Binoculars are confusing. They have tons of different stats and variations to worry about. So, how do you know what’s important and what’s not when making a purchase?
In this article, we’re going to talk about the differences between the Vortex Diamondback and The Vortex Viper in a way that’s easy to understand!
First, here’s a little comparison table of the important differences.
|Vortex Diamondback HD||Vortex Viper HD|
|Magnification||Up to 15x||Up to 12x|
|Weight||28.9 oz||28.8 oz|
|Lens Coating Type||Dielectric-Multi||Dielectric-Multi|
|Field Of View||271/1,000||288/1,000|
|Angular Field Of View||5.2 degrees||5.5 degrees|
|Close Focus||6 Feet||8 Feet|
|Interpupillary Distance||60-75 mm||59-75 mm|
|Check Price||Check Price|
Our Editor’s pick is for the Vortex Viper HD. These binoculars offer a considerable improvement over the Diamondback HD, and in our opinion, are worth the extra money.
Compared to the Diamondback, the Vortex Viper feels more robust and nicer in-hand. It also offers superior image quality, especially in low light settings thanks to its higher-quality glass and lens coating, which doubles as a protective covering for the glass.
The Vortex Viper will perform noticeably better in low light conditions and for spotting and identify long-range targets, especially smaller targets, like mule deer. You can read additional reviews and opinions on the Vortex Viper on Amazon.
If you’re interested in a full overview of these binoculars, then keep reading to get the details.
Viper vs Diamondback Binoculars – Is the Viper really worth the extra cash?
On the surface, the Vortex Viper and the Diamondback look very similar, and it might be easy to think that the Viper doesn’t have much going for. However, this is not true, and while the Viper’s benefits are not immediately apparent, they are most definitely there.
For starters, you should notice immediately that the Viper just feels nicer in your hand. Its housing feels more durable, and nicer looking lenses. The Viper is not just about show though, and those lenses look different from inside the binoculars as well.
If you’re testing these binoculars in stellar conditions, with good light, and at short distances, you may struggle to notice a difference at all between them. However, it’s once you venture outside these parameters where the Viper shines.
While the Diamondback HD offers exceptional clarity, especially in the price range which Vortex has put it, the strain of real life conditions becomes clear. The Viper’s superior lenses presents bright, crystal clear images, even at dusk when the Diamondback begins to show its weakness.
You’ll also notice that the Viper has an increased field of view when compared to the Diamond HD and exceptional edge to edge quality. Though, as previously stated, in many circumstances, these benefits may be less apparent.
So, for this reason, the Vortex Diamondback is not totally out of the running. These binoculars are now slouch, and if you do most of your hunting in good conditions, you could notice little differences for the money.
The Diamondbacks also seem to be beating the Vipers in a couple areas, and one of those is available options. In fact, the Diamondback has a 15x magnification configuration available, and the Viper does not.
However, magnification should definitely not be your end-all, be-all. Higher magnification causes image instability, making it hard for you to get a look at something unless you have a tri-pod set up.
In reality, most hunters will be well-served with an 8x or 10x. This still provides good magnification for most instances, but provides more stability, making it easier on the user.
The second area where the Diamondback could be superior likely depends on the user. However, several hunters reported that the eye cups on the Vortex Viper do not make a good seal with the face.
This means that in less than ideal light conditions, such as you having light hitting you from the side, your view could be impacted. Light tends to leak into the sides and create glare, which could be an issue. You might prefer to go with the diamondbacks if you are worried about glare.
But what if you already own the original Diamondback binoculars? Should you keep them, or upgrade? Keep reading to see if the changes are worth a new pair.
Vortex Diamondback vs Diamondback HD – Are The New Ones Better?
It seems that Vortex no longer makes the original Diamondback binoculars, and now all of their stuff is the HD variant. BUT, if you own the original Diamondbacks and were wondering whether you should buy the new ones, here’s the info on that.
HD Optical System and FOV improvements
The newer lens system enhances resolution, minimizies chromatic aberration, increases light transmission, and gives excellent edge-to-edge sharpness when compared to the original Diamond back binoculars.
The close focus has also been greatly improved, as has the field of view. Field of view for the HD Diamondbacks is 426 ft /1,000 yards, vs 315 ft/1,000 yards for the original Diamondback model, a substantial difference.
Weight has been reduced
The Diamondback HDs are actually much lighter than the original Diamondback binoculars. With the originals clocking in at 29.6 ounces, and the updated HD version weighing just 15.9 ounces!
ArmorTek Protective Coating has been added
The Diamondback HD, and all of Vortex’s HD offerings, now also offer a protective lens coating. This hard coating protects your optics from scratches, oils, and dirt to prolong their life.
Shock proofing has been added
It also seems that Vortex has beefed up the construction on their Diamondback HD binoculars and made them shock-proof. That’s a good feature to have, especially if you’re tough on your gear.
In conclusion, even if you already have the original Diamondback binoculars, it’s worth the upgrade to the new HD version, they’ve been much improved. You can read more reviews and check prices on Amazon.