Introduction

For this comparison, I have chosen two medium-size binoculars, both light-weight and with an open bridge design, Leupold BX-3 Mojave 8×42, and Vanguard Endeavor ED II 8×42.
Leupold has developed a binocular, which has very good optical properties in its slim, In-Line designed housing. Optical, Design, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering with Quality Assurance Testing have been completely recreated, and Leupold has named this project Synergy Built optics/binoculars.
Best Binocular Review pronounced Vanguard Endeavor ED II 8×42 to be the ‘Best Wildlife Observation Binocular of 2014‘, since it is extremely comfortable to use, has many practical features and gives a good optical performance.
The binoculars are similar to each other in several specifications, are extremely comfortable to use and are suitable for those who buy binoculars for the first time and do not need them for too specific and precise observations but are nevertheless good enough to satisfy every novice hunter or a birdwatcher.

Leupold BX-3 Mojave 8×42 And Vanguard Endeavor ED II 8×42

Leupold BX-3 Mojave 8×42 And Vanguard Endeavor ED II 8×42

Size & Weight

 Leupold BX-3 Mojave 8×42Vanguard Endeavor ED II 8×42
Weight:663 g770 g
Width:126 mm130 mm
Length:142 mm154 mm
Max interpupillary distance:76 mm76 mm

The casing on Mojave is very bulky and made from black rubber with zig-zag adornments on the surface. The latter do not only serve for a more attractive appearance but also give a better grip and prevent binoculars to slip out of hands in case of rain or other extreme weather conditions. On the upper side of the binoculars, there are also two rubber patches, which look like leather and also serve for a better grip. Mojave is slightly smaller and lighter than the Vanguard model.
Endeavor‘s housing is also covered in rubber, which looks like black faux-leather and its overall look is much simpler than Leupold’s Mojave. Its details are made of plastic. Central knob and diopter setting ring have rubber dots all over their surface. The diopter ring on Endeavor ED II has a locking adjustment feature.

Leupold BX-3 Mojave 8×42

Leupold BX-3 Mojave 8×42

Vanguard Endeavor ED II 8×42

Vanguard Endeavor ED II 8×42

 

Optical Properties

 Leupold BX-3 Mojave 8×42Vanguard Endeavor ED II 8×42
Prism type:Roof -Schmidt/PechanRoof -Schmidt/Pechan
Lens Diameter:42 mm42 mm
Magnification:8x8x
Variable Magnification:NoNo
Coatings:Fully multi-coatedFully multi-coated
Close focus:2.4 m 2 m
Field of View:111 m/ 1000 m126 m/ 1000 m

8x magnification with 42 mm objective lens diameter is the most popular configuration among all binocular manufacturers. Almost every company produces at least one model of binoculars in this range. Therefore, competition is extremely strong and big, and for this reason, you get the best possible device for the price you pay. It is a configuration suitable for all situations and works well in all conditions and types of observation. It is perfect for stalking hunting, following the game, focusing on moving objects (not so much for scanning smaller animals), bird watching, observing the surroundings (large open areas, landscapes…), events and is the ultimate choice for all first-time buyers. Compared to devices with higher magnifications, it has a larger field of view, better controlled shaking effect, and higher light transmittance.
The prism type of both binoculars is Roof- Schmidt/Pechan with a fully multi-coated optical system. Mojave’s prisms are coated in Cold Mirror (coating) technology that improves clarity, the sharpness of the image and color reproduction.
Endeavor ED binoculars are assembled with Hoya ED high-quality glass, provide good edge-to-edge sharpness, good clarity and brightness. Prisms are phase corrected so they eliminate the chromatic aberration and add true color fidelity.
The field of view and close focusing distance are both more convenient on the Vanguard binoculars. Compared to Mojave, the latter has the field of view wider for 15 meters. Close focusing distance is shorter and therefore much more suitable for closer and more detailed observations.

