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Vortex Viper and Razor binoculars

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/31/2008 at 21:53
koshkin View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/01/2009 at 12:12
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I found the 8x42 Razors to be one of the better binos I looked through in the sub-$1000 range (although I liked the Pentax 8x43 DCF the best - http://www.swfa.com/pc-9248-1273-new-pentax-8x43-dcf-ed-binocular.aspx). The Vipers were good but no better to my eyes than the less expensive Nikon ATBs I tried. Incidentally, I briefly owned a pair of the Stokes DLS 10x42s (made by Vortex) but needed the money to put towards a Swarovski rangefinder. You can (possibly still) get the DLS for an amazing price (I'll leave it to you to find the stores). But only on the 10x42 and I have to agree with Koshkin, etc. that 10x are harder to hold steady. (I've found that the better resolution of the Swaro glass makes up for only having 80% of the magnification...and in mono to boot). If you need binos Vortex are worth a look and any of these three might meet your needs.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/01/2009 at 12:35
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I have used the 8x42 next to Zeiss and Swarovski 7x42's. They don't have the clarity and low light performance of the other two, but I was very impressed with them for the money. I would have to give them a very good look if I needed binoculars for under $1K.
Thanks, ILya.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/10/2009 at 07:16
RifleDude View Drop Down
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Nice review, Ilya!  Thanks!

I did a test drive of the Viper 8X42 and compared it against my Razor 8X42.  Most of my impressions were the same as yours, with the following exceptions/additions:

-  I thought Razor's sweet spot was much larger than the Viper.  This may have been an illusion due to the overall more expansive view the Razor offers, though.
-  I thought the Razor's center field resolution was a bit better than Viper.  This was evident to me especially during star testing.  Razor produced a more compact point of light than Viper.
-  To my eyes, Razor produced a subjectively cleaner image, mainly because of the much superior  CA suppression vs. Viper.  Viper had fairly prominent yellow-green fringing around high contrast objects.
-  Viper appeared to have slight greenish color bias, whereas Razor is essentially neutral to my eyes.
-  Viper had more tunnel vision that I found somewhat distracting, whereas Razor produced more "enveloping" view, beyond the obvious FOV differences.  But, I could live with that given its many other good virtues.
-  Viper had a much flatter field than Razor, probably due at least partially to the narrower field.
-  Even though Razor (newest generation, at least) has a nice focuser feel, I thought Viper's focus operation was as silky smooth as any I've ever experienced on a binocular, slightly superior to the Razor in that regard. 
-  I preferred Razor's center diopter adjustment on the focus knob over Viper's right barrel adjustment location.  Just think optimal diopter setting was easier to arrive at in the central position and might stay put better due to the setting lock.
-  My wife had a hard time getting optimal eye relief setting with Viper's eye cups.  For some reason (eye socket and face shape perhaps?) that I can't put my finger on, she gets optimal view with most binoculars when the eye cups are extended nearly or all the way out.  Razor had plenty of adjustment range, whereas Viper didn't to her eyes.  This wasn't an issue to me, though, and I thought Viper's 4 position eyecups were adequate, thought not as comfortable to me as Razor's.

Viper is a very nice "compromise" binocular that seems to do everything pretty well, combining compactness, apparent ruggedness, and good ergonomics (at least to me) with good optics and reasonable price.  I think it is an exceptional value and is hard to beat at its price!  I felt Razor's better overall image quality and more relaxed view make it worth the extra price premium over Viper, but if I were looking for a compact 8X42 with the most bang for the buck, I would give Viper serious consideration. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/15/2009 at 10:27
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I have the Diamondback 10x42 with the Bino Loc and the Vortex Bino Harness Strap. Just awesome clarity. Great USA Warranty; built in USA. Works well for me!!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/01/2009 at 12:17
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Originally posted by Flintlock1776 Flintlock1776 wrote:

I have the Diamondback 10x42 with the Bino Loc and the Vortex Bino Harness Strap. Just awesome clarity. Great USA Warranty; built in USA. Works well for me!!

Vortex Diamondback 10x42 is made in China ... not the USA. They do have a little sticker that does fall off though. No Vortex bins are made in the USA.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/24/2009 at 12:46
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I recently had the opportunity to compare the 8X42 & 8.5X50 Razors.  This was not a sceintific test.... just a field test.  They are both fantastic bins.  I would have to give the nod to the 8.5X50s for overall use.  Although it is heavier and bulkier, not that much more so than the 8X42s.  The BIGGEST advantage the 8.5s had was a better eye box.  By that I mean I didn't have to have the bins just right to see thru them, where as the 8s were more critical.... especially when wearing glasses.
 
I was able to view whitetail deer at evening with the 8.5s and they actually seemed to "add" light compared to the naked eye!  I was amazed that this happened with 8.5 mag.
 
I was not able to compare to other bins in the same range, but I have looked thru some the of top lines and I did not notice any glaring differences.  These Razors seemed well worth the price and I hope to add the 8.5s to my optics tool chest! 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/07/2009 at 17:27
koshkin View Drop Down
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BTT.

I am applying for a "media" badge for the next SHOT Show which requires proof, i.e. industry relevant stuff that I have written and posted here.
I will bring several of my threads back to the top to make them easier to find.
Thanks and sorry for bringing all the old threads back to the surface.
ILya
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