Going the Distance: Vortex Razor UHD 12×50 Binoculars

Vortex improves on its Razor HD line of binoculars with the up to date Razor UHD line. It takes Vortex Optics to a different stage.

After proudly owning a number of totally different fashions of Vortex binoculars, in addition to numerous different manufacturers, I used to be fairly stoked to get the Razor UHD 12×50 out within the discipline. There was a ton of hype about these binos.

With a retail value of $2,600, I anticipated them to seek out the animal, discipline gown it, and do the dishes again at camp. These usually are not a finances purchase.

I haven’t spent a ton of time utilizing binoculars of this measurement, so it was an entire new expertise getting them into the backcountry, in a spot the place I might sit and glass for hours.

Efficiency-wise, I received’t even mince phrases; this stuff are unbelievable. I’ll get into that extra later, however dang. It’s onerous to explain the readability with out experiencing it firsthand.

Briefly: Up to now, the Vortex Razor UHD 12×50 outperformed any set of binoculars I’ve used when it comes to readability, attain, and discount of eye pressure. I felt much less must take a break from glassing and was capable of cowl extra floor with better effectivity.

The breaks I did take have been merely weight-strain. These suckers aren’t for the ultralight crowd and to be trustworthy, my arms have been fatigued after holding them up unaided. 

The Vortex Razor UHD Specs

Earlier than we dive deeply into my ideas and emotions in regards to the Razor UHDs, let’s simply take an goal have a look at what they’re.

With out stepping into an excessive amount of element on the know-how, the largest adjustments from the HD lineup are enhancements to the lens coatings and altering the Schmidt-Pechan roof prism for the Abbe-Koenig, a bigger prism with an extended optical path.

We might discuss refraction and aberration till you’re bored out of your thoughts, however the huge image is that this: the Razor UHD line is optimized to provide you most mild refraction with minimal distortion. You get a clearer image with out fuzz, haze, or colour distortion.

First Impressions: Massive and Heavy

Now to the actual really feel. These are 12×50 binoculars. That stage of magnification and goal lens measurement will include some bulk. The improve in roof prism doubtless has loads to do with that. That being stated, I used to be not fairly ready for the mass this stuff have.

At 36.5 ounces, they’re a full 7.8 ounces heavier than their predecessor, the Razor HD 12×50. To place that into sensible phrases, the Razor UHD 12×50 binoculars weigh simply over 2 kilos, practically a half-pound heavier than the earlier model. That’s some severe heft.

They’re additionally 7.6 inches lengthy, which means they received’t comfortably match within the overwhelming majority of binocular harnesses in the marketplace. Nevertheless, Vortex has that situation coated by offering a reasonably superior harness within the accent package deal, which is included with the acquisition. That’s a giant perk, and it’s an enormous step up from a few of the cheaper binocular harnesses that always come along with your glass.

Vortex UHD 12x50

Efficiency: High-Notch

Unreal. I attempt to mood my pleasure about efficiency, however that is some next-level glass. I hiked into an space the place I knew I’d have some long-distance views within the hopes of scouting spring bears.

In my pack, I introduced the Razor UHD 12x50s, the Vortex Crossfire HD 12x50s (borrowed), an older-than-dirt unbranded set of 10x42s which have been mendacity round for ages, and extra snacks that any human can devour in a single sitting. I picked a perch within the snow and sat with a vista of seemingly infinite wilderness in entrance of me.

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(Photograph/Vortex Optics)

Beginning with the Razor UHD 12x50s, I glassed throughout a far-off ridge and down just a few drainages. I had excellent lighting that actually maximized my viewing potential. After only a few minutes of use, I might inform they have been stunningly clear, however I had no concept the extent of that readability till I picked up the opposite Vortex binos.

The Crossfire HD 12x50s ($230) are nice binoculars. I’ve used them on a number of events and have at all times been completely impressed. Placing them to my eyes after spending time wanting by means of the Razor UHDs was a mind-blowing expertise.

Clearly, we’re speaking about utterly totally different ranges of glass right here. In value alone, the UHDs value over 11 instances what the Crossfires do. However there was a night-and-day distinction.

The Razor UHD binoculars are vivid and crisp in a method that’s genuinely onerous to explain. I might differentiate between pine needles on the ridge throughout from me, whereas the Crossfire mannequin supplied me the flexibility to distinguish stems and small branches. The previous no-brand pair confirmed me timber, albeit fuzzy ones.

One notable distinction is the readability all the best way to the sting of the glass. There isn’t that hazing, blurring, or darkening on the outermost fringe of your viewing spectrum. They’re simply insanely clear.

I discovered myself not solely discovering bears (4 totally different bears), but additionally inadvertently discovering chook nests, squirrels, deer, and even what seemed to be a home cat perched within the skeleton branches of a birch tree.

I didn’t have the attention pressure or fatigue that I at all times have after an extended day of glassing. It actually felt just like the distinction between placing in a contemporary set of contacts or a brand new pair of glasses after a prescription replace. The entire world was simply clear, and my eyes weren’t struggling to make all of it come into focus.

The Takeaway


The place I’ll Use Them

These will come together with me into Yellowstone this 12 months on wilderness guiding journeys. They’re excellent for scouting animals throughout lengthy distances, and I’ve little doubt they’ll take unbelievable Cellphone Skope photographs.

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These will come on each street scouting journey and on each brief hike scouting journey. And, they are going to have their very own spot on the again of the snowmobile when mountain lion season comes alongside.

If I ever find yourself on some long-range searching journeys the place I’m chasing animals which might be two counties over, clearly, these are the selection. Actually, they’ll come in every single place that I don’t need to be tremendous agile or carry them lengthy distances.

For the intense birdwatcher crowd, save up and get them. These will take your expertise to the subsequent stage. I don’t get giddy about songbirds, however I sat and watched a robin construct a nest for what felt like an hour. I get it.

The place I Gained’t

There are just a few causes these received’t be my devoted searching binos. The primary is the harness. It’s a nice harness, and I don’t wish to take something away from it; it simply isn’t mine. They received’t slot in my FHF Gear Bino Harness, and I like my harness greater than I like this glass.

The rationale they don’t take precedent over one thing as foolish as a glorified chest purse is the burden. I can’t rationalize including 2 full kilos to my chest or my pack throughout the warmth of the season. I’m not a giant human, and people kilos — even these ounces — matter to me. 

The Wrapup

You probably have the finances and also you don’t thoughts the burden, they’re darn close to unbeatable. Vortex has been killing it within the optics house, and so they have an iron-clad guarantee, which means you possibly can spend money on your hard-earned money and comprehend it’s coated if you happen to do one thing silly, like all of us find yourself doing. These binos are precisely what Vortex has marketed them to be — after which some.