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Vortex Razor UHD 12x50s - first impression

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#1 osbourne one-nil

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Posted 29 February 2020 - 03:31 AM

I only ordered these on Thursday afternoon yet yesterday at 10am I got a very exciting package delivered - my new Vortex Razor UHD 12x50s. 

 

Everything about them is of the very highest quality in term of presentation, construction and accessories. There isn't a single seam or finish that I can fault. They feel very solid but are really nicely balanced in my hand and the barrels are perfectly sized to place my hands around. The focus knob falls at just the right place for my index finger (I have long fingers though) and it's a lovely smooth action with no slack whatsoever. The eyepiece cups rotate up nicely with a positive click in the middle and at the end. In terms of construction it's a bit like the inside of a BMW 7 series or an Audi A8...pretty much perfect. The accessories are lovely too. The case is really nicely made and the lid sort of stretches off with a bit of elastic; I can see how hunters would like that as it's silent. I've also got a small pouch to put things in and it has lots of cylindrical elastic slots in, which I imagine are for country gentleman to put their cigarettes in to present to ladies at luncheon after a morning of vaporising pheasants from 6ft with a 12 bore. I can't think what else you'd put in them. 

 

I took my first view quickly at lunchtime and have only had a few daytime glances through them since then due to work. Both days have been very overcast with pretty persistent drizzle, so nothing out of the ordinary there. My opinion? I can hold these things pretty steady; I'm pleased. Gently wrapping my hands around the end of the barrels and placing my thumbs back into the small indents, and relaxing my grip so they just sort of rest there...yep, certainly absolutely fine for during daytime. I have had lovely, bright, crisp views and I didn't notice any softening towards the edges. Resolution appears excellent as I watched individual drops of water fall from some birch trees about 75 yards away. What I did notice though, and what troubled me, was quite a noticeable amount of purple fringing on the top of branches and on the top of a white field gate opposite. I tried to ignore it, and could, so I suspect I went looking for it due to the high price of these. Seeing as these are 50% more than the Razor HDs, I think I expected no CA at all, but realise I was probably being unrealistic. I took a look at dusk, and saw no sign of CA (perhaps understandably) but could easily make out markings on the sheep about 400yds away when with the naked eye, it was hard to tell anything was even there. This morning when I've been looking, I am not sure if I can see any CA, so it can't be that bad. If we have any sunshine (or a clear night) in the next few days, I'll really test them. We won't though. I don't think the CA is a worry. 

 

What is a worry for me, however, is the level of kidney beaning/black spots I'm getting. I'm trying minuscule adjustments in the IPD and various eye cup positions, but it's always there. Unless my eyes are precisely placed, in it comes. This is something I've not ever had a problem with in my Canon 10x30s. I did take a quick view yesterday with my glasses on and there were no black spots at all. The trouble is, I only wear glasses for reading; my distance vision is still better than 20/20. It feels like I need the eye cups to extend a bit more. Is this to be expected?

 

In general, they're everything I hoped for, except the view, which is probably not ideal with binoculars. Of course, the shop I bought them from will swap them if I want, no problem, but is what I'm experiencing is a result of the x12 magnification, or are they common problems with all binoculars? I shan't rush to do anything as I need to spend some proper time with them first.


Edited by osbourne one-nil, 29 February 2020 - 03:32 AM.

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#2 ngc7319_20

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Posted 29 February 2020 - 04:12 AM

Maybe kidney bean is less at night when eye pupil is larger?


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#3 DeanD

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Posted 29 February 2020 - 04:24 AM

They sound really nice! The kidney-beaning (is that a word?!) issue sounds like a result of the 17mm eye-relief if you find they are OK with glasses on: I think you are right in that you need the eye-cups to extend a bit further. I have this issue with my Vanguard Endeavours when the eye-cups are wound full in: but if I wind them out fully the kidney-beaning  is eliminated.

 

Maybe the dealer can provide some advice as to whether they can provide different eye-cups? You could try something like these, which are put around the eye-cups and can give you that extra couple of mm, with the added bonus of blocking stray light (I find they are great when there is side-ways light, such as the sun shining on the side of your face): http://www.fieldopti...ck-sku-B007.htm

 

All the best,

 

Dean


Edited by DeanD, 29 February 2020 - 04:28 AM.

