The Razor HD exceeds performance expectations normally found in this price range. 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. The Razor's compact, magnesium alloy body is lightweight and rugged. The 85mm objective lens allows you to maximize available light at dawn or dusk. The Vortex VIP warranty guarantees the Razor HD will last 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.
Magnesium Alloy Body
Is sturdy and resistant to corrosion.
Twists up and down for comfortable viewing with or without eyeglasses.
Reduces glare and shields the objective lens from raindrops.
Rotating Tripod Ring
Allows greater flexibility when positioning the spotting scope.
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.
Review Of Vortex Razor HD 85mm spotting scope Professional Naturalist /Guide for The Nature Conservancy, Montana.
Pros: · Clear sharp images, · Excellent resolution. · Well built and solid · Smooth zoom · Smooth and adjustable eye relief · Wide field of view · Out standing price! · Unbeatable Warranty
Cons: · Not enough eye relief for some people with glasses · Lens caps may not work with some filters · The View through case is poorly fitted and cumbersome. · Sunshade slides out too easily (a small rubber ring would help)
Bottom Line: This is an outstanding scope at a great price. The other leading optics manufacturers may have a slight edge over the Vortex in some areas, but this scope holds its own with the very best leading with a great price and the best warranty in the business.
More about how I found the Vortex. I have been using a Leica APO 77mm scope and Leica binoculars for years. I have a straight view Leica. This came to be a problem guiding because of the long hours glassing for bears and other wildlife as well and that it will not accommodate users of differing heights easily. So, I started looking for a replacement scope. I went to Leica first, but the new Leica APO 82 was selling for thousands of dollars That made me pause and look around. I read some reviews of the Vortex. It sounded like a top quality scope at a reasonable price. However, the price made me wonder if I would notice a difference in quality from the other top scope manufacturers. Fortunately, due to my work, I have access to many top scopes for comparisons including Swarovski, Nikon, and Leica.
I was able to test the Vortex scope in the field for several weeks. I also set up a 100 yard Snell eye chart comparison. I am very impressed with the Vortex performance both in day- to-day field use and in direct comparison to several other excellent scopes.
Resolution and sharpness
In the resolution tests I set up, the Vortex scored equal to other scopes tested against.
For my resolution test, I set each of the four scopes on a sturdy tripod viewing a Snell Eye Chart at 100 yards on a cloudless, Montana afternoon. I had several different testers read the eye chart through each scope several time, and at different magnifications. I varied the order for scopes and the direction that they read the lines of the eye chart.
The scopes I compared were: Vortex Razor HD 85mm w/20z-60x Leica APO 77 w/20x-60x Swarovski 80mm STS HD w 20x-60x Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED w/ 25x-75x
Here are the results of my Snell Eye Chart comparisons. All were great scopes. None of the scopes tested were able to clearly resolve one line smaller than the others. In other words, all appeared equally clear. In most runs of the test the Vortex had the same accuracy as the Leica. There was some variation from one test to another and from one tester to another.
When trying to read 5 mm lettering at 100 yards, body position and eye relief were very important. If one’s position was not in correct, testers had more difficulty with some letters.
After hours of squinting at the eye chart, the impressions of the testers were: The Leica might have been the sharpest, but not by much. The Vortex was a very very close second and even that was not a sure thing. The Swarovski and Nikon were about equal, and just behind the Leica and the Vortex.
We did however notice more chromatic aberration in the Swarovski and in the Nikon than with the Leica and the Vortex. The Vortex had warmer cast to the view, almost like a slight warming filter and the Leica and Swarovski had a cooler cast like a cooling filter. I do not think this is good or bad just different. One of the testers said “that they though the Vortex had great contrast in relation to the other scopes.” I did find that some style of glasses made it difficult to get the appropriate amount of eye relief for one tester.
Body and construction
The Vortex razor feels very well made. The zoom operates smoothly. I really like the duel focus knobs that are very smooth and have no lag in the rolling of them. I really like that the eye-piece locks in place with a pin. I would prefer all rubber armor on the body like the Leica and Swarovski.. I also find the sun shade slides out too freely for my tastes. I think the Objective lens cap might not fit well if you put a protective filter on but I did not test this. I also like how smooth and firm the eye-cup twists out. making for great eye-relief adjustment.
Now for some real world use. I used the Vortex in the field leading wildlife watching expeditions and hikes. I also tested it watching White-winged Cross bills feeding. I loved the color rendition I got through the Vortex. I saw great highlights in the bird’s feathers.
