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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/16/2008 at 19:33
COLOelkman View Drop Down
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I looked at some scopes today and have a couple general questions on the focus feature.  I'm interested in a scope for elk hunting (mostly Colorado).  Some scopes have a side focus and some have an Adjustable Objective (AO) on the far end of the scope and some have nothing besides the eyepiece focus which all scopes have.  From what the salesperson said, AO and SF are the same thing but just in different locations.  What I'm not sure about is whether it would be a good thing or not to have the AO/SF feature for my desired intent.  I'd not expect shots over 200 yds but you never know so maybe 400 yds at the outer limit.  So if I set the scope to be focused (via SF or AO) at 200, I'd assume you wouldn't HAVE to refocus on something at 400 yds but you could if you really wanted to.  Is this a reasonable assumption?  Also, would I need to focus on something that might show up at 50 yds assuming it's focused @ 200?  I thought that the focus feature is normally for long range type shooting but I didn't want to get this feature if I would have to always refocus before shooting.Whacko
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/16/2008 at 19:35
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ao/sf for big game is a disaster waiting to happen dont do it
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/16/2008 at 19:40
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Could you please explain?  I assume you are saying you always have to refocus?  If so, it leaves me a bit baffled regarding Nikon scopes.  Anything I've seen over a 3x9 has the SF feature, thus if the focus is a probem/issue, why wouldn't they make something like the 3x12 or 4x16 without the focus feature?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/16/2008 at 19:41
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This is to adjust parallax not exactly focus. Used in scopes with higher magnification. It makes a difference if your scope is over 9 power or your shooting past 200yds. More for target than hunting.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/16/2008 at 19:43
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Originally posted by 3_tens 3_tens wrote:

This is to adjust parallax not exactly focus. Used in scopes with higher magnification. It makes a difference if your scope is over 9 power or your shooting past 200yds. More for target than hunting.
beat me too it but yes thats pretty much it, i want it simple for hunting, having to adjust stuff can cost that trophy for you. and in a majority of hunting situations 9x is going to be gods plenty to shoot anything, 4x16 seems like a bad idea.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/16/2008 at 19:44
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ive never really used a sf scope in the field but i have used plenty of ao scopes and i didnt like to adjust them when i had a shot in closer than the ao was set for, i usually just left it on 100yds and called that good.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/16/2008 at 20:28
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Just one more thing to go wrong while hunting... If you are varmit shooting then maybe AO.  It's not as handy as SF, but then again it has less moving parts to get out of whack.

Back to the real world... If you are hunting elk, then you don't need it.  It is just another thing to be out of adjustment. Most scope are set for ~150 yards.  Even at 400 yards a slight breeze will move the bullet more than your parallax will be off.
 
 They put stuff like this on scopes so they can sell them at a higher margin.  They pay some whore of a writer a hunting trip in some posh place and turn on the feeder. What's the writer gonna do, write it is a waste of money? 
 
Yes, many higher magnifaction scopes have these features.  Why not, they are VARMIT scopes.  They were ment to be used on little things like pairie dogs, not elk.
 
You may want to look at scopes with less whiz bang features.  Instead look at those scopes with higher quality glass and coatings  and more modest magnification.  You will get more usable images in problem light conditions. That's why stuff like the Kahles 3-9 is popular. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/16/2008 at 20:34
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When hunting with a variable (regardless of AO/SF or not), I have always carried the scope on the lowest power or close to it.  You never know when something's going to jump out and you'll need to just point and shoot quickly.

This is important because with virtually all quality variable scopes with AO or SF, you only need to "focus" them when on the higher powers.  If you're walking around with a 3-12 or 4-16 set on 3X or 4X you will have no problems.   You can turn the SF knob from stop to stop when on low power and there'll be no significant difference in what you see looking through the scope.    When you see something far off and have the time to crank up the power, then you may need to turn the sidefocus.  In short, it's perfectly useable for hunting if you're familiar with its operation and use some common sense.

