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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/31/2007 at 14:17
FrankD View Drop Down
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I wanted to start a new thread on these bins instead of hijacking the 8x42 thread further. These bins warrant further discussion! Here is a copy/paste of my impressions on them thus far.

 

 

The overall build quality seems very good. All of the fit and finish is excellent. There is no play in the rotating eyecups or central hinge however, the latter is just a bit looser than I would prefer.

The design is very good as well. My hands fit comfortably around the barrels. The open bridge design gives the impression of a much lighter weight binocular. The eyecups have a very nice multi-click stop mechanism that allows them to be adjusted in very small increments. In addition those increments are nicely labeled on the side of the eyecup so as you twist them out the graduations are revealed. There is also a set of flared eyecups included in the packaging. The rubber armor seems more than sufficient at protecting the binoculars from any type of dents or dings. The diopter adjustment is found by popping out the focusing knob and is also of the click-stop design.



Negatives at this point, and take this with a grain of salt as I am being a bit picky...



- though nowhere near as bad as I have seen mentioned in other posts the focusing knob is a bit stiffer than some of the other binoculars I have owned. I think this is somewhat of a perceived stiffness though if that makes sense. I believe this is the result of two issues. One, the size of the focusing knob and the angle with which my finger comes off the barrel and rests upon it. If the focusing knob was a bit smaller I do not think it would be as much of an effort. Two, the texture of the knob itself. The knob is coated with a series of very small, pointed "nodules". They are by no means uncomfortable and offer very good traction but they give the effect of something rough on the tips of my fingers and this could be contributing to the perception of a less than desirable focusing tension.



- the previously mentioned central hinge tension. I would prefer it a bit stiffer so it is more difficult to collapse.



- the rubber armor has a somewhat unpleasant odor.

 

Ok, I had some time this afternoon to give the 8x42 Razors a bit of an optical examination.

 

Two BIG THUMBS UP!

 

Outstanding in every regard I can think to comment on.

 

Field of View:

 

Exceptional, class leading, superb...are just a few words that come to mind. At 410 feet they pretty much equal my Meopta Meostars and better the Zeiss FLs by 5 feet.

 

Edge Sharpness:

 

Same set of adjectives. The edge sharpness is a bit better than both the Meopta and the Leica Trinovid I currently have in my possession. I would say it is roughly equal to that of the new Swaro SLCs and ELs and just a hair less than that of the Nikon Premier/Venturer/HGs.

 

Color representation: Very neutral and very similar to the Leica Trinovids in their vividness of colors.

 

Brightness: Excellent brightness levels. I have yet to check it in low light conditions but I have a difficult time believing it is going to disappoint.

 

Color Fringing: I was unable to detect color fringing against several high contrast objects including a crow against a blue sky and the highly reflective top of one of my bird feeders. I can pick up slight color fringing in both cases, especially around the edges, on both the Trinovid and the Meopta but not the Razor. Vortex advertises this binocular as having extra low dispersion glass and it shows.

 

Apparent sharpness: With very neutral color represenation this binocular displays very sharp images and a nice sweet spot of focus from very good depth of field.

 

I really do not have anything negative to say about this binocular's optics. In fact, this might be, arguably, the nicest image I have had the privelege to look at from a premium roof prism binocular. There isn't any annoying astigmatism or edge distortion, no "almost artificial" color representation and definitely a very low level of color fringing.

 

In my opinion this binocular isn't a Swarovski EL knockoff. It is a direct competitor. For all of you folks that trust my fairly limited experience I would suggest trying these binoculars out. I think many of you will be genuinely surprised at what $700 will get you.



Edited by FrankD
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/31/2007 at 16:46
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Excellent review, FrankD!  I'm glad to know I wasn't just imagining things here.  To my eyes, I would describe the 8X42 Razor's optics exactly as you did, and in fact, pretty much echoed your comments almost verbatim in a review I posted a couple months ago under the "Vortex Optics" thread, even comparing it to the Leica Trinovid as well!  I truly couldn't believe how good they really are for the price!

