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compact vs standard???

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/14/2009 at 08:49
sparks1 View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper

Joined: March/14/2009
Location: Land of 10,000
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Points: 11

 What would be differences between the two, besides weight,etc. Would i lose any features/clarity going with a compact? I am looking at a Vortexx 25 x 75 . I have a cheap Winchester 20 x 50 that just does not do it for me. I want to go up in magnification to see targets at longer ranges and to take to the field.


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/14/2009 at 13:48
lucznik View Drop Down
Optics Master
Optics Master

Joined: November/27/2004
Location: United States
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Points: 1436
As you drop down in objective lens size, two basic abilities of the scope diminish:
  1. Light "transmission" drops making the image dimmer.
  2. Resolving power drops making it more difficult to see small details.
The degree to which this happens and whether or not it actually affects your actual viewing experience will depend largely on the quality of the spotting scopes being used.   For example, I know numerous people who, despite the theoretical limits of small scopes, have all-but given up their full size spotters in favor of the Nikon Fieldscope ED50.  Most of these people are not using their optics in very dim light nor in very unfavorable weather conditions so the actual drop in performance that they experience is so slight that they just can't see it, making it totally worth the change.

Whether or not this will prove to be true for you, is for you to decide.

Other good compact scope options might include the Leupold Golden Ring, the Minox MD 50, the Kowa 500 series, and perhaps even the new (and as of yet untested) Bushnell Legend Ultra.

The Winchester 20x50 is not what I would consider an especially high-quality scope.  The Vortex scope (I'm guessing you're looking at the Impact?) would be a considerable step up - though you should be aware that its Catadioptric design has limitations and compromises of its own for which you need to be prepared.  Here is a link to a review I did on this scope about 2 years ago:

I will correct here one thing I posted in that review which was partially erroneous.  The Impact can/does show a very, very small amount of chromatic abberation which can be attributed to its eyepiece.  Heck, even my (very expensive) eyeglasses exhibit a small amount of CA.  However, the degree to which this is apparent is so much less than is considered normal for prismatic scopes (even high dollar ones with ED lenses, much less budget class scopes) that I enthusiastically (of not entirely correctly) stated that it had "no" CA. 

Edited by lucznik - March/16/2009 at 11:10
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