Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!
Zeiss - Always on the lookout for something special – Shop now

Welcome to BirdForum.
BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE! You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Vortex Viper UHD beats Zeiss SF and Leica Noctivid!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread
Old Wednesday 22nd January 2020, 17:41   #1
[email protected]
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Colorado
Posts: 2,466
Vortex Viper UHD beats Zeiss SF and Leica Noctivid!

In the latest Audubon binocular review the MIJ Vortex Razor UHD 8x42 almost tied the Swarovski EL 8.5x42 and it beat the Zeiss SF 8x42 and the Leica Noctivid 8x42 in their rankings. Maybe the AK prism in the Vortex Razor UHD is the difference. That is pretty good for a binocular that you can buy for $1250.00 or so if you shop around. Less than 1/2 the price of the Zeiss or Leica.

https://www.audubon.org/news/category-top-line
https://www.audubon.org/gear/binocular-guide

Last edited by [email protected] : Wednesday 22nd January 2020 at 20:06.
denco@comcast.n is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 22nd January 2020, 18:39   #2
giosblue
Registered User

 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Ashton
Posts: 357
Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
In the latest Audubon binocular review the MIJ Vortex Viper UHD 8x42 almost tied the Swarovski EL 8.5x42 and it beat the Zeiss SF 8x42 and the Leica Noctivid 8x42 in their rankings. Maybe the AK prism in the Vortex Viper UHD is the difference. That is pretty good for a binocular that you can buy for $1250.00 or so if you shop around. Less than 1/2 the price of the Zeiss or Leica.

https://www.audubon.org/news/category-top-line
https://www.audubon.org/gear/binocular-guide

Razor.
giosblue is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 22nd January 2020, 18:49   #3
PYRTLE
Registered User
 
PYRTLE's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: North Norfolk
Posts: 7,466
I'd like to know more about the persons who carried out this comparison and wrote the report. It isn't the most full or technical read to be honest. There is a suggestion in the comments section that elements of the content date back to 2009.

Last edited by PYRTLE : Wednesday 22nd January 2020 at 18:51.
PYRTLE is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 22nd January 2020, 20:01   #4
[email protected]
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Colorado
Posts: 2,466
Quote:
Originally Posted by PYRTLE View Post
I'd like to know more about the persons who carried out this comparison and wrote the report. It isn't the most full or technical read to be honest. There is a suggestion in the comments section that elements of the content date back to 2009.
"Explanation of Methodology

For the latest Audubon Guide to Binoculars, we divided the bins into six categories, based on price. We took the following steps to try to obscure the make/model of binoculars: Each price group was color-coded and each pair of binoculars within the group was given a different letter by which it was identified (e.g., ‘Red A’ or ‘Blue D’), and we covered identifying marks on the bins with masking tape. As our goal was to assess binoculars within price groups, we asked reviewers to select at least one color group and to test all of the binoculars within it—rather than randomly selecting binoculars from multiple groups.

We asked reviewers to rate binoculars on a scale of 1 to 10 for each of nine categories, with 10 being the highest score. Below are the categories, along with the weight we assigned to each when analyzing the results in parentheses. We calculated a weighted average score because we consider some factors, such as clarity and brightness, to be more important considerations than others, such as close-focus capacity and eyecup quality.

Image Quality

Clarity (1)
Brightness (1)
Edge-to-edge focus (.7)
Color rendition (.8)
Close-focus capacity (.5)

Overall Feel

Ease of focus (1)
Balance (.9)
Comfort in hands (.5)

Eye Comfort

Eye relief (1)"

Last edited by [email protected] : Wednesday 22nd January 2020 at 20:03.
denco@comcast.n is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 22nd January 2020, 20:03   #5
PYRTLE
Registered User
 
PYRTLE's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: North Norfolk
Posts: 7,466
Thanks but I read all that in the links you provided and other sub menus which is how I arrived at my conclusion.
P
PYRTLE is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 22nd January 2020, 20:18   #6
Torview
Registered User
 
Torview's Avatar

 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Dartmoor.
Posts: 2,225
I had a quick look through them at Cleyspy, they did feel more like 50mm bins in the hand to me, rather small focus wheel, I remember feeling the view was really good, but I put them down and moved on quite readily.
Torview is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 22nd January 2020, 20:53   #7
[email protected]
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Colorado
Posts: 2,466
Quote:
Originally Posted by Torview View Post
I had a quick look through them at Cleyspy, they did feel more like 50mm bins in the hand to me, rather small focus wheel, I remember feeling the view was really good, but I put them down and moved on quite readily.
I imagine they have to be a little bigger and heavier with the AK Prisms and the triplet apochromatic objective lenses. You thought the view was really good?

