This is an in-depth Vortex Diamondback HD review!
The Vortex Diamondback HD binoculars give you clear and sharp images without any color distortion, making them useful for birding, sightseeing, and long-range shooting.
These binoculars are also tripod adaptable that allows you to use a window mount or a tripod.
In this Diamondback review, we will evaluate the overall performance, features, specs, and various available sizes in great detail.
- Optical performance
- Construction and quality
- All model sizes and specs
- What’s in the box?
- User reviews
- Our verdict
Vortex Diamondback HD Overview
The Vortex Diamondback HD binoculars’ objective lens gives hunters the power they need to frame the game in the countryside. These binoculars come with quality objective lenses (up to 56mm) and boast magnification up to 15x.
The O-ring seals and argon filing gives fog-proof performance and protection from water even in the wettest conditions. The rubber-armored protection on the external surface gives you a non-slip grip and protection if it falls from your hands accidentally.
These are a bit heavy binocular, but they are tripod adaptable, so you can mount a tripod if you want to use it for long hours. Since these Vortex Diamondbacks binos are made in the Philippines, you can expect quality constructions and durability.
The Vortex Diamondbacks come in 9 different sizes. No matter what your requirements are, you will find a pair of Diamondbacks for your needs.
- Vortex Diamondback HD 8X28
- Vortex Diamondback HD 10X28
- Vortex Diamondback HD 8X32
- Vortex Diamondback HD 10X32
- Vortex Diamondback HD 8X42
- Vortex Diamondback HD 10X42
- Vortex Diamondback HD 10X50
- Vortex Diamondback HD 12X50
- Vortex Diamondback HD 15X56
The most popular size of them all is the 10X42 due to its versatility and lightweight design. These are great for any birder, either for bird watching and sightseeing.
The next couple of sections of this Vortex Diamondback binoculars review will focus on the general features, which are the same for all sizes. Later on, we will discuss specific features of each style.
You’ll experience an increased light transmission due to anti-reflective coatings on all glass surfaces, which gives you outstanding color fidelity, bright, crystal clear, and high-definition images.
You’ll also experience superior image resolution due to enhanced light transmission with the fully multi-coated lenses and dielectric coating on the prisms. Moreover, the lens’ external surface is protected with Vortex’s patented ArmorTek coating to prevent any scratches.
These binoculars produce a stunning edge-to-edge Diamondback clarity when the background light is bright. The HD optical system provides you with excellent resolutions, sharpness and reduces chromatic aberration.
The prisms and lenses push the contrast and brightness high so that the image’s quality remains high even during low light.
You won’t have to deal with chromatic aberration or dull images at all. In fact, the results were astounding, and Vortex’s claim that these binoculars “punch the class above” seems to be legit.
We noticed the colors to be accurate. The images are bright and clear. We loved the most about these binoculars because you won’t have to deal with any blurry edges at all. It is a feature that many high-end binoculars don’t even have.
As a birder, you’ll love the high-resolution image and crystal-clear views of the object at a distance.
Construction and Design
The Armortek coating will protect the exterior lens from dirt, oil, and scratches. Whereas the rubber-armored coating protects it from breakage in case you accidentally dropped it from your hands.
Body and grip
These binoculars come with a rubber Diamondback armor body that ensures an anti-slip grip and external protection. They are also water, shock, and fog proof, thanks to their argon-purged, O-ring sealed, and rugged design.
They also feature roof prisms that are well known for their compact size and durability. A lockable diopter is there on the right barrel, and it allows you to adjust the difference in your eye, if any.
Like all the diamondbacks, these binoculars are tripod adaptable, and you can use them with a window mount or a tripod pretty comfortably.
Focus wheel and focusing
All the Vortex Optics Diamondback binoculars come with a central focus wheel. This wheel is present right between the two barrels and allows you to focus both sides simultaneously, saving you a lot of time on the field.
We noticed that the focus wheel might feel a bit stiff at times, especially when the conditions are moist. Controlling the knob is not that difficult due to its ergonomic design, but it just gets a bit stiff at times for no apparent reason. The focus itself works pretty well and fast, though.
Eyecups and lens covers
The adjustable eyecups can be twisted up/down to use with or without glasses. If you’re not using any sunglasses, twist up the eyecups for a full field view. Keep the eyecups twisted down for the best viewing experience with glasses.
The lens covers also do their job and stay on while protecting the lenses of these binoculars. When you are using it in wet conditions, the lens cover might stick a little bit but nothing too much worrying here.
Diamondback HD Model Sizes
There are nine different sizes available in Vortex Diamondback HD binoculars. The 10×42 and the 10×50 are the most popular ones because they come with a good balance of magnification and field of view, making them ideal for birders and sightseeing activities.
