Vortex Monocular Reviews 2018

Monocular is a single lens supported optical device meant for the purpose of long range viewing of objects, with inbuilt precision tools for image magnification, range coverage, multiple spotting scope, resolution of image colors and custom views.

Vortex is said to be well known brand of monocular with many models and versions supporting applications like wildlife watching, travel and leisure.

Some of the most commonly recommended models of Vortex are listed below:

Vortex Optics Recce
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Technical Features of Vortex Monocular

The design and functionality of the device are to be covered in the technical features of the device. The design part is supposed to be meant for the hardware components, while the functionality could cover the efficiency of the components and their coordination with each other to produce high definition images when the device is in action.

Monocular

Design Features

Some of the common components of a typical vortex monocular are said to be the objective lens, protective arm, rubber armor, clip, image focus tool, eyepiece lens, and eyecup, reticle, external casing and the other internal moveable and non moveable parts to support the device.

The design of the Vortex objective lens is said to be optimal, as the manufacturers claim it reduces the optical aberrations to by considerable level. The standard Vortex model (applicable to all models as the generic feature) with single objective lens is said to have a curved focal surface. This lens could absorb variable wavelengths of light from the target object and brings them to a point of single focus. The aperture and focal length of the Vortex monocular lens are said to be adjustable to produce real time images of target objects, in the possible ranges within the scope of the given Vortex model.

Objective Lens –Technical Review

Most models of Vortex lenses are fully coated for single as well as multiple layers of the lens. Standard Vortex monocular lenses are said to be coated mostly within the wavelengths of the light falling in the yellow and green region part of the light’s wavelength. Manufacturers state that this is the region in which the device is capable of rendering effective color capturing functionality. The typical Vortex monocular objective lens is made of several layers to form HD glass. When the coating is done in the multiple layers, it is supposed to increase the light absorption feature of the lens and increase the target object’s visibility range and image quality along with original color display with near zero scattering.

The aperture of the lens directly depends on its diameter value. You could optimally control the contrast and brightness of the resulting image by regulating the knobs provided in the device. This is said to be common for all types of Vortex monocular model lenses. The process of manufacturing and finishing of the lens could be varied to produce objective lenses of variable aperture quality with the same dimensional values.

Objective Lens –User Perspective

As a user you might have observed good quality images being relayed by the lens under varying external conditions where the temperature and humidity keep changing. You could keep it going by simple maintenance procedure to keep the objective lens in stable working condition.

  • Cleaning the external surface of the lens with the manufacturer recommended tools and liquids could keep it free from scratches caused by dirt and other pollutants.
  • Covering the lens with standard cap when not in use keeps it safe from damages and direct exposure to UV. Following the instructions in the user manual while cleaning the lens could prolong the expected lifespan and stated quality features.

Monocular Prism – Technical review

Some of the vortex models of monocular devices are said to be fitted with roof prism while the others are said to work without them. The choice of using the prism seems to be dependent on the required output image format and quality.

  • The roof type prism is said to be good for varying the contrast and brightness of the incoming light from the lens to customized levels. Besides, this type of prism is suppose to have multi coated layers of walls for reducing the volume of scattering and wayward reflections, brining the entire beam of light waves into a single point of focus. This is supposed to increase the image clarity under variable contrast and brightness values. The light beam entering from the objective lens is said to go through a straight path due to inversion and reversion processes.
  • The aperture of the prism is supposed to have an optimum value for due to the compact physical structure. However the brightness variance values are said to be relatively higher, probably due to the stated tolerance limit of the roof part of the prism. Since this type of prism is also said to be used in astronomical observations, this feature could also be helpful in viewing the long range target objects on earth!

Monocular Eyepiece – Technical Review

The characteristics of the eyepiece are said to be based on the objective lens and the prism. According to monocular manufacturers this is said to be due to the error correction factors of the prism and lens. Some of them related quality, contrast and brightness are said to be correctible only to certain maximum extent in the two, leaving part of the corrections to be made by the design positioning of the eyepiece lens.

  • The monocular eyepiece lens can be in angular or straight position. This is to enable the proper focusing on the images formed by the light rays emerging from the prism/objective lens (in case of monocular without prism). The angle of variation in the standard Vortex monocular devices is said to vary between 45 degrees and 90 degrees.
  • The distance between the eyepiece lens and the eyecup is also said to be variable in some models of the Vortex monocular devices, varying the final image’s brightness and sharpness according to the need.

Monocular Eyepiece – User Perspective

  • Cleaning the external surface of the eyepiece lens with the manufacturer recommended tools and liquids could keep it free from scratches caused by dirt and other pollutants.
  • Covering the lens with standard cap when not in use keeps it safe from damages and direct exposure to UV. Following the instructions in the user manual while cleaning the lens could prolong the expected lifespan and stated quality features.
Vortex Recce Pro HD

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Key Features

  • This device is said to have an optimum combination of objective lens and eyepiece lens diameters for effecting good magnification. The close range focus of the lens is said to be relatively down to the single digit value in feet while the maximum length could exceed the 3 digit value in yards.
  • The lens of this device is said to have an angular field of view for capturing images of objects in the inclined and declined positions with respect to the observer.
  • ​This device is said to be equipped with an HD grade glass and argon filled internal barrels for enhancing the clarity of images without possible aberrations like distortions, internal reflections, scattering, color variation etc.
  • This device is said to have a strong external casing for water and fog proof characteristics.

