Kit review: Vortex Viper HD 10 X 42 Binoculars.
I think that the big name, big price binocular manufacturers have some serious competition on their hands. The middle range binoculars seem to be closing the gap, so it is now a valid question to ask: why pay three times as much when you aren’t necessarily getting a pair of binoculars that are three times better? Of course no one will argue that the big names such as Swarovski, Leica and Zeiss aren’t superb pieces of equipment, but does the price warrant the purchase? I recently got a pair of Vortex Viper HD 10 x 42’s, and am suitably impressed. Now the original argument was that the expensive binoculars came with lifetime warranties, whereas mid-range binoculars usually didn’t. But with the Vortex lifetime warranty, the gap closes even further. The Vortex Vipers are among the smallest of 10 x 42’s on the market, and certainly go easy on the neck and shoulders during a full day’s birding. They feel solid, the construction is good and the various elements have all the hi-tec requirements of a first-rate pair of binoculars. I’m not going to bore you with the specs, such as the BaK4 prisms and dielectric coatings, Aargon gas filling etc, as you can read all about that on the Vortex website, but I can say that these are great binoculars to use in the field. They come with a decent neck strap, rear-end caps and what I refer to as a rusk guard (the cover which prevents rusk / biscuit crumbs from collecting in the eye pieces when you are having your morning coffee break in the field), and basically are a real pleasure to use. See more at http://www.vortexoptics.com/product/vortex-viper-hd-10×42-binocular.