 

Folks, this is an excellent binocular at an excellent price!  I predict this excellent bino won't be a well-kept secret for very long!



Edited by RifleDude
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/31/2007 at 17:29
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Very nice review FrankD. I have been pricing the 10x50 all day today, found some great prices only on the 8x42 so far. FrankD could you elaborate on the sharpness of this binocular and where it stands on this attribute with the competition. High resolution with a 3D effect in the field is also something I am looking for, this bieng a roof prism desighn, does it allow a comparable effect to a porro?



Edited by SVD666
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/31/2007 at 18:01
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So FrankD,

 

Does this all mean that your Meopta is soon to find itself on the proverbial "chopping block?"

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/31/2007 at 18:23
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RD,

 

I will have to look that thread up. I could not agree with your comments more. This binocular is top notch in build, design and especially optical quality. I look forward to seeing koshkin's comments on it when he receives his.

 

SVD,

 

The Razor exhibits the same perceived sharpness as that of the Leica Trinovid I have in my possession. Very sharp. Dare I say "FL-sharp"? It is also entirely comparable to my Nikon 7x35 E porro in terms of sharpness. I believe this is the result of the lower levels of CA and the neutral color representation.

 

I do not think I have ever found a roof prism that gives quite the 3D effect of a porro so I would have to say "no" in that regard. However, the colors are quite vivid and very pleasing. I think you would be hard pressed to find a nicer combination of optical qualities in any given roof prism on the market today. You might find one that has slightly better center field sharpness, better color, sharper edges, etc... but not in the combination that this binocular offers.

 

Lucznik,

 

I had already given that some thought. When I find something better than what I currently enjoy using then I do typically prefer to sell the "older" model. However, I am entirely convinced that the Razor is "better" than the Meopta. The Meopta still has the nod in two categories, low light performance and size of apparent field. Some folks might do a double take on the latter because both bins have pretty much identical apparent fields however, I seem to perceive a larger apparent field "effect" from the Meopta. As for low light performance the Meopta, much like the Swaros, seems to come into its own in terms of brightness under low light conditions. I can only theorize that this is the result of the warm color bias and the specific coatings utilized with them.

 

If I did sell them then it would only be to get a new 8x32 roof. I am tempted by the Pentax ED but they won't even be available until April. The possibility of a new Meopta 8x32 is also out there but I think I might have to wait even a bit longer for that one. I am going to give both the Meopta and the Razor a thorough comparison under several conditions before making a decisions.

 

Hmm, sounds like you are interested if I do sell them. I know...I know...not a 10x.

 

On a related note, I was able to detect some color fringing late this afternoon while looking at some tree branches with the setting sunlight illuminating them. There was a very thin band of "maroon/red" around the branches in the outer 1/3rd of the field of view. This was not pronounced and was really only noticeable because I was looking for it.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/31/2007 at 18:37
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Thank you FrankD your posts have been very helpfull. I have a little more homework to do before I buy but this is for shure one on my top choices right now.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/31/2007 at 20:21
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GREAT JOG FRANK!

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/31/2007 at 21:41
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As I mentioned in another post, I directly compared the vortex razor 10x42s with the Minox HG 10x43 and optically it was a toss-up. I decided to go with the vortex. Then after reading so many posts about 8x magnification I had to just see what all the hype was about so I returned the HG 10x43s and got the minox HG 8.5x52. I directly compared them with the vortex at night. I have to say, the FOV was pretty close. Suprisingly close being that I was comparing different magnifications. Perceived brightness (under moonlight) was also extremely close. Again I chose the vortex. I am happy with my purchase and I am glad others are confirming. I still prefer 10x magnification!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/01/2007 at 09:04
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SVD,

 

Glad I could help. Good luck in your search.

 

nohornes,

 

I would be interested to hear how the 10x's compare to your Euros and the Trinovids. Thank you.

