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Vanguard Endeavor ED II 10x42 Review

Good all-around performance, but lacks some clarity when compared to other models in the same price range
vanguard endeavor ed ii 10x42 binocular review
The Vanguard Endeavor ED II 10x42 is the top pair in the 10x range for close focus range and can focus down to 6.5 feet.
Credit: Michael Payne
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Price:  $500 List
Manufacturer:   Vanguard
By Max Mutter ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 7, 2022
66
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#10 of 16
  • Clarity - 45% 5.5
  • Brightness - 25% 7.9
  • Comfort - 10% 8.0
  • Field of View - 10% 5.0
  • Ease of Adjustment - 5% 8.0
  • Close Focus Range - 5% 8.0

Our Verdict

The Vanguard Endeavor ED II 10x42 is a great pair of binoculars, solidly built, with sharp and bright optics. However, it has some downsides 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.
REASONS TO BUY
Good close focus range for a 10x bino
Quality construction
Sharp and bright optics
REASONS TO AVOID
Adjustment stiff at first
Editor's Note: This review of the Vanguard Endeavor ED II 10x42 was updated on December 7th, 2022.

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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Good close focus range for a 10x bino, quality construction, sharp and bright opticsVery clear and bright, easy to adjust, comfortable, high-quality constructionGood clarity and brightness, smooth focus knobInexpensive, good clarity and brightnessGood clarity, small and lightweight, relatively comfortable
Cons Adjustment stiff at firstA bit heavy for the backcountryMediocre close focus range, mediocre field of viewAverage construction quality, mediocre low-light performancePoor low-light performance
Bottom Line Good all-around performance, but lacks some clarity when compared to other models in the same price rangeThis model is our first choice and offers just about the best clarity and brightness you can get from a binocular without a quadruple-digit price tagThese perform well for the price, offering a smooth focus knob and decent brightness and clarityThe most budget-friendly option we've found that offers a good introduction to birdwatchingAn inexpensive, small, and packable model that offers surprisingly good optics
Rating Categories Vanguard Endeavor E... Vortex Viper HD 8x42 Nikon Monarch M5 8x42 Celestron Nature DX... Vortex Diamondback...
Clarity (45%)
5.5
7.5
7.1
5.8
5.1
Brightness (25%)
7.9
9.5
8.6
7.7
4.6
Comfort (10%)
8.0
9.0
8.1
5.6
7.0
Field of View (10%)
5.0
8.0
6.0
7.0
6.0
Ease of Adjustment (5%)
8.0
5.8
8.0
7.0
5.5
Close Focus Range (5%)
8.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
8.0
Specs Vanguard Endeavor E... Vortex Viper HD 8x42 Nikon Monarch M5 8x42 Celestron Nature DX... Vortex Diamondback...
Glass Type ED HD ED Bak-4 HD
Multi - Coating FMC FMC FMC FMC FMC
Magnification 10 8 8 8 8
Field of View (at 1000 yards) 340 ft 409 ft 335 ft 388 ft 332 ft
Close Focus 6.5 ft 6.0 ft 8.2 ft 6.5 ft 6.0 ft
Eye Relief 18 mm 18 mm 19.5 mm 17.5 mm 18 mm
Prism Roof Roof Roof Roof Roof
Waterproof/Fog Resistant? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Measured Size (Length x Width) 6.1 x 5.1 in 5.6 x 4.9 in 5.7 x 5.1 in 5.3 x 4.9 in 4.6 x 4.5 in
Measured Weight 27 oz 24 oz 22 oz 22 oz 14 oz
Tripod Adapter Yes, with optional adapter Yes Yes Yes Yes

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Vanguard Endeavor ED II scores well across our range of metrics. This pair of binoculars ranks near the top as a total package, with exceptional close focus range being the stand-out feature.

Performance Comparison


vanguard endeavor ed ii 10x42 binocular review - the vanguard endeavor ed ii 10x42 is a great general-purpose...
The Vanguard Endeavor ED II 10x42 is a great general-purpose binocular.
Credit: Michael Payne

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 see some green fringing while out testing in the Great Basin Desert, but that was the only time we noticed any chromatic aberration.

vanguard endeavor ed ii 10x42 binocular review - the ed glass on the vanguard endeavor makes for a clear and sharp...
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.
Credit: Michael Payne

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.

vanguard endeavor ed ii 10x42 binocular review - the focus knobs are all within easy reach, but they did require a...
The focus knobs are all within easy reach, but they did require a slight break-in period.
Credit: Michael Payne

Comfort


The eyecups are firmer on this model than most others in our test, and we would have a hard time calling them comfortable. The textured rubber coating on the barrels is easy to hold. As with a few others we have tested, 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 don't feel like you have to strain to stare at objects.

vanguard endeavor ed ii 10x42 binocular review - we think that the open center makes this pair really comfortable to...
We think that the open center makes this pair really comfortable to hold.
Credit: Michael Payne

Field of View


The Vanguard's manufacturer-specified field of view of 340 feet at 1000 yards is okay, but real-world testing resulted in a much lower field of view. Our testers measured a field of view of 297 feet in testing conditions. The field of view test accounted for 10% of a product's overall score, and this pair performed well below the average.

Ease of Adjustment


The initial comment out of the first of our testers to interact 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 helps keep them adjusted.

Close Focus Range


The manufacturer stated close focus on objects is 6.5 feet, placing the Vanguard Endeavor ED II in the respectable category for the close focus range of the 10x magnification binoculars we tested.

Should You Buy the Vanguard Endeavor ED II 10x42?


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 to stay competitive is evidence of that. We feel that the Vanguard Endeavor ED II is an excellent set of binoculars at an approachable price, and their fantastic warranty extends the value of the product. However, some minor details (like green fringing in really bright light and stiff movements) kept it from being a top contender.

What Other Binoculars Should You Consider?


The Vanguard Endeavor ED II is a high performer and a good value. Its scores are not that far off from several of our award winners. If you're looking for something a bit more affordable, the Vortex Diamondback HD 8x42 features high-quality glass and a very attractive price tag. For an all-around step up, we'd point you towards the Vortex Viper HD 8x42, which gives you performance nearly on par with the bins sporting quadruple digit price tags — without the sticker shock.

Max Mutter
 
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