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First Leupy in Over a Decade--Impressions

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/19/2011 at 22:21
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In case anyone cares:

I bought my first Leupold in over a decade (for no particular reason waiting that long), and today my 6x42 FX3 arrived. It's going on top of my Tikka 7mag, a proven sub MOA shooter. The most "popular" scope I had handy was a Conquest 3.5-10x44 which is mounted on another Tikka. I Redneck engineered the FX on my spotter tripod with straps so it offered a solid view. Right or wrong I have no brand loyalty whatsoever. I like lots of different stuff.

Impressions:
I started off with careful focusing of both scopes (got that settled early in the argument). It was a little harder to work with the FX since there was no gunstock to get a solid cheek weld, so I had to look through it like you would a spotter. With adequate daylight, there was virtually no difference that I could tell in brightness. The Zeiss (set on 6x) had an ever so slight advantage in sharpness, but I really had to study hard to see it in reading the lettering on the back of a stock trailor 200 yards away. After the sun went down things got interesting. The sharpness advantage the Zeiss had disappeared at 9:21pm CST. In fact, the FX3 had a noticeable advantage in brightness. My non scientific subject was a Texas Star attic vent on the neighbor's house a lasered 251 yards away. I could make out the circular ring around the star, about 10" n diameter with the Leupy, and couldn't make it out at all with the Zeiss. That star also has a 3-4" hole in the middle of the star that gave me the same results. I was indeed surprised at how bright that FX is. Don't get me wrong, you could kill with either one 30 minutes past sunset, but no question the Leupold  is brighter than this particular Conquest, and the bold reticle makes it much easier to aim in the shadows at dark thirty. I also thought the Leupold  had a more neutral color rendition, and the Ziess a slight yellowish cast.

I'm hoping I get as good of use out of this as some of you guys have over the years. I also couldn't believe how light weight it is. Looking forward to shooting a little now, but that may be a couple of weeks off.

Edited by Chris Farris II - July/20/2011 at 09:03
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/20/2011 at 06:32
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Thanks JG,

Interesting findings.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/20/2011 at 08:40
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As a guy that grew up with nothing but scopes with that gold ring and someone who stopped buying them about ten years ago I am quite happy to see an American company making damned good products.

The recent Mark 4s and Firedots have really impressed me , especially the latter.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/20/2011 at 08:47
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JG Great review
Excellent


Edited by SVT_Tactical - July/20/2011 at 15:38
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/20/2011 at 10:56
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The fixed FX3, IIRC, should have fewer refraction differentials with fewer lenses, giving it, all else being relatively equal (coatings, glass quality and size, backfill), an advantage.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/20/2011 at 11:03
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Oh Yes! (VX/FX)-3 glass is very good at light transmission- not up to Diavari,  more like a Big Sky- you just can't quite make out what it is that you can see.
I'd say that Leupold is getting very good at their coatings and just need to step up the quality of their glass and/or production techniques.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/20/2011 at 11:30
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FX-3 6x42 is a very well-made scope with a nicely optimized optical formula.

Glad you like it.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/20/2011 at 14:18
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Originally posted by Alan Robertson Alan Robertson wrote:

Oh Yes! (VX/FX)-3 glass is very good at light transmission- not up to Diavari,  more like a Big Sky- you just can't quite make out what it is that you can see.
I'd say that Leupold is getting very good at their coatings and just need to step up the quality of their glass and/or production techniques.

I made it out better with the FX than I did with the Conquest at dusk,  that was the point.   You may be surprised to know that a very well known outdoor writer and hunter, who has posted here and mostly on another forum over the years, tests a wide variety of scopes as part of his job, and to satisfy his own personal questions.   He told me that the FX3 6x42 tests within a nats hair of the most recent Diavari's he's tested on his resolution charts.  He does these tests at night, with the help of a small light, at a distance of 25-30 yards I think.  This is to take whatever atmospheric conditions out of the equation that exist in the hot daylight hours.  I was shocked at the results, as that's saying something.  It is a full notch below his S&B Summit, however.    
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/20/2011 at 14:19
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Originally posted by SVT_Tactical SVT_Tactical wrote:

JG while I appreciate your review remember the OT forum rules
3.  Do not advertise other retailers selling the same or similar products as SWFA, this includes posting links to other retailers for products sold by SWFA.  SWFA does not provide this forum as a vehicle to redirect customers to our competition.
 
Here is what your Leupold links should do

I haven't a clue what you're talking about.   Show me the link and prices I posted.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/20/2011 at 14:29
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It has been edited out by CFII.  Not sure if you copy and pasted from a post at another forum but if you did it would explain it.

Edited by SVT_Tactical - July/20/2011 at 14:31
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/20/2011 at 14:39
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When you copy and paste from the Campfire, it brings the hightlighted Leupold links from the Campfire Gear Shop along with it. Not many people realize that and it usually an honest mistake.

Edited by Roy Finn - July/20/2011 at 14:40
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/20/2011 at 15:30
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Sorry about that, as I said I had no clue.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/20/2011 at 16:18
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I knew you didn't.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/20/2011 at 16:40
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Thanks for the report, JGR!

Fixed power scopes in general have an optical advantage over variables (of the same or similar quality level) by virtue of fewer lens elements.  The FX3 6X42 is a proven, mature design, and a very fine scope.  Enjoy it!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/20/2011 at 17:47
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Originally posted by JGRaider JGRaider wrote:

Originally posted by Alan Robertson Alan Robertson wrote:

Oh Yes! (VX/FX)-3 glass is very good at light transmission- not up to Diavari,  more like a Big Sky- you just can't quite make out what it is that you can see.
I'd say that Leupold is getting very good at their coatings and just need to step up the quality of their glass and/or production techniques.

