Binocular Review: Vortex Razor HD 10x42mm

Razor HD BinocularsVortex makes many popular sporting optics, and it shouldn’t be a surprise that their Razor HD 10×42 binoculars are a favorite for those with a budget around $1k. They are high-quality, lightweight binoculars with a crisp, bright image, and come with a VIP unconditional lifetime warranty. Read on to learn the specifics of these binoculars and prepare to be impressed!

Outer design:

Made in Japan, these binoculars have a true open-hinge design. This means that unlike open-hinge binoculars that have two connecting bridges that are very thin, the Vortex Razor HD 10×42 binoculars have just one thicker connecting bridge. However, this bridge connector is still much thinner than the bridge on standard roof prism binoculars, leaving more of the barrels exposed. This gives the extra security needed for one-handed holding.


The magnesium chassis on these binoculars is much more durable and solid than the usual aluminum chassis, while the thin, dark green rubber covering will protect your binoculars from most minor impacts. The magnesium and rubber are both non-reflective, making them great for observing timid wildlife. The rubber has a sandpaper grit that is not as tactile as some binoculars’ covering, but is still non-slip, and the magnesium has a rough texture that is also non-slip. The parts of the binoculars not covered by the rubber are the bridge, a small inset on the inside of each barrel, and about one-third of the end of the barrels. While this helps lessen the load, if something metallic (such as a ring or keys) strikes the binoculars, it will make a ringing noise that may scare off some animals.

Under each barrel is a thumb indent, which encourages you to hold the binoculars in the proper position. If held in this fashion, the binoculars are well-balanced, which makes for a stiller, clearer image that is less strenuous on the eyes.

Objective Lens

The optical lens, which is a large 42 millimeters in diameter, is set about eight millimeters deep into the barrels. This helps prevent damage to the objective lenses when the lens caps are removed.


At 1.55 pounds, these binoculars are very lightweight, but remain solidly built and durable thanks to the magnesium chassis mentioned earlier.

Tripod Mounting

These binoculars are compatible with a tripod adaptor with one-fourth inch threading, allowing use on a tripod or car window mount. However, the adaptor is sold separately.

Twist-up eyecups

Made of metal and rubber, the eyecups are durable but comfortable. Forty millimeters in diameter, the eyecup is quite large, making fitting it on your eye sockets quite comfortable. In addition, the helicode mechanism of the eye cup is simple and very smooth to operate.

Eye Relief

The eye relief is a big plus for eye glass wearers at 17.5 millimeters.


The focus Wheel diameter is thirteen millimeters, about standard for full-size binoculars. It has good resistance without being too loose and causing over-rotation. There is a decent reach distance, allowing you to turn the focus wheel while holding the binoculars in the standard position. (Based on an average man’s hand) The wheel is nicely grooved, protrudes from the binoculars a good distance, and is fairly large. This makes turning it easy even with thick gloves, such as you would wear in winter.

Diopter Adjustment

As you can with most good binoculars, you can focus one barrel separately from the other to compensate for differences in your eyes. On these binoculars, the diopter adjustment is located on the right side between the eye cup and the chassis. The nice thing about this adjustment wheel is that you can lock your setting in place, since you have to click the wheel toward the eye cup before turning it. Finally, unlike most diopter wheels, which are made of plastic, this wheel is metal with fine grooves cut into it.


The Vortex Razor HD 10×42 binoculars are all-weather binoculars, being one-hundred percent air and water proof. This also prevents any dust or debris from entering the system. The interior is “argon purged,” which means all the air has been removed and replaced with argon, preventing fogging. As these binoculars are moisture-free, they won’t corrode, extending their life dramatically.


Apochromatic (APO) Optical System

When light travels through a single simple lens, the distance at which each wavelength comes into perfect focus varies, causing chromatic and spherical aberrations. This results in you seeing soft images and color fringing along the edges of high-contrast images. To minimize chromatic and spherical aberrations, designers of binoculars have created compound lenses, which are a combination of several simple lenses of varying optical properties and focal lengths. The most common type of compound lens is the achromatic lens, which can bring into focus two wavelengths, usually red and blue. However, these binoculars have an apochromatic lens, which means it has three elements and, because it brings the light of three frequencies together to a common focus, it corrects chromatic and spherical aberrations better. The drawback of apochromatic lenses, though, is their weight. The Vortex Razor HD binoculars, however, balance the weight of an apochromatic lens with a magnesium chassis, making the binoculars actually lighter than many binoculars on the market.

ED and HD glass

ED (extra-low density) glass is used in the design of these binoculars’ lens because it has the potential to improve image sharpness and reduce color fringing. HD (high density) glass is also used in the design of the apochromatic lens, since it is easier to manipulate and thus they are able to better focus the wavelengths to improve the color fidelity and resolution of the image even more.

Lens Coatings

More than one layer of Vortex’s proprietary XR anti-reflective lens coating has been added to each lens surface that is open to the air. This greatly increases light transmittance, which results in a much brighter image. This is very important when the ambient light is not so great, as in dense woods or at dawn or dusk.

Vortex has also added Armor Tech coating to the exterior lenses. This very hard coating resists scratches and repels dirt, making the lenses less likely to need cleaning and much easier to clean when they do need it.

Roof Prism and Coatings

While Vortex does not say what kind of prisms they use, the best guess from the quality of other parts of the binoculars is that they are using a good quality BAK-4 glass.

The first coating on the prisms is a phase correction coating. This is needed because roof prisms cause “phase shift,” which leads to a reduction in sharpness. Phase correction coating helps by preserving light in the right color phases. Thus, you get a better contrasting image with color enhancement and sharper resolution.

The next coating is the dielectric multi-layer Prism Coating. What is this and why is it needed, you might ask. The downside to roof prisms is that the first prism in the system has one surface without total internal reflection, causing the loss of some light. It is very important, then, to raise the reflectiveness of this surface. To do this, Vortex has added multiple layers of Dielectric coatings. This creates a Dielectric mirror, which is able to transmit 99% of light, creating a sharper, clearer image.

Optical Performance

Field of View (FOV)

The width of the image you can see at 1000 yards is 362 feet or 6.9 degrees. This is certainly above average and very nice, but it’s not top-notch performance.

