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Vortex Viper HD 8x42 Binocular

Our Price: $589.99
List Price: $689.00
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  • Customer Rating: (48 Reviews)
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This sounds too good to be true. Vortex takes its already award-winning Viper binocular and adds High Density (HD) extra-low dispersion glass. With these high-performance additions to the already bright, rugged, lightweight, and affordable binocular, you win big when you take the Viper HD into the field or forest. Vortex's XP engineering anchors internal prisms in place and improves the Viper's ability to withstand rough use. Protected with rubber armoring, waterproofing, fogproofing, and backed by the Vortex VIP warranty, the Viper HD is certain to perform for generations.

Optical Features
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.
Phase Correction Enhances resolution and contrast through roof prisms.
Dielectric Prism Coatings Optimize light transmission.
Construction Features
Roof Prisms Appreciated for a streamlined shape and durability.
Rubber Armoring Provides a secure, non-slip grip.
Multi-position Eyecups Twist up and down for comfortable viewing with or without eyeglasses.
Center Focus Wheel Adjusts both binocular barrels at the same time.
Locking Right Eye Diopter Adjusts for differences in a user's eyes. Located by the right eyepiece.
Tripod Adaptable Can be mounted using standard ¼-inch threading. Adapter sold separately.
Design Features
Waterproof Optics are sealed with O-rings to prevent moisture, dust, and debris from getting inside the binocular.
Fogproof Barrels are filled with argon gas to inhibit internal fogging.
ArmorTek Lens Coating Repels oils on outer glass surfaces.
Magnification 8x
Objective Lens Diameter 42 mm
Field of View 347 feet/1000 yards
Eye Relief 20 mm
Close Focus 5.1 feet
Weight 24.2 ounces
Dimensions (H x W) 5.8 x 5.3 inches
Weatherproofing Waterproof/Fogproof
  • Rainguard
  • Tethered objective lens covers
  • Neck strap
  • Case

Total Reviews: 48

Average Rating:

Not what I expected - 08/12/2012

by Stephen from San Ramon

I have other bionculars and have owned Vortex Vipers non HD. I was given a pair of these as a gift. While I like Vortex products, these are just not for me. No matter how i adjust them, they have black spots and frankly after trying to use them several times I have laid them aside as useless. I would not recommend these and i would love to find some way of disposing of them. TRade, sell, give away etc...

New Bins - 06/14/2012

by Dennis from Matthews, NC

I purchased my Vortex Viper HD 8x42 bins about a month ago. I was trying to upgrade from my current Nikon Monarchs. I was looking for quality without a huge price tag. The Vipers are everything I was hoping for. Much better clarity, ability to find birds quickly. I also became much better at birding from further distances than I was accustomed to. I feel like I got a great value for my money.

Not for me - 06/09/2012

by Anne from Birmingham, AL

I researched the various mid-priced binoculars carefully, and selected the Vortex Viper HD 8x42 binoculars with the confidence that they would be excellent for birding. However, I wear tri-focals, and was disappointed to find that the eye relief did not work well with my glasses. It was hard to get a clear view without having the view obstructed by black areas--not sure what the technical term is. I had the same problem without my glasses. I had read in the reviews that the focus wheel was tight, but thought I would not mind. Wrong! For birding, it gets quite tiring to use the extra force required to keep a bird in focus while it is in flight, for example. Fortunately, my cousin had ordered the Vortex Viper HD 8x32 at the same time, and I had a chance to compare. The 8 x 32 are great. No problem with eye relief--big, bright, clear picture, lighter weight, focus wheel turns easily, no downsides. I ordered my pair last week, and have already had a chance to test them in the field. Just what I wanted. I'm an experienced birder, and the Vortex Viper HD 8 x 32 binoculars are great for birding. The Vortex Viper HD 8 x 42's are bigger, heavier, and harder to use, at least for this older user.

Vortex Viper HD good binocs, wish Eagle Optics had let us know a harness attachment was needed - 05/10/2012

by Steve from Illinois

We are long-time but not fanatical birders, so our objective was to get the best birding binocs for eyeglass wearers we could get for under $500. We did a fair amount of research and went slightly over our budget with the Vortex Viper HD 8X42. Eye relief makes these binocs usable with glasses. Close focus is awesome - I can focus on insects at my feet. We're not experts on optic quality, but have been satisfied when comparing these with our Leitz Trinovid 7x35BA (25 year old binocs) that we also use. We looked at more expensive binocs in local stores, but they did not have these in stock for direct comparison. Eagle optics staff helped with comparison vs the other two (Swift Audobon and B&L Elites) we were considering that were a little less expenseive.

