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Razor HD 20-60x85
Paul from WI
I've been using this scope for 4 months, and overall am pleased with its operation. I started out with the smaller 65mm Razor scope, and exchanged for this model, as I found I really needed more light transmission for morning & evening birding. The size is only marginally larger than the 65mm, and well worth it. The exchange process went very smoothly.
I've not owned any other scopes, so it's difficult to gauge optical quality. At maximum magnification, the focus is difficult to get perfect, but the image is still very usable for bird ID. The image is brighter and higher quality at 60x than the smaller Vortex Razor 65mm was at it's highest magnification of 48x. For digiscoping, decent quality, well focused photos are limited to maybe 30x, in my opinion.
The focusing knobs have very smooth movement, and while they do get a bit stiffer in winter temperatures, they still move smoothly. The fine control knob has the right amount of sensitivity. I rarely use the coarse knob.
The zoom eyepiece works reasonably well, though gets very stiff in cold temps. There is plenty of eye relief at 20x, with my glasses on. The eye relief shrinks rapidly at higher magnifications. Overall, the eyepiece is probably the weakest link of the scope. I'd really appreciate a high eye relief eyepiece with at least some zoom.
The included protective case fits well, and can be kept on when mounting to the tripod. A curious omission is straps for the eyepiece caps; They have eyelets, so I simply tied a single shoelace from one cap, to the mounting plate, to the other cap.
Denise from Southwestern Idaho
This scope has impressive optics, especially for the price. The view is clear, sharp, and wide. Got a great first view of a Hooded Merganser. For the money, this scope is exceptional. This scope survived a rain shower when I was identifying a Coopers Hawk.
Leap of faith
Mitchel Youngman from San Francisco, CA
This is my first scope (& likely my last) & I did not want to spend ~$800 and feel like I needed to upgrade in a couple of years yet I knew I was not going to spend >$2000 now or in the foreseeable future. I read a number of reviews, almost all of which were folks upgrading their scope. As usual, the team @ Eagle Optics were great and helped me suss out a few more particulars.
So, I waited until I could use it in the field several times before writing this review & I couldn't be happier. I've found it easy to use, provides a bright clear image & I feel is a great value. I'm not an optics guru, nor do I have great experience using scopes. My birding preference is a pair of binoculars and a walk in the woods but there are times a scope is almost required and I feel I have one that will fill my needs for years to come.
Great birding scope!
Bill R. from Dunedin,FL
This purchase was an upgrade from an Eagle Optics scope purchase years ago. That scope was a straight Fujinon 80mm with ED glass. A nice scope at the time. Since it was time to upgrade Eagle Optics was the logical choice. Having tried several friends angled scopes and liking the angle approach I opted for that. No knock on the straight scope just a personal choice.
For this price point the Vortex Razor is an excellent scope and one you will not regret purchasing. While I still feel Swarovski or Leica may have a slight edge in optics, this scope narrows that edge to the point where IMHO the Vortex was the logical choice. This being said from an experienced scope user. The fact that Vortex provides a lifetime warranty sold me. Fuji would barely speak to me on my previous scope.
If I had one "con" for the scope it would the weight which was on the heavy side. I suppose if I wanted a lighter Vortex I could have opted for the 60mm model. The weight will not deter me from using this excellent scope! This scope compares very favorably with the European glass scopes with a great warranty and price point. Highly recommended and Eagle Optics as well.
Vortex Razor Scope for birding
Clark B. from Bellingham, WA
I have used my new scope for birding and am extremely pleased with it. Even at 60X, the image is sharp and it is hard to believe that there are better scopes on the market.
Amy from Summerfield, NC
I have used my new Vortex multiple times in the field since I have received it. I absolutely love it! The picture is unbelievably clear. While looking at birds you can see great detail and the zoom range is excellent. I would highly recommend the Vortex Razor HD 20-60x85 to anyone looking for a new spotting scope.
