Vortex Razor UHD 10×42 Binocular Overview


Vortex Razor UHD 10x42 Review by Ireland's Wildlife
Vortex Razor UHD 10×42

Execs: Excellent picture high quality that lives up the title. Exceptionally vivid, pin-sharp picture throughout the large discipline of view. Easy, correct focus and excellent construct high quality rounds off what’s a really completed binocular that holds its personal with the most effective available on the market.

Cons: A bit of on the big facet for a 42mm binocular — notably the size. Focus gearing, whereas easy and correct, is a little bit gradual for bigger adjustments/fast transferring topics. Occasional chromatic aberration evident in some conditions, which is shocking in a binocular at this degree.

Worth: c.€2,070 RRP

Ranking: Extremely Beneficial

Vortex Optics is a US optics model that makes a variety of optics together with top quality binoculars and recognizing scopes. Vortex binoculars usually provide spectacular options and glorious picture high quality at a given value level. The Vortex Razor UHD takes the already spectacular Razor HD I reviewed again in 2013 up a notch to compete with newer high tier fashions from the market leaders in premium optics.

When you’re searching for premium binocular that may go toe-to-toe with the massive weapons optically, however that gained’t stretch the funds fairly as a lot, and also you don’t thoughts a bit of additional measurement and weight, then the Vortex Razor UHD deserves a spot on in your shortlist.

Try the Vortex Razor UHD on the Vortex Web site.

Enquiries by way of Irish Vortex Optics Distributor Gowan & Bradshaw.

Purchase the Vortex Razor UHD on Amazon.

Vortex Razor UHD 10×42 Full Overview

Putting the Vortex Optics Razor UHD binocular through its paces on the West Cork coast, Ireland

I used to be impressed the primary time I attempted Vortex binoculars greater than a decade in the past now. The Vortex Viper HD and the then flagship Vortex Razor HD are very good devices each by way of their optical efficiency and construct high quality.

With their new flagship, the Razor UHD, Vortex has raised the bar once more, however can they problem the long-established incumbents on the pinnacle of the premium optics market. Let’s see.

First impressions

Vortex Razor UHD size comparison
The Vortex Razor UHD alongside my Swarovski SLC HD 10×42

The very first thing you discover in regards to the Vortex Razor UHD is its measurement. This can be a bigger (principally longer) than common 10×42 binocular. It’s additionally heavy, weighing in at a chunky 920ish grammes. Neither of these issues is essentially a foul factor, however for those who favour extra compact binoculars you could wrestle to get on with the Razor UHD.

Their measurement apart, the Razor UHD appears and appears like a really polished and premium product.

Steadiness, dealing with and construct high quality

With their magnesium alloy chassis and comfortably grippy inexperienced rubber armour the Vortex Razor UHD feels as strong and strong because it does trendy. This can be a very properly made binocular, and its fashionable, single-hinge design is straightforward on the attention, though you may’t escape the truth that it simply appears and feels very huge.

The lengthy barrels are to accommodate the improved optical system, which employs, amongst different issues, Abbe-Koenig roof prisms (which ship higher gentle transmission / a brighter picture than the extra compact, and rather more generally used, Schmidt-Pechan roof prisms present in most binoculars). Whereas that could be a boon for the optical efficiency of the instrument, the longer and heavier design it calls for does influence the ergonomics.

It’s not that the ergonomics are unhealthy — the Razor UHD is a really comfy and properly balanced binocular — it’s simply that they really feel completely different. It forces you to readjust for those who’re used to a extra compact binocular. You get used to it shortly, but when I seize the Razor UHD after utilizing my common binoculars for some time, they simply really feel “off” for some time, till I recalibrate.

It’s a muscle reminiscence factor, and I’m positive if I used the Razor UHD completely it could quickly ebb, however whenever you change from different bins they positively really feel a bit odd at first.

Focus and dioptre adjustment

The knurled, rubber-coated focus wheel is massive and grippy, and rotates easily, with a bit extra resistance than I used to be anticipating. It takes about two-and-three-quarter anti-clockwise turns to go from a wonderful quoted shut focus distance of 1.4m out to infinity. That’s much more than the everyday 1.5ish rotations of focus journey, and whereas it makes fantastic focus adjustment very exact, when coupled with the high-level of resistance it may well make switching focus from close to to far topics (or vice versa) a bit laborious.

Typically that’s not a difficulty, however there the place occasions in the course of the overview interval the place I discovered it irritating when attempting to focus shortly on a chicken that popped up in an close by bush as I used to be watching a extra distant topic. On multiple event I didn’t deal with my meant goal earlier than it disappeared into the undergrowth, by no means to be seen once more.