Near Focus

The closest distance at which you can focus these Vortex Razor HD 10×42 binoculars is six feet, an excellent distance for full-sized binoculars. This near focus is great for observing butterflies and birds that land nearby, as well as other close objects.

Quality of Image

Compared to other binoculars of similar design, the Vortex Razor HD 10×42 binoculars have a higher level of brightness when the level of ambient light is low. Not much of a difference can be seen when the light is strong, however. This high light transmittance is very important for observing wildlife in dense woods or forests and when the sun is low on the horizon.

Image Contrast and Color Reproduction

When focused properly as you should expect, the image is very sharp. In fact, if you could zoom your naked eyes in, it would look like the image in these binoculars. The color hues are natural, not like the false hues of some inferior binoculars.

Chromatic Aberrations

When viewing light or white images in front of dark backgrounds, which is where color fringing is easiest to spot, there is no apparent fringing. This is where the apochromatic lens and ED glass really shine, as other binoculars without ED glass and with an achromatic lens have a lot of color fringing

Image Softening

On poor quality binoculars, the edges of the viewed image are often softened quite a bit. With these Vortex Razor HD 10×42 binoculars, you don’t get that image softness nearly as much. In fact, it is so minimal that you must really look to see any softening around the edges. This sharpness of image makes the binoculars an excellent device.

Overall, the image is one of the best ones seen on a pair of binoculars of this type. It is crisp and clear, bright and with natural color hues, as well as being without chromatic aberrations or image softness. You’re sure to love the image seen through these binoculars!

In the Box

A few other things come with the Vortex Razor HD 10×42 binoculars: a Rain guard, Tethered Objective Lens Covers, a Comfort Neck Strap, and a Deluxe Padded Carry Case.

Rain guard

The eyepiece cover, or rain guard, fits perfectly over the eyepiece, allowing for no accidental removal. It also has a flexible connector that flexes or compresses according to your interpupilary setting.

Objective Lens Covers

The caps for the objective lenses fit well and so should not fall off accidentally. However, should they fall off, they are tethered to the barrels by a rubber loop which also keeps them out of the way when you are using the binoculars. If you don’t like them dangling down, you can also detach the objective lens covers and stow them away somewhere safe like the carry case.

Neck Strap

These binoculars come with a very comfortable padded neck strap that is also shaped to fit better around your neck and shoulders. Vortex also connected the neck strap to the nylon strap with loop connectors, allowing the neck part of the strap to remain undisturbed when you lift the binoculars to your eyes.

Carrying Case

The carrying case for these binoculars is fairly well-padded, and the binoculars fit snugly without being too tight for easy access. Accessing the binoculars in their case is easy with a quick-release buckle and strap. There is also a mesh pocket on the inside of the lid for storing a few personal possessions such as an ID, a hunting license, and/or a lens cleaning cloth.

There is a separate unpadded neck strap that comes with the carrying case, but it can be attached or removed. If removed, the padded neck strap of the binoculars can be threaded through to be used instead. You can also carry the binoculars on your belt via a few loops on the back of the case.

While not as luxurious as some binocular cases, this carrying case does the job and has easy access to the binoculars.

The overall performance of these binoculars is exceptional. They have a crisp and clear image, are easy to focus and adjust, and have some extra details that add up to greatness, such as the neck strap’s comfortability and the tripod or car window mount possibility.

Zeiss Terra Series Binoculars Overview and Reviews

Zeiss TerraFor the outdoor enthusiast, nothing enhances the experience quite like an amazing pair of binoculars. If you’re looking for the best of the best, look no further than Zeiss. Zeiss has always been at the top of the list as far as quality is concerned. Nobody in the industry thought a quality, but also affordable binocular was possible, but Zeiss was determined to prove them wrong. Thus, the Terra ED was born. The Zeiss Terra ED binoculars are the ideal companion for any outdoor activity in any conditions.

These binoculars have a waterproof casing and will do its job even under the toughest of conditions. The ED in the Terra ED stands for Extra-low Dispersion: meaning a more high-end glass used in the binoculars that disperse the light wavelengths passing through the glass with more ease and at a better quality. The ED glass gives a sharp distinction between colors and significantly reduces chromatic aberration, which is the inability to bring different wavelengths of light into focus. Using ED glass in their binoculars, Zeiss guarantees a sharper image quality to the outdoor aficionado.

They are compact and light, easily fitting into one’s pockets. To make these binoculars lightweight without sacrificing sturdiness, Zeiss uses a glass-reinforced polyamide, meaning they can be lightweight, but also durable. To paint a better picture, natural polyamides include: silk and wool. Because of the use of this polyamide, owners can enjoy a long-lasting viewing experience without suffering any fatigue in their hands or arms.

Their optical specifications are better than most other binoculars. Because of optical precision and a hydrophobic multi-coating, these binoculars have a very versatile use and are a good instrument for any adventure around the globe. With just an easy flick of your index finger to focus, you’ll never miss a second with a smooth, fast focus. Zeiss guarantees great images with conventional colors. Depending on the model, the minimum object distance is 1.5m or 1.9m, making it able for you to observe objects up close precisely and impressively.

There are currently six Zeiss Terra ED models:

Terra ED Pocket 8×25:

These binoculars have an operating temperature range of -20 degrees to 63 degrees Celsius. They feature an 8x magnification and are also waterproof. The pocket 8×25 has a low weight of 310g and a wonderful folding design, making it extremely compact and easy to transport. They are available solely in “grey-black” and are best suited for travelling and general outdoor activities.

Terra ED Pocket 10×25:

This model is also waterproof, weighs 310g, and has a temperature range of -20 degrees to 63 degrees Celsius. They are also available solely in “grey-black” and are best suited for travelling and general outdoor activities. This model, however, features a 10x magnification.

Terra ED 8×32:

These binoculars are available solely in “cool grey” and have a compact size, weighing in at just 510g. They guarantee sharp images even when a subject moves quickly because of the precise focus mechanism. They fit well in your hand and feature an 8x magnification. The temperature range is -15 degrees to 60 degrees Celsius, and is also waterproof. These binoculars are best for nature observing and outdoor activities.

Terra ED 10×32:

You’ll get a 10x magnification, even in the smallest of details with this model. Much like the Terra ED 8×32, these binoculars have a low weight of 510g and a compact design, making it easy to fit in your hands. They are waterproof and have an accurate temperature range of -15 degrees to 60 degrees Celsius. Available solely in “cool grey”, they are best for nature observation and outdoor activities.

