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Crossfire 10-50 or 12-50 for short term use? (1 Viewer)


Well-known member
I am currently stuck in Vienna due to CV-19 (and my 10x42 Ultravids are at home) and so need a pair of cheapish but decent bins to get me by (and offload when I get home).

So I was looking for a pair of Vortex Diamondback HD 10x42 (I should be able to sell these easily when I return home) however I have found them difficult to buy with delivery being 3-4 weeks (probably due to popularity). I estimate I'll be stuck in Europe for the next 2-4 months.

I can however get either the Vortex Crossfire HD 10x50 or 12x50 variants with delivery in 2-3 days. And all are around the same price if not same weight (40s are about 25% lighter than both 50s).

My use is currently fields and woods, mostly smaller birds (starts, warblers etc.). So large open fields and enclosed woodland followed by narrow paths (2-3m wide) through the trees where the birds are often close-by but near impossible to see/ID by the naked eye. Rarely rivers.

Anyone agree / disagree with the choice and magnification for use ?

For added interest my list here so far :

AUSTRIAN BIRDS (55), Mammals (7) & Reptiles (1)

Blackbird - Eurasian
Crow - Carrion
Crow - Hooded
Cormorant - Great
Cuckoo - Common (heard many times)
Dove - Rock
Dove - Eurasian Collared
Duck - Tufted
Goldfinch - European
Greater Scaup
Grebe - Little
Gull - Herring
Heron - Grey
Jay - Eurasian
Kestrel - Eurasian
Lapwing - Northern
Lark - Crested
Lark - Eurasian Sky
Magpie - Eurasian
Nuthatch - Eurasian
Pheasant - Common
Pigeon - Wood
Pipit - Meadow
Pipit - Tree
Raven - Common
Redpoll - Common
Redstart - Common
Robin - European
Shrike - Red-Backed
Skylark - Eurasian
Sparrow - House
Sparrow - Tree
Starling - Eurasian
Swallow - Barn
Swan - Mute
Swift - Common
Tern - Common
Thrush - Song
Tit - Blue
Tit - Great
Tit - Long Tailed
Wagtail - White
Warbler - Grasshopper
Warbler - Icterine
Willow Warbler
Woodpecker - Great Spotted

Deer - Fallow
Deer - Roe
Fox - Red
Hare - European
Rabbit - European
Snake - Aesculapian
Squirrel - Red (Black & Red variations)
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Well-known member
Initial Thoughts

1. They don't feel weighty at all. Actually kind of slim/light to what I was expecting. These are supposed to be heavier than my Leica Ultravids back home but I don't get that impression.

2. The Chest Case is really nice. It will make carrying these around a doddle.

3. The magnification doesn't feel too much at all (compared to my 10x42). My out of the box 'Kiwi test' (a Kiwi fruit hidden behind a pot on the stove (so in shadow) showed it's hairs in all their glory with around 50-60cms spread at around 8m. :D

4. There is some noticeable Purple and Green fringing on high contrast edges (kestrel in a yellow bubble). However far less in the center and most out towards the edges of the image. I can't see it bothering me too much as most times you won't notice it unless you go looking for it.

5. Very nice bright/sharp image. Does well even at night (tried them at 15.00 / 18.00 / 21.00 / 03.00 yesterday).


Well-known member
Second Thoughts

1. I'm still impressed with these bins. The weight doesn't bother me in the slightest, they don't 'feel' heavy. Do note that as a photographer I'm used to carrying far heavier equipment though.

2. They are very good in low light - the 4.2mm exit pupil giving a nice bright view even at dusk. The 5.0mm in the 10x50 should be even brighter of course but these are sufficient - one of the worries I had before purchasing has been dispelled.

3. The Chest Case opens the wrong way around for me. It opens towards the wearer and not away as with most cases. This makes it more difficult to get the bins out in the field when the harness and a jacket is being worn. I still appreciate the case and ease of carrying.

4. I'm never easy on gear (photographic or otherwise) and I've got a few tiny scratches in the lens anti-reflective coating already - which is very disappointing as even my camera lenses would not show signs of use after just a week. I'm assuming this happens when resting the bins on top of the case and between my jacket and the camera/lens whilst taking photographs, so might not be an issue for non-photographers. However it's still worrying that the coating isn't as scratch-resistant as expected (not even close to my Ultravids which have been in use for a decade).

5. I still don't find the x12 magnification to be any issue at all. When taking photographs I'm used to spotting an angle or feature to find the bird so I'm assuming this makes it easier using bins of this magnification. Maybe not good bins for novices though and the 10x42 or 10x50 may make a better beginner's binocular (personally I always find x8 are not enough for general use).
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Well-known member
Enjoyed reading your comments! I also enjoyed looking at your birding checklist!

Kinda hard to believe you've scratched the lens in just a couple of weeks. It doesn't sound like you've really done anything to do that..


Well-known member
Enjoyed reading your comments! I also enjoyed looking at your birding checklist!

Kinda hard to believe you've scratched the lens in just a couple of weeks. It doesn't sound like you've really done anything to do that..

Thanks Chuck !

I've come back in this morning especially to correct that error but found that I couldn't edit that post.

I've discovered that the 'scratches' on the coatings were actually from some substance or other. I couldn't remove it, whatever it was, in the field with a little spit and polish and it looked all the world like minor scratches.

However yesterday evening I cleaned all my cameras/lenses/bins and was delighted to find I could remove the 'scratches' with soap and water. So I'm very happy to report the coatings seem to be far better than I have led people reading this to believe. My apologies !

Additions to the list:

Heron - Black-crowned Night
Linnet, Common
Oriole - Eurasian Golden
Reed Warbler - European
Reed Warbler - Great
Warbler - Savi’s (call only)
Whitethroat - Common
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New member
United States
This is a great review! Thanks!
I just ordered my crossfire 12x50's today and am still online researching hahahah.
Longer term update on them Frogfish?

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