As behind as I am on my current batch of articles, I still keep on looking at new stuff to look at.
A couple of days ago, I got a package from Vortex with some loaner equipment that I was curious about. By and large, I want to step away from the uber-expensive stuff for a bit and look at products that are at least remotely affordable. Aside from that, there are a few product categories that I have particular interest in.
Here is what i received and why I wanted to look at these products:
1) Vortex Viper PST 2.5-10x32FFP. When the PST series just came out, I really wanted to see the 2.5-10×44 since that is a magnification range I like. Well, I did not like that scope (although it did get some improvements since then) and I was not shy about expressing my opinion. This year at SHOT when I showed up at Vortex booth, the first thing Paul Neess did was hand me this scope and say: “redemption!” From the brief look I had at it so far, he was right. There is still a lot of testing to do, but my first impression is extremely positive.
2) Vortex Viper HS-T 4-16×44. This is basically a PST scopes without illuminaiton and with a wire reticle in the SFP. It is comparatively affordable, so I wanted to take a closer look at it. The original Viper line-up has a gap between the 4-12×40 and the 6.5-20×44. I think this scope takes up the slack and does so whie equipped with PST’s excellent turrets. I thought it was worth a look.
3) Vortex Razor HD 11-33×50 spotting scope. A couple of years ago, I remember roaming around the show and loudly whining to everyone who would listen that there is no true high end compact spotter out there. I wrote an articl eon compact spotter a little while back and thought while the mid-range performance and price were well represented the only spotter there with truly top notch image quality was the Nikon Fieldscope. Unfortunately, I hate the eyepiece on that scope: it really makes it unusable for me. When I talked to Vortex about it, I thought they had something up their sleeve and I was right. This spotter came out at SHOT earlier this year. It bears some cosmetic resemblance to the Nikon Fieldscopes and I would not be surprised if the same factory in China makes it. However, the eyepiece is different, with wider magnification range and longer eye relief. I am planning to sell my 65mm spotter since I got too lazy to drag it around with me. I expect to replace it with a smaller product, perhaps the Razor if I like it.
4) Vortex Summit tripod. I did not ask Vortex to send it to me, but they volunteered. It looks to be properly sized for use with compact spotters, binos and cameras, so I’ll see how it holds up.