Terra ED 8×42:

This model and the Terra ED 10×42 are the heaviest of the bunch, weighing in at 695g. Even though it’s the heaviest of all the models, it is an all-around performer and still light and compact enough to travel anywhere with you. These binoculars feature an 8x magnification, are waterproof and have a working temperature range of -15 degrees to 60 degrees Celsius. This pair is virtually indestructible and has an attractive design, available in “deep blue”, “black” and “cool grey”. This model is best used for hunting, nature observation, and any outdoor activity.

Terra ED 10×42:

Much like the Terra ED 8×42, these binoculars weigh 695g, are waterproof and have a temperature range of -15 degrees to 60 degrees Celsius. They are available in “deep blue”, “black” and “cool grey”. This pair has an increased magnification of 10x, however. You’ll experience an extremely clear picture quality with its superior observation capability over long distances. These binoculars are best for hunting, nature observation and any outdoor activity.

If you’re looking for great quality binoculars at a price you can afford, look no further than the Zeiss Terra ED models. Sure to please, these binoculars will give you picture-perfect quality with a durability you can’t beat. Zeiss has delivered yet again with this amazing product, making the perfect outdoor device for any interest.

Critical Review: Bushnell Legend Ultra HD L Series Binoculars

Bushnell is the leader in sports optics categories, and is continuously exploring new technologies to maintain their dominant market share. The Bushnell Legend Ultra HD L Series binocular is where quality and style meets function and performance. The latest generation of Bushnell binocular incorporates many outstanding and unmatched features of today’s technology. You will definitely be the envy of your group with this industry leader. Let’s review some features of the L Series Legends.

The rugged construction of the L Series Legends contains precise mechanical details. An improved eyecup design combined with tethered objective lens covers assures accommodation for a diverse range of users. From the sports enthusiast to the tactical hunter, convenience and precision will be increased with the use of the fine click adjustments on the diopter rings.

The image you will view through the finest glass available will be stunningly sharp and bright. You can feel good about aiding in the preservation of the great outdoors knowing this binocular uses only lead free glass with fully multi-coated optics. Even in significantly poor conditions, Bushnell’s hydrophobic lens coating provides a clear view. Waterproof and fogproof, all Legends series sport a magnesium chassis which is lightweight yet extremely strong and also corrosion-resistant. This stylish binocular is available in tactical black or outdoor real tree finish.

In addition to these outstanding features, the L Series Legends goes above and beyond to provide higher color quality and a more detailed resolution. The addition of high density ED Prime Glass delivers amazing color resolution and high contrast while virtually eliminating color-fringing and chromatic aberration, or the distortion of color. The ED Prime Extra-Low Dispersion fluorite glass enhances the best possible details, even in very low light conditions.

The diopter adjustment allows you to customize the viewfinder so that you can see a clear and focused image. On the L Series Legends, the diopter adjustment is lockable, further enhancing the ergonomics of this binocular. Also, this L Series Legend utilizes an anti-reflection coating process specially customized for each lens element in the optical path. Light maximization, transmission, and optimal brightness are the benefits of this process. The large center focus wheel enables ease of use and adjustment even when wearing gloves.

Yet another benefit of these binoculars gives you a bright, clear view by repelling water due to condensation, rain, sleet, snow and general moisture. The lenses warrant complete moisture protection due to the O-ring seals. Just like a fresh wax job on your car, water will bead up on this patented, water-repellent permanent rain-guard coating. The purging of dry nitrogen removes all internal moisture and makes this binocular fogproof. Bushnell’s patented Rainguard assures you will have the clearest view possible even in troubled weather due to the HD lens coating. The comfortable eyecups easily adjust up to accommodate those without eyeglasses, or down for those without.

The L Series Legends contains Bak4 prisms, which is the name given in association with a well-known German optical glass manufacturer. Bak4 is used in most high-end optics due to its higher refractive index. This simply means that more light will pass through the prisms into the eyepieces. The middle of the field of view will be brighter but the edges of the field will not be diminished.

These Bushnell binoculars contain two strap lugs for an easy neck strap connection which contains a strap buckle that is adjustable to your preference. Always check the tightness and security of the strap before each use. Your new Bushnell L Series is designed to attach to a compatible binocular tripod adapter accessory. The Bushnell model 161001CM is one such adapter which will keep your binocular level and horizontal for stable and prolonged viewing.

Included with your binocular is a premium carry case, neck strap, enhanced objective covers, and lens cloth. The magnification is 10 x 42 MM. The field of view is 340 feet at 1000 yards, or 113 meters at 1000 meters. These lightweight binoculars weigh 23.5 ounces or 666 grams and measures 5.5 inches in length.

Bushnell has been the industry leader in excess of 65 years for high-performance optics, and is proud to offer a guarantee to ensure your complete satisfaction with a no questions asked lifetime warranty. Your product will be repaired or replaced and shipped back to you free of charge. A registration or warranty card is not even required for this warranty. Additionally, the warranty is transferable. Whether you use your Bushnell binocular for hunting, tactical, sporting, wildlife watching or just everyday spectating, Bushnell has you covered.

Your Bushnell binocular will provide many years of service providing you care for the equipment as you should for any quality device. Store the binocular in a cool, dry place, remove any debris, clean with a soft microfiber cloth and avoid or harsh chemicals. For quality of light, smoothness of focus, proper field curvature, mechanical quality, low edge distortion, crispness of focus, proper spherical and chromatic aberration, eyepiece quality, with the best size and fully illuminated field of view, Bushnell L Series Legends should be your ultimate choice in quality binoculars.

Bushnell Legend Ultra HD M Series Binoculars Critical Review

Binoculars are a great source of entertainment for anyone who likes to sightsee or bird watch. If you climb a mountain you can see further into the valley by looking through a good pair of binoculars. If you are bird watching, you will most likely need a pair to help you spot the bird that you hear. The Bushnell Legend Ultra HD M Series Binoculars are a great option for anyone who is looking for a full-feature observation experience. Let’s take a look at what makes it stand out from the rest.