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#4 KennyJ

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Posted 29 February 2020 - 04:59 AM

Congratulations, o 1-0!

 

I remember experiencing a similarly annoying trait of "black outs" with a Vortex 8x50 I tried out about 12-13 years ago.

 

Many people have the same problem with my favoured Nikon 10x42 SE -- a result of spherical aberrations of the exit - pupils, I'm told.

 

One DIY fix was to insert some appropriated proportioned neoprene "washers" or "spacers" pushed in against the eye lenses inside the eyecups to effectively reduce eye relief by 3 or 4 millimetres.

 

It works much like the "centraliser" which TeleVue used to supply free with all of it's Radian eyepieces to correct the same problem.

 

That action may also help reduce the occurences of "seeing CA", which I think is also dependent to a certain extent on critical eye-placement.

 

Do you find 12x magnification "sufficiently different/ HIGHER" than the 10x you are used to with the Canons?

 

I'm not sure I do when I switch from looking through 10x42 to 12x40.

 

Good luck!

Kenny


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#5 Mark9473

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Posted 29 February 2020 - 04:59 AM

They look terrific but it sounds like they haven't got the view to match.

Kidney-beaning and excessive CA shouldn't be there at that price point, IMHO.

Maybe the store will let you compare them to a pair of Meopta 12x50 HD?



#6 osbourne one-nil

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Posted 29 February 2020 - 04:01 PM

I did see LOTS of purple fringing when I looked under bright (but nor sunny) skies this morning.  Disappointing! I'll still wait for a clear night though. 

 

Maybe kidney bean is less at night when eye pupil is larger?

I didn't notice it last night when I was scanning about, that's true. I do want them to work during the day too so might well look into some eye cup extensions. Surely my eyes are "normal" though and they should cater for people with "normal" distance vision? I shall read up some more on this and try to learn the basics. 

 

Congratulations, o 1-0!

I'm going to have to change my name after today's 93rd minute defeat...in the sleet. 



#7 tmichaelbanks

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Posted 05 March 2020 - 04:59 PM

Hello osbourne one-nil,

 

I am following your posts in this thread with great interest.  I recently purchased a Vortex DB 12x50 to check out that configuration under night skies versus using my other 10x options.

 

I've found that the extra magnification makes for more interesting views and was wondering how a higher quality Vortex model like the UHD would do, especially considering its increased eye relief and A-K prisms.  At those prices though, I really would like to get some daytime use out of it, maybe even trade in my 10x42.  But it appears you are encountering a distressing amount of fringing during the day.  I see a fair but not excessive amount of CA in the DBs, but it's not extreme unless there's really high contrast situations.

 

During the day, how is glare from the sun or sky glare against dark foliage at dusk?

 

Thanks for your observations,

Mike



#8 Cestus

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Posted 05 March 2020 - 06:07 PM

I also have the Vortex 12x50 DB and enjoy it very much.



#9 osbourne one-nil

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Posted 07 March 2020 - 05:16 AM

I'd place very little weight to my opinions; I think I just bought the wrong thing for me.

I bought them online from a store that has lots of physical shops dotted around so I actually took them back to a shop I Newcastle upon Tyne. Not only did this save me nearly £50 on posting them back but it gave me a chance to get a 2nd opinion and try lots of other things out.

The guys in the shop, like me, could sometimes see lots of CA and other times not too much. The one who wore glasses seemed less worried by this and also said he wasn't getting any blackouts, so perhaps they're just very sensitive to eye placement?

I spent a good while there and tried almost everything they had to offer and in the end I went home with a pair of Leica 8x42 Noctivids for my hiking and have ordered a pair of 12x36 Canon for night time use. I've never "had" to spend money before but my accountants said either buy something "for the business" or give the government much of it in tax. I still don't quite understand why but it's fun! Next time, I'll go to a shop!

Edited by osbourne one-nil, 07 March 2020 - 05:17 AM.