Last edited by [email protected] : Wednesday 22nd January 2020 at 22:56.
denco@comcast.n is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 22nd January 2020, 21:02   #8
zzzzzz
Registered User

 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Aurora
Posts: 263
https://www.bestbinocularsreviews.co...Review-255.htm

The Vortex Razor UHD 10x42 binoculars is a fantastic instrument and most certainly ranks amongst the very, very best that I have ever come across. For those wondering about the hefty price tag and if they compete with the top 'alpha' level brands from Europe, I have absolutely no hesitation in saying that they are as good or better than anything currently on the market.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Vortex-Razor-UHD-10x42-Binoculars-Size-Large.jpg
Views:	119
Size:	117.2 KB
ID:	715806  

Last edited by zzzzzz : Wednesday 22nd January 2020 at 21:06.
zzzzzz is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 22nd January 2020, 21:28   #9
Torview
Registered User
 
Torview's Avatar

 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Dartmoor.
Posts: 2,225
Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
I imagine they have to be a little bigger and heavier with the AK Prisms and the triplet apochromatic objective lenses. You though the view was really good?
Certainly competitive with the top tier, the victory fl`s were no bigger with AK`s.
Torview is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 22nd January 2020, 21:43   #10
jgraider
Registered User

 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: West Texas
Posts: 1,361
Quote:
Originally Posted by zzzzzz View Post
https://www.bestbinocularsreviews.co...Review-255.htm

The Vortex Razor UHD 10x42 binoculars is a fantastic instrument and most certainly ranks amongst the very, very best that I have ever come across. For those wondering about the hefty price tag and if they compete with the top 'alpha' level brands from Europe, I have absolutely no hesitation in saying that they are as good or better than anything currently on the market.

I briefly looked at a 10x UHD at Cabelas. I will agree the view is great, but the ergos are lacking IMO. They are way too big, and I can't imagine spending SLC like money for a Vortex anything. To my eyeballs, they do compete well optically with the SLC, but not so much in ergos, fit, finish, etc.
jgraider is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 22nd January 2020, 22:35   #11
zzzzzz
Registered User

 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Aurora
Posts: 263
From BBR

It may seem a little strange to some to describe a binocular at this price level as being good value, but If you are looking for an alpha level binocular, then when compared to many of their direct competitors, I do feel that in this context, these Vortex Razor UHD 10x42 Binoculars offer good value for money.
zzzzzz is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 22nd January 2020, 22:57   #12
[email protected]
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Colorado
Posts: 2,466
Quote:
Originally Posted by Torview View Post
Certainly competitive with the top tier, the victory fl`s were no bigger with AK`s.
They were a little longer than most alpha's. I don't think the FL has a triplet APO objective either. That would probably add to the length.

"Apochromatic (APO) Lenses
Rather than the more widely used and less expensive achromatic doublet lens design that as the name suggests uses two lens elements within each lens, Vortex Razor UHD binoculars have apochromatic lenses that are usually made up of at least 3 lens elements.Whist this additional piece of glass in each lens is certainly one of the contributors to the instrument being both heavier and longer than average, the advantage is that instead of just two, an APO lens is able to focus three wavelengths of light onto a single point and thus are able to better reduce chromatic and spherical aberrations for a higher definition image."
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Apochromatic-Lens.gif
Views:	12
Size:	7.9 KB
ID:	715814  

Last edited by [email protected] : Wednesday 22nd January 2020 at 23:12.
denco@comcast.n is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 22nd January 2020, 23:46   #13
[email protected]
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Colorado
Posts: 2,466
The Vortex 8x42 UHD's have several advantages over the Swarovski 8x42 SLC's. One being the AK prisms and another the Apochromatic Triplet Objective for better CA control and a bigger FOV with the SLC having 408 and the UHD having 420 feet. Ergo's is subjective and subject to how they fit your hands and face. The Zeiss SF's are a big binocular also because of the design but they don't feel as heavy because of excellent balance.
denco@comcast.n is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 22nd January 2020, 23:55   #14
Gilmore Girl
Beth
 
Gilmore Girl's Avatar

 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Northeast
Posts: 2,798
Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
They were a little longer than most alpha's. I don't think the FL has a triplet APO objective either. That would probably add to the length.

