Once you clasp your hands on the Vortex Talon HD, you won't ever let go. Designed with the ever-popular open-hinge design, the rubber armoring enhances the secure feel of the Talon. The internal quality completes the package with HD extra-low dispersion glass, XR anti-reflective coatings, and fully multi-coated lenses to deliver impressive views with the color, details, and brightness you crave. Protected with waterproofing, fogproofing, and the Vortex VIP warranty, the Talon HD will perform for generations.
High Definition (HD) extra-low dispersion Glass
Enhances resolution, color, and contrast.
XR Fully Multi-coated Lenses
Increase light transmission with multiple anti-reflective coatings on all air-to-glass surfaces.
Enhances resolution and contrast through roof prisms.
Dielectric Prism Coatings
Optimize light transmission.
Optimize light transmission.
Appreciated for a streamlined shape and durability.
Magnesium Alloy Body
Is sturdy and resistant to corrosion.
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.
Can be mounted using standard ¼-inch threading. Adapter sold separately.
Optics are sealed with O-rings to prevent moisture, dust, and debris from getting inside the binocular.
Barrels are filled with argon gas to inhibit internal fogging.
I equip my Research Interns and TAs with these binoculars for field work. I appreciate Vortex binoculars for their robust build and lifetime warranty. These are binoculars that will stand up to abuse. The optics are as good as you'll find in any binocular under $500, but the resolution is clearly not equal to the high-end Zeiss binoculars I carry myself, but which, admittedly, cost five times as much. If fine optical resolution is important, for example for such tasks as reading bird bands at a distance, the Vortex Razor HD 8x42s would be a better investment.
The Talons have superior eye relief and field of view, comparable or even better than some of the high-end binoculars. These are important considerations when doing field work where binoculars will be used for hours on end.
Paul from Minnesota
Here is an update from my 6/15/12 review: these are my primary binos for birding and hiking. Took them to a Packer game and could not believe the clarity. 8x42s are perfect for football games at Lambeau. I took them to Costa Rica last year and had a ball. Another review stated they had a plastic focus wheel. Mine do not. Mine has a knurled aluminum focus wheel and I like the heft of it. As I said before, these are very solid, well made binos. I have also heard from another review that the focus is laborious and requires too much movement of the wheel to focus. I believe the focus adjustment is perfect because it is firm but not too tight which lends itself to staying put. Wheel travel is also well engineered because longer travel translates into finer focusing adjustment which is far better than repeatedly over traveling the wheel back and forth just to be able to lock in on fine details. The more that I use these things, the more I appreciate them. I wasn't too sure at first, but as time goes by, the more I am impressed. Looking at tropical frogs in Costa Rica was very cool and says something about the close focus, which is to say it is ample. Though the Swaros are almost 2ft shorter, I was happy with the Talons 6ft close focus range. The Talons also have a wider field of view, perhaps because of the Swaros .5x higher power, but I would rather have that than give it up for a shorter close focus feature. The 6ft range of the Talon was very nice looking at those frogs. Another very nice subject are humming birds up close. The glass on the Talons really makes those colors and fine details pop.
Pleases the Optical Experts
Michael from Houston
These are the first and last binoculars I will probably ever buy. They are that good. They are the brightest and sharpest optics I have ever used outside of the high resolution microscopy I do. Passed them to my friend who is a vision scientist and optics expert. On first view here was his review: Wow. I have used them at sporting events, travel and birding. Outstanding on all counts. Two other comments: 1. they hang near the body even when bending over. Careful consideration of where to place the neck strap connection point relative to the balance of these binocs speak to their excellent design quality in every dimension. 2. If you are looking for a compact, light weight optic, this is not the one. They are full sized, but not heavy. Very happy with this purchase.
Paul C. from mio, mi
I got these to replace my 10x50 wind rivers from cabellas. They are a significant upgrade. I am really impressed with the clarity even in low light. They are also easier to hold so they are steadier.
Mike T from Pennsylvania
I finally decided to upgrade from my trusty 8.5x45 Swift Audubon porros, which were showing some extreme wear, but still quite functional. I ordered five pair of binocs from Eagle Optics and spent time comparing them side by side. All were roof prisms between 8x-9x; ideally, I was looking for an 8.5x-9x. Some of my impressions are presented below. Just a little about me: I've been birding 20 years; I have large hands with slender fingers; all roof prisms fit a little awkwardly in my hands, since they are, by design, effectively two closely aligned tubes. The "double-bridge" design in roof prisms, (c.f. single-bridge design) is a little better for me, but I still feel I have to "pinch" roofs between my fingers to hold them, rather than having them fit solidly into the web between thumb and forefinger. But there is not much choice in porros, and there is an unspoken "not cool" bias against porros among birders.
