GEAR REVIEW: Vortex Razor HD 12×50 vs. Razor UHD 12×50 Binoculars

By Johnny Mack

Purchasing high quality binoculars is an investment that should not be overlooked and can impact the outcome of your hunt. Over this last year, I had the pleasure of trying out a few different models of Vortex Optics and was able to compare them side by side.

12×50 Razor UHD (L) vs 12×50 Razor HD (R)

My Experiences

When comparing the Razor UHD’s to the Razor HD’s there is a significant improvement in clarity and quality which is to be expected when paying upwards to $500 more for a binocular. My biggest complaint was that the Razor HD’s 12×50 binos that I compared were made in China. I own Razor HD 10×42’s that I have had for several years now and the original HD’s were made in Japan. When I compared the Japan made Razor HD’s 10×42 to the Chinese made Razor HD 12×50 I was disappointed as the focus area and clarity seemed to be smaller on the Chinese made 12×50’s. For the amount of money one would pay for the Razor HD’s, I would look to find Japan made HD’s or go for the UHD’s.

Pros and Cons of 12×50 HD’s


  • Light
  • Compact
  • A big improvement over the Viper lineup


  • Price vs. Qualtiy
  • Hard to use with bino adapter
  • Made in China

Pros and Cons of 12×50 UHD’s


  • Clear & Crisp
  • Great edge to edge quality
  • Japanese glass


  • Larger & Heavier than Razor HD’s
  • Expensive
  • Price tag requires comparison to European glass



PRICE – MSRP: $1,499.99 RETAIL: $1,099.99

Prism Type – Roof Prism

Magnification – 12x

Objective Lens Diameter – 50 mm

Linear Field of View – 285 feet/1000 yds

Height – 6.8 inches

Width – 5.1 inches

Weight – 28.7 oz

The Vortex Razor HD is made in the China.


  • Rainguard eyepiece cover
  • Tethered objective lens covers
  • Comfort neck strap
  • GlassPak binocular case
  • GlassPak binocular harness


PRICE – MSRP: $2,299.99 RETAIL: $1,599.99

Prism Type – Abbe-Koenig

Magnification – 12x

Objective Lens Diameter – 50 mm

Linear Field of View – 288 feet/1000 yds

Height – 7.6 inches

Width – 5.9 inches

Weight – 36.5 oz

The Vortex Razor UHD is made in Japan.


  • Objective lens covers
  • Ocular lens cover
  • Accessory/Ammo Pouch
  • Harness and case
  • Comfort neck strap
  • Lens cloth

Schmidt–Pechan (ROOF) Prism vs. Abbe-Koenig prism

Roof Prism (Razor HD’s)

  • Cheaper than binoculars with Abbe-Koenig prisms
  • Pretty good image with slight distortion
  • Prism is very compact which supports lightweight and smaller binoculars

ABBE-KoENIG prism (UHD’s)

  • Expensive compared to binoculars with roof prisms
  • Quality image with minimal distortion
  • Prism design requires longer length vs roof prism
  • Good low light visibility

YOUR NEXT binoculars

When choosing binoculars, my first recommendation is to buy the best that you can. If you are on a budget, remember that higher end binos have great resale value if you need to free up some cash. Both of the binos compared are great and carry Vortex’s VIP lifetime warranty which is amazing. My biggest hesitancy is the price tag that the Razor HD’s carry for being made in China.

Thanks for reading this gear review.  If you want to know more about our experience with the binoculars, click HERE and send us a message. In the meantime make sure to go subscribe to the Washington Backcountry YouTube channel as well as follow us on Instagram @Washington_Backcountry.  Knowledge is power and MENTORSHIP IS CONSERVATION.

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