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.
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Whether you are hitting mountain paths or wide-open plains, the Viper HD spotting scope is the choice for outstanding long-range viewing. You can count on the optics to deliver impressive color fidelity and resolution through the HD extra-low dispersion glass and maximum brightness due to the Vortex proprietary XR anti-reflective coatings and fully multi-coated lenses. The external design provides all the necessities and then some with a Picatinny Accessory Rail for easy attachment of red dot type sights. Protected by the Vortex VIP warranty, the Viper HD is certain to perform for generations.
HD Extra-low Dispersion Glass
Enhances resolution, color, and contrast.
Fully Multi-coated Lenses
Increase light transmission with multiple anti-reflective coatings on all air-to-glass surfaces.
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.
Allows for precision with coarse and fine adjustments.
Magnesium Alloy Body
Is sturdy and resistant to corrosion.
Provides a secure, non-slip grip.
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.
I use this scope for lakewatching at Whitefish Point frequently in the fall. I find the scope is great for the price. I'm guessing one of the super high end scopes may offer better clarity and brightness, but I have found that on bright clear days I can get a nice image at even 60x. It does start to dim and lose a bit of clarity and brightness at around 45x, but is still usable up to 60x depending on conditions (how much haze/shimmer is in the air). I am not sure what a previous comment meant by saying that this scope is only good at 15x considering the lowest magnification it offers is 20x.
As with previous comments, I could not fit the cover on the scope when I first purchased it. I mentioned this when I had to send the scope in for repairs after it was broken by an airline during a connecting flight and they sent a new cover that fits perfectly.
Good Scope at 15x Power
Steve M. from United States
The Eagle Optics people are good to work with. I have been buying optics from them since 1990.
This Vortex Viper scope is terrific at 15x power. It will compete $ for $ with any scope on the market, in the low power range. However, when you zoom to 45x or 60x, the Vortex Viper looses resolution. At higher powers, the image appears out of focus. Yet, focusing does not help. I could not discern the image any better than at 60x, than at 15x. If you are satisfied with 15x power, then this scope is a bargain. If you need greater power (like 30x, 45x or more), you may want to look at a more expensive scope.
Lottie B. from Columbia, MO
I received this scope as a Christmas gift. I found it very difficult to put the case on (it fits like a glove, only tighter). Once the case was on I found it difficult to focus the scope. The cover would snag in the dials. I also was unable to expand the lense cover that is intended for rain and sun protection. These problems were helped by the staff at Eagle Optics when they sent an alternative cover that fit looser and didn't interfere with focusing. One other problem that was the deal killer for me was the eye relief. I struggled each time I set it up and tried to focus and then zoom on a bird and refocus. There were always black circles. I do not wear glasses. After consulting with the staff at Eagle Optics, I went with a different scope under $1000 that I have been thrilled with. I would not recommend this scope.
NM Big Year Guy from New Mexico
This scope is optimal for a couple different reasons. It is the cheapest high quality scope on the market. It's got the 2-way focus (course & fine), which is a feature on most upper-end scopes, but doesn't cost nearly as much as most of those upper-end scopes. The field of view is huge and the image is sharp all the way across the field of view. This company also has the best warranty of any company in the market. I just competed a Big Year of intense birding and the scope had taken a lot of wear and tear. I sent it in to Vortex for maintenance. They cleaned the glasses, re-attached the picatinny rail, re-lubricated the rotating zoom feature of the eyepiece, and checked the alignnment of the optics in order to make sure it was up to factory specs. They did all of this free of charge. I only had to pay for shipping it there, they paid for the maintenance and the return shipping. So, not only is this a good product, but it will continue to be a good product over time because the company is there to make sure your product stays new forever.
Some cautions: at the full zoom capacity, 60x, the image can get pretty dark and fuzzy and no amount of fineness in the zoom seems to help this out. But this is a universal optical weakness not specific to just this product. Plus, I was using it in pretty extreme conditions, like late overcast dusk at 2,000 meters. For most of the time it was perfectly functional, but just didn't hold up in some of the most extreme conditions, but I really doubt if any product by any company could help out in those extreme of conditions.
Another caveat is that the promotional video that Eagle Optics used to have attached to this product is that it's foot fits into a quick-release type tripod head without having to use an adapter. This is not true. The size of the foot is appropriate to get into the quick-release slot of a tripod head, but it is too big to allow the safety pin to fully rotate. So you could I guess technically click it into a quick-release type tripod head without using an adapter, but you wouldn't be able to engage the safety feature which is important for protecting it from accidental unclicking resulting in your scope plumeting to the ground. I had to use the adapter that comes with the quick-release tripod head. Screwing that into the bottom of the scope and then clicking that into the quick-release plate of the tripod head. This was frustrating because it almost seems redundant. The shape of the adapter is almost identical to the shape of the scope foot, but the adapter is just tiny bit smaller than the scope foot, allowing the adapter, but not the scope foot, to fit into the quick-release plate of the tripod head better and allowing the safety pin to fully click. After a day or two of traveling with the vibrations of a car or of using the mounted scope, the adapter would inevitably loosen and unscrew from the screw-hole in the bottom of the scope foot, making the mounted scope jiggle loosely, which was unusable and perilous because the scope was loosened and could probably eventually unscrew completely and fall. So, the design of the scope was a little frustrating, demanding regular vigilance to make sure that it wasn't unscrewed and in danger of falling.
Overall a great product (Viper) and respectable company (Vortex) with which I have been sufficiently satisfied. I would recommend this company (Vortex), and specifically this product (Viper).