Introduction

In this article, I will compare Vortex Crossfire 10×42 and Delta Forest II 10×42. Both are entry-level 10×42 binoculars that can be purchased for a very reasonable price. What is good about them is not just the price but also their optical properties.

Vortex company has managed to establish a reliable and well-known brand in the last few years. It was founded in 2002 and their main ideology still remains the same to this day – professional and fast service. Vortex is becoming an increasingly famous and powerful name in the world of optical devices.

Delta Optical company has also been on the market since 2002, but it has already established itself in Central and Eastern Europe as a provider of products with a very good price/quality ratio. It was founded in Poland by a group of experts who had previous experience in the field of sports optics. Delta Optical cooperates with well-known Japanese opticians that produce high-quality optical devices that are consistent with the philosophy of the company.

This article is a comparison of the external and internal properties of the two binoculars and their quality of observation based on estimates of 6 randomly chosen people.

Vortex Crossfire 10×42 (left) Vs. Delta Forest II 10×42 (right)

Size & Weight

 Vortex Crossfire 10x42Delta Forest II 10x42
Weight:660 g710g
Width:129.5 mm123 mm
Length:152.4 mm134 mm
Max interpupilary dist.76 mm74 mm

When comparing these two binoculars side to side, it is obvious that Crossfire is much bigger and wider. Crossfire armoring is made of soft black and hunting green rubber with ellipse-shaped thumb rests on the underside of the barrels. These binoculars are both very well built and are excellent for observation in nature because their appearance blends in nicely with nature and the surroundings. Their build quality is, according to their price, satisfactory, the rubber on both is nicely shaped and strong and so are the plastic details.

Forest II is smaller in size but much heavier than the Crossfire. The rubber the binoculars are coated in is in the hunting green color and very soft – unfortunately, not the best type of surface for bad weather conditions since it gives a poorer grip. The thumb rests on the barrels are missing too, instead of them there is an additional line underneath the binoculars and it sort of serves for a more comfortable handling and holding. The design of the binoculars is very simple and plain, yet very suitable and nice.

Vortex Crossfire 10×42 (left) Vs. Delta Forest II 10×42 (right)

Optical Properties

 Vortex Crossfire 10x42 Delta Forest II 10x42
Prism type: Roof - Schmidt/Pechan Roof - Schmidt/Pechan
Lens Diameter:42 mm42 mm
Magnification: 10x 10x
Variable Magnification: No No
Coatings: Fully Multi-coatedFully Multi-coated
Close Focus:2.4 m 2 m
Field Of View: 99 m / 1000 m119 m/ 1000 m

10×42 configuration is, as mentioned in previous articles, the best selection for those who are taking observations more seriously and plan to observe the details. They are perfect for birdwatchers and those who visit natural and safari parks often. This configuration is better for observing on longer distances, however, the 10×42 binoculars will perform worse In low light conditions than the 8×42. You will get the feeling of being closer to the object when observing. It will also produce a more noticeable level of shake in your hands compared to the binoculars with a lower magnification. Though it is still bearable, some users prefer to mount their 10×42 devices on a tripod.

The images you get with these two binoculars are very bright and detailed. Their lenses are fully multi-coated with BaK-4 glass used on the roof prisms that serves for a higher light transmittance.

Compared to Crossfire, Forest II has a shorter close focusing distance which is even better for observing objects that are closer to us and has a much wider field of view with a good resolution and edge-to-edge sharp image.

Vortex Crossfire 10×42 (above) Vs. Delta Forest II 10×42 (below)

Vortex Crossfire 10×42 (above) Vs. Delta Forest II 10×42 (below)

Focus Properties

 Vortex Crossfire 10x42Delta Forest II 10x42
Focusing system:CentralCentral
Central Wheel Grasp: 8/107/10
Central Wheel Rotation:8/108/10
Diopter Setting:Right-eyeRight-eye
Central Wheel Diameter:32 mm 28 mm
Central Wheel Length:25 mm25 mm
Total Revolution: 700°405°
Bridge Length (Without the CWL):46 mm55 mm

The binoculars both have a central focusing system with the right-eye diopter setting. The grasp of Forest’s knob is slightly worse than on the Crossfire. Also, the knob on Crossfire is bigger and therefore easier to rotate when wearing gloves. It is covered in black soft rubber with vertical notches on the surface. Forest’s knob is also coated in black rubber and has additional bars on the surface. As for the grasp, I gave 8/10 to Crossfire and 7/10 to Forest.

The rotation is similar on both; it is sturdy, not too fast or loose, and makes no sound. You will need to take a little more time to focus with Crossfire since you can make almost two whole turns with its knob. I have evaluated both with a good 8/10.

The diopter setting rotation is a bit loose on Crossfire and hard-to-rotate on Forest. Both have the same design as the rotation knob.

Bridge length is shorter and therefore much more comfortable on Crossfire. The weight and ergonomics of the binoculars are truly excellent.