Durable Build

This pair of binoculars is lightweight, which makes is very convenient to carry around when you are trekking through the forest. In fact, it only weighs in at about 26.5 ounces. It is also a compact unit that is easy to pack in your backpack until you reach your destination, as it is only 6.5 inches in length. It is constructed with a magnesium alloy chassis that is designed to be resistant to rust and corrosion, which means that if you get caught in a rain storm, the binoculars will not be damaged.

These binoculars feature an open bridge design that is perfect for storing your device in a compact manner. It also makes the unit easier to hold for extended periods of time. The exterior of the Legend M Series is also coated with a convenient non-slip coating to allow you to keep a firm grip on the device. If it does happen to make contact with the ground, the rubber exterior is designed to protect the device against impact damage.

The RainGuard HD lenses are coated with a repellent that is designed to bead water and moisture that finds itself in your viewing area. That means that it will also repel oils from your skin in the event that you accidently touch a lens. In addition to being water resistant, each lens is filled with nitrogen to make it fog proof as well. No matter what adverse weather conditions you run into, the image through these binoculars will still be crystal clear.

Optical Performance

This pair of binoculars features 42 millimeter objective lenses that offer a ten times magnification level that will help you zoom in on your target. The BAK4 roof prism system utilizes a highly reflective coating that is designed to enhance the overall quality of the image by enhancing the contrast and brightness levels that are available to you. In addition, to help create the best resolution, the fluorite glass of the lenses is designed with extra low dispersion to create a clear image.

The lens is also anti-reflective, so if you are looking into the morning sun to spot a bird, you will still be able to see clearly through the binoculars. It also helps to ensure that the color of the bird you see is the same through the lenses as it would be if it were spotted with the naked eye.

The Bushnell Legend M Series features a wide field of view to help you see more at once. In fact, you can see a 340 foot range at a distance of 1,000 yards. That means that you will have a 65 degree angle of view that will help to give you a fully immersive observing experience, which is a pretty large viewing area, especially when compared to some similar binoculars that are sold in the same price range.

Insofar as eye relief is concerned, this device has quite a long one; in fact, it is 22 millimeters long. That gives you more than enough room to comfortably wear glasses and still see clearly through the lens. In addition, the diameter of the exit pupil is 4.2 millimeters, which is a pretty decent size. That large exit pupil allows more light to enter the viewing area, which bathes the image in a beam of light that enhances the quality of what you are looking at.

Not everyone has the same eye shape, so the eye cups can be adjusted to give you a comfortable fit. Simply twist them to the desired level and click them into place for comfortable viewing. In addition, the diopter is designed with an easy to use thumb adjustment tab so that you can make minor changes while you are viewing.

Focusing quickly is imperative if you are going to catch a glimpse of the bird you just heard. To make this easier, a large focus wheel is located in the center of the device that is easy to maneuver with gloves on, and all of the focusing aspects of the Legend M Series can be locked in place to avoid accidental adjustments from occurring.

Additional Features

There is a tripod adaptor available for this unit if you prefer. Lens covers, a neck strap, and a carrying case are all included with the packaging to help prevent damage as well as a microfiber cloth to keep the lenses clean from dust and debris.

If you are looking for a great pair of binoculars that offer a great value to hunters and bird watchers alike, then the Bushnell Legend M Series may be a great option for you.

Zeiss Conquest 10×42 binoculars review

Made in Germany with the top-notch quality of Zeiss, the Conquest 10×42 binoculars are the best of the entry-level premium binoculars on the market. They are made using only the very best of construction materials and carry Zeiss’ reputation for long-term use, durability, and reliability. Should they ever break or need replacement, however, they are backed by a lifetime, transferable limited warranty and a five-year non-transferable repair policy that allows the owner to send the binoculars back for repair or replacement without service charge for the first five years after they register within sixty days of purchase. With the binoculars comes a premium carrying case with comfortable neck strap, lens covers, and a lens cleaning cloth. Many people have said that the lens covers don’t stay on very well, however if adjusted on the lenses properly, they stay put.


The chassis of the Conquest binoculars is aluminum, which is lightweight and sturdy. It also resists corrosion. Over the aluminum is rubber armor with a soft, non-slip grip that is sure to please. The rubber also provides a non-reflective surface that is great for observing timid animals in their natural setting.

Tripod Mounting

The ability to mount these binoculars on a tripod is a major plus, as it allows you to steady the binoculars better than you could with just your hands. However, you have to get a Venofix tripod adaptor, sold separately, in order to mount them.

Twist-up Eye cup and Eye Relief

The rotating and lockable eyecups of these binoculars were designed to be usable by eyeglass-wearers and non-eyeglass-wearers alike. Adjustable according to the desire of the user, they are comfortable on the face, though some say the eyecup is not long enough. Zeiss solved this by offering a longer eyecup to anyone who feels they have a need for it. At 17mm, the eye relief is long enough for any eyeglass-wearer, without being cumbersome for non-eyeglass-wearers.


The focus wheel protrudes naturally from the center of the binoculars and is large enough to easily find without having to look. Good for lefties or righties, the center wheel means you can adjust the focus with either index finger with ease, making zooming out to a more landscape view quick and smooth


Diopter Adjustment

Located by the right eye piece, the diopter adjustment wheel allows you to adjust the individual barrels separate from each other. Unfortunately, the wheel is only wide enough for one finger, so it’s not as easy to turn. Also, it doesn’t lock, meaning a slight bump can mess up your barrels’ focus.


Built for comfortability in the field, the Zeiss Conquest 10×42 binoculars weigh just 1.75 pounds. That’s certainly something you can easily hang around your neck all day while hunting, birdwatching, or doing most any outdoors activity, since it’s hard to imagine any outdoors activity where these binoculars wouldn’t be useful

Weather Proofing

The lenses that are exposed to the air are sealed with O-rings, preventing dirt, debris, and moisture from entering the binoculars. The interior is also nitrogen-purged, preventing fogging.

Optical System

The amazing clarity and sharp image of these binoculars partially derives from the dialect mirror coating. This mirror improves light transmittance and encourages an excellent field-of-view.

ED glass and HD lenses

The extra-low dispersion glasses and high-density lenses enhance resolution, color, and contrast, creating an image that is sharp and precise.

Lens Coatings

The lenses on these binoculars are fully multi-coated for all-weather use. They have a LotuTec water shedding outer coating, as well as being fully armored and waterproof.*means water rolls right off the This means that dirt and smudges are easily removed, and the chance of scratching is greatly reduced.

