Are you a nature lover and love watching birds/animals from a long distance? If yes, then the Vortex 20-60 x 85 Razor Spotting Scope is for you. A spotting scope is a remarkable instrument designed for viewing land or sea from a long distance.
The better stability and high magnification will permit you to notice minute details of birds that will not be visible with binoculars. Hunters use them to effectively spot, follow and identify wildlife while target shooters use them for scoring. A spotting scope is preferable if you want to see ships on the horizon, boats in the bay, or simply observe subjects from a very long distance. In this article, we will review Vortex Razor Spotting Scope, brief you about the features, pros, and cons, which allows you to make an informed decision.
Features you must know and consider before buying a Scope mount:
What Do the Numbers signify?
A spotting scope is always characterized by two sets of numbers. For instance consider 20-60 × 80. The first number in the set denotes the magnification number. For example 20-60 x means, it varies from 20 x to 60 x. The second set of numbers denotes the diameter of the objective lens. A spotting scope will have a 50mm to 80mm objective lens.
What is the Best Magnification?
Most spotting scopes will have a variable zoom, which means you can manually adjust their magnification while viewing – just like a camera. Normally, a spotting scope will have a maximum magnification of 15x to 60x. You will be able to capture more elements if the magnification is higher. You can always zoom out when necessary.
What should be the Ideal Lens Size?
This varies with what you prefer; a better image quality or a smaller and lighter spotting scope. A spotting scope with a larger lens (60mm to 100mm) will have better light-gathering capability than a smaller 50mm lens spotting scope. This means that the image you view will be brighter and clearer. You will also enjoy a wider field of view. You have to note that with a bigger lens, the overall size of the scope also increases making it heavier to carry. In addition to that, larger spotting scopes are also more expensive.
What Other Features Should I Consider?
Spotting scopes are commonly used in extreme weather conditions, so features like waterproof and fog-proof are preferred. A lot of vendors claim that the scope is waterproof, but they are only protected against water and not moisture. Being completely waterproof will make sure that your spotting scope is protected from all types of water and moisture. This also means that scope will have protection from corrosion, which is an added advantage if you like to use it near the ocean.
Another feature to consider is long eye relief. This means that you will be able to place your eye farther away from your eyepiece and still see a clear image. This is usually necessary if you wear your glasses or sunglasses while using the spotting scope.
One of the best scopes has been described here.
Vortex has been building optics since 2004 and they are an American firm. They are already well known in the US and Canada and becoming increasingly popular in Europe as well as providing high-quality optics at very reasonable prices. In mid-2009, Vortex released their highest-quality spotting scope, the Razor HD. This will definitely be one of the top-notch spotting scopes money can buy, thus, providing the highest quality available today for hunting or bird watching. Supreme optics and extra-low dispersion glass consent its clear, bright razor sharp images.
According to the specifications of Razor, it is renowned to feature the state of art technology, which includes high density (HD) low dispersion glass, fully multi-coated apochromatic objective lens system, waterproof sealing design, and Argon gas filled body and lens protection from dust, fog, and smudges.
The performance of a large HD-glass scope is provided by the Vortex Razor which is an 85-mm spotting scope with a 20-60x zoom eyepiece and a remarkable carrying case for just $1,599.99. That’s a great value for its extravagant features.
The Razor HD is very bright and sharp right to the edge of the field view. Colour reliability is good. One aspect of the Razor’s optical properties that really impresses is its flat-field performance. The very edge of the field had a bit of distortion which was seen as a tendency for straight lines to bow inward.
Glass and Coatings
In addition to the quality of glass, the glass and its coating have a lot of impact on the optical performance. In the Vortex Razor HD scope, the lenses are arranged as a triple apochromatic – three differently shaped lens elements that refocus all the visible light wavelengths to the same focal plane and two of these lens elements are HD glasses.
Vortex uses a range of coatings to achieve different ends, two of which are worth making a note here. The light transmission and image resolution are improved due to the XR multi-coating. The ArmorTek coating makes the outer lens surface hard and scratches resistant as it is chemically bonded to the surface.
The coating also has the additional advantage of shedding oil and dirt which keeps it clean and is more resistant towards corrosive properties of fingerprints.
The Vortex Razor HD is obtainable only in an angled configuration. It’s still not known if Vortex has ideas to release it in a straight version or whether it will ultimately come out in a 65-mm size.
The Razor is more compact with the zoom eyepiece in place at 15.5 inches in length. Weighing 65.7 oz. The Razor HD scope is a bit lighter than average for a full-sized scope, especially for a mass of an 85-mm lens. This is because of the magnesium alloy frame, magnesium is a bit lighter and more durable than aluminum would have been.