Pros

  • This device is said to have a wide range of view which extends to cover the width and length in an optimized ratio for producing clear images. The angular rotation of the eyepiece lens is supposed to cover objects in the horizontal plane as well as inclined planes.

Cons

  • This device is said to have no inbuilt prism and night vision utilities.
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Vortex Tactical Monocular

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Key Features

  • This device is said to have lenses made from low dispersion glass to give relatively bright and clear images. The process of manufacturing and finishing is said to result in multiple focal length options which are said to be helpful for wildlife watching, bird watching and viewing aquatic birds and species.
  • This device is said to have high definition lens with multiple layers of fully coated glass. This is said to enhance the light absorption feature of the lens from various angles. The feature is said to be especially helpful in trapping the light from the peripheries of the lens. This is supposed to increase the target object’s visibility range and image quality. Optimum level of color distortion and scattering is supposed to result in near to display of the target object’s original color to the nearest value.
  • This device is said to have a good casing for water proofing and fog proofing characteristics.

Pros

  • This device is said to be compatible for viewing with or without eyeglasses, giving maximum possible value of eye relief and exit pupil within the scope of parameters on which these two values are said to be dependent.

Cons

  • This device is said to have no support of prism and nigh vision options.
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Vortex 8x25 Solo Waterproof

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Key Features

  • This device is said to have an objective lens with high resolution. The multiple layers of fully coated glass is said to increase the light absorbing characteristics. The feature is said to be especially helpful in trapping the light from the peripheries of the lens.
  • Variable focal length is said to be enabled due to the optimum alignment and distancing between the objective lens and the eyepiece lens. Light rays entering from multiple angles into the objective lens are said to be streamed into a single line, making the resulting image relatively sharper and brighter.
  • Aperture values of the lens are said to be custom made and adjustable for varying the contrast and brightness.

Pros

  • This device is said to be protected by an O-ring which prevents moisture, fog. Heat and mist from entering the optical barrels of the device. This is also supposed to protect the device from extreme weather conditions.

Cons

  • This device is said to have no options for prism and night vision features.
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Vortex Solo 10x36 mm Monocular

Vortex 10x36 Solo

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Key Features

  • This device is said to be a roof prism which is supposed to ensure optimum quality of image display due to the said inversion and reversion of the light rays as they pass through the walls of the transparent walls and get reflected on the coated layers. Since aluminum or silver is said to be used for coating the reflecting walls of prism, this is said to result in clear images.
  • Roof prism is said to be highly compact in nature when compared to the other models, making the device light in weight.
  • ​This device is said to have an angular field of view for capturing images of objects in the inclined and declined positions with respect to the observer.
  • Contrasting feature seems to be slightly more compared to the brightness features of the device. However the controlling options in the knob could restore balance to certain extent.

Pros

  • This device is said to be supported by a roof prism.

Cons

  • This device is said to have no night vision compatible components.
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Vortex 10x25 Solo Waterproof

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Key Features

  • This device is said to be equipped with a roof prism which is supposed to enhance the characteristics of the incoming light from the objective lens. As the light rays go through various transparent walls and gets reflected from the multiple angled walls (coated with silver or aluminum), they get streamlined into one beam. This is said to be made of the constituent colors of the light as reflected from the target object. The filtering of non relevant colors at this layer is supposed to give the original color display of the target object without distortion.
  • This device is said to be equipped with an adjustable type of eyecup which is said to move up and down in vertical direction. Combined with the angular movement of the eyepiece lens, this is supposed to give linear and inclined views of objects which are in plains, uphill and downhill.
  • Contrasting and brightness features of the device is said to be relatively on equal proportions due to the optimum objective lens diameter.

Pros

  • This device is said to be supported by a roof prism.

Cons

  • This device is said to have no night vision compatible components.
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Conclusion

After reading through the different monocular devices from Vortex, the choice had to be between Vortex Optics Solo 10x25 Waterproof Monocular and the Vortex Solo 10x36 mm Monocular since both are said to be supported by a roof prism of same model.

However, the Vortex Optics Solo 10x25 Waterproof Monocular seemed to score better supposedly due to its lens diameter and magnification ratio. This is supposed to balance the contrast and brightness feature which is said to be essential for a good monocular.

If you want to see how these models compare to a list of best rated monoculars on the market today, then click the link.

About the Author James Taylor

Hey there, my name is James and I am the creator and editor of this site. I have been an outdoor person all my life and my mission is to share my passion with anyone that reads my posts.

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