The Vortex Diamondback line has been around for many years. In 2016, Vortex developed a new version of their Diamondback 8×42 binoculars that included many improvements over the old version.
If you don’t have time to read about all these right now, you can check out these binoculars immediately at Amazon.
If you’d like more information before making your final decision, read on.
What Are the Features of the New Diamondbacks That I Should Care About?
First, you should note that these binoculars are currently referred to as the “new” edition in many places. How long a new item is still considered “new” I don’t know. Eventually that word will get dropped from the description.
Now, I could stretch this and say that you should care about all the features, but that just wouldn’t be true. There are some features that are more important than others and some that neither you nor anyone else is likely to wonder about in the least.
Let’s first take a look at those features related to clarity and color, size and weight. Those are especially significant in this newer version of the Diamondbacks and are therefore most probably the ones you are concerned about.
The lenses are fully multi-coated, and the internal prisms have dielectric coatings. Both of these applications give you better clarity, brightness, color accuracy, contrast, and resolution.
What really makes this pretty cool is that you previously had to get one of Vortex’s more expensive models, like the Viper or the Razor, to get this kind of high quality addition to your glass.
Comparative tests have shown that the new Vortex Diamondback binoculars are clearer than virtually all of its competitors.
These 8×42 binoculars weigh just over 2 pounds (2.3 pounds, to be exact). They measure 5.9 inches by 5.6 inches. The chassis is made of magnesium. Put all that together and you have a small (not quite compact) set of binoculars that won’t weigh you down with extended use.
Which Other Features Are Worth a Look?
There are a few more items that are of at least moderate importance for most users. Some of these might even be of primary significance for how you intend to use them.
These glasses have O-rings seals for waterproofing. They are argon filled for fog proofing. This makes it tough for dust and dirt to permeate the insides too. So if you like to go out in less than perfect weather or where there are puddles, streams, or lakes, you should be okay with these binoculars. The same can be said about taking them to arid lands where there is very little water and lots of sand and grit.
Being able to spot your target quickly – a bird or a deer, for example – can be an important action. With a wide field of view (FOV) at 393 feet (at 1000 yards) this task should be quite easy to accomplish.
If you are an eyeglass wearer and want or need to keep them on while using your binoculars, you want a decent eye relief in your set. The Diamondbacks give you a generous 18 millimeters to play with which should be plenty for you to work with.
One last feature we’ll examine is the interpupillary distance. That’s the distance between the centers of the eyepiece lenses. Most binoculars are flexible along a center axis so that you can change this distance to fit the spacing between your eyes.
The new Diamondback 8×42 binoculars measure 55 millimeters from left lens center to right. This is just 2 millimeters less than the old version, but it should work fine for you. If you have children who are interested in using them (and you let them), they just might be able to work with them a little sooner than with other binoculars.
Watch this video overview from Eagle Optics.
What Kind of Warranty Does Vortex Offer on Its Binoculars?
Vortex’s warranty covers you for the lifetime of your binoculars both for defects and accidents.
You don’t even have to register with the company or have a proof of purchase to take advantage of it. There is no fee involved, and the warranty is fully transferrable.
What more could you ask for?
What Do Others Say About the Diamondbacks?
Sometimes it’s good to know what other users’ experiences with a product are like. Here are a few notes from some owners of the Diamondback 8×42 binoculars.
One fan has this to say.
“The 8x42s provide a larger exit pupil, which translates into superior low light image rendering, to that extent these perform as expected, which is well.”
A couple of owners did find some downsides with the Diamondbacks as follows.
“The case they’re sent with is too large, something about optics and bouncing/flopping randomly just doesn’t seem compatible to me….”
This person is probably right, but that’s a minor complaint that could easily be fixed with a little padding.
“They’re smaller than I expected, if you have large hands you will find it difficult to find comfortable hand placement, but, they’re compact, which is good.”
Note that these are not technically “compact” binoculars. In this case, it sounds like the buyer should have looked closer at the length and width measurements ahead of time. For most people this is not going to be a problem.
That said, if you found that this pair of binoculars wasn’t for you, take a look at this article which has several others in the same price range for your consideration.