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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/26/2005 at 04:53
tbone1 View Drop Down
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I've been thinking about this for awhile and finally decided to post this although it will be difficult to explain.  I have noticed that all of us at some point or another wonder just how much better one scope is over another.  We know one may have better glass but the real question is how much difference is it and is it significant.  After doing numerous side by side tests in low light, I have created a crude system of rating some of these scopes.  Although I have many opinions of many different scopes, I have limited this to the ones that I have actually had experience with and have conducted side by side tests with ( except I added a few to help clarify the scale).  Maybe some of you could apply ratings to some of the others that you have tested after you have read the system.  It basically works like this.

 

Each scope is rated based on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the best.  Although several categories make up a scopes optical qualities, the primary measurement for this scale is brightness.  All scopes could be assigned a number.

 

A one point increase ( from a scope rated at a 4 to one rated at a  5, or from a 7 to an 8 ect.) would represent a 3% increase in brightness and somwhere around 2 to 3 minutes of additional shooting time.  A two point increase (from a 5 to a 7) would therefore would represent around a 6 % increase in brightness and about 4 to 6 minutes of additonal time.  And a three point increase would represent about a 9% increase in brightness.  All scopes could be assigned a set number.

 

What this basically means is that if you had two scopes side by side for example one is rated a 5 and another is rated a 6.  Although the six would be slightly better the difference would be insignificant.  If they were both side by side it would be extremely hard for most people to see any difference until the last minute and even then it wouldn't be enough to matter.

 

A two point increase in brightness would be more slightly more noticable when comparing them side by side but still insignificant.  In other words, the optics would possibly be clearer and would be slightly brighter, but in the field it probably would not allow a hunter to take a shot at game that he couldn't have taken with the other scope.

 

A three point increase is the minimum that I considered significant.  The difference would be easy to see at a glance and it would allow a hunter to take a later shot than he could have with the other scope.  Although still not worlds apart, it would be significant.

 

Below are some of the ratings that I have given to some of the scopes that I have owned or used.  Many of you probably will disagree but these are my opinions and I welcome other opinions and ratings on other scopes.

 

  10 - Zeiss VM/V, Swarovski PH, Schmidt & Bender

    9  - Swarovski PH, Schmidt & Bender

    8  - Swarovski A-Line

    7  - Zeiss Conquest, Kahles

    6  - Leupold VX III

    5  -Leupold Vari-X III

    4  -

    3  -

    2  -

    1  - BSA

 

Notes:  Zeiss VM/V to me is the brightest and has the best field of view.  Swaro and S&B are rated right there too at a 9 or 10.  I actually don't have any experience with the Kahles, BSA or the new Leupold VX III so I just guessed where I thought they would fall to help clarify the scale.  I was hoping maybe some of you with experience could rate them.  I tested the Zeiss, S&B, Swaro PH & A-line, and Leup Vari-x III. 

 

My goal was to give a consumer a general idea of what they can expect when upgrading from one scope to the next.  I am no expert and this scale is by no means exact but this is just my observations of these scopes and I believe this scale represents realstic expectations of their performance.  Let me know what you guys thinks.

 

 

 

 

 



Edited by Chris Farris
Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/26/2005 at 15:18
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tbone rating scale 

 

   10 - Zeiss VM/V, Swarovski PH, Schmidt & Bender

    9  - Swarovski PH, Swarovski A-Line, Schmidt & Bender

    8  - Swarovski A-Line, Kahles, IOR

    7  - Zeiss Conquest, Kahles, Elite 4200, IOR

    6  - Leupold VX III, Weaver Grand Slam, Nikon Monarch, Bushnell Elite 4200, Burris Euro & Black Diamond

    5  - Leupold Vari-X III, Weaver Grand Slam, Nikon Monarch, Burris Signature Select

    4  - Burris Fullfield II, Bushnell Elite 3200, Simmons AETEC, Leupold VX-II, Nikon Buckmaster

    3  - Simmons, Redfield, Rifleman, Leupold VX-I, Nikon Buckmaster

    2  - Simmons, BSA, Tasco

    1  - BSA, Tasco

 

I think its an excellent idea.  No one will ever agree and everyones will be a little different but it is a starting point and better than no rating system.  Like everything there will be exceptions and variances but overall I like it.

 

edited to add : VXI, II, Rifleman and Buckmaster



Edited by Chris
Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/26/2005 at 15:44
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where do the leupold ll , l, and rifleman go in the chart as well as the nikon buckmasters etc.?
Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/26/2005 at 16:18
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This is a good start, but it is one-dimensional (ie, it only measures brightness).  Lets come up with a multi-dimensional chart with the scope on one axis and attribute on the other.

 

          brightness    clarity    ruggedness     consistancy    cost    etc

SB          ___         &nb sp; ___         ___         &nb sp;       ___         &nb sp;    ___

Swar       ___

Zeiss       ___

Leup        ___

etc.         ___

 

Now, a person can weight each attribute according to their personal requirements.  Brightness is not my

top requirement.

