BINOCULARS

Vortex Crossfire Binoculars: A Series All Their Own

vortex binoculars
Nick Stucker
Written by Nick Stucker

Are you tired of those times when you just can’t get a close view of something? Situations when you’re afraid it might fly away if you approach it or you want to see something closer, but it’s simply too dangerous to get that close to. We hear you, and we have just the perfect thing for you.

If you are on the hunt for a set of binoculars you know that you need to find a quality pair.  There are a number of things that you will need to consider, such as hunting down for a good optical system, nice sturdy housing, and aesthetic and ergonomic design, and let’s be honest, all those things cost, right?  Luckily, the options that come from Vortex fit the bill and are quality enough to do the job nicely.

In this article, we’ll cover the top 3 models in the Crossfire line to give you an idea of how they work, but also how are different from each other.  To help out some more we will also cover some of the main areas that you’ll want to consider when it comes time to pick out your perfect pair. Let’s start!

Product NameMagnificationDimensions/Weight Design Features Price
Vortex Optics Crossfire 10x42 10 x 426 x 5.1 in
23.3 oz
Fully multi-coated lenses, roof prism design, waterproof, fog proof, rubber armor coated body, central focus knobCheck price on Amazon
Vortex Optics Crossfire 10x50 10 x 506.7 x 5.4 in
30.3 oz
Fully multi-coated lenses, roof prism design, waterproof, fog proof, rubber armor coated body, central focus knobCheck price on Amazon
Vortex Optics Crossfire II 8x42 8 x 426.2 x 5.1 in
23.5 oz
Fully multi-coated lenses, roof prism design, waterproof, fog proof, rubber armor coated body, central focus knobCheck price on Amazon

Things to Consider Before Buying

We are going to give you some brief explanations about some basic terms related to binoculars. This is only to make you understand what you’re buying and what to keep an eye on. You will learn all about magnification power, lens coatings, exit pupil size, what’s important, what’s not. On the other hand, if you are already familiar with this stuff, then let us refresh your memory.

Magnification Power

The first property of a binocular is its magnification power. The magnification power means how close will the image be, seen through the binocular. A binocular with a magnification factor of 10 magnifies the image 10 times. When looking at an object that is, for example, 500 yards away, through a 10x binocular it will appear as if it is 50 yards away or 10 times closer.

Just be careful when you’re buying a binocular that has 10x greater magnification power as it will be difficult to make it steady and if you can’t hold your binocular steady it can ruin your viewing experience, right?

Objective Lens Diameter

The diameter of the objective lens (on the front side of the binocular) is the other number that defines the basic properties of the binocular. A larger objective lens diameter means the more light the binocular is able to capture, giving a brighter image, also a better viewing experience in low light conditions.

Observer Blond Binoculars Watch See Sharp View

For example, if your binocular is 10 x 40 that means objective lenses measure 40 mm of the diameter.

Prism and Lens Coatings

Almost all binoculars on the market today have some sort of coating on their lenses and prisms in order to prevent glare, light scattering and ensure more light passing through the binocular. Many binoculars have UV coated lenses for protecting the eyes against harmful UV rays.

Same as the lenses, the prisms have appropriate coatings to enable more light to pass through them. Some may have dielectric coatings or phase correction coatings.

Exit Pupil Size

The exit pupil size is the size of the image seen at the back end of the binocular. It shows the brightness of the image. The human eye pupil dilates between 2.5 and 7 mm, depending on the light conditions. The same is true for the binocular exit pupil size. A binocular with a larger exit pupil size will have a brighter image in low-light conditions.

Exit_Pupil

For example, for 10 x 40 binoculars – 40/10 = 4 mm of exit pupil diameter. Considering the fact that the human pupil can widen up to 7 mm, choosing a binocular with an exit pupil size of 4 mm can really restrict the light that’s available to your eyes during nighttime observing.  So, if you’re a “night bird” and looking for a binocular that you can use in low-light situations look for the ones with a high exit pupil number.

Field of View

The field of view is the width of the area that you will see through the binoculars. The manufacturers note this number as X feet at 1000 yards. The wider the apparent angle of view, the wider field of view that results in a more panoramic view of the image, and vice versa.

In most cases, a binocular with bigger magnification will have a narrower field of view. When looking for a bird watching or a sightseeing binocular, it is recommended that you get one with a wide field of view.

Eye Relief

This is the distance you need to put your eyes in relation to the binocular in order to see the whole field of vision. This is more important to people that wear eyeglasses. Most manufacturers design the eye pieces to roll (twist) up or down to accommodate for viewing with glasses.

man using binoculars

If you’re wearing glasses then we advise you opt for at least 11 mm of eye relief.

