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Viper Bincular Review
Sue from Clifton Park, NY
Use the binoculars mainly for birding. Like the clarity & brightness of the binoculars. They are also lightweight. Ordering them was fast & easy and received them within the designated timeframe. Had them in time for my birding trip and was delighted to have them. Other birders in the group tried them and liked these over their current binoculars. Some indicated they were going to purchase them because of the items mentioned above.(clarity, brightness & light weight) Would recommend these to anyone.
Dane F. from Tulare, California
I know now that I should have gotten the Vortex Viper from the beginning. Then I would have been finally enjoying birding the way it was suppose to be.
Quality just floors me when looking through them. Like it is
a new world out there like never before.
If you do not pick one up you will be missing out on a very good experience.
Good choice for mid-range binoculars
Jim H. from United States
Background: People often ask me what binoculars to buy. I reply with, "How much do you want to spend?" Very few people want to spend enough for "alpha" binoculars such as the Zeiss Victory that I bought many years ago when the price was lower. I wanted to find a less expensive product to recommend and decided on these. I plan to use them as a backup pair: smaller and lighter weight than the Zeiss. We always travel with an extra pair of bins when on a birding trip as a backup or loaner. The Vortex Viper is a good choice. 100g lighter than the Zeiss and much smaller due to a smaller objective lens.
Then, there is the critical question. How do they stack up to the alphas? The short answer is, "The alpha binoculars are better." Are the alphas worth spending 4x as much? Probably not. I found the Vortex Viper very good, with only a couple of areas where the Zeiss are obviously better. I am happy to recommend them to anyone who wants a good pair at a reasonable price.
I found two major differences.
First, the Vortex doesn't offer enough eye relief for me. Even with the eyecups extended to the max length, I still had black shadowing around the edges. I had to hold the eyecups slightly farther away from my eyes to get the best image.
The biggest difference between the Vortex and Zeiss was the depth of the image. With the Vortex, I had to refocus more often, usually by a small amount, for the clearest image. The Zeiss had a clearer image without refocusing. This is probably where the extra $2000 makes the biggest difference.
Another difference shows up when using the binoculars with polarized sunglasses. With the Zeiss, I get a lavender hue when looking at water, annoying, but not serious. With the Vortex, I seemed to be getting slightly different images to the left and right eye, somewhat like a 3D picture that wasn't quite right. That was more annoying, but the answer is probably to avoid polarizing sunglasses for birding.
Bottom line: A good choice for binoculars in this price range, but don't trade in your alphas yet.
Love my Vortex Viper binoculars
Dianna M. Ricky from United States
For the past 6 years I used Swarovski 10x42 binoculars but have had difficulty locating birds due to the high power and also had some difficult focusing. With the Vortex Viper 8x42 I am able to find birds much more quickly and focus easily. The brightness and clarity are superior.
Ginny from United States
This is my first pair of quality binos, and they are perfect.
Nancy from Sandusky, Ohio
My son uses a lot of optics and steered me to these when I was prepared to spend more on Zeiss. He said I would love them and I do. Tomorrow is May Day in northern Ohio and I will have these with me all the time, whetherI'm birding or just running errands, they are terrific!
Excellent Optics at a Reasonable Price
Susan H. from Sarasota, FL
I ordered these binoculars after looking at a number of options, including the more expensive Leicas and Swarovskis. I found I could see details much better using these binoculars and the viewing image was brighter than my previous binoculars, which were OK when I first began bird-watching several years ago. Now I feel like I've joined the big league.
Used for Ocean Surveys and birding
Rudyard from San Francisco,CA
Hi, bought these mostly for birding but also bird/marine mammal surveys 4 times year out in an ocean sanctuary- so the magnification couldn't be over 8x. Previous people mentioned stiffness with the focusing knob, must have been resolved as it glides with -just- enough resistance that you don't go past the focal length. Overall, I am super happy with this purchase. The clarity was amazing given the changing light and variable reflections of the water
trip to Galapagos
peggy g. from williston, tn
I received my new binoculars, the Vortex Viper HD 8 x 42, only a few days before leaving on a trip to Ecuador. Hummingbirds in the Cloud Forest near Quito, and then on to the Galapagos. The new binoculars were easy to use, comfortable to carry, and I found them to be of very good quality for that price. I had clear views of the bigger birds at an amazing distance, and very good close up focus for smaller birds right at hand. I handed them to a couple of professionals to use, and they also had no complaints. I think they are an excellent value.
Ann C. from Knoxville, TN
I am very pleased with my Viper 8x42 binoculars. Clarity is great! It is taking me a while to get used to using them with my trifocals, tho. The adjustment knob stiffness takes getting used to also.
Great Binocular for the price
Terri P. from Texas - New Mexcio
The Vortex Viper HD 8 x 42 is even better than I expected. Image is as clear as that from my wife's much more expensive Pentax.
ej from United States
These binoculars are absolutely fantastic. They are crystal clear and very easy to focus. They have a really nice close focus range too. They are also very light, which is a plus. These binoculars are also good for people who have close set eyes as they can be adjusted to be close enough together. These are really fantastic binoculars and I would highly recommend them.
Pat D. from Ohio
Have used these binoculars several times over the past two months and I am very pleased with their performance. I just came back from Magee Marsh during the migration. I have always only used a pair of Zeiss 10x binoculars that I have treasured for 25 plus years. I didn't think another pair could match these, but I needed something lighter to carry and with less magnification at this point in my life. Well, I was not at all disappointed by the Viper's performance. They are sharp and clear with excellent definition and brightness, very much the equal of what I had come to expect from Zeiss. My only concern is the tightness in the focus ring which others have mentioned in their reviews, but it would not cause me to rethink my decision on these binoculars. They are superlative.