The following tables provide you with a detailed overview of all the sizes available in Vortex Diamondback HD binoculars.
|Objective lens diameter||28 mm||28 mm||32 mm||32 mm||42 mm||42 mm||50 mm||50 mm||56 mm|
|Eye relief||18 mm||16 mm||16 mm||14 mm||17 mm||15 mm||17 mm||14 mm||15.6 mm|
|Exit pupil||3.5 mm||2.8 mm||4 mm||3.2 mm||5.2 mm||4.2 mm||5 mm||4.16 mm||3.7 mm|
|Linear field of view||332 feet/1000 yards||273 feet/1000 yards||426 feet/1000 yards||340 feet/1000 yards||393 feet/1000 yards||330 feet/1000 yards||315 feet/1000 yards||271 feet/1000 yards||230 feet/1000 yards|
|Angular field of view||6.2 degrees||5.1 degrees||8.1 degrees||6.5 degrees||7.5 degrees||6.3 degrees||6.0 degrees||5.2 degrees||4.36 degrees|
|Close focus||6 feet||6 feet||5 feet||6 feet||5 feet||5 feet||6 feet||6 feet||14 feet|
|Dimensions (height/width)||4.6×4.5 inches||4.6×4.5 inches||4.6×4.4 inches||5.0×4.4 inches||5.7×5.1 inches||5.7×5.1 inches||6.6×5.3 inches||6.4×5.3 inches||7.1×5.8 inches|
|Weight||14 oz||13.5 oz||16 oz||16 oz||21.8 oz||21.3 oz||30 oz||28.9 oz||34.8 oz|
|Handheld||Compact size||Slight big but lightweight to carry||Great for on the go||Slightly big but lightweight to carry||Great for on the go||Better when used stationary||Better with tripod||You may need a tripod for a long viewing session||Tripod is recommended|
Vortex Diamondback HD 8X28
The Vortex Diamondback HD 8X28 binoculars are excellent for use on the go; therefore, they work well for sightseeing and general-purpose use. You can also watch some birds from a distance with bright natural light conditions.
These Vortex Diamondback compact binoculars are the lightest of all Diamondbacks and come with the best Vortex Diamondback eye relief of 18mm in all these sizes. The Diamondback 8X28 is also pretty lightweight to carry around and budget-friendly.
Vortex Diamondback HD 10X28
The Vortex Diamondback HD 10X28 binoculars are great because of their lightweight design. These are the lightest of all the Vortex Diamondbacks. The Diamondback 10X28 also comes with a pretty decent balance between magnification and field of view. You will love using them for sightseeing and exploring.
With better magnification, you can also use them for birding and sporadic hunting. The eye relief is down a couple of millimeters from the previous model, but it still works well even if you have your eyeglasses on.
Vortex Diamondback HD 8X32
The Vortex Diamondback HD 8X32 binoculars come with more improved optics but slightly reduced magnification. Therefore, it is suitable for distant viewing of wildlife, birds, and scenery. You can also use these binoculars for general-purpose viewing.
The Diamondback 8X32 are also suitable for use on the go but will work better if you are stationary. Hunters can also benefit from these binoculars especially spotting their target at longer ranges. These binoculars have the best linear field of view of all the Vortex Diamondbacks with decent eye relief.
Vortex Diamondback HD 10X32
With magnification up a couple of notches from the previous size, the Vortex Diamondback HD 10X32 binoculars offer a much better-detailed view from a distance. But these binoculars don’t come with a wide field of view, so they are better for spotting.
Hunters and bird watchers will love the Diamondback 10X32. They are lightweight by design and easy to carry despite being big in size. However, eye relief on these binoculars is pretty low at 14mm, and if you wear glasses, you will find these binoculars a bit tough to use.
Vortex Diamondback HD 8X42
With better optics and magnification down a couple of notches, the Vortex Diamondback HD 8X42 binoculars work very well, mostly when we talk about the field of view. So, if you are an explorer or a new birder, these binoculars are for you.
You might feel them a bit in your hands because of the heavier optics but nothing to put you off balance. The Diamondback 8X42 is not great for spotting, but if you wear glasses, then you will love using these binoculars for exploring.
Vortex Diamondback HD 10X42
The Vortex Diamondback HD 10X42 binoculars are better in terms of magnification from the previous size, but you will have to deal with a narrower field of view here. The Diamondback 10X42 is heavier to hold in your hand and works better when you are stationary.
With better optics, these binoculars are great for spotting, and you can conveniently use them for hunting, birding, and exploring as well. But make sure that you have steady hands when you see through peak magnification, or you will lose your target. Therefore, it’s better for you to use a tripod because they feel slightly heavy in the hands.