However, for your uses I can't see it being needed.  For elk at 400 yds a simple 3-9 or 3.5-10 is plenty and doesn't really need a sidefocus.   But I'm the last person in the world who'll tell somebody not to use more power if he wants.  If you want to use more power (I like to as well) 12, 14, 16X, etc and do a lot of practicing at 400 yds (highly recommended) you'll find the AO or SF really will help your accuracy.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/16/2008 at 20:38
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if long distance hunting was all you ever did then i could see the need, but like i said for 90%+ of the time you wouldnt need an ao/sf for hunting apps. i could see like jon says a need for the sf when using the powers higher than 9x but how many times do you take shots over 100yrds?? i havent taken any in my short life at big game, coyotes and pdogs i have a fair amount of times.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/16/2008 at 21:04
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Thanks for all the input!  That's more or less what I thought I'd seen in other previous posts but that makes it a bit more clear!Big%20Grin  The SF feature is not really a good thing for hunting for most conditions.  I'd also agree that keeping your scope at a lower power, like 3-5 is best as you can normally dial up if you spot game at a greater distance.  I just naturally think that if I'd ever have a shot at 400 and I was comfortable at that range, a power bigger than 9 would be beneficial.  Since it'd take me considerable practice to even think about that, it's probably something that I might use a couple times the rest of my life, so I think I'll stay in the market for something up to 9 or 10 without the focus feature.  Thanks again for the help! 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/17/2008 at 00:55
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Originally posted by pyro6999 pyro6999 wrote:

how many times do you take shots over 100yrds?? i havent taken any in my short life at big game,

Goodness, I guess we hunt in much different country.  While I've taken some Whitetails up really close in the thick stuff, the vast majority as well as all my antelope and elk have been taken from well beyond 100 yds.

I agree more power isn't needed in this case or even most cases for big game, but I can certainly understand why it is preferred by some, especially in the mountains and wide open spaces of the West.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/17/2008 at 08:40
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Originally posted by Jon A Jon A wrote:

Originally posted by pyro6999 pyro6999 wrote:

how many times do you take shots over 100yrds?? i havent taken any in my short life at big game,

Goodness, I guess we hunt in much different country.  While I've taken some Whitetails up really close in the thick stuff, the vast majority as well as all my antelope and elk have been taken from well beyond 100 yds.

I agree more power isn't needed in this case or even most cases for big game, but I can certainly understand why it is preferred by some, especially in the mountains and wide open spaces of the West.
 
i was born and raised at 7000ft above sea level right in the heart of the rocky's i know what hunting out west is about. antelope and mule deer and of course mtn sheep and mtn goat will more than likely give you a lot of shots past 100yds, elk on occassion if all you ever do is road hunt. im refering to people who push timber all day long and thats the only way they hunt, or people who live in areas like i do now that hunt in very dense forest so long shots arent possible. i used a 3x9 out there for everything i hunted and i still use a 3x9 for all my hunting, at times i would like more power for my "cult rifle" for varmints
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/17/2008 at 08:55
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So to sum issue as I understand, if you had an SF scope, like 4 x 16, and you set the focus around 100-150 yds, and keep the power lower than say 9, I'm understanding that you'd not have to refocus on anything within the first 200 yds perhaps?  But if you do have a need for a shot greater than that, can you leave the power @ 9 or so and still be OK and you'd only need to refocus if you zoom to a higher power?  Thus, the parallax adjustment normally comes in to play when you zoom to "higher" powers, is what I'm understanding all to say.  If that's the case, it seems like it wouldn't be a major problem as long as you keep the focus and power set low.  Thus, this would be comprable to a scope without the SF/AO feature.  Is that fairly accurate?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/17/2008 at 09:21
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Originally posted by COLOelkman COLOelkman wrote:

