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Are they worth it?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/14/2008 at 09:10
caincutter View Drop Down
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Morning all-
 
I have a question that's probably been answered and discussed ad nauseum, but can't seem to find it specifically in my search.  If so, please forgive and help out if you will. 
 
My question is, are the higher end scopes really worth the price of admission?  The reason I ask is I had a hunting situation the other day that left me wondering.  I hunt in south MS and in primarily close quarters (100yds and closer, pine thickets, oak flats, etc.) and the 200-300yd shots are uncommon.  My rifle is a 7mm-08 with a 2.5x8x36 Vari-X III.  I've had the scope for about 6-7 yrs now and have been happy with it.  That is until the other day..........
 
At 5:30pm, I had a deer walk out right under my tree.  When I pulled my rifle up, I could just make out the body but couldn't tell if it was a buck or not.  The deer walked around under my tree for 10-15 more minutes before finally wandering off.  I'm hunting a very good deer in this pine thicket and I couldn't tell if it was him or not.  Walking back to the truck, all I could think of was if a Kahles or a Zeiss would've really given me an edge.  Granted, it was getting dark and I was looking down into a dark thicket, but I couldn't help but wonder "what if?"  Now, I know the upper tier scopes are superior optically, and I wouldn't expect one to flip a light switch, but would one give me those extra minutes?  
 
I've had my eyes on a Kahles C 1,5x6x42 on the sample list.  Would that be a combination that would fit my needs?  Thanks in advance for any help and sorry for the long post.
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/14/2008 at 09:21
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yes without a doubt the kahles would make a difference as would a zeiss. not taking anything away from your old varix3 cause they are good scopes, but the quality of the glass and coatings applied to them has been improved since that scope was made.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/14/2008 at 09:37
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The reason I bought a Kahles sight unseen was looking through the scope you have.  I got the 2-7 AH off the sample list.  It is clearer at all settings, but not as much at the highest powers.
 
For close stuff the 1.5x6 may be a better fit.  Zeiss also has a 2.5x8  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/14/2008 at 09:37
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That is when you can tell the difference big time with the superior quality scopes dusk and dawn. They definately give you an edge. I had a similar instance as yours the only reason I was able to make the buck out and make the shot was due to the optics on the gun!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/14/2008 at 10:16
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Just so you know, a trijicon would have helped immensely as well. Make sure that you get a scope that has a thick post like a 7a or such I think that's right, but that will help if you go with a scope that doesn't have any illumination.
Welcome to the OT 


Edited by cyborg - January/14/2008 at 10:16
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/14/2008 at 10:22
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Welcome, caincutter!

My take on this question is "sometimes they are, sometimes they aren't."
 
The premium optics are definitely better, but whether or not they are 2X or in some cases 3X better than mid range scopes relative to the difference in the price tag is something nobody can answer but you.  Is having an extra 15 minutes of low light visibility in the early morning & late evening hours worth $700 - $1200 extra above and beyond what you pay for the average "decent" scope to you?  Keep in mind that you may have the scope for the rest of your life and use it for many hunting seasons to come, so factored over a lifetime, that may not be such an insurmountable price tag.  To me, it is worth having a couple high end scopes for this reason, but I couldn't afford to scope all my rifles with them.  Truthfully, there isn't a great deal of difference between the super premium $1500+ 30mm scopes and some of the better 1" tube scopes from brands like Zeiss, Kahles, Swaro, etc.  Some people just don't place a high value on great optical performance, which is certainly fine, and they still have no trouble killing their share of game.  It's all a matter of what's important to you and how picky you are about optics.  I have optics of all quality levels, and all will do the job.  But, I enjoy using my "good stuff" better. 

The type of hunting you intend to use the scope should also play a big factor in your decision.  If most of your hunting is during good light, most scopes will work just fine.  If you hunt a lot in low light, or especially if you frequently hunt at night (where legal) for critters like predators and feral hogs, having premium optics provides a definite advantage.



