Contributors to this thread:
Through a rewards program at work -- I am looking at picking up a pair of either Vortex Viper HD 12x50s or Leupold BX-4 Pro Guide 12x50s. I have a pair of Diamondback 10x42s that I got through the program a year and a half ago, so I'm looking for something with a little more magnification... since they're free -- I can't really complain. Just want to get some opinions on both.
Vipers** editing my original post - overlooked that part
I've never used Leupold binos but I can't say enough about Votrex products and their warranty. I had the Razor 10x42 from 2007 until 2017 when I updated to the Razor HD 10x42. I sold them this fall and purchased the new Fury 10x42 ranging binos. I also have a couple of their rifle scopes. Good products!
I have some vortex stuff, but I'm no fanboy. I would find them both at a box store and do a side by side, but I would truthfully lean towards the leupolds.. thats just my inexperienced position. I've read the ergonomics are different between the 2.
The problem with going to a box store is you only get a small sample of what you're getting. They can feel great in the store when you've got 100-200yd max range - Cabelas, Scheels, etc. But when you get out into the field they can be drastically different. Luckily, I live about 2 miles from a Scheels in Colorado so I can at least put them up to my eyes and get a feel, but without getting real-time testing, it only goes so far.
I like the diamondbacks that I have and love the idea of the Vortex warranty, just figured it might be worth testing out the Leupold's since I won't have any real financial investment into either pair.
I have the Viper HD 12x50's. Great binocs. It's amazing how clear they really are. I can't help you on the Leupold binocs.
Speaking of hijacking a thread. I just started using a Rick Young ultralight bino harness. I love this thing. I have numerous elastic bino harness brands. I have the new Sitka and Kuiu bino system. This Rick Young bungee harness is my new favorite. Check out his video on line.
I own a pair of Leopold, for about 3-4 years now. Tried a buddy's Vortex before this season, bought a pair.
The Leopold pair is now sitting in the cabinet.
Thanks for the help, guys. I'll put them up to my eyes tonight and get a feel before ordering.
keep in mind that there are very good and very mediocre versions in each line-up. Just make sure you are comparing apples to apples. The best Leupold glass is damn good.....but so the best Vortex.
That's why I'm asking about comparing these two in particular. I am happy with the diamondbacks. The Vipers are a step up so I imagine the quality should increase as the price tag increases.
I've never used Leupold's before so looking for somebody with past experience.
When I was shopping binos one thing I didn’t care about the vipers were the field of view. I ended up getting razors at a price I couldn’t pass. BUT they have gone back for warranty work, something that seems all too common. Edit... let me clarify, a viewing test chart.. kind of like the one at your doctors.
Hit a box store and ask to take the 2 outside. Sportsman’s in ABQ has a chart that (for me) was a great side by side comparison.
FWIW my girlfriend likes her DB’s over my razors... the preference is in the eye of the beholder.
Vortex is a good company....but their lower grade binos are overpriced for the quality of glass. [I've owned the 8x and 15x Vipers- sold em]
For the same price as the Vipers you can get some very good glass in Nikon/Leopold/and many others.
I have Vortex and Nikon binos and agree with Beendare. That said, I'm going to sell my Nikon and Vortex binos soon and replace them with Swaros as soon as I can sneak 5 grand past my kid's mom without her noticing.
I don't understand getting 12X50s. The combo of 8x42s (wish there was such thing as a 7x35 for the WT woods) for the woods and 10x42s for open country coupled with a spotter is the best setup, IMO.
I've used 15s and they're a great game spotter in open country, but you still need the spotter, so why not just use 10s which you can carry comfortably around your neck?
Idyllwild I have a Leica Ultravid 7x42. Which are hard to find. And a Swarovski CL 8x30. The CLs are much smaller and lighter but do not lose light at Critical times. The CLs are a third of the price and I think better for stalking and are a good compromise. The CLs are a lower quality glass than ELs but from what I see through them, brighter and clearer then most top tier glass. Should be able to find used for $700. New for $1100-$1500. Not a tripod glassing rig by any means but great all around. Also I have vortex razors and the quality is outstanding. So are the top end Leupolds. Again take a look at Rick Young’s ultra light weight bino system. I love it! And am selling the pile of harnesses and the 2018 Sitka bino pouch.
We owned a pair of the 12x50 Vipers and 10x42 Razors, I was not impressed at all with either one. Sold them after one season. I can not speak on the Leupold glasses you are listing, but I can say I own their scopes and I am highly impressed with them and the company behind them. I can't imagine they wouldn't be at least decent.
It must be getting overlooked that I am not paying for anything. These are offered through a vendor program at work. No money will be spent. These are two options available. If there were 15s, I would look at them, however there are not.
There may be a spotter available but I haven't seen it yet. I am working off the options provided.
Flip a coin. There is that much difference between them.
Idyll, the only option for spotter is 11-33x50 Razor HD. I've heard good and bad things about this specific spotter.
Between the two you have to choose the Leupold are the better choice when you compare all the specs and consider the build quality.
yooper89 - I have been given the option through work for binocs in the past that are now sitting in my unused bin. Do you have the choice of other things (like for the wife/girlfriend) that you can pick? That is what I have been doing lately.
I don't know about either of those 2 binoculars - sorry.
I'm sure it was already said, but if you have the opportunity to use both at dusk, that's what I would do. When I was looking for new binos I went to Cabela's and took Razor's and SLCs outside during the day and couldn't see much difference. However, at first/last light the difference is remarkable.
Where do you work, I want that job!
I don’t think you do! A total of 8 days in the woods during archery season over the past 5 years due to natural disasters pulling me away from the elk woods.
Ended up with a Razor HD 11-33x50 spotter. For the price of free, I guess I can't go wrong.