It’s been long overdue awaiting a new series of binoculars from Vanguard, but they have answered the demand with the VEO series.
Could it be a remake of the Vanguard Spirit binoculars?
Even if it is, it’s not a bad thing. The new, green coating and the single-hinge design almost gives it a Vortex Diamondback appeal.
But judging a binocular by its cover is not a review in and of itself.
Let’s take a deep look at it.
What We Like: ED glass
What We Don’t Like: Eager center focus wheel
Best Uses: Hunting, For the Range, Birdwatching, Wildlife Observation, Sight Seeing
- Magnification: 10x
- Objective: 42 mm
- FOV: 314 ft/1000 yd
- Close Focus Distance: 9.2 ft
- Eye Relief: 16 mm
- Exit Pupil: 4.3 mm
- Waterproof: Yes
- Dimensions: 5.75 x 4.88 x 2.13”/22.6 oz
Our Verdict: The Vanguard VEO ED binoculars may very well set the new standard for what entry-level looks like post 2020. If you’re on a budget, these are some of the best binoculars you can buy for the money!
Who is the Vanguard VEO ED 10X42 Best Suited to?
The nice thing about the 10x42 size is that it’s an all-purpose size. It’s excellent for both short and long-
range observation, handheld and tripod use, and multiple types of activities from hunting to birdwatching and even some stargazing.
It’s better suited to beginners for its comfortable and easy to handle platform, and it’s also a lightweight and ready-to-go binocular that seasoned users will find use for.
How Does the Vanguard VEO ED 10X42 Binocular Perform?
The VEO ED binoculars lack nothing when it comes to optical quality and handling. The most common praise this pair gets is its lightweight platform that makes it easy to use without strain and fatigue.
Yet, the VEO sports ED glass, specialized optical coatings, and phase-corrected prisms that is absolutely needed in a roof prism bino. Many beginners peer through the glass and are amazed. While this is a good thing, they quickly become accustomed to this type of quality and are disappointed when they look through inferior binoculars. Not Vanguard’s problem, right?
Throw in the low price for its mid-range quality and the VEO may just be the new standard of what entry-level is. High-performance, sharp and true color fidelity, and a lightweight and rugged build is what Vanguard has brought to the table.
Features & Benefits
The VEO 10x42 binoculars have premium ED (extra-low dispersion) glass that dramatically reduces CA (chromatic aberration) to promote optimal color fidelity and contrast. While it’s not completely eliminated on very high-contrast targets, it’s infinitely better than a pair of binoculars without it.
You also have fully multi-coated optics and phase-corrected BaK4 prisms that assist with a high rate of light transmission with little to no scatter, in-phase light waves, and ultimate resolution through to the edges of the FOV (field of view).
As a binocular sporting this type of glass quality, it’s excellent for birdwatching as images are sharp and colors are vivid. Its near focus distance of 9.2 feet is plenty close enough to observe nearby winged creatures.
However, there is somewhat of a warm color bias that expert eyes can point out. You wouldn’t notice it at all unless you have multiple binoculars to compare it to. But then again, every binocular is just a little different.
Carbon Composite Material
So, we have carbon composite and Mitsubishi mentioned in this one sentence. This is no ordinary binocular!
While we’re accustomed to aircraft-grade aluminum for binocular housings, the VEO has a strong and lightweight frame made from carbon fiber composite. It must contribute to the weight shaving benefits of this binocular as it only weighs 22.6 oz. This is very lightweight for a 10x42 but is also up-to-date with the lightweight competition of alternative binos in the market.
The VEO sports a green, hard, grippy rubber armor made by the Japanese car brand Mitsubishi. Hey! If it’s good enough for a car, it’s good enough for binoculars. But in all seriousness, it will hold up to the accidental knocks and scratches it will inevitably see. There is a little bit of flex in the texture, and thumb indents and ridges under the barrels help to make it comfortable to hold in an ergonomic and natural position.
Waterproof & Fogproof
The Vanguard binoculars are completely waterproof and fogproof. It’s O-ring sealed and nitrogen-purged. The optical chamber remains sealed off to protect it from bacteria and fungi from growing inside, and of course from internal fogging.
The objectives also have an exterior waterproof coating that causes rain drops to bead up and repel them from the surface.
While the 10x42 binoculars weigh a light 22.6 oz and it’s rather compact in the hand, you can choose to mount the VEO to a tripod. It’s ready to be connected to a field or photographic tripod with an adapter that you will need to purchase separately.
The retail price for the Vanguard binoculars are so worth it. This is the entry-level market where you have budget, affordable optics that usually have features that are considered “second-best” for its price point.
However, the VEO comes in as one of the best buys in its price range. FMC coatings, roof prism phase-correction, ED glass, water and fogproof, and the best build quality a binocular can offer. What helps to keep it in this price range is its 10x42 size.
Needless to say, this binocular is exactly what you want to look for when you’re searching out the high-end models of the entry-level market.
Eager Center Focus Wheel
Since the VEO ED binos do exactly what you expect them to do, it’s difficult to find any real flaws as the design has been well thought-out.
However, since we must be picky, we’ll point out that the center focus wheel has said to be very fast and eager to do its job. It may be too eager as you may find it doesn’t offer quite the resistance you want to make fine adjustments. This could result in you overshooting the focus and being forced to dial back.
As a fastidious criticism, it may very well be just fine for you. You may even like the smooth motions the focus wheel offers. It is oversized, so it’s easy to use with your index finger as it naturally lies across the grippy knurls.
The VEO ED binoculars have twist-up eyepieces that can be set in two positions. They do not bump out of place during use.
The right eyepiece has the diopter to fine-tune your vision with the binocular. However, while it is stiff and should not move during use, it does not have a locking mechanism.
You will receive the usual accessories with the Vanguard VEO ED 10x42 binoculars such as a lens cloth, objective lens caps, eyepiece caps, neoprene padded neck strap, and a protective carry case.
The VEO ED 10x42 binoculars offer a reasonable field of view of 314 feet/1000 yards (6-degrees). It’s certainly not the widest field of view around, but its comparable to alternatives for its size and price point although on the narrow end.
The VEO ED 10x42 binoculars is on the smaller side for low-light use or stargazing, but they will certainly suffice if the need arises. With its phase-corrected BaK4 prisms, fully multi-coated optics, and ED glass, it offers more low light ability than a larger pair of binoculars without the specialized optics.
Bright objects like the moon and planets may be seen, and you may be able to stretch your time during the last minutes of legal light on the last day of the hunt.
The Vanguard VEO ED 10X42 binoculars are backed by a lifetime warranty, however, it is not owner transferable.
The VEO is the new line that replaces the popular Spirit ED series. So, if you liked what they had to offer, you won’t be disappointed with the VEO ED.
With up-to-date glass and coatings, Mitsubishi rubber armor, and a carbon fiber body, it offers incredible value for a new and improved version.
Even though the new binoculars are set in the entry-level market, it has the makings of a quality, mid-range pair. Thanks to Vanguard, tight budgets can afford high-quality too.