Roof Prism and Coatings

Zeiss binoculars are made with the very best of BAK-4 prisms.

The first coating on these prisms is a phase correction coating. Necessary because roof prisms cause phase shift, phase correction coating enhances resolution and contrast. This leads to a better, sharper image that is easy to distinguish from non-coated roof prisms.

The second coating, as mentioned earlier, is a dielectric multi-layer Prism Coating. Roof prisms have one side that is does not have total internal reflection, creating a light transmittance problem. Some roof prisms get a metallized mirror surface to help prevent this problem, but the best quality binoculars have a dielectric mirror, as it can transmit 99% of light. This creates a brighter, clearer image.

Field of View (FOV) and Near Focus

A field of view of 354 feet at 1000 yards allows you to get up close and personal with whatever you’re viewing, even if your target is a great distance away! On the other hand, the near focus of these binoculars is a close six and a half feet, creating the perfect image for viewing nearby wildlife, such as insects just a bit over two yards away and deer within hunting range of your tree stand.

Quality of Image

Image Tracking

If wildlife is your target, image tracking is a must-have for you. These binoculars’ sharp image tracking allows you to see an animal as it takes off or blurs past you, without the blur of course. This is especially useful for tracking and watching timid animals.

Image Contrast and Color Reproduction

These binoculars have one of the sharpest image contrasts on the market. They are certainly no exception to the golden rule of Zeiss products. They can pick out distant objects with strong contrast and a clear, precise image. The color reproduction is almost flawless, as well, and this means that from a great distance, you can see what species of bird you are viewing and whether it’s male or female.

Overall, you cannot go wrong with these Conquest 10×42 binoculars from Zeiss. They are a great entry-level premium pair that has all the quality and sharpness of the other Zeiss products. Lightweight and sturdy, they will not break easily, but a limited lifetime transferable warranty is there to back them up in case they do break.

Binoculars Review: Vortex Viper 10x42mm

Vortex ViperFeatures and Benefits of the Vortex Viper 10x42mm Binocular:

  • O-ring sealed: These binoculars are sealed with o-rings, ensuring that no moisture, dust, or debris gets into the housing, disrupting vision from the inside of the lenses. These seals keep the path of vision cleared at all times and allow for users to have these binoculars out even in the rainiest weather conditions.
  • Fog and waterproof: Argon gas purging makes these binoculars resistant to fog and waterproof. This allows users to be able to see clearly without the lenses fogging up in humidity or from body heat.
  • Coated lenses: These lenses are coated for increased light transmission, which allows for clearer vision, color accuracy, and for the lenses to be anti-reflective. Regardless of sun glare, users of these binoculars will see everything clearly and in realistic color. This is especially important for those using this pair of binoculars for pleasure reasons such as hiking or bird watching.
  • High density and extra low dispersion glass: These lenses are constructed with high density and extra low dispersion glass, meaning that all images seen will be high resolution. Users will be able to make out even the smallest details or movements in the distance. This feature benefits users who rely on accuracy and stealth, like hunters.
  • Tethered lens covers: Lens glass can be protected when binoculars are not in use with tethered lens covers. This allows users peace of mind when traveling and needing to transport binoculars in a bag or when leaving binoculars unattended. The lenses themselves are already scratch resistant, but the extra layer of protection is a nice bonus.
  • Lightweight: At only a little over 2 lbs., these binoculars are the lightest full-size pair currently on the market. This makes them easy to transport and wear comfortably around the neck with the included neck strap. It also makes them more comfortable to hold up and use for longer periods of time without arms growing weak or tired.
  • ArmorTeck coating: The exterior lenses on these binoculars are protected with an ArmorTeck coating, which makes them resistant to scratches and oil for clearer vision. This will prevent oily fingerprints from affecting the quality of vision through the lenses.
  • Rubber armor: The body of these binoculars is wrapped in a protective rubber coating. This makes them extremely durable and able to withstand significant shock or impact without any signs of damage. This rubber coating also gives the binoculars a non-slip grip so users are less likely to drop them, even in rainy or slippery conditions.
  • Adjustable eye-cups: The eye-cups on these binoculars are fully adjustable. This makes them comfortable for all users despite anatomy. It also makes use of this product easy for glasses wearers, so they don’t have to impair their own vision before use of this product..
  • Center focus wheel and a locking diopter: This pair of binoculars features an easy to use focus wheel directly in the center of both lenses. This allows for both sides to be focused at the same time. However, if users have different vision in each eye then the lenses can be focused separately, and the difference can be locked in place for their later convenience.
  • Tripod adaptable: These binoculars are tripod adaptable and can also be dashboard-mounted in a vehicle. This allows for convenient hands-free use and the ability to multitask.

Drawbacks of Buying the Vortex Viper 10x42mm Binocular:

Every product on the market right now is going to have drawbacks. As far as the Vortex Binoculars are concerned the benefits far outweigh any negatives and make them more than just a worthwhile purchase.

  • Field of view: These binoculars are high quality in every possible way, but could possibly benefit from a wider field of view. While the one on this pair isn’t at all bad, other pairs on the market have a wider field of view that some users might prefer.

Who Should Buy the Vortex Viper 10x42mm Binocular:

The Vortex Viper Binoculars are among the best currently on the market, and would be a great purchase for anybody that needs a pair. They aren’t overly complicated to adjust and focus, making them easy for people new to binocular use to handle. The adjustable eye-cups allow this pair of binoculars to be used comfortably by people wearing glasses, so vision doesn’t have to be impaired. Additionally, they are lightweight, durable, and high performance, making them the obvious option for users who need a rugged pair of binoculars to take out onto a rougher terrain. They are great for birdwatchers, hikers, hunters, and anybody else who often finds themselves in the great outdoors. No matter what weather conditions a user will find themselves in, they can always rely on these binoculars. They are resistant to even the heaviest rain and can be effective even in low light conditions.

Bushnell Legend Ultra HD E-Series Binocular Review

Do you like to hunt, watch wildlife, or explore the great outdoors? If so, the Bushnell Legend Ultra HD E-Series Binocular was made with you in mind. Designed to help outdoor enthusiasts see the beauty of the world around them, these premium binos are ideal for birdwatching, hunting, traveling, or spending the day trackside and checking out all of the action.

