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Feel the intensity, not your equipment. Maximum image quality. Minimum weight. The new ZEISS SFL, up to 30% less weight than comparable competitors.

What if you like the SFL 8x40 but don't have the budget for it? (1 Viewer)

Scott98

Well-known member
Jamaica
There is something else that needs to be said about Maven...their neck straps are detachable. The only company to make neck straps with detachable side-buckles to attach them to the binos, for easy removal.

Swarovski and Zeiss chest harness use side-buckle straps, but they're not compatible with their neck straps, which are thread-through straps or Field Pro system. I had to sleuth around the internet to find out which buckles Swaro is using on their harness, so I can thread the buckles onto the 56mm SLC neck straps. Maven is the only company sensible enough to make side-buckle neckstraps.

The accessories of the "Big 3" binos are weak point for me. The side-buckle neck straps are so simple....so much better than Swaro Field Pro. I paid big bucks for my Zeiss and Swaros and am left to order spare parts on the internet to get simple side-buckle attachment for my neck straps.
 

A2GG

Beth
United States
The accessories of the "Big 3" binos are weak point for me. The side-buckle neck straps are so simple....so much better than Swaro Field Pro. I paid big bucks for my Zeiss and Swaros and am left to order spare parts on the internet to get simple side-buckle attachment for my neck straps.
Sometimes the accessories from the more affordable brands are better. Last year I tried out the Leupold BX-4 binocular and was very impressed with the case it comes with. I thought it was great.
 

AlphaFan

Well-known member
United States
There is something else that needs to be said about Maven...their neck straps are detachable. The only company to make neck straps with detachable side-buckles to attach them to the binos, for easy removal.
Oh yeah! I’d be first in line to purchase an industry-standard binocular strap connector (serves the same purpose as Arca-Swiss universal tripod plates). In varying environments and circumstances I prefer to use a strap, and in others a harness. It would be so simple and useful to have a universally-compatible, quick-detach system.

Maven , Leu and Vortex target rough and tumble hunters. They listen to their needs

With binoculars, the main general desired feature differences I‘ve noticed between hunters and birders are (these are personal observations from considerable experience with both groups - YMMV):

Optically - both want a crystal clear image, wide-FOV, and minimal glare. In addition, hunters tend to place some greater/lesser emphasis on the following (although it varies with specific applications):
  • Low light performance for finding crepuscular game
  • Depth-of-Field, and edge-to-edge sharpness for picking apart landscapes
  • Color trueness and saturation are not usually a deal-breaker for big game hunters, but critical for waterfowl
  • Most don’t really care as much about CA, so long as it isn’t obvious and distracting

Physical / Mechanical Properties & Design - both groups want products that are durable, with well thought out features, that function as intended (in the field). The current trend is to pack higher and higher performing optics into smaller and better handling physical designs (IME both groups appreciate this) - some differences between the groups:
  • IME birders tend to value focus speed more and with hunters it’s focus precision and depth (& diopter lock)
  • Hunters place higher value on field-ruggedness - the Zeiss Conquest Torture test is a great example
  • Versatility and compatibility - lack of a tripod stud pre-thread can break the deal (ex, Kowa Genesis 44mm)
  • Specialization - although both groups want that stellar all-around binocular, hunters very often also have the 15x56 and 32mm for specific applications - ex, someone glassing the plains for distant antelope has very different binocular needs than someone stalking the hardwoods with archery gear.

Both Birders and Hunters are Driving Positive Changes / Improvements - while both groups may view themselves and each other very differently, (like it or not) they are kindred spirts with many overlapping goals and desires in regard to binoculars and other optics. Both want ever-higher performing optical designs, in better handling forms, with enhanced features, and all at an at least somewhat reasonable price. For example, even though many here have branded Maven as a “hunting optics” company, they consider the B1.2 42mm (the focus of this thread) as part of their “Avian Collection.”
 

Binocollector

Well-known member
Germany
Just a little FIY from over the pond -- in Germany hunters generally prefer stuff like the most high-end Zeiss, Leicas, Swaros for their line of work. I don't think any hunter in Germany would even touch a Vortex with the end of a stick. I checked a few hunter online forums while researching different binos -- the consensus was always, "get the best that money can buy".
I think that might be because there is just in general much less hunters in Germany (it's a profession and not a hobby here), much less prey and much smaller forests. And the people who actually do it for a living have to rely on their equipment and get the best so they can make a living by selling what they hunt. In that case, being able to see maybe 10 minutes longer at dawn or dusk because of a few percent better light transmission can mean you can shoot one more boar/deer, etc. and make more money that day selling the meat.
But in recent times the legal side of things has changed and hunting with nightvision equipment was made legal (it was illegal before) so an alpha low light bino is no longer a must, I guess.
 

Vespobuteo

Well-known member
The gist of my message was (or should have been, sorry for not making that clear enough):
Look THROUGH both binos - the images are amazingly similar, even more so than when you compare the SFL with the SF.
Just wonder how that can be (both being Japanese is not sufficient explanation). Optics sourced from same company?

