Vortex Razor UHD 18X56 Review (Abbe-Koening prism)

(Last Updated On: January 8, 2020)

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Vortex Razor UHD series was brought in the limelight earlier this year, and soon after the launch, a debate initiated amongst the glassers that “what’s new in this.” Some argued that this is a re-defined HD series, while others admired this addition in Vortex optics’ premium collection.

This Vortex Razor UHD 18×56 binoculars review will answer your questions related to this glass, and provide detailed information about its features.

If you’re a Vortex fan wondering what has this brand brought us with this latest launch, stay with me till the end and let’s take a closer look at this magnificent UHD 18×56 binocular.

Vortex UHD series, the newer, the better!

Vortex always strive to make glassing more comfortable with its new launches; immense popularity of their Razor HD, Viper, and Kaibab series is no hidden secret.

However, to thoroughly facilitate lowlight adventures, the need for an improvised technology was persistent. That’s when the crafters at vortex optics aimed to introduce a newer version of their HD series with exclusive techniques and efficient components.

Vortex UHD series has a unique Abbe-Koenig prism system that impressively enhances light transmission and makes a binocular suitable for every environment.

This prism system has a shallow V-shaped design that bends the light to 180 degrees and stops unnecessary reflection. Eventually, bright imagery reaches the binocular’s ocular lenses with no distortion.

Since Abbe-Koenig prisms are longer than other roof prisms, they improvise color fidelity and decrease light fringing. Vortex UHD 18×56 binocular offers incredibly bright imagery, no matter the light conditions.

This rare prism that makes lowlight glassing brighter is one of the many perks that Vortex has packed in their UHD binoculars. Let’s discuss more features in detail and judge if all this hype is justified or not!

If you are in a hurry, click here to check Vortex Razor UHD 18X56 bino price on Amazon.

But before heading forward, here’s a quick Vortex Razor UHD 18×56 binoculars review by Cody:

Technical Features

  • Magnification: 18x
  • Lens size: 56 mm
  • FOV: 194 ft. at 1000 yards
  • Exit pupil diameter: 3.1 mm
  • Twilight factor: 31.7 mm
  • Inter-pupillary distance: 56-76 mm
  • Eye relief distance: 18 mm
  • Close focus distance: 10 ft.
  • Weight: 41 oz

Pros

  • Ultra-high-definition imagery
  • Incredible light transmission
  • No focal aberrations
  • Secure rubber armor
  • Lightweight magnesium chassis
  • Scratch-resistant ArmorTek coating
  • Premium anti-reflective coating
  • Argon purged
  • Lockable right diopter

Cons

  • Hard to use without a tripod
  • Short FOV

What’s in the box?

  • Vortex UHD 18x56 binocular
  • Secure harness with carrying case
  • Neck strap
  • Lens cloth
  • Lens covers
  • Ocular covers

Vortex Razor UHD 18X56 Binoculars Technical Features

Magnification

Astronomy binoculars are bound to have above 15x magnification. And when Vortex Razor UHD series comes with a model that has a whopping 18x magnification, it effortlessly becomes the best pick for stargazing/astronomy.

This top-rated UHD bino flexes its unmatchable 18x power that lets the glassers experience flawlessly bright and clear imagery. Even if you aim at a small object, this powerful binocular will make it thoroughly vivid and let you carefully observe it.

This magnification impeccably performs in up-close glassing and high-end missions alike.

Read my review of 10×50 Vortex Razor Hd Binoculars.

Lens diameter

This Vortex razor UHD binocular has 56mm large index-matched APO lenses that improve color-correction and remove most focal distortions. Vortex has also applied XR anti-reflective coating on these enormous lenses that stops flare, reflection, and chromatic aberration.

When the long Abbe-Koenig prisms are paired with these high-class APO lenses, the optical quality becomes incredible. Regardless of the light present around you, Vortex Razor UHD binocular will bring forth crystal clear views. Also, unlike other binos with large lenses, Vortex has diligently worked to remove edge-distortion in this bino.

A plasma tech coating is thoroughly applied to these high-density lenses to shelter their surface and provide edge-to-edge clarity.

Field of view

This is a down point of vortex razor UHD 18×56 binocular; you’ll get FOV of 194ft at 1000 yards. This field of view is shorter than other vortex binoculars and might compel you to think that it won’t suit long-ranging missions that much.

