Vortex Diamondback Spotting Scope – Review What You Need to Know
Are you in the market for a new spotting scope? If you’ve done your research, you know that Vortex is a well known and reputable producer of fine optical instruments. The American owned, family operated company designs and produces high-quality optics such as binoculars, rifle scopes, rangefinders and of course, spotting scopes. We’ll dive into a couple Vortex Diamondback spotting scope options.
With more than two decades worth of knowledge and expertise, Vortex delivers a full line of premium optics with a strong dedication to quality, value and performance in the field.
Back in 1986 in Middleton, Wisconsin, Dan and Margie Hamilton opened up a small outdoor retail store. The business took off and grew quickly over time. In 2002, Vortex Optics was established and is currently owned by the Hamilton’s.
Employing over 200 people, the company has dealers located throughout the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Europe, Australia and South Africa to name a few. Friendly and personalized service is what has kept them in business as their customers are their number one priority. American owned, family owned and veteran operated, Vortex Optics has all of the best elements that hunters look for when considering an optical instrument such as a spotting scope.
With their “Three P’s,” they pledge to put first the following: People, Products, and Promises. Without a doubt they are extremely committed to their customers and products. It’s because of this commitment, that all of their equipment comes with their VIPUnconditional Lifetime Warranty.
The Only Company With Unlimited Lifetime Warranties
The VIP warranty is pretty much a one-of-a-kind type of warranty because it’s unlimited and unconditional. This unique warranty means something very similar to this — you can throw an optical instrument off the side of a cliff, accidentally drop it in the ocean or even buy it used from a private seller — and unbelievably, Vortex will still repair or replace it. For free.
Vortex doesn’t care how the defect, accident or damage happened. They don’t want to know who did it, how it happened or when it happened. There’s no need to provide proof of your purchase or fill out a warranty form. And remarkably, all of this is for a lifetime. 🙂
Such devotion as that certainly guarantees you’ll get an amazing product from this trusted and reliable American company. With so many high-quality products to choose from, we’ve narrowed it down to two of their scopes from the Diamondback spotting scope series — the 20-60×80 model and it’s sibling the 20-60×60. Both models are available in either straight or angled viewing versions.
Before we take a look below at the VortexDiamondback Spotting Scope Series, it’s important to understand how to use your spotting scope to its fullest potential. Questions may arise as to what type you should buy — angled or straight? And, what exactly is the difference between the two?
What to Look for in a Spotting Scope (straight vs. angled spotting scopes)
Whether one chooses a straight or angled spotting scope is essentially a matter of preference.
Straight scopes have the eyepiece and the body of the scope on the same horizontal plane.
At times, the eyepiece is in the exact horizontal level as the body of the scope. Or, the eyepiece is at a higher level than the body. Example: Porro prism spotting scopes.
You may be wondering who uses straight spotting scopes and also when and why are they used? Straight scopes are very user-friendly and perfect for those just learning to use a spotting scope. The straight version is easier and faster to spot a moving target. In addition, all hunters with different levels of skill can use a straight scope.
Whether you’re hunting or target shooting, straight spotting scopes are extremely convenient if you hunt regularly, either from tree stands or car mounts. Additionally, straight scopes work extremely well for bird watching or nature watching.
Straight Spotting Scopes Pros & Cons
Not convenient to share with others
Forms straight line from you and your target
May be uncomfortable to reach higher angles
Faster than angled at target
Raising tripod to eye level can decrease tripod stability
No need to adjust tripod when exchanging binoculars with scope for closer view
Easier to view at levels below your eye level
Easier to use when attached to car mount
Eyepiece offers better protection in unfavorable weather conditions
On the other hand, angled spotting scopes generally have the eyepiece at a 45 degree angle to the scope body. The angled version is sometimes a bit more difficult to use because your line of sight is now at an angle, thus making it difficult to see your moving target.
Just as straight spotting scopes are better for beginner users, angled versions are better for the hunter who has some experience using a spotting scope. Usually, hunters, birders and those who are casual astronomy viewers use the angled spotting scope. The angled version is also quite versatile for general use.
Angled Spotting Scopes Pros & Cons
May be mounted lower on tripod for better results
May be pricier than straight model
Those of different heights can use without lowering or raising tripod
More spotting scope experience may be required
More comfortable to view on angles directed upwards
Eyepiece tends to get more exposure in unfavorable weather conditions
More comfortable to use while sitting or lying down
Vortex DiamondBack 20 60×80 Spotting Scope Review
The Vortex Diamondback series of spotting scopes are made with high-end quality materials, but are considered an entry-level optic. Whether you’re hunting, birdwatching or nature observing, you’re sure to find the right spotting scope in the Diamondback series.
