If you’re going to hunt out West then you’d best plan on facing the fact that you need to have good set of binoculars. I’m sure there on plenty of arguments for and against packing in a spotting scope but I can’t think of anytime I’ve heard someone question the need for binos. When offered a chance to check out the latest optical offering from the team at Maven I didn’t want to pass it up.
Growing up in the Midwest and primarily shooting deer inside of 50 yards I truthfully never gave binoculars much thought or attention. That changed on my first elk hunt and since then I’ve begun to understand their importance even when not hunting vast expanses. I’d gotten introduced to Maven a few years ago when I was trialing a pair of B.1’s and was impressed so I was excited to look through their mid-class C.1’s in 10×42.
Even though they are marketed as a “mid-class” binocular I wouldn’t let that keep me from considering them regardless of what market you’re in. The rubberized coating offered a comfortable to grip and the center focus allowed to me to quickly adjust to views at all distances. Looking through the lenses gave a crystal clear picture which would in turn lead to more game spotted or better size estimations.
Maven’s website offers a detailed breakdown of the specifications so in the interest of brevity I’ll hit on some of the highlights. The C.1 features extra low-dispersion (ED) glass, fully multi-coated lenses, and a durable, yet lightweight polymer frame. The 10x I tested weighs in at 24.5 ounces. I checked out the weights of several other comparable binos from various brands which ranged between 23.5-24.9 ounces so the C.1 lands right in line with the others. Maven uses a dielectric coated Schmidt-Pechan prism system and the C.1 is waterproof, fogproof, and comes with a scratch resistant lens coating.
The C.1’s gave a view that was crisp, clean, and clear but i wanted to do a comparison just to make sure my eyes weren’t just convincing my brain that the clarity was as good as it appeared to be. I was able to get my hands on a pair of 10×42 binoculars from a reputable brand that come with a price tag of $649.99. The Maven C.1 I tested comes in at $350.
From a visual perspective, if you just grabbed the two pairs and did a quick scan of a distant area they both did what you would expect and gave me a magnified view of my surroundings. In an attempt to really see if there was a difference I picked out a specific feature and kept going back and forth between the pairs comparing and contrasting. I was able to get a steady rest and picked the scene below as my basis for the analysis.
I’ll just come out and say once you looked through the two pairs of glass, essentially side by side, the Maven’s performed noticeably better. The Maven’s showed a much better color contrast between the the green pine boughs and the intertwined blue spruce boughs on the lefts side of the picture. The blue and green “popped” much more vividly when viewed through the C.1’s. The roll of fencing was easily identifiable through both pairs of glass but with the C.1’s you could pick out the individual strands and also discern features that were behind the roll through the gaps in the strands. The other binos did not give me that level of clarity and crisp, hard lines. The other thing I noticed when comparing the differences after looking through both pairs was details in the shadows. The shadow in the background created by the trees to the right could easily be harboring whatever quarry we may be pursuing. The Maven’s allowed me to pick out individual stems and leaves of the foliage encompassed in the darkness with little effort. The other pair required a concerted effort to distinguish individual pieces and plants.
The 10×42 C.1 binoculars from Maven exceeded my expectations. Not that they were low to begin with but, looking at the price point I didn’t expect them to perform as well as they did when pitted against a pair nearly double the price. They aren’t particularly heavy and give a great view with crisp edges. If I were going to buy a new pair for this fall these would certainly be one of my top choices based on both performance and cost.
Disclaimer: I received these binoculars at no charge for a 90 day trial period. I don’t get any additional compensation if you choose to purchase any Maven product.