Sitka Gear
Vortex HD and Maven B6 10x50 comparison
Equipment
Contributors to this thread:
RonP 10-Dec-23
Beendare 10-Dec-23
WV Mountaineer 10-Dec-23
Timex? 10-Dec-23
RonP 10-Dec-23
WV Mountaineer 10-Dec-23
JTreeman 10-Dec-23
butcherboy 10-Dec-23
WV Mountaineer 10-Dec-23
Charlie Rehor 10-Dec-23
RonP 11-Dec-23
smarba 11-Dec-23
From: RonP
10-Dec-23

RonP's embedded Photo
RonP's embedded Photo
I had a chance to compare the Vortex Razor HD (not UHD) to the Maven B6, both 10x50. I purchased the Vortex on sale from Scheels for $845 (at my request they price matched another online retailer) and I obtained the Maven through their demo program. The B6 costs $1050, which is about the cost of the Vortex when not on sale.

I won’t get too technical with the comparison, but I will share what I observed and my likes and dislikes.

The eye relief of the Vortex is listed at 16.5mm and the Maven 18.1mm. The field of view for the Vortex is listed at 315 feet at 1000 yards, and the Maven 341 feet. Not a huge difference but it is noticeable.

The build quality of both is very good. The Vortex say they are assembled in the Philippines and the Maven are assembled in the USA.

The Vortex is a little slimmer in the way they taper the barrels. I did not weigh them, but their published weights are within about 2 ounces of each other.

The inside of the barrels for both brands are very clean. No sign of small fragments or specs. I like that.

The diopter on the Vortex locks, the Maven diopter does not lock. I prefer a locking diopter, but the Maven diopter is very firm, and I doubt it would move.

The focus wheel of both is very consistent but I prefer the Vortex. It has just a little more resistance and I am able to find the sweet spot much easier. More on this below.

I viewed various things from wildlife, fence posts, license plates, shaded areas under tree canopies, the moon, etc. at distances ranging from less than 100 yards to 1000 yards and more. The edge-to-edge clarity of both brands is very good. I do not feel the difference in FOV between the two brands will matter to the user.

In the middle of the day, there is no discernible difference to my eyes between these two binoculars other than the crisp focusing issue with the Maven mentioned below. The image and colors are very good.

In the low light of the early morning and at sunset, the Maven are a smidge brighter. If you are looking toward the horizon when the sun is setting, the Maven does a better job controlling glare. I do wear eyeglasses so part of this may be the way the eye cups fit against my lenses. I noticed the eye cups of the Maven are wider and sit almost flush with the lenses whereas the eye cups on the Vortex are narrow and sit above the lenses about 1/8 inch. The glare may not be an issue if you do not wear eyeglasses.

As mentioned above the Vortex are a little slimmer and feel better in my hands. I do not care for the color of the Maven and the orange accents seem cartoonish to me. If I were to get the Maven, I would choose the grey/black model.

I am going to choose one of these and at this time, I am still not sure which one it will be. I am having an issue focusing the Maven. I simply can’t get crisp lines like I can with the Vortex of say a buck’s antlers or tree bark no matter the lighting or distance. You have to look very close to see this but, there is a noticeable difference between the two.

I plan to contact Maven this week and see if they can send me another bino. I suspect there may be something wrong with the demo binos. If I get this resolved, I’ll report back in the coming weeks.

From: Beendare
10-Dec-23
The Mavens are pretty darn good at their price point especially with the show discounts they have.

IME, The Chinese built Vortex models just don’t compare well to their top Japanese built UHD units, the Japanese Meopta or the top european glass; Zeiss, Leica, Swaro.

Best way to compare is on a tripod side by side at long distance in low light. Even the cheap b8nos look good in a store.

I hunt areas every year with different guys/ different models where we setup tripods and glass. Head to head comparison is the reason I went with the Meopta15’s over the Swaro 15’s…and the reason I sold off those Meoptas for the Vortex 18x UHD.

I’ve seen the lesser Vortex HD and Kaibabs. Decent but not as crystal clear as the others.