Product Highlights:

The Legend Ultra HD E-Series Binocular features a top-notch rubber-coated magnesium chassis and the premium optics we’ve all come to expect from the Bushnell brand. It’s sleek and fashionable yet rugged and more than capable of providing superior performance in any situation or environment. It is a decent option in the crowded field of binoculars.

  • Fully multi-coated optics
  • Lead-free glass
  • BaK-4 Roof Prisms
  • Water and fog-proof
  • Comfortable and easy to adjust eyecups
  • Open bridge design
  • Extra-wide 340-foot field of view
  • Carrying case, microfiber lens cloth, lens covers, and neck strap included

What Makes them So Special?

The Bushnell Legend Ultra HD E-Series Binocular delivers premium features specifically designed to ruggedly withstand the wear and tear of any outdoorsman. With Bak-4 phase corrected prisms and a fully multi-coated lens system with extra-wide band coatings, it produces extremely bright and crisp images with perfect color rendition. Thanks to its waterproof housing and Bushnell’s proprietary RainGuard HD technology as well, there’s no other bino out there as trail-ready as the Legend E-Series.

Still not convinced? Here’s a closer look at these features and all that the Bushnell Legend Ultra HD E-Series Binocular has to offer:

Waterproof Design

With these Bushnells around your neck, you’ll never be afraid to take your binoculars to the beach, river, or jungle ever again. Like all Bushnell Legends, these binos are O-ring sealed and nitrogen purged for unhindered performance rain, snow, or shine.

RainGuard HD

In addition to its tried and tested waterproof housing, the Legend Ultra HD E-Series also features Bushnell’s patented RainGuard HD water-repellent coating for superior waterproof protection. Unlike other so-called “waterproof” binoculars, the RainGuard HD technology of the Legend Ultra HD E-Series causes the water to bead on the lenses, thus not affecting their sharpness or contrast. This makes the Legend truly unique.

Premium Lead-Free Optics

For ultimate brightness, incredibly sharp viewing, and the truest of colors, every air-to-glass surface of the Bushnell Legend Ultra HD E-Series Binocular features several layers of anti-reflective, ultra-wide band coatings. The result is a fully multi-coated optical system that delivers incredibly bright and sharp high-contrast images. To top it all off, this Bushnell features top-quality phase-coated BaK-4 prisms and lead-free glass lenses as well, making it eco-friendly and even more dynamic.

Durable Rubber-Coated Magnesium Body

As noted above, the rugged Bushnell Legend Ultra HD E-Series Binocular has a noticeably lightweight magnesium chassis in a modern and super tough roof prism design. The impressive chassis is coated in rubber armor, providing you with the protection and comfort you need for regular outdoor use. The rubber-coated bino also features a textured grip and an oversized ridged focus knob, both of which add to its comfort and ease of use.

Comfortable and Easy-to-Adjust Eyecups

Proving they’ve truly thought of everything, the good folks at Bushnell also designed the Legend Ultra HD E-Series with twist-up eyecups that are surprisingly easy to adjust. With an eye relief of 17.2mm, the popular binocular is also very comfortable for your eyes as there’s plenty of room even for those wearing eyeglasses. Of course, there’s an adjustable diopter as well, allowing you to make on the fly vision adjustments for your left or right eye.

Lifetime Warranty

Thanks to Bushnell’s new and unheard of no questions asked lifetime warranty, you have absolutely nothing to worry about when you purchase these amazing binos. Whether they’ve been totally crushed, suffered minor accidental damage, or they’re defective in any way, Bushnell will replace or repair your Legend Ultra HDs for no additional charge. Simply send them your proof of purchase and you’ll have a new or repaired pair of binoculars in no time at all.

Dimensions & Specifications:

  • Weight – 23 ounces
  • 10x magnification
  • Fully multi-coated lenses
  • 42mm lens diameter
  • 17.2mm eye relief
  • 4.2mm exit pupil
  • Lead-free glass
  • BaK-4 roof prisms
  • Eight-foot closed focus
  • Water and fog proof
  • Tripod adapter included

Making the Decision

In an effort to provide you with years of crystal clear nature gazing, Bushnell’s Legend Ultra HD E-Series Binoculars are specifically designed with strength and performance in mind. Whether you like to hike, hunt, birdwatch, or partake in any number of other outdoor activities, these top-of-the-line binoculars won’t let you down.

With strong optics for super bright and clear images, a lightweight rubber-coated magnesium chassis, water and fog proof construction, and comfortable eyecups with plenty of relief, there’s arguably no better binocular on the market today.

So, if you’re a serious outdoor enthusiast in search of the best binocular in the business, look no further than the Bushnell Legend Ultra HD E-Series. Rugged yet refined and designed with performance in mind, these best-in-class binos won’t let you down.

Review of the Upland Optics Perception HD 10x42mm Hunting Binoculars

IMG_1351I’m an avid hunter, so it has always been with that in mind that I’ve judged optics. I look at the incredible clarity and quality of optics put out by Carl Zeiss, Swarovski, and others that cost thousands of dollars and think that I could spot animals from miles away.

But then I remember the time when I was on the hunt with a friend and he accidentally dropped his binoculars, and they tumbled down the mountain through the trees. We never found them, and even if we had they would have been ruined by the brutal impacts they took on their unexpected journey.

Hunting is a rough sport, and your equipment needs to be durable to withstand the journey. At the same time, it can’t be so outrageously expensive that a simple slip ends up costing you more money than a used car. There is a sweet spot where your optics are high quality enough to aid in your hunt, but aren’t so expensive that you’re terrified to carry them in the field. There are a wide variety of brands that could fit this mold (I’ve used Redfield and Leupold in the past, and Bushnell and Vortex are others that come to mind). But none of these companies focus exclusively on hunters. (Some make camouflage versions of their binoculars, but don’t be fooled. This is just a way for them to charge more for the same optics!) That is why I’m so excited about Upland Optics, the new kid on the block that is making optics specifically for hunters.

Their Perception HD 10x42mm binoculars fit the bill of exactly what I want in a pair of hunting binoculars. 10x42mm is my preferred size, it is just powerful enough to use for long range spotting but is compact enough to carry easily around my neck on all day hunts. I was lucky enough to get my pair before they went to market last fall and use them during hunting season, and I was impressed. It probably helped that I shot a decent buck that I spotted with them!

