OutdoorHub Review: Maven Compact 8x B.3 Binoculars
OutdoorHub Review: Maven Compact 8x B.3 Binoculars
The desire to see farther than the human eye allows is an old one. I can almost hear the original thought. “Oooga mooga! Oo ah!” Right around the beginning of the 17th century, the understanding of light and lenses changed from theory to reality. Humans began building the first devices that allowed them to observe the world around them from a distance. Fast forward to the modern era and binoculars, monoculars, and telescopes are commonplace. As these items became more common, their expense became more reasonable. Now, sitting on the desk in front of me, I have a set of (spoilers) high-quality binoculars that would send Hans Lippershey into cardiac arrest. Welcome to the review of the Maven Optics B.3 Binoculars.
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Maven B.3 Binoculars: Specifications
- Magnification: 8x
- Light transmission: 95.20%
- Objective lens: 30mm
- Color: Grey and orange
- Weight: 16.6 ounces
- MSRP: $550
Let’s Take A Look
This is not the first Maven product I’ve used. I’ve tried a few of their scopes and have been plenty satisfied with them. So, going into this review, I expected good things. Pulling the B.3 Binoculars from their protective bag, the start of this review was a good one. The B.3s are small, which is exactly what I was looking for. They’re 4.7” long and weigh a hair over one pound (16.6oz to be exact).
The grey, polymer body with orange and metal accents made this one of the coolest-looking pairs I’ve seen. Also, when it comes to my outdoor gear, I tend to like bright colors. Finding black items in a black bag is a struggle, and leaves me looking like my grandma searching for her keys at the bottom of her purse. After looking at it, I was eager to look through it.
Seeing Is Believing
I took the Maven B.3 Binoculars out into the wilds of Colorado in an attempt to see some critters. If you hike the Golden State Canyon State Park area, you might know Horseshoe Trail. I attached the included neck strap and off we went. Accompanying me was my amazing wife and our okay-ish kids.
Flashback! Before I could capture a glance at any animals, I needed to set the binos up. Before hitting the mountains, I scouted the plains at my favorite training facility, MODTAC Training Group.
I don’t wear glasses, so I extended the eyecups. I looked through the lenses and used the center focus wheel to bring things into focus. To account for the differences in vision between my left and right eye, I covered my left objective lens and rotated the diopter until my right eye saw a similarly clear image. Now, I was ready to roll.
Flash forward again! We were enjoying our day of nature, friendly hikers, and diaper changes with the B.3s. Looking through them, the image was so clear that it almost looked fake. Objects in focus really popped against the background. My initial subject was simply nearby trees and flowers. Then, to my surprise, I spotted a beautiful and very patient butterfly. It waited for me to adjust my exposure and focus.
There were butterflies everywhere, and everyone in our hiking party enjoyed using the binoculars like a microscope. It’s hard to beat binos for looking far away, but they can be equally as helpful up close. The B.3s have a near focus of 8.2 feet, meaning that’s the closest you can be to a subject and still focus on it. I recently used them on my back patio to identify a local spider with my wife.
We also got to glass some birds. Before leaving, I researched the local bird species and was able to clearly identify them using the 8x binos.
The above bird is a crow. They are loud.
I Can See Clearly Now
The Maven B.3 Binoculars are exactly what I was looking for. They packed a lot of power into a compact package. I’m sure that’s largely due to the use of the shorter Schmidt-Pechan prisms. Being colorblind, I can’t speak much to the Extra-Low Dispersion ED Glass and its ability to correct color abnormalities.
As a testament to their durability, I also let my four-year-old son play with them. After an hour of unsupervised abuse, they were still kicking. Although, after a few days with him, the focus dial did become a bit tougher to turn. I played with it a little and it came loose again. Not a big problem, but it caught my attention.
If you know anything about good glass, then you know that $550 is an absolute steal for binoculars of this quality, especially when they’re small enough to fit in my palm and weigh less than the smallest dumbbell at Big 5. In fact, I think they’re about half the size of my mom’s Ericson cellphone from the late 90s. I am very satisfied with the Maven B.3 Binoculars, and see them accompanying me on many adventures to come; probably with fewer babies.
If you’d like to see them for yourself, pick up a pair from the Maven Website. Maven only sells direct to cut out middleman costs. Make sure you also check them out on social media. Maven can be found on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, and YouTube. Keep your glass clean!
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