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View Full Version : Vortex Razor 20x60x85 spotter question



Bob
08-29-2013, 09:40 PM
I currently have a non-HD Leupy 12x40x60 GR I purchased a dozen or so years ago that is still in pristine shape and use a pair of Swarovski 10x42 SLC's as my daily drivers. I've been looking at the 85 mm Razor spotter lately. I watched Bitterroot Bulls videos on YouTube and have to say I'm pretty impressed, I also noticed it seems to be the one he packs most often. My question is the roughly 1lb. difference in weight between the 65mm Razor and 85mm Razor outweighed by significantly better brightness and low light resolution of the 85mm ? I considered the 65mm but thought in reality I wasn't gaining anything significant over my 60 mm Leupy except more weight and duplicating a power range pretty well covered by the Leupy. Unfortunately you can't test drive them out of the store so I' m looking for more feedback from those that are running them before buying.
I'll pack for 3-4 day hunts out here in Oregon but mostly 2-3 day trips so the weight of the 85 is a consideration but not a deal breaker, I have the Leupy for long trips. I want a spotter that rocks at long distance over clearcuts and variable timbered mountainsides in the coast range and the cascades in lousy weather.....
I've heard rave reviews about the quality and the VIP warranty also. What say you all.

Thanks for your input

Bitterroot Bulls
08-29-2013, 11:13 PM
The 85 is the model better suited for really long range glassing, due to the magnification advantage. I have used the 65 also this summer, and really like it in the 65mm range.

BTW,

My hunting partner took my Razor and won't give it back . ;(

I am running the Swarovski ATX85 this season.

Bob
08-29-2013, 11:47 PM
Thanks Bitterroot,
How would you stack up the other differences such as brightness, resolution /clarity against the extra pound of weight over its smaller brother??? The extra magnification is a plus but even that isn't much if the other qualities aren't in step with it IMHO. I don't have the juice to get into a 3k + spotter at this time and am comfortable at this price point up to 2k so obviously, I'm looking for real quality and the best bang for the buck. I value your opinions and others that have real drive time on them.
Thanks

If your hunting partner took your 85mm razor and you are running the 65mm, are you kinda pining for your 85mm?

kcaves
08-30-2013, 06:33 AM
Well now he's running an 85 mm Swarovski. I doubt he's missing his razor lol. Must suck to have that kind of hunting partner

Bitterroot Bulls
08-30-2013, 08:19 AM
I don't currently have the Razor 65. I had it for few months and sent it on to the next tester. It was an excellent scope, however, and offers a lot of value. "Clarity" means a lot of different things to different people, but the Razor 85 will out-resolve the 65 due to the extra magnification. It will also be brighter at the same powers as the 65 due to the extra exit pupil.

While the Razor is a tremendous value, I would really recommend looking at the Meopta Meostar S2 with the 30-60 WA eyepiece if you have a $2000 budget.

Bob
08-30-2013, 12:38 PM
Thanks fellas, I'll take a look at the Meopta also. I hadn't considered looking at them.

UPDATE;
I looked at the Meoptas and they are very nice however, they are priced far enough over my budget that I'm less inclined to go that direction, I haven't been able to determine if their warranty is on par with Vortex's either.
I have to also add that I just read Ilya Koshkins review of the 85 mm Razor and his high regard for it compared to some other alpha spotters on a price/ quality basis and now my head is starting to spin again. What to do, what to do......?????????

ssliger
08-30-2013, 03:33 PM
Thanks fellas, I'll take a look at the Meopta also. I hadn't considered looking at them.

I love mine!

hardstalk
08-30-2013, 05:13 PM
Thanks fellas, I'll take a look at the Meopta also. I hadn't considered looking at them.

UPDATE;
I looked at the Meoptas and they are very nice however, they are priced far enough over my budget that I'm less inclined to go that direction, I haven't been able to determine if their warranty is on par with Vortex's either.
I have to also add that I just read Ilya Koshkins review of the 85 mm Razor and his high regard for it compared to some other alpha spotters on a price/ quality basis and now my head is starting to spin again. What to do, what to do......?????????

I sent you a p.m might help make your mind up.

