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Vortex Razor HD 20-60x85mm spotting scope

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/18/2010 at 19:04
koshkin View Drop Down
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I am finally done with my write-up.

While the test was done right here on US soil, the write-up was mostly done in the Holy Land while I was jetlagged out of my mind.  If you see me veering off into strange directions, blame the jetlag.


Here is the short version:
If you want a truly world-class spotting scope without shelling out $3k for Kowa/Ziess/Leica/Swaro this is the way to go.  This spotter is absolutely superb in every way I can think of. I compared it against Leica 77mm spotter with 20-60x eyepiece and found that Razor HD delivers superior image under challenging lighting conditions (aided by its larger objective lens). Under more normal lighting conditions, you would be hard pressed to find the difference between the images of the two spotters, except Razor HDs eyepiece is a touch more forgiving for eye position (which could be due to a larger objective lens), and Leica has slightly better contrast at 20x to 25x.  Resolution was very similar until about 35x or so, at which point Razor HD started outresolving the smaller objective Leica.  Spotting scopes exist to allow you to see fine detail at long distances.  There is very little that you can see with “alpha” spotters that you would not be able to with the Razor HD.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/18/2010 at 20:05
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Outstanding review!
 
It's reassuring to know that my (less formal) observations of these same two scopes mirrored yours almost verbatim, except that I didn't do any low light testing.  That tells me that my eyesight isn't as bad as I thought it was becoming!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/18/2010 at 21:03
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Great write-up Ilya!
 
I learn something with every review of yours I read.
 
Sample variation played quite a role in my spotter testing as well.  Interestingly, the three Razors I looked through were remarkably similar.
 
It is interesting how different eyes see different things.  I also noticed the Swaro 80HD and Leica 82 had increased contrast by the slimmest of margins.  However, when compared side-by-side, I found the Razors I looked through displayed a slightly more saturated image than the Swaro.  In fact, it is one of the most pleasant parts of the view, to my eyes.
 
Your discussion of CA is right on.  I was, and am, able to force the scope into displaying CA, and like you, Ilya, I have also trained myself to be especially sensitive to the aberration.  I do wish I hadn't.  The only scope I tested that I did not notice any CA with was the Kowa 883.  I suspect that had less to do with the flourite crystal objective, and more to do with the low-contrast viewing conditions I tested it in.
 
The fact is the differences in overall image quality between the Razor HD and any "alpha" scope is miniscule.  Further, for any one optical category the Razor finds itself slightly behind the "alphas," there is another category where it finds itself slightly ahead.
 
IMHO, any discussion of the best spotters in the world, regardless of price, should include the Vortex Razor HD.


Edited by Bitterroot Bulls - June/18/2010 at 21:21
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/29/2010 at 09:01
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Welcome back & thanks for a great review.
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