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Maven B2 and C1 Demo

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  • Maven B2 and C1 Demo

    After finishing my second spot and stalk hunt last year, I realized I needed to mount my binoculars on some sort of tripod, practice glassing before my trip, and look at better binoculars.

    I decided to demo two pairs of Maven binoculars. Maven allows you to demo binoculars for two weeks because they are not available in stores. Of course, getting to use them in the field is much better than looking through them at a store.

    Maven's business model is based on the fact that most companies are just reselling us re-branded Japanese glass anyways and half the purchase price goes to the retailer. Many of these same companies spend even more money on TV ads and leagues of celebrity hunters to say how great they are. Maven sells the same imported glass...without having us pay for any of this other nonsense. Many say the C series binos are at least as good as binos twice the price. While this isn't completely true for the B series, as this price range would be Swarovski, these are still said to compete quite well at this range.

    My previous binos were budget, $200 Leupold B2 Acadia 8x42. These were good in their own right, with fully multi-coated lenses and bak-4 dialectic prisms. However, they were definitely not better than the Maven C1 (as you would expect as they run a little less than $300). The Maven C1 also have ED glass. I didn't spend much time comparing the budget Leupolds, to be honest.

    Comparing the C1 to the B2 (which are over three times the price), I definitely saw why having them out of the store is a necessity. The B2 has a rare prism set up with higher light transmission along with a better optical side lens setup. They also have a quality magnesium body vs essentially plastic in the C1. I spent a few hours one day trying to compare what I could see in one or the other and I could see basically the same thing. However, in subsequent days, I took another approach and spent several minutes glassing as if hunting in one and then switched to the other. It was obvious the B2 was clearer in all light conditions. One major disadvantage of the B2, though, is that it is actually much larger and heavier than the C1.

    The C1 also seems to bias the colors 'warm' or brighter green than they actually are. They also lose clarity near the edges of the field of view more so than the B2 (though this happens with both). Neither seemed to have any 'chromatic abbe-ration' which is probably a result of the ED glass in both.

    While the C1 wasn't as clear as the B2 binos costing 3x as much, they were definitely clear. Glassing where I was at 800 yards across a lake last weekend, you could probably see the general shape of antlers though maybe not detailed antler points. They would be overkill for most deer hunters or for someone wanting to glass into a field for a few minutes or an hour. But at their price, they are probably reasonable, nonetheless. They would also be more than workable for a spot and stalk hunters. I don't have any $6-800 binos to compare them to but most say they compare well in terms of picture. The C1 saves money with the body material and the ocular lens setup along with the lack of retail cost and high marketing budget.

    The B2 would be good for a spot and stalk hunter glassing all day for several days. The extra clarity should make hidden animals in the bush a little more obvious. Though the C1 can definitely see pretty much everything the B2 can, this extra ease of picking things out might be worth 3x the cost if you are hoping to use them for many years and budget isn't a huge constraint.

  • #2
    The I have had good luck testing glass at Cabelas or Bass Pro. They both have game animals you can glass as well as good lighting and ranges of at least 100 yards. I tend to use something the color red to compare. Surprises do occur. A $300 Weaver was better than a $500 Leupold. A $2200 Leica range finding bino has been making me re align my collection to obtain one.

    I usually go online to find the best deal. I am effectively helping th downfall of the box store.
    Last edited by deaddog; 4 weeks ago.
    Endeavor to persevere.

    Call sign: Limp Wrist


    • #3
      I was in the optics field for years as a manager, and you get what you pay for in optics believe me on this.
      Mtman714; A man can do no better then to leave a good garden patch. Thomas Jefferson


      • #4
        Originally posted by mtman714 View Post
        I was in the optics field for years as a manager, and you get what you pay for in optics believe me on this.
        I don't doubt this in general in terms of what you pay actually going into the bino. Though returns on anything are diminishing as I feel I saw between these two binoculars.

        Maven seems to think a lot of what we pay goes into the retailer not the binocular.

        Maybe I'm exaggerating the money spent on marketing. But I can't help but think that the Outdoor channel is a subsidiary of vortex. Not to completely knock them I know family members with their products and they work.

        My scopes and spotting scope are leupold and these are actually made by leupold. I'm all set on scopes as these work just fine. My leupold binos weren't bad for the price either but it's not like these are actually leupold but rebranded imports like most the others. If I'm buying nice ones might as well have my money go where I want it.


        • #5
          I too am a died in the moss Leopold men, having lived in OR for over 20 yrs, I picked up my first Leopold Binos sometime in the early 80's, making a long story short wife know a birding store manager that was shutting down, and told her he has some good one's and would give us a deal Ok , off we go one evening, here in MT. She wanted to get them for me for Christmas, so low and behold there's a set of Leica 10x42 Ultavoid in the case, spendy, I tell him if there not better the the Promo's I'll bring them back, he say OK. Christmas morning out on the deck, we live rural, there's always deer on the ranch behind the house. I take both out, pick up 2 does right off the bat with the 9x35's, pick up the Leica's and behind the first two does there's three more. after locating the with the 10x42, I pick the 9x35's back up and now I know where they are and can pick them up. But at first they didn't jump out at me never looked back, buy the best you can.
          Mtman714; A man can do no better then to leave a good garden patch. Thomas Jefferson


          • #6
            +1 on Leica,s bino's . As fine an optic as can be had! Them German's know how to make glass.