Vortex Viper HD 8X42 - 03/17/2012

by Gary from MN

I was in the market for a compact bin to bring along to sports events, birding, & just general observing. The 8X42 HD Viper is just the right binocular for my needs. First of all, the optics are superb! I have owned Swaros, & I must say I do not believe there is $2000 worth of difference. I wear glasses, so eye relief was also important, also the field of view is just right for birding. The bins come with a very nice case, rainguard, & ocular covers. Focus may be a little stiff, but I think that will loosen up a bit with use. For a mid-priced bin, you will not be disappointed. They also come with a very good warranty.

Versatile binocular - 03/09/2012

by Kathy from high Springs, FL

I enjoy butterflies and birds through binoculars. These focus near. and far for both. But the focus knob is a little stiff. That may resolve itself with use.

Couldn't be happier - 02/14/2012

by Jon from St. Louis, MO

I bought these largely based on the reviews of others and could not be happier. They are very clear and bright and seem to be very well made. I am very impressed with how vivid they are even in very low light. I don't always wear my contacts and the eye cups are easy to adjust for use with glasses. They are a comfortable weight to wear for extended periods of time. I have not compared these to $1k+ binoculars, but in my opinion I don't see a need to spend more than these!

Top tier bin with second tier pricing - 01/25/2012

by Pete from Nashville, tn

I guess you could call me an optics junkie. Until six months ago I owned the Swarovski 8x42 Swarovision EL, Leica 10x42 Ultavid (non-hd), and the Zeiss 8x42 victory Fl T. Unfortunately, a house fire claimed all three and my insurance company flipped over paying on nearly 6,000.00 worth of optics. I had retired over two years ago and enjoyed using my optics for hunting, birding and of course SEC football. Each of the "big three" had specific strong points and I needed to decide which would become my sole replacement now that I am living on a retirement income. I had always thought that once you've used the best that going backwards would be an impossibility;however, i wanted to search for a less expensive competitor. Then I came across Vortex and read every article and review I could find. Well, two days ago I received a pair of the Viper HD's and took them afield with an almost nervous hesitation. I won't go as far as to say I felt the " wow" factor upon first look thru the bins but I definitely wanted to see more. They are as good if not better than the Swaros in "depth of field" and I haven't seen anyone compete with swaro in this category. I believe they are equal to Leica in color rendition and though they aren't as bright as the Zeiss they certainly aren't 1,600.00 less bright. I was further impressed with their light gathering capability and would say they are better than Leica and equal to Zeiss and swaro in this category. They have a generous sweet spot with obvious pincushion distortion and of course don't rival swaro here but then i don't worry about the rolling globe effect either. I guess what all this means is I am very pleased with the overall performance. If I had to choose one weakness it would be field of view. It's just smaller than what I'm used to but I Have almost gotten to where I don't notice that anymore. It does have a very close focus ability and absolutely zero chromatic aberration. My particular focusing knob is smooth but firm... I'm hoping this will loosen as I use them. But if doesn't, that VIP warranty will come in handy.

Excellent mid-priced birding binocular - 01/15/2012

by Peter B from Severna Park, MD

I wanted something better than the lower priced 8x42's like the Nikon Monarch ATB but could not afford the "big guns," so I tried these. They are a good value and I enjoy birding with them very much. I slightly prefer the Minox HG 8.5x43 to the Vipers for their optical quality (my wife has them and likes them), but that's an old model that's hard to find, and the new model that replaced it (now 8x43) costs almost twice as much as the Vipers.

I agree with most of the pros and cons from Ray in Olympia--
Light weight for their size (but 3 oz more than the Monarchs).
Sharp view with good contrast and color rendition.
Good depth of field and excellent eye-relief.
Close focus, and very smooth focus.
Field of view could be better, especially when watching groups of birds.
They are more subject to flare than the Minox HG when you are looking in the direction of a light source--this can be a problem early or late in the day when looking near the sun. Flare is a common problem with less expensive binoculars.

Vortex Viper HD 8x42 - great bino - 01/09/2012

by Jim from Sacramento, CA

Excellent bino. I ordered this along with the Vortex Talon HD 8x42 as comparison. My favorite was the Viper. It certainly felt better in my hands, very very comfortable, and was bright and crisp all the way to the edges. However, I ended up returning them because of their field of view. The Vortex Talon's have a much wider field of view which is important for birding and were priced at the time approximately $150 less. Also, the Talon's optics compared evenly with the Vipers. So, it was the field of view difference that pushed me to keep the Talons and return the Vipers. That being said, I really loved the Vipers. The optics are superb and they are very comfortable to hold. Great bino.

