Razor HDs vs UHD

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Are the UHD worth the extra $700? Or am I better off using that money towards a compact spotter or maybe a tripod?
 

Tahoe1305

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In my opinion no.

But it really depends on what you want in a bino. The $700 buys you more edge to edge clarity (close to alpha IMO) and better low light performance.

It’s not going to “see” much more center frame than the HD.

For some, maybe more importantly, it’s a good chunk larger in size and weight. I like the size of the HD.

If you’re a vortex person the HDs and the new mini razor would be a sweet light weight combo. Theres a small chance I’ll have a gen I razor 16-48 for sale in near future too if you want something more full size.

My vortex stuff has served me well and I must be the only one on the internet who hasn’t had an issue. Guess I’m lucky ;).
 
OP
EricBender208
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Jan 14, 2024
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In my opinion no.

But it really depends on what you want in a bino. The $700 buys you more edge to edge clarity (close to alpha IMO) and better low light performance.

It’s not going to “see” much more center frame than the HD.

For some, maybe more importantly, it’s a good chunk larger in size and weight. I like the size of the HD.

If you’re a vortex person the HDs and the new mini razor would be a sweet light weight combo. Theres a small chance I’ll have a gen I razor 16-48 for sale in near future too if you want something more full size.

My vortex stuff has served me well and I must be the only one on the internet who hasn’t had an issue. Guess I’m lucky ;).
I’ve always been a Leupold guy, but I’ve had some different types of in the past. Nothing real high dollar, but always worked for me. I’m sticking to my Leupold scopes, but I’m giving these and a spotter a try. I’d definitely be interested if you part ways with that razor! I’m leaning more towards the 16-48s more than the mini razor.
 

Reed104R

Lil-Rokslider
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Oct 13, 2022
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In my opinion no.

But it really depends on what you want in a bino. The $700 buys you more edge to edge clarity (close to alpha IMO) and better low light performance.

It’s not going to “see” much more center frame than the HD.

For some, maybe more importantly, it’s a good chunk larger in size and weight. I like the size of the HD.

If you’re a vortex person the HDs and the new mini razor would be a sweet light weight combo. Theres a small chance I’ll have a gen I razor 16-48 for sale in near future too if you want something more full size.

My vortex stuff has served me well and I must be the only one on the internet who hasn’t had an issue. Guess I’m lucky ;).

I agree with this analysis, as I have compared both models. I really like the size and performance of the Razor HD's. If you buy used or refurbished, there should only be around $350 difference between the two. To split hairs optically, I believe the UHD ranks behind only the top tier alphas from Swarovski, Zeiss, and Leica. The UHD and HD models are very close in performance.
 

Beendare

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I would agree that the Tripod is essential when sitting and glassing.

I've seen both...and traded out my Meopta 15's for the 18x UHD's...the UHD is better than the HD...how much better is personal opinion
 

nobody

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It is absolutely worth the additional money to go to the UHD’s. I have a pair of 10 x 50 UHD’s, and my younger brother has a pair of 10 x 50 HD’s. While his are great in many ways, the differences are clear when we use them side-by-side in low or poor quality light. I can start glassing much earlier in the morning, and I don’t have to stop glassing until much later than he does after the sun goes down.

The UHD have done a phenomenal job of filling the void that was created when Swarovski discontinued their SLC line. And even when I compare the UHD side-by-side with SLC‘s, I prefer the UHD.

With that said, that’s not to say, the HD isn’t a great binocular at its price point, and that’s not to say you couldn’t be perfectly happy using them for many years to come if you purchased them. But the answer to your question is an emphatic yes, there IS a $750 optical difference between the two.
 
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I’ve got both. In reading some of the other responses, I’d def have a tripod and those hd’s if you saved the cash from not upgrading to the UHD’s. I’ll say the UHD glass is better but you pay that penalty in size and weight.

There is something about the small punch the razor hd offers with pretty good glass and it’s smaller size and Uber light weight. I believe they are 24 ounces and it’s a noticeable difference in how much weight they save on the chest.
 
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I don’t think so, the HD isn’t 700$ worse, and they are much smaller and lighter. I personally didn’t care with the 10x uhd, they were pretty clear, but lost a lot of contrast vs slc or kowa genesis. To me, they were a letdown..
 
