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Old Sunday 1st August 2010, 09:15   #1
looksharp65
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Vortex Fury 6,5x32

I have copied and pasted my own (and Bill S's) replies from a thread where I wanted advice on choosing the Zen Ray 7x36. Finally I ended up with a Vortex Fury, and I think more birders would use it if they were aware of its features. So I thought it would be better not to hide it in the ZenRay thread.
I hope for more opinions from y'all, and that more of you should try it.


http://www.birdforum.net/showthread....41#post1864541


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Originally Posted by looksharp65 View Post
So, the Vortex Fury arrived the other day. Earlier reviews have stated it's a bin of extraordinary value, and I can only agree. To summarize my thoughts about it, "Ease of view - instantly" would be the best expression. It will definitely fulfill its purpose and I doubt I will ever look back for a replacement for it, unless Vortex will make an XD version, or rather, reconstruct the Viper 6x32 to the Fury's wide FOV.

I am saying this because it has a CA that is not quite negligible, and it shows around the edges as well as on-axis. However only when the contrast is very high.
The outer-edge performance is quite poor, and it is not a matter of field curvature like my Minox HG. However, the usable sweet spot is very adequate for birding.
AFOV is satisfactory, eye-relief is glorious, depth-of-field is very deep and eye placement is very forgiving even with glasses. Ergonomics are more than adequate and weight is not embarrasing. Focusing is not very stiff and goes clockwise to infinity like my old Zeiss.
Since the weather has been overcast I have not really been able to judge the straylight, ghosting and contrast. But compared to my Minox it appears as dead even, possibly with an edge to the Vortex when it comes to straylight, but on the other hand the Vortex occasionally has produced a reflection in the eyepieces when light comes from behind while the Minox didn't.

[EDIT]: In the daylight of this overcast day, the Fury's lack of glare is astounding. The Minox showed some flare in the lower part of the image, but it would disappear when using the hand to shade the front lenses. The old Zeiss was similar, though slightly worse.
But the street lamp test gave another result: the Minox performed extremely well here. The Fury had clearly visible spikes (yes, multiple) in one of the barrels, but not in the other. Somewhat disturbing but it does not really seem to have any negative impact on its performance in real use. [STOP EDIT]


I say every bespectacled birder should own one of these, if not as their prime instrument, then at least as a back-up or lending pair.
It is hard for me to imagine any rivalling binocular that gives as easy, super fast bird spotting with relaxed vision as the Fury does. The price level is a bargain and the warranty superior.

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Originally Posted by looksharp65 View Post
So, to me the choice between the Nikon Action EX and the ZenRay ended up in the Vortex, somewhat unexpected but really nice.

I would like to add some more comments on the performance of the Fury 6,5x32.
The edge performance is not actually bad, and the sweet spot is very large as measured in degrees. The difference to my Minox is that the latter has a major curvature of field, but refocused it is very sharp all the way to the edge. The Fury has a virtually flat field, and refocusing does not improve the edge sharpness.

The Fury's exit pupil should let in about 40% more light than the Minox's. But I have to struggle to see any difference in the dim light after dawn. It is marginally brighter when watching shadowy areas in shrubberies (i.e. high contrast), which is very positive, since this is the way I intended to use it. But when looking on larger areas with less contrast, like meadows with high yellow grass in the dawn, the difference in illumination is not discernible.
If you wonder how much less the magnification is in reality, I can tell when I change to my 8x it feels like changing from 8x to 10x.
Watching very small and distant details does not really reveal any more detail when moving to the 8x. Of course, there might be situations where the lack of magnification makes a bird identification too hard. But then again, it performs the best when used for shorter distance.
So speed, eyeglass-friendliness and ergonomics is what the Fury is about. It does it thanks to its huge FOV, huge eye-relief, huge depth of field and its modest magnification. Theoretically, some details could be improved, but these above-mentioned properties are by far more important than extreme edge sharpness or total lack of CA.


