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Vortex Optics

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Roy Finn View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Roy Finn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Vortex Optics
    Posted: April/24/2006 at 17:16

Has anyone had any experience with this company? I saw a picture of the " Razor 8x42 " roofs which look like a pair of Swaro EL's. Any feedback is appreciated.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lucznik Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/05/2006 at 16:27

I just read an article in Bowhunting magazine, which was an interview with the owner/proprieter of Vortex Optics.  They are basically a proprietary brand of one of SWFA's competitors.   Because of this, I believe (but am not absolutely certain) that Vortex optics can only be found at their specific web-store. The Vortex Razor is their top model and is supposed to give perfomance equal to the top manufacturers' offerings at 1/2 (or less) the price.  Whether or not they actually meet that standard is yet to be determined.

 

Roy, if you are interested, I can send you the article. Just send me a PM with a location to send it to.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Wheels Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/12/2006 at 10:48
I just spoke with Vortex this morning about how I can get one.  They refferered my to their dealer page at www.vortexoptics.com.  Apparently all dealers should have them by the end of July - just in time for hunting.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RifleDude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/06/2006 at 16:50

I recently purchased a Vortex Razor 8 X 42.  To say I'm pleased with it is a huge understatement!  I also own a Kahles 10 X 42 and Leica Trinovid 8 X 50.  I realize that reviews of optics are highly subjective, but I can honestly say that judging by my samples of each binocular, the Vortex Razor's optics is SIGNIFICANTLY superior to the Kahles, and fully the equal of the Leica to my eyes!  Yet, at ~ $700 retail, it's about half the price of the Leica!  The image quality is exceptionally sharp and high-definition, with vibrant colors, slightly more neutral color rendition than the Leica, and yet, it's every bit as bright as the Leica, despite the exit pupil disadvantage.  Field of view is an enormous 410' @ 1000 yds, and depth of field is expansive, pretty much on par with the Leica.  I noticed a slight loss of image sharpness at the extreme edges of the field and only a slight spherical aberration, but in both cases, no more so than the Leica.  I noticed no discernable chromatic aberration, even when looking at high contrast images in bright sunlight.  I've had plenty of time to do extensive head-to-head comparisons between the Razor and the Trinovid in all light conditions, looking at small distant details like signs, and I was able to resolve text at the same maximum distances with either binocular.  I've had both out on recent hunts, scanning the woods early in the morning and late in the afternoon, looking at deer and birds.  I honestly can't say conclusively which binocular is optically superior to the other, which says a lot for the exceptional value of the Razor.  Basically, if you like the balance and feel of the Swaro EL, you'll like the same characteristics of the Razor, as it's a very similar design, with similar weight and physical size.  The only negative I can find with the Razor is the focus adjustment is a little stiff, but Vortex told me they've smoothed up the adjustment on the later Razors.  The Razor also features an unconditional lifetime warranty.  I've emailed their people on several occasions prior to purchase, and they've been very responsive, friendly, and patient in answering my many questions.  They seem to be totally committed to good customer service.  In short, although I've never seen any of their other products, I can highly recommend the Vortex Razor binocular.  Though the Kahles is a good binocular, I thought it was the best value going until I picked up the Razor.  I know it isn't an entirely fair comparison to compare a 10 X 42 glass with an 8 X 42, but again, the Razor's optics were MUCH brighter and sharper!  It is honestly the best sub-$1000 binocular I've seen at any price.  I can't say how it stacks up against the Leica Ultravid / Swarovski EL / Zeiss FL / Nikon LXL class binos, as I've only looked through these briefly in stores, but I'd put the Razor up against anything in terms of "performance : price" ratio, and I honestly can't see how the flagship glass from the "big 3" could possibly be significantly better.  I'd venture to say the Leica Trinovid can't be too far behind these alpha class bins in performance, and the Razor is every bit as good as the Trinovid, maybe slightly better IMO!  I have absolutely nothing to gain by saying this; I was just so pleased with my purchase, I thought others should know about the exceptional value these binoculars represent.

 

BTW, Vortex isn't an exclusive brand to the aforementioned competitor of SWFA, though it was founded by the owners of said competitor.  A well-known Japanese optics manufacturer was sourced to make their high end glass (Razor, Viper, Stokes series, etc.) to their specs.  I don't know where their lower end product is made.  Several suppliers carry Vortex optics.  I hope maybe SWFA will eventually carry Vortex. 

