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12x50 Vortex Diamondback Vs. Razor HD

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/02/2013 at 23:54
Mark_It_Zero View Drop Down
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I’ve been shopping a pair of 12x50 roof prism binoculars and I came across the Vortex brand.  The Diamondbacks in 12x50 are $260, and the Razor HD’s are $1,300.  Usually I believe you get what you pay for and I could come up with the extra cash for the Razor HD’s if I wanted to, but is there really that much of an improvement?  I mean if I were to glass a buck from 800 yards in the early morning light with the Razor HD’s will I be able to tell where the extra thousand or so dollars went?  I’ve read a lot of good reviews about the Diamondbacks and they’ll probably serve me well, but this is a piece of gear that I’ll have for the rest of my life and I’m not opposed to spending a little extra $$$ to get something good… but not if the improvement is only marginal.  I’ll mostly be using these for hunting whitetails on the plains of the Oklahoma panhandle 3 or 4 weekends a year.  I don’t have my heart set on Vortex’s so if there’s another brand I should be looking at please let me know.  I am confident that I want 12x50 roof prisms though.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/03/2013 at 17:22
Klamath View Drop Down
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These days you get lots of improvement up to the $250 level.  After that the improvements are less of a direct relationship.  A $500 glass is better than a $250 glass, but not twice as good.  Similarly a $1,000 glass is not twice as good as a $500 specimen, and likewise not half as good as a $2,000 glass.

So I think the simple short answer is, no the Razor is likely not over 4x better than the Diamondback, but I can tell you it is for sure a better glass than the Diamondback.

Another thing we need to look at here is why you are even looking at 12x glass.  It is a VERY common misconception that more x's in the magnification have a direct relationship to being a better binocular.  When we get past 10x or so we start to get out of a general purpose hand held binocular.  That niche is generally held by the 7-10x range and for good reason.  While 12x may seem like a good idea , you begin to move into the domain of specialist binoculars where the extra detail means a tripod to hold the glass steady and extra weight put there by extra high quality glass.  I would NOT recommend an inexpensive $250 binocular with high magnification.  They will be really good close in, but will get their backsides kicked as you try to assess antler size at a half mile or even more. 

The less simple answer to your question will likely be that the Razor at 12x will be sufficiently better than the Diamondback to be worth the $$$.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/04/2013 at 11:23
Mark_It_Zero View Drop Down
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I think I want 12x50’s because my dad has a pair and I really like them.  One day we were glassing a buck together and I was using an inexpensive pair of 10x42’s and my dad said “it looks he has a sticker point on his G2”.  I said I don’t see that, and he handed me his binos and said take a look at it with my 12x’s.  And when I did I could see a little more detail, including the sticker point.  He said he prefers 12x’s because he used to own a pair of variable power binos and he found that he usually used them on 12x because it offered the best magnification without being too shaky.  And after having seen it for myself in the field its going to be hard to convince me otherwise. 

Maybe his binos had better glass than mine and therefore it wasn’t a good side by side comparison.  His were an inexpensive pair of Nikon porro prisms and mine were an inexpensive pair of Bushnell roof prisms.  I would like to compare a pair of Diamondback 10x’s to 12x’s side by side in the field to see the difference for myself.  Could it be the belief that 10x is better is an old piece of handed down wisdom that used to ring true years ago but isn’t actually valid anymore because of advances in the quality of optics that are produced today?

On another note I always brace up good and hold my binoculars steady when I’m out glassing.  Its not like I just stand there unsupported trying to look at stuff from a long ways off. 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/04/2013 at 22:49
Klamath View Drop Down
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There is a lot of data that pretty well proves that when people are left to make a blind choice, that is hand them unmarked specimens so they do not have ant preconceived notions, that the majority will pick 7x.  Why do you think 7x is a pretty standard US Military magnification?

I've seen some blind test stuff done and I have seen this for myself with my own two eyes.  I've even handed 8x and 10x glass of the same make and model (magnification markings covered) to people who almost always think that 8x is better, so no I doubt there is any old outdated conventional wisdom here.  There will always be an eternally debated question on which is better, 8x or 10x.  Fact is they both will work, as will 12x, but there is a reason why 10x generally is regarded as the practical top end of the magnification scale for handheld binoculars.  I will edit this to add that increasing magnification is one of the places where quality will count when the chips are down.  I don't necessarily mean to talk you out of your choice, but spending $1,200 on a Vortex Razor HD is a lot of money and spending that kind of cash should be made after a bunch of research.

