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  • Photo studio & optics

Photo studio & optics

Photography and optics

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Latest reviews

Read the experiences of our customers.

National Geographic telescope + microscope set with smartphone adapter

2 Apr 2020
“Just Brilliant. In its own case. Promptly delivered. Many thanks. Paul”
National Geographic telescope + microscope set with smartphone adapter

Vortex Razor HD 10 x 42

27 Mar 2020
“I did a lot of research as these might be my last pair of bins assuming they last 20+ years! I had a budget of £1,000 and the main criteria, apart from obviously good optics, was close focus, lightweight, good eye relief (as I wear spectacles) and comfortable to use. My budget meant I couldn't afford the Swarovski ELs which a friend has and are excellent but I narrowed my search down to three candidates, the Minox APO, Kowa Genesis and Vortex Razor. On paper, probably in that order of preference. The Minox are no longer made and are difficult to source for under £1,000 so I ordered both the Kowa 10x33 (£750) and Vortex 10x42 (£710) from Frank as they have the free return option and were on offer and I got a Black Friday deal! Both pairs have excellent optics with very little to choose between them. The Kowa have a slightly closer focus (<5ft) although I found the Vortex close focus was better than stated at around 5.5ft which is more than adequate for watching bees, bugs and butterflies. The Kowa are lighter coming in at around 590g while the Razors are 698g (using my kitchen scales). The Vortex have a greater eye relief (16.5mm) although the Kowa were OK and there was nothing to choose between them for Field of View. However, when it came to using the bins the Vortex just seem so much nicer to use. They are very comfortable and the eyecup and focus wheel motion are very smooth while the Kowa was stiffer and less responsive. The Vortex also come with their life-time VIP warranty which is second to none. So after much deliberation I went for the Vortex and so far have not regretted it. I've been using them for 3 months and they have been with me to Senegal and out and about in the UK and I have no complaints yet. The optics are superb and to be honest I don't think the Swarovski ELs at twice the price would be twice as good. My only quibble is the case that comes with the Vortex which is a front pouch with a harness. It sounds good but having tried it out, it just doesn't work for me. Like most birders you want to have your bins at the ready so if you wear the pouch you either have to have them inside the pouch which then takes several seconds to get them out....and you've missed the bird, or you have the bins outside the pouch in which case they don't sit comfortably as the pouch is in the way! The neck strap is very good so I just use that and a separate shoulder bag to drop them in at the end of the day.”
Vortex Razor HD 10 x 42

Vortex Diamondback HD 10x42 Binoculars

18 Mar 2020
“These are absolutely cracking binoculars for a bit of leisurely bird watching / mammal watching. They are relatively small and light but feel well built. Comfy to hold, easy to adjust and really good optics. I nearly bought some second hand ones off E-bay for not much less than these were new. Price from Frank was way cheaper than I could find elsewhere and turned up in a few days. It makes a change for something to exceed expectations, but these do.”
Vortex Diamondback HD 10x42 Binoculars