Just as the Diamondback binoculars series is made with affordability in mind, the Diamondback spotting scopes also follow in the same path — aimed toward the money-conscious hunter or target shooter.
Featuring a large objective lens and specialized optical coatings to present exceptionally bright images, the straight-viewing Diamondback 20-60×80 from Vortex is a top pick. Each air-to-glass surface has Vortex’s XR anti-reflective coatings for minimal light loss and they are all ArmorTek coated for scratch-resistance.
Vortex uses only Porro Prisms to ensure accurate color to cover the entire visible spectrum. Additionally, the porro prisms are dielectric coated. Highly reflective, these coatings lose less than one percent of light that passes through them. The result is a combination of coatings and optics which create a scope that in turn, produces bright, clear and highly contrasted images.
Optics are sealed with O-rings to prevent moisture, dust and more from getting inside the spotting scope. In addition, nitrogen-purged gas delivers waterproof and fogproof results. This straight spotting scope provides quick target acquisition and a focus system that features a fine-focus wheel for exact focusing capability.
For ease of use and convenience, the scope contains a tripod mounting shoe and rotating tripod collar to allow the eyepiece to be placed in the best viewing spot. When you find yourself in the sun’s glare, extreme heat or rain, you can reach for the included retractable lens shade.
Also featuring a large objective lens, the angled version of the Diamondback 20-60×80 spotting scope from Vortex incorporates optical coatings to provide you with bright, crystal-clear images. As always, each air-to-glass surface has Vortex’s XR anti-reflective coatings to minimize light loss.
Additionally, the surfaces are ArmorTek coated with a scratch-resistant coating to protect the exterior lenses from fingerprints, scratches, dirt and oil. A sunshade is included to reduce glare and shields the objective lens from rain and snow.
Angled view eyepiece: 45° from the objective lens for more comfortable viewing
Dielectric coated Porro Prism design
XR and ArmorTek scratch-resistant multi coated lenses
80mm objective lens
Waterproof and Fogproof
Rotating tripod ring
High-impact, fiberglass-reinforced body
Built-in retractable sunshield
Fine focus knob
VIP unconditional/unlimited lifetime warranty
Threaded mount for tripods
Proprietary coatings increase light transmission with multiple anti-reflective coatings on an all air-to-glass surface
O-ring seals and prevents moisture, dust, debris and fingerprints from penetrating/spoiling the spotting scope for reliable performance in all environments
Vortex DiamondBack 20-60×60 Spotting Scope Review
Have you been searching for a lightweight spotting scope that still performs as a heavyweight version? No need to continue your search. Say hello to the Diamondback 20-60×60 spotting scope from Vortex.
Guaranteed by Vortex’s lifetime VIP warranty, The Diamondback 20-60×60 delivers the brightest, clearest, most color-accurate images through the magnification range thanks to the multilayer coatings. The scope’s rugged and durable construction withstands use after use in the field.
Featuring a relatively smaller objective lens, the straight viewing 20-60×60 spotting scope uses specialized optical coatings and an all air-to-glass surface which includes anti-reflective coatings to minimize light loss. In addition, these coatings are ArmorTek coated for scratch resistance.
All of Vortex Diamondback spotting scopes have porro prisms for maximum image quality and performance in a traditional design. By using porro prisms, an improved depth of view is created over roof prisms. This unique combination of coatings and optics create an outstanding spotting scope that produces highly contrasted images.
One distinct advantage of porro prism scopes is that they are much easier to manufacture. Consecutively, this means exceptional image quality and better optical performance for the best prices possible. Another advantage of the 20-60×60 straight spotting scope is its fast target acquisition. It’s also very user-friendly.
Using O-rings, optics are sealed to prevent moisture, dust, fingerprints and debris from getting inside the spotting scope. Nitrogen gas purging gives you a neat, fogproof and waterproof performance. Still another unique feature of both the straight and angled versions of the 20-60×60 is the use of BAK4 prism glass. Typically, BAK4 is seen as a preferable type of glass to the BK7 version of glass because of its higher refractive index rate and round exit pupil.
Also included with the Diamondback 20-60×60 spotting scope is a tripod collar that rotates to permit the eyepiece to be placed at the best viewing angle. A retractable sun/rain shade to keep the elements off of the objective lens, adjustable twist-up eyecups and a rotating tripod ring, is also included.
The angled scope was designed for more ergonomic and comfortable use. Its value lies in the fact that it allows for an overall lower mounting height, which maximizes stability when you need it the most.
It doesn’t matter if you’re in windy terrain or seated comfortably in a tree, the Diamondback 20-60×60 angled version spotting scope offers you greater comfort when glassing for extended periods. In addition, the scope permits the use of a smaller, lighter tripod and is the most compatible design for use with car window mounts.