Home » Binoculars » Vortex Diamondback 10x42 Binoculars Review - New & Improved Version (DB-205)

Vortex Diamondback 10x42 Binoculars Review - New & Improved Version (DB-205)

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vortex diamondback 10x42 binoculars
Image Credit - Vortex

Magnification: 10X
Power Variability: Fixed
Objective Diameter: 42 mm
Close Focus Distance: 6.7 ft
Dimensions: 5.8 x 5.1 inches
Weight: 21.4 oz
Field of View: 330 feet/1000 yards
Eye Relief/Exit Pupil: 15 mm/4.2 mm
Optics Coatings: Fully multi-coated
Glass: BAK-4
Prism System: Roof
Focus System: Center
Waterproof/Fog-proof: Yes/Yes
Eye cups: Twist-up
Tripod adaptable: Yes
Rangefinder: No

Best Uses: Hunting, For the Range, Bird Watching, Wildlife Observation, Sight Seeing

Update: These Diamondback binoculars (DB-205) and the classic Diamondbacks (D241) have both been discontinued by Vortex Optics. The newest version of this popular classic is the Diamondback HD 10x42 which you can check out at Optics Planet and Amazon.

Vortex Diamondback 10x42 Binocular

Everyone loves Vortex because they're an American brand that have proved themselves in the tight optics industry. Their optics range from entry-level to advanced and state-of-the-art tools that any hunter and glasser would gladly love to own. One of the favored series of binoculars that recently went under the knife was the Diamondback Series. The new to 2016 10x42 model looks sleeker and sexier than ever.

2016 Diamondback 10x42 Binoculars
Image Credit - Vortex

The newer Diamondback underwent a bridge upgrade with a shorter than ever design allowing full grip around the barrels. It's more compact and slimmer for the hunter who wants to scale down on bulky gear.

On top of having fully multi-coated lenses, the Vortex 10x42 has also got dielectric coatings to keep lightwaves in phase for ultimate image quality. As expected, the Diamondback is fully waterproof and fogproof with Argon gas for maximum durability in the field. Whether it's pouring down on you or you drop your binoculars, you know your Vortex will be good as gold no matter the abuse you can dish out. The durability is also thanks to the upgrade in chassis from polycarbonate to magnesium that also results in a lighter weight optic.

Looking past the popularity of this 10x42 binocular, there is a very small percentage of buyers who seem to be very confused with their Diamondback buy. Some claim they've received counterfeit binoculars, but Vortex isn't aware of any counterfeits. With some more prying into these claims, we've discovered the truth that we'll layout in the Q&A. Apart from this misconception, the Vortex Diamondbacks are stunning binoculars for the buy. You really can't compete in this price range if you want quality bundled into an affordable price!


  • Price
  • Dielectric coatings
  • New bridge design
  • Accessories included
  • VIP Unconditional Lifetime Warranty


  • Buyer misconception

Vortex Diamondback 10X42 (New Model) Q&A:

Are there Counterfeit Vortex Diamondback binoculars?

If you're purchasing from Vortex or a reputable and licensed retailer, either local or online, you won't receive a counterfeit. The claims come from the fact that the most recent model doesn't have "Vortex" printed anywhere on the body. This is true for the new model, although, you can still get the new 2016 model with "Vortex" instead of "Diamondback" printed on the face.

The old model had "Vortex" printed on the face of the binocular, but the new ones underwent a change in branding when they switched out manufacturing facilities for the new 10x42 Diamondback. The new 2016 Diamondback binocular is 100% legit.

Vortex Optics Diamondback Roof Prism Binoculars 10x42
  • 10x magnification and 42mm objective lenses, these Diamondback binoculars are the workhorse of Vortex lineup; known for impressive optical quality and durability.
  • Dielectric, fully multi-coated lenses transmit more light and clearer, brighter images. A field of view that is one of the largest in its class helps you efficiently...