Swift Audubon 8.5x44 roof Features: single bridge Pro: nothing stood out; image acceptable Cons: Very stiff focus wheel; diopter adjust did not feel sturdy; single bridge design did not fit well in my hands.
Pentax DCF BR 9x42 Features: double bridge Pros: Focus wheel very smooth and grippy; rubberized body had a good feel; very good image for non-ED/HD glass; 9x power a nice size for birding; close-focus was still OK. Cons: narrow field of view; diopter adjust very stiff; eye cups do not adjust very far out
Vanguard Endeavor ED 8x42 Features: double bridge, ED glass Pros: Focus wheel very smooth and grippy, turns easily; diopter has nice mechanism; eye cups adjust sufficiently; rubberized body had a good balance; ED glass gave very good image; great price for ED glass. Con : Depth of focus was short; easily move out of focus.
Vanguard Endeavor ED 8.5x45 Features: double bridge, ED glass Pros: Focus wheel very smooth and grippy, turns easily; diopter has nice mechanism; eye cups adjust sufficiently; rubberized body had a good balance; ED glass gave very good image; I like the magnification size; great price for ED glass. Con : Depth of focus was short; easily move out of focus.
Vortex Talon HD Features: double bridge, HD glass Pros: HD glass gave best image of the group; thumb indents on body fit my hands a little better Con : Focus wheel is hard plastic, and not grippy; higher price than others in the group; soft case does not leave room for a strap--you have to remove the strap or let it hang out the sides.
The winner was the Vortex Talon, which gave the best image of the bunch, with easiest handling. Maybe that is not a surprise, given the higher price and ED/HD glass. Since I always like a bargain, I was leaning towards the Vanguard Endeavors. However, the depth of focus and overly-sensitive focus wheel on the Vanguards made it just that much more difficult to focus on hawks flying through the treetops or on sparrows inside a bush. In a side-by-side test (both pairs around my neck), I kept coming back Vortex Talon for the better image and ease of staying on a moving target. All the roof prisms here are still are not as comfortable in my hands as porros. If your maximum budget is about $300, and can adjust to the focus wheel (as I did over time), you will most likely be very happy with the Vanguard Endeavors, or one of the Nikon Monarchs (which I viewed in a store). If you budget is a little higher, I recommend the Vortex Talon, for the great image.
Postscript 18 Feb 2013: I've had the chance to use the Vortex Talons for local trips and one longer international trip. I'm still very happy with my choice.
I returned the other four pair of binoculars to Eagle Optics with no problems. However, I was VERY careful not to damage the packaging or contents, or to mix any of them up. Of course, I also took special care not to mark or scratch the binoculars themselves.
tom w. from lehigh acres florida
I purchased the Talon HD as an upgrade from the Diamondback that I enjoyed for over a year because I was having trouble resolving the finer details on birds. I was hoping my investment was worth it as I did not physically try out the Talon and I was pleasantly surprised that it was worth every penny spent. The resolution is incredible as now I can see individual feathers, the colors are brighter and the sweet spot is almost the whole field of view. I noticed that the internal baffling is far better and I can look close to the sun without glare. Physically, its a larger and heavier binocular and I had some concern about wearing it all day but I did just that recently and had no discomfort but I'm a big guy and I use a harness so it could be an issue to some folks. The focus wheel is still too stiff but the larger diameter helps. It also focuses in the opposite direction which a month later I'm still getting used to. As with my other one, it requires alot of turning to get to close focus but at typical viewing distances it only takes about a quarter turn. The eyecups are more angular than the Diamondback and less comfortable and the rainguard fits their profile so well it is like a suction cup and difficult to remove it in a hurry. I like the open bridge, its very comfortable in the hand. Overall, this is great purchase and I will keep these forever. In retrospect,at this price point for ED glass, I would recommend that others also make this upgrade, you'll be glad you did.
Alan B. from Mystic, CT
Downsized from 10x50's because of weight and vision changes. Have used Vortex for current travel in Europe. Weather had been very gray and daylight diminishes daily. Vortex has met all expectations, including use inside very dark casthedrals. I 've birded for 50+ years and these are the best for my current needs and activity level imaginable.
You just can't get better.
Steve from Milwaukee, WI
I was looking for a set of binoculars under 500.00. These would replace a set of Atlas 8x42 Radians still in use. I am lucky enough to be within driving distance of Eagle Optics, so I was able to try out an assortment of binoculars.
