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New Burris spotter

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/24/2007 at 17:08
Chris in NorCal View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
Optics Apprentice

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/24/2007 at 19:32
lucznik View Drop Down
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It appears to be identical in every respect to the Vortex Impact.


They are both catadioptric scopes (often simply called "Cat" scopes) which means that they use mirrors rather than prisms to "bend" the lightpath.  I've been doing a lot of reading about Cat scopes lately and here is some of what I have found out.


Historically such Cat scopes have not been super-popular with the hunting crowd as they tend to have slightly narrower fields of view at comparable magnifications and they also tended to be a bit more fragile in their design.  The mirrors were also subject to tarnishing over time - reducing their image quality but, with these "waterproof, fogproof" models, I suspect this problem has been to a large extent mitigated.


On the plus side, because they don't use prisms and thus don't refract light (they reflect light instead) they are inherently free of chromatic abberation, making them immenently more useful for photography.  This (along with some other design benefits) allows them to be able to reach super-high magnifications without the resultant fuzziness you would normally get in a refractor scope.  Some larger Cat scopes in fact, easily reach magnifications of 100x and above while still offering excellent resolution. Of course, these higher magnifications are not useable in dim light but, then again, they wouldn't be in a refractor scope either.


The birding crowd has a sub-set of enthusiasts that really goes for these scopes.  Since birders rarely bash their gear around to quite the same degree as hunters, their somewhat more fragile design has not proven to be too problematic. The Questar Birder scope is the absolute creme-de-la-creme of Cat scopes and offers an image that will put any Leica, Swarovski, Zeiss, Nikon, etc. refractor scope to shame.  It does however, cost somewhere around $4000 and is not exactly backpack friendly.


This new breed of compact Cat scopes from Vortex, Burris, and some others appears to have had some attention made in the ruggedness category to try to make them more "field worthy."  I had originally dismissed them as their design mandates the angled eyepiece (I prefer straight) and because I worry a little that the mirrors might - when the sun is at the right angle - reflect out and betray the hunter's presence but, I got to look through one of the Vortex Impacts at the International Sportsmans' Expo in Salt Lake City a week or so ago and I came away very impressed.  I think I'm going to get one of these and give it a more thorough test.  For under $200, they seem to offer too much potential to simply discount.

Edited by lucznik
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