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Help, Vortex Viper HD or Razor HD?

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Old Thursday 4th April 2013, 13:05   #1
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Help, Vortex Viper HD or Razor HD?

Hi I've narrowed my choice of my first spotting scope down to either the Vortex Viper HD 20-60x80(+ Astro Pro 187 Tripod) or the Razor HD 20-60x85(with Vortex Skyline II) after a lot of reading reviews, forums etc. But having difficulties on making the final decision between them, getting the Razor would be stretching the budget a lite bit.

I've picked up my interest of birding once again after a longer break (~10 years) due to different reasons one of them being that I didnt have a spotting scope back then and I would say that Im on a beginners level. So now Im getting a scope together with my mother and having difficulties on deciding if its worth the extra money for the Razor. I guess my problem is not knowing how much time I will find for my birding making the cheaper scope the logical choice however if I really get hooked I would hate to feel the need for buying a new better scope in a few years time if I would feel restricted by the Viper HD. Being an amateur photographer Im planning to use the scope for digiscoping.

I can get the Viper for 1070 or the Razor package for 1900. Is the Razor HD package with the Skyline II tripod worth the additional 830?
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Old Thursday 4th April 2013, 14:07   #2
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A very difficult one to advise on but a few pointers which may help...

If we are talking about the angled versions of the scopes, the Razor 85mm is about 6cm shorter than the Viper 80mm although thr Razor weighs an extra c200g. The Viper HD 80mm, although physically lighter does seem by comparison more front-heavy than the Razor, possibly due to the Razor's more compact design.

In the UK, the 65mm Viper HD sales are far exceeding the 80mm Viper HD with the Razors seemingly the preferred 'scope at the 80/85mm end of the Vortex top end.

The extra 5mm circumference of the Razor's objective does make a difference in poor light, possibly due to the extra HD Glass element in it, and the Razor zoom is a slightly higher quality optically than the Viper 20-60x,

It is well worth remembering that the Razor will take the Swarovski SW eyepieces and the fixed 30xSW (if you can still get them) is an excellent match with the Razor DCA as this goes straight over the top of this eyepiece and clamps onto the bottom of it.

That said, although we have not yet seen the new 23x LER eyepiece in action, this could be the digiscoper's best friend and even at full RRP is still cheaper than the Swarovski 30x lens.

Trust this helps a bit.
Dave Morgan
Vortex Optics at Newpro UK
PhoneSkope at Newpro UK
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Old Monday 8th April 2013, 08:36   #3
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Thank you for the reply, I have now ordered the Razor package with the Skyline II tripod and also bought the fitted tactical case.

In the end i felt like buying a scope that has a higher chance of keeping me satisfied for a long time, so I don't need too buy a new one in a couple of years. I think the extra light will be good for both spotting and digiscopping.

Interesting for the future about the LER eyepiece.

About the weight on the US-website the Razor is specified as 65.7 ounces (1862g) whilst the Viper is specified at 67 ounces (1899g). I don't mind the extra weight of the Razor just seems like there are different numbers out there....
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Old Monday 8th April 2013, 18:52   #4

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When you get your Razor and have had a chance to use it please share your opinions.

I am thinking of getting one but haven't yet decided on the Razor 85 or a couple of other scopes.
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Old Tuesday 9th April 2013, 01:26   #5
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I have a Razor and really love it. It's my first scope, so I don't have a ton of comparative experience, but I find the Razor a joy to use. Enjoy!
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Old Saturday 13th April 2013, 05:04   #6
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I have loved my Razor, and has withstood some pretty harsh conditions in the last couple of years. It has done 2 seasons in the Alaskan bush, as well as 2 trips to Ecuador and 1 to Costa Rica. In Alaska it spent days on end in cold, wet, and rainy conditions, often below freezing, watching birds and bears, and a week in the EC upper Amazon rain forest at 95 deg. F and pouring rain, and it still works flawlessly.

I love the optics, and so has everyone that has used it, but I don't really have any hard comparisons with other brands. However, I think you'll be hard pressed to find a better built scope than the one that I have!
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Old Thursday 10th October 2019, 20:48   #7
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Anyone know the diameter of the Vortex zoom eyepiece and the Razor zoom eyepiece?
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Old Wednesday 27th November 2019, 19:35   #8
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I agree Razor is a good choice. I was disappointed with the Viper.
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