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Leica ER...is it just me??

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/12/2015 at 11:40
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I sold all of my alpha glass a few years ago and loaded up on Conquests and Bushnell 4200/6500's. I decided that I would started replacing some of them with alpha glass again. I decided to get a Leica ER 2.5-10X42 #1 tt on my Tikka 6.5x55. I got it in and several things I have heard mentioned are true....the power ring is very stiff and the target turrets are super easy to spin(I can easily see them accidentally getting turned while hunting).

But I am really disappointed in the low light performance. I took it out at 8pm last night and looked around my yard and at a 3d deer target at 75yrds. I took my other scopes out there too: Bushnell 4200 2.5-10x40 firefly, 6500 2.5-16x42 md, and my Conquest 4.5-14x44 ZRF. They are all really close but I fealt like the Leica was slightly the worst of the bunch. It is a very easy scope to get behind but was the hardest to see my deer target. The reticle didn't blow me away either, the firefly on the 4200(not activated) is the easiest one for me to see and center on the deer target. I am not expecting miracles but I did think it would be better, more like my Leica BR 10X42 bin's.

I am going to play around with it a little more but I may sell it. Maybe it's just my eyes or I need to wait until I can hunt with it, but it was a very disappointing start. Maybe I should test it some other way.

I was about to replace my Conquest 4.5-14x44 with a Swaro Z5 3.5-18x44 but after this change, I may reconsider and just do something else with the money I saved up. I read that the Z5 is about the same as the Leica ER's optically.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/12/2015 at 14:01
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It's not just you. I have the same scopes as you, only my Leica ER has the standard Leica Plex reticle. With the Firefly scope is easier to see the reticle because it's so bold whereas the Leica Plex is to thin when it gets dark out. The center section of the Leica Plex almost disappears when it gets dark out, but the image is much better so you can see better (detail) with the Leica compared to the image you see through the Elite that becomes sort of grainy so to speak. I'm a big fan of the Elite 4200 and that well documented here, but you can't expect a 400 dollar scope to perform as well as a $1200+ dollar euro scope. The Leica scope has a lot of pluses going for it that most other euro scopes don't have such as 4 inches of eye relief. Only recently have some of the other euro scope makers added some extra eye relief such as the new Meopta R2 series. Seems like the standard ER for euro scopes was 3.5 inches. Leica has a new series of scopes that are assembled here in the USA. They too have about 4 inches of ER and are considerably less expensive than the ER/ERi series. From the pics I've seen, it looks like they have thicker reticles than the ER/ERi series. Leica has a well earned reputation for durability with their bino's and spotters so if the riflescopes follow suit, they'll be a winner. If the Elite scopes had closer to 4 inches of ER they would be the best sub $500 scope on the market.

Edited by Roy Finn - March/12/2015 at 14:06
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/12/2015 at 14:08
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The 4a reticle on my Lecia ER is thin much like the Swaro equivalent reticle. Great for pin pointing shots during the day, not so much in low light. I hate the ER turrets but for most hunting purposes it's fine because you probably won't be playing with them in the field unless you're LR hunting. Over all I love the scope.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/12/2015 at 14:34
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Interesting observation (and disappointing for you...)  I played with my Leica ER 3.5-14 side-by-side with my Zeiss Conquest 6.5-20x50 as light was fading a couple different times (matching the magnification of each scope) and I didn't even think the Zeiss was in the same league for low light performance.  Some of Leica's reticles are definitely better than others in low light -- I don't like their "ballistic" reticle for that reason, but have been very pleased with their IBS reticle while hunting in dawn and dusk in dark timber.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/12/2015 at 16:00
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You always hear on internet forums that scope X "blows away" scope Z, but in this day and age, even $1500 to $2000 scopes don't blow away scopes in the $500 range by a whole lot. Noticeably better ? Yes, but not by my definition of blown away by some huge margin. I bold reticle will get you further down the low light performance roadway than a marginal gain in optical quality.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/12/2015 at 22:43
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Make sure the diopter of both scopes is set correctly. The diopter being off just a littlebit can make a huge difference, especially in low light.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/13/2015 at 07:27
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Your right man! I hadn't even thought about the diopter. I got home yesterday and checked the scope out in broad daylight and it was a little blurry. I adjusted the diopter and got everything crystal clear. I wondered if it would change any low light performance.

I woke up real early this morning(kidsWhacko) and I saw your post. So about 5:30 this morning I dug the scopes out for another comparison. After the diopter adjustment the Leica is slightly better than the other scopes and now I don't lose the reticle on the target. The #1 reticle is good for low light now that it's adjusted. It's not any "brighter" but is clearer and has better definition in low light now that it's adjusted.

I knew going into this purchase that the difference would not be huge over an Elite or Conquest for my type of hunting. And I wanted it to be a more noticeable difference, but in the end it cost a lot more money for only a slight upgrade in bare bones performance. My business has picked up so I am not as worried about the purchase at the moment. But if I was cash strapped like I was a few years ago, the Elite's are well worth the money, all that is necessary unless you just have the disposable income IMO.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/13/2015 at 08:06
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A scope's low light performance also has a lot to do with how your eyes perceive colors and contrast.


