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Binoculars review

Vortex Razor 10x42

Vortex Razor 10x42
14 April 2010
Optyczne.pl 
The Razor series consists of roof prism binoculars with the following parameters: 8x42, 10x42, 8.5x50, 10x50 and 12x50. In all models low-dispersion XD glass was used and special XR antireflection coatings which together are supposed to ensure a bright, contrasting and natural image. Additionally, in order to obtain the highest transmission and contrast levels, the Razors’ roof prism were phase correction coated and some silver was applied on the reflective layer.

The binoculars are put into a solid housing with a high quality rubber armour which makes them dustproof and shockproof. The instruments are argon-filled and waterproof.

Pictures
  • Lornetka Vortex Razor 10x42
  • Lornetka Vortex Razor 10x42
  • Lornetka Vortex Razor 10x42
  • Lornetka Vortex Razor 10x42
Manufacturer data

Manufacturer:

Vortex
web site

Distribution / Sales:

Kolba.pl
web site

Magnification Lens diameter Angular field of view Prisms Eye relief Weight Price
10 42 109/1000(6.2o) BaK-4/roof 16 mm 845 g 2419 PLN
Results of the review
Real front lens diameter Left:   41.95+/- 0.05 mm
Right:  41.91+/- 0.05 mm
8 / 8.0 pkt
Real magnification 9.99+/- 0.15x 3/3.0
Transmission 90+/- 3% 13/15.0
Chromatic aberration Slight in the centre, significant at the edge. 5.7/10.0
Astigmatism Very low. 8.7/10.0
Distortion The distance of the first curved line from the field centre compared to the field of view radius : 31% +\- 5% 3/10.0
Coma Very low. 8.1/10.0
Blurring at the edge of the FOV The blur occurs in the distance of 88% +\- 3% from the field of view centre. 7.5/10.0
Darkening at the edge the FOV Slight. 4.1/5.0
Whiteness of the image Minimally yellow. 4.2/5.0
Collimation Exemplary. 5/5.0
Internal reflections
Left: Right:
Vortex Razor 10x42 - Internal reflections - Left Vortex Razor 10x42 - Internal reflections - Right
Slight.
3.9/5.0
Housing Very solid and stylish. Significant dimensions. Comfortable to hold and to look through. Eyecups with stops. 7.8/8.0
Focusing Comfortable central screw with click stop (400 degrees) Nothing moves outside - internal focusing. 4.7/5.0
Tripod Yes but too far from the gravity centre. 2/3.0
Interpupilary distance from 54.6 to 75.3mm 5/6.0
Closest focusing distance 2.25 m 1.5/2.0
Eyepieces FOV Apparent field of view of 59.7 degrees. 6.5/10.0
Field of view Measured by us amounted to 5.98 +\- 0.03 degrees and it was by 0.22 degree narrower than stated in the specifications. 4/8.0
Quality of the interior of the barrels Beautiful black and matt inner tubes. Slightly gray bottom. Clean. 4.7/5.0
Vignetting
Left: Right:
Vortex Razor 10x42 - Vignetting - Left Vortex Razor 10x42 - Vignetting - Right
OL: 2.6%, OR: 1.5%.
Pupils slightly egg-shaped.
4.5/8.0
Prisms quality High class BaK-4. 8/8.0
Antireflection coatings Green on objectives and prisms. Green-yellow on eyepieces. Low intensity. 5/5.0
Warranty [years] lifetime 6/6.0
Final result
78.8%
14th place in the overall ranking of the 10x42 binoculars test.
133.9 / 170 pkt
Econo result 21st place in the overall ranking of the 10x42 binoculars test. 4.1pkt.

Summary


Pros:
  • very solid and stylish casing,
  • good transmission,
  • negligible astigmatism,
  • low coma,
  • slight light fall-off at the edge,
  • good whiteness rendition,
  • excellent inner tubes blackening,
  • high quality of coatings and prisms,
  • lifetime warranty.

Cons:
  • field of view narrower than in the specifications,
  • slightly truncated pupils,
  • high distortion,
  • distinct chromatic aberration at the edge of the field,
  • bad place for a tripod exit.


The product is undoubtedly well-made but there’s still room for improvement – the binoculars could have fared better. Instead, they lost some points due to slip-ups which are not fully understood by us. Their weight is significant so it would be possible to put inside prisms sufficiently big not to truncate the pupils. The Busnhell Elite 10x43, although almost 200 grams lighter, managed to do it correctly so there is no reason why the Razor cannot. It is also strange why the company risks the criticism of customers and testers by overstating the field of view in the specifications. Say what you like, the producer should know the parameters of their products very precisely. What’s more, when you boast of using low-dispersion glass you shouldn’t have such a significant chromatic aberration in your device…

These slight faults shouldn’t cloud the overall assessment of this instrument which has to be good. If a set of binoculars gets a score of over 130 points in our test, you can’t be unhappy. You can consider another option, though, because if a slightly cheaper Vortex Viper has the result of several small points higher is there really any sense in paying more?