Very happy with this Razor Spotting Scope
Richard from Austin, TX
I spent a lot of time researching Spotting Scopes. At first I thought it was crazy to spend this much. But after doing research I decided to bite the bullet. I am very happy I bought this. It really is incredible. I have compared it to other less expensive scopes and there really is no comparison. And with the Vortex warranty --- simply the best value out there.
Mark M. from Louisville KY
I was given the Razor HD 20-60x85 as a birthday gift as we spent time in Jackson Hole and the Teton mountains this winter. The Razor enabled some of the most amazing sight seeing as it brought wildlife and landscape into such clear view. It was simple to use and easily carried as we hiked.
A lot of scope!
Tord E. from Sweden
For quite a few years I have had a nice Kowa TS-601 spotting scope, upgraded in later years with a modern eye piece (30X, wide), but as the front lens is fairly small, digiscoping isn't very practical, as you need perfect lighting conditions to use it, with any chance of success.
So eventually i decided to upgrade.
Before committing myself I checked out a number of reviews, mainly on the internet, and did some hands-on testing of a number of scopes, in various price ranges, and eventually decided that the Vortex Razor HD 20-60x85, plus their 30X ultra-wide eye piece.
The 20-60 eye piece is nice for viewing, but the wide eye piece works much better if you're a digiscoping enthusiast.
Compared to some other scopes I've used I find the Vortex easy to focus exactly, with its coarse, and fine, focusing wheels. I like that a lot.
But it is mainly the excellent image quality that impressed me, and its low light capacity, compared to my old scope. That, and the fact that you can, if you can afford it, use Swarovski zoom eye pieces, the best in the business!
The Vortex ultra-wide eye piece is of a higher class than the zoom, being comparable to Swarovski's, according to a man I've met who had taken professional sniper troopers on test trips (he sells military rifle scopes as well). Much to his, and the troopers, surprise, there was no difference between using a Swarovski scope with the Swarovski wide eye piece, or the Vortex Razor HD, with Vortex's own wide eye piece.
So this is a great scope for digiscoping, and not bad at all for normal spotting! The best I've owned!
And Vortex is unique in another way: Lifetime warranty, so as long as you treat the scope in a normal manner, the scope is covered by the same warranties that other scopes, and binoculars, typically have the first few years after purchase.
Amazing service, to the customers. For me that is worth a lot!
The only thing I don't like is the scope's foot, which isn't the most rigid in business, and I prefer a bigger bag to carry the scope in, as I want to have room for both digiscoping adapters, and the eye pieces. The foot is reinforced by a long quick-change plate that rests, in one end, against the scope's housing (works very well, but I might even glue the plate in place to stiffen it further — time will tell if that is needed). As far as I am aware, all the wobble is gone, essential if you plan to go digiscoping!
Scope so nice I bought it twice.
Ken Brown from Olympia
I first bought this scope about 13 months ago. I carefully reviewed scopes on line, in sporting goods stores and compared the scopes of birding friends and after weighing relative value and though it is a lot of money to me, with the Vortex warrantee in mind, I purchased it through Eagle Optics. I was very happy with it. The one situation the warranty does not cover, unfortunately, occurred. While parked at a trail-head for a half hour, having taken only my bins, my car window was broken out and my scope, tripod and 2 backpacks stolen. It took a couple weeks for my anger and disappointment to fade enough that I could rationally decide whether to replace it. When I did, I had no hesitation about buying it again, no further research needed. I recommend it.
Gary P. from Austin Texas
I have had limited time to enjoy the benefits of my new scope...but love it so far. It is a bit heavier than I would like - but that is the cost of good optics. I will take it on my 1st trip to Alaska in 3 weeks....and I can hardly wait!!
Thrilled beyond belief with this scope
Kim S. from Michigan
Maybe it's because we just upgraded to this from a "starter scope" that cost $500, but I cannot believe how much more enjoyment I'm getting out of viewing ducks on the lake with the Vortex Razor. I don't know much about technical specs of glass and so on, I just know that I'm seeing everything much more clearly and brightly than before. It's made all the difference in the world to my experience!
