For those looking to acquire a pair of binoculars that are a step above the traditional “budget” level, the Viper line and the Signature line from Vortex and Burris Optics respectively are some of the best prosumer level binoculars you can find on the market today.
Vortex Viper vs Burris Optics Signature Binoculars
The Burris Optics Signature line and the Vortex Viper line are representatives of the line of binoculars that both manufacturers create as a step up from their standard entry-level optics systems. The Viper is a step up from the Vortex Diamondback entry-level binoculars, and the Signature level will be a step up from the Burris HD level. They will both be more costly than their base models
One thing you can check off of your comparison list right off the bat is the prism type. Both the Vortex Viper and the Burris Optics Signature feature a roof prism. This gives them optimal image quality vs. economy.
Both of these models, the Vortex Viper, and the Burris Optics Signature feature a maximum magnification of 12x. This makes them both ideal for anything that you need to spot in close-range, mid-range, and long-range distances, up to and even beyond 1,000 yards.
Objective Lens Diameter
One of the biggest potential areas of potential benefit or drawback is the objective lens size. Not only does big glass take up big space, but it also frequently contributes to big weight as well. That isn’t really a concern with the Signature and the Viper.
Both the Viper and the Signature feature a 50mm objective lens. This gives them both a great ability to capture light and provide a clear, bright image, without making them too large, heavy, or expensive.
Angle of view
The angle of view is going to be incredibly important for those looking to use their binoculars for anything beyond a medium-range application. The angle of view dictates how wide your field of view is going to be, which isn’t that big of a deal at low magnification levels, but it can be a significant difference at 1,000 yards.
The angle of view for the Burris Optics Signature is a respectable 4.8°. The angle of view for the Viper, however, is nearly a full degree wider, at 5.5° (Actual). This may not sound like a lot, but when you take a look at your 1000-yd field of view, you’re going to see a significant difference.
Field of View
Your field of view is an important metric when you’re comparing one optics system to another. It represents a side-to-side width measurement at a point far in the distance. Generally, the wider your field of view, the better.
The field of view on the Signature is 251' @ 1000 yd (83.3 m @ 1000 m), while the field of view is more than 30 feet long on the Viper. The field of view on the Vortex Viper measures 288' @ 1000 yd (95.6 m @ 1000 m).
Minimum Focus Distance
The minimum focus distance is the absolute closest that your binoculars can focus on an object. For many people, this may not be that big of a concern, but if you use your binoculars to watch anything that may move and change its distance from you, it can become important.
The Signature can focus on something as close as 13.1' (4 m). The Viper, on the other hand, can focus on an object nearly 4 feet closer, at a distance of 9.5' (2.9 m).
Exit Pupil Diameter
There is a small difference in exit pupil size between the Vortex Viper and the Burris Optics Signature. The Burris Signature has an exit pupil of 4.2 mm, and the Viper comes in just slightly smaller at 4.1 mm.
Eye relief is incredibly important, and is one of the biggest factors to consider when comfort is a primary concern. Shallow eye relief means you’ll need to keep your eyes much closer to the exit pupil to get a clear image. Greater eye relief allows you to keep the binoculars further away from your eyes while maintaining a full and clear image.
Luckily, between the Vortex Viper and the Burris Optics Signature, there is only one half of a millimeter difference in eye relief length. The Burris Optics Signature eyebox is 15.5 mm, while the Vortex Viper’s is 16 mm. While the difference may be negligible in any practical sense, the information is important to have.
The design of the Vortex Viper and the Burris Optics Signature is so close that they have the same interpupillary adjustment range. On both the Viper and the Signature, this measures 58 to 74 mm (2.2 to 2.9”). This provides a significant range of adjustments for manual focus.
Both the Vortex Viper and the Burris Optics Signature are going to utilize the conventional center focus type. This consists of a wheel between the two optical housings that acts as the focal adjustment.
Both models are fog proof, with the Burris Signature having a nitrogen purge, and the Viper having an argon purge.
You can confidently take the Viper and the Signature into the field without worrying about the elements.
The Signature has a physical size of 6.8 x 5.1" (172.7 x 129.5 x 50 mm), and the Viper of 6.5 x 5.2" (16.5 x 13.2 cm).
The Vortex Viper and the Burris Optics Signature are closely-matched in many ways and few result in a closer comparison than the weight of the two. With the Burris at 28.7 oz (813.6 g) and the Viper at 28.8 oz (816.5 g), the difference between the two is just 2.9 g in favor of the Signature.
There certainly are some similarities between these two, but there are also some fairly stark differences. In the end, it’s going to largely depend on what you feel fits your personal needs and use case best.