Vor­tex Viper HD

Outdoor Life - - GEAR -

• 20–60x85 • $900 • Mid-bar­rel focus

Given that we’ve seen it­er­a­tions of this scope in pre­vi­ous years from Alpen, Ca­bela’s, and oth­ers, we ex­pected to be un­der­whelmed. But the Vor­tex out­per­formed peers priced sev­eral hun­dred dol­lars higher. The Viper HD scored very well in both low-light and res­o­lu­tion tests, and was one of the clear­est full-size spotters in the field. Its de­sign is de­riv­a­tive but lovely, and it in­cludes a func­tional, grace­fully an­gled eye­piece, a sin­gle­speed mid­bar­rel focus wheel, and a zoom­ing eye­piece with a pos­i­tive eye­cup. Op­ti­cally, the Vor­tex de­liv­ers a fine im­age at lower mag­ni­fi­ca­tions; above about 45X, the im­age de­grades and caused testers eye­strain. Still, for a very good, hard-wear­ing full-size spot­ter, the price is ex­cel­lent.

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