Love this scope
Paul W. from Eugene, Oregon
I have only had this scope for a brief period of time but I love it. The clarity is amazing.Both of the focus knobs are easy to access the eye piece is comfortable and easy to zoom. The carrying case that comes with the scope is cheap, I broke one of the zipper tabs the first time I used it, they sent me a replacement free of charge and it broke as well on the first use. This is a small but annoying thing.Over all very satisfied with my purchase. Love the service at Eagle optics!
More Than Impressive
Steve F. from Pelham, Massachusetts
I've had my Vortex Razor HD 20-60x85 angled spotting scope for a few months already and cannot be more pleased with the quality and ease of use. First, the optics are brite, clear, super resolution, bringing distant birds into sharp focus. The adjustable angled barrel is just terrific, whether using a tripod or a car window mount. The price for such quality is definitely worth it, very competitive, and suitable for bragging rights. It is a delight to have such an great instrument whose performance I can "take for granted" while enjoying my favorite pastime. Enjoy!
Unbeatable at any price
Joel C. from Chicago, IL
I have a friend with a comparable Swarovski scope (same specs and design), so when I read previous reviews about the quality of this scope, I knew I'd have a chance to do my own side-by-side comparison. You can imagine my delight in knowing that I saved about 50% on a scope that I believe is every bit as good as the Swarovski. The clarity, brightness and sharpness of the optics are top-notch, even on those gray winter days when you're standing in blowing snow on the Lakefront viewing Snowy Owls. A movable sun visor on the lens works equally well to offer some protection from the weather, as does the custom-shaped nylon zipper-bag. I'm using the scope on an old video tripod which works perfectly. I can't recommend this scope enough, regardless of your budget.
Best scope out there!
Gabriel M. from Shenandoah Valley, Virginia
I had been using an Alpen 20-60x60 and a Vortex Nomad 20-60x60. Both were great (especially the Vortex Nomad) but I was ready for something more. I had checked out all my friend's scopes (including the new STX Swarovski 95mm!) but I didn't think I was ready to go for anything more than $2500 so I had narrowed my choices to two: Kowa TSN 773, the Swarovski 80mm ATS. I had pretty much decided on the Swaorvski until I checked out my friend's new scope, the Vortex Razor. I loved the view the first minute I looked through it. It was bright and clear.
When I was at the Biggest Week in American Birding Festival in Ohio this year, I checked out all three scopes one last time. Which did I like most? I immediately ruled out the Kowa. It just wasn't "right" for me. The Swaorvski was nice but I liked the Vortex just a tad better. I thought it was a little brighter and less expensive, and it also had the best warranty in the business. Just so that I wouldn't go back home to Virginia and say "Gee, why didn't I just save up longer and go fot the new Swarovski STX...My friend's Swarovski STX is SO much better and I'm not happy with this Vortex" I wanted to do a side-by-side comparison: Swarovski STX 85mm and Vortex Razor 85mm. This is going to look world class silly: but I did a blind comparison, had my mom mix them up, and then close my eyes and put my eye to both, and then see which I liked better (without knowing which was which). Which did I like more? Vortex Razor! I bought it right there and have never regretted my choice. I have been finding scope birds left, right, and center this fall at the hawk watch!
Thanks, Vortex, for making such a terrific scope for a terrific price with a great warranty, and thanks Eagle Optics for selling it at a reasonable price! GO VORTEX and GO EAGLE OPTICS!
Ps. It asks me how to rate this product: 5 stars seems too low. Where is the category for 100 stars? Seriously, it deserves 100 stars!
Bob F. from Wausau Wi
Bought this Scope last year from Eagle optics. Price, optics and warranty was main consideration for buying this. Developed a focusing issue with it and took it in on a Tuesday for repair. Don't know what the issue was but they sent me a new scope and received 2 days later. Great service and warranty. Would absolutely recommend Vortex and Eagle Optics!
