Monday, March 29, 2010

Vortex Razor binocular

From Suzanne in New York:

There is very little in the way of negative to say about these binocs, and much positive to say. Beautiful, bright, sharp image with a very wide field of view (410 feet!) and great low light capabilities. Very comfortable to hold, not too heavy, and smoothly working center focus wheel. Eyecups, with detentes, are very functional and stay in place, and Vortex supplies a pair of flared ones if you prefer those. The eye relief with glasses seems quite adequate and there is virtually no loss of field width. Objective lens covers soft rubber are attached and go on and off easily and stay firmly on. Ocular covers are very functional, providing good protection but easy to get on and off. Finally, the Vortex lifetime, no questions asked, warranty is a big plus.

The only negative I have found is there is a little chromatic aberration beginning about halfway out from the center of the field. But, and this is a big but, it is only really noticeable in certain high contrast situations, such as the corner of a white wall against a darkish background, or a dark tree trunk against bright snow. It is really nonexistent in the center 50% of the field even in those situations, so it is not really a distraction when looking at a bird or any other object you are centering on. Also, especially in birdwatching, those particular high contrast situations are not that common, so it is rare that one will even notice this effect at all. For instance, you will not see any of this through the entire field in a typical situation when scanning bushes for a bird. All in all, it is a small factor when considering the many positive features and impressive optics of the Razors and the way they stack up so well to instruments costing two or three times as much.

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