Mid-priced Binoculars Review
Vortex Viper HD
by Michael and Diane Porter
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Michael and Diane Porter wrote the following article, which also appears in the January, 2012, Bird Watcher's Digest.
This review of the Vortex Viper HD is part of that review.
Vortex Viper HD 8x42
Overall Score: 4.95 (0ut of possible 5.0)
The Viper tied for top place with the Vanguard Endeavor for best resolution score and came in second overall.
The Viper got a perfect score on fit-and-feel. Its overall score was lower than the Vanguard’s only because the Viper’s diopter adjustment doesn’t have a scale.
The main difference between the two models is that the Viper is the smaller, more compact solid-bridge design, and the Vanguard is the longer, single-hand-grip, open-bridge design.
At 5.1 feet, the Viper’s close focus beats the Vanguard, and the binocular is a little lighter weight and more compact. It also has slightly longer eye relief.
The focus knob is pleasure to use: grippy, smooth turning, with just the right degree of easy resistance, and perfectly free from slack. It takes 1 ¾ turns to go from lock to lock, with the first ½ turn used to traverse from the minimum focus of 5.1 feet to 8 feet.
Pro: Excellent optical quality and ergonomics; 20mm eye relief; 5.1 foot minimum focusing distance. Manufacturer’s unlimited lifetime warranty is unsurpassed: Vortex promises to repair or replace accidentally damaged Viper binoculars at no charge, and the warranty is transferable.
Con: No diopter scale.
NEXT: Zen-Ray Zen ED3