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/13/2015 at 08:25
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Yeh, I guess that's a bummer if you just don't see things as well as other folks. I know I looked through my buddies Nikon Monarch bino's one evening hunting and compared them to my Leica's and I definitely thought mine were better but not a huge amount. He looked through my Leica's and was totally blown away. So I guess there something to that.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/13/2015 at 08:48
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As light dims the world gets more blue, so if you happen to be somewhat color blind in the blue spectrum, you won't notice as stark a difference in various scopes' ability to transmit light in the blue spectrum as someone else may. As Roy said, the difference in performance between a good midrange scope and a high end scope is never going to be proportional to the difference in price. As with anything else, the law of diminishing returns applies.

Different optics companies tend to have a "signature view," by design intent, as a result of their optical design and coatings. Leica tends to emphasize contrast. Some people's eyes just work better with one brand's optical design philosophy than another, which is why there is never universal agreement on which company's optics are superior over another's.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/13/2015 at 08:51
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Very interesting. To my eyes, neither my Leica ER (now sold) or the S&B Summit (now sold) had reticles that worked well for me at dark. In all actuality, I have a Leupy VX3 2.5-5 x 36 with a custom shop installed post and duplex reticle that works very well in low light scenarios. That surprised me because I'm not a real Leupy fanboy (but do have a couple). I guess the bottom line is whatever works for your eyes in your conditions (regardless of price) is the way to go.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/13/2015 at 09:27
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Bushnell should put this reticle (or make available) in any of their scopes where low light performance is a must. They had a good thing with this design, but they went ahead and added the "FireFly" feature and everyone screamed gimmick.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/13/2015 at 09:30
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Originally posted by Roy Finn Roy Finn wrote:

You always hear on internet forums that scope X "blows away" scope Z, but in this day and age, even $1500 to $2000 scopes don't blow away scopes in the $500 range by a whole lot. Noticeably better ? Yes, but not by my definition of blown away by some huge margin. I bold reticle will get you further down the low light performance roadway than a marginal gain in optical quality.


Agree 100%
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/13/2015 at 09:35
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Originally posted by RifleDude RifleDude wrote:

Different optics companies tend to have a "signature view," by design intent, as a result of their optical design and coatings. Leica tends to emphasize contrast. Some people's eyes just work better with one brand's optical design philosophy than another, which is why there is never universal agreement on which company's optics are superior over another's.


I can attest to that Ted regarding Leica's emphasis on contrast. When I got the ER 2.5-10x42 I remember kind of laughing to myself on how overkill the optics were. My hunting buddy said ...." ....."bro you don't need optics that good in a riflescope......"
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/13/2015 at 09:41
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Is the dress white and gold or blue and black? LOL

It is interesting between manufacturers and peoples eyes.The best scope I have had for low light to my eye's was a Kahles Helia C 3-12X56. I hunt with a guy that has all Diavari 3-12x56 and I always thought my scope was better at last light.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/13/2015 at 10:13
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Originally posted by Roy Finn Roy Finn wrote:


Bushnell should put this reticle (or make available) in any of their scopes where low light performance is a must. They had a good thing with this design, but they went ahead and added the "FireFly" feature and everyone screamed gimmick.



And then, typical of Bushnell, once they have a great thing, they manage to screw it up. Why they ditched that wonderful reticle in favor of their crappy fine plex in their top of the line 6500 series defies rational thinking!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/13/2015 at 10:16
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Originally posted by cbm cbm wrote:

Is the dress white and gold or blue and black? LOL



Haha! I saw that photo too. My family had an ongoing debate over that photo for about a week!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/13/2015 at 12:06
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Originally posted by cbm cbm wrote:

Is the dress white and gold or blue and black? LOL

It is interesting between manufacturers and peoples eyes.The best scope I have had for low light to my eye's was a Kahles Helia C 3-12X56. I hunt with a guy that has all Diavari 3-12x56 and I always thought my scope was better at last light.
I agree with you fully on the Kahles for low light and clarity. The first one I aquired was the 2-7 CL. The definition when looking at game was unlike anything I had ever used. Even on low magnification you make out the individual hairs on small game. The view so clear and bright the details were almost distracting.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/13/2015 at 13:12
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Originally posted by RifleDude RifleDude wrote:

Originally posted by Roy Finn Roy Finn wrote:


Bushnell should put this reticle (or make available) in any of their scopes where low light performance is a must. They had a good thing with this design, but they went ahead and added the "FireFly" feature and everyone screamed gimmick.



And then, typical of Bushnell, once they have a great thing, they manage to screw it up. Why they ditched that wonderful reticle in favor of their crappy fine plex in their top of the line 6500 series defies rational thinking!


That reticle is what stopped me from buying the 2.5-16x42 and went with the Leica ER instead.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/13/2015 at 16:39
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OP mentioned how stiff the power ring on his ER is; I just got a Leica scope and although not a ER, the power ring is stiff, as well.  I'm no scope expert, but it's a lot tighter than the Redfield Lo Pro that it replaced.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/13/2015 at 17:28
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Too bad Kahles has gone nutso.
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