Hello and welcome to another issue of Optics Trade Debates. Today, we are talking about another Vortex Binocular series – the Vortex Raptor. These are compact Porro Prism Binoculars. What is the history behind this series?
The binoculars have been produced for quite some time now, about 5, or 6 years. It is an entry-level, and they have two entry-level Porro series of binoculars: the Raptor and the Vanquish. The Vanquish is a reverse-porro; it is evidently small, compact, and has 26mm lenses, while the Raptor has 36mm lenses. This is the basic entry-level meant for hunters who use Vortex Riflescopes and Vortex Binoculars from higher classes, and are buying the Raptors as presents for their wives or children; which is probably the main idea behind these binoculars.
These (Raptor Binoculars) are made in China, while Vanquish are made in the Philippines. There are only two models in this series: 10x32 and 8.5x32, and for an 8.5, they have a decent field of view – 130 m, which is quite a lot for 8.5 magnification. The 10x32 has around 100 m of field of view.
These are entry-level binoculars that would make a good present for someone who is not using binoculars on a daily basis; children or spouses. They are not waterproof and when focusing them, the eyepieces move up and down. Due to this reason, it is impossible to make the binoculars 100% waterproof. They are also not filled with nitrogen, but their cost is between 100-150 €, so they match their price.
Finding cheaper Porro Prism Binoculars on the market without them being rubbish is a challenge. If you buy these for children, they still count as decent optics. If you are looking to find binoculars under 150 €, Porro will usually offer better optical performance: a higher light transmission rate and better color fidelity. This is the reason why these entry-level Porro Prisms are still common; being able to produce a Porro prism for a lower amount of money, a lower price than Schmidt and Pechan Roof Prisms.
They do have quite a short eye relief – 14 mm – so twisting the eyecups to use them is not necessary. They have two positions, so you can stop them somewhere in the middle, as they twist quite far out. However, if you stop them in the middle, they do not offer a fixed position. 14 mm of eye relief is a disadvantage for a grown-up, or for those with glasses. But for children, who have smaller faces and are smaller in general, it does not pose a big issue, and 14 mm is enough. Hence, for someone who is still not 170 cm high, it is not such a big disadvantage.
The housing is well-rubberized, and the holes for the carrying strap are also nicely incorporated into the housing, and do not stick out. The focusing knob is quite big and it offers a grip, so the binoculars have quite a few advantages. What is also really interesting is that they include something unusual when it comes to Porro Prism Binoculars, and that is switchable eye-pieces.
Quite a few advantages have been listed for 150€ binoculars, but the main one is Vortex VIP warranty. If anything goes wrong, the Vortex will definitely handle it. What about the disadvantages?
The build quality is not at its best, but we have to take into account that the price point is also around 120 €. Of course, they cannot be compared to binoculars for 250 €, for example, Diamondback (which is twice as more expensive). Because of the mechanism they are not waterproof, which is also a disadvantage. They have twist-up eye-cups, but only 14 mm of eye-relief, so it poses a problem with seeing the whole picture; not being able to see the edge of the view. This could have been done better, and more than 14mm of eye-relief should have been achieved.
The accessories include a transport case, carrying strap, lens covers for both sides, an instruction manual, and, of course, a lens cloth.
We hope you find this video useful and encourage you to check the video reviews for each of these two models, where you can find more useful information.
Products mentioned in the Vortex Raptor binoculars debate:
Vortex Vanquish Binoculars: https://www.optics-trade.eu/manufacturer-vortex/binoculars_series-vortex_vanquish.html
Schmidt/Pechan Roof Prism Binoculars: https://www.optics-trade.eu/binoculars/shopby/prism_type-roof_schmidt_pechan.html
Vortex Diamondback binoculars: https://www.optics-trade.eu/manufacturer-vortex/binoculars_series-vortex_diamondback.html
Follow us on social media:
is part of the Marketing team at Optics Trade. She is a nature and astronomy enthusiast, that's why you'll find most of her articles in these two categories.