for people.

I could use about a millimeter or so more eye relief on my 8x30CL Companion but I can get along with what it came with.

Bob
 

brocknroller

A professed porromaniac
United States
Steve C,

I didn't/don't want to turn this thread into a CA discussion (but see responses below) and I appreciate that your responses on that topic are earnest and measured.

Thanks for your review of these interesting binoculars. The impressive close focus and focusing ratio makes them potentially of great utility for birding+butterflying, though it seems they have a _very_ fast focusing rate, like the B&L Elite (waterproof version) and the Nikon x32 LXL models. Do you find it difficult to get precise focus at distance, or when tracking birds flying towards/away from you?

I am disappointed by the counter-clockwise to infinity direction. I use bins of both types, but since I focus with my right hand I much prefer clockwise to infinity. I wish all manufacturers would follow the L/Z/S and top-end Nikon "standard"..... --AP

I prefer clockwise focusing as well, but it wouldn't be a deal killer if I'm getting alpha quality optics for less than half the price. I think I could adapt to it.

1.25 turns from cf to infinity is also faster than I would prefer, but I'd have to try it to see if I could live with it or not. The Nikon 8x32 turns faster, less than 1/2 turn from close focus to infinity, that's really faaaaaaaast. My focus accommodation couldn't keep up. The full sized LXLs are about 1 turn, too fast for the 10x42 but okay for the 8x, thanks to the greater DOF.

But it also depends on the "stiction" in the focuser. 1.25 turns with a loosey goosey focuser would probably not be to my liking. Steve says the focuser turns precisely, but I'm not typically "glassing" deer at 100 yards, but birds and other critters at less than a 100 ft. where very precise focusing is needed, so again, I'd have to try it to find out if it works for me.

I'd also be happier if the magnification were 8x rather than 9x, though 8.7x, which Steve measured might just be manageable since I have no trouble holding the 8.5x 804 Audubon steady, but it has excellent ergonomics.

I think the biggest issue for me might be the weight - 33.5 oz. I could manage that in a Porro with flat prism housings on the bottom like the CZJ Octarem, which was over 40 oz. but with roofs, the barrels are close together so the weight is more concentrated, and I can't usually rest my thumbs flat under the barrels, so roofs tend to feel heavier in my hands than Porros and fatigue my arms quicker. The 8x42 LX, which weighs 35.6 oz., seemed to get heavier as the day wore on, particularly if I don't eats me spinach. ;)

What I really would like to see is a head to head comparo with the Zeiss HT, which Steve said the B2s were made to compete. Hopefully, the B2 has better edges and less pincushion.
 
Last edited:

stephen b

Well-known member
I got rid of the Swarovski 8x30 CL because of redundancy.

The Swarovision 8x32 is better and I would always grab it instead......Just curious to see if the Maven is better than the Nikon Monarch 7 8x30 and CL 8x30 but I will have to go by memory which will be difficult. ..... and the killer on the Swarovski CL was smallish FOV and too much eye relief. I don't expect it to equal the Swaro but that is all I have to compare it to.

Why don't you just hang on to your CL for a couple more days. Because it looks like you still have it according to this listing. Since it has not been bought yet, all you would have to do is stop the listing and then relist it after your big awesome review. Seems like the CL would be would be a much better comparison to the Maven compared to the SV.

This is your listing- correct? And looks like no one has bought it yet:

http://m.ebay.com/itm/331494270606?nav=SEARCH
 

SteveTS

Well-known member
I think paid reviews are called advertising.

There is a whole world of difference between being paid commercial rates for your time for a review and receiving (or not going through the time consuming hassle of returning) a bino sample as 'payment'.

Keeping a bino sample as 'payment' values your time very very poorly indeed if you, as the reviewer or just as an observer, consider reviewing to be 'work' given the time and attention that can go into a review.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top