Here is what I like about these binoculars:

  • Clarity and quality of the optics. These things are seriously great, they are definitely on par with or ahead of every pair of binoculars I’ve looked through that cost less than a grand.
  • Feel of the material. The rubber they are coated in just feels awesome, it is very grippy and high quality.
  • The lens covers are built to stay attached to the binoculars. This is such a no brainer, it shocks me that all binoculars aren’t made this way. Particularly when hunting, you don’t want to have to keep track of three or four little pieces of rubber!
  • The build of these binoculars in general feels extremely solid. Much more so than other binoculars in this price range.

And with all that said, here are the things I wasn’t so impressed with:

  • They are slightly heavier than other binoculars this size. Might be because of the solidness of the materials mentioned above. Definite trade off for hunters who pack light.
  • The packaging is cheap. The box it came in is very basic and the instructions are sparse, they certainly didn’t blow me away like other hunting products have.

Bottom line, the Perception HD 10x42s are now my go to pair of binoculars. I’m impressed with Upland Optics and look forward to seeing what else they put out in the coming years!



How to Choose and Buy Binoculars

Binoculars are optical instruments consisting of two small telescopes placed side-by-side. Each of the telescopes consists of lenses that bring the image being observed into excellent focus. In addition to the lenses, they are further fitted with a pair of prisms in each of the chambers. The prisms play a significant role in giving an image the proper orientation. Binocular vision finds wide applications in many areas including hunting, watching distant birds in the sky and astronomy. Also, sports lovers use binoculars to catch a good view of a sporting event from a distance.

Unlike monocular vision, which utilizes only a single telescope device to observe objects, binocular vision provides a three-dimensional view of an object. Furthermore, using binoculars will result into perfect visual acuity or simply clarity of the subject matter under focus. Working with binoculars has various advantages. The light weight and small size make them portable and easy to handle, carry and store. The user, therefore, can easily work with them comfortably with minimal strain while getting an incredible view of the object.

There are however various brands of binoculars in the market today; it can be confusing to make a proper choice of binoculars. When shopping for binoculars, an in-depth knowledge of the functionality and the anatomy of the device is significant. Other than that, one has to understand their needs so as to choose a perfect binocular that will meet your needs. Consider when, where and how you to use your instrument. What criteria then should be taken into consideration when shopping for a binocular instrument? Well, there are various vital aspects that anybody interested in buying a binocular has to consider. Some of the most important factors include:

1. Get to know the numbers

Binoculars are identified by unique numbers assigned to them. Each binocular is referred to with numbers like 7×35 or 10×50. Each of this numbers represents a given attribute, the number appearing before the × accounts for the magnification factor or simply the power. The 7×35 lenses make the object seven times closer while the 10×50 will cause the object appear ten times closer. The second value, on the other hand, defines the diameter of the objective lenses in millimeters. 7×35 lenses, therefore, have a diameter of 35 millimeters or 1.38 inches. The 10×50 lenses, on the other hand, have a diameter of 50 millimeters or 1.97 inches.

When you divide the second value by the first value, you get the exit pupil value. It refers to the diameter of the light beam reaching your eye in millimeters. A larger magnification results in a dimmer and larger image. Consequently, your field of view will be narrow hence making it harder to keep the picture in focus. Binoculars with a more than 10× magnification require a tripod socket for mounting. It is important in making your binoculars steady. If a larger field of view is desired, then choosing a binocular of a lower magnification would be appropriate.

In astronomical activities and hunting at dawn or dusk, a binocular with a larger objective lens is the most suitable one; this lens gather more light making them best for low light intensity activities. The larger the exit pupil value, the more light that enters and reaches your eyes. Ordinarily the human eye dilates between 2 to 7 millimeters depending on the amount of light available. Therefore, go for the exit value that matches your eyes dilation value.

2. Check the Lenses

Binoculars often have two types of lenses, those made of glass and those made of plastic. Most binoculars, however, have glass lenses. Glass lenses, however, are expensive, but give quality images. However, a set of plastic lenses that will give the same image quality as glass lenses is even more costly.

Despite giving high-quality images, glass lenses have one disadvantage; they reflect back part of the light. This problem, however, can be rectified by giving the glass the right coating. Lenses coats are often described by certain codes; they include C, FC, and MC. Code C means only some parts of the lens has been covered with a single layer. Code MC means some lens surfaces are coated with various layers. While FC, on the other hand, means all the lens surfaces are coated with several layers.

Multiple coating is the best but; this increases the cost of the binoculars. Plastic lenses are known to give poor quality images and greatly rugged than the glass type. However, they find perfect application where durability is significant such mountain climbing.

3. Access the eyepieces

It is recommended that the eyepiece lenses should be placed in a good comfortable distance from your eyes. For those wearing glasses, they should even be placed further from them. This is referred to us eye relief and mostly ranges from 5 to 20 millimeters and 14 to 15 millimeters or greater when wearing glasses. Many of the binoculars have rubber eyecups around the eye pieces; this will help you set the eyepieces over the eyes when using them. Binoculars with eye cups that retractor flips out of the way are best for those people wearing glasses.

4. Test its ability to focusing

Testing the focusing ability is important when choosing binoculars. Check how close you can focus the binoculars and determine the distance between it and the object you are focusing. Most binoculars have two focusing mechanisms: most have a center-post mechanism and a diopter corrector. It allows one of your eyes to be more strong or weaker than the other. Waterproof binoculars, on the other hand, have individual focusing abilities for different lenses and controls on each eyepiece. Some binoculars, however, have no focusing ability; they can’t adjust their focus beyond the preset focus. This type causes eyestrain should you try to focus on something closer than the preset distance.

5. Check the prism design

A good binocular should have their main lenses spaced wider than the eyepieces this is because of the Porro prisms that are used. It has the advantage of making the binoculars larger and making near objects appear more 3- dimensional. Binoculars using roof prisms let the lenses rest in line with the eyepieces. This makes the binoculars more compact, however, these compromises with image equality. Roof prisms, however, can be made to deliver quality images; this, however, comes at a greater cost. Less expensive binoculars utilize BK-7 prisms, these squares one side of the image. More expensive binoculars utilize BAK-4 prisms. These types of prisms deliver more light, sharper and rounder images.

