Leupold Gold Ring vs Vortex Razor HD - test results


Feb 12, 2013
First things first. I am not an optics expert. I am simply a dude testing out some optics in a man-made glassing situation. This is just an informative FYI. Not meaning to show bias or talk down about any company.

Just completed a test on a couple of Vortex Razor HD spotting scopes vs. an old Leupold Gold Ring that I have had since about 2004. Being a part-time taxidermist I used a full body mule deer that I just completed and placed it on the edge of a hay field behind my brothers house at about 1000 yds directly east of his back patio. The deer was in the green uncut field at the edge with gold colored grass in part of the background and trees directly behind the deer. At the patio we had a brand new 16-48x65mm Razor HD and a 20-60x85mm Razor HD (fresh from Camofire), and my trusty old 12-40x60mm Leupold Gold Ring (recently overhauled by Leupold, due to an eye piece malfunction 2 yrs ago). The test was done from about 8:30pm until dark. At 8:30 the sun was just about to set and the heat wave mirage was still quite visible in all 3 scopes, but at that point, I was surprised to see that the 85mm Razor and the Leupold were very close in clarity vs the 65mm Razor. As the heat waves slowly faded away, it became evident that the 85mm Razor was on top, the Leupold was a clear 2nd, and the 65mm Razor was in 3rd place. We tried to be fair with all optics and compare them on the same power levels, and also at each of there own respective full magnification settings. Each time the order was the same. I was surprised and a little disappointed in the 65mm Razor HD to be honest. As light faded to damn near dark, it was evident that the 85mm Razor could gather light better and the clarity was the best of the 3 on the same magnification settings. The 85mm could be at about 15x higher power vs the Leupold to make them optically the same (clarity, contrast, and light gathering), and the 65mm had to be about 10x less than the Leupold to make them optically similar. The other surprising fact. In trying to read a sign on the center of the pivot in this field at about 400 yards, the Leupold seemed to have the widest field of view of all 3 of the scopes at the same power setting (20x). This was the best way I could come up with to create a definite apples to apples field comparison, viewing the same exact object in the same exact pose.

hopefully some of you find this information useful.