 

ahuebel,

 

They are excellent bins, aren't they? I still am a little bit of a skeptic and continue to look for something that I really do not like about them.

 

...haven't found it yet.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/01/2007 at 09:31
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If I had to pick something I didn't like I'd say the way the harness straps to the binoculars. They send little plastic rings and tie wraps. I already had one break on me and besides that, tie wraps and plastic rings doesnt seem to be a permanent solution. I talked to their customer support about it and was told larger rings could break the piece off the side of the binocular and he recommends using two tie wraps per side. I think I'll try finding some small keyrings (less than 1/2" in diameter) and use those.

 

They could also put their JIS grade for waterproofing in their spec (JIS 7 is what I was told by Tim at vortex, very helpful guy).

 

Lastly, not a fault of any kind really....it would just be nice to see a razor line of riflescope. Their "high end" Viper series are supposedly comparable to the Nikon Monarch, Bushnell 4200 Elites and between the VX II's and III's. 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/01/2007 at 11:44
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ahuebel,

 

Did your bins come with a bino harness?

 

I never did touch on accessories, did I? The reason for that is that I really haven't looked at them yet. The binoculars came with a very nice padded cordura case. The case has an add-on strap attachment. I have not taken the binocular neckstrap out of the packaging yet but it appears to be a padded style. The binocular also came with the flip open tethered style of objective caps and a flexible rainguard. The all seem entirely practical but, as I said, I have not used them yet to really comment on them further.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/01/2007 at 13:05
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Yes I got them with a vortex harness. They do not come with the harness, but the place I bought them from (binoculars.com) threw them in. And they have been great about trying binoculars and returning them with no restocking fee. For that reason I plan on buying my riflescope from them as well.

 

I like the fact that they come with a cleaning cloth although I usually rinse them in water to clean them.



Edited by ahuebel
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/01/2007 at 17:42
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Mine came with a harness, cordura case, extra eyecups with side shields, lens cloth, and a Vortex pin, and I didn't buy mine from the aforementioned competitor of SWFA.

 

ahuebel, have you considered maybe buying your riflescope from SWFA, since they are the ones providing this forum?  I've been very pleased with the prices and service I've received from them.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/01/2007 at 17:53
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RD,

 

You and I think much alike some times. I was about to post almost the exact same message...

 

 

...about the pin, lens cloth, etc... I had even thought of mentioning SWFA. Admittedly, I have yet to make a purchase from them but I think it is just a matter of time before I find a product, regularly priced or on the samplelist, that calls my name. Chris has always been friendly and helpful when I had questions for him.

 

The other thing is all these binos.com, spottin'scopes.com, riflescopes.com, etc... get confusing especially when the actual commercial section of the sites look so much the same. Some of them have to be affiliated with one another because the layout, pricing and descriptions are almost identical. I am very thankful that SWFA has this forum to help differentiate it from the others.



Edited by FrankD
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/01/2007 at 18:11
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I agree.  The only reason I didn't buy my Razor 8X42 from SWFA is because, at present, they don't carry Vortex.  Hopefully, maybe some day that will change.

 

I'm just excited about these bins -- you really get a whole lot for $700!  Glad to hear others share the same opinion so I'm not a lone voice!

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/01/2007 at 18:30
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Well that is precisely why I did not buy from SWFA and I believe in rewarding good customer service, so while its nice that SWFA offers this forum, can't do much if they don't sell vortex. Besides, competition keeps people honest.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/02/2007 at 10:14
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Yes, I agree, but I was talking in regards to your planned rifle scope purchase and the binos other than Vortex.  SWFA carries most brands of scopes.  Also, that was just a subtle reminder of the rules of the forum against mentioning SWFA competitors.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/02/2007 at 10:20
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Are you kidding me? There is a rule that you cannot mention competitors? What are we, in communist china here? If someone goes out of their way to treat me well, I like to reward that. I feel that is how business should be done. It would have made no sense to buy the vortex from the "competitors" and the minox from SWFA only return the minox to SWFA (if they would even do that without a restocking and shipping fee). That would have been a disservice to SWFA. Anyway, if that's the rule I'll abide by it. Don't agree with it AT ALL, but this forum has good people/info and I'd like to continue to check in on it. And of course I am not saying anything against SWFA. They appear to have great customer support as well.



