Vortex Diamondback 12x50 Binoculars Review
Have you ever stumbled on a pair of binoculars and could not resist the urge to buy it right away? Personally, I have and not on one occasion. As a binocular enthusiast who spends most of his time in the great outdoors, I can be an impulsive buyer of binoculars.
So when I stumbled on the Vortex Diamondback 12X50 while shopping for a new hunting rifle, I could not resist the urge to buy it. After all, my Diamondback collection would not be complete without this highly-rated and surprisingly reasonable pair. It has been three years since I bought my trusted Diamondback and it is still one of my go-to pair of binoculars and for good reasons. If I said that I regret my unplanned purchase of this binocular, I would be lying and here is why.
Binoculars Guru's Unbiased Vortex Diamondback 12x50 Binoculars Review
Roof Prism Design
I am one of those people who believe that Porro prisms are the dinosaurs of the optical instruments industry. As such, I have always preferred roof prisms to their older counterparts. The reason being that roof prism binoculars are easier to hold and weigh less compared to their Porro prism binoculars. Also, in a roof prism, binocular light travels in a straight path as opposed to a zig zag path as is the case in a Porro prism binocular. The only drawback with the roof prism design is that light tends to reflect off the prism leading to images being blurry and less sharp. Nevertheless, since the Vortex Diamondback 12X50 has phase corrected prisms, this is not something to worry about. Compared to some of the Porro prism design binoculars I have used, this Diamondback model produces sharper images with better contrast.
Fully Multicoated optics
Most mid-level binoculars that I have used usually have one or two layers of coating on their optics. So it came as a surprise to me that the Vortex Diamondback 12X50 has fully multicoated optics. What this means is that all the optics are coated with multiple layers to enhance light transmission and contrast. The result is high-quality and bright images even in low lighting.
Since I spend a lot of my time in the great outdoors, I am very critical of how a binocular performance in harsh weather conditions. Fortunately, for me, this Diamondback model has a robust and rugged rubber exterior coating. This rubber coating has protected my Diamondback from knocks, bumps and even falls for the last three years. To top it all off, the binocular has ridges sculpted on its barrel for a better grip. Thus, the chances of you dropping this binocular are very small regardless of how wet your hands are.
Fog and waterproof
A great roof prism binocular needs to be both water and fog proof. And since, the Diamondback 12X50 is right up there with the best; it well protected from both water and fog. Inside the binocular’s barrels, Vortex pumped in argon gas, which prevents fogging. On the other hand, the lenses sealed with o-rings that prevent water intrusion. Also, the lenses coated with a water repellant coating.
Pros of Vortex Diamondback 12x50 Binoculars
- Comes with a padded neck strap and a carrying case
- Has a VIP lifetime warranty
- Can use in extreme weather conditions
- The roof prism design of the binocular makes it durable and lightweight
- Is an affordable binocular considering its features
- Is easy to carry around
- Is both water and fog proof
Cons of Vortex Diamondback 12x50 Binoculars
- Does not have a good field of view especially when compared to other binoculars in its price range.
Features of Vortex Diamondback 12x50 Binoculars
- 12X magnification
- 50 mm objective lens
- Roof prism design
- 18 mm eye relief
- Fully multicoated optics
- 31-ounce weight
- Tripod mount
Frequently Asked Questions
- Does this binocular come with a case and lens cover?
Answer: Yes, you get lens covers for both the ocular and objective lens as well as a carrying case
- Where is this binocular made in?
Answer: All Diamondbacks including this one are manufactured overseas mostly in the Philippines. However, most of the parts serviced in Wisconsin.
- Does this binocular require a tripod?
Answer: Although this Diamondback has a tripod mount it is very unlikely that you will ever need a tripod to use it
As an owner of several Diamondback binoculars, I can confidently say that they are among the most rugged and durable binoculars out there. Also, they offer great value for your money. That being the case, the 12X50 Diamondback is a better performer compared to its siblings the 10X42 and the 10X50. The only area where the other Diamondbacks outperform the 12X50 is in the field of view. The Diamondback 12X50 is, therefore, a great and inexpensive binocular for birdwatching.
Related Read: Which Vortex 12x50 Binoculars Should I Buy?