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The Vortex Razor HD Spotting Scope is breathtaking—I’m not going to even dance around it. After testing this little gem for months, I’m still as impressed now as when I first got it in the mail. I had the pleasure of playing with the angled model, which is great for all around hunting, bird watching and digiscoping. Why do I love the Razor HD so much? Here are the reasons why.

Image Quality
I would post up a photo from my digiscoping photography, but it would not do justice to how sharp, bright and true images actually look when glassing through a Vortex Razor HD Spotting Scope. It’s one of those things that you have to see to believe. Even when looking at animals or objects from hundreds of yards away, the Razor HD delivers beautifully with images that look like I’m standing right there. Distant images look natural and true to life, with no distortion, degradation of resolution or dilution of color fidelity. Dual focus adjustments are silky smooth, allowing me to key in on targets quickly and efficiently. A retractable sunshade also works great to shield out glare, rain or snow.


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Durability
Constructed with a die-cast magnesium alloy body and rubber armoring, the Vortex Razor HD Spotting Scope is fantastically solid and rugged. Weighing at around 4.10 pounds, the Razor HD beats out its competitor the 85mm Nikon EDG Fieldscope, which weighs 5.20 pounds but costs twice as much. Exterior lenses are also scratch resistant, and repel away dirt, oil and corrosive salts from fingerprints.

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The Razor HD Spotting Scope is also 100% waterproof, fogproof, shockproof and dustproof. If for some reason the spotting scope fails, Vortex will fix or replace your scope for free as part of its Very Important Promise (VIP) to you, a generous and comforting unlimited lifetime warranty.

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Included with the spotting scope are durable rubber lens protectors for the objective lens and eyepiece. The eyepiece protectors snap and off easily. The objective lens cap fits snugly and tightly. However, it can be a little tricky to squeeze back on, especially when in a hurry.

Portability
As a backpacker, I’ve always had this saying: “If you take care of the ounces, the pounds will take care of themselves.” In regards to weight, the Razor HD blows the Nikon EDG Fieldscope out of the water. But compared to the Carl Zeiss Diascope Angled 85mm, the 4.10 pound Razor HD is at a loss when contending with the Diascope’s 3.25 pounds. But consider this. The Zeiss can cost as much as $3,150, while you can get the Razor HD for around $1,600. Is one less pound really worth paying twice the price? I don’t think so. And for that, I believe the Razor HD is a great value.

A View-Through Carry Case is also included with every Vortex spotting scope kit. It’s a lightweight, durable case that will help protect your spotting scope during travel. What I love about it is that you can keep the case on while using the scope, which saves a lot of trouble and time when out hunting. Well-thought-out zipper openings allow the covered spotting scope to be mounted on a tripod. An included shoulder strap makes for easy carry.

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Conclusion
If you’re looking for a spotting scope of this caliber, I say buy the Razor HD. I have yet to find a scope of this quality, price and unbeatable warranty policy. I had a ton of fun watching all sorts of animals through the Razor HD, and taking photographs with Vortex’s Digital Camera Adaptor. Whether you buy an angled or straight body is a matter of personal preference. But if you plan on dabbing into digiscoping photography, I highly recommend the angled body.


Jenny Nguyen is writer and photographer for recipe blog Food for Hunters. For more information, please visit www.foodforhunters.com.