Binoculars are very much a personal choice, no two pairs of eyes or hands are the same. Our reviews are designed to give the potential customer a more in depth assessment of a binocular, so they can use this information against their own particular requirements.
Vanguard Endeavor ED IV 8x42 - Popular Chinese made binocular back with a new model
Model reviewed: Vanguard Endeavor ED IV 8x42
Price as reviewed - £399.00
Vanguard are a fantastic alternative in the sub £500 binocular market. A key point of the brand is being able to cater for a wide market while delivering optical quality that rivals class leaders.
This model, the Endeavor ED IV , is Vanguard's premium binocular and is looking to follow on from the success of the Endeavor ED II.
The “open hinge” design makes the ED IV quite a long binocular. However thsi design also allows it to be held comfortably and offers a nice amount of balance in the hand. The weighty feeling may put off some but isn’t a huge problem and in many ways is slightly reassuring that you are holding a quality product.
Vanguard have clearly put thought into the design of the ED IV. The rubber armouring feels strong, the eyecups are comfortable and little detailing like the bright green rings near the eye cups are a nice touch. One criticism is that some of the rubber used does feel like it could wear easily over time, however without a long term test it is different to tell just how big an issue it could be.
Finally, the mechanics of the binocular again add to the overall quality. Focusing is smooth and precise, without being overly sensitive, and dioptric adjustment wheel also rotates smoothly without being overly stiff.
Overall the ED IV offers a nice step up over the ED II, especially where build quality is concerned.
The ED IV features sharp optics right across the field of view. It certainly compares favourably with other binoculars at this price point but it is also noticably brighter and a shade sharper than the ED II which this binocular replaces.
The ED glass adds to the quality by producing a crisp and sharp image right to the edge of the view and colour, contrast and definition are all excellent. There is a real lack of colour fringing and even in dark conditions these binoculars produce a fantastic image. The optics aren't perhaps in the same ballpark as the top offerings from Swarovski, Leica or Zeiss they are more than good enough and what you would expect for a £400 binocular.
The Vanguard Endeavor ED IV 8x42 has left a good impression. It has few flaws and for the price represents excellent value for money.
It would be very harsh to say the ED IV is let down by its minor flaws as they really are minor and not something the user would notice with day to day use. If weight is a real concern when buying a binocular then perhaps these wouldn't make the best choice but for most the weight would never be an issue.
Overall Vanguard has produced a well built and pleasant binocular to use for £399. It matches key rivals on all the essential areas of optics design and in the hand this does feel like a really premium product but crucially it offers an improvement on the model it replaces. Buy with confidence.