Vortex is acclaimed for creating well-known binoculars, like the Crossfire and the Diamondback. Despite their similarity, these binoculars are priced differently.
Does the more expensive Diamondback give you better value for money? Or does the Crossfire offer similar performance at a lesser cost?
Let’s explore the similarities and differences between these binocular models.
The Vortex Crossfire and Diamondback binocular models share an almost similar physical appearance. Both are also tripod-adaptable, meaning you can mount them on a tripod. This can help free your hands or improve the stability of the image.
Despite the similarity in appearance, they slightly vary when it comes to construction, durability, and optical performance, as discussed below:
The Vortex Diamondback
Here are the pros and cons of the Vortex Diamondback.
- Argon purging provides superior weather resistance
- Shorter close focus distance
- Great low-light performance
- Larger field of view
- Better grip
Larger Field of View
The field of view of your binoculars is the width of the area you can view at a specific distance. It is often calculated at 1,000 yards. The Diamondback boasts a slightly larger field of view than Crossfire.
Shorter Close Focus Distance
The close focus distance of the Diamondback model measures just 5 feet. The Crossfire has a comparatively longer close focus range spanning 6 feet. Whenever you need to focus on any object nearby, the Diamondback’s shorter close focus comes out on top.
Superior Weather Resistance
Diamondback holds up better to water and weather conditions because of its argon purging and weatherproofing. It features an argon-sealed O-ring, meaning it’s fully impenetrable to water or fog.
Argon molecules are fairly large compared to nitrogen molecules. Thus, there’s a reduced chance for argon molecules to leak out following an impact, making argon purging more weatherproof. You, therefore, don’t have to fret about internal moisture or fog with this optic.
High Quality and Durability
The Diamondback binoculars’ body features an anodized coating that offers improved durability. And just like its Crossfire counterpart, it is encrusted in rugged rubber armor. This means it can endure an unintentional fall without a drop in performance. It can also withstand impact and recoil a lot better thanks to its argon purging.
Small and Light
You will have an easier time carrying and storing the Diamondback model than the Crossfire. That’s because the Diamondback is 48 grams lighter than the Crossfire. The small size and portability of the binoculars come in handy, especially in remote locations where you have to wear them around your neck for the better part of the day.
Close Focus of Five Feet
With a close focus of just 5 feet, the Diamondback model gives you an easier time focusing on objects close by. If you’re an avid bird-watcher, then this is your best option.
330-foot Field of View
The Diamondback boasts a field of view spanning 330-feet. The Crossfire, on the other hand, has a 325-feet field of view.
Better Low-light Performance
The Diamondback boasts the ability to enlarge any light source, regardless of how minimal it is. This is due to its dielectric, entirely multi-coated lens. The multi-coated optics improve light transmission with several anti-reflective coverings, which act as a distributed Bragg reflector.
Thus, the Diamondback can yield a clear-cut, bright image even in low-light conditions. The Vortex Crossfire binoculars, on the other hand, provide a decent level of reflectivity in low-light conditions, but it doesn’t come close to the Diamondback. This is because it doesn’t have the same distributed Bragg reflector feature despite having fully multi-coated lenses.
The next sections explore the cons of the Vortex Diamondback.
The Diamondback models are far more expensive compared to equivalent varieties of the Crossfire. One of the reasons for this is the much costlier argon purging, which adds to the hefty price of the Diamondback binoculars.
You can expect to pay between $50 and $100 more for a Diamondback model than its Crossfire counterpart. However, Diamondback offers more lens strength varieties, which affords you more of a cost spread.
Now that you know more about the Diamondback, let’s shed some light on the Vortex Crossfire to help you make a better decision when choosing between the two.
The Vortex Crossfire
Below are the pros and cons of the Vortex Crossfire
Pros of Crossfire
- Much more affordable than the Diamondback
- Resistant to drop damage due to rubber armor
- Fair levels of weather resistance
Costs Much Less
The relatively lower price of the Crossfire models makes them a better alternative if you’re looking for something that’s more affordable. You can save up to $100 over its Diamondback counterpart. Of course, the savings mean a lot for the average user compared to the slightly better performing but pricier Diamondback series.
Protection From Drops
Similar to the Diamondback, Crossfire binoculars are wrapped in a robust rubber armor that offers durable external protection from drops and impacts.
Good Weather Resistance
A binocular that is completely weatherproof is advantageous outdoors. This is because fog, moisture, dust, and debris cannot damage it. So it maintains reliable performance irrespective of the environment.
The lenses and seals of binoculars are typically purged with gas to make them weatherproof. In this case, the Crossfire models are purged using dry, dust-free nitrogen. Nitrogen purging guarantees the Crossfire binoculars will remain resistant to internal fogging over different temperatures.
Slightly Heavier and Bulkier
The Crossfire binoculars are a bit heavier compared to their Diamondback counterparts. Let’s compare the equivalent Crossfire and Diamondback 8X42 models. The Crossfire weighs 666 grams and has dimensions of 6.2 inches by 5.1 inches. In contrast, the Diamondback weighs 618 grams with dimensions of 5.8 inches by 5.1 inches.
If you also compare other model series, you will notice the Crossfire binoculars are heavier and bulkier.
Close Focus of Six Feet
Crossfire binoculars have a close focus distance of 6 feet. The Diamondback binoculars have a slight upper hand with a close focus of 5 feet. Nevertheless, the Crossfire binoculars are still a decent option, given that a while ago, few binoculars had a close focus within 10 feet. Crossfire binoculars can be used perfectly by hunters during their hunting expeditions.
Field of View That Spans 325 feet
The Vortex Crossfire binoculars have a field of view of 325 feet at 1000 yards. When you compare it with the Diamondback series model, there isn’t a great disparity in terms of field view.
- Longer close focus distance
- A more limited field of view
Both the Vortex Diamondback or Crossfire binoculars are great choices. Both model series are high-quality binoculars that are priced under $300. They are suitable for activities like bird-watching and hunting. Deciding which of the two is the best option all boils down to your preference.
The Vortex Diamondback binoculars have the upper hand when it comes to quality of construction and optical performance. They are small and light and offer a high level of reflectivity through their multi-coated lenses. They also provide better magnification, even in low-light conditions, and unmatched weather resistance.
If cost is a major motivating factor for you, then Crossfire binoculars are a better choice. Their low price offers better value for money, especially considering the minimal difference in performance compared to the higher-priced Diamondbacks.
Winner: Vortex Diamondback