Very nice unit
Wayne from Colorado
Overall a very nice unit. Optics are very good. Solid build of both unit and case. Warranty was a major determining factor for deciding for Vortex. Couple suggestions: 1) Would like to have a pre-locate viewer of some type as it's difficult to figure out where you are actually looking with the high X. 2) Would like to have a better eyecup/piece. 3) Cap hangers/holders would be nice.
Larry from Rapid City, SD
Good quality at a moderate price.
Great scope; nice for digiscoping
Dan from Stevens Point, WI
I bought this scope long with the digiscoping adapter and am very pleased. I paired it with my Canon S100 and got some amazing shots at Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge in Florida, where egrets, herons, spoonbills, pelicans, and shorebirds congregate in mixed flocks. The sharpness and colors are striking. The adapter needs careful adjustment and alignment, but is very quick to attach once its set up. The scope alone is also a nice way to see great detail in the birds that visit my backyard feeders. I researched scopes for a long time before purchasing, comparing the Razor to higher priced scopes. Personally, I couldn't see a noticeable difference in image quality. I'm very satisfied that I got an outstanding scope at a good price.
Really a great buy
Nelson L. from Bella Vista, AR
Purchased Vortex Razor HD 20-60X65 Angled Spotting Scope for the wife we have purchased lesser models and sent them back or never used after a few times. This scope works great for our needs eagle/larger bird watching. Very easy to use by hand or on Tripod. One of the biggest reasons for purchasing from Eagle Optics is prices competitive with other big online companies. Eagle Optics tell you online that the produce is available and ready to ship. Eagle Optics shipping very fast!
Vortex Razor HD -- slight production changes made
Chris H. from Central Texas
During a wonderful visit to Alaska this June, a friendly birder offered to let us peak at an eagle's nest through his spotting scope. We were amazed by the sharpness and clarity of the image, so I inquired about his scope. I made a note of the make & model: the Vortex Razor HD. Five months later, after selling off a couple of unused cameras, I could finally justify this purchase.
Eagle Optics makes it so easy... there's really no variation in price among any authorized dealers for the Vortex Razor HD, but Eagle Optics is the only source I found that offered free overnight shipping. Not even the big "Am" could do that! I placed the order on Mon. morning and it arrived Tue. around noon. Wow!
Everything that's been said about how great this scope is, has turned out to be true. However apparently a couple of things have changed regarding production. First, the objective cap on mine is *not* too tight, as earlier reviewers have complained. On mine it is definitely secure but it pulls off easily. Second, there are many photos of this scope showing a sighting tube on the right side near the eyepiece. However mine does not have one. Not sure why Vortex changed that, but the optics and overall quality are indeed amazing for the price. Thanks, Eagle Optics!
Razor HD angled scope
Josh H. from Ohio
First off, this scope is a fantastic bargain. For the price, nothing compares. It is sturdy, easy to use, and has great clarity and color fidelity, and the warranty is incomparable. The included view-through case is a nice plus. At maximum magnification, the image is lower quality than Zeiss, Swarovski or Leica, but at lower power there is no noticeable difference between the Razor and a more expensive scope.
That said, there are a couple things that could be improved.
1. Zoomed all the way up (60x) the image suffers a little (grainy and a little dark, with slightly less color fidelity), but at lower magnification (even slightly lower, 55x and below) the image is excellent.
2. The objective cap is very tight, and I've found that if you twist it off (rather than pulling straight off) it loosens the threaded ring that retains the lens hood. I discovered this recently by pulling off the lens cap and having the lens hood assembly fall off the scope. Luckily, it threaded right back on. Not something you would want to happen while trying to confirm a distant rarity.
In summary, I would recommend this product to anyone who wants a high-quality scope without shelling out the big bucks.