Weight and package/design is still very different.
Probably the mechanic and optical design as well, smaller thinner lenses, baffles etc.
 
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AlphaFan

Well-known member
United States
Just a little FIY from over the pond -- in Germany hunters generally prefer stuff like the most high-end Zeiss, Leicas, Swaros for their line of work. I don't think any hunter in Germany would even touch a Vortex with the end of a stick. I checked a few hunter online forums while researching different binos -- the consensus was always, "get the best that money can buy".
I think that might be because there is just in general much less hunters in Germany (it's a profession and not a hobby here), much less prey and much smaller forests. And the people who actually do it for a living have to rely on their equipment and get the best so they can make a living by selling what they hunt. In that case, being able to see maybe 10 minutes longer at dawn or dusk because of a few percent better light transmission can mean you can shoot one more boar/deer, etc. and make more money that day selling the meat.
But in recent times the legal side of things has changed and hunting with nightvision equipment was made legal (it was illegal before) so an alpha low light bino is no longer a must, I guess.
Very interesting perspective - thanks for that. Not trying to make this a hunting thread, only discussing to highlight some similarities/differences in desired features between the groups. Here in the USA that group (15.2 million of them) are certainly a driving force in binocular sales. A fairly significant percentage of USA hunters also buy the best, and Swarovski dominates (SW is far and away #1 in marketing to that community). However, as Catnip points out, not everyone can afford a 10x42 NL Pure with a headrest and tripod stud. So, new companies like Vortex, Maven, GPO, Tract and others continue to do their best to offer ever-more competitively-priced, high-performing products to capture a share of that market. We all benefit as this forces the entire industry to compete for our business, and continually improve.

IME, while it may be the case that regular posters here are more apt to own and use “Big 3” or “near-alpha” binoculars, I’m not convinced that the average birder uses better quality glass than the average hunter. For example, I recently went on several pelagic trips and the majority of the folks on the boats were not packing alpha glass. In fact, I noticed the leader of one of the trips, who is an absolutely prolific birder and guide, was using a Vortex Razor. He also ID’d the majority of the species before anyone else. There were a good mix of brands among the participants, and although there was no precise count, I’d offer that Nikon appeared to be the modal brand.

Getting back to Catnip’s theme for this thread. If folks put a Maven B Series of equal objective and magnification next to their favorite alpha or near-alpha and performed a completely objective side-by-side review, they would likely walk away quite impressed with its comparative quality, performance and value. I concur.
 

Scott98

Well-known member
Jamaica
But the cost of the binos is the "elephant in the room". What people are using in various activities is driven by how much disposable income they have, and how much of an optics fetish they have right? I find these reviews interesting, the Maven must be defended as being "very close" to the "alpha" binos. Of course they are. But we all know the equation - the "alpha" binos are pretty much for the optics fanatic who must have the top performance. You only get a few percent of improvement in moving from $1,000 to $2,500 binoculars, not 150%.

You're either wealthy or a zealot for optical perfection if you get the alpha. Regardless of whether you're hunting or birding or doing astronomy. But we optical fanatics need to know what separates them, to me it sounds like the top Mavens just have a bit of false color compared to Zeiss SF or Swaros, they're just as good on flat field and probably transmission (even though they're fudging the specs a bit). The 50mm's are lighter than the alphas, that's good too. Focuser sounds like it's not quite up to SF standard, but that's certainly not a problem, some of the "alpha" focuser are not that great either. The weight savings of the 50mm's is going to be more important than a tiny bit of false color for many users.
 

A2GG

Beth
United States
IME, while it may be the case that regular posters here are more apt to own and use “Big 3” or “near-alpha” binoculars, I’m not convinced that the average birder uses better quality glass than the average hunter. For example, I recently went on several pelagic trips and the majority of the folks on the boats were not packing alpha glass. In fact, I noticed the leader of one of the trips, who is an absolutely prolific birder and guide, was using a Vortex Razor. He also ID’d the majority of the species before anyone else. There were a good mix of brands among the participants, and although there was no precise count, I’d offer that Nikon appeared to be the modal brand.
This is true in my area. Most birders use mid-priced binoculars ($400 - 1k). The top birder in my area uses a Nikon Monarch 7.
I also see a lot of previous generation 'alphas'. There are those who have the new premium stuff too, but most are using less expensive stuff. Most of the birders I know are using the same binos year after year. One experienced birder I chatted with a couple weeks ago says he doesn't buy the top stuff. He uses Vortex Viper bins and Vortex spotting scope and it's good enough for him.
 

NDhunter

Experienced observer
United States
Very interesting perspective - thanks for that. Not trying to make this a hunting thread, only discussing to highlight some similarities/differences in desired features between the groups. Here in the USA that group (15.2 million of them) are certainly a driving force in binocular sales. A fairly significant percentage of USA hunters also buy the best, and Swarovski dominates (SW is far and away #1 in marketing to that community). However, as Catnip points out, not everyone can afford a 10x42 NL Pure with a headrest and tripod stud. So, new companies like Vortex, Maven, GPO, Tract and others continue to do their best to offer ever-more competitively-priced, high-performing products to capture a share of that market. We all benefit as this forces the entire industry to compete for our business, and continually improve.