Ted


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bird Watcher Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/06/2006 at 17:25
The lower end products are made in China. They have been advertising the Vortex in Bird Watcher's Digest & also selling them through the Wild Birds Unlimited chain.
They are located in Middletown, Wi.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Roy Finn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/06/2006 at 17:33
This is just a wild guess, but it sounds like you are happy with the Razor's.  Thank you very much for posting this and welcome. Good to have another aboard that knows what to look for. Personally, I thought the Trinovid was VERY good optically, but, I could not get past their weight. Yep, the Ultravid is a great bino, but for 1700 bucks it should be. Thanks again for the time you took.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NDhunter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/06/2006 at 22:46
Rifledude.  "You write like you work for, or are connected to Vortex." 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RifleDude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/07/2006 at 09:01

Originally posted by NDhunter NDhunter wrote:

Rifledude.  "You write like you work for, or are connected to Vortex." 

 

Nope, not at all.  I was simply replying to the original post.  As I said, I have nothing whatsoever to gain from my comments, and my only connection to Vortex is email conversations I've had with one of their people.  I work in an oil & gas equipment manufacturing plant in Texas.   I'm just a guy who likes spending time in the outdoors and appreciates good outdoor equipment.  I feel I got more for my money than I expected, was excited about that fact since it doesn't happen very often, and wanted to share my findings with others.  I purchased these binoculars on blind faith and a couple good reviews, armed with the knowledge that the distributor would take them back if I wasn't satisfied with them.  I think I have a good basis of comparison from which to evaluate the Razor, since I already own two other premium binos, one of which retails at twice the price of the Razor.  I think they're definitely worth the money, and worth strong consideration if you're thinking of buying a high-end binocular.  These are my opinions and my opinions only; I make no claim to be the final word on these binos.  Feel free to disagree, but I'd invite you to look at them first.

Ted


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tero Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/04/2006 at 21:10
I was just searching old topics here. I had a pair of 10x30 Vortex Spitfire for a day. Sent them back, optics were poor, even for under $200. Suggest only trying the high end Vortex. Or at least not 10x at the cheap end. The 8.5X Spitfire sort of looked interesting, never saw it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bird Watcher Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/04/2006 at 22:21
Tero,

Not surprising/very inexpensive, Chinese 10x32 roof prism without phase correction.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tero Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/05/2006 at 07:51

All my bonoculars are made in China. I replaced them with 9x25 Nikon ProStaff. No phase coating needed.

I had the 10x25 ProStaff but they were too dim for me.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bird Watcher Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/05/2006 at 10:42
The optical system within the roof prism binoculars splits incoming light into two 'out of phase' paths. These two light paths are added together before they reach your eye, but the whole processs causes a deterioration in sharpness.(This is particularly noticable at high magnifications & small exit pupils). Phase correction coating dramatically improves resolution and contrast by correcting this light phase-shift.

Phase coating reduces internal glare and delivers enhanced contrast and high resolution in details. The results are extremely bright and crisp images, and true color fidelity.

Roof prism binoculars without phase correction is a cost- cutting procedure that does not allow a binocular to achieve its maximum performance.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tero Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/05/2006 at 12:43
The 9x25s are reverse porros.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bird Watcher Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/05/2006 at 12:52
Thanks, my brain cells were obviously still back on page one with the Vortex Spitfires.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote skeeeter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/12/2006 at 04:07
We have a "birding store' here in town and I looked throught the Vortex line. The owner also had a pair of Zeiss 8x40 that I compared to the 8x42 Vortex (it was not the top of the line but medium priced example)  as it was starting to get dark. To be honest and to my surprise I could not tell a difference between the two! Both were equally bright.
Maybe my eyesigth is going?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RifleDude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/12/2006 at 08:43
I can't comment on any of their other binos, but I can tell you the $700 Razor 8X42 is optically on par with anything I've seen short of the uber-priced glass.
Ted


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote anweis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/12/2006 at 11:18

I've looked through the $189 Broadwing 8x42. They were sharper than the Nikon Monarch ($300) but also had a very stiff focuser (two pairs tried). Also, a bit too much of flare, but it may not be a serious issue in the field.

 

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