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Vortex Diamondback HD 8×32 Binoculars: Our Review

A very small binocular with a bright, crisp image—we rate these a Solid Choice.

At A Glance

dark green and black binoculars
Vortex Diamondback HD 8×32 binoculars. Photo by Hugh Powell.


  • Compact, easy-to-hold design
  • Very bright, crisp image
  • Very good field-of-view
  • Outstanding close focus


  • Slightly stiff focus wheel
  • Thin, difficult-to-adjust eyecups
  • Not good for people with close-set eyes


  • Price: $260 at press time. Prices often fluctuate, so check with retailers
  • Close focus: Listed at 5.0 feet (152 cm). In tests, we could focus these binoculars down to about 3.8 feet (117 cm)
  • Field of view: 8.1° (425 feet at 1,000 yards). More about field of view 
  • Weight: 17.5 oz (495 g)—that’s about 0.25 oz (7 g) lighter than the average for compact binoculars in our review. Compare binocular sizes and weights
  • Eye relief: 16 mm

Viewing Experience: This binocular is a great option that combines very small size with bright optics (though some users with very close-set eyes found the binoculars could not adjust to fit them). Looking at the smallest of the small compacts in our review, the Vortex Diamondback HD provided the brightest image, very crisp in the center with little distortion when panning or focusing. On a spring morning in New England, Red-eyed Vireos and Tennessee Warblers had stopped over in the same patch of woods. These binoculars helped resolve the very sharp, pointy bills of the Tennessees. We also enjoyed watching the subdued brown and yellow-orange of a female-plumaged American Redstart singing from the understory. The wide field of view and outstanding close focus would make these a good choice for insect viewing.

Feel and Build: These are sturdy binoculars with attractive styling and a good feel thanks to a slight texture on the sides of the barrels and shallow indents for thumbs. Though the focus wheel was slightly stiff, it delivered quick, accurate focus changes. While admiring the bright blue of a distant Eastern Bluebird, we quickly adjusted to focus on a pale-yellow swallowtail butterfly on a nearby milkweed. The eyecups on the pair we tested had an odd issue where the outer covering of the eyecup spun freely and made it a bit more difficult to adjust. Additionally, we found the thinness of that outer covering a bit uncomfortable. The neck strap was wide and well-padded.

Comments From Testers:

  • Image very clear
  • Bright, wide field of view
  • Hard to use with glasses

This article is one in a series of mini-reviews. To see how these binoculars compare to others we’ve tested, see our full review of affordable compact binoculars.  

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