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I think there are better option for the price of the UHDs…. For the HDs they are good for the price of them used! The difference between them definitely through my eyes are not 700$ better. But also I wouldn’t own a set of UHDs. I would buy used swaros, Leica or Zeiss binos for the price
 

Reed104R

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I think there are better option for the price of the UHDs…. For the HDs they are good for the price of them used! The difference between them definitely through my eyes are not 700$ better. But also I wouldn’t own a set of UHDs. I would buy used swaros, Leica or Zeiss binos for the price

Used or refurbished UHD's are quite reasonable. I am a used optics dealer and have had the luxury of handling alot of binoculars in the past 30 years. I have preowned Leica, Swarovski, Zeiss, and Vortex currently in my small shop. The UHD's are about as good or better than anything I have used and the warranty is second to none. With most any alpha level binoculars, you have to do direct A/B comparisons to tell a difference. Everything is good at this level. For example, I just took in a magnificent pair of 30 year old Leica BA's. I had not handled BA's in quite a while and forgot how good they are. A super value, but no warranty and likely not quite up to par with the UHD's optically. Leica build quality is outstanding.
 
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nobody

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Sorry to clutter up the thread, but I had one more thought after reading @Reed104R post above.

If ANYBODY but vortex had released the UHD EXACTLY the way vortex has it built, it would be regarded as Alpha. If Swaro released the UHD with exactly the same coatings and form factor and performance metrics as what it currently has coming from Vortex, it would be considered one of the top optics in the market. But since it has a “Vortex” logo on the side, people throw shade and consider it “bottom of the barrel.”

Ok now I’m actually done haha
 
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Sorry to clutter up the thread, but I had one more thought after reading @Reed104R post above.

If ANYBODY but vortex had released the UHD EXACTLY the way vortex has it built, it would be regarded as Alpha. If Swaro released the UHD with exactly the same coatings and form factor and performance metrics as what it currently has coming from Vortex, it would be considered one of the top optics in the market. But since it has a “Vortex” logo on the side, people throw shade and consider it “bottom of the barrel.”

Ok now I’m actually done haha
Agree, it receives a lot of unwarranted flak for its logo, but also a lot of legitimate complaints for the weight. Alpha glass or not, there’s no need to be lugging that many oz’s for a 8-10x chest bino. I bought a set of 10x42’s last year and returned them for that reason.
We’ll see how the new Sig Zulu10’s are recieved, they look like a brown clone of the UHD’s but don’t seem to be taking off. It’s hard to break into that euro alpha class with only a Japanese contract.
 
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Used or refurbished UHD's are quite reasonable. I am a used optics dealer and have had the luxury of handling alot of binoculars in the past 30 years. I have preowned Leica, Swarovski, Zeiss, and Vortex currently in my small shop. The UHD's are about as good or better than anything I have used and the warranty is second to none. With most any alpha level binoculars, you have to do direct A/B comparisons to tell a difference. Everything is good at this level. For example, I just took in a magnificent pair of 30 year old Leica BA's. I had not handled BA's in quite a while and forgot how good they are. A super value, but no warranty and likely not quite up to par with the UHD's optically. Leica build quality is outstanding.
UHDs are good for sure. Through my eyes though I would rather have my ELs or Noctivids. My brother has some 12x BAs he just got back from Leica. They replaced the glass for a small fee and they are phenomenal again.

I have had all the Razor line Vortex products and some of my family still uses them! UHDs are def great value. But are also large and heavy binoculars. But for myself I would pick up a used set of the big 3.
 

JGRaider

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As noted above, the UHD, Blaser, and new Sig models are all basically the same optic with different armoring and probably tweaks to lens coatings. People just can't seem to get over the Vortex derangement syndrome. I've never used their scopes, but the Razor line of binos are excellent, and an outright steal at the $600 Cabelas was selling them for at Christmas.
 
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As noted above, the UHD, Blaser, and new Sig models are all basically the same optic with different armoring and probably tweaks to lens coatings.
Oh, almost forgot the Maven B2 as well!
This tangent might actually be helpful to the OP for looking at used options since the UHD has so many “brothers from other mothers”.

Vortex and Maven have the best warranty but I’d be concerned that Vortex could move manufacturing to China like they’ve done with every other line that started in Japan.
 

Hnthrdr

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Had 10x50 UHD’s, they are a solid option at the 1k price point, they were an upgrade from the razor hd’s I had. Both served me well… until I was ruined by NL pures, but at 1k they hold their own, they are just heavy.
 

Marshfly

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Just know that if you are looking at Razor UHD 42mms, it is not hard to find Swaro EL's for not much more money. Pretty easy to find 8.5 or 10x42 EL's for $1800-$2000.
 
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