Vortex Diamondback 10x42mm Binocular Review
Vortex Optics makes a variety of optics for the hunting and shooting market. From rifle scopes, to spotting scopes, to binoculars Vortex has a diverse lineup of offerings. For instance, currently the company has 11 unique models of binoculars spread out across a variety of price points. Even within each model line there are several variations in objective size and magnification power. For this review we decided to take a look at the Vortex Diamondback binoculars in 10x42mm (that is shorthand for 10 power magnification with a 42mm objective lens diameter).
The Diamondback series is squarely within the midrange of Vortex's offerings, with our review model in 10x42mm coming in at a street price of $229. A consumer has numerous options in the low $200 to high $300 range today and it's important to evaluate all your options when considering a new binocular purchase in this price range.
The Diamondback has a well-made body housing using rubberized and textured molding material. While it is a single piece molding for each ocular the good texturing and grip make it easy to hold on to in a variety of conditions. The grip and size make the binoculars feel more like comparable models in the high $300 dollar range. The objective lens and eye pieces use over-molded rubber to protect the glass in the event of a drop on the sides of the optics which will hopefully prevent a shattered lens.
Overall view of the binoculars.
Side view of the Diamondback binoculars. The textured rubber grip offers good ergonomics.
Optic quality overall is very good even under low light conditions. Color separation is minimal and the images are as sharp as one could expect with non-ED glass. In comparing the Diamondback with a higher end model using ED glass, one will notice that the Diamondback is not quite as sharp. However considering the asking price of $229 the optical quality is a good value.
The eyes cups both rotate outward and have a mid-notch position. Rotating the cups outward into the first notch allows the viewer to consistently put the eye cups back at the same position if they are rotated all the way out or in. The binoculars use an adjustable diopter on the right eye which is common with most binoculars today.
Eye cups in the mid position.
Vortex also includes a zippered carry case along with a wrist strap and basic neck strap with the binoculars. The carrying case is of high quality and a nice bonus considering the asking price is toward the lower end of mid-ranged binoculars.
The included zippered carrying case.
Perhaps one of the best features of the binoculars is Vortex's VIP warranty. In short the warranty is lifetime and transferable. Warranty claims can be filed through Vortex's website and is available here: http://www.vortexoptics.com/content/vip_warranty
Overall the Diamondback 10x42mm are worth considering if you're in the market for a new pair of mid-range binoculars. They offer an excellent value considering the ergonomics, optical quality, and cost.
For more information visit Vortex Optics.