First, if you think the customer service is good online, you should visit the store. I was given many options to review prior to purchase: some slightly higher some slightly lower in price. I narrowed my choice down to three, Atlas Intrepid, Vortex Talon and Eagle Optics Golden Eagle. I chose the Vortex Talons for the crisp optics and color definition. The hand feel and balance was outstanding. I then put the Vortex Talons up against a pair of Swarovski Swarovision and a pair of Leica Ultravids. Though the two alpha brands may have had a slight edge here or there in various ways, there was not a WOW difference that I could see spending 3,4,5 times the cost of the Talons.
The Vortex Talons hold their own for cost and quality against the alpha brands. This is a fine set of optics for the price. The Vortex warranty is second to none worth the cost alone. You never have to worry about your optics not being usable years from now.
In my humble opinion, get your Talons and take a vacation with your savings.
Paul from Minnesota
The Vortex Talon HD 8x42 definitly has good glass. I also have a pair of Nikon Monarch ATBs purchased about 5 years ago to compare against and can barely tell the difference in clarity and brightness. I would say the Talon is better in this regard but not by much. I have alway been impressed with the Monarchs for their price range. The value there is impressive. I would not nock the Talons for their clarity, but the weight and size of them is disappointing compared with my Monarchs and yet I chose to keep the Talons for their ergonomics. I highly recommend getting the bino harness with the Talon. They are a hefty bino and appear to be very well made.
Michael from Albuquerque
I wanted to upgrade the binoculars I use, mostly for birding, but also for some other outdoor activities, It's an Audubon 10 X 42, several years old, but I have liked it a lot. I wanted to upgrade to something that had ED, HD, etc, glass, was an 8 X 42 with a good field of view. I read many reviews on the Talon, both through Eagle Optics and other sources. The Talon costs more than many people would want to pay, but in optic you usually get what you pay for, and the Talon's price is very reasonable in that respect. It has delivered everything I had hoped for, and I enjoy it thoroughly.
Vortex Talon is Great
Burney from Lakewood, WA
The Vortex Talon 8x42 was recommended to me by the "optics specialist" at a large sporting goods company. I had gone in to compare Swarovskis and Leicas. He suggested that I consider the Vortex Talon unless I wanted to be seen with one of the other brands hanging from my neck. In his opinion, the Talons provide most of the quality of the most expensive binoculars at a fraction of the cost (about 20-25%). Now that I've used them in the field, I totally agree. My eyes don't see much, if any, difference and I have the $1.5k, or so, still in my pocket to use on something else. I'm very happy with the Talons!
Vortex Talon - Fantastic Binos
Jim from Sacramento, California
My wife and I are novice birders and ordered these instead of the Eagle Optics Ranger ED 8x42 only because of color. Vortex binos are green where as Eagle Optics are black. Other than that the Talon and the Ranger ED are the same bino (confirmed by EO sales lady) and are priced the same. I also ordered the Vortex Viper HD 8x42 to compare which which cost over $100 more. I LOVED the feel of the Vipers. They seemed to fit my hands better but that alone was not enough to select them over the Talons. The optics in the Talons were just as crisp and bright and the Talons have a much wider field of view than the Vipers, which is important when birding. Also, the ergonomics of the Talon's is not uncomfortable. I originally was concerned about the size and weight of the Talons but after using them I realized this was not an issue. Any good similarly spec'd 8x42 bino would weigh nearly the same. When using them for any length of time I use a harness and find that I am quite comfortable with the size and weight. I am extremely satisfied with the Talons, and though I have not had the priviledge to test high end binos, I cannot imagine they would be suffiently better than the Talon as to spend $1,000 to $2,000 more. The Talon is a really really good binocular at a great price.
Bradley from Watertown, Wisconsin
This is as near perfect a binocular as I've seen. I don't believe you'd be able to find a significant imaging difference between the Talon and a much more expensive Swarovski. Bright, great detail, saw no chromatic aberration when using in the field (not tested scientifically). Only issue is the supplied "attached" lens covers are useless - not enough room on the barrel for the attachment rings and the covers themselves. Remove them or the field will do it for you. Not enough of an issue to detract from the excellence of this binocular (these binoculars?). I've used mine for many weeks, on several trips, leading several birding walks and I just like them more each time I use them.
A great birding bin at a good price
Bob from Bridgewater, NJ
Bright and sharp optics with a great field of view. Perfect for viewing shore birds and raptors. Focus wheel speed is just right and the overall quality of the bin is excellent. Good value for the offered optics and quality of construction.
Vortex Talon Binocular
Charlie from So Cal
These are great glass! Zero complaints. Tremendous low light visibility! Thank you Vortex and thank you Eagle Optics!