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Founded in 1986 in Guangdong, China, Vanguard is a manufacturer that built its reputation by developing and designing in house completely innovative products, rather than trying to predate established designs already present on the market, introducing first-of-their-kind products and features that constantly influence the industry.
Very popular among professional and prosumer photographers for its award winning photo-video accessories, Vanguard also manufactures hunting accessories (archery bow cases, gun cases and gun pods/shooting sticks) and sporting optics (binoculars and spotting scopes). Today, we test Vanguard`s top-of-the-line Endeavor ED binoculars, the 1045 10.5X45mm.
The binoculars are shipped in a box that advertise all the major features and technical specs for the optical instrument; the box contains the binos, a Nylon carrying bag, a neck strap, lens covers and a micro fiber cleaning cloth.
Lifting the binoculars out of the internally padded carrying bag and hefting the instrument in our hands, the first impression we receive of the Endeavor ED 1045 is of quality and toughness, the somewhat heavier than average weight (760 grams) only adding to the feeling.
The binoculars’ alloy frame is completely rubber armored, except for the open bridge, which is built of grey enamelled metal; the rubber material seems to be of high quality and feels pleasantly soft to the touch, with a very grippable surface textured to look like leather.
The Endeavor ED are quite ergonomic, as soon as either hand wraps around the body of the instrument, we find that our index finger naturally rests on the large focussing wheel and our remaining three fingers comfortably fall inside the open space between the bridges.
The optical scheme used is based on the classical Schmidt-Pechan roof prism, so the design of the binoculars allow for a very streamlined, compact (130 x 159 mm ) and straight body; the black and grey colors of the body and bridge are complimented by a green trim on the eyepieces, and all in all the instrument conveys a sense of elegance, only slightly spoiled by the size of the focus ring.
The Endeavor ED binos are Nitrogen filled and o-ring sealed, and are completely waterproof.
Delving into some more technical description, the roof prisms are built using BaK4 glass, which is a premium, high refraction index barium crown glass, a decisive improvement towards the standard borosilicate glass used in mainstream roof design, yielding a perfectly round exit pupil and superior image quality.
Vanguard also addresses the main drawback of roof prisms, the partial polarization of the light due to the inherent design of the prism, and subsequent phase shift, by adding a proprietary P2 phase coating to the roof surfaces correcting the interference that may degrade image quality.
The reflective surface of the lower Bauernfeind prism of the Schmidt-Pechan design is coated with V-Max silver mirror coating (reflectivity of 95% to 98%), for brighter and sharper images.
The objective lenses are also coated with an Emerald Coating to filter color separations and also enhance image quality; all lenses in the optical scheme are fully coated, and the design uses Vanguard’s advanced AR coating to reduce light reflection within the instrument.
The primary feature is of course the use of ED, or "extra-low dispersion" glass in the objective lenses, using what is widely known as an achromatic doublet. This limits greatly chromatic and spherical aberrations by bringing in focus both blue and red wavelengths on the same optical plane. The practical result is an improved and sharper image viewable through the eyepiece, with enhanced contrast and color rendition.
Setting up the binoculars is fast and very straightforward. Adjusting the interpupillary distance is easy, the bridge hinges offering just the right amount of friction, and the Endeavor ED can accommodate most female and male features, adult and children included.
The eyepiece diopter adjustment is precise and locks down by slipping the ring along its axis; once adjusted, it stays put.
The eyepiece cups can be telescopically extended by rotating them, and feature three position stops. The eyecups themselves are made of soft rubber and are easy both on the skin and on prescription glasses.
The focus knob mounted on the axis of the rear bridge is very large and we feel it is one weakness of the binoculars that should be addressed: it is too “fast”, going from near (just about three meters) to infinity in less than half turn, with considerable overtravel.
At normal viewing distances, meaning from about 12 meters to infinity, the one third of a turn feels a bit too short, although the size of the knob itself allows for good precision. The feedback of the focus knob is extremely smooth and well braked, with no backlash.
We have tested at length the Endeavor ED 1045 binoculars in the field, comparing it with many competing products.
The eye relief is actually impressive, 17 millimeters, and using the binoculars is very comfortable, even for extended periods of time, plus it makes the Endeavor ED a very attractive instrument to users who wear prescription glasses.
We found the image observed through the binoculars to be generally very good, extremely clear, brilliant and with excellent contrast, very sharp on at least 85% of the field of view, dropping slightly only at the very edge of the image, where it drops out of focus, but not in brightness.
Color rendition is excellent, with no tinting of the image, and chromatic aberration is perceptible only when viewing extremely high contrast images, such as thin tree branches in broad sunlight against the sky, with lateral yellow and purplish fringing coming out, caused by a little transverse chromatic aberration.
There is just a bit of pincushion geometric aberration, detectable only by slowly panning across full view vertical straight lines, such as building, but it does not really disturb the observation.
Our overall impression of the Endeavor ED 1045 binoculars can only be positive and we recommend it, considering the very affordable price tag, and its quality/performance level.
Model: Endeavor ED 1045 - type DCF 10,5x45
Objective lens diameter 45 mm
Prism Type Bak4 Roof Prism, Schmidt-Pechan
View Angle 6.0 degrees
Field of View 105 m/1000 m at 1000 m
Eye Relief 17.0 mm
Near focus 3.0 m
Focus System Inter focusing via central focusing knob
Lens coating Fully multi-coated
Roof prism coating P2 Phase coated
Diopter adjustment +/- 4 D
Dimensions (L x W) 159 x 130 mm
Weight 760 g