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Old Tuesday 18th March 2014, 18:38   #1
gcole
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Vortex Razor HD 65mm With Optional 18x Eyepiece

Since I sold all my 65mm scopes when I purchased my Kowa 77 with the 25x-60 zoom. I have been reading & looking for another just to use with one fixed eyepiece(16x-19X) that would give me the same relaxing viewing pleasure along with the best view optically surpassing the Pentax with the XW20 eyepiece. For those of you who have looked thru the little Pentax with the XW20 eyepiece you know what I mean. The scope's body/lens had to be of high quality with a good zoom for a good return for resale, but most important come with that optional fixed eyepiece. So after reading about the new Vortex Razor HD & all its praises I ordered the scope with the xtra 18x eyepiece. This is not meant to be a review of the Razor HD 65mm but I will say everything said here on this forum about the scope with the zoom is dead on. Having said all this here's my opinion of the 18x eyepiece on this scope with some pictures .........
Very user friendly .... very comfortable to use, with very..very long eye relief which I like. The ocular lens is huge, giving a very nice wide look thru. The view is very sharp/clear, one of the best I have seen on any 65mm scope at 18x power including the Pentax XW20(19X) . Its construction & appearance just says high quality. Its hard to believe that this scope package is labeled made in China ?? To sum it up, this eyepiece gives up nothing to any lower power eyepiece I have used. Whether it's the eyepiece, scope or the combination of the two together I can not say but one should really buy the 18x eyepiece if one is considering the Vortex HD 65mm with the zoom. The only negative thing one might say about this eyepiece would be its very long Eye relief. When you use eyepiece's that have 20mm or more eye relief they can cause blackouts for some & it can be a deal breaker but one can learn how use them to avoid this. For me its not a problem & its just works fine. Since I will be only using this scope with the fixed eyepiece I will be selling the zoom ..... gwen .
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Old Wednesday 19th March 2014, 13:31   #2
FrankD
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That is a big honkin' eyepiece Gwen. I am curious, what is the field of view like with it? Here is my reason for asking....

You know I owned the Pentax 65 ED (first generation) with the 19x (XW 20) eyepiece. I have yet to find a scope/eyepiece combination that matched or exceeded it in performance. The beauty of that combination was a combination of factors. For one the low magnification produced a comfortably sized exit pupil so your eye had a little room to wander. Two, the eyepiece itself was unusual in that it did have ED glass elements in it coupled with a very wide (70 degrees IIRC), well corrected/flat field of view. Objects were exceptionally close to being truly sharp on the edge of the field. When you consider it also sported 20 mm of eye relief then one can understand why the eyepiece alone usually sells for $300+.

So, everything about the Razor combination looks promising except I don't see a field of view mentioned. Also, how well is CA controlled?
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Old Wednesday 19th March 2014, 14:03   #3
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gcole, Thank you for the review.

Mike
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Old Wednesday 19th March 2014, 17:59   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankD View Post
That is a big honkin' eyepiece Gwen. I am curious, what is the field of view like with it? Here is my reason for asking....

You know I owned the Pentax 65 ED (first generation) with the 19x (XW 20) eyepiece. I have yet to find a scope/eyepiece combination that matched or exceeded it in performance. The beauty of that combination was a combination of factors. For one the low magnification produced a comfortably sized exit pupil so your eye had a little room to wander. Two, the eyepiece itself was unusual in that it did have ED glass elements in it coupled with a very wide (70 degrees IIRC), well corrected/flat field of view. Objects were exceptionally close to being truly sharp on the edge of the field. When you consider it also sported 20 mm of eye relief then one can understand why the eyepiece alone usually sells for $300+.

So, everything about the Razor combination looks promising except I don't see a field of view mentioned. Also, how well is CA controlled?
Hi Frank .... I was just comparing the spec's of the two Razor HD eyepieces when used on the 65mm Razor ....... Razor HD WA 23x eyepiece to the Razor HD LE 18x . The WA eyepiece with 2.6 degrees or 135' & the LE eyepiece with 2.5 degrees or 129'. Now considering that the LE eyepiece is only 18x & giving up only 6' to what Votex considers to be a wide eyepiece in the WA version in 23x, gives the impression you are looking thru a very large window. Now going by memory of the Pentax XW20 in the little 65mm Pentax ... when looking thru the HD 18x eyepiece it seems that it has just as large a window (FOV), when used on the 65mm Razor. I don't have any XW20 eyepieces to compare oculars to, so I took a picture of a Leupold Mojave 8x32 objective side by side the Vortex HD 18x eyepiece to show how big of a eyepiece this is. The Vortex HD 18x eyepiece has ED glass, is water proof & has longer eye relief than the XW20 eyepiece & is about the same price. Looking at the spec's of the XW20 it states its field of view is larger. The ocular on the Vortex HD 18x is so large, maybe even larger than the XW20 ( my measurement of the HD 18X with a ruler is 1-5/16" across or a little over 33mm ) I wonder if one would really see any real difference when using it in the field. Now to the CA, I am not very sensitive to CA, so when I say I see none it could be just my eyes. With the 18x HD spec's at 13.9 ounces compared to the XW20 at 12.8 tells you it is a very substantial eyepiece even with out holding it in hand. ..gwen
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Old Thursday 20th March 2014, 12:56   #5
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Gwen,

Thanks for all the time and effort you put into responding. That is a great deal of info. Much appreciated!

I haven't looked at the XW20 specs lately so I am going by memory here. What I remember is that the field of view should be around 170-some feet with the XW 20 at 19.5x in the Pentax 65 ED (70 degree apparent field of view). What you mentioned was that the Vortex LE eyepiece gives you 129 feet at 18x. So, it would seem that the LE has a notably narrower field of view (true and apparent) than the XW even at 1.5x lower magnification.

Not a big deal from my perspective. I am guessing, based on your comments, that because of the large ocular and generous eye relief, the image just "floats" in front of the eyepiece. An addicting experience from what I remember with some of the past combinations I have had.
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Old Monday 24th March 2014, 21:29   #6
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That's a great review Gwen. Vortex has some of the best products in their price range. I would highly recommend them, especially their Razor line.
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