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Originally Posted by Bill S View Post
I wholeheartedly agree. Sometimes ease of use can be more important than optical perfection. I have used many 6X to 7X binoculars and most are easy and pleasant to use, but the Fury is in a class by itself. The eye-relief is perfect for me. The focus is smooth and fast, but not too fast, and in the correct direction (CW to infinity). The ergonomics are excellent. I'm surprised that more people are not singing its praises on this forum. Sure, it has a little too much CA in some situations, but I would never part with it. I was recently birding at Bosque del Apache and I ended up using the Fury and leaving my 7X42 Ultravid in the car all day!
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Old Tuesday 3rd August 2010, 18:39   #2
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According to this thred...Vortex has announced they will be discontinuing the Fury line:

http://www.opticstalk.com/forum_post...TID=24532&PN=3
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Old Monday 9th August 2010, 21:14   #3
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Originally Posted by TheDude View Post
According to this thred...Vortex has announced they will be discontinuing the Fury line:

http://www.opticstalk.com/forum_post...TID=24532&PN=3
I just got around to reading this, thanks for the heads up on this one. I have been thinking about buying the 6.5x32 Fury to keep in my car. Just checked at Eagle optics & they are now marked down to $169.99, so I guess Iam buying one more pair of binoculars .....gwen
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Old Friday 8th October 2010, 17:24   #4
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My spare pair is soon arriving :)
For anyone who it might concern, I have a firm belief that the Meopta Meopro is the same binocular, but in Batman-style clothing. And a little more expensive, too.
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Old Saturday 9th October 2010, 03:28   #5
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I have both the 6.5x32 Fury and the ZEN ED 2 7x36. I will not particularly disagree with any of the comments on the Fury. The Fury is a totally decent, completely usable binocular and it is a steal at the quoted price. However, I will say that is is pretty clearly not in the same league as is the ZEN 7x36. The color is a bit washed out compared to the ZEN, the fov is narrower and the center axis is sharper in the ZEN.

As to the Meopta Meopro being the same glass as the Fury, IF everything I've read about the two are correct, it is likely they are similar but different. I once asked the Vortex tech support if Vortex actually designed the Fury and the answer was yes. It is made for Vortex somewhere in China. All of the news in advance of the Meopro clearly stated that the Meopro was assembled in the USA with glass from Meopta's plant in the Czech Republic. I do not recall if it was ever discussed where the rest of the binocular came from. So I suppose there could be some similarity with the Fury if some of the same body, knobs, and various other parts are the same as what is used in the Meopro.
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Old Monday 11th October 2010, 17:20   #6
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Yes, Steve is right. The Fury can’t compete with the ZEN in sharpness or brightness. It is also inferior to the 7X36 Eaglet in these areas. But I still think that it beats everything I have tried for ease of use because the eye-relief and focus speed and feel are perfect for me. I always keep it handy when I’m on a road trip or a hike, but for serious birding the ZEN is better.

I am a huge fan of the 7X36 ZEN and recommend it to anyone who wants the best non-alpha binoculars available. I just got back from Tanzania where I used the ZEN nearly continuously for 7 days in rough and dusty conditions and I have nothing but praise for it.

I bought the ZEN specifically to take on this trip as I had to leave my safari gear behind while I was climbing Kilimanjaro (with a 6X32 Katmai). I was not comfortable leaving my 7X42 Ultravid at a motel office in Africa for a week so I needed something cheaper but still very good. The Fury or the Eaglet would have worked, but why pass up such a great excuse to buy new bins? The ZEN turned out to be so good that I never missed the Leica. Our three experienced safari guides thought they were the best binoculars they had ever seen.

The difference in color saturation is subtle, but I can see it. The Fury has silvered prisms while the other three have dielectric prism coatings, which I think is a significant improvement. I suspect that the loss of light at the silvered mirrors is the primary reason why colors seen in the Fury are marginally less vivid than in the others. When looking at a white surface with the Fury it looks slightly dim and gray compared to the others, though this isn’t really noticeable when not doing a side-by-side comparison. I want to reiterate that the Fury has a bright, sharp, and vivid view. The other three are just slightly better.

The Eaglet might be my favorite small handy binoculars, but the focus action is too fast and it’s backwards!

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Old Monday 11th October 2010, 18:35   #7
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I guess that if the Zen-Ray had been designed with a longer eye relief and, then if needed, slightly narrower FOV, it would have been my choice. As my story told, my eyes fell on the Fury by chance, and it was definitely the best buy I ever did.

