Ahtlon vs Vortex (just glass perspective)

jgs8163

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Buy what looks good to your eye and not someone else’s. Both are good brands with a wide array of line ups and models. Myself, I would look at the Vortex PST line or the Athlon ARES line or above. If using for long range you will also want certain features in your rifle scope. “Zero Stop” turrets if dialing adjustments for elevation. FFP reticle if using the reticle itself for elevation and windage adjustments.

Another brand you may consider that I recently stumbled on is Crimson Trace. The 2 series and above are all made in Japan with great optics (HD glass) and are built like a tank. I liked them so much I now own 4 of them, 3 in the 2 series and 1 in the 5 Series. They’re priced right, and the glass for ME is better than my Vortex PST gen 2 and my Athlon Midas. Same warranty as the others also.

I bought my spotting scope from @gr8fuldoug Doug and Neal at Cameraland. Give them your budget and they’ll steer you to the best choices for your $. I ended up with a Pentax PF65ED spotter and a super high quality eyepiece to go with it, all for well under $1000.
 
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skipglo

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I have a MIDAS TAC 6x24x50 and love it. My buddy owns several high enders including a couple Schmidt & Benders and after looking through mine went and bought one cause it was just as good as those. Same guy last year went to one of the more reputable LR courses and the former sniper instructor told the class that Athlon was probably one of the most underrated scopes on the market.
I'll probably be buying a spotting scope in the next few months (and might be upgrading a rifle scope in the next year) and am trying to identify which brand to buy. I haven't totally narrowed it down to these two brands, but they seem comparable to me.

All things being equal, (price, customer service, etc.) which is better glass Vortex or Athlon? How do the two brand's top of the line glass compare to the another? Is one's middle tier line better than the other? Is one brand superior for spotting scopes, while another has clearer, sharper, better, rifle scopes?

I know a lot of people like Vortex and they have a great reputation and warranty, but Athon's warranty is similar.

I've been reading a bunch of forum posts and doing other research, but wanted to ask from a pure glass perspective.

Also, this is my first post and I'm trying to learn as much as possible as I'm finding I may be shooting more long range in the future.

Any insight is greatly appreciated!
I own both an 8x34 Athlon which I recently bought because I wanted to try it out and put it on my new 50 BMG BUSHMASTER. I have a Viper PST Gen 2 on my .338 Lapua. At 4 times the cost I can't see the difference! And Burris XTR2 on my 300 Weatherby....Athlon my friend!
 

sixfivefanboy

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Nov 4, 2019
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USA
I'll probably be buying a spotting scope in the next few months (and might be upgrading a rifle scope in the next year) and am trying to identify which brand to buy. I haven't totally narrowed it down to these two brands, but they seem comparable to me.

All things being equal, (price, customer service, etc.) which is better glass Vortex or Athlon? How do the two brand's top of the line glass compare to the another? Is one's middle tier line better than the other? Is one brand superior for spotting scopes, while another has clearer, sharper, better, rifle scopes?

I know a lot of people like Vortex and they have a great reputation and warranty, but Athon's warranty is similar.

I've been reading a bunch of forum posts and doing other research, but wanted to ask from a pure glass perspective.

Also, this is my first post and I'm trying to learn as much as possible as I'm finding I may be shooting more long range in the future.

Any insight is greatly appreciated!
I have the new ViperHD 15-45x65 - its an amazing spotter. I was originally going to go with the razor and then saw this review:

 

Ronald W Schaefer

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Floresville, TX 78114
I Love Vortex, I have four Viper Vortex 4-16 X 44 HS-T on Sako 85, Wby MkV, Fierce and Wby Camilla rifles and one 2X7 on an old vintage 1894 .30-30 Win. Great glass and great scopes. I also have a 60X spotting scope (Diamondback) that is the best spotting scope I've ever looked through...so there is that... the wife got if for Christmas and paid extra for a really solid bench tripod, Vanguard, Mars 1OS--IMO that really makes a difference. I have Zeiss, Leopold, Kahles glass on several of the gun safe line up and have shot through the NF and Swarovski…I think for hunting, Vortex is a solid bang for your buck. They are well built but not too bulky and pretty light weight (20oz) and quite suitable for long range if you get 'em set up for it. I love the very positive "clicks" on the turrets. I figure out the ballistics and send my data to Kenton Industries for their custom drop in turrets and so far they have tracked really well and been pretty close to "math" first try. Of course you have to proof shoot all scopes with custom turrets at range to ensure they hit where you're dialing. Oh yeah, despite all that magic, you do have to remember to set your turrets for the range your shooting; ask me how I know that:)! Luckily, I got that Eland the next day...
 

Txhillbilly

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Jan 20, 2010
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A little south of Cowtown
The Midas BTR and Ares BTR are very comparable to Sightron SIII and Vortex Viper PST scopes. The glass in the Ares ETR is a little better.

The Cronus BTR rivals the Vortex Razor HD in every category except the turret's. The Cronus is also 13 ounces lighter,and doesn't come in that god awful color that Vortex forces everyone to buy if they want a Razor.
 

lobo56

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Mar 6, 2010
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Heart of Texas
after discovering Athlon a few years back, I now own 4 scopes 1 pair of binos and a spotter. I've also sold off all but 1 Vortex scope and will probably never buy another if that gives you any idea how I lean.
Which spotter do you have?
 

FlatCat

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Jul 1, 2020
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FL
Thank you for all the input and insight. It sounds like a number of you all prefer Athlon glass over Vortex. I'll likely be calling Camearaland this upcoming week and ask about specific models and comparison.
 

DWier

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May 16, 2019
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Location
Orlando, Florida
Thank you for all the input and insight. It sounds like a number of you all prefer Athlon glass over Vortex. I'll likely be calling Camearaland this upcoming week and ask about specific models and comparison.
I have not looked through Athlon but I have 2 Vortex Razor Gen 2, a Zeiss Victory V8 and a Nightforce SHT. All gave good glass. Obviously the Zeiss is the best but the Vortex isn't far behind. If Athlon can compare to those I may have to look at them. I have looked at S&B side beside with my Razor Gen 2 and yes the S&B has better glass....maybe.
 

jgs8163

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Southern Arizona
I have not looked through Athlon but I have 2 Vortex Razor Gen 2, a Zeiss Victory V8 and a Nightforce SHT. All gave good glass. Obviously the Zeiss is the best but the Vortex isn't far behind. If Athlon can compare to those I may have to look at them. I have looked at S&B side beside with my Razor Gen 2 and yes the S&B has better glass....maybe.
The only Athlon models that can possibly stand up to those you have would be the CRONUS.
 

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