My 10x50 comparison, Tract Toric vs Maven B.6

justchel

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Oct 6, 2021
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I've spent the last 5 days using and comparing the Toric and B.6 10x50's in all sorts of conditions (within my property) and wanted to share my perspective. I also have an Athlon Cronus G2 10x42 and Bushnell Engage EDX 10x50 which I compared as well to see how these cheaper MIC binos stack up. I'm just a regular guy with a military background, a profession in IT, and recently started geeking out on optics.

These are the binos I have, their weight in ounces (with lens covers) using my kitchen scale, and the typical delivered price I encountered including tax and shipping.

B6 . . . . . . . . . . 10x50 - 31.5 - $1155 (CA tax, shipping)
Toric . . . . . . . . 10x50 - 33.2 - - $754 (no tax, shipping)
Cronus G2 . . .10x42 - 28.9 - - $520 (Cameraland)
Engage EDX . .10x50 - 30.5 - - $380 (BnH)


Handling:
B6
-This thing feels like luxury! Well balanced, smooth and slightly grippy, but also somewhat "brittle" as there is very little damping from the thin armor. When I set them down on a counter without lens covers they make a slight knock, and if I slide them across the whole unit can rattle a bit as the armor is the thinnest and firmest at the tube end.
-The lens caps are generic, exactly the same as the Toric. The ring fits perfectly and the cap fits over the tube snugly. The strap loops are pointy but completely rounded.
-The hinge action could have a little more resistance. The eyepieces have a textured sort of hard foam feeling and are a little sharp. The 3 detents should have more resistance as they retract too easily.
-The focus wheel is very smooth and precise with a lightly firm resistance, it rotates clockwise to infinity. But the focus wheel itself is the one thing I really don't like about these bins, it's metal and sharply knurled like a file, when my finger grazes it -with or without gloves- without moving the wheel it makes a tinny metallic noise. The diopter is super smooth with no lock or clicks but I feel like it could have a little more resistance.
-Overall the B6 feels like a high-end precision lab instrument designed to be used outdoors.

Toric
-Feels rugged, the armor is substantial, slightly textured and grippy, a little front heavy. Setting them down on a counter with no lens covers they make a thud. Very much the opposite of the B6.
-The lens caps are generic, exactly the same as the B6. The ring fits very tightly and the cap fits over the tube but just barely. The armor at the end of the tube is pretty thick and squishy, so trying to press a floppy cap over them is always comical. The strap loops are rounded and out of the way.
-The hinge action has a firm resistance. The eyepieces have a soft rubber feel and are nicely rounded. They extend and retract easily but with a little downward pressure it slightly locks into each of the 3 detents keeping them from retracting easily. They're rather tall and also extend out quite a bit.
-The focus wheel has a thick rubber cover with very firm resistance and no slack, it rotates counter-clockwise to infinity. If you dropped it on the focus wheel I don't think it would care. The diopter is very smooth and locks by pressing it down, each step is pretty small allowing the lock to be more precise.
-Overall the Toric feels like the A10 of binos.

Cronus G2
-The armor is firm with rough texturing on the sides and a dense feel.
-The lens caps have an "A" on them and snap securely to the inside of the tubes. The strap loops are prominent but rounded off.
-The hinge action is very firm which I like. The eyepieces are firm, smooth and rounded, and extend fully down or fully up.
-The focus wheel is super smooth and precise with firm resistance, it has rubber ribs with zero play or gear noise -it's my favorite of all these- and rotates counter-clockwise to infinity. The diopter is located on the front of the focus wheel and locks with a spring loaded button. It moves smoothly and precisely but the locking steps are rather large so it's susceptible to moving, but I have not had an issue.
-Overall the Cronus G2 has a very "tight" feel and very impressive for $500.

EDX
-The armor has a comfortable leathery feel. I believe Athlon had ties to Bushnell so this and the Cronus G2 have some similarities.
-The focus wheel is firm with some play and gear noise, it adjusts counter-clockwise to infinity. The diopter is firm and locks by pressing it down, the lock steps are rather large.
-Nothing really stands out other than being pretty compact and light for a 50mm. Overall it's kinda nice and perfectly adequate.