Tip; DON’T look through the Swaro NL or the top Zeiss models…those will wreck you. Grin

10-Dec-23
So, is the mavens focus wheel better or not? You said as much earlier then finish by saying you can’t get them as clear.

From: Timex?
10-Dec-23
Still puzzles me that this & the previous thread is the first I've ever heard of maven optics.

I really should get out from under my rock a bit more often.

From: RonP
10-Dec-23
"So, is the mavens focus wheel better or not? You said as much earlier then finish by saying you can’t get them as clear."

The operation of the focus wheel and ability to focus are two different things. The focus wheel of both are smooth and consistent from one end to the other. I tested some Nikon recently and the focus wheel got stiff and required more force the further to the right. It was odd.

The focus wheel of the Vortex is a bit stiffer than the Maven, and I prefer that. The focus issue I am having with the Maven remains. I do not believe the issue is with the focus wheel, but is either something with the lens and alignment, or maybe they are just not right for my eyes.

If I get the focus issue with the Mavens resolved, I will likely buy those over the Vortex. They are just a little brighter in low light which is my main reason for trying 10x50 in the first place.

10-Dec-23
I gotcha. The way your first post read, I assumed you had found the sweat spot in both. Not just the vortex.

From: JTreeman
10-Dec-23
I own both, but not the expensive models. The Maven I have are 10x42 C1 I think and then vortex are diamondback 10x42. The mavens are in the truck and the vortex sit by the back door. Honestly not sure on the prices, I think the mavens are a bit more (and maybe a lot more percentage wise). I just looked, $200 vs $400, so a fair amount of $ for a guy on a budget, I’ll concede that.

However IMHO the Mavens are head and shoulders above that specific model Vortex. Really no comparison from initial quality, optical quality, general fit and finish. I guess the only place I would maybe give the diamond backs an edge is they are a bit slimmer and more ergonomic in my hands.

I’m honestly not sure if vortex makes a model up that competes better with the C1 at a more compatible price point, but they may. Neither can hold a candle to my high end glass, but $3k binos aren’t for everyone, I certainly get that! But of these 2 I certainly feel the mavens are the clear winner to me.

—Jim

From: butcherboy
10-Dec-23
I have a pair of Maven 15x56 binos. Use them exclusively on a tripod and have nothing but good things to say about them. I spent a little more and got them in the color I wanted. I’ll be purchasing more in the future in different powers and some for my kids when they are ready.

10-Dec-23
^^^^. Vortex glass generally represents the price you pay for them. However, Mavens are like Pentax. They far out shine the money you pay for them. ^^^^^

Thats been my experience. But, I don’t own either. Nor, have looked through a pair of Mavens in a couple years. But, my buddy had a set of razor HD’s this year in deer camp. For all but the most detailed work at extreme ranges, they’d suit most everyone’s needs. Not the best bang for the buck in my opinion. But, that’s just my opinion. A lot of people would disagree I’m sure.

10-Dec-23
The Maven guys were formally the Brunton guys.

From: RonP
11-Dec-23
With the perspective of a buddy, I think we figured out the perceived focusing issue with the Maven that I posted above. The colors of the image are lightened. To me, this appeared as if the Maven were brighter. For example, I was looking at the top of dead tree branches against the skyline a few hundred yards away. The color contrast between the branches and sky are less with the Maven, therefore the fine detail was more difficult to see. I perceived this as a focusing issue. With the Vortex, to my eyes the colors are more natural, the contrast greater, and the fine detail crisper.

Like bows, packs, and nearly everything else, binoculars are a personal fit. I am glad I was able to compare these. Regardless of my choice between these two binoculars, if I left the mountains with an unfilled elk tag it would not be the fault of the binoculars.

From: smarba
11-Dec-23
My daughter and I compared 10x42 Vortex Razor HD (Japan version) to Maven B1.2 head to head in low light conditions and in the field. We read addresses on signs/mailboxes down the street in low light from a tripod, etc. We both agreed Maven won. So sold the Vortex.

  • Sitka Gear