Vortex Razor HD 11-33X50 Spotting Scope: A Practical Review
Comfortably compact, lightweight, quality glass.
Most big game hunting I do involves a lot of backcountry – off the beaten path, rugged terrain where lightweight, highly functional and reliable gear is a must. Wanting to further reduce my pack weight and bulk this year, I made several changes including a KUIU Icon Pro 1850 (review coming soon), plus giving this spotter a place in my pack – I’m very happy with my decisions.
In the 2017 season I was fortunate enough to hunt archery, muzzleloader and rifle mule deer as well as rifle bull elk. I was also fortunate enough to net a bull elk and watch two of my friends each take bucks exceeding 200 inches! More on that later. This spotter was with me on all 4 hunts and in all the preseason scouting.
Traversing and glassing everything from low pinion and cedar terrain to steep, high elevation alpine country out to 1000 yards+. The biggest benefit I found with this spotter is it’s weight and size. Precisely why I purchased it. I can honestly say, this is one of those piece’s of equipment I absolutely love to use. There are times when I pack a bigger 65mm higher magnification alternative but it’s rare. This is my go-to, every situation spotting scope and it’ll be hard to beat.
Photos captured this season using the Razor HD 11-33X50
Vortex Razor HD 11-33X50, iPhone 5se, Phoneskope Adapter sitting on a Vortex Summit SS Tripod. All 300+ yds.
Magnification: 11-33 x
Objective Lens Diameter: 50 mm
Linear Field of View: 191-96 feet/1000 yards
Angular Field of View: 3.6-1.8 degrees
Close Focus: 6.6 feet
Eye Relief: 19-16 mm
Exit Pupil: 4.6-1.5 mm
Length: 10.3 inches
Weight: 25.0 ounces
Most features on this scope are not unique when you compare it to other Vortex spotters. It is unique for it’s size, weight and performance.
Focus – Notable but not unique on this spotter are the dual focus adjustment knobs. This allows for quick macro adjust and fine tuned micro focus. This feature does allow, in my opinion, more control of really fine tuning the view and in most conditions, the view through this spotter, when properly focused, is very sharp, edge-to-edge clarity and very little aberration.
Construction and Finish – As with all the higher end Vortex models this Razor feels and looks to be well constructed and durability comes to mind when you hold it in your hands. These spotters are waterproof, fog proof and feature Vortex’s ArmorTek outer lense coating. The body is coated with a durable and tactile finish.
Glass – From Vortex: “The sophisticated triplet apochromatic lens system delivers high-definition views across the entire field of view—no color fringing, degradation of resolution or dilution of color fidelity at longer viewing distances”. I am by know means an optical expert on the engineering level and I’m not even sure what “triplet apochromatic” means to me in the field but this scope certainly has crystal clear glass and very high definition performance.
- Size and Weight. Love packing this all day vs a 65mm or 85mm alternative.
- Compact design. Fits nicely in the front pocket of my Icon Pro.
- Highly adjustable focus.
- Very crisp, clear, edge-to-edge view.
- Good for most western hunting situations. You sacrifice magnification but the clarity of this scope makes up for it, trust me.
- Vortex’s industry leading VIP Warranty. In my opinion, it’s a no brainer. Vortex’s customer support is the best I’ve ever experienced.
- Cost. MSPR $999 but can often be found for around $699.
- I’m not crazy about the fold down eye cup, especially when digiscoping as it puts your phone’s camera lens approximately 1” from the lense which makes it difficult for you phone to focus on the target.
- Small objective. While this adds to the compact, lightweight advantages, in low light situations the 65mm and 85mm obviously outperform the 50mm and it is noticeable.
- Digiscoping. While the pictures in the gallery above are very high quality considering, I do find it more difficult to digiscope with this model. The main reason is the eyecup. I’m sure there is a logical reason why Vortex chose this design but getting a Phoneskope over the eyepiece and focused is a little cumbersome. Additionally, because of this scope’s small mass it’s not a “solid” platform and is slightly more sensitive to vibrations like wind and movement.
As mentioned, this little spotting scope will always have a place in my go to gear list. It is very practical, easy to pack and use and provides exceptional views when you’re perched on you’re favorite glassing spot. I highly recommend Vortex and this model, especially if you’re looking for an every day carry high-performance spotting scope.
Thanks for stopping by. Feel free to drop a comment or ask questions below.