The Vortex Razor 8×42 is the top-end product by Vortex (Sheltered Wings) in the 8×42 category. As is the case with many other makes, the different models in a particular category (like 8×42) all look quite the same, with the only conspicuous difference the differences between the prices, which could be several hundreds of dollars. The obvious question is always: Why? Is the difference in price really justified?
In the world of binoculars price and quality goes hand in hand; to make a top class binocular simply costs a lot more than making a budget range one.
This goes for Vortex binoculars as well. Five Vortex 8×42 binoculars will be reviewed: The Vortex Razor, Viper, Fury, Diamondhead and Crossfire. These five are all of good quality generally speaking, but the Razor (and the Viper as well, but to a lesser degree) simply outclass the other three in terms of optics.
Glass used for lenses:
All of them use high quality BaK-4 for the prisms, but the Razor and Viper use extra low-dispersion glass (ED glass, called XD glass by Vortex) in the objective lens elements as well for enhanced transmission of light through the instrument.
All of them have fully multi-coated lenses to increase light transmission with multiple anti-reflective coatings on all air-to-glass surfaces, but the type of coatings are different: The Razor an Viper uses “XR Lens Coatings” which is a anti-reflection coatings that increase light transmission ; all have phase-correction coatings on the prisms, which is necessary in the case of roof prism designs to eliminate color aberrations and to give a sharp and high-contrast image over the full field of view. However, aluminum coating has been used for the reflection of the roof prisms of the Crossfire and Diamondback, improved and more expensive silver in the case of the Fury and Viper and dielectric high-reflective multilayer coatings for the roof prisms of the Razor, being the top-of-the-range by Vortex in the 8×42 class. The result of these coatings is excellent; it causes the prism surfaces to act as a dielectric mirror and boosts the light reflectivity, giving you clearer whites and a sharper, brighter, more natural vision across the entire field of view. However, the process is expensive.
Vortex 8x42 binoculars
|MODEL||Vortex Crossfire 8x42||Vortex Diamondback 8x42||Vortex Fury 8x42||Vortex Viper 8x42||Vortex Razor 8x42|
|LINEAR FOV: ft/1000 YARDS||315||420||357||346.5||409.5|
|EYE RELIEF MM.||19||18||21||20||18|
|CLOSE FOCUS||2 m./6.56 ft.||1.5 m./4.92 ft.||1.6 m./5.25 ft.||1.7 m./5.58 ft.||2.7 m./8.86 ft.|
|OPTICAL COATINGS||fully multi-coated, phase corrected||fully multi-coated, phase corrected||fully multi-coated, phase corrected||fully multi-coated, phase corrected||fully multi-coated, phase corrected|
|WEIGHT||625 gm./22.05 oz.||715 gm./25.22 oz.||755 gm./26.63 oz.||652 gm./23 oz.||833 gm./29.38 oz.|
|GUARANTEE||unlimited, unconditional lifetime||unlimited, unconditional lifetime||unlimited, unconditional lifetime||unlimited, unconditional lifetime||unlimited, unconditional lifetime|
Comparing other features
As seen in the comparative table, the 8×42 Vortex series have above average Field of view with the Diamondback taking the honors with its excellent 8 degrees angular FOV / 420 ft at 1000 yards linear. The 7.8 degrees / 409.5 ft at 1000 yards of the Razor 8×42 is excellent and will hardly be beaten by any other in its price class; as a matter of fact, it’s the best I could find.
The close focus ability of all these Vortex 8×42 binoculars are very good and the Diamondback (1.5 m./4.92 ft.), Fury (1.6 m./5.25 ft.) and Viper (1.7 m./5.58 ft.) are way above the average in their respective price ranges.
With a weight of 625 gm./22.05 oz the Crossfire is the best of the five being reviewed and better than average of all 8×42 binoculars.