I have spent months field testing the Maven B.6 12x50 binoculars.
I tested how they perform in thick timber, open plains, twilight hunting, birdwatching, wildlife glassing, looking at the moon and much more.
The Maven B.6 line are the first 50mm binoculars in the B Series. Not only is the aperture new, but it also features wide-angle Schmidt-Pechan prisms that is unlike the Abbe-Koenig and standard Schmidt-Pechan prisms of the other B Series binoculars.
Even though it’s a high performer in the field, it’s not the best binocular for every activity.
Learn where and when it will be of value and when it’s overkill for the job.
What We Like: Optical quality
What We Don’t Like: New tripod cap
Best Uses: Hunting, Tactical Use, Birdwatching, Wildlife Glassing, Events, Backpacking, Hiking, Recreational Use, Some Target Range Use
- Magnification: 12x
- Objective Diameter: 50mm
- Coatings: FMC
- FOV: 289 ft/1000 yds
- Eye Relief: 17.5 mm
- Dimensions: 5.2x 6.6 x 2.3”/30.7 oz
Our Verdict: For the money, the Maven B.6 binocular ranks in as a high-end binocular with glass performance that rivals $1500-$2500 binoculars. Once again, Maven outdoes the competition, and the new B.6 12x50 should be a staple in every outdoorsman’s pack.
Why Trust Me?
After hundreds of hours of hand-testing binoculars in the field and on the hunt, and thousands more hours researching, writing, photographing and creating videos about them, I feel I have earned the title of expert when it comes to optics!
Optics are not just my passion, but also my full-time job!
I get my hands on as many of the optics I test as possible (through buying, borrowing or begging!) and run them through their paces to make sure they will perform out in field.
Check out our optics testing process here.
Over a decade of experience birdwatching, tactical use and recreational use has been integral in putting together this Maven B.6 12x50 review.
How Does the Maven B.6 12x50 Perform?
The Maven B.6 12x50 binoculars can keep up with the demands required for hunting, birdwatching, security use, and general-purpose observation. The wide-angle Schmidt-Pechan prisms, dielectric coatings, and ED glass delivers a premium glassing experience.
The optical performance is outstanding and I’m a big fan of the B.6 binoculars. Most of my field testing with the Maven 12x50 binoculars took place during high-contrast and lowlight conditions, and the first and most foremost advantage is that it’s uncommonly bright.
The B.6 provides one of the brightest glassing experiences I have ever had. It performed exceptionally well for nighttime use in lit areas up to about 300 yards. Unlit areas were harder to glass since the lack of light resulted in diminished sharpness and clarity, but I could make out some details at almost 100 yards.
In open areas when scanning for elk, the Maven B.6 was able to deliver pretty good detail at 1423 yards. You could barely see it with the naked eye, and binoculars were the only thing to confirm its presence.
For thick timber, 12x magnification is just too much. Optically, it’s extremely good for birdwatching, and it also performed well handheld while on the go, but it should really be mounted for maximum visual pleasure. It feels comfortable to wear in a chest harness for long hunting and backpacking excursions due its compact size.
While the FOV can be considered limited, it’s a lot wider than a cheap refracting telescope though it has significantly lower power. The 12x50 will give you extra seeing on the moon. Extremely sharp details could be resolved including a great view of the Tycho crater and its extending rays.
Who is the Maven B.6 12x50 Best Suited to?
The cost is quite high for the beginner and amateur binocular user, so naturally it would be better appreciated in the hands of a skilled and experienced user. Even so, if a one-time purchase of high-end binoculars is the goal, the B.6 must be a serious contender for buyers of all skill levels.
With what I would call ‘all-purpose’ specs, the 12x50 would be great for all types of observation. But the higher magnification and larger apertures would lend itself to open area hunting, stationary birdwatching, nighttime observation in urban areas, and even some amateur stargazing.
During hands-on testing, getting the most out of them is best achieved when you have the B6 12x50 mounted to a tripod. However, its optical quality and compact size does make it easy to use free hand.
Features & Benefits
The B.6 binoculars have optical upgrades to the prisms and specifications. With wide-angle Schmidt-Pechan prisms there is an increase in the field of view (FOV) for a 12x50 binocular. Increased light transmission rate, improved brightness, and a closer near focus are additional optical benefits.
I’m especially impressed with the level of color fidelity. It has a sort of ‘white balance’ tint that allows for exceptional sharpness – the discernability to make out minute details.
The levels of contrast between targets and high-contrast backgrounds like water, skylines, etc. is impressive and allows for comfortable glassing and panning. There is no discernable chromatic aberration (CA) in the center of the FOV, and if you can discern it, it’s likely in high-contrast conditions.
Speaking of FOV, I find that it’s entirely usable and edge-to-edge clear. Off-axis sharpness can barely be seen towards the very edge, but no discernable aberrations like kidney beaning or field curvature exists that interfered with my glassing experience.
Like all other B Series binoculars, the 12x50 also features magnesium housing, nitrogen-purged optics, and IPX7 waterproof integrity. They are made with Japanese components and assembled in the USA.
What has changed is that the B.6 line has its own mold, and consequently, a few changes to the physical appearance is obvious. Maven took the chance to add texture to the focus knob and diopter ring. The diopter is still ‘Maven-stiff’ but inherently acts as a self-locking mechanism to prevent accidental changes to your setting.
The focus knob is metal, high-grade, and is what I would call ‘medium’ speed. It’s silky smooth to use, find focus, and as I experienced, fantastic to use even with gloves on. There is no slop in adjustment, and did I already mention that it’s unbelievably smooth? Touchy almost.