Waterproof & Fog Proof Performance

O-ring seals help keep moisture, water, and dirt away from the inside of the binocular, making it waterproof. Many models have such good seals that they are rated fully submersible, meaning that they can withstand a dip in a river or a puddle.

A fog proof binocular is one where the internal atmosphere is filled with a dry inert gas to prevent fogging of the internal glass surfaces and prevent fungus growth that could potentially eat away the coatings and destroy the binoculars.

Size Class, Dimensions, and Weight of Binoculars

The binoculars are generally divided into three size categories: compact, mid and full-size ones. Compact binoculars are the smallest ones, easy to carry around, but compromising the view due to small lens size.

binocular size

Mid-size binoculars are the compromise: good size lenses and fairly decent magnification, but relatively bulky to carry around. Full-size binoculars have nice size, big lenses and capture more light and are a great option for wildlife observation.

The dimensions and weight are important when choosing binoculars, especially if you plan to go backpacking, hiking or hunting and have to carry the binocular with you around your neck. For use on boats or safari trips, where you do not carry all your equipment on your back, then you can allow yourself to bring a bigger size binocular. This is also important when looking through a binocular for extended periods, a heavier binocular will fatigue your hands and arms.

Body Build and Durability

The material of the body has a large part in the weight of the binocular. Most manufacturers make most of their models from hard, durable plastic, some even glass fiber-reinforced plastic, to save on weight. More expensive models have bodies made of cast magnesium, for sturdiness and durability.

night vision binoculars featured

All manufacturers coat their products in rubber or rubber-like coatings, to enable secure, no-slip grip on the body and provide slight shock absorbing properties.

Best Products on Today’s Market

Below we have listed and made reviews of the top three Vortex Optics Crossfire binoculars on the market today.

Vortex Optics Crossfire 10×42 BinocularVortex Optics Crossfire 10x42

Price: Approx. $149

Magnification: 10 x 42

Dimensions: 6 x 5.1 in

Weight: 23.3 oz

Special features: Fully multi-coated lenses, roof prism design, waterproof, fog proof, rubber armor coated body, adjustable eyecups, center focus knob, tripod adjustable via an adapter

Description: The Vortex Optics Crossfire 10×42 Binocular  is a fairly good choice. It has a magnification power of 10x and an objective lens diameter of 42 mm. This means that the exit pupil size on this binocular is 4.2 mm, which is a good size for almost all applications.

The prisms have roof design, giving the binocular a more compact size. The lenses are fully multicoated, have increased light transmission and limited reflection of the glass surfaces, giving bright, crisp images.

This binocular can be set to the interpupillary distance from 56 up to 76 mm, nicely fitting on most heads. The eye relief of this binocular is 15 mm, which fits people with or without eyeglasses. The eyecups twist up and down style, accommodating for different users. The right eyepiece has a diopter adjustment ring, for the adjustment of differences in the eyes of the user.

The Vortex Crossfire 10×42 binocular has a linear field of view of 325 feet at 1000 yards, which is a very wide field giving a good panoramic view of the desired objects. The close focus distance is rated at 8 feet, a little longer than most other binocular in this class, but still a good size for most beginner situations.

The focus is achieved through a large central focus knob. This binocular is waterproof, with O-ring seals that prevent water and dust entering the binocular. The internal atmosphere is filled with nitrogen to prevent fogging. The body has slim, ergonomic design and is coated with rubber to enable comfortable, secure holding. It comes in dark green color.

The Crossfire 10×42 is sold with a soft carry case, comfortable neck strap, rain guard eyepiece cover, objective lens covers and is covered by the VIP Unconditional Lifetime Warranty.

PROS:

  • Lightweight, ergonomic design
  • Waterproof, fog proof
  • Carry case, neck strap, lens covers
  • Tripod adjustable
  • VIP Unconditional Lifetime Warranty

CONS:

  • Made in China
  • Tripod adapter sold separately

Related: If you consider getting this binocular, another item you can treat yourself with is a Vortex Harness Strap. This product will relieve neck fatigue as it distributes the weight of the binocular around your back and shoulders. It is easy to use and adjust and it fits all binoculars, cameras, and rangefinders.

Check the price on Amazon

Vortex Optics Crossfire 10×50 BinocularVortex Optics Crossfire 10x50

Price: Approx. $169

Magnification: 10 x 50

Dimensions: 6.7 x 5.4 in

Weight: 30.3 oz

Special features: Fully multi-coated lenses, waterproof, fog proof, rubber armor body, adjustable eyecups, diopter adjustment, large central focus knob, tripod adjustable

Description: The Vortex Optics Crossfire 10×50 Binocular  is a good choice for a full-size binocular. It has a magnification power of 10x and a large objective lens diameter of 50 mm.

