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Vortex binoculars - Any suggestions or stay away?

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#1 shredder1656

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Posted 31 July 2019 - 07:47 PM

I have the opportunity to buy a set of Vortex binoculars (or, other product) at around 40% discount. This, I believe, is off of the msrp. So, would that equate to a great deal, considering their general quality?

I'm still trying to read through the models they offer. I was told that anything they have is fair game. So, if you have a favorite for astro, that Vortex makes, I'm open to thoughts. Not sure if they actually have anything oriented in that direction. It isn't necessarily a requirement that they be made for astro, because I will use them for terrestrial as well.

10x handheld comes to mind, but if they have a killer set that requires a tripod, I won't reject them.

Almost everything I have is old porro stuff, so first new purchase. Even at that, I'm a rookie bino junkie. No rush.

Edited by shredder1656, 31 July 2019 - 07:50 PM.


#2 MartinPond

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Posted 31 July 2019 - 08:03 PM

Vortex makes some very nice binocs.

Haven't used them for astro, but it's a excellent name.


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#3 ericthemantis

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Posted 31 July 2019 - 10:17 PM

Vortex makes good optics. Crossfire is their low end stuff, Diamondback is more decent. Viper and Razor HD are their high end ED glass product lines. Viper and Razor get marketed as having edge-to-edge clarity and sharpness. I haven't used them for astro, but have used them in other situations and they are really good.


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#4 jaraxx

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Posted 31 July 2019 - 11:17 PM

I have a pair of 6X35 ED Vipers. I walked into a store thinking of buying something in the 12x range. I noticed the 6x35s were discontinued and severely discounted (like down to 200 plus dollars from 500 plus dollars). I picked them up - just curious - and looked thru. Then I looked thru some more, then walked around the store looking thru. Eight degrees, crystal clear, snap-to sharp, good edge to edge, bright and somehow just a piece of gear that was firing on all cylinders. You may know what I mean - a piece of gear where the sum is greater than the parts, that accomplishes its task so well that it's an absolute joy to use. I had no intention of buying a 6x set of binoculars, none, nada, zip. Thought never crossed my mind.

 

I bought them on the spot. They are one of my favorite pieces of gear. They have a three foot close focus, and that has opened up a whole new world - I stick them on my belt and take them to museums. Last summer I watched a 4 inch praying mantis ambush and devour a cricket thru them. Just amazing glass.

 

If I had the chance to buy the 12x50 Vortex Vipers at 40% off I'd be taking them home. Maybe have to figure out a really good story to tell my wife...


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#5 FlankerOneTwo

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Posted 31 July 2019 - 11:44 PM

I have a few of their rifle scopes and one of their spotting scopes. Excellent optics in all, well built, no complaints.


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#6 Pinac

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Posted 01 August 2019 - 01:28 AM

Maybe you read a bit here

 

https://www.birdforu...splay.php?f=698

 

about other people‘s experience with various Vortex binos. Not everyone seems to be happy with their quality control.

 

I for myself can only talk about the „Razor“ (I have the 8x42 HD), which used to be their top line ** , and am impressed with the optical and mechanical quality.

 

Pinac

 

** they are currently launching a quite expensive  „HD+“ version


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#7 Corcaroli78

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Posted 01 August 2019 - 01:49 AM

I have the opportunity to buy a set of Vortex binoculars (or, other product) at around 40% discount. This, I believe, is off of the msrp. So, would that equate to a great deal, considering their general quality?

 

I own the 8x42 Diamondbacks. Besides the daytime use, I use them for stargazing at low power and as complement to the scope when i do not want to take bigger binos. They are clear, provide a decent FOV and they are very friendly for people wearing glasses.

 

in the negative side, the focuser wheel has some backlash and i think the eyecups could have been better designed, but they work. 

 

in summary, is a good bino and i am happy with it. Do not forget the replacement policy as a plus!

 

Carlos


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#8 kksmith

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Posted 01 August 2019 - 04:34 AM

I bought my daughter a pair of Diamondback 10x50's. She does ornithological field research. They survived a 6 month stint in the Australian Outback and are currently doing a 6 month tour of duty in the rain forest mountains on the island of Kauai. They have been holding up fine and her fellow researchers are quite impressed with their brightness.  When I bought them, I snuck them out several nights and I think them rather nice for night sky use. Seemed sharp across the field of view and bright. If I didn't have a pair of Pentax 10x50's, I would have bought myself a pair.

 

Ken


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#9 Foss

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Posted 01 August 2019 - 08:39 AM

40% off MSRP is not necessarily a good deal nowadays. Check online prices on the exact model being considered.


Edited by Foss, 01 August 2019 - 08:39 AM.

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#10 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 01 August 2019 - 09:00 AM

I believe Vortex is owned and operated by the people that did own Eagle Optics. When Eagle Optics closed business at the end of 2017, Vortex took over the warranty work for Eagle Optics.

