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Vortex Crossfire HD 10x50 Review

If you don't mind the heavy weight, these could be for situations that require high magnification that doesn't compromise the brightness of the lens
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Vortex Crossfire HD 10x50 Review
Credit: Abriah Wofford
Price:  $220 List
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Manufacturer:   Vortex
By Benjamin Hickok and Jessica Riconscente  ⋅  Dec 23, 2023
58
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#9 of 16
  • Clarity - 35% 6.1
  • Brightness - 20% 7.3
  • Comfort - 15% 3.2
  • Field of View - 10% 4.7
  • Ease of Adjustment - 15% 5.4
  • Close Focus Range - 5% 8.2

Our Verdict

The Vortex Crossfire HD 10x50 offers good clarity and brightness for its affordable price. With a design, materials, and features common to Vortex's whole line of binoculars, you get entry-level performance with the refinement of a product that comes from time spent designing and building more premium optics. While we thought the optical performance of this model was impressive for an affordable tier of binoculars, its field of view could be better, and when considering the price point, it might be worth budgeting just a little more for the next step up in Vortex's lineup. See our review of the best binoculars for better options.
REASONS TO BUY
Great clarity at this tier
Good light transmission and brightness
REASONS TO AVOID
Heavy
Poor field of view

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Overall Score Sort Icon
58
71
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52
Star Rating
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Bottom Line Hefty, but good for high-magnification situationsOne of the best overall values on the market, particularly for mid-range price shoppersAmong the best optical clarity and brightness we've seen for the priceA great choice for birders on a tight budgetDecent clarity and compactness make these a good budget option for traveling, backpacking and hiking
Rating Categories Vortex Crossfire HD... Vortex Diamondback... Nikon Monarch M5 8x42 Celestron Nature DX... Nikon Trailblazer A...
Clarity (35%)
6.1
6.2
6.0
5.8
5.0
Brightness (20%)
7.3
8.1
7.6
7.4
3.5
Comfort (15%)
3.2
6.6
5.9
5.4
7.9
Field of View (10%)
4.7
8.4
5.2
6.8
5.2
Ease of Adjustment (15%)
5.4
7.1
6.7
6.6
4.4
Close Focus Range (5%)
8.2
8.9
8.5
7.5
8.3
Specs Vortex Crossfire HD... Vortex Diamondback... Nikon Monarch M5 8x42 Celestron Nature DX... Nikon Trailblazer A...
Measured Weight 31.2 oz 23.1 oz 23.7 oz 22.8 oz 10.5 oz
Measured Interpupillary Distance Range 65mm - 78mm 56mm - 75mm 56mm - 75mm 57mm -74mm 38mm -75mm
Measured Size 7.0" x 4.7" 5.7" x 5.1" 5.8" x 4.5" 5.4" x 4.5" 2.7" x 4.1"
Measured Close Focus 6.8 ft 5.5 ft 6.2 ft 8.0 ft 6.6 ft
Measured Eye Relief 18.0 mm 18.0 mm 19.0 mm 18.0 mm 10.5 mm
Glass Type HD HD ED BAK-4 Eco-Glass
Magnification 10 8 8 8 10
Objective Lens Size 50 42 42 42 25
Claimed Field of View 320 ft 393 ft 335 ft 388 ft 342 ft
Claimed Close Focus 6.0 ft 5.0 ft 8.2 ft 6.5 ft 11.5 ft
Claimed Eye Relief 17.0 mm 17 mm 19.5 mm 17.5 mm 10 mm
Waterproof/Fog Resistant Not mentioned Yes Yes Yes Yes
Tripod Adapter Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Measured Lux Reading from Brightness Testing 1020 lux 1163 lux 907 lux 823 lux 237 lux

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison


vortex crossfire hd 10x50 - vortex has presented a nice entry point to large affordable...
Vortex has presented a nice entry point to large affordable binoculars with this model.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Clarity


The Vortex Crossfire HD 10x50 offers good clarity for its mid-tier price, approaching the clarity that is generally only achievable from much more premium models we've tested. In our testing, we did experience a yellow fringing on all objects, like a subtle glowing shadow, and a magenta hue on objects at the top edge of the lens. We also observed slight distortion at the top and bottom edges. All in all, this model provides the best-in-class clarity among several comparable products in our test lineup.