Edited by ahuebel
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/02/2007 at 14:57
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Yes, sir; I wasn't sure you were aware of that.  Here is the posting rules of the forum:

 

http://www.opticstalk.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=5473&PN=1

 

The reason for this is this forum is supplied by SWFA, first and foremost a business, not a webmaster.  They provide this forum for us on their website, and as long as they do so, they make the rules.  This isn't an attempt to quell free speech, It's just proper etiquette when posting on their forum not to plug their competitors, thereby hurting their reason for existence.  You would do the same if it was your business and your forum.

 

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/02/2007 at 15:10
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I would hardly call what I did "blatantly plugging a competitor" as the rule states. While I would agree this provides a venue for marketing products it is primarily a discussion board about products, not a vendor. There are plenty of boards like this for a miriad of product lines. SWFA gets their name out on this board through advertising and that accomplishes their goal of reaching potential customers. As an example, if it weren't for this board, I wouldn't know about SWFA. Mentioning other vendors does not take away from SWFA. In fact, if they are as grand as people think they are, it should prove (through discussion) that they are indeed superior in customer service and competitive in price. If I myself were a vendor and posted here trying to get people to buy from me, that is one thing, but I'm simply sharing my experiences with other readers as is the spirit of this forum. I could debate this with you but I don't think its worth it. The fact still remains, I would have bought from them if they sold Vortex when I bought my binoculars. Hoepfully we can agree to disagree on this topic .
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/02/2007 at 16:20
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Originally posted by ahuebel ahuebel wrote:

I would hardly call what I did "blatantly plugging a competitor" as the rule states. While I would agree this provides a venue for marketing products it is primarily a discussion board about products...

 

About products, yes.  About SWFA's direct competitors, no.  This isn't our call and our opinions about it are irrelevent, as we don't own the board.  We post here at SWFA's pleasure.  I don't think the rules apply to random mentions of vendors, but if you repeatedly post about buying stuff from their direct competitors, that's a different thing entirely.  Most of their competitor names are auto-formatted to read simply "competitor" after you post.  That tells me that they'd prefer you didn't even mention their names.  Nothing is lost in the discussion of products by omitting vendor names anyway.

 

Not trying to be a speech Nazi, I just thought you should be aware of this and the reasons why.



Edited by RifleDude
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/02/2007 at 18:13
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Another BIG online house, that is not connected with the manufacturer, sells the Razor, same price as the Wisconsin outfit. I think SWFA would do well to carry it.

There are a few of these under $900 near high end binos coming around. I think Bushnell has some sort of Infinity series, that I am interested in. If I can get a good 10x42 for 600, I will be happy. But it has to be noticeably better than Monarchs.


Edited by Tero
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/03/2007 at 06:30
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Quote Another BIG online house, that is not connected with the manufacturer, sells the Razor, same price as the Wisconsin outfit. I think SWFA would do well to carry it.

 

..and on the other hand there is another very popular competitor that does not carry Leupold products and SWFA does.

 

Tero,

 

You ready to take that $600 plunge? The Razor would definitely be an improvement over the Monarchs.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/03/2007 at 07:40
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Maybe, these sorts of purchases I usually do in person, the OTHER UNMENTIONABLE CHAIN is opening here is spring.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/03/2007 at 09:32
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Originally posted by Tero Tero wrote:

Maybe, these sorts of purchases I usually do in person, the OTHER UNMENTIONABLE CHAIN is opening here is spring.

what is the OTHER UNMENTIONABLE CHAIN?   sorry for being a newbie here...

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