So to sum issue as I understand, if you had an SF scope, like 4 x 16, and you set the focus around 100-150 yds, and keep the power lower than say 9, I'm understanding that you'd not have to refocus on anything within the first 200 yds perhaps?  But if you do have a need for a shot greater than that, can you leave the power @ 9 or so and still be OK and you'd only need to refocus if you zoom to a higher power?  Thus, the parallax adjustment normally comes in to play when you zoom to "higher" powers, is what I'm understanding all to say.  If that's the case, it seems like it wouldn't be a major problem as long as you keep the focus and power set low.  Thus, this would be comprable to a scope without the SF/AO feature.  Is that fairly accurate?
or you could just buy a 3x9 and not worry about it thats an option too
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/17/2008 at 09:30
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My only reservation about the 3x9's are that I will likely draw a couple tags in the next few years for states where I'd expect maybe 3-400 yd shots (more open terrain).  Since I'm not experienced even using my 3x9 at that range, I thought a touch more on the high end might be worth it for the once-in-a lifetime draw that these would be and I wanted to not regret it.  I can really only afford one more scope and just wanted to not regret it later.  My current 3x9 died and so I really would be able to go out and try to shoot at that range just to "test drive" the long range 3x9 scenario.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/17/2008 at 10:09
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and elk is still a big critter at 400yds on 9x, but if you feel more comfortable with more power i would go ahead and get a 4-14 4-16 and see how it is around 12x at the ranges you expect to shoot, and you may be wise to spend a fair amount of time practicing at those extended ranges to make it even more comfortable.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/17/2008 at 10:31
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Well, anyway this is good information for me.  I have long wondered if re-setting the parallax was mandatory at differing ranges with one of these scopes.  Years ago, I had a 4-12 with an AO and I just left it on 100 yards and never looked back.  Of course, I never cranked the scope up more than 6X for hunting.  Then, the more I read on this website, I began to get the idea that you HAD to readjust for every range. 
 
So, if you kept your scope down to normal hunting magnifications--like 4X or 6X--you can more or less be fine with the parallax set at 100 or 150 yards? 
 
Some of those 4-16X scopes appeal to me because they are long in the tube and the objective bell will clear pesky rear iron sights and still be able to be mounted low or medium.  But that side focus ( or AO) always made me cautious. 
 
I feel better now. 
 
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/17/2008 at 10:32
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you could adjust it all the time depending on how picky your eyes are.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/17/2008 at 12:21
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I'm with Jon on this one. All my scopes have a high enough magnification range to warrant a SF/AO. I set the scope on a lower power for hunting and if I'm sitting in a field or power line, I put the scope to a higher setting and adjust the parallax for the longest shot I expect to take. Then I set the power back down. That way if a deer pops out within my max range I know I have to adjust the SF/AO one way until it has a good focus (I don't fidget with it a lot). If a deer pops out I don't wait to see if it's a shooter before I get down on the rifle, I get ready to shoot then decide if it's big enough. That is why I like higher powered scopes. I am left handed and don't like the SF features as much as AO because it is harder to reach over the scope and make the adjustments, I don't like to get into shooting position and have to use both hands to get the scope ready. I just use my right hand to adjust elevation, windage and parallax as needed.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/17/2008 at 12:38
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 Ever heard the old axiom "I'd rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it" ?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/17/2008 at 12:45
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i rather keep it simple and not miss any chances at a big one cause some stupid gadet wasnt in focus.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/17/2008 at 13:18
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Originally posted by dougedwards dougedwards wrote:

 Ever heard the old axiom "I'd rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it" ?
 
I have also heard another axiom: "What ever can go wrong, will go wrong" thus the reminder: Keep It Super Simple.  At some point in your life, you discover the joy of the elegant, but simple.  The grace of the uncomplicated.  The ruggedness of the simple. The freedom of being unburdened, by the meaninglesly complex.  Figure out what you really need, because the rest is just expencive cumbersome baggage that gets in the way of life.  Do you want to enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of your hunt, or worry about all your knobs getting dicked with?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/17/2008 at 13:19
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Originally posted by pyro6999 pyro6999 wrote:

i rather keep it simple and not miss any chances at a big one cause some stupid gadet wasnt in focus.
 
Excellent
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/17/2008 at 14:30
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" Just get a 4X scope and sneak up on 'em real sneaky-like!! "
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/17/2008 at 15:26
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 A simple focusing knob on the side is a stupid little gadget that complicates life??  This%20Much  Come on guys!  Just leave the parallax at 100 yards and don't worry about it unless you want to jack up the magnification to really zoom in on something.   Or.......you could really simplify things and learn to use the little iron sights on the end of the barrel.
 
 I am a bow hunter and have learned to simplify things as much as practically possible in the field but I must be missing something here.  A knob that allows you to precisely focus in at long ranges and high magnifications can't possibly be that complicated.  Tell me what I am missing.
 
 Doug
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