Vanguard Endeavor ED II 8×42 (left) and Leupold BX-3 Mojave 8×42 (right)

Vanguard Endeavor ED II 8×42 (left) and Leupold BX-3 Mojave 8×42 (right)

Leupold BX-3 Mojave 8×42 (left) And Vanguard Endeavor ED II 8×42 (right)

Leupold BX-3 Mojave 8×42 (left) And Vanguard Endeavor ED II 8×42 (right)

Focus Properties

 Leupold BX-3 Mojave 8×42Vanguard Endeavor ED II 8×42
Focusing System:CentralCentral
Central Wheel Grasp:7/108/10
Central Wheel Rotation:7/108/10
Diopter Setting:CentralRight-eye
Central Wheel Diameter:29 mm33 mm
Central Wheel Length:29 mm22 mm
Total Revolution: 740°400°
Bridge Length (open bridge + the central wheel)23 mm24 mm

Mojave has a central focus and a central diopter setting. Focusing is done by rotating only the outer ring of the central wheel. The wheel/knob is covered in black rubber which is soft on the touch, despite the jagged surface. I have evaluated its grasp and rotation both with a good 7/10. The diopter setting is adjusted by pulling out the front side of the central wheel and rotating it. This is a very important information for all those who have less experience with binoculars, because some first-time buyers may have trouble finding this setting at all.
Endeavor ED has a central focusing system and a right-eye diopter setting. Its wheel feels very stable and has a better grip than the one on Mojave. It is also covered in soft black rubber and has small square dots on the surface. The grasp and rotation are good and sturdy and that is why I have evaluated them with a good 8/10. The diopter setting ring is placed under the right eyecup and has a locking adjustment feature. The latter is indispensable if we move the binoculars a lot and do not want our settings to change. Endeavor has a similar ring on the opposite barrel too, but that one has no function. Both rings are lined with fluorescent green circles, which serve for better visibility of the binoculars and is a distinct Vanguard design, which is immediately recognisable.

Leupold BX-3 Mojave 8×42 (above) And Vanguard Endeavor ED II 8×42 (below)

Leupold BX-3 Mojave 8×42 (above) And Vanguard Endeavor ED II 8×42 (below)

Vanguard Endeavor ED II 8×42 (left) and Leupold BX-3 Mojave 8×42 (right)

Vanguard Endeavor ED II 8×42 (left) and Leupold BX-3 Mojave 8×42 (right)

Eyepiece Properties

 Leupold BX-3 Mojave 8×42Vanguard Endeavor ED II 8×42
Eyepiece type:MultipositionedMultipositioned
Number of Click-stops:23
Eye relief:19 nmm19.5 mm
Exit pupil:5.3 mm5.3 mm
Firmness:7/106/10
Quality:7/108/10
Suitable for Eye Glass Wearers:YesYes
External Diameter:40 mm40 mm
Internal Diameter:22 mm25 mm

Both binoculars have multi-positioned eyepieces with a turn and slide mechanism. Mojave is offering 2 click-stops with a slightly more difficult rotation. The eyecups get a little stuck sometimes when we try to rotate them back to the starting position. The rubber they are made of is thick and soft. Unfortunately, white greasy spots are quickly seen on them when we use the binoculars for some time. I have rated their firmness and quality with a 7/10.
Endeavor’s multi-positioned eyepieces offer 3 click-stops and even have a half-millimeter longer eye relief than the Mojave. Their rotation is a bit loose and unstable and can change the position quickly if we are not careful enough or if we press the binoculars too hard against the face. The soft rubber used for them is very nicely shaped and feels very comfortable. I have evaluated the firmness of the eyepiece with a 6/10 and their quality with an 8/10.

