If it aint related to one of the other forums, then this is the place for it !!! Enjoy!
#359539
We do a lot of wildlife watching and photographing, especially wolves and bears in Yellowstone NP. We're also planning a three-month camping trip to Alaska so it will get used a lot there too. I have a Nikon D500 and Nikon 500 f/4 lens for photography, but we'd also like to start taking photos through the scope with our iPhones. Phonescope makes adaptors for most any phone and scope combination.

We've rented Swarovski scopes and no doubt they are outstanding both in clarity and contrast. Last year while watching wolves (mostly 1 to 2 miles away) we met a nice gentleman with a Vortex Razor 20-60x and he uses it a lot and loves it. He let me look through it and yes it was nice but I now wish I had paid more attention to it and been more objective at the time comparing it to the Swarovski we were renting.

Has anyone used both of these scopes (I haven't seen a Vortex Razor 95mm) and could you give your opinion if the Swarovski is worth over twice the price of the Vortex Razor HD ? Whichever scope we buy we will use it a lot and I don't want any regrets because we didn't get the better scope. You know, you forget the price paid if you're happy with the purchase.
#359542
What I would look at in addition to overall satisfaction on such an expensive item is warranty. Vortex lifetime covers 100% of everything even accidents, no questions asked. That brings peace of mind to the table when Murphy's law likes to mess with expensive items. I'm not bashing Swarvoski, they make top of the line optics, no doubt. Overall, the optics market has all of the major players competing together. I've always felt Swarvoski, Zeiss, and Leica intentionally keep their prices inflated to separate themselves from the rest of the pack. With the hopes of someone paying more wants to think they get more. On high end optics, your splitting hairs from great distances trying to figure out which one comes out on top. Is the one on top that costs twice as much actually twice as good? Thats the real question. You cant make a wrong decision here. Your upcoming vacation sounds sensational. Bring us back some photos.
#359544
Thank you reaperman, warranty is an important consideration. And yes we've been thinking the same thing whether the top of the line are worth twice the price. It would be nice to rent the Vortex Razor HD and the Swarovski and judge them side by side but so far I've not found anyone who rents them and ships them across the country. The reviews at B+H are very good for both scopes.

When we were in Yellowstone last September we rented a Swarovski scope and tripod like we usually do from the Silver Gate General Store in Siver Gate Montana which is just outside the NE entrance of the park. It was the 85mm version, and when we stopped in to ask if we could keep it a few days more, the owner upgraded us to the newer 95mm model. He said it would allow us to see half an hour sooner in the mornings and half hour later in the evenings and he was right. So unless the Vortex Razor HD comes in a new 95mm version I'm not sure it would be a fair comparison... at least for comparing brightness. Maybe we could live with that, I don't know. It seems that the best wildlife viewing is early mornings and late evenings when light is often times poor. Still, it reminds me of the old saying... If you can't tell the difference, why pay the difference ?.
#359546
Last week a friend and myself took a little trip to Cabelas. He was looking at a night (IR) scope for his coyote rifle. The first question he asked was "what is the return policy if I dont like it"? They said 30 days, he said, I'll take it. Most retail have a satisfaction warranty. If you have retail store close and have time before your trip you can always test drive the scope.
#359547
I emailed the link to the topic to one of the top sales rep for Vortex and asked if I could quote his answer:

"The Swarovski is unquestionably the pinnacle spotter out there and if money is no object, go for it. The Razor HD 27-60x85 is a sensible alternative though as it is very close optically (98% of the way there), depending what situation you are comparing in and what exactly you are looking for. Color rendition, clarity and brightness are all top shelf with the Razor and it is 1/2 the price, has the best warranty in the business - lifetime unconditional VIP and some of the best customer service I have ever had. "

Maybe this helps. this rep also reps for Ridgetec so I feel he would be honest with me.
#359548
reaperman wrote: Fri Jan 17, 2020 12:45 pm Last week a friend and myself took a little trip to Cabelas. He was looking at a night (IR) scope for his coyote rifle. The first question he asked was "what is the return policy if I dont like it"? They said 30 days, he said, I'll take it. Most retail have a satisfaction warranty. If you have retail store close and have time before your trip you can always test drive the scope.
Thanks, that's a great idea. We have Sheels 90 minutes away.
#359549
Anthony wrote: Fri Jan 17, 2020 12:47 pm I emailed the link to the topic to one of the top sales rep for Vortex and asked if I could quote his answer:

"The Swarovski is unquestionably the pinnacle spotter out there and if money is no object, go for it. The Razor HD 27-60x85 is a sensible alternative though as it is very close optically (98% of the way there), depending what situation you are comparing in and what exactly you are looking for. Color rendition, clarity and brightness are all top shelf with the Razor and it is 1/2 the price, has the best warranty in the business - lifetime unconditional VIP and some of the best customer service I have ever had. "

Maybe this helps. this rep also reps for Ridgetec so I feel he would be honest with me.
Thanks Anthony. That's good information.
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