Vortex vs Nikon Binoculars – Which brand should you choose?

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Vortex are one of the best brands around if you’re considering in getting yourself some new binoculars. However, Nikon have been a staple in the industry for decades and although they’re better known for other products, they’re still well known for their binoculars.

Depending on what your need is, one of these brands is likely to be a better choice for you than the other. Though binoculars do work in the same way, you’ll notice differences between the different brands. Everything from cost to design can factor as a reason why you might see a difference between each set of binoculars.

Vortex vs Nikon Binoculars

Nikon are known for their performance binoculars. They have some low cost binoculars as well, but they are probably best known for their expensive, high end models. Bushnell are one of the most trusted brands within the binocular industry, and they have a very wide selection of different binoculars for you to choose from.

If we’re comparing Vortex and Nikon, we’ll first take a quick look at the two brands and what their best options are if you’re looking for a good set of binoculars.


Vortex started off as a small family run company back in 2004, and in the lat 15 years they’ve grown to be one of the best selling optics countries in the United States (they’re based out of Wisconsin). In terms of binoculars and spotting scopes, they’re pretty difficult to beat (I also like Bushnell, but Vortex run them pretty close).

Vortex binoculars are one of the most sought after Vortex products. Vortex makes a variety of binoculars, but the Vortex Diamondback is their top selling line, and for good reason.

The Vortex Diamondback’s are, by far, the best bang for your buck. Vortex made these binoculars with high quality glass lenses that will give you vivid detail with an eight-time zoom range. These binoculars are lightweight and easy to carry in any situation from hunting or birdwatching to sporting events or traveling. With dimensions of 5 x 10 x 2 inches and only 12 ounces they’re small enough to fit in your backpack if necessary.

One thing I like about Vortex Diamondbacks is how comfortable they feel when you use them for long periods of time. The comfort and eye relief definitely helps them to be used for all the aforementioned uses. Vortex Diamondbacks are waterproof and fogproof, so you don’t have to worry about them in rainy situations or if you take them through an airport scanner.

The Vortex Diamondback has a wide arc of view at 425 feet at 1,000 yards which makes it easy to track animals on larger ranges. Vortex made these binoculars with multi-coated lenses that offer bright and clear images. The combination of extra low dispersion glass prisms and dielectric coatings deliver the clearest possible image without any distortion or color fringing.

Here’s a complete list of all the current binoculars that Vortex have to offer as of 2019.

  • Vanquish (Available in 8×26, 10×26)
  • Raptor (Available in 6.5×32, 8.5×32, 10×32)
  • Crossfire (Available in 8×42, 10×42, 10×50, 12×50)
  • Diamondback Classic (Available in 8×28, 10×28, 8×32, 10×32, 8×42, 10×42, 8.5×50, 10×50, 12×50)
  • Diamondback (Available in 8×28, 10×28, 8×32, 10×32, 8×42, 10×42, 10×50, 12×50)
  • Hurricane (Available in 7×50, 10×50)
  • Vulture HD (Available in 8×56, 10×56, 15×56)
  • Ranger HD (Available in 10×50)
  • Viper RT (Available in 8×28)
  • Viper HD RT (Available in 10×50)
  • Viper (Available in 8×28, 10×28)
  • Viper HD (Available in 8×42, 10×42, 10×50, 12×50)
  • Fury (Available in 10×42)
  • Kaibab (Available in 18×56)
  • Razor HD (8×42, 10×42, 10×50, 12×50)

Vortex Viper HD

The Vortex Viper HD  are the most popular model from the brand, with their Viper HDs being a good option. They’re particularly lightweight and easy to carry around, which makes them a good option for those that want a portable set of binoculars. As you can see, they’re available in 8×42, 10×42, 10×50 and 12×50, which is a decent variety of binoculars to choose from.

They use apochromatic lenses (which is something you might have heard about before in terms of telescopes). Apochromatic basically means that they’re much better at dealing with color abberations, which can be one of the most annoying things about lenses in general. An abberation is essentially color fringing – you know when you take a photo and it’s purple around the edge? That’s chromatic abberation, which these lenses are great at reducing to a minimum.

These are generally some awesome binoculars which you’ll want to consider if you’re looking for a decent set of binoculars.


Nikon offer a wide range of different binoculars, each ideally suited to fulfil your own needs. One of my favorites from their range is the Nikon Monarchs , which take some beating if you’re looking for a decent set of binoculars, particularly for birdwatching or general use. The most popular ranges are the Monarch 5’s and the Monarch 7’s, which are available in a variety of different magnifications.

The reason that I say this model are great for general use is that they’re totally waterproof. This means that no matter what weather you’re experiencing, they’re going to be able to survive when you’re using them outdoors. The last thing you want is to spend money on binoculars and have them falter at the very first hurdle. It’s only recently that Monarch discontinued their other Monarchs which weren’t waterproof (which they call ‘All Terrain’) – they don’t feel they need to release non waterproof binoculars any more, as these are getting cheaper and cheaper.

They’re lightweight binoculars, and if you’re debating whether to opt for these binoculars as opposed to some more expensive, then it’s likely not going to be worth it. Unless you’re an advanced birdwatcher (or whatever you’re using them for), you’re unlikely to notice the difference between this set and other more expensive sets. So, if you’re looking for one of the best value for money sets around, the Monarchs are definitely worth looking at.


If you’re trying to decide between the two brands, then instinct might tell you to look at Nikon. They’re the older brand, and surely they have much more prestige in terms of optics, right? Well, this isn’t necessarily true, and in my opinion, for most people Vortex are undoubtedly the better option if we’re talking in terms of hunting or sports. They make great quality binoculars at a lower price than the majority of their competitors and if we’re talking a price to quality ratio, Vortex are hard to beat.

Last update on 2022-09-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

3 thoughts on “Vortex vs Nikon Binoculars – Which brand should you choose?”

  1. Hello,

    Read your article with great interest. Trying to decide between these two pair of binoculars. Any help is appreciated.

    Nikon 7245 Action Extreme All-terrain 10×50 ATB Binoculars vs Vortex Diamondback 12×50 binoculars.


    • Hey Judy!

      That’s a tough one. I have a set of Diamondback Classics at home and they’re great, so I tend to side with them in this out. I haven’t got the 7245 so don’t want to speak on them too much, but spec wise they seem pretty solid too. I don’t think you’d go wrong with either to be honest, but as I’ve used Vortex a lot over the years I’ll side with them. Thanks for visiting!

  2. I bought both brands at same time. Reason: the warranty of vortex is why those I chose to take the outdoorsman challenge but after asking for my friends view of image quality, all chose the nikon for clarity(sharpness) but the weight, size, and accessories quality goes to vortex. I did notice that low light condition, nikon shined. I bought both brands, same power so my review should have merit and living in Wisconsin were exploring waterways, marshes or the woods in frigid temperatures will make or break your equipment. In time of testing ill know which one can handle the punishment of being hurriedly dropped when u get them encounters of that big buck eyeing you.


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