Our clarity tests with the Vortex Crossfire HD 10x50.

Brightness


We factored exit pupil size, observed brightness, and measured brightness in our brightness testing. In our observed brightness test, objects were easily seen and distinguished, whereas they disappeared with other models in fading light more quickly. The large 50 mm lenses do a great job of transmitting observable light, which was also validated by objective measurements.

These are large optics that offer good performance at an entry level price point.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

In our testing, the Vortex Crossfire HD 10x50 transmitted 1020 Lux, whereas the smaller Diamondback HD 8x42 measured closer to 1200 Lux despite being disadvantaged by a lens that is 8 mm smaller. However, the Diamondback comes from the next tier up in Vortex's product lineup and more than likely uses higher-quality glass and coatings. Overall, good brightness is another win from this affordable model.

vortex crossfire hd 10x50 - large lenses transmit a lot of light for a bright experience.
Large lenses transmit a lot of light for a bright experience.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Comfort


The Vortex Crossfire HD 10x50 binoculars are hefty, weighing in at 31.2 ounces. Unfortunately, the weight can be felt while in use due to the model's front-heavy, badly balanced mass. We found the strap to be pretty standard — it gets the job done of resting the binos around your neck with adequate comfort, but you can still feel the heft of this model.

In addition to good clarity and brightness, these large optics offer a workout.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Field of View


In our field of view testing, we used an upright wooden fence to measure the field of view at a set distance. We were only able to observe 49 fence boards, whereas more than 60 were seen clearly with a few of the top models tested. This is a below-average result and a setback to otherwise good optical performance from the Vortex Crossfire HDs.

vortex crossfire hd 10x50 - we were less impressed by the narrower field of view from this model.
We were less impressed by the narrower field of view from this model.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Ease of Adjustment


The Vortex Crossfire HD 10x50 does not have a locking diopter, which is only present on the most premium models. However, the focus knob is more exposed on this model, which allows for more rotation with a single press of the finger, than is possible with many other models. Fortunately, for those who wear glasses, you won't have an issue achieving a good focus using this pair of binos, which isn't true of all models we tested. We also measured the eye relief at 18 mm, which is a hair better than the manufacturer's stated specifications.

Across our ease of adjustment testing, the Vortex Crossfire HD 10x50 proved to be straightforward to operate, about what we might expect at the price point and from more entry-level pairs of binos, but it still left a little to be desired.

Neither bad nor exceptional, the ease of adjustments are decent on this model.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Close Focus Range


The Vortex Crossfire HD 10x50 has an impressive close focus range that we measured at 6.8 feet, which is a number that is closer to the measurements taken on top-tier models than it is an entry-level optic.

vortex crossfire hd 10x50 - the crossfire hd offers an impressive close focus range, good for...
The Crossfire HD offers an impressive close focus range, good for close range experiences.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Should You Buy the Vortex Crossfire HD 10x50?


While the Vortex Crossfire HD 10x50 is a good pair of binos, at the multi-hundred-dollar price point, we feel that it is reasonable to budget just a little more for a step up in performance. Therefore, we'd suggest passing on these and looking at other top-ranked binoculars.

vortex crossfire hd 10x50 - vortex includes its signature chest harness for carrying binoculars.
Vortex includes its signature chest harness for carrying binoculars.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

What Other Binoculars Should You Consider?


For a little more money, we recommend the Vortex Diamondback HD 8x42 over the Vortex Crossfire HD 10x50. It costs a bit more but offers greater clarity, brightness, field of view, close-range focus, and ease of use, and is also more comfortable to handle. If you're looking for a compact pair of binoculars at an even lower price to take to your kid's soccer games or the zoo, we recommend the Nikon Trailblazer ATB Waterproof 10x25. These offer just the right amount of clarity without spending hundreds of dollars. You can find other affordable options in our review of the best binoculars.

Benjamin Hickok and Jessica Riconscente