I made it out better with the FX than I did with the Conquest at dusk,  that was the point.   You may be surprised to know that a very well known outdoor writer and hunter, who has posted here and mostly on another forum over the years, tests a wide variety of scopes as part of his job, and to satisfy his own personal questions.   He told me that the FX3 6x42 tests within a nats hair of the most recent Diavari's he's tested on his resolution charts.  He does these tests at night, with the help of a small light, at a distance of 25-30 yards I think.  This is to take whatever atmospheric conditions out of the equation that exist in the hot daylight hours.  I was shocked at the results, as that's saying something.  It is a full notch below his S&B Summit, however.    

I generally try to ignore when people bring that test up for the sake of avoiding a major mudslinging storm, but I might as well say something here.  While that test is better than nothing, it is not better by much.
The results of that test are heavily dependent on how the tester spent the day before (since they are often done on different days). Your visual acuity changes considerably day by day.  
They do not take into account depth of field differences between scopes either (keep in mind that different scopes are designed to have the image properly focused at different distances).
Then there is the simple fact that the test chart he uses only tests for high contrast resolution in conditions that do not take into account stray light problems, flare, etc.

Basically, I would not put a whole lot of stock into that test, if any.  Then there is the tester bias.

All that having been said, FX-3 6x42 is an excellent scope, except optically it is not quite as good as your gun writer friend makes it out to be.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/21/2011 at 00:01
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Yeah, that test is certainly better than nothing (at least when comparing two scopes side by side) but it's far from a complete picture of the total optical performance of a scope.  A small fraction of it, I'd say, especially for higher powered scopes where performance at 25 yds on 6X is like testing the acceleration of supercars with a block of wood under the accelerator in each one--who really cares which car wins that race.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/21/2011 at 15:38
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After being in the outdoor business for over 30+ years, and figuring he's handled, tested, and reviewed lots of optics over that time, I'm guessing it's accomplishing exactly what he's trying to accomplish. After all it's big game hunting, not staring at mites on a sparrow's azz.   

Ilya, you should have inserted "in my opinion", or IMO somewhere in your bashing post.  It would have made it more credible anyway, IMO.  Sleep Wink 


Edited by JGRaider - July/21/2011 at 15:41
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/21/2011 at 16:07
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Originally posted by JGRaider JGRaider wrote:

After being in the outdoor business for over 30+ years, and figuring he's handled, tested, and reviewed lots of optics over that time, I'm guessing it's accomplishing exactly what he's trying to accomplish. After all it's big game hunting, not staring at mites on a sparrow's azz.   

Ilya, you should have inserted "in my opinion", or IMO somewhere in your bashing post.  It would have made it more credible anyway, IMO.  Sleep Wink 

John most certainly has plenty of experience in the field and knows a LOT about how the optics are used, which, in the grand scheme of things is all that matters.  Unfortunately, that does not translate into understanding how to evaluate optical performance.

As far as looking at mites on a sparrow's behind goes, isn't that not too different from looking at resolution charts? which is essentially what that test of his does, except not very well.

Oh, and as far as how well designed that test is, that is not an opinion.  That is a fact, both scientific and engineering fact.  I work for a company that makes optical test equipment.  MTF stations, collimators, integrated test stations, etc.  I deal with optical testing every day of my life.

I am in no position to tell you or John how to find an elk in the Rockies.  
However, I am most certainly qualified to talk about testing and evaluation of optical devices.  

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/21/2011 at 16:55
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 You're the expert, I never said different.  I"m one of those who feels they can learn something from most everybody.  I don't think I'll ever know everything like some folks doWink.......
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/21/2011 at 17:04
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Originally posted by JGRaider JGRaider wrote:

 You're the expert, I never said different.  I"m one of those who feels they can learn something from most everybody.  I don't think I'll ever know everything like some folks doWink.......

That is not a dig at me, is it?  I have a fairly limited field of expertise, and never claimed otherwise, so I hope not.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/21/2011 at 17:20
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Frankly ILya, I don't really understand that test of his either especially the test he does at night while illuminating the target with a light blub. Is he testing for low light performance ? In fairness to him though he did refer to the test as the BC or Barsness Crude. Have you ever discussed the purpose of lighing the target at night with him ILya ?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/21/2011 at 17:26
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Originally posted by Roy Finn Roy Finn wrote:

Frankly ILya, I don't really understand that test of his either especially the test he does at night while illuminating the target with a light blub. Is he testing for low light performance ? In fairness to him though he did refer to the test as the BC or Barsness Crude. Have you ever discussed the purpose of lighing the target at night with him ILya ?

The purpose of doing it at night with a bulb is actually quite legitimate.
He is trying to have consistent lighting levels between different testing days.  That is easier to do after the sun has already set an you have a light source you can control.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/21/2011 at 17:40
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and you take the heat waves, etc out of the equation so the atmosphere will not interfere with the tests.  Sorry I brought the damn thing up.....I find his tests interesting.   
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/21/2011 at 17:49
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I wasn't trying to be critical of the test he's doing. I just didn't understand how lighting a high contrast target translated into a low light test of optics. For example, if John could make out line 8 on the chart with a S&B Summit and not with a Leupold FX-3, does that tell me that the Summit is "brighter" or does it tell me the Summit resolves better than the FX-3 for example. The FX-3 might, and I mean might, transmit a highter percentage of light than the Summit or vice versa.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/21/2011 at 17:58
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Not directed at you RD.  Maybe Koshkin can answer you.  I"d be afraid to say without his blessings.........
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