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ISE Denver Optics Exhibitor Updates

#1
Swung by the ISE in Denver yesterday. Here’s a couple updates I got from the exhibitors:

Maven: I spoke with Craig Okraska, and he confirmed that they are intending to come out with a lightweight spotting scope. Spring 2019 is when they intent to bring it to market, it will be S-series glass, and he told me it would have a 56mm objective. He said it wouldn’t be as lightweight as some people would want but that they were more concerned with optics than weight (that would be in line with most of their other optics). I inquired about price point and got the impression it would be something in the $1k to $1,500 range, but I didn’t press him for the number.

Tract: I spoke with Jon Allen and they had a new set of 12.5x50 Torics on the counter, which aren’t online yet. He indicated this was the first show they had taken them to. I asked whether they were similar to the 12.5x50 GPO Passion HDs and he wasn’t familiar with those. Jon also said they were going to be releasing a 10x50 set of Torics. From our discussion it sounded like they were getting pressed by customers to come out with a set of 15x56s too, and my guess is they will at some point in the future.
 

sndmn11

Well-known member
#6
Yes, I would be interested in the comparison between the Tract Toric and the Maven B1
I was able to take the Toric HT 10x42 home last night to compare this morning. I have on my desk Maven B2 9x, 10x B1 and SLC. I was hoping to spend a goo bit of time at day break but some snow came in and visibility was sporadic between a few hundred yards to several dozen yards around where the deer usually are. I spent about 20 minutes total in those conditions. I left all but the Toric's at home, and got to the show early so that I could sit on one of the elevated areas outside overlooking the college. Visibility was a lot better. I am hoping that it will be sunny tomorrow or Sunday so I can steal some time to get back to that spot outside to see how they handle glare and genuine shadow.
 
#8
Do you know if the guys at Maven plan to release any new riflescopes??
I’ll try to remember to ask this weekend. I really liked the feel and overall weight of the two they have out now.

Yes, which did you like?
I started jotting down what I noticed about each binocular, but there’s a couple things I didn’t check as thoroughly as I would have liked. I’ll be back at the ISE Sunday, after which I’ll post my thoughts since they will be more complete. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts as you’ll actually have them outside instead of in a bright convention center.
 

sndmn11

Well-known member
#9
I started jotting down what I noticed about each binocular, but there’s a couple things I didn’t check as thoroughly as I would have liked. I’ll be back at the ISE Sunday, after which I’ll post my thoughts since they will be more complete. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts as you’ll actually have them outside instead of in a bright convention center.
I am 99% certain that they will let you take them out side if you ask. The best place to get outside are the doors in the food court area just past our booth.
 
#12
I'd like to know how Maven plans to differentiate its small spotter from Kowa's 55 mm spotters. Similar optic quality with better eyepiece maybe??? I'm on the fence with spotters -- have been leaning towards 60-65 mm Leica and Swaro options available to me, but Kowa's 55 mm spotter has had me very intrigued. As a Maven fan, if one of the things they are doing with the added weight is an improved eyepiece compared to the Kowa, that probably makes my decision for me. Thanks for the update!

- - - Updated - - -

If you drop by the GPO booth, I'd be interested to learn if they have any different reticle options coming out for their 6x hunting or tactical scopes.
 
#14
I was able to take the Toric HT 10x42 home last night to compare this morning. I have on my desk Maven B2 9x, 10x B1 and SLC. I was hoping to spend a goo bit of time at day break but some snow came in and visibility was sporadic between a few hundred yards to several dozen yards around where the deer usually are. I spent about 20 minutes total in those conditions. I left all but the Toric's at home, and got to the show early so that I could sit on one of the elevated areas outside overlooking the college. Visibility was a lot better. I am hoping that it will be sunny tomorrow or Sunday so I can steal some time to get back to that spot outside to see how they handle glare and genuine shadow.
Awesome! Thanks!
 

sndmn11

Well-known member
#15
I took B1s and ToricHT in 10x42 outside yesterday in the afternoon when the sun was right above the hogbacks. To my eyes, the Mavens handled that low angle glare noticeably better than the Tracts did at all angles to line of sight. Looking into shadows on the east sides of buildings, the Mavens seemed to be a tiny bit better resolved, but admittedly I was not on a tripod.

