8x42mm Endeavor ED roof prism

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This Vanguard 8 x 42mm Endeavor ED is a roof prism binocular for those who want all the features of a top-rank all-purpose European binocular, but don’t want to pay a high European binocular price to get them. ED glass? Check. Fully multicoated? Check. Phase-coated BaK-4 prisms? Check. Silver prism coatings? Check. Fully waterproof open bridge design? Check. Four figure price? Far from it!

BirdWatcher's Digest gave this Endeavor ED their top overall score (5.00 out of 5.00) in their 2013 Optics Annual, rating it ahead of binoculars costing up to $689.99 from Vortex Optics, Nikon, Eagle Optics, Pentax, Leupold, Bushnell, Kowa, and more. They called it "A remarkable best buy," saying it had "excellent optical quality; fast focus; 19mm eye relief; wonderful ergonomics, with slender, easy-to-hold barrels; great value for the money."

The field of the 8 x 42mm Endeavor ED is commendably flat, with images staying in focus from one side of the image to the other. Geometric distortion, the curving of straight lines at the edge of the field, is almost nonexistent. Chromatic aberration is not visible, except for a tiny amount at the very edges of the field, but this is unnoticeable during observing. Colors are bright and true to life, even in low light conditions.

Is the Vanguard 8 x 42mm Endeavor ED mechanically and optically the exact equal of the most expensive high end European roof prism binoculars? Not quite. But it comes darn close at only a quarter to a fifth of the high end European binocular price.

Features of this binocular . . .
  • Roof prism optics. Open bridge H-body roof prism design with internal center focus. High quality BaK-4 prisms for unrestricted light transmission.
  • ED glass. ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass in the objective lenses delivers excellent edge-to-edge sharpness and color correction, while essentially eliminating chromatic aberration during everyday use.
  • Broadband multicoated optics. Fully coated on all air to glass optical surfaces with multiple layers of antireflection materials for very high light transmission and contrast. With a 5.25mm exit pupil and 42mm objective lenses, the 8 x 42mm Endeavor ED is a bright binocular in twilight or low light situations.
  • Phase-coated high transmission prisms. The image-erecting roof prisms are made of high quality BaK-4 glass. The premium grade prisms allow for sharp images. High transmission multicoatings and V-Max silver coatings increase the light throughput to provide the brightest possible images. In addition, special phase-correcting coatings are applied to the roof prisms for peak contrast, color fidelity, and resolution. The resulting improvement is easily seen in the greater color and detail visible in the shadowed areas of a silhouetted or backlit bird.
  • Open bridge body. The open bridge body design allows the fingers of your hands to wrap naturally around the binocular body for a secure grip in all weather conditions, even when using a single-hand grip. 
  • Waterproof and fogproof. Dry nitrogen filled and O-ring sealed to be waterproof and internally fogproof in all temperature and climate extremes. Designed to operate reliably in the humidity of rain forests, the heat of deserts, the cold of the Arctic circle, in the salt spray at the shore or during pelagic birding, or in your own back yard all year round.
  • Full armor. Black rubber armor absorbs noise and the bumps and thumps of everyday use and provides a good grip when wet. Thumb recesses and ridges where your fingers naturally fall assure a secure grip.
  • Wide field. The field of view is a substantial 7° (367’ at 1000 yards).
  • Twist-up eyecups. Rubber-rimmed eyecups twist up to block ambient light and increase contrast for those who don’t wear glasses. They retract for eyeglass or sunglass use. Click stops provide four distinct eyecup heights to let you match the individual eyecup height to your eyes. 
  • Good eye relief. Eye relief is specified at 19mm, although it typically measures a mm or two less due to the recessed position of the eye lens (from where the eye relief is typically measured). This provides virtually unvignetted viewing for sunglass wearers or those who must wear eyeglasses when observing.
  • Eyepiece rainguard and lens covers. A rubber eyepiece rainguard is standard equipment, to keep eyepieces dry in sudden showers. Tethered objective lens covers protect the optics during travel or storage. They flip off the optics and hang down under the binocular tubes to stay out of the way when using your binocular, but can be removed completely if so desired.
  • Close focusing. Only three-quarters of a turn of the large focusing knob moves briskly from a good near focus of 8.2’ out to the horizon and beyond. The rubber-ribbed knob is easy to turn, regardless of the weather conditions. A 8.2’ close focus is good for woodland birding.
  • Locking rotary diopter correction. Raise the continuously variable metal diopter ring on the right eyepiece to match the binocular optics precisely to your individual eyesight for a sharp image. Snap the ring back down to lock the correction in place, so it cannot accidentally be changed in the heat of the birding moment.  
  • Tripod adaptable. For extended no-hands observing, a protective cover on the front bridge unscrews, revealing a 1/4"-20 thread hole for mounting the Vanguard 8x42mm Endeavor ED on an optional photo tripod using an optional tripod adapter #1187.
  • Standard accessories. A 1.5" wide neoprene-padded neck strap for comfortable all-day use and a water-shedding lightly padded Cordura-style nylon carrying case are standard equipment.
Optical Type:
The optical design of a binocular or spotting scope. A binocular can be either a porro prism (whose objective lenses are off-set and spaced further apart than the eyepieces) or a roof prism (whose objective lenses are in line with the eyepieces). A spotting scope can be either a porro prism or roof prism refractor or a catadioptric (a combination of lenses, mirrors, and prisms).
Porro Prism
Field of view:
The field of view (FOV) is the amount of observable world one can see at any given moment.
Field of view 1000 yards:
Exit Pupil:
The circular image or beam of light formed by the eyepiece of a telescope. To take full advantage of a scope's light-gathering capacity, the diameter of an eyepiece exit pupil should be no larger than the 7mm diameter of your eye's dark-adapted pupil, so that all of the light collected by the telescope enters your eye. (The eyepiece exit pupil diameter is found by dividing the eyepiece focal length by the telescope focal ratio.) Your eye's ability to dilate declines with increasing age (to a dark-adapted pupil of about 5mm by age 50 or so). For those in this age group, eyepieces with exit pupils larger than their eyes can dilate to simply waste their telescope's light-gathering capacity, as some of the scope's light will fall on their iris instead of entering their eye.
Relative Brightness:
A number used to compare the brightness of binoculars or spotting scopes of similar magnification. The relative brightness is determined by squaring the diameter of the exit pupil. The larger the relative brightness number, the brighter the image.
Twilight Factor:
A number used to compare the effectiveness of binoculars or spotting scopes used in low light. The twilight factor is found by multiplying the size of the objective lens (in mm) by the magnification and then finding the square root of that result. The larger the twilight factor, the more detail you can see in low light. A twilight factor of 17 or better if usually required for reasonable low light use.
Eye Relief:
Eye relief is the distance from the last surface of the eye lens of an eyepiece to the plane behind the eyepiece where all the light rays of the exit pupil come to a focus and the circular image is formed, sometimes called the “Ramsden Disk.” This is where your eye should be positioned to see the full field of view of the eyepiece. If you must wear glasses because of astigmatism, you’ll usually need at least 15mm of eye relief or longer if you want to see the full field of view with your glasses on.