Experienced the sturdiness on first birding outing!
Johanne from Maryland
I wanted to upgrade my about 10 year old Eagle Optic Rangers but not spend thousands of dollars. I don't know a lot about the technicalities but after reading various reviews and talking to the ever helpful Eagle Optics customer service people (no press1, press 2, etc--real people answer), I decided to give the Vortex Viper HDs a try. I was a little skeptical that if they weren't the higher priced binocs, they wouldn't be all that much better than my old Rangers which I really liked but looking through other's pricier binocs were definitely not as clear. Shortly after buying the Vipers I went on a birding trip in Arizona and was pleasantly surprised by how much clearer they were with the newer technology and well worth buying. I can also testify to the sturdiness since I had a nasty fall frontwards landing right on my binoculars on rocky ground. There was only a very small gouge in the outer casing which I had to look very closely to find. They seem to be working fine but it's still good to know I can return them for repair if there does turn out to be something wrong. They may well have saved me from hitting the ground as hard (no broken bones, that goodness)--just a binocular bruise on my stomach.
Excellent bright HD binoculars
Lorraine from United States
While our local Audubon expert recommended the Eagle Ranger (about $300) for bird watching, I decided to move up market and got the Vortex Viper HD 8x42, which were close to twice the price of the Ranger.
The primary difference is the HD (not high definition as in the TV sense) but High Density in the glass lenses. This gives a brighter image. They are easy to use and focusing is a snap.
They were delivered in 3 days and we could track the progress of the package to Florida.
An excellent product and excellent service.
Loving me some Vortex glass
Travis from Oregon, WI
So I bought my first pair of "expensive" (which is relative of course) binoculars in the Diamondback 8X42 and couldn't be happier. I know there is better optics out there, even in the Vortex line, but for the use and abuse and the cost to get into this pair, I can't imagine a better set for the price. And living in the Madison, WI area and having the ability to walk into the Eagle Optics showroom and test out these along with other comparable binoculars sold me further. The customer service and product quality can't be beat.
Dave from Waxhachie TX
I was looking to upgrade from my 10X42 Audubon Equinox HPs, however I did not have the money for a pair of Swaros. The folks at eagle optics recommended that I go with the 8X42 Vortex Viper HDs. All I can say is WOW!! These binoculars are great. The color is brilliant, the light gather is amazing, and the image is crystal clear. The construction is solid and the weight is perfect. I have used both Swaros and Zeiss and these come pretty darn close. I have had them for about 2 weeks now and have been birding almost every day since receiving them; they are simply put phenomenal!!! If the price doesn’t seal the deal for you than the unconditional lifetime warranty will. The service from Eagle Optics was above and beyond as always. They made the whole process so easy and had the binoculars to me in time from the weekend. Thanks to Ben and everyone at eagle optics for all their help.
Jay from Huron,sd
Very knowledge staff, know what they are talking about. First trip to buy the vortex viper was to Cabellas only to be disappointed by a kid that knew nothing about optics. One call to Eagle and the first person I talked to knew his stuff. Great shipping during the Christmas rush. Overall really good company, not a bunch of up-sellers.
Great bins; great price
Dara J. from Leeds, MA
Very nice bins for well under a grand. Field of vision is great, eye relief (I wear glasses) is excellent, but the real extraordinary aspect to these bins is their close focus. They feel good in my hands and the focus knob turns nicely. I have used them only briefly outdoors. However, doing indoor, backyard birding...my backyard extends 1,000 yards from the sunroom...has been a real treat. I even can see clearly the outline of the mountain that is about seven miles in the distance.
One small drawback is my eyes are close together, and I would have liked a hair more close angle in the lenses. However, this issue was not enough for me to send the bins back.
I have a pair of Leica Ultravids I've used for the past four years for my outdoor birding. They are stupendous, but the price was also stupendous. These Vipers are not so far behind them in quality, and had I not owned the Ultravids, I'd most likely rate the Vipers even higher.
I have NOT used the Viper bins for outdoor birding yet so I cannot comment on fog, rain resistance and focus knob mobility in cold weather.
David F. from Owings Mills, MD
Wow! That is the word that comes to mind when I view birds through these binoculars. The clarity and light is truly amazing. Excellent product. Thank you.
2nd Pair in 3 months
xctraveler from Western NY
My wife liked mine so much when we were in Tanzania, that I had to buy her a pair when we got back, or she would have confiscated mine.
All the rangers use them!
Anne from Haverford, PA
I recently visited Yosemite National Park. Our group was at a lookout point, and one of the rangers was pointing out something in the distance. As I got out my Viper binoculars, she noticed them and showed me hers - same make and model! She said they were the best - that's what "all the rangers" were issued. It sure made me feel good about my choice in binoculars!
Paul from United States
Bought the 8x42 HD based on reviews and chat with Eagle Optics Staff. I am thoroughly pleased with the ergonomics and the clarity of view with minimal light. I took them on safari in Tanzania and never got tired of using them to see animals that were hidden to others. I briefly swapped with my wife who was using the Nikon 8X40 6.5 deg we have had 2 pair of for years and I could not see the cheetah I had been watching with the Vortex HD. When she took my Vipers, she said she wanted a pair. Will be ordering another pair in a week.
Not what I expected
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...
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
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
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
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.
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
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!