Binoculars review

Vortex Crossfire HD 10x42

Vortex Crossfire HD 10x42
28 November 2023
The Vortex Crossfire HD series consists of four models: the 8x42, the 10x42, the 10x50 and the 12x50. All of them are roof prism Schmidt-Pechan devices but on the site of the producer you can't find any information concerning dielectric or phase correction coatings. Instead, we are said that all air-to-glass surfaces are covered by multilayer anitreflection coatings.

The HD symbol in the name of the instrument doesn't mean using any low dispersion glass in objectives but the producer emphasizes the fact that the system has been optimized for correcting chromatic aberration in the best possible way.

The binoculars feature rubber armour, they are waterproof and nitrogen-purged. They are sold with lifetime warranty and the buyers get in the box with them: a strap, a case with a separate strap, a set of caps, and a cleaning cloth.
  • Lornetka Vortex Crossfire HD 10x42
  • Lornetka Vortex Crossfire HD 10x42
  • Lornetka Vortex Crossfire HD 10x42
  • Lornetka Vortex Crossfire HD 10x42
Manufacturer data


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Magnification Lens diameter Angular field of view Prisms Eye relief Weight Price
10 42 109/1000(6.2o) BaK-4/roof 15 mm 652 g 729 PLN
Results of the review
Real front lens diameter Left:   41.63+/- 0.05 mm
Right:  41.66+/- 0.05 mm
6 / 8.0 pkt
Real magnification 9.92+/- 0.05x 3/3.0
Transmission 75.1+/- 1% 8/25.0
Chromatic aberration Slight in the centre but still noticeable. On the edge distinctly higher than medium. 4.4/10.0
Astigmatism Slight. 7/10.0
Distortion The distance of the first curved line from the field centre compared to the field of view radius: 46% +\- 3% 5/10.0
Coma Appears in a distance of 45% of the field of view radius and is high on the very edge. 2.5/10.0
Blurring at the edge of the FOV Blur occurs in a distance of 75% ± 4% from the field of view centre. 4/10.0
Darkening at the edge the FOV Moderate. 3.7/5.0
Whiteness of the image The transmission curve is slightly slanted, with a noticeable dip in the middle of the range and surplus of red light so images feature delicate red hue. 3.7/5.0
Collimation Perfect. 5/5.0
Internal reflections
Left: Right:
Vortex Crossfire HD 10x42 - Internal reflections - Left Vortex Crossfire HD 10x42 - Internal reflections - Right
Noticeable arcs near the exit pupil.
Housing Very nice and stylish and of typical dimensions for the 42 mm class at the same time. Padded with good quality rubber armour that sticks to your hands properly well. Rubber on the body can't be pulled away near to objective lenses. Comfortale to hold – thumb indents certainly help here – and to look through. No shoddy workmanship visible anywhere. Rubberized eyecups with smooth regulation. Everything looks and works fine – especially for a piece of equipment at this price point. Produced in China. 8/8.0
Focusing Big and comfortable central wheel with ribs moves smoothly and is properly damped even though from time to time you can hear squelching of grease. Its full working range amounts to an angle of about 620 degrees. Dioptre correction done by a comfortable ring on the right eyepiece that performs as it should. It moves the outer element. 3.8/5.0
Tripod Quite comfortable access. 3/3.0
Interpupilary distance from 57.4 to 76mm 5/6.0
Closest focusing distance 2.65 meters. 1.5/2.0
Eyepieces FOV Apparent field of view amounting to 61.7 degrees (simplified formula) or 56.6 degrees (tangent formula). 11.5/20.0
Field of view Measured by us amounted to 6.22 ± 0.04 degrees and it was in perfect accordance with field stated in official specifications. A good field for this class of equipment. 6.5/8.0
Quality of the interior of the barrels Inner tubes are dark, but not completely matt, without any ribs. The bottom is gray and probably not covered by anything; outer tube keeping the prisms in place is dark and matt. Very clean inside. 3.5/5.0
Left: Right:
Vortex Crossfire HD 10x42 - Vignetting - Left Vortex Crossfire HD 10x42 - Vignetting - Right
OL: 2.21%, OR: 2.43%
Prisms quality Good quality BaK-4. 8/8.0
Antireflection coatings Greenish on objectives and eyepieces. Strong, uncoloured reflection from the prisms. Medium intensity. 3.5/5.0
Warranty [years] lifetime 6/6.0
Final result
120.6 / 190 pkt
Econo result 0pkt.


  • surprisingly solid and well-put-together casing, especially for a piece of equipment at this price point,
  • slight astigmatism,
  • proper colour rendering,
  • clean inner tubes, sensibly blackened inside,
  • good quality prisms made of BaK-4 prisms,
  • rich accessory kit,
  • lifetime warranty.
  • low transmission,
  • truncated exit pupils,
  • significant coma,
  • too high chromatic aberration on the edge of the field of view.

After the recent launch of the Vortex Triumph HD 10x42 that costs about 150 USD, the Vortex Crossfire HD 10x42, sold at less than 200 USD stopped to be the cheapest roof prism 10x42 class pair of binoculars offered by this American company. Still, the final score of the Crossfire HD 10x42 in our test is noticeably higher than the score of the Triumph and it seems that while paying more you also get more. However, during our test we had several surprises.

The first surprise was not especially big one: in both binoculars the producers applied antireflection coatings of exactly the same quality. Their reflections are of the same colour and their transmission graphs are similar as well. What's interesting, in case of the more expensive Crossfire it seems the graph is even a tad worse because it is more slanted, with a more pronounced dip in the centre of the range. It most probably stemms from its more complex optical system; with the same class of coatings its performance is bound to be a bit weaker.

The second, far more unexpected surprise, is the fact that the more expensive pair of binoculars, despite a bit narrower field of view, corrects coma weaker and features more truncated exit pupils. Of course it might also be caused by a bit smaller and slimmer design of the Crossfire's casing.

Vortex Triumph HD 10x42 and Vortex Crossfire HD 10x42.

The more expensive binoculars present also a more serious approach towards the compliance of parameters with official declarations of the producers. There are no slip-ups like in the case of the Triumph. Especially the weight is practically the same as in the specifications (and, according to our measurements, it amounts to 660 grams). Additionally, that increased weight might mean that the barrels are made of parts of better quality and mechanisms inside are more complex. For example the focusing range is distinctly better in the more expensive model because this pair of binoculars is able to set the focus from approximately 2.65 meters, a result over 2 meters better than that of the cheaper Triumph.

The more expensive Crossfire HD is also sharper on the edge of the field of view; it corrects better chromatic aberration, astigmatism, distortion, and brightness loss on the edge of the field. These are serious assets.

To sum up, you can say that the new line of 10x42 Vortex binoculars has been constructed very nicely indeed. At the bottom you get the basic Triumph HD, costing less than 150 USD, aimed at buyers with the lowest budget. If you can spend about 50 USD more you get a bit better Crossfire HD; paying 300 USD you can purchase the Diamondback HD that performs even better. The next price point is occupied by the Viper HD and the top-of-the-range segment features both Razors – take your pick.