The Vanguard Endeavor ED II 10x42 is a great all-around binocular, and a great option if the Editors' Choice Award winning Vortex Viper HD 8x42 is just outside of your price range. However, it does have some downsides when compared to the Viper, namely some odd green fringing when used in very bright conditions and a focus knob that can be a bit sticky at points. However, these are relatively minor points, and if you can find the Endeavor on sale, we suggest you snatch it up.
Vanguard Endeavor ED II 10x42 Review
Cons: Adjustment stiff at first
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Vanguard Endeavor ED II scores well across our range of metrics. As a total package this pair of binoculars ranks near the top, with exceptional close focus range being the stand-out feature.
The ED glass and phase corrected coating on the prims make the Vanguard Endeavor ED II very sharp. On the ISO 12233 chart in our clarity test, zone 9 was clear almost to the very edge. Looking at distant objects you could notice a little bit of defocusing around the edges. The whites had a yellow hue to them when looking through this binocular. We did notice some green fringing while out testing in the Great Basin Desert, but that was the only time we noticed any chromatic aberration.
The BaK4 prisms and fully multi-coated lenses help to keep scattered light at bay in the Vanguard Endeavor ED II. This makes for a very bright scene.
Ease of Adjustment
The first comment out of the first person to really play with the Vanguard Endeavor ED II was: "stiff (pause) I need to hit the gym apparently." Over time the Interpupillary adjustment loosened up as did the focusing knob. Once the focusing knob loosened up it was easy to adjust a sharp image quickly. The one bright point was the diopter, which moved free once you unlocked it. This was one of only a few pairs in our test that had a locking mechanism for the diopter, which we think is helpful for keeping them adjusted.
Field of View and Close Focus Range
With the ability to focus on objects 6.5 feet away, the Vanguard Endeavor ED II was the top performer for close focus range for binoculars with 10x magnification. The Vanguard Endeavor ED II also scored well for field of view with 340 feet viewable at 1000 yards. For comparison, our Editors' Choice winner, the Vortex Viper HD 8x42, had a field of view is 347 feet at 1000 yards and a close focus range of 5.1 feet for its 8x magnification.
The eyecups are firmer on this model than most of the others in our test, but not uncomfortable. The textured rubber coating on the barres is easy to hold onto. Just like on the Swarovski EL 8.5x42, the open center allows you to get your whole hand around the barrels, which most people found very comfortable. The weight and size are easy to manage. It has excellent eye relief so you do not feel like you have to strain to stare at objects.
With a magnesium alloy housing, these binoculars feel solid. After a break-in period the joints and hinges start to loosen and have a nice and smooth movement. We didn't notice any alignment issues. Plus the Vanguard Endeavor ED II is backed by Vanguard's No Hassle, No Fault premium warranty. This warranty is provided on all of Vanguard's flagship lines.
The Vanguard Endeavor ED II is a good general purpose pair of binoculars. It will do most things well, though they will struggle in real low light situations, like astronomy. The size and weight would disclude them from anyone who is into ultralight backpacking, but they aren't very cumbersome to carry. The Vanguard Endeavor ED II would be good for birding or wildlife viewing.
Coming in just under the Nikon Monarch 7 ATB 10x42 and the Vortex Viper HD 8x42, the Vanguard Endeavor ED II is a high performer and a good value. The Vanguard Endeavor's scores are not that far off from either and they have an excellent warranty which extends the value of the product.
The field of high-end optics is getting more competitive every year. The fact that Nikon lowered the prices on the Monarch line a couple of years back in order to stay competitive is evidence of that. The Vanguard Endeavor ED II is an excellent set of binoculars at a competitive price. There is just a bunch of minor details such as some green fringing in really bright light and stiff movements that kept it from being a top contender.
Endeavor ED II 8x42
- Price: $4000 ($100 less that then 10x42)
- Magnification: 8x (less than the 10x42)
- Field of view at 1000 yd: 378ft (38ft more than the 10x42)
Endeavor ED II 8x32
- Price: $350 ($150 less that then 10x42)
- Magnification: 8x (less than the 10x42)
- Field of view at 1000 yd: 377ft (37ft more than the 10x42)
— Max Mutter and Michael Payne