Present the young naturalist in your life with the Raptor and you've introduced them to a gift of a lifetime. The highly-regarded porro prism Raptor delivers an exceptionally wide field of view with sharp, rich three-dimensional details. Featuring twist-up eyecups and waterproof, fogproof construction, the Raptor continues a classic tradition in a modern fashion. The Vortex VIP warranty guarantees the Raptor will last for generations.
Fully Multi-coated Lenses
Increase light transmission with multiple anti-reflective coatings on all air-to-glass surfaces.
Optimize light transmission.
Generally offer a rich depth of field, wide field of view, and three-dimensional image.
Provides a secure, non-slip grip.
Twist up and down for comfortable viewing with or without eyeglasses.
Center Focus Wheel
Adjusts both binocular barrels at the same time.
Right Eye Diopter
Adjusts for differences in a user's eyes. Located by the right eyepiece.
Optics are sealed with O-rings to prevent moisture, dust, and debris from getting inside the binocular.
Barrels are filled with nitrogen gas to inhibit internal fogging.
I already have the 6.5x32 Raptors from last year, and wanted to try the 8.5x, so I ordered a pair recently and compared them. To my surprise, the focus wheel was very smooth and easy to turn on the newer 8.5 Raptors in comparison to my 6.5x's that I bought only a year ago.
The optics are very good on both Raptors-clarity, sharpness, contrast-all great for the money, and then some. Porro prism bins usually beat inexpensive roof prisms (simpler optical design in the Porro), though it seems that difference is becoming less so more recently due to improvements in roofs, even in less expensive models. For example, the Atlas Radian bins are also fine optics for the money in roofs. I have the 10x, and I like them very much.
Getting back to the 8.5 Raptors though. Often in more compact binoculars, the view is somewhat constricted (not a big, wide-open view), and both the Raptors, 6.5x and 8.5x show this limitation, though in the higher power, since the field of view is not as wide (typical as you increase magnificaton power), it does seem a bit more constricted in view. Often you will have to go to a different design, or especially a larger binocular size (full size, rather than compact) to see a difference. Sometimes it just takes a different eyepiece design (wide angle) to get more field of view-but it's a case by case situation, how the view appears to the individual user, as well as how the design fits the user.
Anyway, if you want a great deal on a decently made and good perfoming binocular, the 8.5 Raptor is an excellent choice in a higher power, lighter weight bin, that has Eagle Optics great warranty. Hopefully they have overcome the problem of the stiffness of the focus wheel, which has been a notable one in the past. I did have my 6.5 Raptors serviced, and they did improve the operation, though it still takes two fingers to start my 6.5x's-which is said to be due to the waterproofing seals by EO's tech department.
Get one, try it on for yourself, and see if it suits you. I can recommend them from what I have seen of them, but it's more up to you how it fits your needs and such. At this new reduced price this year, it's a very nice deal indeed-I paid $25 more not long ago, and think they are still worth that, at least.
Vortex Raptor 8.5x32
john from Ashland Oregon
Initial impressions are somewhat mixed. After using them for the day in the hills and then comparing them to my other binoculars and considering price point. I'd say these are serviceable binoculars. The pros for me are their crisp and clear views. I was impressed. Not too much softness at the edges. The case and neck strap were surprisingly nice. The body and holding were adequate.
The cons are a very stiff focus nob. It was in the mid thirties and it was almost too difficult to focus with cold hands and really you cannot do it quickly and so miss some of the action. You really need two fingers of both hands to focus these somewhat easily. Well... it was never easy. Luckily they made the focus nob extra large. The other thing in comparing them to my other binocs is the somewhat washed out colors these binocs offer.
All in all they are decent but far from exceptional for the money. I'll keep them in the car or by the window but they likely won't make it outdoors with me.
Great mid-sized porro!
E. Decker from United States
I have been in the market for a mid-sized porro-prism for a few months. There aren't many models in the 8x30 range made today. I tried out the Leupold Yosemite 8x30 porro and the Celestron Nature 8x30 porro. I found both models unsatisfactory. I bought the 3rd model I tried- the Vortex Raptor 8.5x32. I am extremely happy with them- they are lightweight, have great optics and I love the feel of holding porros. The focusing knob is stiffer than my 8x32 Eagle Optic Ranger roofs, but the stiffness is in the acceptable range for me and perhaps will loosen in time.