The Vortex Razor scope has a unique look, being predominantly light gray with a textured green skin that develops handling over part of the prism. The focus knobs, as well as the eye-piece, provide a black inflection to the package. The barrel has a lens hood which should be deployed to reduce flare. You can find a plastic sighting tube that works reasonably well, this is on the right side of the lens.
The Vortex Razor HD, to be completely waterproof, dust-proof and internally fog-proof, it is fully closed and argon-purged.,The Razor HD angled scope has the tripod mount attached to a ring which is similar to Coherent.
When the set-screw is released, the body of the scope rotates within that ring. There is a peculiarity about Razor HD with regard to this. The scope stops sharply at 90° while rotating clockwise, whereas it will rotate counterclockwise from the vertical until it hits about135°.
A 20-60x zoom eyepiece is the standard equipment offered with the Vortex Razor HD spotting scope. Vortex also markets a fixed magnification 30x wide-angle eyepiece for the Razor HD scope for $189.99. For digiscoping people prefer fixed magnification wide-angle eyepieces.
When zoomed all the way up some eyepieces are completely impractical, which is not the case with Vortex. The Razor HD scope has a 117-foot field of view at 1000 yards at 20x magnification; this drops to 60 feet at 60x. A 112-foot field of view is yielded at the same distance by a 30x wide-angle eyepiece.
A minimum of 18 mm eye relief ensures that the Razor HD won’t create problems for people who wear glasses. The eyecup adjusts upward with a helical counter-clockwise twist. It does not have any steady intermediate locations, but the intermediate positions don’t usually collapse on their own.
Eyepieces are readily switched in the field, thanks to standard bayonet-type mounts and a good locking mechanism. The lock is released to permit the changing eyepieces by a sliding button on the prism housing.
Unlike all of Vortex’s previous scopes, the Razor HD uses a dual focus knob system. With the 20-60x zoom eyepiece, the minimum closest distance is at 18 feet, 10 inches, which is a bit on the long side. In certain digiscoping applications, it is the only time a short minimum close focus is particularly advantageous.
The impressive part about the Vortex Razor focusing feature is that you can focus to infinity with only 1.75 turns of the coarse focus knob. This is really a fast response, which means this scope is very easy to focus even on a moving target. Overall, you can give Vortex very high review especially for their focusing system on the Razor HD scope.
Case and Caps
The Vortex Razor HD scope has lens caps which are both made of flexible black rubber. The ocular lens cap fits easily and comfortably over the eyecup and does not extricate accidentally which makes it a great lens cap.
In contrast, the objective lens cap is a heavy rubber cap that fits snugly into the rim of the objective lens barrel. The problem is, you can’t get it in without a tussle, and getting it out nearly requires vice grips! Hopefully, Vortex will improve this in the near future.
On the brighter side, a great padded Cordura view-through case as standard equipment with the Razor HD scope is supplied by Vortex. The case features a zipping objective lens portion that has Velcro tabs to keep it open.
What’s the Housing Like on the Spotting Scope?
The Vortex 20–60×85 Razor HD is an angled-body design, the same model will also be available in a straight-body design in the near future. It is coated with ArmorTek, which is ultra-hard and scratch resistant to prevent the lenses from scratches, oil and dirt. The tripod ring is rotatable, permitting you to alter the device to a sideways position and for viewing multiple angles. You can use the eyepiece with a digital camera adapter as it is removable, but the adapter is not included with the spotting scope.
In addition to the 20-60X eyepiece, the digiscoping Razor HD digital camera adapter and the wide angle eyepieces can be combined along with the Razor. Additionally, New Pro commercializes interesting phone scoping adapters. These features are believed to reinforce the interest and versatility of the Razor.
The VIP Warranty that Vortex provides to all his high-quality optics is a most remarkable and supreme feature that places the Razor on the top in this regard.
- Excellent optics with fantastic light transmission adds to a better viewing experience
- Coarse and fine focus controls enhance the usability of the device
- Large range of available accessories, including camera adapters
- It’s completely waterproof, the device is free from corrosion due to the special coating
- This scope can be easily mounted due to the long eye relief
- Dual focus knob system which adds to the maneuverability
- Comfortable even with glasses on.
- The angular spotting scope will enable you to aim higher, especially for bird watching.
- This scope weighs 67 ounce, which is on the heavier side.
- No hard carrying case included
- Requires more spotting scope experience
To sum it up, The Vortex 27-60X85mm offers improvement in areas that may not have been considered before, which is a step in performance against that of its older brother.
It is a remarkably fine built and designed scope that supports well severe environments and intensive usage. The optical performance approaches is that of significantly more expensive models in the market and its way above average within its price range.
No doubt it offers difficult to beat the quality for the price it is being sold at and the unparalleled VIP warranty definitively tips the balance. This way, we are not surprised that the Vortex Razor spotting scope has been established as the best-selling scope and you will not hesitate to recommend it to anyone willing to purchase a reliable scope.