Viewing:
-I spent a good amount of time dialing in the diopter on each using a tripod and a target 50 feet away. I don't wear glasses, and for me all four required a small varying amount of + adjustment. I think proper diopter adjustment is crucial to minimize eye strain and maximize that snap focus. I did a lot of hand held and tripod viewing during the day, dusk, and night time.
1. For resolution comparisons I set up the bins on a tripod and viewed a FedEx shipping label 20ft away indoors. There's a large 'G' inside a square and next to it vertically is the smallest print.
2. For twilight comparisons I viewed a group of large oak trees in a vineyard 5.6mi down the valley. Using a tripod I viewed from sunset until dark until I couldn't make out the trunks anymore, and did this 2 separate nights.
3. Friday and Saturday night were clear and I got to do a lot of night sky viewing.

B6
-Wow these sparkle! The image is crisp with a white brilliance that gives it almost a sterile quality. Large FOV with large sweet spot. In long distance viewing, at around 70% out from center it starts to show a faint halo and blurring that gets progressively worse to the edge but can be brought into focus. CA is very well controlled and slightly more noticeable on the edges.
1. Comparing center resolution these tied for the best with the Cronus G2. On the FedEx label's smallest print I was able to identify each character correctly, it's super sharp!
2. During twilight comparison these were the best, but only just. It was quite dark before I couldn't make out the tree trunks, like 40mins after sunset, and I could still make out different areas of the vineyard hillside about another 15 mins after that.
3. For night sky viewing that crisp "sterile" view made everything look extra detailed and was an obvious improvement over the Cronus. On a tripod Jupiter and 3 of its visible moons were brilliant, but I noticed it was a little harder to keep the planet sphere from flaring. The edge blur was also noticeable.

Toric
-Vivid and sharp with great contrast. The FOV is noticeably smaller but not small. In long distance viewing, at around 75% out from center it starts to show a faint halo and blurring that gets progressively worse to the edge and cannot be brought into sharp focus. CA is very well controlled.
1. Comparing center resolution these were just a smidge below the B6 and Cronus G2. The type on the FedEx label seemed to be bolder and popped a little more, but there was one number on the smallest print that I could not easily identify.
2. During twilight comparison these were very good, I lost the ability to make out the tree trunks just a couple of minutes sooner than the B6, but their contrast allowed me to make out the different areas of the vineyard hillside a little better than the B6.
3. For night sky viewing it had a warmer look, on a tripod Jupiter and its 3 visible moons were vivid and sharp with less tendency to flare. The narrower FOV and edge blur was more apparent here.

Cronus G2
-Incredible edge to edge sharpness with rich colors. Very good FOV and snappy focus. In long distance viewing, at around 80% out from center it starts to show a faint halo with a slight decrease in sharpness in this area which then goes back to being sharp to the edge. CA is not apparent in the center and only very slightly at the edges. Blackouts occur more easily making IPD and eye placement very sensitive.
1. Comparing center resolution these tied for the best with the B6. I was able to identify each character correctly of the smallest print on the FedEx label, it's incredibly sharp. The focus was the most precise as well.
2. During twilight comparison these fell behind, I lost the ability to make out the tree trunks several minutes sooner than the Toric, and could not make out any differences in the hillside. Light sources are bright, but in ambient darkness these don't compete with the 50's.
3. For night sky viewing these do really well, the combination of edge to edge sharpness, good FOV, and precise focus provide a great view, although not as brilliant. I had already viewed Jupiter with the B6 and Toric, and when I put the Cronus on the tripod something remarkable happened. It was easier to focus and get a sharp sphere with no flare, then I noticed what looked to be the 4th moon very near Jupiter's edge. Swapping back to the other bins it was not as obvious. So I mounted my 85mm spotting scope and sure enough there was the 4th moon near its edge!

EDX
-Clean and clear center view. Very good FOV but starting at about 60% from the center there is a noticeable halo, blurring, and CA which becomes significant towards the edge. Darkening of the edge and blackouts are noticeable. These aren't winning any awards but they can get the job done.
1. Center resolution is very good but a little behind the others.
2. During twilight these did excellent and were slightly brighter than the Torics but without the contrast.
3. For night sky viewing these provide a nice bright, sharp, center view with weak edges.
 

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justchel

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Conclusion:
I've been really impressed and happy with the 10x42 Cronus G2, and I think that for daytime viewing it's exceptional for $500. But I really want something with more low light capability, and after spending time with two higher end 10x50's I don't have a clear favorite! The Toric is awesome at a more accessible price but it's larger than what I was looking for. The B6 is the best in low light and most impressive to me but with some shortcomings. I think this highlights how useful it can be to try more than one bino being considered to find one that works better for you.