The Vortex challenge - 12/03/2011

by Nancy from Clermont, FL

Even though I have some retina tears and wear glasses, I still found the Vortex Viper HD 8X42 to be very good. I have only had a chance to go out on a birding trip once so far. The day was cloudy so the challenge was great. I am very happy with the binoculars so far. Wish they were lighter.

Vortex Viper HD 8x42 - 11/18/2011

by Matthew from Watertown, NY

I have had the Viper HD binoculars for about 3 weeks now and could not be more pleased. Great construction and even better performance. Highly recommend these binoculars. Expensive but you get what you pay for with these!

Gaming... - 09/20/2011

by Michael from San Juan Capistrano,CA

I got these for deer hunting but have only used them for USC games so far...high quality,optics very clear,focus dial very smooth

Vortex Viper HD 8x42 - 09/10/2011

by Ray from Olympia, WA

I first tried the 8x32 Viper(non-HD)binoculars because of their weight and their smaller size was just made for my hands but couldn't live with the poor eye-relief. Last year I lost a $300 pair of eye-glasses when I took them off to use brand X binoculars with no eye-relief and this was a major consideration. In the process I discovered that for some reason all 32mm binos are weak in that department so I exchanged them for the Viper HD 8x42, a totally painless process thanks to the good folks at EO. I've used my Viper HDs now almost everyday in a wide variety of lighting conditions and I'm totally in love with these wonderful optics.

In the process of making this investment I tried dozens of different brands and models including the alpha models but kept coming back to Vortex because to my eye each of their models consistently had the best performance at it's price point and by far the best warranty on the market. In the end the Viper HD 8x42 was the best fit for my particular use. If you are in the market for reasonably priced, excellent quality, binoculars I highly recommend that you familiarize yourself with the whole Vortex line. You'll probably your own pair to fall in love with.

Pros: Light weight for their size.
Sharp view with good contrast and color rendition.
Good depth of field so you aren't constantly
fiddling with the focus.
Close focus.
The do exactly what the specifications say.
Good eye-relief.
Excellent warranty.

In addition to this exchange purchase I also
recently bought a scope that turned
out to be defective. The Eagle Optics and Vortex
people have been totally reliable and have gone to
extra lengths to make things right. To my surprise
they even shipped the replacement scope before
receiving the one I'd sent back.

Cons: If I didn't wear glasses I would have kept the 8x32s
but I've quickly gotten used to the extra weight
which is only 4oz after all.

The field of view isn't as wide as the
Talon HD series but the Vortex Talon's weigh more
and there are compromises in all optics.

Yes I'd certainly recommend the Viper HD binoculars for purchase but you may also want to try out the other
Vortex models and chose the one that feels right for you.

Vortex Viper HD - 07/15/2011

by Jim from Ohio

Very good view, good close focus for butterflies, and lightweight. Eagle Optics great as usual.

Excellent Binocs - 06/20/2011

by Charles from Raleigh, NC

I've had my Viper HD for about one month now. With each use I am more impressed. Quality construction, smooth focus knob and diopter adjustment, nice lens caps, and great optics. I have two other bino's: a compact Leica Ultravid 8x20, and a Nikon Ocean Pro 7x50. All very different, and used for different purposes, but I can say with confidence that the image quality of the Viper HD is considerably better than the Ocean Pro (no surprise) and at least as good as the Leica. The smaller Leica of course does not do as well in low light situations, but even in bright light the image from the Vortex seems slightly superior to my eye.

I wanted to get a quality bino from a US company. The Viper HD is just that.

Just What the Doctor Ordered - 05/06/2011

by Lenge H. from New York, NY

I purchased my Viper HD 8x42's for a birding trip to Costa Rica; they are my first pair of "serious" binoculars, trading up from a small pair of Bushnells that were fine for Central Park-- or so I thought! By the end of the first day of my trip they had more than justified their price. Their light-gathering capabilities were invaluable in the rainforest, and their light weight meant I was never aware of the fact that I had them around my neck all day, without using a shoulder harness. Also I have problems with my wrists, which had made using my SLR camera difficult, but the Vipers didn't strain my wrists at all. The image is so sharp, it really does look like HD. I haven't used a pair of higher-end binoculars, but in this price range I doubt you could do better than these.

Excellent bins for birding - 05/03/2011

by Robert A. from Bridgewater, NJ

I am a new birder and have recently purchased the Viper HD 8x42s. The optics are bright and sharp and the colors are vivid. The speed of the focus wheel is just right for me and its operation is smooth. The overall quality of the bin is excellent. The only change I would make would be to provide a little more minimum interpupillary distance. I have a small face and they just fit me.

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