Wonderful scope for birdwatching
Lois from Colorado
I love to birdwatch, but my eyesight is really bad. Since receiving the Vortex Razor HD 20-60x85, my birdwatching experience has improved 100%. Love, love, love the Razor. Everything is magnified to the "nth" degree and it is so wonderful to finally see all of the fantastic details of all of the beautiful birds out there. The Razor is really easy to use--just adjust the eyepiece to the magnification you want and then fine tune it with the dual focus dial. Easy, easy, easy. When I ordered the Razor, I also ordered the Manfrotto 128RC/190XB Tripod kit. These two products work together really well and I would recommend them to anyone.
good spotting scope
Bill from Aldie,Va
The scope works very well. I am very satisfied with the scope.
The aiming tube on the side of the scope is particularly helpful. It enables you to quickly find the waterfowl and birds. I would recommend this scope.
D Hardie from Marquette, MI
My first scope, so nothing to compare to. Snow Owl invasion the day after purchase, and was so great to have the scope-very nice view at >100yds. Christmas Count-Immature Bald vs Golden>>1/4 mile away-made ID easy. At max zoom the detail falls, but think this is normal.and would not be such an issue in brighter conditions. Goldeneyes on the big lake-nice detail. It is hefty scope, but seems sturdy. Manfrotto tripod pairs well with the scope. Glad I invested in the package.
Great value ... with a minor bug
Chainsaw from SoCal
Our first order from Eagle Optics was the Vortex Razor.
Service could not have been better. We ordered the scope and Manfrotto 128RC/190XB Tripod Kit one morning, and had it all in hand the next afternoon.
So far, the scope and tripod are all they're claimed to be. Spotting birds on the water the first morning, they actually looked brighter than they did with bins or the naked eye. Awesome clarity too. And nice, smooth mechanisms.
The only bug so far is the ridiculously tight objective lens cap. I'm a strong guy. But I have to really wrestle this thick hunk of rubber to get it off. It's bad enough that I fear for the tripod head. Given that others have also commented on this problem, you'd think Vortex would just come up with a better cover system, no?
I'm only rating this scope as "Good" -- at least until we decide if we can live with the lens cover long-term.
Really good scope
JD from United States
This scope provides best picture quality for the price range.
1] Awesome edge-to-edge sharpness.
2] Good accesories
3] Awesome warranty
4] Robust build
1] Slightly on the heavier side
2] The objective lens cover is too tight for my liking. You almost need to yank it off.
3] I have not bought the digiscoping adapter as it does not fit the 30x wide eyepiece which I plan to buy in future.
suzanne from kentucky
Pete from Georgia
Got the Razor about a week ago and wow was the shipping fast! Ordered it and the next day it was there as advertised. Kudos to Eagle Optics for living up to their word on shipping. Now the scope. Packaged very nicely and securely. I paired this scope with a Manfrotto tripod and it all went together real easy. I don't like the little booklet you get with the scope though. Not exactly chock full of pictures and clear instructions. But I did find putting the lens on the scope easy even though it took a little more force to get it to lock into place than I thought necessary. The lens cap is tight which I like. I am no expert on optics but I know what I can see through this scope is excellent.Very clear right to the edges. I will say that I thought I would get a bit more performance in long distance magnification. I was looking at the first Blue Grosbeak of the season from quite a distance and I thought it would be a bit better picture than what I got. Not exactly a bad picture but maybe a little less than my expectations. BUT. At medium to medium long ranges wow! I got in just a bit closer to this bird and man oh man what a picture. Very impressive in detail and color. I could see the wind rustling his feathers real clear and the definition of the feathers was outstanding. The field of view at about 35-40x is excellent and really doesn't seem to darken at all. This scope is not lightweight. It is definitely heavier than my last scope but time to man up! I am 54 years old and if I can handle it well......... Anyways, I highly recommend this scope. It is the same price as the comparable Kowa but comes with the eyepiece! Much better deal in my opinion. Hey Vortex! Get a better booklet with this thing! Other than that, great scope.