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Vortex Optics: Quality, Value & Confidence

Gary Heffey

By Gary Heffley
06/03/15 -- Hunters are clamoring to the license counters putting in for zone draws to the some of the highly sought after areas where trophy deer roam freely. The sight of some of these massive trophy antler spreads can cause even a seasoned hunter to get a case of “buck fever:” But many hunters miss out on the opportunity of even seeing these trophies because of poor optics.

How many times have hunters around the evening campsite lamented over stalking the dreaded stump buck? After glassing over a canyon and spotting a buck bedded under a shaded tree, the stalk is on. An hour is spent quietly getting into position for the perfect shot only to find that on closer inspection what appeared at distance to be a buck was in reality a stump with some very convincing branches sticking upward.

As an optics retailer I constantly have customers looking to upgrade from an old set after their hunting companion pointed out animals they had no idea were even in the area. The quality of lenses of their optics just would not pick out clearly what was there.

Many hunters consider that they are priced out of the range for high quality optics and have to compromise and make do with lesser quality. That is not necessarily the case. In Vortex Optics there are quality and value matches that can fit most any hunter’s budget. Selecting the right optic then becomes a realization of many considered factors that have varying importance according to the individual.

Vortex 10 x 42 Razor bino

« 10 x 42 Razor bino
Vortex not only offers a range of high quality optics at price points to meet any budget and they offer the best warranty in the business to give customers the confidence to go out and use them in the field. Educating the customers on the benefits and options offered at each price point will assist in having the customer find the perfect match for their situation as well as pocketbook. The Vortex VIP warranty is an unconditional life-time warranty on rifle scopes, spotting scopes and binoculars. So if you drop them, or suffer from the unforgiving outdoor jinxes known as “Murphy’s Law” or **** happens, you are covered. As long as the optic is not lost, stolen or deliberately destroyed you are covered. Vortex also offers a conditional limited lifetime warranty on their Ranger 1000 range finder. Most other manufactures of range finders offer only a one to two year limited warranty.

Vortex 000 Ranger Range Finder

« 1000 Ranger Range Finder
As with all Vortex products there is quality and upgrades with the Ranger 1000 range finder that show great value at retail...The range finder comes equipped with a red reticule that makes the angle compensated measurement, a true distance shooting measurement very easy to read. The range finder is compact, easy to use and with a 6X magnification very easy to locate your target.

While Vortex offers a wide selection of optic lines that extend to binoculars, spotting scopes and rifle scopes, I find that three best exemplify the qualities and values at price point; the Diamondback¸ Viper and Razor lines all offer unique qualities that set them apart from others in the industry. Keep in mind that all three are covered by the V.I.P warranty and are internally for proof and waterproof. Remember that to offer this all encompassing type of warranty these models are built strong and built to withstand the rigors of the hunt.

The Diamondback line offers a very clear crisp viewing experience for those looking for a great quality at value. The 10 X 42 binocular is the most popular base lens binocular that we offer at retail and I’m being conservative in saying that we sell close to as many in this one unit as we do in all other like 10 X 42 models from other manufacturers combined.

Vortex 10X 42 Diamondback bino

« 10X 42 Diamondback bino
These are great lenses for “fair weather” viewing. The price tag range of the low to mid two hundred dollars will fit the binocular budget of most.

For hunters shopping on a budget I always recommend finding the best option for your budget and yes, it pays dividends at time to stretch that budget for quality. One way that consumers can maximize the viewing experience within the Diamondback line is to consider larger lenses.

The acquisition of light into the optic lenses is a key for viewing clarity and brightness. The size of the objective lens while not only altering the field of view in relationship to the magnification also controls how much light enters the lens. Simple logic applies that the larger the objective lens the more light that is acquired. So while the 10 X42 model binocular is our most popular, the 10 X 50 model while a little larger will draw more light into the lens. The principle remains the same in rifle and spotting scopes.

The Viper line is a personal favorite of mind and while out of some individuals’ budget with binoculars starting at about six hundred dollars; I find these to offer exceptional quality at value. The Viper line offers enhanced HD lenses. There are layered multi-coatings applied to the lenses which are designed to pull available light into the lens. Recall the lament of stalking the infamous “stump buck”¸with the Viper lenses this is a thing of the past. When looking into shadowed areas, in early morning or late afternoon low light conditions these lenses will offer the viewing details needed for a successful hunt.

I am asked often if the upgrade from the Diamondback line is worth the difference. My stock answer is that I own Viper binoculars and spotting scopes personally and for my needs these are the perfect fit for me offering me the best in quality bang for my dollar. In my mind for a hunter being able to see clearly in all light conditions is an imperative component to a successful hunt.

Vortex 11-33 X 50 Razor spotting scope

« 11-33 X 50 Razor spotting scope
The Razor line goes one step further in HD quality and yes, the prices about double in many cases from the same respective models of the Viper line. The bottom line is that there is a level of crispness above that of the Viper and the increased edge- to edge clarity that many compare favorably to the lens quality found in much more expensive European manufacturers. Another big difference offered in the Razor line is that the optic tubes are made of magnesium as opposed to the coated aluminum found in the other Vortex lines.