"Apochromatic (APO) Lenses
Rather than the more widely used and less expensive achromatic doublet lens design that as the name suggests uses two lens elements within each lens, Vortex Razor UHD binoculars have apochromatic lenses that are usually made up of at least 3 lens elements.Whist this additional piece of glass in each lens is certainly one of the contributors to the instrument being both heavier and longer than average, the advantage is that instead of just two, an APO lens is able to focus three wavelengths of light onto a single point and thus are able to better reduce chromatic and spherical aberrations for a higher definition image."
Dennis,

The 8x32 FL has a 3-piece APO design according to Allbinos:

https://www.allbinos.com/191-binocul...x32_T*_FL.html
Gilmore Girl is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2013 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Wednesday 22nd January 2020, 23:56   #15
[email protected]
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Colorado
Posts: 2,466
These Vortex Razor UHD 8x42's look interesting so I ordered a pair from Sport Optics for $1250.00 with free shipping. I will compare them to my two favorite alpha's right now the Nikon EDG 8x42 and the Zeiss FL 8x42 and I will report here as soon as I get them. More to come.
denco@comcast.n is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 23rd January 2020, 00:03   #16
[email protected]
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Colorado
Posts: 2,466
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilmore Girl View Post
Dennis,

The 8x32 FL has a 3-piece APO design according to Allbinos:

https://www.allbinos.com/191-binocul...x32_T*_FL.html
Beth. Thanks, for that correction. I wasn't sure if it did or not. To keep the 8x32 FL length down Zeiss uses an SP prism, whereas, on the 8x42 FL they went to the AK. That explains their sensational CA control in both the 32mm and 42mm.
denco@comcast.n is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 23rd January 2020, 00:19   #17
henry link
Registered User

 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: north carolina
Posts: 4,546
Nearly every roof prism binocular has a 3 element objective lens now (4 if you include the focusing lens) and not one of them is a true APO, no matter what the marketing claims.

I can't see that there is a "methodology" here. An "army" of innocents is sent out to look at various things through 50 binoculars and then write down numbers. That's what's known as clueless.
henry link is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 23rd January 2020, 01:26   #18
[email protected]
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Colorado
Posts: 2,466
Quote:
Originally Posted by henry link View Post
Nearly every roof prism binocular has a 3 element objective lens now (4 if you include the focusing lens) and not one of them is a true APO, no matter what the marketing claims.

I can't see that there is a "methodology" here. An "army" of innocents is sent out to look at various things through 50 binoculars and then write down numbers. That's what's known as clueless.
Henry. The Nikon EDG for one uses a doublet in the objective lens so there still are some doublet's used. Of course you know that most porro's and Canon IS's use a cemented achromatic doublet objective also. The Zeiss HT though uses 6 lenses in it's objective lens. You are right though because most modern roof's do use at least 3 elements in the objective. What you are saying is Vortex is using blatant false advertising in their claims about the Razor UHD. I sent a message to Vortex about their claims to see what their response is. I think there has been a lot of threads on Bird Forum on what an Apochromatic Lens is and it depends on your definition of it. Vortex and Zeiss are probably bending the definition in their marketing. When a binocular manufacturer says a binocular is Apochromatic they mean it is appreciably better than an Achromat. They don't mean it is an Apochromat in the sense that a very fine Apochromatic Televue telescope is. No binocular is going to be as color free as a very fine telescope.

"Apochromatic (APO) Lenses
Rather than the more widely used and less expensive achromatic doublet lens design that as the name suggests uses two lens elements within each lens, Vortex Razor UHD binoculars have apochromatic lenses that are usually made up of at least 3 lens elements.Whist this additional piece of glass in each lens is certainly one of the contributors to the instrument being both heavier and longer than average, the advantage is that instead of just two, an APO lens is able to focus three wavelengths of light onto a single point and thus are able to better reduce chromatic and spherical aberrations for a higher definition image."

