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Vortex Viper HD 6x32 Mini-Review (1 Viewer)

cnick6

Well-known member
This will be a quick review as I no longer have the binoculars to play with...

In short, this is a really fun binocular. It is quite interesting how that extra 2x really does show up when comparing the 6x to a 8x binocular.

The Viper HD 6x32 is very compact. It's surprisingly heavy likely due to the Japanese ED glass. The feel is very good -- almost perfect. The focus knob is excellent and was very smooth with zero play. Knob rotation was just over 1 1/2 turns. The focus was extremely fine. The slightest movement can really affect the picture sharpness. Close up focus is ~ 3 feet! At times, I think I was probably down to 2 feet. This makes for really fun viewing!

The image quality was very, very good. I could still tell a subtle difference when comparing to the Razor HD 8x42 -- which had higher contrast. The resolution was just a tick under the Razor HD. The sweet spot was around 75% and the edge transition was smooth from focus to out-of-focus. Didn't have the best conditions conducive to CA but didn't see any during the weekend testing. The wide FOV was very nice when looking at landscape shots. This also meant I rarely had to adjust my focus.

Now to the bad part. Due to the long eye relief of this particular model, the Vortex eyecups are WAY too short. Unless you wear glasses, you will likely have issues with blackouts. The only fix is to place your eyes about 5mm behind the eyecups. This can be "trained" to a point. After a lot of viewing, I was able to obtain this almost out of instinct; however, if you are moving around and/or alternating between targets, this is extremely annoying.

I have no idea how this binocular made it passed their QA process. Were the testers only wearing glasses? Also, I'm a little dumb-founded by the "excellent" reviews on the Vortex web site and other sites. How are people using this binocular comfortably?

For me personally, I couldn't really "brow-hold" this binocular either. The angle was so extreme that my neck started to hurt.

My only explanation is that most are eye-glass wearers. The other users are probably first-time binocular owners and have just accepted this as the default way it works.

Before I packaged up the binocular, I called Vortex and asked them for any advice. They seemed shocked by my claim but they don't have any quick fix or solution.

I can't believe I would be the only one to notice this but I guess it just proves that I'm an extraterrestrial after all. :-C

:cat:
 

perterra

Well-known member
This will be a quick review as I no longer have the binoculars to play with...

In short, this is a really fun binocular. It is quite interesting how that extra 2x really does show up when comparing the 6x to a 8x binocular.

The Viper HD 6x32 is very compact. It's surprisingly heavy likely due to the Japanese ED glass. The feel is very good -- almost perfect. The focus knob is excellent and was very smooth with zero play. Knob rotation was just over 1 1/2 turns. The focus was extremely fine. The slightest movement can really affect the picture sharpness. Close up focus is ~ 3 feet! At times, I think I was probably down to 2 feet. This makes for really fun viewing!

The image quality was very, very good. I could still tell a subtle difference when comparing to the Razor HD 8x42 -- which had higher contrast. The resolution was just a tick under the Razor HD. The sweet spot was around 75% and the edge transition was smooth from focus to out-of-focus. Didn't have the best conditions conducive to CA but didn't see any during the weekend testing. The wide FOV was very nice when looking at landscape shots. This also meant I rarely had to adjust my focus.

Now to the bad part. Due to the long eye relief of this particular model, the Vortex eyecups are WAY too short. Unless you wear glasses, you will likely have issues with blackouts. The only fix is to place your eyes about 5mm behind the eyecups. This can be "trained" to a point. After a lot of viewing, I was able to obtain this almost out of instinct; however, if you are moving around and/or alternating between targets, this is extremely annoying.

I have no idea how this binocular made it passed their QA process. Were the testers only wearing glasses? Also, I'm a little dumb-founded by the "excellent" reviews on the Vortex web site and other sites. How are people using this binocular comfortably?

For me personally, I couldn't really "brow-hold" this binocular either. The angle was so extreme that my neck started to hurt.

My only explanation is that most are eye-glass wearers. The other users are probably first-time binocular owners and have just accepted this as the default way it works.

Before I packaged up the binocular, I called Vortex and asked them for any advice. They seemed shocked by my claim but they don't have any quick fix or solution.

I can't believe I would be the only one to notice this but I guess it just proves that I'm an extraterrestrial after all. :-C

:cat:


Appears you may be the only one. LOL
 

OPTIC_NUT

Well-known member
No, not alone.

There are many premium and other binoculars with a bad blackout issue
these days, mainly for someone short-sighted with glasses off. For some
models, I use a few E6000 adhesive dots to clap a coated plano-concave
~ -200 or -250mm lens over. You try it curve-front and cuve-back, and one
way defeats the blackouts even more, puts off the advent of spherical aberration.

All this assumes you have weak or no astigmatism.
Most people with prescriptions who are older have a decent
amount of astigmatism, so they always have to wear glasses
for a sharp field.

Almost all the old models are far more generous with you.
Of special note: Bushnell Customs, any Featherweights (cups off), Custom Compacts,
Swift Tritons and Neptunes. J-B4s (ones made at Toei Kogaku) are perfect that way
and never black out. It costs a little fuzz at the field edge.
In modern times, it's hit-or-miss, but 7x50s are extremely generous. Fujinon FMTR-SX is super.

Meopta acknowledges this eye-torture-for-top-field with eyecups that extend a lot. That works.
Some people here have extended their eyecups, I believe with bicycle innertube sections.
 
Last edited:

Swedpat

Well-known member
Thanks for the review!

As mentioned above, there are many binoculars with eyecups not suited to the eye relief of the oculars. I wear eyeglasses and therefore this HD 6x32 works great for me.

While the 6x32 configuration isn't extreme in any way, it provides a very comfortable and stable view with a bright image at dusk and dawn for it's size. It's such a good allrounder. Therefore I think HD 6x32 is the model I will retain while some of the other binoculars in my selection will be replaced.
 

Swedpat

Well-known member
Almost 7 years ago I wrote the post in this thread, but I will give an update. Nothing is changed. Viper HD 6x32 is still the binocular I will not get rid of. It's still the binocular I would choose if I only could have one.
Unfortunately it's discontinued so I am very careful about it.
 

Darkshark

New member
United States
I came across this thread and have been using my Vortex Viper 6x32 HD bins for up close and intermediate distances. It is excellent for viewing butterflies and insects on the flowers and for birding in the back yard. After reading this thread and viewing for the mentioned issues, I really couldn’t appreciate a problem. I probably don’t see as well is some and this may be the difference?!?
 

Markbro

New member
United States
Since 6x32 is discountinued, what would be the best alternative from current Vortex lineup? Been looking at options at my local outdoor sports store and undecided between Diamondback HD 10x42, Viper HD8x42 and Crossfire8x42.
 

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