Like I stated, it's all about eyeglass-friendliness, speed and ergonomics. Aside from the eyeglass-friendliness the ZR would be equal or possibly better due to its even larger FOV.

A binocular with 4 mm exit pupil like my Minox HG 8x33 does not really allow the shadowy parts of the shrubberies to be enough illuminated, IMO.
The overall brightness is similar over uniformly illuminated areas, but the larger exit pupil of the Fury seems to "turn the light on" among the leaves.

In certain lighting conditions, the Minox shows somewhat more crisp color and definition.
But the more I try them against each other, it becomes clear that the Minox has a straylight problem with sometimes 40-50% of the field unusable due to bad reflections. Sometimes this problem is even more apparent in overcast weather.
My Zeiss is similar (though less crisp not being phase-coated), but the Fury really excels here with near-perfect back-lighting performance.

The ZR 7x36 was infamous for the gray crescent it produced in back-lighting, I guess it is largely fixed but is it really all gone?
So, when it all comes down to real birding, what are the crispest colors and best resolution worth if the straylight handling is the Achilles heel of an otherwise nice bin?
Or the ability to light up shadowed parts of the scene?

The ease of handling, (as a joint entirety put together by individual properties) simply increases the number of seconds that the bird is clearly visible within the FOV.

I am not saying the Zen-Ray or Swift don't make it, just that the ideal short-range binocular for warblers and sparrows not necessarily should be judged by its resolution and state-of-the-art crispness under ideal conditions.
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Old Monday 11th October 2010, 20:55   #8
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I should not have said that the ZEN is better for serious birding, because for serious warblering the Fury is much better than the ZEN or anything else for me. The ZEN is better at long range and in conditions that accentuate CA.

Stray light is not a problem with the improved ED2. I would put it almost on par with the Fury. Stray light issues are a big deal to me and I have given up on many binoculars for that reason. I used the ZEN in all kinds of conditions in Africa and never saw any veiling glare in the center of the field.

The ZEN is a little short on eye-relief. The small loss in field of view is not significant, but being too far from the eye-pieces causes a light ring near the edge of the field. So it works pretty well for me but it isn’t perfect.

As I have mentioned, I really like the focus action of the Fury. It is smooth, fairly light, and fast, but not too fast. The ZEN is slower and very smooth, slightly too stiff, but I’m happy with it. All of this is, of course, just personal preference, but I do think that the binocular manufacturers have gone overboard on the fast focus craze.
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Old Tuesday 12th October 2010, 20:31   #9
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My spare pair arrived today, I bought them from OpticsBestBuy at $164.99.
The serial number is within the same 1000# range as my other.
The hinge is slightly stiffer and the focuser slightly rougher.
I have some kind of feeling that the newer is even a hair sharper and possibly even more color neutral. I also have a feeling that my older one handles back-lighting just a little better. But the newer performs markedly better in the street lamp test, where the old has some problem in the right barrel.
The older gives a slightly more relaxed view while the newer is crisper.
Anyway, the differences are very subtle.
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Old Monday 18th October 2010, 21:22   #10
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Does anyone who does not wear glasses have experience with the Fury 6.5x32, and is the eye relief too great?? I had to sell my 8x28 Diamondbacks because the eye relief was too long and required me to hold the binocs away from my eyes to get a proper picture.

Also, can anyone provide any comparisons of the Fury 6.5x32 to the Bushnell Custom Elite E2 7x26 compacts?? Other than a slightly larger FOV and 10 more ounces of weight, how much better would the Fury's be?

Tom
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Old Monday 18th October 2010, 21:57   #11
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When I wear contacts, I am not equally impressed as when I use it with spectacles.
The eyecups extend far but occasional blackouts occur if the bin is pressed too tight to the eyes.
As I have explained with graphics in
http://www.birdforum.net/showthread....64#post1892964, I really like the black rim around the image to be thin.

Consequently, with the eyecups up, the so-so AFOV of 55 degrees feels narrow, but it feels very wide and open with the eyecups down.
It is like two different binoculars.
So my faiblesse for it emanates from use with glasses.
There are lots of very fine low-mag binoculars that are perfect for use w/o glasses. Among these the Fury is fine but not an award-winner.