Edited by RifleDude - January/14/2008 at 10:25
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/14/2008 at 11:12
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Buy what you can afford! I cant afford anything better than a Weaver and to be honest, If you need a scope to light things up for you, its time to go to bed, Not hunt.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/14/2008 at 11:17
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i disagree with you there, a good scope will help you make that shot at last possible light

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/14/2008 at 11:20
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Thanks for all the reply's.  I agree rifledude about the investment.  To me, it's not a question of initial price, because if you buy premium products with a lifetime warranty, then, in theory, it's a one-time cost.  My concerns mainly rested in the fact that I don't want to buy into names or hyperbole;  if I pay for "best" then I want it to actually be "best" in hunting situations.  My Leupold is what it is-a fine scope that's served me well so far.  It has it's limitations, yes, and now I'm ready to move up.  It's just hard to spend money sometimes on something that you've not had any experience with.  Probably like most folks, in my family and where I hunt, you don't see a Zeiss or Swaro sitting atop every blued barrell.  I come here to hopefully read accounts of some knowledgeable people, such as yourself, to give real world experiences.  I can then take that, look for myself, and make an educated or well-informed decision ( I hope Big%20Grin).
 
Again, thanks for the responses and keep the good info coming.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/14/2008 at 11:37
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 It really comes down to opinion. It is a matter of fact that a very expensive scopes will often give you more minutes of shooting time , most of the time.  It is a matter of opinion whether killing that deer is worth 700 or a thousand dollars more than the scope you have.
 Keep in mind that no matter what you get, there is or soon will be something better.  You can spend your whole life and a lot of money continually upgrading, or resign yourself to the fact that some of them get away...
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/14/2008 at 11:39
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What made me step up to Kahles was I could not see in my riflescopes what I was seeing in my 7x42 Zeiss binoculars in low light. It is discouraging to see a nice buck in the thick stuff or long range in low light. Then go to the rifle and not be able to pick it out. This has happened when there is a small herd, too. I see them in the binos then go to make the shot and then it's "which one is it". Nothing but brown bodies and no head gear.



Edited by tahqua - January/14/2008 at 13:58
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/14/2008 at 13:57
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In answer to your question is it worth it? TO me yes it is and yes I did, I UPGRADED to the better optics......
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/14/2008 at 14:25
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I doubt you will be disappointed!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/14/2008 at 14:39
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I hunt a lot with a Kahles 3-9X42 CL and a Leupold VX III 2.5-8X36 (half the price, but better than your Vari X III).  Is there a difference in low light? Well, maybe, ...sometimes,.....probably no real difference.   The Kahles has a big beautiful picture; really nice to look through.  The Leupold is not as nice, but as I've said here before, neither it or some of my cheaper scopes have ever kept me from making an ethical, legal shot in low light.  Sounds to me like you need binoculars.  A scope is not for telling if it's a buck or not.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/14/2008 at 14:48
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Mike, while I agree that bino's are the ticket, I have to disagree to some extent with the reasoning. When light is low, and animals are moving sometimes trying to pick out the buck from the others can be hard at best, the third one from the front might not be the buck by the time you get the scope up. That's why I would disagree. So I'll take the better optics. Hey to each their own though. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/14/2008 at 14:58
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Dissappointed? No, Broke? Yes!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/14/2008 at 14:59
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i think we are splittin hairs here -
 
good glass (binos AND scope) are equally important in my opinion.
 
having both has made me a more effective and ethical hunter.
 
where i hunt in SC, 90% of your shots on the big bucks are taking in fading/poor light.
 
it makes or breaks it for me.
 
my 2 cents.  The kahles CL will give you 10-15 more minutes of hunting over that vari-x.
but so will a zeiss conquest in the proper configuration.
 
J
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/14/2008 at 15:00
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and to illustrate - i talked a buddy of mine into a pair of 7x50 fujinon binos, and he is sitting 15 minutes longer in the evenings and shooting more quality deer.
 
glass really matters.
 
J
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/14/2008 at 15:01
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Originally posted by TJ TJ wrote:

Dissappointed? No, Broke? Yes!
the price you have to pay for success sometimes
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/14/2008 at 15:13
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Glass absolutely matters, no question. Get the best glass you can almost afford. In other words save a little longer and hunt a little longer, the correlation is uncanny.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/14/2008 at 15:14
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Originally posted by caincutter caincutter wrote:

...if I pay for "best" then I want it to actually be "best" in hunting situations.    It's just hard to spend money sometimes on something that you've not had any experience with. 
 
