Spotters Vortex 85mm Spotting Scope: Razor or Viper?

Cobiwan

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May 5, 2022
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I'm about to buy my first spotting scope and I wanted to go with one that has a MRAD eyepiece. Vortex makes the MRAD eyepiece for both the Razor and Viper 85mm models. The Viper has 33.5x while the Razor has 22x magnification on the MRAD eyepiece. I have read a few reviews and watched a couple of videos comparing the two and I honestly am torn between which to get. Obviously Razor is their top of line product but is it really a noticeable difference over the Viper model? Anyone have experience with both that could help me decide? It's a big difference in price between the two and I want to pay for the better quality but not just pay more when one may be only slightly better.
 

BELLYCRAWL

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I have the razor, and I have looked through a viper. As to optics quality, there is really not much difference to my eyes. You can find videos too, and basically, the razor is a little shorter but optics quality to most eyes isn’t worth the price. However, I would rather have a x22 milling reticle vs a x33.5. Some may disagree and want the extra mag, but x22 works great for me inside 1000 yds. I hope this helps.

BC
 

Im2bent

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    What Bellycrawl said. I recently checked out the razor spotter at bass pro. I was not impressed by the glass.
     
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    Feniks Technologies

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    Personally, I’d rather have the 22x milling with the option of the other eyepiece when you need more magnification.

    Unfortunately Vortex has about the best mil reticle available on the spotter market. IMO, Swaro, Hensoldt, and Leupold reticles are a step behind.

    So much so, I’ll be running a Swaro STR80 in moa as I like that reticle better than their mil.

    But, in your situation, I’d go Razor.
     

    Feniks Technologies

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    And for what it’s worth, I’ve never been at a match, looked through a razor with the reticle and thought “that’s garbage.” There are plenty others I have.

    It’s not Swaro glass, but it definitely ain’t awful.
     

    Cobiwan

    Need more time off work and more time on the range
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    May 5, 2022
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    Personally, I’d rather have the 22x milling with the option of the other eyepiece when you need more magnification.

    Unfortunately Vortex has about the best mil reticle available on the spotter market. IMO, Swaro, Hensoldt, and Leupold reticles are a step behind.

    So much so, I’ll be running a Swaro STR80 in moa as I like that reticle better than their mil.
    It would be nice if either Viper or Razor eyepieces could work with each other since they are both 85mm compatible, so you could use both a 22x and 33.5x. But that's not the reality of it.
     

    BELLYCRAWL

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    Here is a view of the eclipse the other night through the razor. Not any real relevance to your question, but not too bad for a little more 238,000 miles away.

    Blessings,
     

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    Unfortunately, the 33.5x mag eyepiece is only for the Viper. The Razor only has the 22x mag, so it's not like I can do both. I appreciate your input. I'll probably go Razor and then regret spending twice as much for a little better spotter.

    That’s not what I meant, sorry.

    I meant the options of using the non reticle eyepiece that comes with the 85mm razor.

    You typically won’t need a reticle when you need 60x. And if you do, you’re gonna want much better glass.
     
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    Totoro

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    I have both the Gen 1 and Gen 2 Razor spotters in 65 and 85mm; everyone's eyes are different (as we all know).

    Eye relief is a bit better in the Gen 2 and colors seem crisper/brighter to my eyes.

    I have the MRAD eyepiece and I don't feel handicapped with the fixed power.

    If you can, prolly best to poke your head behind both and let your eyes decide.
     

    dgheriani

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    No experience with the Viper but I have the Razor with the reticle eye piece. Like others have said, it's not Swaro glass but it is quite nice. The reticle eye piece is great as well although to me, having a fixed mag reticle eye piece is kind of a bandaid solution. 22x works pretty well but a variable mag (that goes down to 10ish) spotter with a reticle is a much more versatile tool.
     

    6.5SH

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    No experience with the Viper but I have the Razor with the reticle eye piece. Like others have said, it's not Swaro glass but it is quite nice. The reticle eye piece is great as well although to me, having a fixed mag reticle eye piece is kind of a bandaid solution. 22x works pretty well but a variable mag (that goes down to 10ish) spotter with a reticle is a much more versatile tool.
    The reticle would need to be permanent and on a internal lens to put it in the first focal plane.
     

    dgheriani

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    The reticle would need to be permanent and on a internal lens to put it in the first focal plane.
    Yeah, I understand how a ffp reticle works. I meant a fixed reticle eye piece (for an existing spotting scope) is a bandaid solution compared to producing a variable magnification spotting scope with a ffp reticle. Ie I think that a variable magnification spotting scope with ffp reticle is superior to adding a fixed power reticle eyepiece to an existing spotter.
     

    6.5SH

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    I don't see it as a bandaid, it was Vortex offering flexibility to their spotters. If you didn't want the reticle all the time you now have the added expense of an entire 2nd scope Vs a much less expensive eyepiece.

    A friend has the Viper model and all three eyepieces. It takes seconds to swap them depending on need.

    If there is enough demand for a FFP model I'd think Vortex would offer it, they are pretty good at listening to what their customers want.
     

    dgheriani

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    I don't see it as a bandaid, it was Vortex offering flexibility to their spotters. If you didn't want the reticle all the time you now have the added expense of an entire 2nd scope Vs a much less expensive eyepiece.

    A friend has the Viper model and all three eyepieces. It takes seconds to swap them depending on need.

    If there is enough demand for a FFP model I'd think Vortex would offer it, they are pretty good at listening to what their customers want.
    I'm not shitting on Vortex, bandaid solution/flexibility call it what you want. I think it's great they offer the reticle eyepiece so that you can have a milling reticle in your Razor (hell, I have one). That being said, I've had variable mag spotters with ffp reticles in the past and I think that is a superior tool for someone wanting a reticle. I've never found myself in a situation where I didn't want a spotter but I have found myself in situations where I wanted variable mag.

    And who knows, Vortex might just be working on one ;)
     
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