Customer Reviews: Vanguard 10x42 Sprit ED Binocular (Black)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
Price:$169.62+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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VINE VOICEon June 8, 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
....make me really wish I could give these 3 1/2 stars. (I'm reviewing the 10x42 version)

The build quality of these is excellent with some real (but reasonable) heft and great rubberized protection. The hinged objective caps are a great convenience, and the dangling dual-eyepiece cover offers a good balance of protection and convenience as well. The focus wheel is very smooth but easy to "land" in the sweet spot. The diopter adjustment is effective, and the long-eye-relief of the eyepieces (and the hinged body) make for great comfort and convenience for use while wearing glasses.

The dual-use strap is a clever design, but the whole idea seems a bit on the cheap side for binoculars of this caliber. Yes, it's easy to swap the strap from the case to the binoculars, but, having done so, what do you do with the case other than unhitch your belt and strap it there (or leave it behind altogether). Again, it's not a huge deal, but it's more of an annoyance than convenience for me.

Optically, the lenses are tack-sharp, and the light-gathering ability of the glass and its truly superior coatings is VERY impressive. Additionally, the colors captured by this glass are fantastic. These are WONDERFUL to use at twilight or in shade -- I've really not seen any binoculars in this price range even approach the light-gathering ability of these. They truly blew me away the first time I looked through them in the shady woods behind my house. 5 BIG stars there.

Where these fall short, though, is in the consistency of the glass from edge-to-edge. There is significant loss of detail and focus the closer one gets to the edges. About 15-20% of the glass around the edges is significantly out of focus with the center, and this is true of both lenses individually, and it's consistent around the circumferences of the lenses, so this does not appear to be a matter of just getting a bad pair, though I could be wrong about that, of course.

In addition to the de-focussing issues around the periphery, each lens has significant pincushion distortion: start looking at a thin tree along the right side of the FOV, and its top and bottom will bend to the right; moving it to the left side of the FOV, the top and bottom will bend progressively to the left. I'd say that pincushion distortion is at least moderate, and it's consistent in both lenses, so it doesn't appear that this is just an inconsistent or "bad" set.

With all that said, there is a large enough FOV on these that I don't think that for most people these optical problems outweigh the pros of the lens's light-gathering ability and vivid color. Most folks will be looking primarily at the centers of these lenses, probably training their eyeballs on no more than the center 1/3 of the image circle. However, if you're a person for whom a lack of optical precision across the glass is going to be a problem, I'd steer clear of these. For the rest who just want a really bright set of binoculars with great color and great build quality, these binoculars are quite good.
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on January 31, 2012
When I purchased these binoculars I was looking for a good replacement for my old B & L pair that had finally bitten the dust after many years of faithful service. The Spirit Ed's arrived in the promised two days and I must say I was pleasantly impressed. They were light, sturdy and just felt like quality in my hands. One look through these and wow, the brightness made me realize what I have been missing while using my old pair. Detail is incredible and since I'm an eyeglass wearer seeing the full field of view was critical. After quick easy adjustments in the eye relief I was there. Light, easy to grip, bright-covers and a great field of view and I don't need to remove my glasses to get it . These are really nice! If there is a negative I would like to see a shoulder support strap vs the neck strap included. I've used these while hunting for about a month now and have learned to really appreciate the things I see now that I was missing before. Love these binoculars!
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on December 5, 2012
I bought these binoculars for a trip to Colorado last year. Can't say I've used them much since, but they were really great to have on that trip. Everything was very clear, no visual distortions at all. Easy to dial in the correct focus and dial for eyepiece adjusts easily as well. Very well made covered in grippy rubber, easy to hold when wet. Very happy with my purchase.
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Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
We have a set of compact Bushnell binoculars Bushnell 12x25mm Powerview Compact Binocularswhich go everywhere with us, hiking, motorcycle riding, in the motorhome and camper, to sporting events. Really, everywhere. I've always been relatively happy with these because they are lightweight, pack small, and are cheap enough that I wouldn't mind if something happened to them.

