≪ Go to our review of Binoculars

Hands-on Gear Review

Vanguard Endeavor ED II 10x42 Review

Price:   $500 List | $399.99 at Amazon
Pros:  Good close focus range for a 10x bino, quality construction, sharp and bright optics
Cons:  Adjustment stiff at first
Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 
Manufacturer:   Vanguard

Our Verdict

The Endeavor ED II builds upon on the successful foundation of the award winning Endeavor ED binoculars, bringing Vanguard Optics to another level. There are even rumors that Nikon lowered their prices to compete with Zeiss and Vanguard, who are both holding their own in the binocular market. Vanguard uses Hoya optics from Japan in their Endeavor ED II line, which is the high-end line from that company.


RELATED REVIEW: Best Binoculars of 2017 for Birding and Hiking


Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results

Review by:
Michael Payne
Review Editor
OutdoorGearLab

Last Updated:
Sunday
April 10, 2016

Share:
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.

Performance Comparison


The Vanguard Endeavor ED II 10x42 is a great general purpose binocular  and it has the best close focus range of all the 10x binoculars we tested.
The Vanguard Endeavor ED II 10x42 is a great general purpose binocular, and it has the best close focus range of all the 10x binoculars we tested.

Clarity


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 ED glass on the Vanguard Endeavor makes for a clear and sharp image  though we did notice a bit of green fringing in really bright light.
The ED glass on the Vanguard Endeavor makes for a clear and sharp image, though we did notice a bit of green fringing in really bright light.

Brightness


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.

The focus knobs are all within easy reach  but they did require a slight break-in period.
The focus knobs are all within easy reach, but they did require a slight break-in period.

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.

Comfort


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.

We think that the open center makes this pair really comfortable to hold.
We think that the open center makes this pair really comfortable to hold.

Construction Quality


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.

Best Application


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.

Value


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 10x magnification pairs in our test. From L to R: Celestron SkyMaster (9x)  Vanguard Endeavor  Nikon Monarch 7  Eagle Optics Shrike  Leica BCR.
The 10x magnification pairs in our test. From L to R: Celestron SkyMaster (9x), Vanguard Endeavor, Nikon Monarch 7, Eagle Optics Shrike, Leica BCR.

Conclusion


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.

Other Versions


Endeavor ED II 8x42
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
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)
Michael Payne

  • Share this article:
You Might Also Like

Where to Buy?

Seller Price sort asc Shipping Cost Visit
Amazonon sale
$399.99  -  20% off! Check Site see it

Thinking about buying some gear we've reviewed? Help OutdoorGearLab out if you do. Just click on any of the above seller links and if you make any purchase, the seller will contribute a portion of the sale to help support this site. It won't cost you anything extra, and it's a simple way to help us fund our gear reviews. Thanks!

*Most retailers free shipping offers apply only to lower 48 US states using ground/economy shipping. See retailer's website for details.


OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: October 14, 2016
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (5.0)

100% of 1 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
2 Total Ratings
5 star: 50%  (1)
4 star: 50%  (1)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Sort 1 member reviews by: Most Recent | Most Helpful
Write a Review on this Gear

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
   Oct 14, 2016 - 05:54am
jlaubza · Fisherman · Johannesburg South Africa
The review is a tad negative.

The Vanguards have a flat field with clarity to virtually the edge of the image - this is an outstanding result in its price class and needs to be extolled.

The very slight yellow cast is great for seeing in hazy or overcast conditions and pulls out details in green foilage. It is a plus feature for outdoor viewing as it counteracts strong blue light and reduces glare without loss of brightness. It is a consequence of the Silver mirror coating, which absorbs some blue light.

Field of view and close focus are also best in price class.

CA is virtually absent and is very slight when you do notice it. Surprisingly, I have not seen green CA in three versions of this binocular I have looked through, only a slim red/purple tinge on very bright edges.

The locking dioptre adjustment ring is a plus point.

All in all, very likely the best in it's price class.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
Help other readers find the most helpful reviews
Was this review helpful to you? 
Yes
 
No


Have you used this product?
Don't hold back. Share your viewpoint by posting a review with your thoughts...

Write a Review on this Gear
 
Where's the Best Price?
Seller Price
Amazon $399.99  -  20% off!
Compare prices at 1 sellers >

*You help support OutdoorGearLab's product testing and reviews by purchasing from our retail partners.


Follow Us


Unbiased.