Vortex Diamondback HD 10X50
You get slightly better topics with the Vortex Diamondback HD 10X50 binoculars. They come with a workable field of view, and with good magnification, these binoculars remain to be one of the most versatile sizes of all the Vortex Diamondback binocular devices.
The 10×50 binoculars are great for any outdoor activity, and you can also use them for a bit of stargazing if you want. But whatever you do, don’t forget to use the Diamondback 10X50 with a window mount or a tripod; otherwise, you’ll find it hard to focus on a moving object.
Vortex Diamondback HD 12X50
With even better magnification from the previous size, the Vortex Diamondback HD 12X50 binoculars are great for explorers and even researchers. As these binoculars work great when it comes to spotting, therefore, you will love using them for long-distance shooting or hunting.
If the conditions are right, you can also use them for sky watching or stargazing. The Diamondback 12X50 is even heavier. You will need a quality tripod or a window mount and use its magnification a bit more carefully because you might end up losing your target altogether at higher magnification if you are too shaky with your hands.
Vortex Diamondback HD 15X56
The Vortex Diamondback HD 15X56 binoculars have large lenses in them, so they are going to be very heavy. That’s why the Diamondback 15X56 comes with a tripod.
With 15x magnification, you will have to deal with a narrower field of view, but these binoculars are made for astronomers and stargazers, so it’s good enough. Don’t use them for bird watching or hunting because they are not manufactured for these purposes.
Vortex’s new Diamondback binoculars can also work for researchers to focus and study deep-sky objects and astronomical viewing. You will surely use a tripod or a window mount with these, and be careful when you are at full magnification when you are holding them in hand. As they are heavy, you will lose focus.
Vortex has an industry-leading warranty for its customers and its stands behind all its products. It offers an unconditional and unlimited lifetime warranty on all its optics. This is one of the reasons why it has been so popular among the masses. No matter what the issue is, they will replace or repair it.
The only thing that this Vortex Diamondback warranty doesn’t cover is loss or theft or intentional damage or alteration that doesn’t alter the device’s operation. Now, this is something really special; check it out!
There isn’t much to dislike about the Vortex Diamondback HD binoculars. However, one thing that did bother us when using these binoculars was their light transmission which was slightly dim than most other binoculars in this category.
When the conditions are gloomy, they don’t perform that well. However, it’s an entirely different story when the light conditions get better.
What’s In the Box?
The box has pretty much everything that you need with these pairs of binoculars. But we still think that Vortex should improve the quality of plastic ring around the lens. It looks pretty flimsy.
- Diamondback HD Binos
- A neck strap
- A lens cloth
- Tethered objective lens covers
- A rainguard eyepiece cover
- GlassPak binocular harness
- Limited lifetime warranty
The average user rating of these binoculars is a perfect 5.0 stars, which goes to show its impressive value and performance.
Most of the Vortex Diamondback HD reviews also highlight the fact that these binoculars deliver an exceptional value for money that cannot be matched.
Some people have also mentioned that there are some issues with the operation of the focus wheel but they also say that at this price, such issues are almost ignorable.
Just received these binocs and first impressions, the rugged construction of this optic is very apparent. When you hold them the weight is solid and the feel assures that these will last a long time even bumping around inside a pack. The focus adjustment is smooth and effective. Daylight viewing is exceptional, it challenges the higher priced optics in this category. I hunt feral hogs and raccoons under a green light in the dark of night and the 50mm objective lens lets in ample light to see clearly, add to that the 12 power magnification and your viewing experience is greatly enhanced. I’m a fan!
However, if you don’t want to use Vortex Diamondback, here are some alternatives that we highly recommend to you.
Leupold BX-1 McKenzie
Leupold BX-1 binoculars are almost half the price but come in the same optical sizes. These binoculars can handle dim light pretty well and are lightweight as well. The robust construction makes sure that these binoculars can handle the outdoor conditions very well.
If you are specifically looking for better eye relief, then we recommend you the Redfield Battlefield. These binoculars are much better in terms of eye relief and feel much lighter. You will also have a much wider field of view.
Nikon Monarch 5
These binoculars will serve you well because they come with more extended eye relief and a slightly better field if viewed at the same optical size. They might feel a bit heavier, but they are built robustly and handle low-light conditions extremely well.
The Vortex Diamondback HD binoculars offer a good balance between performance and price. You can do the exploring, birding, hunting, spotting, sightseeing, stargazing, and so much with these versatile binoculars.
However, it will help if you have a different model for different activities. The 10X42 and 10X50 are the most popular sizes of them all due to their versatility and value.
You need a tripod for high magnification models like 12x or 15 because they are heavy, and you need to focus on a single object for a long time. You can buy Diamondbacks online or in-store from Vortex directly or from their authorized dealers located all across the country.