Last edited by [email protected] : Thursday 23rd January 2020 at 03:31.
denco@comcast.n is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 23rd January 2020, 02:23   #19
jgraider
Registered User

 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: West Texas
Posts: 1,361
Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
The Vortex 8x42 UHD's have several advantages over the Swarovski 8x42 SLC's. One being the AK prisms and another the Apochromatic Triplet Objective for better CA control and a bigger FOV with the SLC having 408 and the UHD having 420 feet. Ergo's is subjective and subject to how they fit your hands and face. The Zeiss SF's are a big binocular also because of the design but they don't feel as heavy because of excellent balance.

I guarantee you if a UHD is $1400, and a mint/used SLC is $1500, 9 people out of 10 will choose Swaro. Oh, and last time I checked, optics are a subjective thing too.

Last edited by jgraider : Thursday 23rd January 2020 at 02:26.
jgraider is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 23rd January 2020, 02:33   #20
[email protected]
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Colorado
Posts: 2,466
Quote:
Originally Posted by jgraider View Post
I guarantee you if a UHD is $1400, and a mint/used SLC is $1500, 9 people out of 10 will choose Swaro. Oh, and last time I checked, optics are a subjective thing too.
I don't know about that. You can get the Vortex UHD for $1250.00 and there are a lot of hunter's that really like Vortex's in the US because of their unconditional warranty. They don't have to worry about them because if they drop them in a river Vortex will send you a new pair no questions asked. Vortex has excellent marketing also and a big presence in the retail stores like Cabellas. The salesmen really push Vortex's and a big portion of the display case is taken up by them. Every time I am in Cabella's looking at Swarovski's the salesman will steer me to Vortex's. At the BBR website the SLC's scored 90% which is among the very best but the UHD's slightly outscored them at 92%. The Swarovski EL scored 93%. I had three pair of SLC's and they all had funky focusers being sticky and easier to turn in one direction. Bad luck, maybe. I gave up on them. I will admit the optics were very good although softer edges than an EL and I liked the size of them.

https://www.bestbinocularsreviews.co...x42SLC-145.htm
https://redirect.viglink.com/?format...Review-255.htm

Last edited by [email protected] : Thursday 23rd January 2020 at 03:03.
denco@comcast.n is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 23rd January 2020, 03:25   #21
dries1
Registered User
 
dries1's Avatar

 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Delaware
Posts: 1,898
They have been on the market for a while now, it will be interesting when other reviews of the Vortex UHD come out over time.
Size and possibly weight could be a detriment for some. Additionally it looks like a Maven in green in an 8X42 configuration instead of 9X45, or a Blaser Primus.
I really do not see how it could be better than premium glass from Zeiss, Leica or Swarovski, I mean.... you always get what you pay for. Build quality I believe will be the Achilles heel with this glass. Did one get a good sample? or, It needs to be sent back for a replacement.

Andy W.
dries1 is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2018 2019 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Thursday 23rd January 2020, 03:40   #22
[email protected]
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Colorado
Posts: 2,466
"I really do not see how it could be better than premium glass from Zeiss, Leica or Swarovski, I mean.... you always get what you pay for. Build quality I believe will be the Achilles heel with this glass."

Chinese labor costs are simply less. IF they get their QA equal to Zeiss, Leica or Swarovski the Chinese can build an equivalent binocular for less money. It is a big IF though.

Last edited by [email protected] : Thursday 23rd January 2020 at 03:46.
denco@comcast.n is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 23rd January 2020, 03:45   #23
jgraider
Registered User

 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: West Texas
Posts: 1,361
Quote:
Originally Posted by dries1 View Post
They have been on the market for a while now, it will be interesting when other reviews of the Vortex UHD come out over time.
Size and possibly weight could be a detriment for some. Additionally it looks like a Maven in green in an 8X42 configuration instead of 9X45, or a Blaser Primus.
I really do not see how it could be better than premium glass from Zeiss, Leica or Swarovski, I mean.... you always get what you pay for. Build quality I believe will be the Achilles heel with this glass. Did one get a good sample? or, It needs to be sent back for a replacement.