The downside is that when I'm wearing glasses, the Bushnell binocs just don't work. And taking off the glasses, then fumbling with glasses and binoculars is no fun. The thing that intrigued me most about these Vangaurd 10x42's is that they had an eye cup that worked with glasses.

I was surprised by the size and weight of the Vanguard binoculars, at 1.75 lbs (over 2 lbs in their case), and measuring 6" x 5.5" x 2.5", these aren't something you'd carelessly throw in your backpack for a day hike. But one look through these beauties and I'm willing to put up with the additional weight and size in many situations.

I am astonished by how clear and bright everything is! Even in low light in the evening or morning hours, these are a joy to use.

A simple twist of the eye cups switches you from a user wearing glasses to one without, very quick and easy.

These have replaced the Bushnells for sporting events, for camping, and even for hiking when I know we're going somewhere that long-distance viewing or wildlife spotting is important.

A few weeks ago we were hiking one of our favorite trails, and I was so happy to have these along when we spotted a bobcat, and also got to watch some nesting golden eagles, a real treat!
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on August 11, 2012
Am very pleased with the Vanguard Spirit 10x42. Did alot of internet research and these were ranked very high. The quality seems very good, and the clarity of the optics is excellent. Comes in a very nice case with a shoulder strap. Easy to adjust to fit your eyes. Great deal for the price, especially with the $50 rebate. Vanguard Spirit Ed Binocular- Choose Size
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on December 8, 2015
Awesome Binoculars!

They arrived quickly and upon opening the box I was surprised to find how well they are constructed. picking them up, they feel very robust, like i could drop them and they would be fine. Their size is also very impressive, they are relatively small and light-weight for their magnification (10) and aperture size (42mm), you can even get a tripod adapter for them (There's a cap on the front that screws off that you can screw a binocular tripod adapter onto, uses standard 1/4-inch thread)! They fit very well in your hand and are easy to carry around (only 640grams) and would be great for a hiking trip; I've been keeping them in my motorcycle's (small) saddlebags j.i.c. i come across something i want to check out

They come with a soft case and a very unique strapping system, with which you are able to use as a neck or shoulder strap, and attach to either the carrying case or binoculars themselves, depending on what you find more comfortable/safe
The image quality is great! They advertise some type of green tint that is 'essential' for wildlife viewing; if they didn't state that, id never be able to notice from the image. It (the image) is crystal clear!! the details are very sharp; I'm able to read numbers off aircraft (granted not commercial aircraft flying at 30000ft, but planes flying [probably] 1000ft overhead getting ready to land at a airfield a 8mi away) and check out birds and wildlife with ease. They're also great for sky-watching!!! I was amazed to find dozens of brightly lit stars in areas that appeared empty (well i knew there are stars there, just couldn't see them previously), it also gives the moon amazing detail; I have a 50x optical zoom camera and I have more fun looking through these than through the camera!! The image quality is truly superb.
They give me a great view of a mountain range (20+mi away) from my balcony; I can see trees on the ridgeline that are just a blur to the naked eye and boulders & gulleys that would otherwise just blend in. I cant get over how crisp trhe images are!
In addition, the field of view is very good, a lot of binoculars blur around the edges (only clear in the center of the image) but these are very good througout the entire field of view
Compared to an older pair of 7x50 marine binoculars (that cost $990 new 15years ago), these are amazing; looking at that same mountain range, you can see the difference in image quality).

