One of the most fascinating developments in sports optics is how riflescope sales have grown in recent years, and therefore influence and innovation within optics businesses. Only a decade ago, we saw much more binoculars than riflescopes each year. However, the growth of specialized shooting activities, each of which requires a very particular riflescope, has overshadowed other optical categories.
This is one of the reasons why we only have one binocular category this year. We received so many entries in past years that we kept super-size binoculars separate and evaluated small binoculars as a distinct category. However, we put all nine binocular entries together this year.
It’s not as sloppy as you would think. We didn’t have any 12- or 15-power binoculars, nor did we have any little 24mm binoculars. However, contributions varied throughout the price and quality spectrums. On the high end, we tried the new Zeiss Victory SF32, a beautiful 1032 binocular that will compete with heirloom-quality optics from Leica and Swarovski. Our testers were equally pleased by Vortex’s new Razor UHD. But there were plenty of good low-cost optics, too, highlighted by Bushnell’s $129 Engage X and Celestron’s reasonably priced 1042 TrailSeeker.
The remainder of the field gathered in the center, displaying good optical skills and selling at a reasonable price. Tract’s 50mm Toric Ultra HD and Meopta’s MeoPro Air, an open-bridge 1042 that accomplishes everything you’d expect from binoculars for hunting around $1,000, are two standouts.
Click the following links to see the remainder of our Optics hunting binoculars review.
- 13 Top New Precision Riflescopes Putting to the Test
- The 17 Most Versatile New Riflescopes Putting to the Test
- The Top Eight New Spotting Scopes Putting to the Test
Vortex Razor UHD 10×42
Vortex has managed to take the performance of its Razor HD series to the next level with this extremely bright and sharp binocular. The primary advantage of the new UHD model over the Razor HD is an improved class of glass that provides greater resolution and contrast. Our test crew, on the other hand, praised the Vortex’s elongated shape, which makes lengthy glassing sessions more comfortable. This topic related title to hunting binoculars review
The Razor UHD is an expensive device. It’s one of the heaviest 1042 binoculars we’ve tested, weighing 32.2 ounces, but the weight helps to settle the picture, minimizing hand vibration, which may cause images to look fuzzy. The comparatively slim, tapered three-position eyecups and palm swells that appeared to suit most hands comfortably were also praised by testers.
The Vortex finished second in our low-light test, behind only the 50mm Tract, and it was in the top three in the resolution range. Testers praised its tight focus—only 3.5 feet, which butterfly viewers should appreciate—as well as its accurate, positive focus control and locking diopter adjustment ring. Testers praised the Vortex’s edge-to-edge clarity, durability, and “immersive” picture, which one tester described as “looking at a 72-inch TV versus a 54-inch.” This topic related title to hunting binoculars review