What Optical Upgrades did the New Diamondback get?

The Diamondback Classic models feature the phase-corrected prisms that are specific for roof prism binoculars. While they're a great feature to have, especially with such cheap price tags, the new Diamondbacks received an upgrade. The new models feature dielectric coatings.

What are Dielectric Coatings?

Dielectric coatings are a premium feature seen on some expensive optics. The purpose for it is to improve reflectivity over a length of the optical plane in the binocular to ensure lightwaves (color) stay in phase while also providing anti-reflective benefits against glare and unwanted reflections. This multi-layered coatings results in sharp resolution, contrast, and color fidelity. It also eliminates chromatic aberration.

What are the Main Differences between the Diamondback Classic and the New one?

The new Vortex Diamondbacks have a reconstructed bridge, are lighter in weight, more compact, and received optical and chassis upgrades. You can check out some of the size differences in the chart below. The first binocular in this table is the newer 2016 model and the second is the Diamondback Classic.

Vortex Diamondback 10x42 binocular Comparisons
Image Credit - Vortex

What Accessories come with the Vortex 10x42 Binoculars?

The diamondback binocular comes with an eyepiece cover, tethered objective lens covers, neck strap, and a deluxe, custom-molded carry case.

Are the New Models Diamondback 10x42's Easier to Use?

Rear View of Vortex Diamondback 10x42 Binocular
Image Credit - Vortex

When it comes to ergonomics, the newer Diamondbacks have the upper hand.

Not only does the reconstructed bridge make it easier to carry, they also sport thumb indents for comfortable use while glassing.

Plus, as I have already mentioned, the 2016 model is marginally smaller and more lightweight than the Diamondback Classic.

I think there is a clear winner here.

Does the Carry Case have Belt Loops?

The carry case has a zipper with hooks to be used with a strap around the shoulder. It doesn't have loops to be used with a belt.

Which Diamondback Binoculars are more Expensive?

Surprisingly, they're going for the same street prices online. For the upgrades, it's worth it to go with the newer Diamondback binoculars if you want the latest technologies that it's been outfitted with.

YouTube video

Noteworthy Features:

  • Multi-layered dielectric coatings
  • Comparable in price to Diamondback Classics
  • Upgrades include optical, chassis, and bridge
  • Logo design upgrade
  • Ergonomical design with thumb indents

Our Verdict on the New Vortex 10x42 Diamondback Binoculars

To glass it up, the Vortex Diamondback 10X42 binoculars are a superb buy for its price class - that is why they are our pick of the best binoculars under $300. Vortex has always done it best when it comes to offering the best of everything - glass, quality, price, and warranty. Because the Diamondbacks represent high performance for a low price, it's one of our favorites!

The Vortex Viper HD 10X42 takes upgrades to a whole new level with ArmorTek, XR coatings, ED glass, and a locking diopter. It will cost you almost twice the price of the Diamondback for the upgrades, but Vortex isn't a brand that disappoints.

For a few bucks more, you could also see how the Nikon Monarch 5 8X42 binoculars compare. Find out what the difference between 8x42 & 10x42 binoculars are so you can choose the one best suited to your needs. You may be losing in power, but you'll be gaining in optical quality - think along the lines of ED glass and Eco-glass features!

It's no secret that we're partial to Vortex - many loyal hunters are too. They're an excellent brand with outstanding optics that go the extra mile.

Update: These Diamondback binoculars (DB-205) and the classic Diamondbacks (D241) have both been discontinued by Vortex Optics. The newest version of this popular classic is the Diamondback HD 10x42 which you can check out at Optics Planet and Amazon.

Further Reading

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Simon Cuthbert - Founder

Simon is an avid outdoor enthusiast and the founder of Target Tamers. He is passionate about bringing you the most up to date, accurate & understandable information on sports optics of all kinds and for all applications. Simon has contributed to notable publications online and teaches beginners the technical side of optics through his extensive library of optics guides.

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