Vanguard Endeavor ED II 8×42 (left) and Leupold BX-3 Mojave 8×42 (right)

Vanguard Endeavor ED II 8×42 (left) and Leupold BX-3 Mojave 8×42 (right)

Vanguard Endeavor ED II 8×42 (left) and Leupold BX-3 Mojave 8×42 (right)

Vanguard Endeavor ED II 8×42 (left) and Leupold BX-3 Mojave 8×42 (right)

General Properties

 Leupold BX-3 Mojave 8×42Vanguard Endeavor ED II 8×42
Housing Material:Plastic/ RubberPlastic/ Rubber
Armoring:RubberRubber
Quality of Armoring:8/108/10
Quality of Covers:6/108/10
Build in Rangefinder:NoNo
Waterproof:YesYes
Submersible:Yes Yes
Filled With:NitrogenNitrogen
Number of Colors:11
Tripod Adaptable:YesYes
Made in:JapanChina
Introduced in:20132013
Warranty period: 5 years2 years
MRSP Price:494.00 EUR499.00 EUR

The binoculars described above are both light-weight and compact enough for carrying around and use in a wide variety of fields. Both have their armoring quality-made from durable and resistant rubber with several plastic details and a chassis made of magnesium alloy. I have evaluated the quality of armoring on both models with an 8/10. As for the covers, the ones on Mojave are very thin and poorly-made and do not fit so nicely into the openings of the barrels. That is why I have rated them with a bad 6/10. Covers on Endeavor are much better done and fit the openings perfectly. I have rated them with an 8/10.
Both binoculars are waterproof and fog-proof, thanks to the Nitrogen gas filling and O-ring seals. They were introduced in 2013 and can be adapted to a tripod. Mojave is made in Japan and offers 5 year warranty period and Endeavor ED is made in China with a warranty period of 2 years. The difference in price is minimal.

Vanguard Endeavor ED II 8×42 (left) and Leupold BX-3 Mojave 8×42 (right)

Vanguard Endeavor ED II 8×42 (left) and Leupold BX-3 Mojave 8×42 (right)

Group Test

How we made a test

We made a test with a group of 6 people with very diverse knowledge about sports optics. Some had previous experiences with binoculars and other almost none. We compared central and edge sharpness, glare, real FOV, eye-box and overall impression. Everyone in the test group tested binoculars individually without being influenced by other people. We also covered down any brand signs on binoculars, so no one was influenced by knowing which company manufactured which.

 Leupold BX-3 Mojave 8×42Vanguard Endeavor ED II 8×42
Central sharpness:3/63/6
Edge sharpness:4/62/6
Glare:1/65/6
Real FOV:2/64/6
Eye-box:4/62/6
Overall impression:3/63/6

As for the ratings, both binoculars ended with more or less the same results and impressions. In some categories, Mojave was better, and in others, Endeavor has won. As for the central sharpness, and overall impression, the results ended in a tie. Half of the people who have tested the binoculars would go for Mojave and the other half for Endeavor ED. Mojave was slightly better in edge sharpness and eye-box category, while Endeavor won in glare and the real field of view category.

Conclusion

I was not expecting results like these since I personally liked the Vanguard’s model more. However, both binoculars offer really a lot for their price. Not only they are made of quality materials (exterior plus the open bridge design), they are also very much suitable for all kinds of observations and will most definitely become an indispensable companion of every enthusiast.
Leupold Mojave is packed in a small black nylon purse unfortunately with no carrying strap for it. However, a neck strap, eyepiece covers, and a cleaning cloth are included. Endeavor’s bag is made of stronger black fabric with a carrying strap included. In the package, there are also neck strap, covers for the eyepiece and a cleaning cloth.

Leupold BX-3 Mojave 8×42 Kit

Leupold BX-3 Mojave 8×42 Kit

Vanguard Endeavor ED II 8×42 Kit

Vanguard Endeavor ED II 8×42 Kit

Disclaimer

This test wasn’t financed and is unbiased. As a wildlife enthusiast interested in sports optics I made this tests because I would like to see how binoculars perform and if they meet the advertised expectations. With this test, I also hope that it will help people choose the right binoculars for their personal use. I am not in any way connected with the manufacturers of sports optics and I’m not personally in favor of particular brand.
In the end, I would like to thank Optics-trade.eu to lend me these binoculars for this test. I also thank them for letting me use their videos.

 

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