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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Help me out as I'm lost on what proprietary technology or process Vortex owns that makes their Optics superior or as good as others. Seems Zeiss - cutting grinding, Schott - glass, Meopta - coatings and a few others with their own technologies Leica, Nikon, Cannon, etc. Seems many manufacturers are outsourcing parts from others due to certain companies focusing on certain technologies. Someone like Vortex just specs out an optic and sources from suppliers and then has the assembly done often in China.

As best I can tell they are a marketing juggernaut and all of their products are made from outsourced products mainly the glass and prisms. As best I can tell once you get Ion Assisted Extra Low dispersion glass sometimes referred to as HD or UHD glass and a lifetime warranty this seems to be about as good as it gets. Paying anything more than the minimum it takes to get Ion assisted ED glass with a lifetime warranty seems like a waste.

Seems that at a certain point differences in glass have more to do with specific coatings for maximizing certain frequencies of light at the cost of other frequencies and variability in our eyes due to numbers of cones, pupil size and age. I am not passing judgement on the quality of their optics just don't understand how can compare them to Svarovski, Leica, Zeiss, Meopta

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Help me out as I'm lost on what proprietary technology or process Vortex owns that makes their Optics superior or as good as others. Seems Zeiss - cutting grinding, Schott - glass, Meopta - coatings and a few others with their own technologies Leica, Nikon, Cannon, etc. Seems many manufacturers are outsourcing parts from others due to certain companies focusing on certain technologies. Someone like Vortex just specs out an optic and sources from suppliers and then has the assembly done often in China.

As best I can tell they are a marketing juggernaut and all of their products are made from outsourced products mainly the glass and prisms. As best I can tell once you get Ion Assisted Extra Low dispersion glass sometimes referred to as HD or UHD glass and a lifetime warranty this seems to be about as good as it gets. Paying anything more than the minimum it takes to get Ion assisted ED glass with a lifetime warranty seems like a waste.

Seems that at a certain point differences in glass have more to do with specific coatings for maximizing certain frequencies of light at the cost of other frequencies and variability in our eyes due to numbers of cones, pupil size and age. I am not passing judgement on the quality of their optics just don't understand how can compare them to Svarovski, Leica, Zeiss, Meopta

Thoughts
I have been a huge supporter of Vortex Optics over the years, even defended them on this site when other popo'd them. I have several of their products, but with that being said most of them I have had to have warranty work done on.

My spotting scope (Razor line) I have sent back 3 times. After the 3rd time they replaced it. Guess what the new one is doing the same thing as the old one. There is a jump in the focus dial. (My brother-in-law is "borrowing" it now. Basically I gave it to him. I am saving up for Swaro.)

My binoculars (Razor line) I have sent back once when they fogged up. (I switch to Swaro and won't look back, and yes there is definitely a difference. I gave the vortex to my oldest son.)

My wife's binoculars (Viper Line) I have sent back once for a jump in the focus wheel, and one for a broken cap (that was probably my fault).

My son's scope (viper Line) the dials wouldn't work right. Wouldn't return to zero when using the dials. (Took it off the 300 win mag and mounted it on a .308). (All my personal rifles are now outfitted with Leupold v5's.)

So with all that, will I buy another Vortex product, may be it all depends. I would buy it knowing that it will probably need work, and at least I won't have to pay for anything but the shipping to get it fixed.
 

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Vortex sells really inexpensive glass up to fairly expensive. I’m not sure why it matters who makes the glass as long as it is good. I find my new model Vortex Razor HD 27-60 85 fantastic, and I look through them almost on a daily basis viewing the birds, deer, coyote, and Elk on my property. Vortex advertises them as “sophisticated triplet apochromatic lens system delivers high-definition views across the entire field of view - no color fringing, degradation of resolution or dilution of color fidelity at longer viewing distances”. I don’t know what that means, but they are very good.

I also got two pairs of Tract Toric binoculars 12.5x50 and 10x42 during the last 6 months or so to replace my Nikon Monarch 7s. They use German Schott glass. The Nikons were very good, but they don’t compare to the Tract Torics. Their approach is cut out the retailer which gives you high quality at a cheaper price. If I was shopping for a spotting scope, I would be looking at theirs.
 

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Just had a great idea. If you can afford to spend over $1000 on a scope, do it. Long as you have a $900 scope you'll think you blew it and God forbit you have a $200 scope, you'll believe for the rest of your life you really screwed up. Now if all you can afford is the $200 scope, don't whine about it. Learn a better trade to make more money and get a $1000 scope! Keep foremost in your mind that if you pay less than $1000 for a scope, you bought junk! My $80 Redfields have only lasted about 50 yrs now! Also have a *** Bushnell Banner going on about 40 yrs, I got screwed!
 

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Either Zen-Ray used to be Vortex, or used to make their stuff for them, but their stuff was half price of Vortex. If that's all you can afford, go for it, you'll buy something better in the future. Also, it's not a good thing everyone knows how great their warranty is.

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I’ve yet to have any of their products impress me. They’ve nailed the marketing and warrantee but In my mind it tapers off from there. I’m not drinking the cool aid.

