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Vortex Viper HD 8×42 Binoculars: Our Assessment


    A really vibrant and sharp picture with good low-light efficiency. The stiff focus wheel might take some getting used to. We rated these a Stable Selection.

    At A Look

    Vortex Viper HD 8x42 binoculars
    Vortex Viper HD 8×42 binoculars. Picture by Hugh Powell.


    • Very vibrant picture
    • Picture stays sharp practically to fringe of view
    • Stable really feel
    • Large, comfy neck strap
    • Good subject of view and shut focus


    • Stiff focus wheel
    • Close to the highest of the worth vary we examined


    • Worth: $640 MSRP at press time. Costs usually fluctuate, so examine with retailers
    • Shut focus: 6 toes (183 cm)
    • Subject of view: 7.8° (410 toes at 1,000 yards). Extra about subject of view 
    • Weight: 26.7 oz (758 g)—that’s about 1 oz (29 g) lighter than the typical for 8×42 binoculars in our evaluation
    • Eye aid: 18 mm

    Viewing Expertise: The Vortex Vipers have been among the many costliest binoculars on this spherical of testing, they usually had the picture high quality to indicate for it. Some testers informed us these have been among the many brightest, clearest pictures that they examined, significantly in low mild. On a dim, cloudy day in early November, these binoculars have been capable of decide up the important thing spectacle-like facial markings of a Swainson’s Thrush because it skulked round in close by bushes. Although the main target wheel was considerably stiff, it was nonetheless simple to trace the thrush because it moved by means of thick, twiggy brush at a spread of 15–30 toes. Backlit cover branches some 75 toes away have been simple to see intimately, although there was a slight sense of purple/inexperienced on the edges. Whereas panning these binoculars have been very clean and crisp. Beveled eyecups made it comfy to carry these bins to our eyes for prolonged durations.

    Really feel and Construct: The Vipers have a strong and compact really feel, giving them a way of heft regardless that they’re barely lighter than an “common” 8×42 binocular. Faintly textured rubber with thumb indents makes for a snug grip. The eyecups had a unfastened really feel, however held their place firmly in every of 4 stops. The main target wheel was clean, however among the many stiffest to maneuver of any binoculars in our check. The stiffness affected how shortly we may deal with a goal; that is the primary downside that saved them out of the High Picks group in our full binocular evaluation. The tethered goal lens covers appeared to carry their place nicely. The neck strap was vast and comfy, and there’s additionally a harness supplied within the field for people who discover these extra comfy than easy straps.

    Feedback From Testers: 

    • Vivid clear picture, strong and compact really feel in hand
    • Felt comfy in my palms
    • Vivid and sharp picture each far and close-up
    • Focus knob could be very tight and makes it exhausting to make use of
    • Straightforward to zoom in on, and alter focus for
    • Picture high quality was nice, however I couldn’t get it to be *excellent*
    • Good optics, however the motion on the main target wheel was too stiff
    • Unfastened eyecups, stiff focus wheel

    This text is one in a sequence of mini-reviews. To see how these binoculars examine to others we’ve examined, see our full evaluation of reasonably priced 8×42 binoculars.