Andy W.

Numerous reviews on rokslide would confirm your thoughts dries.....it's not better than the alphas. The general consensus of (insert the h word) is that Vortex warranty is a good thing, but unfortunately you'll likely have to use it, which is not good. denco has become quite the Vortex fanboy it seems.
jgraider is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 23rd January 2020, 03:50   #24
henry link
Registered User

 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: north carolina
Posts: 4,546
Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Henry. The Nikon EDG for one uses a doublet in the objective lens so there still are some doublet's used. Of course you know that most porro's and Canon IS's use a cemented achromatic doublet objective also. The Zeiss HT though uses 6 lenses in it's objective lens. You are right though because most modern roof's do use at least 3 elements in the objective. What you are saying is Vortex is using blatant false advertising in their claims about the Razor UHD. I sent a message to Vortex about their claims to see what their response is. I think there has been a lot of threads on Bird Forum on what an Apochromatic Lens is and it depends on your definition of it. Vortex and Zeiss are probably bending the definition in their marketing.

"Apochromatic (APO) Lenses
Rather than the more widely used and less expensive achromatic doublet lens design that as the name suggests uses two lens elements within each lens, Vortex Razor UHD binoculars have apochromatic lenses that are usually made up of at least 3 lens elements.Whist this additional piece of glass in each lens is certainly one of the contributors to the instrument being both heavier and longer than average, the advantage is that instead of just two, an APO lens is able to focus three wavelengths of light onto a single point and thus are able to better reduce chromatic and spherical aberrations for a higher definition image."
Where are you getting those numbers, Dennis? The EDG and the HT have the common pattern of fixed triplets consisting of a singlet and a cemented doublet with an air space between, followed by a singlet focusing element. I wouldn't argue that there are no doublets at all in current roof prism binoculars, but I can think of only one recent design that uses a fixed cemented doublet followed by a focusing singlet, the Zeiss SF. I suppose there could a clone or two of it or a similar old Swarovski doublet design.

The answer you got from Vortex is typical marketing boilerplate which fails to mention that (like all binoculars) the focal ratio of the objective is too low for three colors to be brought to a common focus, triplet or not.

Henry

Last edited by henry link : Thursday 23rd January 2020 at 03:55.
henry link is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 23rd January 2020, 03:56   #25
[email protected]
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Colorado
Posts: 2,466
Quote:
Originally Posted by jgraider View Post
Numerous reviews on rokslide would confirm your thoughts dries.....it's not better than the alphas. The general consensus of (insert the h word) is that Vortex warranty is a good thing, but unfortunately you'll likely have to use it, which is not good. denco has become quite the Vortex fanboy it seems.
No, I am definitely not a Vortex fanboy. I have 12 binoculars and my favorites are my Zeiss FL's 8x32 and 8x42 and my Nikon EDG 8x32 and 8x42's and my Zeiss Conquest HD 8x56's. I have some new Nikon Monarch 5's 20x56 that are actually pretty cool. I bought it to see if Rico's theories are true and actually between the shakes I can see a heck of a lot of detail with it. It surprised me how good it is for $500.00 off of Ebay from Japan. The big Zeiss 8x56 Conquest is my favorite for the aberration free view when I am not hiking too far. I was just interested in this new Vortex UHD because of some of the good reviews on it. I have had some lemon's from Vortex in the past especially the MIC ones like many people but Vortex has always replaced them.

Last edited by [email protected] : Thursday 23rd January 2020 at 04:34.
denco@comcast.n is offline  
Reply With Quote
Advertisement
Reply


Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Bushnell 7x26 v. Swarovski 8x25 v. Zeiss Terra 8x25 v. Vortex Viper 8x28 b-lilja Binoculars 22 Tuesday 27th December 2016 00:49
New Trinovid 8x42, Nikon E2, Vortex Viper, Zeiss Terra jhorvat Binoculars 10 Saturday 7th February 2015 01:15
Considered EO Ranger ED, Vortex Viper, and Zeiss Conquest 10x42 ZDHart Zeiss 0 Wednesday 26th March 2014 04:15



Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Help support BirdForum

Page generated in 0.23657894 seconds with 38 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 08:32.