The Vanguard Endeavor ED II 10x42 is an all-around great pair of binoculars in our best binocular review, and a great option if the excellent Vortex Viper HD 8x42 is just outside of your price range. 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.Editor's Note: This product review was updated on January 11, 2022, with more comparison info and recommendations on what to buy.
Vanguard Endeavor ED II 10x42 Review
Cons: Adjustment stiff at first
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|Pros||Good close focus range for a 10x bino, quality construction, sharp and bright optics||Very clear and bright, easy to adjust, comfortable, high-quality construction||Excellent brightness, great clarity, comfortable||Inexpensive, good clarity and brightness||Good clarity, small and lightweight, relatively comfortable|
|Cons||Adjustment stiff at first||A bit heavy for the backcountry||Slightly heavy for backpacking||Average construction quality, mediocre low-light performance||Poor low-light performance|
|Bottom Line||Good all-around performance, but lacks some clarity when compared to other models in the same price range||This 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 tag||An excellent balance of price and all-around performance with particularly impressive brightness||The most budget-friendly option we've found that offers a good introduction to birdwatching||An inexpensive, small, and packable model that offers surprisingly good optics|
|Rating Categories||Vanguard Endeavor E...||Vortex Viper HD 8x42||Vortex Diamondback...||Celestron Nature DX...||Vortex Diamondback...|
|Ease of Adjustment (15%)|
|Construction Quality (15%)|
|Close Focus Range (7.5%)|
|Field of View (7.5%)|
|Specs||Vanguard Endeavor E...||Vortex Viper HD 8x42||Vortex Diamondback...||Celestron Nature DX...||Vortex Diamondback...|
|Multi - Coating||FMC||FMC||FMC||FMC||FMC|
|Field of View (at 1000 yards)||340 ft||409 ft||393 ft||388 ft||332 ft|
|Close Focus||6.5 ft||6.5 ft||5.0 ft||6.5 ft||6.0 ft|
|Eye Relief||18 mm||18 mm||17 mm||17.5 mm||18 mm|
|Size (Length x Width)||6.1 x 5.1 in||5.8 x 5.3 in||5.7 x 5.1 in||5.3 x 4.9 in||4.6 x 4.5 in|
|Weight||27.1 oz||24.2 oz||21.8 oz||22.2 oz||14.0 oz|
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.
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.
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 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.
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 on all of Vanguard's flagship lines.
The eyecups are firmer on this model than most others in our test, but they're not uncomfortable. The textured rubber coating on the barrels is easy to hold. 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 don't feel like you have to strain to stare at objects.
Field of View and Close Focus Range
With the ability to focus on objects 6.5 feet away, the Vanguard Endeavor ED II had a respectable showing for close focus range of the 10x magnification binoculars we tested. It also scored well for the field of view, with 340 feet viewable at 1000 yards. For comparison, the Vortex Viper HD 8x42's field of view is 347 feet at 1000 yards and a close focus range of 5.1 feet for its 8x magnification.
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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