What I find interesting are some of the compromises with the B6 at well over twice the price of the Cronus G2 to gain the extra low light I'm after. If there was a 10x50 Cronus G2 that kept the current qualities while increasing low light performance, that would probably be my pick. But in reality I've decided to keep the Maven B6 as it is a VERY nice instrument and was the best in low light. Having been able to take advantage of the mil discount which lowered the price considerably and that I will most likely keep these for the rest of my life, the investment is worth it to me.

I had fun and hope this can be useful to some!
Chel
 
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ZackP

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Thanks for the detailed write up.
You’re gonna hate me for this, but being prior mil, Maven offers you a discount.

Your price on the 10x50 should be around $905.40 bringing them a lot closer in price to the Tract.
 
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justchel

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Your price on the 10x50 should be around $905.40 bringing them a lot closer in price to the Tract.
Hey Zack, they totally hooked me up with a military discount! That made my decision to keep them even easier. I listed the typical regular price most would expect to pay.
 

ZackP

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Hey Zack, they totally hooked me up with a military discount! That made my decision to keep them even easier. I listed the typical regular price most would expect to pay.

Good deal. Hope Tract also gave it to you as well!
 

Spiral Horn

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Chel,

Thanks for the very detailed write-ups. As a fellow owner of both the Cronus G2 and the B6 I congratulate your choices. There’s just no substitute for spending serious time comparing binoculars to determine what works for you and what doesn’t. Now you can rest assured you own two of the very best available at their price points. I’m confident they’ll provide many years of enjoyment.
 
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justchel

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Chel,

Thanks for the very detailed write-ups. As a fellow owner of both the Cronus G2 and the B6 I congratulate your choices. There’s just no substitute for spending serious time comparing binoculars to determine what works for you and what doesn’t.
I'm really glad Maven released the B6 around the time I was looking for a good 10x50 and with their generous mil discount it was right for me.

I'm not sure when I'll use my Cronus now! Most of the time I end up hitting the outdoors with my 8x30 as it's so convenient, and using the B6 for "special occasions" 😅

I'm going to list the Torics in the classifieds, I'm sure someone can take advantage of it's excellent optics and ruggedness.
 

thewileyone

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Good write up. Thank you for taking the time to share your comparisons. I have heard Tract had good optics but I had never read about the others.
 

JoshOR

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Great write up! Thank you! I have been eyeballing the Mavens for a bit now…
 

texasbbq

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Very nice write up, Thanks for the effort. I have the 8x42 Torics and also had the 10x42's but sold them as the 8's just really stood out in brightness but always wanted to try the 10x50's for brightness.
May have to look through the Mavens.
 

HighDesertDad

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Excellent write-up, thanks for taking the time! I have three Tract scopes but haven't tried their binos yet. I've been so impressed with my Athlon Cronus 8.5-42s for the past 2 years that I just took delivery of a pair of their 10X50 RF Cronus. Only had them for a couple of days but I'm very impressed so far.
 

Hoodie

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I've had my hands on almost every binocular in the Maven B series (and the Toric) at one point or another. They are fantastic options in the $1k range.

I just got the Cronus the other day. Sold an 8x42 B1.2 and a 12x50 B6 and "downgraded." I think the Cronus is awesome. I've bought and sold a ton of binoculars just because I like trying stuff, and I'm always interested in things that punch above their price range.

The Cronus is a sweet $500 binocular, and I don't think you gain much, if anything, going up to the $1k options. I have had other models made by the same OEM I believe that are basically "clones." The old Zen-Ray Prime is one example. The discontinued Theron Questa (maybe my favorite binocular of all time) is another. All really good optics.

The field flattener on the Athlon gives it noticeably superior edge clarity to the Mavens. Center resolution is totally comparable. The Athlon controls CA as good or better than anything in the B series in my opinion. Also better CA control than the Nikon Monarch HG. The Mavens are noticeably brighter. Ditto for the MHG.

So much in binocular choices comes down to personal preference. Ergonomics, color balance, etc. Some people want the brightest thing they can get their hands on. Others are super sensitive to CA. Some want sharp edges and others can't stand the rolling ball effect of field flatteners.

It's always good to compare a few different options if you can.
 

stephen_seeks

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Thanks for this write up. It's almost like it written just for me, as I'm vacillating between the Cronus 10x42, B6 10x50, or waiting to find a good deal on used Razor HD's. Any input on the latter and how it compares to the Athlos?
 