The lense are fully multicoated for maximum light transmittance, allowing for crisp, bright images. The prisms have roof design, allowing for a sleeker design of the binocular. The exit pupil size is 5 mm, giving good, bright images in low-light conditions.

The eye relief is 17 mm, and the eyecups are twist–up style, enabling comfortable views for people with and without eyeglasses. The interpupillary distance can be set between 60 and 76 mm. There is a diopter adjustment ring on the right eyepiece.

The linear field of view of this binocular is 320 feet at 1000 yards, giving a nice, wide panoramic views. The close focus distance is 9.8 feet, a little too long for observing very close objects. The focus is achieved through a large central focus knob.

The Vortex Crossfire 10×50 binocular is waterproof, with O-ring seals for protection against water and dust. It is also fog proof, filled with nitrogen internal atmosphere. The body is coated in rubber armor for a secure grip. This binocular comes with a rain guard eyepiece cover, objective lens caps, neck strap, cleaning cloth and a carry case. It is also covered by the VIP Unconditional Lifetime Warranty.

PROS:

  • Slim, ergonomic design
  • Waterproof, fog proof
  • Good, fully multicoated optics
  • VIP Unconditional Lifetime Warranty

CONS:

  • May not work well in low-light conditions
  • Tripod adapter sold separately

Related: If you are thinking of buying yourself a Vortex Optics Crossfire 10×50 binocular, it would be smart to get a Vortex Lens Cleaning Pen. It’s easy and safe to use on all lenses, removes the dust thanks to the brush and it’s a perfect static charge build-up reducer.

Check the price on Amazon

Vortex Optics Crossfire II 8×42 BinocularVortex Optics Crossfire II 8x42 

Price: Approx. $169

Magnification: 8 x 42

Dimensions: 6.2 x 5.1 lb

Weight: 23.5 oz

Special features: Fully multi-coated lenses, roof prism system, rubber coated body, waterproof, fog proof, very wide field of view, adjustable eyecups, tripod adjustable

Description: The Vortex Optics Crossfire II 8×42 Binocular  features an 8x magnification and an objective lens diameter of 42 mm. This gives it an exit pupil size of 5.3 mm, having good performance in low light conditions.

The lenses are fully multi-coated for increased light transmission and bright, crisp images. The prisms have roof design for slim, lightweight design of the binocular.

The eyecups on this binocular are twist – up style, with an eye relief of 17 mm, accommodating many eyeglass wearers. The interpupillary distance can be adjusted from 56 to 76 mm. The right eyecup has a diopter adjustment ring.

The Vortex Crossfire II 8×42 binocular has a linear field of view of 393 feet at 1000 yards. The close focus distance is rated at 7.5 feet, allowing for a detailed look at close objects. The focusing mechanism is a large, smooth central focus knob.

This binocular is waterproof, with O–ring seals that prevent water and dust from entering the binocular. The fog proof performance is due to nitrogen internal atmosphere. The exterior of the body is coated in rubber, giving it a no-slip grip. It comes with a rain guard cover, objective lens covers, neck strap, carry case and VIP Unconditional Lifetime Warranty.

PROS:

  • Good fully multi-coated optical elements
  • Durable, ergonomic design
  • Waterproof and fog proof performance
  • VIP Unconditional Lifetime Warranty

CONS:

  • Made in China
  • Lens caps may be prone to losing

Related: A smart choice, when buying a Crossfire II binocular would be to get yourself a Vortex Flip Cap Eyepiece. Considering the fact that it’s flexible, adjustable, easy to attach and suits all Vortex binoculars, this flip cap eyepiece will keep your sight clear and open.

Check the price on Amazon

Wrap Up

We have made a comprehensive review of three models of Vortex Optics Crossfire binoculars so you will have a better insight and help you choose the best option for you.  Any of them would be a good choice, but to come up with the best option for you, you will want to consider how you will end up using them.

binoculars on table next to a book

You should, additionally, now know the major features to take a look at when you consider any set of binoculars.  This will help you determine what is just marketing claims and what are actual useful features of a given pair of binoculars.

Lastly, we’d love to hear from you.  Do you have some experience with any of these models?  If so, leave a comment with your thoughts and experiences with a Vortex Optics product in the comments below.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nick Stucker
Nick Stucker

Nick is passionate about weapons. He likes history of companies like Colt or Lockheed Martin, but also latest scopes, binoculars and laser sighters on the market and everything in between. Nick writes about different gear that could be useful during hunting, astrophotography, night vision or just for self-defence.

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