Vortex Optics Diamondback 10×42 Binoculars Review
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- Best-in-class field of view
- Phase correction on prisms for enhanced contrast and resolution
- Rugged, waterproof, and fogproof
- Excellent even for nighttime observations
- Tripod socket requires separately-purchased accessory
- Closed bridge design
Welcome to my review of the Vortex Optics Diamondback 10×42 Binoculars. I’ve always been a fan of Vortex Optics, so I was more than happy to take the opportunity to give the Diamondback binoculars a test drive and see how they worked out. Let’s check out my thoughts of these surprisingly affordable bins.
What Do I Get in the Box?
- Vortex Optics Diamondback 10×42 Roof Prism Binoculars
- Tethered objective lens covers
- Eyepiece covers
- Neck strap
- Custom-molded carrying case
The neoprene carrying case is a perfect fit for the binoculars and the neck strap, so you don’t have to stuff the strap into a tight fit. The rainguard is well-constructed, and the lens covers are perfectly fitted to the objective lenses and eyepieces. Finally, the neck strap is one of the most comfortable bundled straps I’ve ever worn, meaning you won’t find yourself shopping for a better one.
These binoculars are 5.9 inches high and 5.6 inches wide, so they’re not the most compact but they’re not humongous, either. With a weight of 24.4 ounces, though, you might find yourself experiencing some arm fatigue with long observations. Interpupillary distance is between 57mm and 73mm, giving you plenty of room for adjustment to your own individual face.
How Much Magnification Do the Binoculars Provide?
The Diamondback binoculars feature 42mm objective lenses, and provide 10X magnification with fantastic resolution, clarity, and contrast. You’ll enjoy a close focus distance of a mere five feet, allowing you to get up close and personal even when you’re already near your subject.
Wondering about the field of view? These binoculars have a fantastically generous linear field of view, providing you with 345 feet width of sight at 1,000 yards. This is the best I’ve found in a pair of 10X bins at this price point or many higher price points.
Eye relief on the Diamondback binoculars is a very comfortable 16mm, which makes them fantastic for use with or without eyeglasses. The eyecups are of the twist up and down variety, with clear markings to help you find and set the right distance every time. On the right eyepiece, you’ll find an easy-to-use locking diopter adjustment, to make changes for differences in your eyes.
What Type of Optics Do the Binoculars Have?
The Vortex Diamondback 10×42 binoculars use a roof prism design for durability and a more compact size. The optics are fully multi-coated, giving you increased light transmission. Even better, the BaK–4 roof prisms have phase correction coating, enhancing the resolution and contrast in the bins. There is very, very little chromatic aberration in these binoculars.
The Diamondback features a center focus knob that moves smoothly and efficiently, perfectly sized for use either with or without gloves on. It offers enough resistance to keep you from bumping it out of focus, but still rotates easily and smoothly enough to allow you to easily get your subject in perfect crisp focus.
These binoculars aren’t just useful for daytime observation, either. I’ve used these at night several times to look at the surface of the moon and even get a slightly closer view of planets. They are fantastic at light transmission, and work great for simple moon- and planet-gazing, especially when you place them on a tripod.
What’s the Body Like On These Binoculars?
Vortex manufactures the shell of the Diamondback bins out of high-strength polycarbonate, which is made to be shockproof and shatter-resistent. The casing is coated in a rubber armor, providing additional protection against bumps, drops, and falls. The rubber armor is perfectly stippled and textured to provide you with a great grip on the barrels. On the bottom of the body, you’ll find a tripod adapter socket. Unfortunately, to use it, you will need to purchase Vortex’s Uni-Daptor separately.
My only real complaint about the housing is the fact that it is a closed bridge design, which makes it a bit awkward to hold the bins with one hand.
How Durable Are the Binoculars?
The Vortex Diamondback binoculars are some of the most durable bins I’ve ever used. I’ve dropped these several times, once from the roof of my house, and they suffered no damage whatsoever. If they do get damaged, you’re protected by Vortex’s VIP Lifetime Warranty, an unconditional and unlimited warranty that provides for the binoculars to be replaced or repaired, no matter what causes the damage. This unlimited lifetime warranty is fully transferable without any worry about sending in a warranty card or keeping a receipt; it’s one of the best warranties in the business, to be frank.
Now, how about waterproofing and fogproofing? Vortex has sealed the lenses with O-rings to keep water out, and the barrels are argon-purged to prevent fogging. Whereas most bins are nitrogen-purged, Vortex has begun using argon instead, a heavier gas that provides a bit more protection against fogging than nitrogen does.