I really think that if the Tracts are at the tip top of your budget, you are going to be super happy. The same would be said for the Mavens in any of the B series versions. One is definitely getting their money's worth with either brand. My wife went through all binoculars from both brands, and she is ordering some 8x B1s, she said it was an easy choice.
 
#16
I looked at the Tract Toric HT 10x42s, Maven B1 10x42s, Maven B2 9x45s and 11x45s.

Appearance and ergo: The Tract Toric HTs are nice and compact, have a solid rubberized feel to them and feel similar to a handful of other binoculars on the market. Not too different than say the Zeiss Conquest HDs or the Vortex Razor HDs as far a high-level appearance and feel in the hand. In that way they are a familiar and comfortable binocular. Pretty decent eyecups if you ask me; rounded and comfortable on the face. Overall a well thought through bino on the outside. The Maven B1s and B2s on the other hand are large and heavy for their class and don’t remind me of any other binocular I’ve ever held before. I’ve read before that the B1s and B2s feel surprisingly light for their size and super well balanced, and I’ll say that was immediately apparent. The eyecups aren’t my favorite as they’re a little bit too easy to move IMO. They also had a harder exterior than some of the other rubberized binoculars on the market, perhaps due to the custom options they offer with the camo patterns and whatnot.

Optics: I spent as much time as I could get away with looking through all three of the binoculars and found myself liking the Maven B1s the most, which surprised me. Right off the top it’s worth mentioning that the Tract Torics are at a lower price point than either of the Mavens and from that perspective I felt like you get what you pay for. If you’re in the price range of the Torics ($700ish) they seemed like a fantastic option. I thought they were clear, had nice color rendition to my eyes, better edge to edge clarity that a lot of binos in that class (didn’t get them on a tripod so I couldn’t say definitively), and have a pretty solid FOV. But they didn’t resolve details to my eyes quite as nicely as the Mavens, and to me were noticeably but not terribly darker. I have a low S/N pair of Japanese Razor HD 10x42s that I thought did better at resolving details and were brighter than the Tracts, but that’s just what my eyes saw. Both the Maven B1s and B2s resolved details amazingly well, and as sndmn pointed out they dealt better with glare than the Torics. I own a pair of C1s and I would say that all Maven binoculars deal extremely well with glare. What sold me on the B1s vs the B2s was the focus. The B1s were quicker to focus and had a deeper depth of field to my eyes, which was reiterated by the guys at the booth. It’s a tradeoff of going to the AK prism design if what I was told. It amounted to me having to refocus the B1s much less which to me is hugely important when hunting, though I know others care less about refocusing constantly. It would have been nice to get the B1s and B2s on tripods to really pick over the optical differences but that wasn’t practical in an expo environment. I did think the edge-to-edge clarity was better on the Mavens overall than the Torics, but I couldn’t tell between the B1s and B2s offhand.

Anyways, I really like all three of the binoculars. I’m no expert or optics professional so please don’t read my thoughts as some sort of definitive review. I would spend the money for the Maven B1s or B2s if it were me, but I think the Tracts will make most people happy.
 
#17
Do you know if the guys at Maven plan to release any new riflescopes??
Craig Okraska said that, yes, they are working on new riflescopes. They would be higher magnification turret twisters is what I was told. More and more customers are looking for long range hunting scopes so they're trying to meet that demand.

I'd like to know how Maven plans to differentiate its small spotter from Kowa's 55 mm spotters. Similar optic quality with better eyepiece maybe???
I asked and didn't really get an answer on this one. I don't know if it's a reticence to feel like they're putting down other companies or not, but neither Tract or Maven were interested in comparing their optics to a specific competitor's. That's probably the right way to go about it and I appreciate that, but regardless I wasn't able to get an answer. Hopefully we find out more about the lightweight Maven spotter soon. I for one am very interested.
 
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