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Old Saturday 23rd May 2009, 13:14   #1
jbetz
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Vortex Diamondback vs Vortex Viper

I just went to look at binoculars yesterday, and I narrowed my choices down to two pairs: the Vortex Diamondback 10x42s ($230) and the Vortex Viper 10x42s ($530). I had previously looked at the Vipers at a store that didn't have the Diamondbacks, and I thought that I would purchase these binoculars. But after trying both pairs, I honestly could find little difference between them. I have used a pair of Olympus 8x42s for two summers of field research (using them every day), and so I don't consider myself completely new to optics. I am definitely new to purchasing binoculars and have only compared a few, but I am wondering what others think about the difference between these pairs.

They both have fully multicoated lenses and are waterproof, etc., and so what differences do people see? I thought I could see a bit more blurring around the edges of my field of view with the Diamondbacks, but I think I may have just been convincing myself of this difference. I know the Vipers are award-winning binoculars, but it seems like for $300 less the Diamondbacks are a much better buy. What do you all think?
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Old Saturday 23rd May 2009, 14:48   #2
ceasar
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You might want to wait just a little bit. Vortex should be coming out very soon with an improved version of the Diamondback. It is supposed to be 7% brighter. With that in mind, you may be able to get the current version at a savings. See the link below for more details.

http://www.cameralandny.com/optics/v...amondback10x42

I can't help you with the Vipers, but I have the 8 x 42 Diamondback. I use it as my "car binocular." It is ruggedly constructed, as you probably noticed with the 10 x 42. It's sharp enough and has a very wide field of view, the same as my Leica 7 x 42 Trinovid. It's not as bright as the Leica, of course, but I find it quite satisfactory. The 10 x 42 has a wide FOV too. Here are the Viper's specs.

http://www.cameralandny.com/optics/v...rtexviper10x42
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Old Saturday 23rd May 2009, 15:25   #3
jbetz
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Unfortunately I already purchased the Diamondbacks, but I guess you can always expect that a newer, better version will soon replace anything you buy. With that said, I am happy with them so far.

Edit: Actually, I just checked the box for my binoculars and I actually did get the new D241s. So I'm glad to know that I got the newest, brightest model.
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Old Saturday 23rd May 2009, 18:42   #4
dustyview
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Congrats! Those Diamondbacks should be great. Although there are some small differences, I think the only thing you would notice is that the Vipers may be slightly brighter in twilight, due to the higher reflectivity of the prism coatings (although the Zen-Ray ZRS has silver coatings for about the same price as the diamondback -- go figure), and slightly sharper at the edges. If I was choosing between those two I would have gotten the D-backs, too.
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Old Saturday 23rd May 2009, 22:22   #5
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Congrats, jbetz.

I think you are the first person here to get the newest Diamondbacks. I was wondering how much closer they are to the Vipers.

They advertise them as 7% brighter so I speculate they got new coatings all around so a brighter and warmer view from the mirror silver coating (the older DBs were a little cold/bluer) and perhaps better AR coatings too (I could see ghost reflections more often from bright highlights than other similar bins).

The Vipers should have better control of stray color as I think they use ED (XD in Vortex speak) glass in the objectives. Stray light control may be better too.

You might consider a write up! How do they compare to your Olympus 8x42 bins?
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Old Sunday 24th May 2009, 01:22   #6
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I would be curious to hear further comments on this revamped model as well. The design improvements should have a substantial effect on their performance.
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Old Sunday 24th May 2009, 03:37   #7
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I would be glad to provide all the information I can. I am not an expert (as I mentioned before, although I have spent a significant amount of time using a pair of Olympus binoculars, the DBs are my first personal pair), but I would like to help out. Any suggestions about information to include in a write-up? I will be able to compare the DBs to the Olympus 8x42s, and maybe a 10x42 pair in a few weeks, so I can provide info from that comparison later on. I did compare my Diamondbacks with a pair of Minox 8.5x43s today (which I believe cost somewhere around $800), and mine seemed equally as bright and clear, even at dusk.
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