The "Best" is the best because it actually is, not because of any hyperbole, otherwise the premium scopes wouldn't have survived on the market for as long as they have given their price tags.  However, just like many other things in life, the law of diminishing returns kicks in at some point where you pay an increasingly hefty premium for increasingly smaller improvements in optical performance.  So, at some point, you have to evaluate at what point the price tag to continually jump up in quality is no longer worth it to you.  You are very wise to ask these questions, because even though you should get a lifetime of service, a high end riflescope is still a big investment.  As such, it's hard for me to recommend to anyone to go out and spend $1500 - $2000 on a rifle scope, unless it is some specialized optic like a specific tactical or varmint scope.  Even though I can certainly recognize and appreciate the quality and optical performance of these uber-scopes and even own a couple myself, that's a huge investment for something you will use only to make the occasional shot at game.  I'm not at all saying you shouldn't buy one, but once you get into that price bracket, I don't want someone being angry at me for my recommendation if they don't see things the same way I do.  Also, there are quite a few very good riflescopes in the $750 - $1000 price range that are almost as good as the $1500 + scopes optically.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/14/2008 at 15:30
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I tell you where I drew the line for my average scope purchase, right where they were bright enough to allow me to sit until the final minute of legal shooting light and not have to pass anything up due to glass quality. Now different states have different laws concerning this so I can only go by where I hunt and how dark it can get there, worst case scenario. Thats 1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 after, thats also in thick heavy overstory cedar and spruce bogs in cloudy, rainy, snowy, or foggy weather. What one guy in the open hardwoods and field edges can see at the end of legal shooting light is nothing compared to what the guy down in an area where its dim in mid day light has to contend with come dusk. I picked the dimmest areas I hunt in the worst visibility weather and the conquest was my minimum scope to use with sufficient brightness and resolution. Doesn't mean I don't want to eventually get a scope in the next optical level but it will only be one and the rest just require as good as needed. At night hunting coyotes by moonlight I don't think you can have a bright enough scope no matter what you spend.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/14/2008 at 15:34
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Originally posted by mwyates mwyates wrote:

I hunt a lot with a Kahles 3-9X42 CL and a Leupold VX III 2.5-8X36 (half the price, but better than your Vari X III).  Is there a difference in low light? Well, maybe, ...sometimes,.....probably no real difference.   The Kahles has a big beautiful picture; really nice to look through.  The Leupold is not as nice, but as I've said here before, neither it or some of my cheaper scopes have ever kept me from making an ethical, legal shot in low light.  Sounds to me like you need binoculars.  A scope is not for telling if it's a buck or not.
  I am with Cyborg on this you need good binos to but a Kahles vs. a Leuopold, Kahles will definately give you an extended time frame to shoot due to the superior quality of glass and light gathering. While binos are important the scope is also important. (IMHO) What help does it have to be able to look at the buck and see it through the bino's if you can't see which one to shoot through the scope.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/14/2008 at 15:36
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+ 10 Focus on the reasoning. You are exactly right. I've used an IOR in that type of an area, Cut overs it's really more a matter of choice.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/14/2008 at 15:51
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Same thing has happened to me many times.  When its "show time" all the deer seem to come out at once.  I use my binos, which are superior to my scope in resolution and light transmission, to judge and determine if an animal is a shooter or not.  If the scope I am using is not above average I will not be able to see any where close to what I saw through my binos.
 
If you hunt with a binocular that is equal to or lesser quality compared to your scope you are missing a lot of game.  Many times the game you can see through a high end binocular will be past legal shooting times or right at the limit.  Using a high end scope could get you in trouble with the game warden.  I can't tell you how many times I've been the last one back to camp because I could still see and still hunt.  Even if you can't shoot legally, you can see what is coming out and pattern it back to its bed and or food source to have a chance at it during legal hours.
 
The best way for us to sell you a high end scope is to sell you a high binocular first. Wink
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