Binoculars review

Vortex Viper 10x42

Vortex Viper 10x42
6 April 2010
The Viper is one of the highest and the best polished-up series of Vortex binoculars. In 2006 it consisted of roof prism models with the following parameters: 8x42, 10x42 and 12x42.

Things that Vortex writes about its instruments are impressive. In the Viper series XD low dispersion glass was used for objectives along with special XR multi-coatings, BaK-4 glass for prisms which were additionally phase correction coated. Mechanical materials quality is hardly worse. A very solid and stylish housing is fully waterproof, dustproof and nitrogen-filled. The eyecups are metal-strengthened. The whole device is physically light and it comes with a lifetime warranty.

  • Lornetka Vortex Viper 10x42
  • Lornetka Vortex Viper 10x42
  • Lornetka Vortex Viper 10x42
  • Lornetka Vortex Viper 10x42
Manufacturer data


web site

Distribution / Sales:

web site

Magnification Lens diameter Angular field of view Prisms Eye relief Weight Price
10 42 107/1000(6.1o) BaK-4/roof 16.5 mm 665 g 1649 PLN
Results of the review
Real front lens diameter Left:   41.85+/- 0.05 mm
Right:  41.83+/- 0.05 mm
7 / 8.0 pkt
Real magnification 10.05+/- 0.15x 3/3.0
Transmission 90.5+/- 3% 18/25.0
Chromatic aberration Medium in the centre, high at the edge. 5.1/10.0
Astigmatism Medium and slight borderline. 5.7/10.0
Distortion The distance of the first curved line from the field centre compared to the field of view radius : 82% +\- 3% 10/10.0
Coma Medium. 5.3/10.0
Blurring at the edge of the FOV The blur occurs in the distance of 87% +\- 2% from the field of view centre. 7/10.0
Darkening at the edge the FOV Very low. 4.3/5.0
Whiteness of the image Trace yellow. Almost perfect. 4.6/5.0
Collimation Exemplary. 5/5.0
Internal reflections
Left: Right:
Vortex Viper 10x42 - Internal reflections - Left Vortex Viper 10x42 - Internal reflections - Right
Housing Handy, compact, stylish and very solid at the same time. Very convenient to hold and to look through. Eyecups with stops. 7.7/8.0
Focusing Very comfortable and big central screw with the turn of 580 degrees. Individual ring also very comfy with a blockade. It moves the right eyepiece’s lens. 4.7/5.0
Tripod There is a convenient exit. 3/3.0
Interpupilary distance from 58 to 74.6mm 5/6.0
Closest focusing distance 1.4 m. 2/2.0
Eyepieces FOV Apparent field of view of 60.4 deg (according to simple formula) and 55.6 deg (according to tangent formula). 11/20.0
Field of view Measured by us amounted to 6.01 +\- 0.03 degrees and it was minimally narrower than stated in the specifications. 5/8.0
Quality of the interior of the barrels Black but shiny. Gray bottom. Clean. 4.1/5.0
Left: Right:
Vortex Viper 10x42 - Vignetting - Left Vortex Viper 10x42 - Vignetting - Right
Pupils slightly egg-shaped.
OL: 1.8%, OR: 0.4%.
Prisms quality High quality BaK-4. 8/8.0
Antireflection coatings Purple-green-orange on objectives. Green-yellow on prisms and green on eyepieces. Low intensity. 5/5.0
Warranty [years] lifetime 6/6.0
Final result
11th place in the overall ranking of the 10x42 binoculars test.
147.4 / 190 pkt
Econo result 4th place in the econo ranking of the 10x42 binoculars test. 9.2pkt.


  • very high build quality,
  • very good transmission,
  • low distortion,
  • sharp image almost to the edge of the field,
  • high quality of prisms and coatings,
  • excellent whiteness rendition,
  • low brightness loss at the edge of the field,
  • minimal focus already from 1.4 meters,
  • lifetime warranty.

  • slightly truncated pupils.

When you take the Viper to your hand, one thing that attracts your attention is the high build quality, fully confirmed in the tests. In such categories as housing, focusing, blackening, collimation, tripod, minimal focus or IPD the Vortex Viper had nearly perfect results.

Optical properties are also very good. Excellent transmission and inner flares results (as you see the coatings do a very good job) as well as those in distortion or edge sharpness categories confirm Vortex’s high aspirations.

To be absolutely perfect the binoculars would need a better correction of the basic optical aberrations like chromatic aberration, coma or astigmatism, which now reach medium values. If it was improved, the Viper would be able to compete with the best products of the most reputable companies. Even now, though, in its price class it is one of the best choices possible.