However, despite having a concise FOV, this binocular’s power is beyond belief. It lets you magnify, zoom, and focus on an object quickly with remarkable precision. Even if you aim to glance at a vast region, its FOV isn’t a constraint as Vortex has compensated this shortcoming by incorporating other useful features.

Inter-pupillary distance

As vortex UHD 18×56 is a full-sized binocular, reasonable inter-pupillary distance was inevitable in it. We all have different face sizes, and one binocular size cannot suit all. Therefore, this vortex razor UHD 18×56 binocular provides 56-76mm IPD.

Either you need to increase the size or aim to compress the barrels together, altering this bino’s size is easy and secure; you won’t struggle to maintain an IPD. Set once and glass endlessly!

Exit pupil diameter

When the band of light is broad in a binocular, your eyes stay relaxed and receive a vivid picture of the surroundings. However, some old full-sized binoculars lack in offering a good EPD, and glassers often complain of headaches after spending some time in nature.

Vortex has solved this qualm as well; your vortex razor UHD 18×56 binocular has 3.1mm exit pupil diameter. This central aperture won’t strain your eyes; you can stand still and glass through it without tiring your pupils.

Once your Vortex UHD 18×56 binocular is set, you can spend hours observing nature’s beauty through it or trailing your big game; your pupils will stay stress-free, that’s a promise!

Twilight factor

This binocular is the master of low-light glassing. Due to its bright Abbe-Koenig prisms and ED lens glass, it provides matchless light transmission. Similarly, UHD 18×56 binocular’s 31.7 twilight factor increases image brightness when the source of light is unstable.

You’ll painlessly ace your secret vigilance missions or early morning photo shoots with vortex UHD 18×56 binocular. Lowlight used to be a significant limitation for glassers, but not anymore. With a UHD binocular in hand, you’ll rock your lowlight glassing ventures.

Close focus distance

With a Vortex UHD 18×56 binocular, you’ll get a 10ft close focus distance. This CFD helps hunters, birders, and travelers alike by providing them razor-sharp views of nearby objects. 

Also, the large central focusing knob makes zooming on the nearer objects quick and never lets you miss a magnificent sight. Whether you prefer looking at the animals from your camouflaged tree-stand or are a seasoned birdwatcher, this 10ft CFD always comes in handy. 

Eye relief distance

A full-sized binocular with ergonomic features is always hard to find; some tire your eyes while others exert stress on your shoulder muscles. Whichever case of discomfort you face, it affects the charm of glassing.

Fortunately, that’s not a concern with vortex razor UHD binoculars. This massive 18×56 binocular has an 18mm eye relief distance with soft, movable eyecups. When you have set your binocular on a tripod and need some rest, this 18mm ERD works immaculately.

You can step back a bit and still keep your gaze fixed at your favorite spot, thanks to this brilliant eye relief distance. As this binocular has a locking right diopter, you won’t have to re-adjust your focus repetitively. Once nicely set, you can spend a whole day scouting your favorite terrain or glancing at a beautiful tourist destination.

Ergonomics

Glassing with a heavy binocular consumes your energy and requires a little practice before you set it right. Some binos have slippery outer body while others cannot be mounted on a tripod adapter. With vortex razor UHD 18×56, however, comfort isn’t a problem.

Despite weighing almost 41oz, this binocular is extremely stable. Its outer chassis is crafted from light-yet-robust magnesium, which shelters the bino’s inner parts. Similarly, secure rubber armor doesn’t let the binocular slip from your grip no matter how harsh the weather is.

This enormous 18×56 binocular has an open-hinge design that unburdens the glassers and allows one-hand holding.

Also, this premium binocular comes with a reliable harness that is easy-to-wear and safe.

As this binocular is massive, one cannot rely on the strap only. This weight will strain your neck, and you’ll need an alternative soon. Keeping your comfort in mind, vortex optics has already added a stylish-yet-secure harness in this package.

A soft neck strap, carry case, and a sleek harness; Vortex Razor UHD 18×56 binocular is decorated with numerous positives.

This bino’s sizeable central focus knob helps the glassers take a closer look at the target, and its right locking diopter saves their favorite site instantly, two positives together. 

