Vortex Binoculars

History and Overview

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Vortex binoculars have been around since 2000 and have been steadily gaining loyal customers.

When Dan and Margie Hamilton quit dentistry and nursing and moved to Madison, Wisconsin, to open a Wild Birds Unlimited franchise in 1986, starting a new binocular company was perhaps the last thing on their minds.

They and their staff soon became binocular experts in serving their customers, however. Because of the opportunities to better serve customers' interests, they started a second company named Eagle Optics. In time, Eagle Optics' purchasing power gave the Hamiltons increased influence with manufacturers. This influence enabled them to ask for changes in binocular design and, eventually, an Eagle Optics line of binoculars. From the well-received the Eagle Optics brand started in 1992, the company went on to introduce the Vortex binoculars brand in 2000. (For those who wonder, they sold the Wild Birds Unlimited store in early 2007.)

Nearly all businesses function in an international setting today and optics are no different. Vortex components are made and assembled in factories located in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, China and the Philippines. Similarly, Vortex has dealers located throughout the US and Canada, and in the United Kingdom, Europe, Australia and South Africa.

Vortex products come with a VIP (for "Very Important Promise") warranty. It is an unlimited, no-fault, lifetime, transferable warranty. It doesn't require that you fill out a warranty card or even keep your purchase receipt. They'll fix or replace your Vortex binoculars (their choice) if there is something wrong with them, whether it's their fault or yours. What isn't covered by the Vortex VIP warranty? If you lose the binoculars or they're stolen — you're on your own.

Knowing what you learned in the first paragraph about the Vortex company and its relation to Eagle Optics, doesn't it just make sense to deal directly with EagleOptics.com when you're ready to purchase a Vortex binocular? We especially like that they say plainly that they have a 30 day money-back guarantee.

Each of the following models is rubber armor coated, uses BaK-4 glass for prisms and has adjustable eyecups. Except for the Raptor, each is a roof prism design that has phase correction coatings.

"...I've been using the Vortex for a couple days now and it is worth every penny...crisp images and the light transmission is impressive. Definitely will be replacing some of my *cheaper* binocs. Your review was spot on."

Brian in Houston, TX

Vortex Models

Vortex Razor HD Binocular The Vortex Razor HD Apochromatic introduced in 2012 presents very nice views! Why would this be so and what does it mean for the Razor HD owner? With XTR lens coatings so that common debris sloughs off easily, these are worth looking into and learning more about. We were delighted to be able to get an order in for one of the first 10X42 configurations in this update and are happy to provide this review after enjoying the Razor HD extensively in the field.


Vortex Kaibab HD The Vortex binoculars' Kaibab HD model come in a single 15X56 configuration. This model also uses high-density, extra-low dispersion glass and is a roof prism design. The Kaibab HD is fully multi-coated and includes a dielectric prism coating, as well as Vortex' proprietary XR anti-reflective coating which increases the transmitted light. The instrument's 56mm objective lenses will gather more light and correspondingly provide a greater resolution and contrast than smaller objectives would, even with the higher magnification. The eyecups of the Kaibab are metal reinforced. The Kaibab also has scratch resistant coatings for exterior lens surfaces and is waterproof and fog-proof.
Available at Amazon.com.


Vortex Viper HD The Vortex binoculars' Viper HD models are available in varying mixes of 6X, 8X, 8.5X, 10X, 12X, and 15X magnifications and 28mm, 32mm, 42mm, and 50mm objectives. They use high-density, extra-low dispersion glass lenses, the roof prisms have a dielectric coating, and they also have scratch resistant coatings on the exterior lens surfaces. The instrument's optics are a fully-multicoated, including Vortex' proprietary XR anti-reflective coating which increases the transmitted light, and it is waterproof and fog-proof.


Vortex Talon HD The Vortex binoculars' Talon HD models are available in two configurations: 8X42 and 10X42. As indicated by the HD, they use high-density, extra-low dispersion lenses for superior resolution and color fidelity in low-light conditions. The instrument's prisms have a dielectric coating, the optics are fully multi-coated, including Vortex' proprietary XR anti-reflective coating which increases the transmitted light, with a scratch resistant coating on exterior lens surfaces and are waterproof and fog-proof.


Vortex Vulture HD The Vortex binoculars' Vulture HD models, offered as both 8X56 and 10X56 configurations which will collect and transmit more light to the user than most. The optics are fully multi-coated, including Vortex' proprietary XR anti-reflective coating which increases the transmitted light, and a scratch resistant coating on exterior lens surfaces. This model is also waterproof and fog-proof. As indicated by the HD, they use high-density, extra-low dispersion lenses for superior resolution and color fidelity in low-light conditions.
Available at Amazon.com and EagleOptics.com.


Vortex Diamondback The Vortex binoculars' Diamondback models are presented in configurations variously combining magnifications of 7X, 8X, 8.5X 9X, and 12X with objective lenses of 28mm, 36mm, 42mm, and 50mm for a total of nine configurations. The body is well balanced and the optics are fully multi-coated. The model is both waterproof and fog-proof. Owners of this binocular are pretty vocal in supporting it!


Vortex Raptor The Vortex binoculars' Raptor models are available in the 6.5X32 and 8.5X32 configurations and interpupillary distances which will accommodate both young and adult faces. Their Porro prism design optics are fully multi-coated and this model is both waterproof and fog-proof. From a technical perspective, a binocular with an objective lens of 32mm or less is considered to be a compact binocular. This is certainly handy for any adult wanting a good, lightweight instrument. It's size and configuration also make it an excellent model for a child or grandchild.
Available at Amazon.com and EagleOptics.com.


Vortex Solo Monocular The Vortex Solo Monocular is a monocular that also works well for travelers, backpackers, and others who pack light. It's available in four configurations: 8X25, 10X25, 8X36, and 10X36. In the past, monoculars traditionally used lesser quality parts and construction. The Solo optics, however, are good quality with fully multi-coated optics, use BaK-4 prism glass for the 25 mm configurations, and are both waterproof and fog-proof - again an improvement over traditional monocular quality.


Vortex 2011 Razor HD The Vortex binoculars' 2011 Razor HD models come with either 42mm or 50mm objective lenses and varying magnification powers. They use high-density, extra-low dispersion glass and a dielectric prism coating for the superior resolution and color fidelity. The enhanced resolution and color fidelity are most notable in low-light conditions typical of dawn and dusk. They're a fully multi-coated roof prism design, including Vortex' proprietary XR anti-reflective coating which increases the transmitted light, and they use a magnesium body for strength without weight. The exterior lens surfaces have a scratch resistant coating to protect them from scratches and oils. The Razor is waterproof and fog-proof to prevent internal lens fogging.


Are you interested in a comparison between the Talon HD, Viper HD, and 2011 Razor HD binoculars? A number of our loyal readers were and you can read the comparison here.

Vortex also provides spotting scopes and rifle scopes. We anticipate reviewing them, too, as OpticsReviewer.com grows....

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