 

The Eagle Optics warranty is as good as it gets and I believe the Vortex warranty is identical. 

 

If the binos are broken or need attention, they fix them.  The binoculars themselves are all that's needed, no proof of purchase is needed.

 

Some years ago I dropped Eagle Optics binos in some deep blow sand. They were submerged in the sand.. after I dug them out, I sent them into Eagle Optics, they cleaned them and sent them back. They were gone about a week.  My cost was the postage sending them in.

 

Jon


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#11 Swedpat

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Posted 01 August 2019 - 10:21 AM

Vortex is high quality brand.

 

I have a pair of 6X35 ED Vipers. I walked into a store thinking of buying something in the 12x range. I noticed the 6x35s were discontinued and severely discounted (like down to 200 plus dollars from 500 plus dollars). I picked them up - just curious - and looked thru. Then I looked thru some more, then walked around the store looking thru. Eight degrees, crystal clear, snap-to sharp, good edge to edge, bright and somehow just a piece of gear that was firing on all cylinders. You may know what I mean - a piece of gear where the sum is greater than the parts, that accomplishes its task so well that it's an absolute joy to use. I had no intention of buying a 6x set of binoculars, none, nada, zip. Thought never crossed my mind.

 

I bought them on the spot. They are one of my favorite pieces of gear. They have a three foot close focus, and that has opened up a whole new world - I stick them on my belt and take them to museums. Last summer I watched a 4 inch praying mantis ambush and devour a cricket thru them. Just amazing glass.

 

If I had the chance to buy the 12x50 Vortex Vipers at 40% off I'd be taking them home. Maybe have to figure out a really good story to tell my wife...

 

I understand you mean 6x32, not 6x35. I have 6x32 and it's my favorite binocular. Very sharp image and stable view. Same brightness as 8x42 but significantly lighter and more compact. 


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#12 Binojunky

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Posted 01 August 2019 - 10:31 AM

Vortex sell good stuff, the 8x42 DB was top choice in the Birdwatchers digest review of affordable binos, I bought one and have been happy with  it, not perfect but still good value,D 


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#13 shredder1656

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Posted 01 August 2019 - 01:10 PM

40% off MSRP is not necessarily a good deal nowadays. Check online prices on the exact model being considered.


Thanks, Foss, and all the rest so far. I appreciate the input.

Foss, this was in the back of my mind anyway. So far, they sound like nice binoculars, but MAYBE just hunting a used pair is more cost - effective.

On the other hand, if I want a specific model or higher end, then the discount much be helpful.

#14 shredder1656

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Posted 01 August 2019 - 01:11 PM

Yes, their warranty is very enticing.

#15 John Gauvreau

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Posted 01 August 2019 - 01:32 PM

Yes indeed, Vortex makes some very nice binoculars.  I had 8x42 Diamondbacks and they were very nice.  Only complaint was glare from bright objects (moon, streetlight...) outside of field of view.  

I had a chance to pick up a used 10x42 Viper and am delighted with them.  I use them often and heartily recommend them.  


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#16 ericthemantis

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Posted 01 August 2019 - 07:17 PM

I believe Vortex is owned and operated by the people that did own Eagle Optics. When Eagle Optics closed business at the end of 2017, Vortex took over the warranty work for Eagle Optics.

 

The Eagle Optics warranty is as good as it gets and I believe the Vortex warranty is identical. 

 

If the binos are broken or need attention, they fix them.  The binoculars themselves are all that's needed, no proof of purchase is needed.

 

Some years ago I dropped Eagle Optics binos in some deep blow sand. They were submerged in the sand.. after I dug them out, I sent them into Eagle Optics, they cleaned them and sent them back. They were gone about a week.  My cost was the postage sending them in.

 

Jon

Yeah I've heard crazy stories about what people have gotten fixed by Vortex under warranty. As long as you didn't do it on purpose, it's covered.


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#17 gwlee

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Posted 01 August 2019 - 08:40 PM

I bought a 6x32 Viper roof new about 5-6 years ago for $300 when Vortex discontinued that model. It was made in Japan. Turned out I didn’t use it much, so gave it to my brother when his binocular died last Spring. 

 

I use binoculars a lot and have become very picky about them. I thought the Viper was a good binocular, well worth what I paid, but not worth its $600 list price. Mechanical details like the adjustable eyecups, diopter adjustment, and focuser movement worked well, but not quite as well those on more expensive binoculars and didn’t feel as durable. The views were sharp in the center of the field, but quickly softened towards the edges more than more expensive binoculars. Thought the case was well made, durable, and very practical. 

 

After 2-3 years the objective covers dried up and cracked despite careful handling and storage, but just a phone call to Eagle Optics got replacements in the mail with no questions asked. My brother is tough on gear and doesn’t look after it as I would, so I thought Vortex’s warranty would serve him well. 