Although I haven't tried the B&L I dare to say there's a world between them.
You won't get the resolution and brightness of the 5 mm exit pupil bins.
The Fury should be measured against the Swift Eaglet and the Zen-Ray 7x36.
If I weren't a spectacle wearer, the Zen-Ray would be my choice and it is a step above the Fury in terms of optics.

http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=111123
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Old Monday 18th October 2010, 23:19   #12
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Originally Posted by TheDude View Post
According to this thred...Vortex has announced they will be discontinuing the Fury line:

http://www.opticstalk.com/forum_post...TID=24532&PN=3
Whew! The Fury 8x42 is not on the list, and that's the one I'm interested in. Tried it at a bird watch. Found it to be the best performer out of the midpriced bins people were using, which included:

Nikon 8x42 Monarch
Nikon 8x36 Monarch
Celestron 8x42 Outland LX
Pentax 8x36 NV

The Pentax was the "best buy" at the $200 point. Even though the FOV was 6.5*, there was very little black space around the view, making the AFOV appear much larger than 52*. By comparison the 6.5* FOV 8x42 Leupold Cascade porros I tried seemed like "tunnel vision".

Here's the Wayne's World review of the 8x42 Fury:

http://magblog.audubon.org/review-vortex-fury-8x42

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Old Tuesday 19th October 2010, 01:01   #13
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Does anyone who does not wear glasses have experience with the Fury 6.5x32, and is the eye relief too great?? I had to sell my 8x28 Diamondbacks because the eye relief was too long and required me to hold the binocs away from my eyes to get a proper picture.

Also, can anyone provide any comparisons of the Fury 6.5x32 to the Bushnell Custom Elite E2 7x26 compacts?? Other than a slightly larger FOV and 10 more ounces of weight, how much better would the Fury's be?

Tom
It would seem the binoculars would need to be held away from your face if the eye relief was too short, not too long.

OK, I do not wear glases with binoculars. One of the things I like about the 6.5 Fury is that the extra long eye relief is a very useful feature in cold weather and being just a little bit further away from the eye, there seems less external fogging with that particular glass than with others.

I also have a Baush & Lomb branded 7x26 Compact. Taken particularly for the view, I think the Fury gives an overall more acceptable image. That is partly due to fov, partly to the fact I think the centerfield resolution is better (not by much) with the Fury. The color saturation is a little better with the Custom than it is with the Fury. I have large hands and the Custom is not very comfortable for me to hold for any length of time. The Custom has better edge sharpness than the Fury as well. Depth of field I would actually give to the Fury.
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Old Tuesday 19th October 2010, 02:27   #14
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Steve C & Looksharp65

Thanks for your concise analysis and input.

I have been considering either the Fury 6.5x32 or 8x32 for awhile, but last week I bought the Bushnell Custom Elite 7x26 for $125 new and decided they are keepers. Sooo - that has clouded my thinking toward the Fury's, as the 6.5x32 seems slightly redundant to me now. I am still considering the Fury 8x32 but since the Zen Ray ZRS HD 8x42 is about the same size and weight, albeit slightly smaller FOV, I am in a quandry again.

Brock -
Since you seem to like the Fury 8x42, have you had any comparisons to the ZR ZRS HD 8x42?? Anyone else??

I still have my ZRS HD 10x42's (outstanding binoc) but actually like my Bushnell Infinity 10.5x45's better even though the FOV is narrower - I just think they are a better all around binoc and the extra .5 magnification is definitely noticeable.
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Old Sunday 29th May 2011, 00:58   #15
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Just wanted to add to this older thread that I just received some Fury 6.5x32's from EO today. I bought them on a lark because they're being clearanced out for $160 shipped. I must say, I'm very impressed. Like others have noted, the 6.5 magnification is more than I might have expected. They are quite sharp, easy to use with or without glasses and feel reasonably well built.

My nits would be that the focus is a bit to easy compared to my 8x32 SE's, Victory 10x25 compacts, and even my Canon 10x30 IS. I guess I prefer a stiffer focus. The color rendition seems fine and I like the wider FOV than I'm used to with my other bins.

I'm quite pleased for $160 and will keep them for iffy weather use or when I want a bit more oomph and wider field than my Zeiss compacts. I really had no idea the Chinese stuff was so decent.
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