I used the scope several times at dusk looking for grizzly bears at Pine Butte Preserve in Montana. The Vortex did very well in the poor light- even in the rain. The Vortex scope was even brighter than my Leica binoculars. I had several of my clients comment on how bright and sharp they thought the scope was. We watched several moose and were able to see the velvet on the antlers from ½ a mile. I was able to pick out elk from nearly two miles away, and we watched a female grizzly with two cubs run across a meadow. The detail in their hair was excellent. You could see her coat ripple and move as she stood up to smell us. One major difference I noticed: at 60x the Leica and Swarovski really seemed to tunnel down and have small field of view. The Vortex seemed much bigger and brighter. This was most observable when looking at wildlife over one mile away in poor light.
Summary The Vortex Razor is a top quality scope. You might get slightly more from a $4000 dollar scope, but I do not think it would be a difference that mattered. The Razor has by far the best warranty in the industry and that is a huge benefit to me. If you drop the Vortex and break it ;Vortex will fix it. You will not get this with Leica, Swoarvski, or Kowa. Nikon had a great warranty too, but it is not transferable to another owner of the scope. The Vortex warranty stays with the scope not the owner!
I have loved using the scope on the job. I am very impressed by the scope and will seriously look at other Vortex products in the future. I think that if they can keep up the quality and the affordable prices, we will hear a lot more about Vortex Optics.
Our first Scope!
Ed and Diana from Strongsville Ohio
WOW, all of the lenghtly searching, scrutinzing and reading on the web, led us to Eagle Optics and the Razor Vortex! Not a moments regret!
Our first experience with a scope..and the wonders it provides. Who would have thought the best part would be sharing with anyone passing us along the trail. Either they want to know about our scope and where to buy it, or there are gasps as people view a beautiful bird they had never seen close up!
Our digital photography is progressing slowly with the scope...fortunately the "spotting" of a Kirtlands Warbler and a Purple Galinule (very rare in Ohio)...has more than made up for it!
We could not be happier with our Vortex Scope!
Great quality with reasonable price
Ross from Glenville, West Virginia
As a fan of Swarovski binoculars, I first tried the Swarovski HD 20-60x85 scope and was not convinced it was worth the price. I returned it to give the Vortex Razor a try and was very impressed with the edge-to-edge image clarity and colors in very low light. I have not had problems with eye relief (I also don't wear glasses), but agree with Clint that the scope case would be improved with a zip-opening eye cup. I also have noticed that the rubberized portion of the scope's body has started to "peel" off in one location, but not a big deal. Several months into owning the Razor, I am very pleased overall. I also find the "viewing guide" attached to the lens to be extremely useful for astronomy.
Stephen from Boulder
This is a fine optical scope but I find the eye relief to leave a lot to be desired. At any zoom other than 20x you will find you have to place your glasses on the eyepiece and push your glasses closer to your eye to get a reasonable field of view.
Vortex Razor Spotting Scope
Ken from Florida
I am a snowbird and live in Wisconsin during the summer. A trip to Eagle Optics to compare products is an easy summer outing for me.
I have compared scopes in Eagle Optics store for the last couple of summers. I looked through many great scopes but I just could not part with the money for what I liked. With the Euro to dollar ratio so high I felt the European offerings were just overpriced.
After reading the reviews on the internet, I decided to give the Vortex Razor scope a try. Well, after using this scope, I can confirm that the high praise for this scope is accurate. This scope is terrific! I feel this scope offers real value for my money with a view as good as most of the other higher priced scopes I have looked through. The differences are negligible. I know a Roseate Spoonbill or a Pileated Woodpecker down here in Florida will not look any better through another scope.
I demand high quality views through optics but I want the cost to be reasonable. This scope does that for me.
Comparable to Swarovski, better price.
Clint. w. Rupert from Edson Alberta Canada
This new Vortex Razor HD 20-60x85 spotting scope is very high quality, excellent lighting and edge to edge glass (very clear) same as swarovski's 20-60x85 HD. Thanks Vortex for stepping up to the plate for high quality and way better pricing. I also found objective lens cap tight, but have just sanded down the rubber lip a little. The scope case I feel would be better if it had a zip open eye piece not restricting or interfering the eye piece while adjusting it. Thanks Clint.
Ed LaBorde from Freeport Illinois
This scope has excellent optics. It is ideal in low light. We really enjoy using it. Two recommendations would be a larger diameter Sightfinder and a much better Objective Lens cover. The one it has makes you not want to use it. Also the protective case is very slippery and hard to get a grip on.