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Eye position sensitivity

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/15/2009 at 12:14
brencat View Drop Down
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I recently upgraded to a Zeiss Conquest 3-9x40 from a Leupold VX-II 3-9x40 which I gave to my son. One of the things I noticed almost immediately was that while the Zeiss glass is far superior, eye position is also much more critical. If my head isn't in just the right spot, I get the tunnel vision effect or the black shadows appearing on the sides of the view.

With the Leupy by comparison I didn't even have to have the rifle fully set yet and would be able to see the reticle and most of the sight picture perfectly.
 
I recently asked several dealers I know along with one of the forum members here in a PM about how this Zeiss compared with the Sightron Big Sky 3-9x42 (which was my 2nd choice) and whether that scope exhibited similar behavior.
 
While not too many people seemed to know or were bothered by it that much, the good folks at SWFA knew immediately what I was referring to so I thought I'd share that feedback here...
 
  • Was told that Leupold is the best / most forgiving with regard to eye position sensitivity and that that feature was one of the things they are noted for.
  • The Sightron Big Sky I was considering is even MORE critical for eye position than the Zeiss Conquest I bought.

Looks like I need to just get used to the new scope...or get a Leupy VX-3!

Anyway, I'd love to discuss this topic further with the forum -- there are plenty of threads about "best scope for this application", "best glass under $500" etc, but I don't recall too many that also discuss whether forgiving eye position sensitivity is more valued to some over having the best glass.  What say you?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/15/2009 at 13:05
cyborg View Drop Down
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I don't understand why scope manufacturers are so oblivious to this particular issue with scope design. It is accomplished with some manufacturers, so it definitely can be done. Why not by all?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/15/2009 at 13:56
Rancid Coolaid View Drop Down
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They aren't oblivious, but it is something they can get away with no pursuing because so few scopes are easy to get behind.

If it were me and this were a primary point of buying, I'd save for a bit longer and look at Swarovski.  When I bought my first Swaro (it now rides on a .270), I was amazed how easy it was to acquire a good site picture.

Consistency in cheek weld can help allot on eye position issues, but ease of acquisition is an issue and most optics companies prefer to talk about something else.

Brencat, I just bought a Hensoldt and, without question, they are the one company that got it as right as can be.  As I've said elsewhere on the OT, it is difficult to NOT get a good sight picture with that scope.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/15/2009 at 14:04
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Quote
It is accomplished . . .
But at what cost?  I dunno, optics class was 22 years ago.
 
Then again, I have cursed scopes that I thought had very fussy eye positioning, only to find  the reticle was nearly at one extreme for windage or elevation, which can have the same effect.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/15/2009 at 14:13
brencat View Drop Down
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Originally posted by Rancid Coolaid Rancid Coolaid wrote:

ease of acquisition is an issue and most optics companies prefer to talk about something else.
Bolded for emphasis. Glad to see I'm not the only one troubled by this issue.
 
Perhaps it has to do with my 30 years of trapshooting, bringing the gun to bear quickly and not always having my cheek perfectly welded every single time. Granted that using bead sights on a shotgun barrel are not the same, but still...being able to acquire a target quickly while hunting is extremely important too.  To be honest, I never even realized this was an issue until I gave up the Leupold. 
 
Thx for the tip on the Swaro...but going to be a while though until I can justify that expense.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/15/2009 at 15:17
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I had a Sightron Big Sky 3-9x42 and sold it for this exact reason. The scope had really good optics and it was fairly light weight and had a big sight picture but you eye had to EXACTLY the right distance from the eye piece and dead center behind it or it blinked out. I have never owned a Leupold so I may have to give them a try. I also had a Conquest that was as you said fairly critical but nothing as bad as that Sightron.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/15/2009 at 19:51
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I am sure Koshkin or some other truly optically gifted person will be along shortly with the straight dope, but if my memory is correct, these smart fellows say optics design is a series of tradeoffs. 
 
There must be something in a rifle scopes design that other manufacturers choose to achieve before they do the "eye box" sensitivity factor, I unfortunately do not know what it is.  Field of view perhaps?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/16/2009 at 09:01
brencat View Drop Down
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Originally posted by DAVE44 DAVE44 wrote:

I had a Sightron Big Sky 3-9x42 and sold it for this exact reason. The scope had really good optics and it was fairly light weight and had a big sight picture but you eye had to EXACTLY the right distance from the eye piece and dead center behind it or it blinked out. I have never owned a Leupold so I may have to give them a try. I also had a Conquest that was as you said fairly critical but nothing as bad as that Sightron.
 
Great feedback -- thanks Dave. Your experience with Big Sky confirms what SWFA told me and it's nice to know at least I chose properly from the 2 scopes I was considering.  Pulled the rifle out of the safe last night and to be honest, the Zeiss really isn't that bad.  Would be hard to justify spending $500 on a Leupy VX-3 3.5-10x40 when I paid far less for the Conquest.  And I can't do Swaro right now on my budget so I'll just happily sit tight.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/16/2009 at 09:23
Dale Clifford View Drop Down
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its not a case against optic designers/manufactuers at all. Its the type of shooting that is done today, and because of it, what becomes acceptable in terms of available product. Even if a shooter is an avid hunter, the amount of rounds fired off a bench is at least 10 times the amount shot under field conditions. Bench conditions allowing the shooter to get along the "optical axis" easier, and thus over look or at least not compare eyeboxs within scope groups. Shooting competitions based on compressed time stages requiring rapid changes from kneeing, barrier and prone are more aware of the eyebox issue than in general, and optics are picked accordingly. The importance of shooting good groups is another culprit in this mix. Basing the worth of the rig on its precision ability, changes the direction or outlook as what is best. So rather than viewing "the best" as how fast an accurate shot can be made from (or a series) a certain position, the precision of shots from bench type positions becomes the ruler or measure. Some of this stems from the simple lack of shooting ranges that are designed correctly, but more so to fixed firing line concept at those ranges, that predominates due to safety considerations.
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