It has adjustable eye cups so you can either wear glasses or adjust it to your bare eyes.
They are waterproof (the company claims to test every pair)
The left eyepiece can be adjusted independently, so if your eyes are different, you can compensate by adjusting the focus on your right eye
The focus wheel is easy to use, and can focus on object from about 10ft to infinity
My only complaint would be about the focus wheel, it adjust too quickly; the difference between in focus (@infinity) and out of focus feels like 1/10th of a turn, making it kind of hard to get it perfectly into focus. But it works to your advantage if you need to quickly adjust focus (it takes less than a turn to go from close to infinity focus, if i had a choice i would perfer atleast 2revolutions, making it easier to find the perfect focus, at the sacrifice of speed of focusing)
I wanted to get a pair of 10x50's but couldn't pass up this deal, and I'm glad i didn't (I got them for $140 as a Black Friday lightning deal; $200 is out of my price range... but the lightning deal made it totally worth it, it would be a very hard decision @200, but if it is within your budget, i know you wont be disappointed with these)!
They have an exit pupil of 4.2 (42/10) making is good for low light conditions and a respectable field of view (315ft at 1000yards); whil ethere are binoculars that are better, they are orders of magnitude more expensive

Another great thing is their No-Fault warranty! Hopefully I wont have to use it, but its good to know that if in 10years the coating starts to peel or the eyepieces get deformed, or w.e, i can send them in for a replacement and only have to cover one-way shipping!!
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on August 3, 2016
I had recently bought a Oberwerk Sport ED 10x42 and so when the Vanguard 10x42 Sprit ED was available for less than half the price, I absolutely wanted to buy one as a gift for my father and compare it with the Oberwerk. The Oberwerk has a MFD of about 6.6ft and FOV of 6.5deg when compared to Vanguard's 9ft and FOV of 6deg. Vanguard's definitely has more CA (purple fringing) than the Oberwerk model (the latter just has a hint of CA in bright sunlight), and so the Oberwerk ended up having more accurate colors because of this, esp. when looking at faraway objects in bright sunlight. However, for casual use the CA on the Vanguard wasn't very distracting. Unless color accuracy would be important, you should be ok. For half the price, the Vanguard will definitely pass, though I will continue to enjoy the Oberwerk. Also, I think the Oberwerks are hand inspected before shipment as they come with a manually filled QA certificate for collimation and other details, and so you are likely to get a good/inspected unit compared to the Vanguards. Other than this, the two binoculars felt similar in size and weight.

Update 8/8/16: I ended up buying 2 additional of these binoculars for gifting, and I was surprised to see the variations in performance between 3 units. All of the 3 consistently had high CA compared to my Oberwerk which affected colors significantly when viewing far away objects (quality of glass appears to be consistent). However, the MFD/close focus distance varied significantly between them. My first unit wouldn't focus anything closer than 9-10ft. The second unit could come down to about 7.5ft. The third sample focused as close as 6.5ft nearly matching the Oberwerk, but has a tight spot around the 7.5ft focus point. Not sure why this is the case, perhaps the focus is traveling more than it ought to. If colors of faraway objects matter to you, then I would not recommend this - go with Oberwerk or another model (Nikon monarch 5 appears to be a popular choice, but I haven't tested that).
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on December 30, 2012
Purchased as a Christmas gift to replace a very old binocular ... was very hesitant to pay this kind of $$$ , but have no regrets!!! The clarity & magnification are amazing - we are really novices, who have the opportunity to watch big birds (geese,heron, osprey) from our balcony. These provide tremendous detail @ about 100 yards, are extremely sturdy , but lightweight. Again, we are NOT experts, but this is a quality product that far exceeded our expectations!
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on November 29, 2015
I did some research on binoculars to better understand the magnification I needed (10x) and diameter of the lens to allow in sufficient light (42mm). I was looking for a pair that were not too large, but convenient to carry into the field for spotting raptors to photograph. These exceeded my expectations in terms of construction, quality, and overall functionality. The glass is high quality and images are sharp and distinct. The diameter is large enough to allow in enough light for visibility at long distances or in low light conditions.
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on November 1, 2015
I love love love these. I get my right eye lined up and then pull it in to match on the left, do a little adjustment and voila! I can see for miles and miles and miles and miles and miles. (Sorry, channelling the Who.) They are really nice, easy to focus on flying birds and go deep on mountain ranges. I can't think of a thing I would change. I even like the carrying case.
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