IME, while it may be the case that regular posters here are more apt to own and use “Big 3” or “near-alpha” binoculars, I’m not convinced that the average birder uses better quality glass than the average hunter. For example, I recently went on several pelagic trips and the majority of the folks on the boats were not packing alpha glass. In fact, I noticed the leader of one of the trips, who is an absolutely prolific birder and guide, was using a Vortex Razor. He also ID’d the majority of the species before anyone else. There were a good mix of brands among the participants, and although there was no precise count, I’d offer that Nikon appeared to be the modal brand.

Getting back to Catnip’s theme for this thread. If folks put a Maven B Series of equal objective and magnification next to their favorite alpha or near-alpha and performed a completely objective side-by-side review, they would likely walk away quite impressed with its comparative quality, performance and value. I concur.
This has been an interesting thread. Don't call Canip by another name, it is rude and condescending.
He has vastly more experience than you in optics, so don't try to act like a know-it all.
Your attitude has left me wanting to ignore you.
Jerry
 

AlphaFan

Well-known member
United States
This has been an interesting thread. Don't call Canip by another name, it is rude and condescending.
He has vastly more experience than you in optics, so don't try to act like a know-it all.
Your attitude has left me wanting to ignore you.
Jerry
My public apologies to Canip. No idea why that obvious misspelling got embossed on my mind, but I can reassure all that it was unintentional, and I will correct going forward. I’ve always enjoyed his reviews and respect his analyses. In this particular case, I own(ed) both binoculars themed here and completely concur with the majority of his review and conclusion — that folks objectively comparing the Maven B 1.2 with optics of similar or greater value would be quite impressed. The main difference in our observations deal with color accuracy and saturation, where to me the SFL stands out.
 
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Upland

Well-known member
Just a little FIY from over the pond -- in Germany hunters generally prefer stuff like the most high-end Zeiss, Leicas, Swaros for their line of work. I don't think any hunter in Germany would even touch a Vortex with the end of a stick. I checked a few hunter online forums while researching different binos -- the consensus was always, "get the best that money can buy".
I think that might be because there is just in general much less hunters in Germany (it's a profession and not a hobby here), much less prey and much smaller forests. And the people who actually do it for a living have to rely on their equipment and get the best so they can make a living by selling what they hunt. In that case, being able to see maybe 10 minutes longer at dawn or dusk because of a few percent better light transmission can mean you can shoot one more boar/deer, etc. and make more money that day selling the meat.
But in recent times the legal side of things has changed and hunting with nightvision equipment was made legal (it was illegal before) so an alpha low light bino is no longer a must, I guess.
Quite provincial and snobbish. On the part of the hunters there not you. Surprised night vision is allowed. Not fair chase hunting! Swaros can’t handle glare so aren’t too useful out in the western USA with lots of bright sunny days, although in low light they have their place . Leicas are nice but fragile. Zeiss are great. Mavens are incredible for the money. Extremely well built and quality optics. The top of the line Vortex are very good optically and have an incredible warranty. Leupolds aren’t alphas but are very competitive in their price point. I’m a hunter. Anyone who thinks they need Alphas to have success is probably a road hunter. Nice optics help but they are only a part of hunting success. BTW probably shouldn’t post after libations. Damn hunters!
 

fazalmajid

Well-known member
Supporter
United States
Oh yeah! I’d be first in line to purchase an industry-standard binocular strap connector (serves the same purpose as Arca-Swiss universal tripod plates). In varying environments and circumstances I prefer to use a strap, and in others a harness. It would be so simple and useful to have a universally-compatible, quick-detach system.

I much prefer standard slot-type eyelets to proprietary connectors like Swarovski FieldPro.

You can use something like Peak Design’s disk-type quick-release anchors, Op/Tech USA’s simple Duraflex buckles or this genius system from Australia:


As for “Canip”, I can only surmise autocorrect is to blame…
 

AlphaFan

Well-known member
United States
I much prefer standard slot-type eyelets to proprietary connectors like Swarovski FieldPro.

You can use something like Peak Design’s disk-type quick-release anchors, Op/Tech USA’s simple Duraflex buckles or this genius system from Australia:
My thoughts exactly. Have a Peak Design Strap with the disk-type anchors for my camera — love it. But I find that particular strap more at home for photography. It would be nice to see the industry adopt a standard that could be used across straps and harnesses.

That Australian “Lucky“ Strap is a bit sleeker and might be a good fit for binoculars.
 
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pianoman

duck and diver, bobolink and weaver
@Canip Have you tried the Maven 6X30 compacts? They look like a candidate for my next compacts purchase, be interested to know what you think
 

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