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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/25/2007 at 19:28
koshkin View Drop Down
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Gentlemen,  over the next few months, as time allows, I will be doing some comparisons between scopes I currently have (or plan to order).

As people familiar with my posts know, my comparisons refer to optical quality only.  I am not the right guy to go and beat the crap out of a bunch of scopes.  I also do not have the time to go to the range and do extensive  testing  of W/E elevation adjustment of every scope I use in a comparison.  Another factor is that I can not afford to keep all these scopes, and if I have to sell a scope I would rather keep it in as pristine of a condition as possible.  Hence, I will spend some time comparing the optics at different light levels and with off-center illumination ahead and behind the scope, etc.

I've done a few of these in the past and posted my impressions.  The reception was generally pretty good, so I figured I should solicit some input for future tests.

There are a few comparisons between similar scopes that I have in mind for the next few months:

1) I have a Nikon Monarch 5.5-16.5x44 on order and, when it gets here, I will compare it with a Bushnell Elite 4200 6-24x40 that I have.  In this case I will mount the Nikon on my 22-250 Savage and shoot with it since I am very interested in how easy the BDC reticle is to use.

2) Sightron S2 Big Sky 1.25-5x20 vs Leupold VX-3 1.5-5x20.  I currently own neither one of these, so Iíll need to purchase them.  The duplex reticle on this Sightron is actually quite thick (exactly half way between Leupoldís standard and heavy duplex), so I will be curious to see how well it works in low light.  I also have Burris Signature Safari 1.75-5x32 and Burris Fullfield II 1.75-5x20 that I can use for a comparison as well as IOR 2-12x32.  The last two may not quite be a apples to apples comparison, but in good light the objective lens size does not play much of a difference.  Also, I may sell the Burris before I get to this comparison.

 

3) Sightron S2 3-9x42 vs Sightron S2 Big Sky 3-9x42.  I have a current S2 and as a long time Sightron proponent here, I am naturally very curious whether the Big Sky is a significant improvement.

 

4) any suggestions???  It is easier to compare scopes that are not too expensive since there is less of an investment involved and less of a chance to loose significant amount of money if I end up selling the scope later.

 

ILya

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/25/2007 at 21:24
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Looking forward to your findings, ILya.  Thanks for taking the time to do this for us.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/25/2007 at 22:34
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My pleasure (literally, I enjoy playing with different scopes).  If you can think of any other interesting comparisons, let me know.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/25/2007 at 22:55
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I'm especially interested in tests 2 and 3, thanks ILya.

A low light test comparing  FFP and SFP scopes would be neat. Shots at 100-200 yards with heavy plex in both would really be interesting. Does the fact that the FFP gets heavier with higher magnification hurt when sighting big game at dusk? Or is the SFP reticle not changing advantageous for the same shots? I know most of the FFP's cost more. Maybe we could do a loan.



Edited by tahqua
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/25/2007 at 23:44
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Trying to figure out whether FFP or SFP is better for a particular situation is tricky because if a reticle is not properly designed/sized for FFP it can effect the results.

I happened to have two IOR scopes with the same reticle: MP-8 and with overlapping magnification ranges: a SFP 2-12x32 with 35mm tube and  a FFP 2.5-10x42 with 30mm tube.  However, comparing them in low light is not straight-forward due to different objective lenses.

2-12x32 is calibrated to be correct at 10x, hence the two scopes have the same sized reticle at 10x.  Below 10x, obviously, the FFP reticle is smaller compared to the target.

I have in the past tried to look through both scopes side by side in very dim light by dropping the magnification down to 5x (not using illumination).  At 5x, as expected the SFP reticle is exactly twice thicker than the FFP reticle and is significantly easier to see in the dark.  Also, with the FFP reticle, the thin mil/halfmil subtensions were fairly hard to resolve, so ranging was pretty complicated. With SFP scope I could still range reasonably comfortably, but I had to keep in mind that reticle dimensions increased by a factor of 2. 

Will illumination turned on, FFP reticle becomes imminently more usable for ranging and is preferable to SFP because of finer resolution at 5x.

Now, how does this translate into usability for hunting?  It absolutely does not.  MP-8 is not really designed for hunting.  With a couple of German FFP scopes with #4 reticles that I've seen, the reticle bars were quite a bit thicker than the 1 mil thick bars of the MP-8 reticle. 

My personal take on this is that for tactical applications with FFP reticles and modestly sized objective lenses (i.e. where there may be a need to dial down on the magnification), well designed reticle illumination is a pretty good thing to have.  Same goes for the situation where you want to use the low magnificaiton of your FFP scope for fast target acquisition: the reticle gets pretty thin, but still very visible when illuminated (a la BAC).  For hunting applications I think FFP with a pretty thick #4 or similar reticle is a pretty good way to go. 