The dioptre adjustment on the Razor UHD is within the conventional location simply beneath the appropriate eyepiece, and locks securely in place. To regulate it you simply pull it up, flip it to your required setting, then push it all the way down to lock it: simple and efficient. There are markings on the dial to permit you to word your most well-liked setting — however no numbers.

Eye cups and eye-relief

The twist-up eyecups on the Razor UHD are metallic, with a delicate rubber collar on the higher edge which makes them very comfy whenever you maintain them as much as your eyes. They’ve three set positions: totally up, totally down and one intermediate click on cease in between. That ought to be sufficient, though I’d usually anticipate one or two extra stops in binoculars of this calibre. It gained’t be a difficulty for many customers, who will both use the eyecups totally prolonged (with out glasses) or totally retracted (with glasses).

The quoted eye aid of 16.7mm is a bit lower than the most effective of the ten×42 competitors, however ought to nonetheless be ample to permit most spectacle wearers to benefit from the full discipline of view.

I’m unsure if the eyecups screw off/are consumer replaceable. I couldn’t simply unscrew them on the overview pattern and didn’t need to power it — however I’d be stunned in the event that they aren’t detachable/replaceable.


There’s virtually no want to incorporate this half in a overview, however for completeness, and as you’d anticipate, in fact, the Vortex Razor UHD is totally sealed and water/mud proof, and purged with inert gasoline (argon on this case, fairly than the extra customary nitrogen) to expunge moisture from the optical system and stop inner fogging.

Optical Efficiency

Review of the 10x42 Vortex Razor UHD Binocular

Picture high quality and discipline of view

The Vortex Razor UHD renders a picture thats up there with the easiest binoculars I’ve ever used. It’s extraordinarily vivid, pin sharp from the centre throughout the sphere of view hardly any discernible softening out on the periphery. That discipline is fairly large for a 10x binocular too, at c.115m/1000m, 346 ft/1000 yds or 6.6°.

General the view by the Razor UHD is excellent.

Color Constancy, Distinction and Chromatic Aberration

Colors are pure and vibrant by the Razor UHD, with glorious distinction that offers the picture that elusive “pop” you solely actually get with the easiest optics. To my eyes at the least there isn’t any discernible color bias, with colors by the Razor UHD showing the identical as these considered with the bare eye.

Surprisingly I did expertise some points with chromatic aberration in the course of the overview interval — particularly when watching a small flock of goldfinches feeding within the branches of a strongly backlit spruce. Whereas the Razor UHD pulled loads of element out of the shadows, the perimeters of the branches, pine-needles and the birds themselves (those that had been backlit) had been haloed in purple and inexperienced fringing. Viewing the identical scene by different high-end and even mid-range binoculars both confirmed no or minimal fringing.

That stated, chromatic aberration wasn’t usually a difficulty when utilizing the Razor UHD, even in difficult gentle with high-contrast topics, so maybe that individual scenario was an outlier. Nonetheless, it stunned me.

Low Gentle Efficiency and Coatings

As you’d anticipate with an optical instrument of this calibre, all air-to glass (or argon to glass) surfaces within the optical system are fully-multi-coated with Vortex’s suite of proprietary XR™ high-transmission anti-reflective coatings. These lower out glare, forestall stray reflections and make sure the most quantity of sunshine passes by the optical system to your eyes. Use of Abbe-Koening roof prisms additionally assist maximise the quantity of sunshine passing by the optical system on this binocular.

The coatings, prisms and lenses mix to ship glorious low gentle efficiency for a ten×42 binocular , and the Razor UHD can match among the greatest 10×42 binoculars available on the market in difficult twilight circumstances. It stored pulling element out of deep shadow lengthy after I may discern nothing the bare eye.

Vortex has additionally utilized a particular protecting coating it calls ArmorTec® to the exterior lens surfaces of the Razor UHD, which deters mud and grime, and causes water to bead and roll off. This powerful coating makes cleansing the lenses a lot simpler and protects the extra delicate coatings beneath from injury.


Razor UHD from Vortex Optics unboxing

Vortex hasn’t skimped on issues with the Razor UHD — and nowhere is that extra obvious than with the included equipment. In addition to the standard padded neoprene strap, cleansing fabric, eyepiece rainguard, tethered goal lens covers and high-quality case, there’s a further binocular harness that attaches to the case so you may put on it in your chest, with an elasticated cowl giving fast entry to your binoculars for viewing.

