Maven B3 8x30 Binoculars


Dec 22, 2013
I've been shopping for a pair of hunting binoculars for a while now, wanting to find something that's not too big and bulky, is an asset in dim light, and doesn't break the bank. I've been waffling back and forth between the idea of a good pair of 8x30'ish and 8x40'ish binos, knowing I'm a lot more apt to carry the 30's because of the size and weight even though the 40's would better meet my low light wants/needs. Beginning last spring, I started running across articles and reviews on "Maven" optics. Based in Wyoming, from what I researched and read these guys have done a great job at building some high performing binoculars (comparable to "alpha" glass quality) at mid level prices. They've got a standard "2-wk, try before you buy" demo policy, so decided I'd take the plunge on a pair of B3 8x30's, swap them out for a pair of 8x40's if the 30's weren't going to be bright enough, and then turn the 40's back and fork over a good bit more $$ to one of the more established manufacturers if the Maven 40's disappointed. I need not have worried about the contingency plans, because the $450 8x30's aren't going back.

I really liked these binos from my first impression, and the more I play with them, the more I like them. The first thing I noticed after unwrapping them, was their configuration and build. I've got big, beefy "meathooks" for hands, and a lot of the 8x30's feel too small and finicky as I hold and adjust them. These don't, rather they feel solid, the knurled metal adjustment rings (diopter and center focus) fall naturally in the right spots for tweaking as you look thru them, and the armor coating feels good (not slick, but not sticky, either). These binocs have enough heft to them to be steady, and I can hold/operate them with one hand or two. Basically, these are great to hold onto and use, which I can't say about a lot of small binos. Focus with these is quick and simple -- I've noticed some binos are very finicky with focus (where a little knob movement goes a long way in the focus department and you're forever over-correcting) and others require a lot of knob movement to find the right focus. These are neither -- basically "idiot proof" to focus. (That's a good thing for me.)

As far as optical performance, I'm not a binocular aficionado and don't have "alpha" glass binos to compare these to, but the clarity, resolution, and contrast appear very, very good to me. These have gone everywhere with me the last 2 weeks, and I've made a point of pulling them out and looking thru them in a lot of conditions to try to find something I dislike. (I haven't found it yet.) These binos seem to be very neutral in color (not imparting any colored hues to enhance one thing over the other in the field) and have a very large sweet spot. Image quality isn't perfect from edge-to-edge, but degredation is only apparent around the perimeter where the focus seems softer than in the center. They are great in bright light, a LOT better in low light than I ever expected them to be with 30 mm lenses, and seem great so far in everything in between. I probably wouldn't recognize a bad case of "chromatic aberration" if it bit me on the ass, but I had these out on a crystal clear, sunshine filled, -5F day in shiny snow covered fields looking for coyotes, and I couldn't find anything annoying about the image (other than no coyotes in the image) or that I didn't like about how they worked with frozen hands. On the opposite end of the extreme (and what sealed the deal for me to keep them) I had them out this afternoon/evening watching 4 deer moving around on a brush covered canyon wall about 300 yards away from the house. Sitting there as it got dark, I had my best piece of glass (Leica ER 3.5-14x42 scope) alongside me for comparison, watching the deer and swapping back and forth between binos and scope as the light disappeared. When it was all said and done, I could still find the deer and see some detail with these little Maven binos AFTER losing them with the scope (even after turning the scope down to 6x).

Bottom line, if you're shopping for a new pair of binocs (whether it be 30 mm, 40, or 45) the Maven's are probably worth a look, particularly given their 2 week demo program. On top of that, Maven allows you to customize any bino you order with color, camo, etc... Attached below are a few pix of what I got for $450, and here's their website:



Interesting. Looks as if they are making a real effort to be competitive. I like that they are located in WY. I count that as a positive.