Now, if there is no ranging/holdover need, than I really do not think there is any practical difference between a well-designed FFP and a well-designed SFP reticle.  Also, keep in mind that I think most common duplex SFP reticles in American scopes are too thin.  They are easier to shoot good groups with, but are less useful for hunting.  If you pick a #4 or a heavy duplex reticle in a decent SFP scope it will work just as well as a FFP scope.

Since I spend far more time shooting at paper/steel targets than at anything else, I have a slight preference for FFP reticles like MP-8 or MilDot since that makes ranging and holdover easier.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/25/2007 at 23:48
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That's awesome, koshkin.  I'll be looking forward to hearing how the testing goes.  That sounds like a lot of fun too.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/26/2007 at 05:32
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ILya, that is excellent, thanks.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/26/2007 at 07:58
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Appreciate your efforts on this especially since you're doing it on your own hook.  For me, it would be real interesting to throw in 1 very inexpensive(cheap?) but popular brand just to see how it compares.  One that comes to mind in our neck of the woods is the Bushnell Trophy.  Up here they can be purchased for around $125 depending on the model so probably a lot less where you are.  My own is a 1.75-4x32 but see a lot of 3x9's as well.

 

Looking forward to your observations

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/26/2007 at 08:21
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Thanks for taking the time for these tests, Koshkin.  I am very interested in your findings!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/26/2007 at 11:55
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Dogger, I'll see if I can round up a 1.75-4x32 if you are particular about magnification.  However, I have a friend's 3-9x40 Trophy lying in my safe right now (I was messing with a setup for his gun).  I can include it in the Sightron 3-9x42 comparison (#3 above).  That way I do not have to buy another scope. 

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/26/2007 at 11:55
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I look foreward to the big sky comparisons Illya. Are you planning on picking up the 30MM 4200?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/26/2007 at 12:06
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Originally posted by SVD666 SVD666 wrote:

I look foreward to the big sky comparisons Illya. Are you planning on picking up the 30MM 4200?


I was not, to be honest.  I do not have anything to compare it to, that would be meaningful in any way.  The only tactical (for lack of a better word) scopes I have are IOR 2-12x32 and 2.5-10x42.  I will also purchase the snipershide specced FFP 3-18x42 scope when it is available.

I do not know how much the new Elite 4200 is going to be, but I do not think it is very fair to compare it against much more expensive IORs (with pretty different magnification ranges to boot).

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/26/2007 at 12:26
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I was thinking the 1" you have vs the new 30MM. But forget this,the new IOR group buy FFP will be a very nice scope.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/26/2007 at 12:37
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Originally posted by SVD666 SVD666 wrote:

I was thinking the 1" you have vs the new 30MM. But forget this,the new IOR group buy FFP will be a very nice scope.


I did not think that would be particularly useful.  My impression was that the new Elite 4200 with 30mm tube and exposed turrets is Bushnell's entry into the tactical market, so a proper comparison would be against something along the lines of Burris XTR, Sightron S3 and perhaps Leupold Mark 4 LR/T (although I suspect that the Leupy would be far more expensive).

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/26/2007 at 12:45
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I was kind of interested in how 4200's have maintained or possibley improved thier glass quality. I have heard but this is not confirmed that 4200 sales are not doing to well so sometimes new releases even though they are named under the same line show trends in the direction and progress of a company.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/26/2007 at 12:48
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That could be true.  We'll just have to see how expensive the new scope is first.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/26/2007 at 12:57
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I look foreward to your comparisons Illya. I have not decided what I am going to buy this year,still to early.

I am going to wait a bit.

 

Trinidad

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/28/2007 at 21:27
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Thanks koshkin!  Can't wait to read your findings.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/29/2007 at 02:12
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That poor Monarch.

The unspeakable horrors that await that optic in the Dark Lords Evil Laboratory are....unimaginable!!

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/29/2007 at 03:27
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Originally posted by cheaptrick cheaptrick wrote:

That poor Monarch.

The unspeakable horrors that await that optic in the Dark Lords Evil Laboratory are....unimaginable!!

 



Just wait. Not only will I destroy the Monarch reputation for all eternity, I will even manage to make you feel responsible for it (insert evil laugh here).

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/29/2007 at 11:46
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/22/2007 at 17:38
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All right, I just spent some time playing with the Monarch and Elite 4200 and I am typing up my impressions.  Expect to see them posted in the "Member's Tests and Reviews" section later today.

ILya  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/23/2007 at 00:28
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All right, it's there.  Cheaptrick, did I butcher the Monarch sufficiently thoroughly or should I add some?

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/23/2007 at 03:28
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Originally posted by koshkin koshkin wrote:

All right, it's there.  Cheaptrick, did I butcher the Monarch sufficiently thoroughly or should I add some?

ILya

 

I'm scared to look!!..........

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