It’s a novel strategy, and a harness is perhaps helpful for those who’re toting a big and heavy binocular within the discipline for lengthy intervals… nonetheless, I by no means advise maintaining binoculars in a case or anything prone to delay your entry to them. The most effective place for a binocular case is behind a drawer or cabinet. Preserve your binoculars out, able to seize and use at a moments discover… as a result of in birding and wildlife remark a second is commonly all you’ll get.

There’s additionally a small accent pouch included that may connect both to the entrance of the case or to your belt or bag with velcro straps. It appears to be designed extra for the searching fraternity — with elasticated loops that appear designed to carry further ammunition — however I suppose you would use it to retailer no matter small ins and outs you need to carry with you.

All in all it’s a fairly complete set of equipment that, aside from the comfy neoprene neck strap, the important eyepiece rain-guard and the cleansing fabric are primarily surplus to necessities.


The Vortex Optics limitless, no fault, transferrable lifetime guarantee guarantees to restore or exchange your broken Vortex product, for all times, regardless of the purpose for that injury. In keeping with their web site, you don’t even want a receipt, and there’s no product registration required.

Backside line: for those who personal a Vortex product, and it will get broken, you’re lined. They promise to restore or exchange it, freed from cost, for all times.

Easy proper? Or at the least it ought to be. Nonetheless I discover there’s now a caveat on the Vortex Web site by way of how their guarantee applies for worldwide purchases. Right here’s the wording:


The Vortex Worldwide Lifetime VIP Guarantee covers your buy worldwide by the distributor or vendor within the nation the place you bought your product.

Distributors and sellers in nations apart from the place you made your buy might apply service expenses because of completely different guidelines and laws in that nation. We suggest you make your purchases out of your native distributor or vendor to make sure you get the most effective service ought to there ever be a necessity.

Merchandise that aren’t imported into your nation by the Vortex Licensed Distributor, together with gadgets introduced in to a rustic with out having paid the mandatory taxes and duties, are thought-about “Gray Market Merchandise” and will not be lined by this guarantee.

Vortex Optics VIP Guarantee Web page

The excellent news is that Vortex has an Irish Distributor in Galway based mostly Gowan And Bradshaw — so presumably for those who purchase your Vortex product by any Irish retailer or on-line retailer, they’ll take care of you by way of guarantee claims. What’s much less clear is how or if guarantee claims for Vortex Optics merchandise bought in/from different EU nations and/or post-Brexit UK shops/web sites can be honoured. I’ve requested Gowan and Bradshaw for clarification and can put up an replace right here as quickly as I’ve one.

In the meantime, in case you have any questions across the guarantee, and the way it applies in Eire, I’d counsel contacting Gowan And Bradshaw for more information.


The Vortex Razor UHD is an impressive binocular that optically can match among the absolute best devices available on the market immediately. Its vivid, sharp, immersive view is just beautiful, and whereas I did run into some slight points with color fringing, it wasn’t one thing that detracted from the expertise in regular use. For probably the most half it was exemplary viewing expertise.

The one factor to keep in mind is that, if measurement and weight are a difficulty for you relating to binoculars, the Vortex Razor UHD is probably not an excellent match for you. That apart, for those who’re searching for high tier efficiency, and both your funds doesn’t stretch to, otherwise you’re not ready to pay the premium for the marginal positive aspects supplied by flagship fashions from the main manufacturers, the Vortex Razor UHD is a superb selection.

At €2,070 these are removed from low-cost, in fact, however that value nonetheless saves you €500-€1,000 or extra in comparison with top-tier 10×42 choices from the acknowledged Alpha manufacturers.

Enquiries by way of Irish Vortex Optics Distributor Gowan & Bradshaw.
Purchase the Vortex Razor UHD on Amazon.

Technical Specs

Magnification 10x
Goal Lens Diameter 42 mm
Linear Area of View 346 ft/1000 yds
Angular Area of View 6.6 levels
Eye Reduction 16.7 mm
Top 7.0 inches
Width 5.7 inches
Weight 32.4 oz
Exit Pupil 4.2 mm
Interpupillary Distance 56-76 mm
Shut Focus 4.5 ft
Specs from the Vortex Optics Web site


I’d prefer to thank Vortex Optics/Gowan & Bradshaw for offering a pattern of the Razor UHD 10×42 for overview on Eire’s Wildlife.

NB. Eire’s Wildlife has no particular affiliation to any optics or gear producer, and all evaluations on the location are fully unbiased and goal. When you’re an optics or gear producer and wish to submit your product for overview on the location, please drop us a line utilizing the contact type and we will take issues from there.


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