-Scott
 

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I’ve yet to have any of their products impress me. They’ve nailed the marketing and warrantee but In my mind it tapers off from there. I’m not drinking the cool aid.
Not accusitory, but just wondering if you’ve looked through their most expensive models, or what models have you looked at? In my case, the one step down seemed a lot different than their most expensive models. For the lower end models, I agree you probably can do better for similar prices.
 

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Not accusitory, but just wondering if you’ve looked through their most expensive models, or what models have you looked at? In my case, the one step down seemed a lot different than their most expensive models. For the lower end models, I agree you probably can do better for similar prices.
FWIW, I have a buddy who is fairly competitive in PRS and shot the Razor Gen 2 for a few years. He shot my rifle with a Leupold Mark 5hd 5-25 on it and sold his Vortex. Maybe anecdotal, but he can shoot whatever he wants and has a stable of Mark 5's now

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I know Leupold makes great scopes, and that’s what I have on my hunting rifle. Some day, I might go with a 5 HD or similar. They sure are nice. I don’t know what the relative price is between a very high end Leupold is compared to a Razor, but my guess is the Leupold is signicantly more.
 

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I know Leupold makes great scopes, and that’s what I have on my hunting rifle. Some day, I might go with a 5 HD or similar. They sure are nice. I don’t know what the relative price is between a very high end Leupold is compared to a Razor, but my guess is the Leupold is signicantly more.
Leupold are roughly 2100 for a 5-25 Razors are a bit more

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Not accusitory, but just wondering if you’ve looked through their most expensive models, or what models have you looked at? In my case, the one step down seemed a lot different than their most expensive models. For the lower end models, I agree you probably can do better for similar prices.
Im not intimately familiar with their product lines. I’ve handled several scopes, a couple pair of binos, and one of the razor line spotting scopes. Some low end, some upper. Side by side none of it would view with my meostar stuff.

As I said above, they nailed the marketing. If you want the features of high end scopes like 30mm tubes, side focus, and long range turrets they’ll give it to you at a fair price. With optics as with so many things in life, you get what you pay for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the really useful and intriguing answers. I suspect much of this boils down to made in China vs. Elsewhere.
 

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I will admit I've been a Vortex snob and never really considering anything they make as anything I would buy until now that is. I have been looking for a decent scope that has a 30MM tube, zero stop and weighs less than 20 ozs. The Vortex Razor HD LHT 3-15x42 has been out for a little over a year and from everything I have seen on the innernet and reports from some friends is a solid option. For the price it has good optics, can be dialed and return to zero - I may give one a try even though like I said I'm not a fan of Vortex it would appear they got that scope right.
 

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I have Vortex scopes and no issues as of yet a few years running, dials track perfect, good warranty and Veterans get a large discount off, I cant complain. My spotting scope is a Leica and its been in for repair once, had burris binos in for repair, my leupolds never have issues either but cost alot more for me than Vortex after the discount.
 

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I will admit I've been a Vortex snob and never really considering anything they make as anything I would buy until now that is. I have been looking for a decent scope that has a 30MM tube, zero stop and weighs less than 20 ozs. The Vortex Razor HD LHT 3-15x42 has been out for a little over a year and from everything I have seen on the innernet and reports from some friends is a solid option. For the price it has good optics, can be dialed and return to zero - I may give one a try even though like I said I'm not a fan of Vortex it would appear they got that scope right.

Bigger tube, and 6oz heavier but 5x the scope that Vortex is.

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Bigger tube, and 6oz heavier but 5x the scope that Vortex is.

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Nice scope but it’s 800 more and it’s FFP


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Bigger tube, and 6oz heavier but 5x the scope that Vortex is.

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At that price point there are 10+ scopes I'd look at before a Leupold. #1 being Nightforce or a S&B PM II but this thread is about Vortex so I mentioned a Vortex scope that seems to work as advertised ;)
 
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With regards to the higher end stuff, I have two Mark 5 Leupolds and multiple NF scopes on my rifles. I helped a buddy with a high end Vortex the other day and it took hours to figure out the friggin zero stop with these washers and stuff. Pain in the rear. Glass seemed decent but side x side to the other two I have it wasn’t close. I think they are a decent mid-level scope and priced accordingly. They’re a step up from Nikon and such but shouldn’t be compared to the high end either. There is a lot of room in the sporting world for them as not everyone can buy $2,200 scopes for every rifle. So they found a good niche in the market which is what makes them popular.

My favorite scope is my 4x32 NX8 but the NF scopes are definitely heavy. I bought the two Mark 5s for my 6.5 Creedmoors for lightweight hunting applications but I really do like the reticles. The only issue with the 3.5x18 Mark 5 is finding one for sale....

tc
 

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At that price point there are 10+ scopes I'd look at before a Leupold. #1 being Nightforce or a S&B PM II but this thread is about Vortex so I mentioned a Vortex scope that seems to work as advertised ;)
Where would one find a PM2 for 1800?

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Where would one find a PM2 for 1800?

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They do come up on occasion at Europtic - they used to be right at $1800 but now I think its $2099 for a new PM II 10x which is the one I like best - I have a buddy that can get them for me for $1700ish shipped now so not too bad. But again I was trying to stay with what the OP asked which was about Vortex, and the Razor HD LHT with a street price of around $850-$925 isn't the worst scope you could buy (y)
 
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