The rubber armored body is easy to grip and handle in the field with or without gloves, dry or wet. The eyecups are multi-click with four positions, and they twist off the eyepieces if you ever find the need to remove them.
Maven is adamant about providing value in all their products by eliminating the high margin costs of selling through a distributor. As a direct-to-consumer business, they sell directly to the customer. This results in a reasonable price point compared to competitive manufacturers.
The Maven B.6 line starts at approximately $1000 and has inherent value from the get-go. Its optical quality puts it against alternatives like the Swarovski EL and Meopta MeoStar B1s except that it’s much more affordable.
You also have Maven’s guarantee of a lifetime, unconditional warranty. But to be real, $1000 is a lot of money to put down on a binocular. There are those who will recognize value when they see it, and trophy hunts and sightseeing around the world is made all the better.
But for the average Joe, the cost is more than hard to justify. If “you get what you pay for” isn’t enough to spend this type of cash on a pair of binoculars, I highly recommend the Maven C.3 binocular line as an affordable alternative.
Maven B.6 All-Purpose Use
There is some debate on what 50mm binoculars could be good for as you have diverse needs across hunting, birdwatching, and tactical activities. However, the extra diameter in aperture that you acquire can be better suited to lowlight use. The extra power can also give you extra reach.
I did find that the 5.5-degree FOV was accurate, so you are sacrificing in FOV as you go up in optical and aperture size. But from field testing, I found the extra reach was fantastic for extended range nighttime observation.
With 12x power, maximizing full potential is achieved when the B.6 is mounted to a tripod in the field. While this is not ideal for treestand hunters, it would be appropriate for Western hunters in the wide, open plains.
It could be seen as too big for a birdwatcher, but if you’re stationary while you observe fowl, the optics will prove to be an asset over its size and high power. You can also use it for amateur astronomy for lunar observation and stargazing as it brings to life more stars than you can see with the naked eye.
Overall, the B.6 12x50 binoculars are an all-purpose pair for multiple types of observation. For those who wanted something a little bit bigger, the B.6 line exists just for you.
Maven B2 VS B6
Overall, the Maven B2 11x45 and B.6 12x50 binoculars are excellent optical performers. I can’t perceive a real difference between the two as far as optical quality is concerned. Both have ED glass elements but the B2 has Abbe-Koenig prisms while the B6 has wide-angle Schmidt-Pechan prisms.
The B.6 has a mirrored dielectric coating that is a must-have for the roof prism design. With all that the B.6 has, it certainly competes optically with the B.2s.
Besides the optics, the B6s do have smaller dimensions and a lighter weight making it somewhat easier to use as a handheld. However, the 12x magnification does make it a great tripod mounter, and mounted to a tripod, the dimensions of either the B6 or the B2 are irrelevant.
I would say the primary consideration when choosing between the B.2 and the B.6 would be FOV versus magnification. The B6 offers 12x power over the 11x of the B2, but the B2 has a much wider FOV of 314 ft versus the 289 of the B6s.
Between both, if these are going to be the largest binoculars you carry into the field along with 7x or 8x, I’d opt for the B6s. If you’re hauling 15s or even 18s into the field as well, I’d opt for the B.2 binoculars. It might also be worth considering the 9x45 model for this purpose. Read my B.2 field test here!
New Tripod Cap
The new B1.2 and B.6 binoculars have a redesigned tripod cap that’s smaller and aesthetically appealing. However, the size and smooth edges can be difficult to work with to loosen and tighten compared to the old-style caps.
Even so, I much prefer to use the new style cap on the B.6 12x50 than the C.3 12x50 due to the new mold of the B6s. Even though the physical dimensions of the two are almost identical, the objective bells are set further apart so that it’s easier to mount a tripod adapter.
So, while I frown at the new tripod cap, I can see the silver lining in ease-of-use thanks to the new mold.
The Maven B.6 is based on the B Series of binoculars with a magnesium frame, assembly in the USA, and is IPX7-rated. The C.3 has a polymer frame, is assembled in the Philippines, and is IPX6-rated. The primary differences are in the optics that affects the specs.
The B.6 has wide-angle SP prisms along with improved FOV, near focus, brightness, light transmission, and eye relief. However, the C3s are significantly more affordable.
The Maven B.6 12x50 binoculars are excellent for lowlight observation. They are extremely bright due to its highly reflective prism coatings and large apertures. The B.6 binocular can also be used for long-range nighttime observation with night vision goggles.
Maven has provided a new interpupillary distance for the B.6 line starting at 58 mm and ending at a forgiving 76mm. While it lost a few millimeters on the narrower end, it’s better suited to adult use.
In general, the B.6 12x50 binoculars have eye relief of 17.5 mm with adjustable, 4-position eyecups. They hold position without compromise and can be comfortably used for those with glasses.
Maven is well known for stiff diopters whether this is by design or not. However, from field-experience and ownership, the diopter does not loosen up over time. The B.6 has a textured diopter that makes for easier gripping and setting but is stiff enough to prevent unintentional movement.
It’s more than fair to say that Maven has earned respect. Yes, their warranty is awesome, and their prices are reasonable, but it’s the optics themselves that have proven the brand to be a keeper in the very competitive industry.
While I’ve come to expect the best-of-the-best in physical and mechanical quality from Maven, the real test of performance comes down to the optics. The new B.6 binoculars have not failed me here.
In fact, much like the B1.2 binoculars, they are my favorite all-purpose binoculars hands down – not just from Maven but overall.