Weather resistance

When a binocular performs exceptionally in all kinds of weather and doesn’t require regular maintenance, it feels worth it. If you are a busy glasser who cannot bother cleaning/drying his binocular frequently, this bino is a perfect option.

Its fully argon-purged lenses ward off moisture, dust, rust, and debris with ease. And, its scratch-resistant ArmorTek coating protects the outer surface of lenses. Even if you use your vortex razor UHD 18×56 binocular on rainy days, it won’t get affected.

The massive 56mm lenses are O-ring sealed that keep the prism system safe and don’t let any impurity barge in.

Moreover, the long-lasting lens and ocular covers that come in the package help you store your binoculars easily. When you don’t use your vortex UHD binocular, close its lens and ocular covers, place it in the carry bag, and store it coolly.

Heard somewhere this is only astronomy bino? Nah, that’s not true!

Vortex razor UHD 18×56 binocular has incredible features, optical quality, and design. But is it useful for all activities? Some glassers (who aren’t fully aware of this bino) say that one cannot use it other than astronomy.

However, that’s certainly not true. To find what other adventures you can enjoy with it, let’s delve further into this Vortex Razor UHD 18×56 binoculars review!

Astronomy

Vortex razor UHD 18×56 is an incredible choice for stargazers and astronomers. Its magnificent 18x power will let you explore the Milky Way galaxy, and its ED glass lenses will put up a striking star show for you.

Looking at the sparkling night sky becomes an unforgettable experience once you hold your vortex razor 18×56 bino and aim for the stars. Also, while searching for the planets in broad daylight, this binocular doesn’t produce flare and keeps your eyes protected.

Astronomers often face problems during daylight glassing when the sun is out. With this binocular’s plasma tech coating, however, glancing at the sky is always comfortable.

Moreover, with its exclusive Abbe-Koenig prisms and ED glass lenses, the light transmission is incredible. You’ll never face color fringing, FCC, focal distortions, and unnecessary reflection while glassing with your Vortex Razor UHD 18×56 binocular.  

Photography

Clicking high-definition pictures in all kinds of terrain is feasible with a smart binocular. And when you have a piece of ultra-high-definition equipment, photographs turn out astonishingly beautiful. 

Vortex Razor UHD 18×56 binocular has peerless image quality, vividness, edge-to-edge clarity, and light transmission; all of these factors contribute in producing premium-quality pictures.

When you aim to do an exotic lowlight photo shoot, your UHD 18×56 binocular will immensely help. It lets you set your camera’s focus, get a closer look at the far-off objects, and enhances color-differentiation in final imagery.

Average binoculars always leave fringing at an image’s sides, which look awful when you print the photos. Fortunately, the supreme Abbe-Koenig prism system of vortex razor UHD 18×56 binocular doesn’t let fringing distort your pictures.

Be a pro photographer with the Vortex Razor UHD series!

Hunting and scouting

The superb 18x magnification makes this binocular a perfect hunting gadget. Regardless of your environment, vortex razor UHD binoculars work outstandingly by making your hunts precise, quick, and safe.

Those who prefer hiding in the bushes and wait for their game quietly will love this binocular’s precise focus, incredible power, and image sharpness. Although its field of view is short i.e., 194ft, the supreme magnification capacity effortlessly complements it.

Whether you go for elk scouting early morning or disguise with the surroundings while waiting for a boar to appear, vortex UHD 18×56 binocular works faultlessly.

If, by any chance, you are stuck in thickets and can’t find the way out, its 31.7 twilight factor will assist you throughout. So, go for lowlight hunts or adopt stealth mode, no need to look elsewhere when there is vortex razor UHD 18×56 binocular with an amazing price tag.

Spying/Vigilance

Guarding a property, looking out for hooligans, and protecting a treasured entity; there are numerous reasons to adopt the secret mode and watch out. We shouldn’t be careless regarding our property and worthy belongings i.e., farmhouses, vehicles, warehouses, etc. 

However, as we know that spying is often carried out in the absence of light i.e., night-time, you must have an excellent binocular for that. If your binocular is built to perform in lowlight, it is perfect for spying missions.

Vortex Razor UHD 18×56 binocular has a 31.7 twilight factor along with zero chromatic-aberration and brilliant light transmission. These two factors and the solid grip makes vigilance effortless.

