For a limited time, purchase any spotting scope or spotting scope package and get the Velbon PH-157Q/Ultra Luxi L Tripod Kit for only $39. To redeem this offer, enter coupon code tripod39 at checkout.
The Razor HD far exceeds performance expectations and earns high praise in the field. You are sure to appreciate the Vortex HD system with a sophisticated triplet apochromatic lens system that incorporates precisely ground HD optical glass to enhance image resolution and eliminate virtually all chromatic aberration. That means you get an amazing distortion-free view with impressive edge-to-edge sharpness. The Razor's tough magnesium alloy body is lightweight, the optics are waterproof and fogproof, and the Vortex VIP warranty will keep the Vortex Razor in the field for generations.
|High-density (HD) Glass
||Enhances resolution, color, and contrast.
|Fully Multi-coated Lenses
||Increase light transmission with multiple anti-reflective coatings on all air-to-glass surfaces. Broadband lens coatings.
||Optimize light transmission through the prisms.
||Offer maximum image quality and durability in a traditional design.
|Angled Body Design
||Is favored by users of different heights for viewing without adjusting the tripod height as frequently. The angled design works well when viewing at an upward angle.
||Provides a secure, non-slip grip.
||Allows for precision with coarse and fine adjustments.
||Rolls up and down for comfortable viewing with or without eyeglasses.
||Optics are sealed with O-rings to prevent moisture, dust, and debris from getting inside the spotting scope.
||Barrel is filled with argon gas to inhibit internal fogging.
|ArmorTek Lens Coating
||Repels oils on outer glass surfaces.
Looking for customer feedback about Eagle Optics? Click here to see what others are saying!
Great Value, with caveats
KG from Bay Area
I have been using this scope for about two months, and I am very happy overall. It's a great travel scope.
The optical quality is excellent. You get a really clear image at 11x, and the image quality holds up pretty well throughout its range. I was surprised to still get a nice image at 33x despite heat shimmer coming off the ground later in the day. I haven't tested out the scope yet in low light conditions.
For birding in particular, 33x does leave quite a few birds just out of range. But for the most part, these are birds that are also out of range for a lower- to mid-quality (~$700) full size scope, where image quality starts to really break down at the end of the range anyway, especially in less than ideal viewing conditions. (I haven't tried the Vortex and other scopes side-by-side yet, so take this with a grain of salt: it's just my impression so far).
There are two negative features that are probably worth mentioning. The first is that the eye-relief is pretty bad. Different websites have different specs on the eye relief for this product. All I know is that when I am at the 33x zoom, I am really pressing into the rubber to get a better field of view (which I can do because I don't wear glasses). While this isn't a huge issue for me, pressing into the scope does cause it to move around just a bit. I also struggle with the field of view when I am all the way at 33x. That might just be a feature of travel scopes in general, but it makes the eye relief a slightly bigger issue.
Second, I'm not a huge fan of the case. The zipper ends right at the focus knob, so you need to stick your fingers under the case a bit to use the knob, which is a small annoyance. Then again, this is still better than no case at all (my scope has already survived one drop).
So overall, I'm very happy with the scope and think it's great for the price. But if you wear glasses, it might be worth checking out the scope first to make sure eye relief isn't an issue. I would give this 4.5 stars if that were an option.
Meets My Needs Very Well
Reid M. from Viola, ID
I bought the Vortex Razor HD 11-33x50 Angled Scope to replace my Eagle Optics Denali Angled Scope, a great scope which finally went black after years of use and being broken into two pieces and glued together three times. I use the scopes for birding, including taking occasional digiscope pictures, employing a home-made, slip-in plastic adapter. The new scope works great and appears to be a bit more ruggedly constructed. The image is sharp, and I like the lower power range for my photography. It is very light for our overseas travel. The price is reasonable. I find the fine focus knob unnecessary, and I use the scope with the eye-cup out, which means glasses off to use it at higher powers.
Light spotting scope
Richard P. from San Francisco
I recently bought this scope to combine with Gitzo tripod and head in order to have a light, portable combination for travel and bird watching. Together they work very well. While the scope is not of the very highest quality, it is excellent for the price and weight. Light falls off fast as expected, but it is easy to use and, importantly, to carry. So if the limitations are understood, this is really an excellent scope for its purposes.
needs fixed wide angle ocular
Alan B from Fresno CA
This is a fine little scope, which likely would be better suited, as discussed in the first review, to be equipped a 24X, wider angle fixed power eyepiece, field around 3.0 degrees and also better eye relief. E.R. of the current zoom ocular suffers as one goes above about 22X. I suspect that the native focal length of this triplet scope is about 264 mm, i.e. F-ratio 5.28, so an 11 mm ocular would be about right. As the eyepiece is screw-in, not fixed, I'm hopeful that Vortex might offer that as an option. With that caveat, important particularly for eyeglass wearers, this is a fine scope. Do see the more detailed review in the January 2014 Birdwatching Digest, which ranks this scope as the best of the "travel scopes."
good scope, mediocre eyepiece
jsf from sausalito
I've owned this scope, purchased from Eagle Optics, for two months now. Coupled with a Promaster T325P carbon-fiber tripod, it weighs almost nothing, although one must beware on gusty days because this combination will blow over if unattended.
My biggest complaint is that the eye relief is nowhere near the 20mm advertised. I contacted Vortex about this, and they confirmed that although the factory specs said "20mm," one of their technicians measured it and it was nowhere close to that large. They said they'd fix the web site about this, but that was over a month ago and they still have not done so. Vortex offered to purchase the scope back from me, but I'd ordered it for a specific expedition and didn't have time to go purchase an alternative scope for that specific need.
My other complaint is that there's no fixed eyepiece available, and the eyepieces from the other two Razor HD scopes won't fit this one. Vortex is investigating building one, or so I was told by a factory rep. This scope, coupled with something around a 23x fixed eyepiece, would be amazing.
I found the scope difficult to aim, especially at first, but was able to compensate by building a simple sight with a nylon cable tie. You can find instructions for doing this online.
The case that comes with the scope is garbage. I'd love to have a tight-fitting neoprene case, but I don't see that in this scope's future.
So, this is a good scope for lightweight use in standard daylight. With a quality fixed eyepiece it would be a great optic. It is not ideal for eyeglass wearers, or for use at dusk and dawn. It's a great second scope for those times when you don't want to lug a full-sized scope around. Given these limitations, it's a fairly nice optic, even for someone like me who uses Zeiss Victory binoculars, et cetera.
Shame on Vortex for false advertising about the eye relief. They really need to correct this on their website.