ZackP

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Thanks for this write up. It's almost like it written just for me, as I'm vacillating between the Cronus 10x42, B6 10x50, or waiting to find a good deal on used Razor HD's. Any input on the latter and how it compares to the Athlos?

FWIW the Razor isn’t worth the price tag.
I had a set of Razors next to a Maven C1. Even with a narrower FOV the Maven was the clear winner in every category other than that.
 
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justchel

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Thanks for this write up. It's almost like it written just for me, as I'm vacillating between the Cronus 10x42, B6 10x50, or waiting to find a good deal on used Razor HD's. Any input on the latter and how it compares to the Athlos?
Hey Stephen, I've been using these two for a couple months now and they're both very impressive. The B6 10x50 is absolutely brighter after sunset than the G2 10x42. The G2's edge clarity, resolution, CA control and overall image quality is incredible, and for $500 there is nothing like it. If the ergos work for you, it is far superior to the BX4 that a lot of people seem to like, but nothing stood out to me when I used them other than their light weight. I can speculate the Toric 10x42 would be the closest rival but they're $700.

The current delivered price of the B6 10x50 if you pay tax is around $1150, which is a lot to spend on binoculars for me! I don't feel like it has better image quality than the G2, but it is a nicer instrument with insane light transmission. I got mine with a mil discount when it was priced at $1000 so they were several hundred $'s less than its current delivered price, which is what convinced me of keeping them. Without that discount I would have kept the Toric 10x50s.

I also listed my G2's in the classifieds if you want to try them at a good price!
 

stephen_seeks

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Hey Stephen, I've been using these two for a couple months now and they're both very impressive. The B6 10x50 is absolutely brighter after sunset than the G2 10x42. The G2's edge clarity, resolution, CA control and overall image quality is incredible, and for $500 there is nothing like it. If the ergos work for you, it is far superior to the BX4 that a lot of people seem to like, but nothing stood out to me when I used them other than their light weight. I can speculate the Toric 10x42 would be the closest rival but they're $700.

The current delivered price of the B6 10x50 if you pay tax is around $1150, which is a lot to spend on binoculars for me! I don't feel like it has better image quality than the G2, but it is a nicer instrument with insane light transmission. I got mine with a mil discount when it was priced at $1000 so they were several hundred $'s less than its current delivered price, which is what convinced me of keeping them. Without that discount I would have kept the Toric 10x50s.

I also listed my G2's in the classifieds if you want to try them at a good price!
As a newbie I can't post in there or DM, but I'd take those at that price for sure. Hit me at [email protected]! Thanks for all the info.
 

Poindexter

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Great post! I’m waiting on some custom B3’s before pulling the trigger on the B6s. Your post is making me want to hit the buy button sooner.
 

Kyle Wheeler

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Great post! Thanks for sharing. To my eyes the Cronus were not better than the Toric. The Toric 10x42 low light performance was equal to the Sig Zulu 9 11x45 to my eyes. They felt way better built as well (Japan vs China) The Cronus were nice for the price but the eye cups were not very fitting and had lots of movement. I didn’t check glare but wish I did as since then have heard that the Cronus line has a harder time dealing with glare. This post is a reminder that certain binos fit people better than others. To me I’m grabbing the Toric for sure and especially if you find them at their demo price of around $520 I don’t think you can beat that for the quality you are getting.
 

stephen_seeks

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Great post! Thanks for sharing. To my eyes the Cronus were not better than the Toric. The Toric 10x42 low light performance was equal to the Sig Zulu 9 11x45 to my eyes. They felt way better built as well (Japan vs China) The Cronus were nice for the price but the eye cups were not very fitting and had lots of movement. I didn’t check glare but wish I did as since then have heard that the Cronus line has a harder time dealing with glare. This post is a reminder that certain binos fit people better than others. To me I’m grabbing the Toric for sure and especially if you find them at their demo price of around $520 I don’t think you can beat that for the quality you are getting.
Appreciate that input as well. I pulled the trigger on the Cronus so I'd have plenty of time to get them before the season comes around, and can pivot to something else if needed. Glare is a big one for archery mulies!
 

Kyle Wheeler

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Appreciate that input as well. I pulled the trigger on the Cronus so I'd have plenty of time to get them before the season comes around, and can pivot to something else if needed. Glare is a big one for archery mulies!
I don’t think you’ll be disappointed! Athlon mentioned the glare to me as I asked about Cronus and razor differences. A rep said Cronus colors pop much more but may not have quite as good glare reduction. No idea if that’s true and the Cronus were great for the time I used them.
 
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