The Binocular Site
Vanguard specialized in photo-video accessories when it was first founded in 1986. Quality is one of the company’s highest goals. They are certified for ISO 9001, ISO 9002, and ISO 14001, and their binoculars reflect this commitment. Innovation and service set them apart from the crowd as well, and they continue to meet their customers’ needs.
The entire Vanguard product family spans many uses and needs, from observation through transporting. Spotting scopes and monoculars join binoculars in the company’s sporting optics line, but they are perhaps best known for their other products. Vanguard's lines include positioning equipment such as tripods, monopods, and shooting sticks to be used while observing. Many cases have also been designed, including photo-video bags, tool cases, hunting cases, computer cases, and universal cases for any use imaginable.
Vanguard offers several ranges of binoculars, scopes, and monoculars. Many sets are sleek and sharply designed. Others are offered in camouflage print. Several lines run the gamut of price points and features, including the Endeavor, Endeavor ED featuring ED (extra-low dispersion) glass, Spirit, Venture Plus, Venture, Sereno, FR, ZF, DR, and DA.
Their Ocean series is specifically designed for water sports, while the Mariner line is excellent for use on boats as well. The DA Series is ultra lightweight and slim, while the DR Series is excellent for use in the theater, or to view operas.
A nice array of spotting scopes is also available, in three series: VSH, Signature Plus and High Plains. Many are sized for tabletop use, yet one series is small enough to easily mount in the car. Scopes are most often accompanied by a tripod, hard case, and other accessories like cleaning kits.
Two monocular series are also available, both providing hand-held options for use indoors and outdoors.
Almost all of Vanguard's binocular lines are available in 8x and 10x magnifications, with some including 7x magnification as well. Monoculars offer lower magnification ranges. One zooming model features magnifications spanning from 6x up to 24x. Their spotting scopes have interchangeable eyepieces with an even wider range of magnification, typically between 15x - 45x, 20x - 60x or 20x - 80x.
Objective lenses vary greatly between various models and optical devices. Binoculars feature objective lens diameters between 21mm and 50mm. Spotting scope objective lenses range from 50mm to 80mm. Monoculars use 25mm lenses.
Field of View (FOV):
Some FOVs include 199-105 and 209-126 on the zooming MZ series monoculars, to 78-37 on the zooming VSH spotting scopes. Binoculars run the gamut. For example, the Sereno series may include a field of view of 131/393.
Most of Vanguard's lines are waterproof, fog-proof, and offer many coatings. Emerald coatings are particularly popular with the company, and various armor colors and grips are available across lines, with most bodies being made of engineering plastic or aluminum alloy. Most offer BAK-4 prisms, and roof prisms are clearly the favored choice for Vanguard. Their Endeavor ED series also features ED glass, for enhanced color dispersion.
Prices vary, and Vanguard does not sell directly, but through resellers and wholesalers. Scope kits are typically $100 and up, and their binoculars can start as low as $25 for compact models. They may be more difficult to find in the United States than other brands.
Warranties vary, including Limited Lifetime for high end models and 5-year and 2-year for mid- and economy-priced optics.
Popular Vanguard Binoculars:
Vanguard's most popular line is Spirit 1042, which is especially popular with hunters and outdoorsmen. The mid-priced binoculars offer an excellent balance of high-quality optics with very lightweight, ergonomic construction, all at a very competitive price. Spirit is also water and fog proof and features long eye relief, as well as Emerald Coating and P2 Phase Coating for enhanced viewing.
The Ocean and Mariner series are excellent marine options. Mariners at 7x50 come with a built-in illuminator and scale, and come with a waterproof neck strap. Rubber eyecups are attached as well, and internal focusing gives these binoculars a very well waterproofed, hermetically sealed, and precise focusing experience. The Ocean series is similar and popular in 7x50 and 10x50, with a slightly different look, and a slimmer barrel that doesn't allow for a built-in compass. Both are excellent quality, though the Mariner series has a longer eye relief.