So, if you have a farmhouse where hooligans often barge in, get vortex razor UHD for your night guard and further secure your farm.

Birding

Vortex Razor UHD 18×56 is the best binocular one can get for birdwatching in this budget range. Due to its flawless high-definition image quality and color-differentiation, birders love the views they see.

When you see a beautiful bird flapping its wings up in the sky, vortex razor UHD 18×56 binocular fulfills your wish to get a better look at it. Moreover, as I already mentioned, this binocular doesn’t produce focal distortions, which is a big perk for day-time birding.

However, due to its 10ft close focus distance (which is best for outdoor settings nevertheless), balcony birding won’t be feasible.

And frankly, this premium binocular isn’t even made for balcony birding; it is made to surpass our limits and show us the things that our naked eyes can’t reach.

Water sports

Cruising, kayaking, snorkeling, and surfing; when it comes to water sports, the options are endless. And when we get to see a vast region of the sea with utmost clarity, the enthusiasm boosts up quickly.

However, due to certain constraints, we cannot take every binocular on a cruise venture. Some binoculars are not waterproof, while others lose their protective coating if water splashes hit their lenses.

But with Vortex Razor UHD 18×56 binocular, neither of these would concern you. Due to 100% argon purging and O-ring sealing, water cannot enter your UHD binoculars; eventually, you see fog-free imagery even in humid regions.

Similarly, this UHD 18×56 binocular has a robust ArmorTek coating on the lenses’ outer surface, which maintains their shine and avoids scratches. ArmorTek coating repels oil, dust, debris, and moisture from affecting the underneath anti-reflective coating and never let your bino get dazed.

The secure rubber armor and open-hinge design will ensure that your binocular is safe while you sail; don’t leave the astonishing binocular at home!

FAQs

What is the weight and size of this binocular?

Vortex Razor UHD 18×56 binocular’s length is 4.1″, its height is 8.3″, and it weighs 41 ounces. This is a full-sized binocular which needs significant space to fit in a bag/pocket.

Is it suitable for hunting?

Absolutely. Due to its 18x magnification and ultra-high-definition optical quality, this binocular is brilliant for hunters. Either you go on a lowlight hunt or take it out in broad daylight, vortex razor UHD 18×56 binocular is brilliant everywhere.

Where is this manufactured?

Vortex Razor UHD series is designed and assembled in Japan; from there, these are moved to Vortex Headquarters in Wisconsin and then distributed worldwide. The quality check-and-balance is performed in Vortex’s Wisconsin unit.

What accessories will I get with the binocular?

Numerous useful accessories come with this binocular. Inside the package, you’ll find a harness, neck-strap, carry case, lens covers, ocular covers, and a lens cleaning cloth.

Which coatings does this binocular have?

Its lenses have XR anti-reflective coating and a robust ArmorTek coating. Plus, the lenses have a multi-colored coat for light transmission and color-differentiation. These exclusive coatings improvise image quality and make glassing a delightful experience.

Here’re a few more FAQs that Vortex Optics’ representative has answered for you:

Vortex Razor UHD 18X56 Summary

Vortex Razor UHD series is the latest and a wonderful addition in the line of high-end binoculars. With their ergonomic design and cutting-edge image quality, these UHD binoculars are the new big thing in the optics market.

I have thoroughly discussed its pros, cons, and features in my Vortex Razor UHD 18×56 binoculars review so that you don’t have any doubt before hitting the “add to cart” button.

This high-class binocular has explicitly designed Abbe-Koenig prism system that brightens the imagery and doesn’t let the light scatter. Moreover, the 56mm large ED glass lenses with 3.1mm exit pupil diameter further enrich the optical quality and never show dull imagery to your eyes.

The secure rubber armor with lightweight magnesium chassis makes this binocular truly wild-worthy and ensures that you take it everywhere you go. Its ergonomic open-hinge design assists you to haul it around and doesn’t make it a burden in your luggage.

Similarly, the stylish harness, along with a strap and carry case, shelters your binocular from collisions and scratches and keeps your muscles relaxed when you walk around.

All in all, Vortex Razor UHD binoculars are better than the older versions and totally worth your cash. If you are on the lookout for an all-rounder binocular, get Vortex Razor UHD 18×56 binocular and enjoy every activity ranging from leisurely birding to high-end spying!

Image credit: Vortex Optics

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