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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent value, 24 Oct 2013
This review is from: Vanguard Endeavor HD 65A Angled Spotting Scope with 15-45x Zoom Eyepiece and Stay-On Case (Electronics)
I bought a Vanguard endeavour HD 10.5x 45 pair of bins about a year ago and was very impressed with them. I have been idly looking at scopes ever since then. I did extreme due diligence. Angled scopes generally better for birding than straight; 65mm lens more than adequate for 95% of birding needs; the importance of weight, especially at the end of a long birding day and after too many miles. Of course I would like a Swarovski scope but am not prepared to pay the price. I was aware of the HD65A scope and that others had reviewed it elsewhere,as excellent value for money with fair to good optical quality. In September 2013 I saw the scope advertised online for 319.99. I thought this an excellent price for the product. Given that Vanguard was offering an 85 cashback (so scope for 234.99)or a free tripod(Abeo243AV worth 180), I snapped it up sight unseen. So I ended up with scope and tripod (which came quickly) for 320, no postage or packaging fees- a steal. The tripod is black aluminium with panning head, comes with its own carry bag and is quick/easy to put up/down, very adjustable (I am almost 12 inches taller than my wife), rock steady with scope attached. Back to the scope- easy to use, aim, focus, zoom, although when zooming you often have to refocus. Eye relief adequate for my glasses but I prefer to go birding with contact lens in place. It is waterproof so doesn't need a cover, but a cover comes with it, don't need to take cover off to use the scope. The scope seems well put together.I have taken it out on two birding trips to Gibralter point (Skegness) and Spurn Head (Humber estuary), both were bright autumnal days and used it to read small print at the end of my long garden . So what about the optical quality? It is very bright at 15-30x magnification but becomes less so as you go to full zoom. The resolution and colour definition is very good, I cannot see any fringing at low to medium zoom. Focus is sharp in the centre 2/3s field of view. I was able to compare the view of a Jack snipe through the Vanguard and a Swarovski at one of the hides. Honestly at low magnification the view through the Vanguard was just as good- however the Swarovski did maintain a sharp focus through the entire field of view unlike the Vanguard. So why only 4 stars? Well like several other reviewers I have 3 or 4 small black specs visible at low magnification, they are at the outer edge of the field of view, so not worth fussing about but a little irritating nonetheless. Cleaning does not remove them. It suggests a common problem somewhere in the manufacture that quality control does not pick up or act on. Note to Vanguard if they ever read these reviews- fix the problem at your factory.

So in summary, value for money you cannot go wrong. It is an excellent product at 15-30x magnification, comparable to a much more expensive scope. If you purchase from a shop I would check several units to make sure you get an optically clean product. This scope may satisfy my birding needs for years to come, or it may end up in my garden room focussed on the bird table, because I have graduated to a more expensive scope. Either way I am happy. If Vanguard sent me a clean eyepiece I would give it 5 stars!

Update 14 Jan 2014. Andy Bennet the MD of Vanguard UK read this review at the end of last year, said he had passed my comments onto the factory and would personally be checking new stock for optical quality. He furthermore offered to replace my scope with an optically clean one. This was done with maximum efficiency and at no cost to me. I tried the scope out on the Norfolk Coast, RSPB Titchwell, in early January. No black specs in Field of view. So I would like to commend Vanguard for their customer service and suggest to any reader that they can buy from this company with confidence. I have now given the item 5*, I would be very surprised if you can buy an optically better scope for anything like the cost of these. Well done Vanguard UK
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