Vortex Optics Razor HD 27-60×85 Angled Spotting Scope (RS-85A) – with Wide Angle Lens

Viewing Configuration: AngledVortex Razor HD 27-60x85 Spotting Scope
Magnification: 27-60X
Power Variability: Variable
Adjustable Eyepieces: Yes
Eyepiece included: Yes
Objective Diameter: 85 mm
Close Focus Distance: 16.4 ft
Length: 15.5 in
Weight: 65.6 oz
Field of View: 117-68 ft/1000 yards
Eye Relief/Exit Pupil: 17-16.7 mm/3.1-1.4 mm
Optics Coatings: Fully multi-coated
Glass: BaK-4
Focus System: Center/Dual
Waterproof/Fog-proof: Yes
Digiscope adaptable: Yes

Best Uses: For the Range, Bird Watching, Wildlife Observation

Our Rating:

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Vortex Razor HD 27-60X85 Spotting Scope Review

Razor 27-60x85 Side On(1)Just when you thought the Razor spotters couldn’t get any better – they did! “The newly-engineered Razor HD” went under the knife and now sports an even more powerful magnification range, improved optics, and a completely new focus mechanism. There’s quite a few differences setting it apart from the old Razors, so let’s dive right in!

The 27-60×85 model comes in both angled and straight designs. The glass has been painstakingly coated with specialized formulas such as the XR Plus Fully Multi-Coated and Dielectric Prism Coatings via the Plasma Tech technology. Under the coatings, the APO glass system contains high density, extra-low dispersion glass elements. All of this fancy jargon adds up to some unreal image quality that’s razor-sharp!

The old Razors used to have separate fast and fine focusing dials on the same knob. The new Razor scope now features the Helical Focus with a collar-style mechanism on the body of the spotter. Both fast and fine adjustments can be made with more precision with easier use.

Other than the body and Helical Focus, there’s also been a major change with the eyepiece lens. The gist of it is, the new, wide-angle lens can now offer the same field of view at a much higher magnification (27x) as what was seen at lower magnification (20x) on the previous model. Speaking of eyepiece lenses, the Razor HD maintains the interchangeable eyepiece system.

For a beloved scope that was revamped and released in 2016/17, it’s done pretty well for itself. It seems the changes have gone over well with Vortex loyalists. Everything from optical quality to aesthetics and construction integrity have critics stumped – it’s sharp-looking and clarity is razor-sharp. However, it seems a ranging reticle is in high demand, and without the availability of one for the Razor, buyers might be holding out until there is one!

PROS:
  • Price
  • Excellent coating quality
  • Excellent glass quality
  • Helical focus
  • Wide-angle lens
CONS:
  • No ranging reticle available – yet!

 

Vortex Optics Razor HD 27-60×85 Q&A:

Is there a Ranging Reticle for the Razor HD?

Vortex used to have a few ranging reticles for the old Razor spotters. Unfortunately, they no longer have a ranging reticle available for the new Razors. However, as of a few months ago, the word on the street is that Vortex is working on a ranging reticle. Keep your eyes peeled because it will change the high-precision game like never before!

 

Are there any other Eyepieces Available for the Vortex Spotting Scope?

LER 2Yes! The LER-2 replaced the LER-1 eyepiece for the Razor spotters. It’s specifically designed for the 65 and 85 mm Razor spotters, so you won’t be able to use it on the 11-33×50 Razor model – you won’t need it for that scope anyway. On the 65 mm Razor, it offers fixed 18x magnification and 163 feet/1000 yards field of view. On the 85 mm Razor, it offers fixed 22x magnification and 131 feet/1000 yards field of view.

The eyepiece itself is fully waterproof and fogproof. It also features ArmorTek, XR Lens Coatings, and high density ED glass elements. Better yet, it’s also a long eye relief eyepiece with 31 mm of forgiving eyelash and nose bridge room!

 

What are the Optical Differences Between the Old and New Razors?

On paper, the optical coatings and glass used is identical between the two Razors. However, the wide-angle eyepiece to produce a wider field of view with flat field images changes the glassing experience by a lot. You also have buyers that swear by the new and improved model. They say it reflects sharp resolution with snappy contrast across the entire field of view that cuts through the “noise” of brush and obstructions to focus right on your target with color accuracy to produce true-to-life image quality.

 

Can you see Bullet Groupings at 1,000 yards with a Vortex?

We love this question! Atmospheric conditions, namely mirage, make it difficult to see groupings at shorter distances than this with scopes that cost twice the price of this Razor HD. Even your choice of bullet and type of target can affect seeing groupings at 500 yards. With that said, in good conditions on steel, you might be more than surprised how far you can see your groupings with this Razor. 400, 500, or 1000 yards might just be easily within reach.

 

Why is the High Price of the Razor HD a benefit?

The Razor HD spotting scope is the flagship line for spotters from Vortex. It has every feature Vortex can possibly jam-pack into a spotter. Considering these factors, the price is definitely a low one considering comparable spotters with the same high-end features that cost twice and triple the cost of the Razor HD. In our books, it’s a reasonable buy.

 

What are the other Razor HD models?

This is the 27-60×85 model that replaced the 20-60×85 version. There is also the new 22-48×65 model that replaced the 16-48×65 version. But, the model that has remained and seen Razors come and go is the superb 11-33×50 spotter that we reviewed here!

 

Where is the Vortex Razor HD made?

The Vortex Razor HD line of spotting scopes are made in Japan.

 

Noteworthy Features:

  • APO lens system with high density ED glass elements
  • High-quality and high-end optical coatings
  • Improved Helical Focus collar with fast and fine adjustments
  • Interchangeable eyepiece system
  • Long eye relief (31 mm) wide angle fixed magnification eyepiece available

 

Our Verdict on the Razor HD 27-60×85 Spotting Scope

Vortex HD 27-60x85 Spotting Scope Side OnThe scoop on the scope is, the Vortex Razor HD 27-60×85 spotter is a masterpiece at a reasonable price. The quality is proven, and the glassing experience is unforgettable. The old model was popular as it was, and this new version is out of this world, but not out of your budget!

However, if a cheaper price is something you’re always on the lookout for, consider the newly upgraded for 2018 Viper HD 20-60×85 or the 15-45×65 model. They’re fresh on the shelves and under $1000. They also sport the collar Helical Focus mechanism the Razors have too!

To really give you an idea of how much you should appreciate the Razor HD spotter’s price tag, you should check out the fantastic Meopta MeoStar S2 82 HD Spotting Scope. It’s a beauty alright, but it’s more expensive, and it doesn’t include an eyepiece in the purchase.

The Razor spotting scope more than qualifies as a high-end spotter with maximum spotting potential that can rival the more expensive ones. It doesn’t take much to be sold on Vortex – it just takes one experience, a razor-sharp experience!

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