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Vortex Razor HD vs top line competitors (1 Viewer)


Active member
I'm thinking of purchasing a spotting scope, and a top of the line, most expensive model- Kowa, Swarovski... would be quite a stretch for my budget.

For those who have a Vortex and have compared it to the others, is the difference in performance of the others worth twice the price of the Vortex, if you could afford either? It might be nice to put the money I'd save into upgrading my binoculars.

My primary purpose for the scope is hawk watches and shore birding. I'm also interested in digiscoping, and have a Canon 60D DSLR.

Thanks. Good Birding!


Well-known member
I have the newer version of the Razor HD 27-60x 85mm HD and it is very good, anyone that has used it was also very impressed. The problem with Swarovski is they are very very good and always make you want one (even now I see a 95mm ATX and want one !) A Swaro ATS 65mm user compared mine at dusk looking at Tawny Owl and we both agreed mine was clearer and looked better but it was not really fair as 85mm vs 65mm. Another plus for Vortex is they give the VIP warranty so even if you drop it and break it they replace it ! its transferable to new owners which not many would honour that for accident type purposes, best to find somewhere that stocks both and go see.


New member
Vortex Razor HD 20-60x85mm

Have used my Vortex now for several years, including for shorebirds . With the heavy Manfrotto 055ProB tripod this scope really delivers gorgeous images. Experienced birders are also suitably impressed. For any marginal benefits (real or imagined) above and beyond this level of performance, you would have to give that serious thought. A heavy scope, but my favourite.


Well-known member
I've been very pleased with my Razor HD scope (85mm). As has been pointed out, it is a little heavy for long hauls, but I generally don't mind it since I think it helps cut down a little on vibration or shaking. I have found it to be very durable. It's done multiple Central America and Alaska trips, one Amazon trip, and countless local days out. Its been knocked over a couple of times (never onto concrete though) and treated a little rougher than it probably should, but it always survives. As to your original question, I'd save your money. The times its been compared to other scopes have been quite favorable, and any miniscule deficiencies it might have don't seem enough to me to justify twice the price.
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