Edited by gwlee, 01 August 2019 - 08:45 PM.

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#18 fjnlsa11

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Posted 01 August 2019 - 09:48 PM

I purchased the Vortex Viper HD 10x50 to use for astronomy and bird watching.  They worked fine during the day, but when using for astronomy,  I was getting a lot of internal glare that made it very annoying so I sold them.  


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#19 Binojunky

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Posted 02 August 2019 - 12:05 PM

Yes indeed, Vortex makes some very nice binoculars.  I had 8x42 Diamondbacks and they were very nice.  Only complaint was glare from bright objects (moon, streetlight...) outside of field of view.  

I had a chance to pick up a used 10x42 Viper and am delighted with them.  I use them often and heartily recommend them.  

Glad you like the Vipers John, I think they came from megrin.gif  Dave.


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#20 jsmithsd

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Posted 02 August 2019 - 07:38 PM

I have Vortex Viper HD 8x42 and Viper HD 12x50 binoculars.  They are both optically excellent.  The 12x50 binoculars are hard to hold still when sky gazing but a quick attach to a tripod and wow.  They show nebulae and I have spotted a few galaxies as well. The 8x42 are also sharp, have a nice wide-field, and have great illumination.  Excellent on the moon.


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#21 mfoose

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Posted 02 August 2019 - 10:13 PM

I love to research products. My wife and I are birders and we wanted to upgrade our binos without breaking the bank. Reviews from multiple websites had the Viper line as the best roof prisms below $1000. We saw a good enough sale and bought a pair of 8x42's. I love them and the warranty gives me peace of mind.
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#22 Blind as an Eagle

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Posted 03 August 2019 - 02:24 AM

Quote:

 

If I had the chance to buy the 12x50 Vortex Vipers at 40% off I'd be taking them home. Maybe have to figure out a really good story to tell my wife...

 

Close Quote

 

20 years ago I asked to look through a Leopold Gold Ring 7x, 35mm porro prism binocular at the local Wallyworld.
Having owned some excellent Bausch & Lomb 7x, 50mm IF marine types, which  I held as the gold standard (Zeiss porro's being Platinum), I was mildly astonished by the image quality of the Leopolds. They were priced at around $125.00
Since that day I have regretted not grabbing one for lighter duty usage  than what the the Bausch and the Fujinons see.
If it feels good, do it. The bigger and better deal may not present itself again anytime soon.


Edited by Blind as an Eagle, 03 August 2019 - 02:26 AM.

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#23 John Gauvreau

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Posted 03 August 2019 - 09:41 AM

Glad you like the Vipers John, I think they came from megrin.gif  Dave.

Yes indeed Dave.  In fact, a few binoculars have flowed from you to me over the years and it’s always been a pleasure.  Some have found new homes but the Vipers are keepers. 


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#24 MeridianStarGazer

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Posted 03 August 2019 - 11:00 PM

I've compared $600 vortex 10x40 side by side with some $35 Celestron 8x40, and the Vortex had much higher clarity, immediately noticeable. I had not known what I was missing before.

Cheap binos have much lower tolerances and come are designed out of collimation barrel to berrel and lenses within barrels and prism faces inside prisms. Your brain merges the images. Look through a $600 pair, and your brain can clean up other stuff instead of having to compensate for the gross errors. I could see so much more detail in the tree with the Vortex. The other club members agreed, and said a side by side look is not necessary.

Edited by stargazer193857, 04 August 2019 - 10:54 PM.

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#25 Binosaurus

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Posted 17 August 2019 - 07:40 AM

Not to be a Vortex proselytizer, but I love love love my Crossfire 12x50s and have had them for two years now. The optics are great (very sharp!), the construction is solid, and the lifetime warranty brings great peace of mind. I've used them to spot countless planes and birds, as well as to make my first confirmed observations of Uranus and Neptune, not to mention resolving a tiny globe on Jupiter and daytime observations of Venus and Jupiter. Can't say enough good things about them. I also love the fact that they have an IPD wide enough to accommodate my giant head, which very few binoculars actually do.

 

I also had the chance to try the Vortex Vulture 15x56 back when I was debating on upgrading for the higher magnification, and to my eyes, they weren't quite as sharp. The view was good, yes, but it lacked that crystal clear clarity I get from the Crossfires. Ultimately, what tipped me against them was the fact that the IPD was just a hair too narrow for me to look through comfortably. It's worth keeping in mind how these factors can make such a difference in usability; I'd have been able to overlook the decrease in contrast in the Vultures if the IPD had been large enough, but at 74mm in the Vultures, it was constricted, while at 76mm in the Crossfires, I never feel like there's not enough room for my eyes.

 

Someday, I'd like the chance to try the discontinued 20x56 Kaibabs or the current 18x56s, simply because they also extend to 76mm IPD. However, until then, I'm sticking with my 12x50s. Love them!


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