Vortex HD vs Pre HD

littlebrotherC

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I'm looking at upgrading from the Nikon Monarchs to one of the vortex binos. Everyone loved the vortex line before they came out with the HD coated lenses. What I want to know is it worth extra money to buy the new, let's say Razor HD, at $1275 when I can find them on ebay pre HD for $350? Thoughts?
 

Matt Cashell

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Well, the HD thing is pretty much marketing, as several different Vortex Binoculars aren't even made in the same OEM facility.

The older Razors were really pretty nice. I had a 8X42 model, and it had an extraordinarily deep depth of field. I would buy a pair for $350 if I could find that deal.

The newer Razor HD is a totally different optical design. I saw them, and thought they had a nice image, but I see Vortex has redesigned them again, after only one model year.

$1200 can get you a really nice binocular. I like several Vortex products, but for $1200, you can find a set of used/demo Swarovski SLC neus, or save some money and get the excellent Meopta Meostar. The Cabelas Euro HD is the newest version of the Meopta Meostar (with Cabelas badging), and by all accounts is outstanding glass.

The sweet spot for value in the Vortex line is the Talon HD at around $450, which is an excellent performing binocular. It is a spec binocular from a major Chinese OEM and similar models have been successful under a variety of brand names (including Zen Ray, Promaster, Hawke, etc.) I have the Zen Ray ED2 version of the design, and it is a great glass. Zen Ray worked with the OEM on this design, and offer a very nice refined version called the ED3. It is definitely worth a look.

Any of these will handily beat the Monarchs, especially in field of view.
 

huntinfool84

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cant really say on the vortex hd, but if your going to spend that amount of money just be patient. I bought a pair of swaro el's for $900 and I bought a set of el's for my dad (his money I looked for the deal) for $1025. good deals can be had just need to be able to wait.
 

evan williams

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Id agree with huntinfool! There are TONS of good deals out there. spend some time looking and see what you can find from Zeiss/Swaro/Leica even. I like my Vortex's. Don't get me wrong...I got a good price on them at a Mule Deer Foundation banquet and that's my "beater" pair. For ROUGH hunting or where I am not glassing long distances (say more few hundred yards).

Anything else, I'd go to the Zeiss or Swaros hands down.
 

Matt Cashell

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Id agree with huntinfool! There are TONS of good deals out there. spend some time looking and see what you can find from Zeiss/Swaro/Leica even. I like my Vortex's. Don't get me wrong...I got a good price on them at a Mule Deer Foundation banquet and that's my "beater" pair. For ROUGH hunting or where I am not glassing long distances (say more few hundred yards).

Anything else, I'd go to the Zeiss or Swaros hands down.
Evan, It really depends on the model. I love Euro glass too. My primary hunting glass is a 10x42 SLC neu, and it is fantastic. However, my Zen ED2s aren't far behind. Which Vortex model were you referring to? In my experience, the top-of-the-line Razor/ Razor HD is certainly sharp enough to do serious glassing at any distance you would use a top-end Alpha Euro bin. In fact, I would personally take a Razor HD over a Zeiss Conquest or Swarovski CL.

There is no question that the latest super bins from Zeiss, Swarovski, and Leica are still the best, but some of the other companies are closing the gap.

I did a comparison between the Zens and Swaros, and I will see if I can find it to post it up here for anybody looking for decent glass, and can't afford the pricey stuff.
 
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evan williams

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Hey Bitter,

My Vortex's are the simple Diamondbacks. I do like the Razor HDs. I know that I NEED better glass myself. And have been comparing things. I haven't gotten to look through a Euro.
 

Matt Cashell

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Evan,

The diamondbacks are pretty good for a $200 binocular.

The Razors pretty well walk all over them, though.

Do you have a model in mind for your upgrade?
 
B

bearguide

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you can find good glass zeiss, leica, swaro, if you look for used, and you will end up with better glass
 

ElkNut1

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The Viper in Non HD do not compare to the New Viper HD Models. I've used both & carried the Non HD Vipers for several years & now it's the HD's only! The HD Models of both the Viper & Razors have a perfect edge to edge clarity at any range, the old ones do not, too both these Models will surpass the Non HD ones when it comes to low light conditions early & late, they are excellent light gatherers. There is a very noticeable difference when you put them side by side. Hope this helps!

ElkNut1
 
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