The Long View: New Vortex Optics for Long-Distance Hunters and Shooters


New and updated products for long-distance hunters and shooters for 2018 are out from Vortex Optics—new spotting scopes with premium optic elements, rangefinders with longer reach, and a western-style hunting binocular with high magnification and big lenses for the prime times of dawn and dusk.

The 18x56 Kaibab binocular’s apochromatic optical system consists of high-definition glass that minimizes chromatic aberration and maximizes color fidelity. Multiple layers of Vortex XR Plus anti-reflective coating, dielectric coatings on the phase-corrected roof prisms, and scratch-resistant ArmorTek protective coatings optimize light transmission for a bright, high-contrast image. The Kaibab is O-ring-sealed to make it waterproof and dustproof, and filled with argon gas to prevent internal fogging. Multi-position adjustable eyecups accommodate eyewear and a locking diopter customizes focus for the individual user’s eyes. It’s tripod-adaptable, a necessity for an optic of this magnification.

Vortex 18x56 Kaibab HD Binocular

The Viper HD line of spotting scopes is fitted with the kind of features that avid shooters and long-range hunters look for in their optics. The line offers two sizes, a 15-45x65 and a 20-60x85, with straight and angled viewing options for both sizes. Optically, the Viper HDs are solidly high-end: a high-definition lens system, with all air-to-glass surfaces wearing multiple layers of Vortex’s XR anti-reflective coating for optimal light transmission, and a Porro prism with multiple dielectric coatings for bright, clear, color-accurate images.

Vortex Viper HD 15-45x65 Spotting Scope

At 3.7 pounds, the 15-45x65 is the more portable of the two, yet still offers powerful magnification and a bright objective lens. If you don’t mind the 4.8-pound weight, the 20-60x85 gathers copious amounts of light and will show you the fine details of a target far downrange. Like the Kaibab binocular, the Viper HDs are O-ring sealed and filled with dry argon gas. They come with rotating tripod collars, which can be especially useful with angled scopes, and twist-down eyecups to accommodate eyewear. Eye relief on both sizes is a comfortable 19.6-17.8mm.

Vortex has upped the capability of its Ranger-series laser rangefinders for 2018. The two new models have either a 1300-yard or 1800-yard metering range to reflective targets (600 and 900 yards, respectively, to deer) with the same 6x22 optical design as the earlier versions. Both come with integrated inclinometers to help with tricky downhill or uphill shooting, and an adjusted range distance feature that helps estimate bullet drop compensation (purists can select the traditional line-of-sight ranging and do their own ballistic calculations.) Ranging takes less than a second, spot or scan mode can be selected, and you can see the distance in yards or meters. Compact at 3.9 x 3" and weighing less than half a pound, the Rangers are comfortable to use for a full day in the field.

Vortex 6x22 Ranger 1300 Laser Rangefinder

For shooters with more mid-distance ranging needs, Vortex offers the 6x20 Impact 850, measuring up to 850 yards to reflective targets and 400 yards to deer. Its primary mode, HCD, displays the critical horizontal component distance to the target; rifle shooters with slope-correcting ballistic drop data cards or apps can choose the LOS (Line of Sight) mode. As with the Rangers, the Impact features a can mode for moving targets or panning, and displays distance in yards or meters, in a black LCD that contrasts sharply with the view from the ocular lens.

Vortex 6x20 Impact 850 Laser Rangefinder

So, if your game is long-distance shooting or hunting in the wide-open spaces, the new line of Vortex optics may include gear that suits you to a tee.