6. Consider the best weight for your binocular

Binoculars having a high magnification and wide lenses weigh more than the standard binoculars. This can, however, be fixed by using a tripod or a strap, which allows you carry them around. However, if you are involved in long distances traveling you may be forced to settle for a less powerful, but lighter one to make your movement easy.

7. Consider waterproof vs. water resistivity

The environment from which you conduct your activities determines the kind of binoculars you will purchase. Water resistant binoculars are useful in wet conditions; if you are operating in wet environments waterproof binoculars could just be perfect for you. It will be helpful in avoiding damages that may lead to an added cost of buying another binocular.

8. Consider the manufacturers reputation

Reviews other optical objects manufactured by manufacturers and level of confidence that the customers have in that manufacturers. Also, consider the period the manufacturer has been in the business. Additionally, find information on their how they handle matters relating to damage or malfunction of their devices.

9. Armoring

A good binocular should have a well-armored body. This will help protect it from physical harm due to bangs, bumps, and destructive element.

10. Gas filled

It is equally healthy to have binoculars filled with nitrogen gas; this is useful in preventing interior condensation. It happens when binoculars are moved from a warm environment to cold environment or vice versa. It causes condensation in internal optics fogging them up. Additionally, mold can even form over time from repeated condensation. Hence most weatherproofed optics is gas filled, though not always.

11. Price

Before settling on a specific binocular model, it is wise to do a comparative analysis of the prices from different outlets dealing with the same item to ensure you settle on not the only quality product, but also, cost friendly as well. Getting the right binoculars, therefore, is a combination of various factors, define your needs well that will set a precedence to shop for the right binoculars. Additionally, proper care and maintenance is the key to ensuring that your binoculars function properly and more efficiently. Binoculars are very stable optical instruments; they rarely get extensive damage. However, you may encounter a few problems like broken lenses caused by a shock, double imaging caused by collimation, getting ideal binoculars lies with, make a perfect choice depending on your needs. Taking the right steps before getting a binoculars from a shop is essential.

Now that you’re armed with the knowledge on how to best buy a pair of binoculars, check out our guide to this year’s best binoculars to get some ideas for great pairs that will meet your needs.

Binocular Magnification and Aperture Explained

Binoculars are used for everything from birdwatching to getting a closer look at lunar surfaces. There are many manufacturers of binoculars, and their quality can vary greatly from one brand to the next as well as from one model to the next. Before understanding the finer points of the best optical elements and coatings suited for specific uses, it is important to understand binocular magnification and aperture to determine which type is needed for the jobs the binoculars will be expected to perform.

Binocular Numbers

Two numbers are used to designate the power of binoculars. They are written with the letter “X” in between them. The number before the X is related to magnification. It is the number of times closer an object will appear in the field of view of the binoculars as opposed to viewing it with the naked eye. The second number is the aperture measured in millimeters. This refers to the width of what is called the objective lens. It is the big lens of binoculars and is important for capturing light coming from objects. Both work together to produce binoculars that are suited for tasks such as watching a sporting event or sky-watching at night.

Binocular Magnification

There is more to choosing the magnification power of binoculars than just picking the largest number before the X. A 7X magnification power means that an object viewed through the binoculars appears seven times closer. As the magnification increases, the field of view decreases. Magnification can get to be unwieldy in keeping viewed objects steady in the viewfinder. At larger magnifications, a tripod or other steady mount is needed just to keep objects from bouncing around when they are viewed. The slightest movement at high magnification powers results in large movements of an object being viewed through binoculars. A compromise must be made between being able to easily hold an object in view and getting the desired object close enough to be examined or identified.

Binocular Aperture

The aperture is the width of the front, or objective lens, of binoculars, measured in millimeters. Wider lenses have greatly increased total surface area. This is important for gathering the light that makes objects viewable, especially in dim light. Larger lenses can bring in more light to strike the ocular magnification lenses. These are the lenses one looks through when using binoculars. Bigger aperture objective lenses need bigger binocular housings, but larger binoculars do not mean more magnification power. Larger binocular apertures are needed for viewing objects in dim light. This could be game animals at dawn or dusk, or celestial objects throughout the night sky. At the same magnification, a larger aperture makes objects brighter when viewed through binoculars.

Field of View

As magnification increases, the field of view diminishes. Imagine viewing the 50-yard line of a football field from the bleachers to help understand field of view. As the magnification increases, the yard lines toward each goal post would disappear from the field of view when fixed on the 50-yard line. Increasing magnification brings objects on the field closer, but the area around the object being viewed gets smaller and smaller. High magnification can make distant objects appear much closer, but there must be a compromise depending on intended use. Binoculars with magnification that can get in close and tight to identify a small animal may be useless when glassing larger areas to identify landmarks or for search and rescue.

Balancing Magnification and Aperture

An important part in making a choice for what type of binoculars to buy is to decide what they will be used to view. It may be impossible to find one pair of binoculars that are suitable for all viewing occasions. Foe example, it would be a disappointment to attempt a bird-watching hike with a pair of binoculars of large aperture and high magnification normally used to view dim night sky objects. The binoculars would be too heavy to hold for long viewing periods in the field. Also, high magnification would make it difficult to find and track birds in trees. On the other hand, field binoculars that are recommended for birding do not have the light gathering capabilities needed to view faint galaxies in the night sky.

Variable Magnification Binoculars

Photography buffs know the value of prime lenses over variable (zoom) lenses. Prime lenses are of a fixed focal length. Zoom lenses can have their magnification changed at the turn of a dial or the press of a button. However, a certain degree of optical clarity and sharpness are compromised with variable focal length lenses. The same goes for binoculars that have variable magnification. Also, just as in photographic lenses, variable power binoculars can be much more expensive, especially for superior quality glass elements used in their construction. It may be better to buy two or more binoculars of a fixed power and aperture than to get one inferior variable power pair of binoculars.

It is important for those interested in purchasing the best pair of binoculars to consider what they will be used for. The service they will be put into is a great help in determining the appropriate magnification power and aperture size. More magnification and bigger apertures are not always the best. A pair of 7X20 binoculars can fit in a backpack or glove compartment. An 8×20 would increase magnification, keeping the binoculars the same general size. Increasing the aperture to an 8X42 size would make them much larger and heavier with no increase in magnification, but they would present a brighter image. Looking at the binocular size choices used by experts in birding, astronomy, hunting or whatever field the binoculars will be used in is helpful.