Some time ago, Vortex announced the release of their improved Diamondback and Crossfire binoculars series. We finally got a chance to test two models, one from each of the improved series, a few days ago. The improved models carry the ‘HD’ mark which signals that Vortex used improved optical coatings on the lenses. With them, they managed to enhance light transmission and improve image quality.
Vortex Diamondback HD
The Diamondback HD model that we tested is of the 8x32 configuration. If we place it next to the old model, we can see that they look basically the same on the outside. The only notable difference is the ‘HD’ mark on the focusing knob and ‘Vortex’ written on the right tube instead of ‘Diamondback’. This is the third generation of these highly popular binoculars. When Vortex introduced gen II, they made plenty of changes to the housing. The design of the second-generation Diamondback is still among the more modern ones in the optical industry, which is probably why Vortex chose not to implement aesthetic changes with the recent upgrade. The crucial upgrade has to do with the optical part. Vortex now uses improved coatings for the lenses, enhancing the image quality and performance in the dusk. Furthermore, we noticed that the edge sharpness is also slightly improved. ‘HD’ is basically an indicator of improved optics. The model range remains the same, but you now get a free stylish GlassPak™ harness with the 8x42, 10x42, 10x50 and 12x50 model. All the smaller models come with the standard case, the same one that came with the second-generation models.
Vortex Crossfire HD
With the updated Crossfire models, the story is basically the same – Vortex uses better coatings on the lenses, improving the light transmission rate and image quality. We tested the 8x42 HD model. The GlassPak™ harness is included with every model, which is a superb accessory for a binocular in this price class. Again, there are basically no differences on the outside except for the ‘HD’ mark on the focusing knob and ‘Vortex’ written on the right part of the bridge instead of ‘Crossfire’. The model range remains the same (8x42, 10x42, 10x50, 12x50).
Prices have been raised slightly, but you get more bang for the buck. We strongly believe that both series will remain Vortex’ best-sellers.