Bitterroot Bulls
08-30-2013, 06:43 PM
If the Meopta is out of your price range, the Razor 85 is the way to go. A good dealer can get you a good price. ;)

Bob
08-30-2013, 09:55 PM
Went into town and swung into a Sportsmans Warehouse this afternoon, we had several different manufacturers spotters including the Razor's outside and I looked through all of them with a couple of sales guys for a couple of hours at a steep grassy hillside in varying light that sloped up to a little more than a mile away at the top. There was some mild miraging and light smoke in the air. The upshot is I ended up doing a 360 and bought a Swarovski ATS 65 HD spotter and the padded case for it. I'm an older guy and wear eyeglasses to correct my almost extreme far sightedness. Interestingly and counter intuitively the eye relief seemed better for me with the Swarovski than the Razor even though the Razor has a couple more mm's of relief according to its literature. I had to take my glasses on and off to get a good look through the Razors but not so with the Swarovski.....size of the eyecup or lens being closer to the eyecup rim????? I'm not sure but it was definitely noticeable and perceptible. The 85mm Razor is an incredible piece of glass for sure but after looking through the 65 mm ATS HD, My eyes are saying the Swaro's are at a minimum on par and to my eyes seemed crisper and brighter than the Razor and its also a lighter and more compact spotter. Maybe I'm seeing things...........:confused:
I'm certainly not an optics pro or trained expert to test or rate these units. I also don't know if the Razor is a higher optically rated device than the Swarovski I purchased and I just ended up shooting myself in the foot???? At this level of optic quality, I have to think it takes an expert to really tell one from the other.
Don't be bashful, what do you guys think? did I shoot myself in the foot????? I can always return it.
Thanks for the input

Edit to add;
The Meopta is a straight spotter and I've been interested in obtaining a angled spotter so that pushed me away from it a bit

Bitterroot Bulls
08-30-2013, 11:20 PM
I would trust your own eyes.

Parking lot comparisons tell some of the story, but not everything.

The Meopta comes in angled as well.

You don't hear of many dissatisfied Swarovski customers, so rest easy and enjoy the spotter. Congrats on a fine optical instrument. Which eyepiece did you get?

Bob
08-30-2013, 11:56 PM
Surprisingly it came with a 20x60 eyepiece, I didn't have to buy it separately!!! I completely agree with you about parking lot comparisons telling only part of the story..... fortunately this parking lot has a few small mountains around it near and far that you can view and the optics guys were having a good time going through the different models out there also. I'm surprised at how long they were ok with all of it. Short of test driving a couple of these units for a few days or week up in the high country, I don't know what else you could do to get a 100% feel for the nuances between them. They did have a Brunton optics test poster mounted up on a dark wall at the back of the store that looked something like an eye chart you might see at the ophthalmologists office that I was checking them out on. However, the store is lit with fluorescent lights and I wanted to see how they worked in natural daylight.
I didn't find an angled Meopta when looking around for them today...... An oversight (pun intended) on my part......
Thanks for the reassurances on the glass.......right at 2k out the door I gulped a little (ok, a lot) and hope I made a smart long term purchase.
I'm also interested in doing some digiscoping with this spotter using an iPhone and a DSLR, what do you recommend I consider for mounting attachments and what other eyepieces do you think would really complement the spotter?
Thanks again for the help

Fatrascal
09-05-2013, 07:25 PM
You did not shoot yourself in the foot but you might of made your foot bullet proof with your choice, lol. Swaro is one of the top of the line spotters and you should never have to buy another one unless you just want to. What it boils down to though, is whatever spotter worked the best for you is the one you needed to get wether that be swaro, zeiss, vortex, meopta, zen ray, redfield or whatever it is that YOUR eyes see through the best. For you it turned out to be swarovski which is one of the best. Congrats on your purchase. fatrascal.

jarheadhunter
09-06-2013, 08:23 AM
You will be very happy with your purchase. I haven't regretted buying my STS 65 HD for one second. My wife on the other hand....

jarheadhunter
09-06-2013, 08:31 AM
As for digiscoping I am currently using the Kowa iPhone adapter with my iPhone 4s and it is working great. Another great option is the phoneskope. They have a new model that will work with just about any scope due to its mounting system.