One of my favorite spotting scope options is in the Razor 11-33 X 50 in either the angled or straight lens model. At just 25 ounces this is the perfect scope for pack-in or hike-in hunters where weight demands are such that every ounce counts.

A great feature found in all other angled spotting scopes excluding the aforementioned 11-33X50 is that the optic lens can be turned so that a phone adapter can be utilized making the phone a viewing screen. This is particularly advantageous when using the scope at the shooting range to sight in rifles.

Remember that when using a phone camera adapter through the spotting scope that the zoom available in the camera phone will also work to add greater magnification if needed.

Vortex 20 X 56 Kaibab bino

« 20 X 56 Kaibab bino
The binoculars also offer some very nice features such as the comfortable adjustable eye caps and easy to use dioptic focus adjustment that greatly enhances the quality and clarity of viewed objects. As viewing with larger objective lenses can be a stability issue for many users the Vortex binoculars have the ability to be mounted easily on to a tripod. This is especially needed with the Kaibab HD 15 X 56 and 20 X 56 models favored by big-game hunters who spend hours scanning across canyons and ridgelines. These models maybe okay to spot with but are too heavy for even the strongest hunter to scan with freehand all day. Many users find anything 50mm or over to be an issue for long term scanning.

There is a Vortex rifle scope to fit almost any caliber and shooting demands including tactical applications. And Vortex offers a full line of accessories including red-dot sights, tripods and lens care supplies. Most of these are available at outlets carrying Vortex at retail. Vortex also offers a great selection of hats and apparel that is being seen more and more on the street and in the field. Visit vortexoptics.com to see a full selection of the apparel available as well as to review the specs on the full range of optics available.

As mentioned many times the Vortex VIP warranty is just part of the quality, value and confidence formula that sets Vortex apart from others. From personal experiences of requesting a missing screw on a display binocular and in asking clarification questions for customers I would rate Vortex as one of the best to deal. For one they answer their own phone and in English. I have placed calls to other manufactures and have gone through the press 1 for English and press this for that and so on only to leave a message that never gets returned. Not only is it frustrating for a retailer it is very bad form when dealing with the consumers. After I called regarding the missing screw I had the screw in-hand within 3 days. With the no fault unlimited warranty any issue is handled promptly by following any instructions given by Vortex.

Vortex Viper HD-15-45-65 Spotting Scope

« Viper HD-15-45-65 Spotting Scope
Selecting optics is a simple task for some as they just want the best. For many others there is a balance that is reached by figuring out the quality requirements needed within the budget allowed. Vortex can offer models at all levels of the spectrum and in them can supply the customer with a great viewing experience that they can enjoy with a lifetime of confidence.

Remember that when using a phone camera adapter through the spotting scope that the zoom available in the camera phone will also work to add greater magnification if needed.

The binoculars also offer some very nice features such as the comfortable adjustable eye caps and easy to use dioptic focus adjustment that greatly enhances the quality and clarity of viewed objects. As viewing with larger objective lenses can be a stability issue for many users the Vortex binoculars have the ability to be mounted easily on to a tripod. This is especially needed with the Kaibab HD 15 X 56 and 20 X 56 models favored by big-game hunters who spend hours scanning across canyons and ridgelines. These models maybe okay to spot with but are too heavy for even the strongest hunter to scan with freehand all day. Many users find anything 50mm or over to be an issue for long term scanning.

There is a Vortex rifle scope to fit almost any caliber and shooting demands including tactical applications. And Vortex offers a full line of accessories including red-dot sights, tripods and lens care supplies. Most of these are available at outlets carrying Vortex at retail. Vortex also offers a great selection of hats and apparel that is being seen more and more on the street and in the field. Visit vortexoptics.com to see a full selection of the apparel available as well as to review the specs on the full range of optics available.

As mentioned many times the Vortex VIP warranty is just part of the quality, value and confidence formula that sets Vortex apart from others. From personal experiences of requesting a missing screw on a display binocular and in asking clarification questions for customers I would rate Vortex as one of the best to deal. For one they answer their own phone and in English. I have placed calls to other manufactures and have gone through the press 1 for English and press this for that and so on only to leave a message that never gets returned. Not only is it frustrating for a retailer it is very bad form when dealing with the consumers. After I called regarding the missing screw I had the screw in-hand within 3 days. With the no fault unlimited warranty any issue is handled promptly by following any instructions given by Vortex.

Selecting optics is a simple task for some as they just want the best. For many others there is a balance that is reached by figuring out the quality requirements needed within the budget allowed. Vortex can offer models at all levels of the spectrum and in them can supply the customer with a great viewing experience that they can enjoy with a lifetime of confidence.

Gary Heffley has been a valued contributor to MyOutdoorBuddy for over seven years serving as manager, sales representative and reporter for much of Northern California. He is an avid outdoorsman and loves to fish and write about his adventures. He has long history in the Sporting Goods field and is presently managing the Gift Bar and Camping Department at Sportsman’s Warehouse in Redding.

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