Vortex Viper HD 8×42 Binoculars: Our Evaluate

A really brilliant 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 brilliant 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 value vary we examined


  • Value: $640 MSRP at press time. Costs typically fluctuate, so examine with retailers
  • Shut focus: 6 ft (183 cm)
  • Discipline of view: 7.8° (410 ft 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 assessment
  • Eye reduction: 18 mm

Viewing Expertise: The Vortex Vipers had 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 had been among the many brightest, clearest photographs that they examined, notably in low gentle. On a dim, cloudy day in early November, these binoculars had been in a position to choose 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 variety of 15–30 ft. Backlit cover branches some 75 ft away had been simple to see intimately, although there was a slight sense of pink/inexperienced on the edges. Whereas panning these binoculars had been very easy and crisp. Beveled eyecups made it comfy to carry these bins to our eyes for prolonged intervals.

Really feel and Construct: The Vipers have a stable 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 cushty grip. The eyecups had a free really feel, however held their place firmly in every of 4 stops. The main target wheel was easy, however among the many stiffest to maneuver of any binoculars in our take a look at. The stiffness affected how shortly we might deal with a goal; that is the primary disadvantage that saved them out of the Prime Picks group in our full binocular assessment. The tethered goal lens covers appeared to carry their place properly. The neck strap was broad and cozy, and there’s additionally a harness supplied within the field for folk who discover these extra comfy than easy straps.

Feedback From Testers: 

  • Vibrant clear picture, stable and compact really feel in hand
  • Felt comfy in my palms
  • Vibrant and sharp picture each far and close-up
  • Focus knob may be very tight and makes it onerous 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 evaluate to others we’ve examined, see our full assessment of inexpensive 8×42 binoculars.  

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