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#10 KennyJ

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Posted 07 March 2020 - 09:59 AM

Evans 0-1,

 

An unpredictable decision for sure, given the previous musings, but I'm sure you'll enjoy using the Leica 8x42s.

 

There is nothing quite like visiting a real optics shop, and trying out binoculars in your own hands, using your own eyes.

 

Good luck!

Kenny


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#11 osbourne one-nil

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Posted 07 March 2020 - 10:15 AM

I didn't see it coming either!

#12 KennyJ

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Posted 07 March 2020 - 03:49 PM

Although seldom praised as the very best of the best on the majority of binocular forums, one thing that does make Leica stand out against the rest is the sheer quality of finish.

 

In some cases, even Swarovski and Zeiss models can look and feel almost "toy-like" by comparison.



#13 j.gardavsky

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Posted 07 March 2020 - 05:22 PM

I'd place very little weight to my opinions; I think I just bought the wrong thing for me.

I bought them online from a store that has lots of physical shops dotted around so I actually took them back to a shop I Newcastle upon Tyne. Not only did this save me nearly £50 on posting them back but it gave me a chance to get a 2nd opinion and try lots of other things out.

The guys in the shop, like me, could sometimes see lots of CA and other times not too much. The one who wore glasses seemed less worried by this and also said he wasn't getting any blackouts, so perhaps they're just very sensitive to eye placement?

I spent a good while there and tried almost everything they had to offer and in the end I went home with a pair of Leica 8x42 Noctivids for my hiking and have ordered a pair of 12x36 Canon for night time use. I've never "had" to spend money before but my accountants said either buy something "for the business" or give the government much of it in tax. I still don't quite understand why but it's fun! Next time, I'll go to a shop!

That's been the right decission, they will be also fine for the astronomy.

 

I purchased the Leica 7x42 Ultravid, back in the day as they appeared on the markets. Still love them for the astronomy, as the slim Astronomik nebular filters can be pushed into the eyeguards,

 

gallery_316833_12015_9593.jpg

 

Best,

JG
 


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#14 osbourne one-nil

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Posted 09 March 2020 - 05:56 AM

I wonder if they'd fit my eyecups?

 

Kenny's right about the finish of the Leica. There was nothing wrong at all with the Vortex in terms of build quality or finish, but these Leica just have something lovely about them that I can't quite put my finger on. Even the rubber the objective caps are made from are just so tactile and right. To use the car analogy again, my brother in law has a Skoda and it's perfectly put together, nothing rattles, everything in tight and the quality of the materials is top notch. But it's not like my Volvo which seems to do all that, but in a slightly nicer way. The Swarovski were, of course, perfect too, but the Zeiss were just a bit plasticky to me. Ultimately though, it was the view through them that counted, and the moment I put the Noctivids to my face, I just knew they were the ones. I also think that the combination of them with my Canon 12x36 pair is pretty much ideal for me. 

 

After nipping out last night with both pairs for a 10min look about in between rain showers to look at the nearly full Moon (something I'd never have bothered to do with my Dob or any other telescope I've ever had) , I genuinely wonder how much use my telescope is going to get. It  would be different if I lived somewhere with frequent and reliable clear nights, but I don't and these binoculars work perfectly for my conditions. I really wish I'd learned this sooner but then perhaps it's taken 40 years to learn what now seems obvious? In a similar way, there was no way at the outset that I'd have thought a pair of 8x42 would be of any interest to me until I'd tried a pair of 12x50 for myself. I think I'm happy!

 

I've got myself a Rick Young harness too....it's genius! 


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#15 j.gardavsky

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Posted 09 March 2020 - 06:06 AM

Hello Osbourne,

 

if you don't mind Zeiss at least for the accessories, then there is the ZEISS harness,

https://www.zeiss.co...ccessories.html

it will be on your back, so the ZEISS inscription won't interfere.

 

I've got mine here https://www.foto-koe...SABEgLk-fD_BwE#

 

Best,

JG


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#16 osbourne one-nil

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Posted 09 March 2020 - 06:09 AM

That looks comfy and the combination of Zeiss and Leica wouldn't trouble me in the slightest. If you ever saw me you'd know that would be the least of my worries!


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