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Written by Jeff Gorman   
Monday, 15 June 2009 05:19

Cameraland NY

Vortex Vulture 10x50 Coyote Brown from Camera Land New York

(Product Review)

I recently purchased a set of Vortex Vulture Coyote 10x50 binoculars from Camera Land New York. The regular price was $249.99 but Doug at Camera Land New York had them on special due to what his website calls “slight color imperfections” for $159.99. I opted for the package with the bino harness for $10 more plus free shipping. I emailed Doug and let him know I had placed an order and couldn’t wait to try them out.

They arrived well packaged (signature required) and in a timely manner.  Out of the box they came and I immediately began searching for the “slight color imperfections”. I didn’t really find anything that would be noteworthy. There is a tiny mark in the rubberized coating that I had to look twice to make sure it was actually there. Not what I would call an imperfection in my book and well worth the savings. They came with a case and neck strap and the usual small cleaning cloth. I set them up with the harness and began looking them over. The first thing I noticed is they are solid in the hand, sturdy and compact. The eye cups twist up with a positive stop and set proper eye relief, the front lens covers drop away easily making them ready for use. They are setup for a tripod mount (sold separately). My first look through them was fairly impressive. In regular lighting (mid day) colors are brilliant and the edges of images are crisp and detailed. For a side-by-side comparison I borrowed a pair of Nikon Trailblazer ATB 10x50. For what I paid for my Vortex Vultures from Camera Land New York these were a close dollar for dollar comparison. 

I took both pairs along on a family camping trip to “field test” them. The initial view through the Vultures was crisp, they were easy to focus and steady in the hand. The grip was comfortable and the Vortex harness I purchased made them easy to carry and quick to position while on a hike. I chose small details of objects to compare the clarity of viewing. In normal lighting under 100 yards they are similar to the Trailblazers in basic viewing. Both are able to focus on objects and provide detail that is crisp. Once I started glassing past 100 yards I started to see the differences. The Vultures offered very crisp viewing and noticeable depth of clarity. When observing a bird at nearly 200+ yards I was able to see details in the colors and textures of feathers. As it had just rained I was also able to see water drops on the ends of the pine needles of the tree the bird was in. With the Nikons I was able to see the bird and reasonably make out the features but the depth of color and textures was greatly reduced. A notable observation was that the Vultures don’t suffer from vignetting like the Trailblazers. Vignetting is where the image quality deteriorates near the outer edges (gets blurry or dims). There’s room for improvement at the edges but they far exceeded the view of the Nikons. In low lighting I must say they held their own. They gather light effectively allowing you to see into shadowed areas and pick out details that might be hiding. I went as far out as 2 miles with these optics and while they were clearer than the comparison pair of Nikons the difference wasn’t remarkable. At that range you would be better suited to have bigger glass in your hands. The only negative I can find is the lens cover for the eye piece is kind of clumsy. With the harness connected there isn’t an easy way to make use of the cover when wearing them. I made a small leash to tether them to the harness and that resolved the problem.

Vortex offers an unconditional, unlimited, transferable, no questions asked warranty. If a company is willing to completely stand behind their product like that it must indicate they have something special. All-in-all these were a great buy and perform beyond my expectations for the dollars spent. I will definitely look to Vortex for my next optics purchase.

Thanks Doug for offering excellent pricing on an excellent product.

Last Updated on Monday, 15 June 2009 06:54