Preconceptions in peoples mind are powerful tools and many will over think their magnification requirements.

Comparing a poor 10x42 of unknown make and model to your dad's 12x, also of unknown make and model does not even make it to the level of comparing apples and oranges.  You have two ways basically of improving your view.  First one is to get more magnification.  The second, and really the best way to go, is to get better quality.  Better resolution and contrast will almost always whack more magnification, unless we are talking a significant magnification increase, say going from an overview from glassing with an 8x or 10x glass to say 20-25x on a spotter.  Just keep in mind that the resolution and contrast better be there at 20x an up too.

Oh yeah, and perhaps a bit late, welcome to OT Big Smile


Edited by Klamath - September/04/2013 at 23:04
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/05/2013 at 17:47
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The Razor series, as a whole, is notably better in performance than the couterparts from the Diamondback series. What that increased performance is worth, is up to the individual.

As far as magnification goes, many people here recommend lower magnificaition bins for the advantages they offer. Even if most people prefer 7x in a blind test, your preferences are still yours. If you like 12x and want them, get them.

It was my understanding that the military chose 7X50 bins for military applications for the exit pupil, not user preference. The 7mm (about) exit pupil was as large as the fully dialated human eye.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/05/2013 at 17:55
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Razors are good but i would suggest getting the meopta meostar 10x HD. You will absolutely love them. I have the regular meopta 10x42s my dad has the 12x50s and i just dont notice much if any diff when using them side by side.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/05/2013 at 18:38
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Originally posted by Bitterroot Bulls Bitterroot Bulls wrote:

Even if most people prefer 7x in a blind test, your preferences are still yours.

If you like 12x and want them, get them.

It was my understanding that the military chose 7X50 bins for military applications for the exit pupil, not user preference.

Matt,

Thank you for a breath of fresh air.  

Incidentally, I have owned my share of 7x binoculars and was unimpressed with all of them until
I finally purchased an older Fujinon 7x50 FMTR-SX.
I doubt that very many would be interested in carrying it around in the field all day.

Even though I own one of the best 7x binoculars on the market it gets used very little
because my eyes prefer higher magnifications than 7x or 8x.

I'm almost 66 yrs. young and my vision is not what it used to be;
however, my eyes know what they like and I do my best to keep them happyBig Grin

Stan


 


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/05/2013 at 22:08
Klamath View Drop Down
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Military research was done with new boot recruits.  No user preference involved, just plain old, boring data collection.  What the data showed was that the majority of boots could see what they needed to see under the test parameters better with 7x.  The 7x50 was, as I understand it, based on exit pupil for brightness  under dusk and dawn and under gray ocean conditions inherent to naval usage.  Today's standard foot soldier glass is a 7x28.  Made by Weems & Plath it is called the Apache. 

Magnification preference are a highly personal thing.  My point here is not to push anybody to lower magnification.  My point here is just because dad's unknown 12x50 is better than an admittedly poor 10x42, it does not automatically follow that a 12x would be better.  Maybe, maybe not.  If you go 12x, don't go cheap.

I think to OP would be better served with an upgrade into a better 10x42.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/11/2013 at 16:01
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Good stuff.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/28/2013 at 22:53
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I found out that SWFA is only about 20 min. from where I work so I went by there at lunch one day and they let me take pairs of 10x and 12x Diamondbacks out to the parking lot to compare side by side.  

I left with a pair of 10 x 50's.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/23/2013 at 09:51
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I've had a pair of diamondbacks, Viper HD, Kaibab HD, and Razor HD. Hands down by a long shot the best piece of glass is the Razor HD. Going from the Diamondbacks to the Razor HD is like being color blind with terrible vision, and then being able to see 20/20 in color.  I'd say the jump from the Viper HD to Razor is more like going from standard definition TV to HD or Blu Ray. The color and contrast, as well as edge clarity on the Razor HD is on par with the Swarovski EL (non-swarovision). 

With that being said, when I first got my diamondbacks I loved them, but after comparing in the field with a couple other more expensive sets, I couldn't go back.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/25/2013 at 18:22
JohnG View Drop Down
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I have a mint pair of Kaibab's 15X56 for sale.

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