Vortex Viper 15-50 HD Binoculars

Discussion in 'Long Range Scopes and Other Optics' started by C.O. Shooter, Jan 21, 2014.

  1. C.O. Shooter

    C.O. Shooter Well-Known Member

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    Does anyone have a pair of Vortex Viper 15-50 HD Binoculars? How do you like them compared to similar models?

    I have a pair of Nikon Monarch ATB 12x42 Binoculars I'm looking to sell/upgrade from.
     
  2. Browninglover1

    Browninglover1 Well-Known Member

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    I have looked through a few Viper HD binos and they are a great buy for the money. However, for $1-200 more you could get some used 15x56 Vortex Kaibab binos and they are significantly better.
     
  3. C.O. Shooter

    C.O. Shooter Well-Known Member

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    Bump
     
  4. bruce_ventura

    bruce_ventura Well-Known Member

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    I also recommend the 15x56 Kaibab HD over the 15x50 Viper HD. The glass in the Kaibab is better and the image will be 25% brighter at sunrise and sunset. That's a big difference in brightness, but you pay for it in weight (an extra pound). Your inter pupillary distance must be at least 60 mm to use the Kaibab.

    While you're looking for a used Kaibab, also look for a used Minox 15x58 ED BR, which is a great long range bino (now discontinued).
     
  5. C.O. Shooter

    C.O. Shooter Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Bruce
     
  6. C.O. Shooter

    C.O. Shooter Well-Known Member

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    Looked at the vortex kaibab, it looks very nice, however, it is also double the price!
     
  7. Browninglover1

    Browninglover1 Well-Known Member

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    You can find the Kaibab for around $800 used. The real question is why do you want 15x binos? If you can get by with 10x binos your options increase greatly.
     
  8. C.O. Shooter

    C.O. Shooter Well-Known Member

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    I have 12x42's and am looking for more power!
     
  9. bruce_ventura

    bruce_ventura Well-Known Member

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    I'll tell you why I use 15X binos. Last hunting season, I started using 15x56 Swarovskis on a tripod for long distance glassing. Using a good tripod head like the Slik SH-707E, I can glass continually for 1-2 hours at a time without any eye, neck or shoulder strain. Using a spotting scope, I could last for about 20-30 minutes max before needing to take a long break. Using binocular vision, I'm convinced I see as much detail at 15X as I do at 20X using a spotting scope. The FOV is bigger at 15X, so I can scan faster. With binos, I can scan in two directions using the bridge of my nose to nudge the field of view, whereas for a spotting scope I can only nudge in one direction (right to left). Using binos on the Slik head, glassing is hands-off most of the time. For glassing large areas, I'm convinced that the big binos are the way to go.
     
  10. Browninglover1

    Browninglover1 Well-Known Member

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    I completely agree, I sold my 10x binos and my spotting scope and replaced them with 15x56 Kaibabs. That being said, I basically am forced to carry a tripod with me and I hate wearing binos that big in a chest pack so I carry them in my backpack until I sit down to glass.

    I actually like my 15x binos better than a spotter in 90% of my situations. However, there are times I wish I had a normal pair of 8 or 10x binos for different hunting situations.
     
  11. gjk5

    gjk5 Well-Known Member

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    I have the older (non HD) Viper 15's and I use them on an Outdoorsman tripod mostly, but they are very easy to carry on a harness.

    I have tried the Kaibabs and they are certainly much better glass but NOT comfortable to carry on a harness.

    Also have the Viper 20-60X85 spotter and use it on the Outdoorsman and some smaller 10X and 8X binos (Viper and little Dbacks) and often just use my Zeiss PRF that is 8X for quick spots. The spotter (like pretty much all of them I have tried) is just not a comfortable long term solution to carry or glass through.

    All that said I think my eventual solution is going to be a pair of Kaibabs for the tripod and some 10X Leica Geovids for range and walkaround binos to kind of cull the herd of glass. Keep the spotter for truck window glassing occasionally probably.

    I will add that the Outdoorsman is one of the best pieces of gear I have, love it!
     
  12. bruce_ventura

    bruce_ventura Well-Known Member

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    I'm with ya. I've been looking for a good quality, compact 7X bino to carry in a chest pack for use while hiking. So far my favorite is the Meopta MeoPro 6.5X32. Really nice optics with a wide FOV, but not much lighter than many 8X binos. Still, it's nice not having to concentrate on stabilizing an 8X, or even worse a 10X, to minimize image shake.