Vortex Crossfire 10×42 (left) Vs. Delta Forest II 10×42 (right)

Eyepiece Properties

 Vortex Crossfire 10x42Delta Forest II 10x42
Eyepiece Type: Multi-positioned Multi-positioned
Number of Click-stops: 1 (turn and slide)2
Eye Relief: 15 mm15 mm
Exit Pupil:4.3 mm4.2 mm
Firmness:8/106/10
Quality:6/106/10
Suitable for Eyeglass Wearers:YesYes
External Diameter:40 mm40 mm
Internal Diameter:20 mm20 mm

The eyepiece on both binoculars is multi-positioned with a turn and slide mechanism. Crossfire eyepiece offers only one click-stop and Forest two. Forest’s click-stops are actually hard to notice when rotating the eye-cups and are therefore less precise and inconvenient to adjust. As for the material, the rubber used on them is very uncomfortable when pressed to the face. It does not adjust to the shape of the face around eyes since rubber is that hard. I have evaluated their firmness and quality both with a 6/10. The firmness of Crossfire’s eye-cups is more convincing, although the rubber they are made of is thin and gives a plastic feeling too. However, when rotating, they feel more stable and secure. I gave them 8/10 for firmness and 6/10 for quality.

Vortex Crossfire 10×42 (above) Vs. Delta Forest II 10×42 (below)

Vortex Crossfire 10×42 (right) Vs. Delta Forest II 10×42 (left)

General Properties

 Vortex Crossfire 10x42Delta Forest II 10x42
Housing Material:Plastic, RubberPlastic, Rubber
Armoring: RubberRubber
Quality of Armoring:8/106/10
Quality of Covers:8/107/10
Build in Rangefinder:NoNo
Waterproof:YesYes
Submersible:YesYes
Filled With:NitrogenNitrogen
Number of Colors:11
Tripod Adaptable:YesYes
Made in:ChinaChina
Introduced in:20122011
Warranty Period:10 years5 years
MRSP Price:€219.00€149.00

Both binoculars were introduced almost one after another and unfortunately, in spite of Vortex’s younger model, Crossfire was not possible to surpass Forest II in terms of optical properties. Nevertheless, these two binoculars are similar in most of the external and internal characteristics. Both have a rubber armoring, are filled with Nitrogen and O-ring sealed for the water and fog resistance. The armoring is more appealing and better made on Crossfire and therefore got a better rating for the quality- I gave 8/10 to Crossfire and 6/10 to Forest II. The armoring on Forest II gives a feeling of not being strong enough to withstand falls or any other extreme conditions. Although the manufacturers claim that the exterior is durable and strong, it does not seem to me at first glance to be like that.

Both binoculars have their covers attached to the barrels; Crossfire has them on rubber bands that can be removed and the ones on Forest are installed on the binoculars and fixed. Covers for the Forest II do not fit that nicely into the openings and require more time to be closed. It also bothers me they cannot be removed. I have evaluated them with a 7/10. Crossfire’s covers are better made and fit the barrels nicely. I rated them with an 8/10.

Both binoculars are made in China, available in one color, and tripod adaptable. Vortex gives you a 10-year warranty period for their Crossfire and Delta Optical gives 5 years for their Forest II. The latter is approximately 70 Eur cheaper than Crossfire.

Vortex Crossfire 10×42

Delta Forest II 10×42

Group Test

How we made the test

We made the test with a group of 6 people with very diverse knowledge of sports optics. Some had previous experience with binoculars and others almost none. We compared central and edge sharpness, glare, real FOV, eye-box and overall impression. Everyone in the test group tested binoculars individually without being influenced by other people. We also covered down any brand signs on binoculars, so no one was influenced by knowing which company manufactured which.

 Vortex Crossfire 10x42Delta Forest II 10x42
Central Sharpness:1/65/6
Edge Sharpness:1/65/6
Glare: 3/63/6
Real FOV:0/66/6
Eye-box:1/65/6
Overall impression:0/66/6

The results of the test were very surprising. Forest II turned out to be the winner in almost all categories and impressed all who tested it. Only results for the glare ended in a tie. With its exceptional field of view and sharpness of the image, it convinced all 6 people to buy it instead of Crossfire.

Conclusion

Both binoculars offer a lot for their price and give really good optical attributes, especially Forest II. If I wanted binoculars that have a really nice physical appearance, I would go for Crossfire, but if I did not care that much for the look and wanted better optical performance, I would choose Forest II without a doubt.

Crossfire comes packed in black sport-looking bag and Forest II in a hard black case. Both have a neck strap and cleaning cloth included.

Disclaimer

This test wasn’t financed and is unbiased. As a wildlife enthusiast interested in sports optics I made these tests because I would like to see how binoculars perform and if they meet the advertised expectations. With this test, I also hope that it will help people choose the right binoculars for their personal use. I am not in any way connected with the manufacturers of sports optics and I’m not personally in favor of a particular brand.

In the end, I would like to thank Optics-trade.eu for lending me these binoculars for the test. I also thank them for letting me use their videos.

The following two tabs change content below.

Written by heuxbf

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *