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Can (or does) chromatic aberration cause misses?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/19/2012 at 22:36
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Optics Apprentice
Optics Apprentice


Joined: July/03/2012
Location: Arizona, USA
Status: Offline
Points: 111
Maybe 'cause' isn't quite the right word, but I had an experience today I've not had before.

I was out in the desert shooting at 100 yards at a ~12" round Shoot-N-C target.  The kind that's black, with the high-viz yellow (sort of greenish-yellow) rings, and a high-viz orange dot at the very center.

Anyway, looking through the scope (parallax-adjustable, and properly adjusted out for the range) I had a new experience (for me).  As I was centering my eye behind the scope, the orange aiming spot in the center of the target would move _significantly_ relative to the yellow rings, the black overall background of the target, and also relative to the crosshairs.  I thought it was a parallax problem at first, but shortly I recognized that the yellow rings were stable in their position relative to the crosshairs.  It was definitely _ONLY_ the bright orange spot that was moving around.  I've never seen/noticed this before (I don't shoot that kind of target much).  Is it common?

I've seen CA at the edge of colored and white edges before, but I've never seen one colored part of a target move relative to another.

If I was shooting at 'natural' targets like big game animals, black & white paper targets, or gray to white rocks & pieces of steel, would this kind of thing be an issue that would/could make a person miss a target?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/20/2012 at 08:26
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Optics Jedi Knight
Optics Jedi Knight
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Joined: January/08/2007
Location: Oklahoma
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Points: 7180
What scope are you using?  My first thought is that you are seeing mirage. Different color wavelengths will separate and bend different amounts per the conditions. If the scope has a small sweet spot this will aggravate the condition.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/21/2012 at 22:58
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Optics Apprentice
Optics Apprentice


Joined: July/03/2012
Location: Arizona, USA
Status: Offline
Points: 111
I understand mirage to be the 'shaking' or shimmering/moving of a target within the field of view.  Is that what you mean?  That was certainly happening, but the thing I'm trying to grasp is why ONLY the orange aiming dot was moving around as my eye moved around and through the optical centerline of the scope.  The orange dot would move relative to the rest of the target, as well as relative to the crosshairs.  The yellow rings (and scoring numbers) weren't moving relative to anything.  Also, I could reliably center my eye behind the scope by 'centering' the orange aiming spot relative to the yellow-green rings around it.  I had to hold still, of course, but so long as I did the movement of the aiming spot relative to the rest of the target (and crosshairs) would stop.

Is this a description of what mirage does?

The scope is well-regarded as a quality brand and model which lists for ~$1,200 - $1,300.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/25/2012 at 10:06
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Optics Apprentice
Optics Apprentice


Joined: July/03/2012
Location: Arizona, USA
Status: Offline
Points: 111

Any further ideas?

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