A note on our eye relief figures: Quite often, our eye relief figures will differ from those of the manufacturer. This is because we measure the “usable” eye relief, while the manufacturers specify their usually-longer (but technically correct) “designed” eye relief.

The eye lens of the eyepiece is normally recessed below the rubber eyeguard or rubber rim of the eyepiece to keep the lens from being scratched during use. An eyepiece might have a “designed” eye relief of 15mm (and the eye relief will truly measure 15mm from the eye lens to where the image forms). However, if the eye lens is recessed 3mm below the eye guard, the Ramsden Disk forms only 12mm above the eyepiece body (the 15mm “designed” eye relief, less the 3mm of eye relief made unusable by having the eye lens recessed into the body of the eyepiece). This “usable” eye relief of 12mm (measured from the rolled-down eyeguard – the closest point you can get your eye to the eye lens – to where the image forms) is the eye relief figure we would measure and list in this website.

Why is it important to list the “usable” eye relief? For those people who don’t wear eyeglasses while observing, a few mm difference between the eye relief they expect from the manufacturer’s literature and the shorter eye relief they actually get in real life doesn’t mean a lot. They can simply move a little closer to the eyepiece to see the full field, and never realize that the eye relief is a little shorter than they expected. However, some people must wear eyeglasses while observing, because of severe astigmatism. These observers can’t move closer to the eyepiece if the eye relief is shorter than expected because their glasses get in the way. For these people, the real life “usable” eye relief is more important than the technically correct but sometimes not fully usable “designed” eye relief. We measure and list the actual usable eye relief so that people in the real world can pick the eyepieces that will work best for them.

Interpupillary Distance:
Close Focus:
How close you can get to an object and still see a sharp image of it in your binocular or spotting scope is called the “close” or “near” focus
A binocular or spotting scope whose body is clad in rubber or polyurethane armor is said to be armored. Armor can be applied for looks, a better grip, noise-proofing, etc. An armored body does not guarantee that a binocular or spotting scope is waterproof, although most waterproof optics are armored.
The weight of this product.
28.8 oz.
"No-Fault" Limited Lifetime
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  • Soft case
  • Wide neoprene-padded neck/case strap
  • Objective lens covers
  • Eyepiece rainguard
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8x42mm Endeavor ED roof prism

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8x42mm Endeavor ED roof prism
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Our Product #: EED842
Manufacturer Product #: Endeavor ED 8420
Price: $429.99
$269.99 On Sale  FREE ground shipping - Click for more info
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This Vanguard 8x42mm Endeavor ED roof prism is a binocular with all the features, styling, and performance of a high-end European binocular . . . at a far from high end price. A BirdWatcher's Digest Best Buy for 2013!

. . . our 37th year