Vortex Diamondback Spotting Scope Review

When it comes to finding the right spotting scope, you’ll be overwhelmed with hundreds of available options. If you’re someone that feels a bit confused about the product they should buy, you’re at the right place.

Vortex is one of the most reputable vendors of optical instruments in the market. They’re an American-owned company that has run in the same family for generations. The company has solidified itself as a powerhouse in the world of spotting scopes. The one we’re reviewing today is none other than the Vortex Diamondback Spotting Scope.

A Bit About Vortex

Before we get into the product itself, let’s talk about the people who made it. The company started in 1986. The proprietors were Dan and Margie Hamilton. It started as a small store that transitioned into Vortex Optics in 2002.

It’s an American-owned and operated company as stated above and the thing that has kept them in business would be their dedication to Americans. They’re extremely proud of their product and have all the right to do so. Vortex is, right now, one of the best options in America when it comes to spotting scopes.

The main reason why people rely on Vortex for their optical equipment would be the VIP Unconditional Lifetime Warranty on their products. Warranties usually come with loopholes, terms, and conditions, strict timelines, etc. Vortex doesn’t believe in any of that.

The warranty provided on Vortex products, and the Diamondback, is unlimited and unconditional. You don’t even need a receipt or some warranty form to claim the warranty. Vortex doesn’t even care how you broke the product. The only thing the producers care about is that the product is broken and they have to fix it.

First Impressions

The very first noticeable factor of the Diamondback comes from the way Vortex designs its range of products. Their scopes have an extremely premium look to them while maintaining an affordable price like no one other.

The second thing we saw was the size of this scope. Vortex managed to create one of the most compact 80mm scopes you’re ever going to find. The design is compact, small, robust, it’s a lightweight and easy to carry scope that just isn’t that common in the world of spotting scopes.

Another thing worth noticing would be the sheer quality of the covering pouch that the scope comes with. A lot of manufacturers, even some of the grade-A ones, just don’t care about the cover. They simply send a cheap cover with the scope and call it a job well done. Vortex, on the other hand, manufactured their nylon case with padding protection for the scope.

Vortex really squeezed in every ounce of functionality they could into the cover and it shows. You don’t even need to remove it all the way. Just unzip the cover from both ends to use the scope. There’s another zipper just under the tripod mount to support that as well. Apart from protecting your cover from environmental factors, the cover also adds a level of fall protection to it. It’s obvious that Vortex designed the case very cleverly.


The scope comes with two different eyepieces; straight and angled. Both eyepieces come with a dioptric correction adjustment to accommodate varying visual acuities. You may think that the knob might mistakenly move during use, but, it can be locked tightly to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Under the scope, there’s another knob for magnification adjustment. The knob starts out pretty firm at first, but it loosens up after a few uses.

The Lenses

Vortex offers a specialized coating on the lens of this scope. The coating excels at creating bright visuals for the user to see. The surfaces also have Vortex XR; the company’s own anti-reflective coating to prevent the loss of light. To add to the quality of visuals and keep them consistent for a long time, the lenses are coated with scratch-resistant ArmorTek coating.

The Diamondback uses a specialized prism called a Porro Prism to maintain the accuracy of colors in the scope. The prism is able to cover the complete visible spectrum, hence giving it the accuracy it has.

The dielectric coating on the prisms would be another huge benefit associated with them. The benefit of this coating is the extremely low light loss it allows. A dielectric coating only loses less than one percent of the light that passes through the Porro prism. This number paired with the Porro prism’s existing color accuracy results in a sharp, bright, and clear image.


The best part about all the knobs on this scope is that it works impeccably even under extreme weather conditions. Even the scopes are completely sealed off with O-rings to prevent moisture, dust, and water from getting into the scope. Moreover, the glasses are purged with nitrogen to make the lenses fog proof as well. So, if you’re planning on using a scope in non-conventional weather conditions, Diamondback is an amazing choice.

Tripod Mount

The tripod mount for the scope is entirely universal. It supports any mainstream mount that can be used with a spotting scope. The Diamondback has a lock screw which offers a nice level of customization allowing you to tilt the mounted scope as per your needs.

Practical Sunshade

Another reason why we adore the Diamondback would be the sunshade. Sunshades in scopes are sort of useless because of how loose and ‘droopy’ they are. You have practically no benefit of them since they keep falling down every time you hoist them up midway.

In the Diamondback though, Vortex actually managed to make, not only a usable sunshade but a good one. Even when the sunshade is in the middle position, Diamondback manages to lock it in place with no chance of it closing on you. This might seem like a minor feature but it’s something that people will thank Vortex for.

Optical Zoom

The main thing about the zoom is the lack of distortion. Even in the most premium of spotting scopes, you never zoom in to the maximum. Zooming in to the maximum means that you’ll completely distort the image. This is sort of something that users just get accustomed to.

However, this is not the case with the Vortex Diamondback. It has almost zero distortion even at full zoom. Such a precise and accurate spotting scope at such an impeccable rate isn’t something really common.

The Final Verdict

Our verdict on the Diamondback is that it is absolutely amazing. It does a lot of little things right that most mainstream producers never really give much care to. It somehow managed to pack an abundant amount of quality into such a compact and affordable package. Vortex has outdone themselves with the Diamondback and has created something that’s a great addition to any hunter’s arsenal.

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