As we all know, there are tradeoffs for everything. In the world of optics this seems to be more prevalent than anywhere else. Do you want smaller and lighter or do you want more power and light-gathering ability but heavier (in some cases much heaver) with the ability to see farther distances and better twilight performance? We all must balance these decisions among others, against the fulcrum of our individual experience.
That’s not to say there are not optics available in the middle ground, in fact there are a lot, but again we are looking at different tradeoffs. Let’s take a look at some solid choices from Vortex on both ends of the spectrum.
Vortex Razor HD Spotters
Vortex has definitely kicked things up a notch with their Razor HD line. These Razor HD spotters have grown in popularity and it is easy to see why.
When testing spotting scopes and binoculars the first thing I examine is the eyepiece. I look at toughness, smoothness of the zoom or diopter adjustment, eye relief adjustment, comfort against the eye and ease of use.
One of the outstanding features of the 65mm scope is the fluid eyepiece motion. Zoom adjustment and eye relief adjustment were smooth as silk without being too easy to move out of the desired positions.
The Vortex Razor HD has hybrid armor that resembles a pickup truck bed liner, giving it extra protection from scratches, impact and dirt.
The high performance of this mid-range scope is due in part to the multiple lens coatings, including the XRPlus lens coating and dielectric prism coating. These coatings on the HD glass allowed the scope to perform very well into the low-light hours. In addition, the ArmorTek protective lens coating resists scratches and abrasion, further protecting your investment.
While similar in exterior appearance to traditional spotting scope housings, the Razor HD 65 is less than half the price and is a real value for a mid-range scope. Another part of the Razor HD line is the diminutive, though not in performance, Razor HD 11-33×50, weighing in at 1 lb. 8 oz. It’s arguably one of the best compact backcountry spotting scopes we’ve seen. It has all the bases covered in a convenient package that fits into any backpack. Offered in both straight and angled, this scope can meet the needs of any of hunter.
With a magnification range of 11-33 power, this little scope is more than able to pick apart high-country basins or expansive sage flats. Also, with a 50mm objective lens, gathering light during that last few minutes, though not as ideal as the 65mm, is more than adequate for most glassing applications. There’s that tradeoff again.
So what’s it going to be? I guess it all depends on what type of hunter you are. The minimalist backcountry guys will most certainly lean towards the smaller HD and those that aren’t will enjoy the bigger glass. Either way, you can’t go wrong with the premium HD line from Vortex, no matter what your game.