 

Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/26/2005 at 18:10
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I'm close enough to Chris on this one to just go with his ranking.

 

ranburr

Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/26/2005 at 20:30
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This list looks very similar to the one I would make. Definitely Zeiss, Swarovski and S&B at the top and BSA at the bottom.

Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/27/2005 at 02:38
tbone1 View Drop Down
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Thanks Chris, no doubt everyone will have different opinions but like you said it is a start.  What I like about this point system is defining how much increase performance there is by upgrading from one level to another.  I tried to clarify what would be considered significant. 

 

For example, based on Chris' scale, if someone uses a Vari-x III or Nikon Monarch and wanted a brighter scope for a new rifle to hunt with in low light.  The scale would clarify that although the scopes at level 6 and 7 would have better optics, he would need to jump to at least a level 8 to really be significant.  I use the word significant in that it would actually make a difference in taking a shot.  It also would help a consumer decide whether or not a scope is worth the price.  This is based on my observations comparing the scopes I listed in low light.  What do guys think about how I defined these points. 

Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/27/2005 at 12:17
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So Chris,

 

Where would the Super Sniper fit on your list?

Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/27/2005 at 13:13
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The list did not go to 11.....so I left the SS off.
Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/28/2005 at 22:06
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*error*

 

Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/29/2005 at 11:39
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Hard to say because his scale was based on a hunting scope and brightness.  The SS having a fixed power of 10 with a 42mm objective transmits a 4.2mm exit pupil, where as the hunting scopes are variable and can be dialed to transmit a 7mm exit pupil.  The SS scopes are military scopes designed to be rugged and repeatable.  If we switched the scale to be a tactical scale, then the SS would rank near the top.  If you plan on using the SS for a hunting scope you should probably reconsider because the turrets, power and reticle are not the best choice for that application.

 

Really can't compare fixed power tactical scopes to variable hunting scopes as it really is apples to oranges.

 

 

Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/29/2005 at 19:18
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Chris,

 

Where would you rank the new Kahles CL line? Especially in comparison to the Swarovski AH?

Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/30/2005 at 20:51
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The new Kahles CL line is being billed as the best 1" scope in the world. Maybe Chris can give his experience with this new scope from Kahles.
Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/02/2005 at 09:30
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They are too new.....we just started getting them in stock a few weeks ago and they all shipped to back orders.  My limited experience with them would put them at a 9-10.  Once they prove to be durable and repeatable I would move them up to a 10.
Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/17/2005 at 09:46
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Just a quick question...Where do the Redfields fit in the scale?  I absolutly love them.  I would trade it for the world but I don't hear much about them anymore.  What is your imput...I can't wait to see.
Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/18/2005 at 01:06
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Old U.S. Redfields were great, new Redfields are pitiful.  I did speak to a Redfield rep who was really pitching their new scope that is designed to compete with the euros.  It is supposed to have ED glass and be (if I remember correctly) a 5-15x50.  I t has no AO.  I pointed this out to the rep and he wasn't sure why.  It is supposed to retail for around $600-$700.  I think I will pass.

 

ranburr

Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/18/2005 at 01:12
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I concur.
Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/18/2005 at 10:18
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Where would you put IOR tacticals?
Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/31/2005 at 13:17
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tbone rating scale 

 

   10 - Zeiss VM/V, Swarovski PH, Schmidt & Bender

    9  - Swarovski PH, Swarovski A-Line, Schmidt & Bender

    8  - Swarovski A-Line, Kahles, IOR

    7  - Zeiss Conquest, Kahles, Elite 4200, IOR

    6  - Leupold VX III, Weaver Grand Slam, Nikon Monarch, Bushnell Elite 4200, Burris Euro & Black Diamond

    5  - Leupold Vari-X III, Weaver Grand Slam, Nikon Monarch, Burris Signature Select

    4  - Burris Fullfield II, Bushnell Elite 3200, Simmons AETEC, Leupold VX-II, Nikon Buckmaster

    3  - Simmons, Redfield, Rifleman, Leupold VX-I, Nikon Buckmaster

    2  - Simmons, BSA, Tasco

    1  - BSA, Tasco

 

 

IOR are listed already.

Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/03/2005 at 09:46
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Why are some scopes listed twice? i.e. Swarovski A-line is listed in the # 8 spot & the # 9 spot. Please explain.

 

Where would the Leupold LPS fall into this rating system?

 

Looks like a pretty reliable system for comparing scopes. I've really learned alot from you guys.

Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/03/2005 at 10:27
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Just stick with the Super Sniper! I bought mine and love it I would not trade it for the world.I could not bare the though of letting someone barrow mine. Well,I would not have to they go for a great price and anyone can get one and not have to put a lean on there house. You get it all! great glass 30mm tube,warranty. What could be wrong with this picture? NOTHING!

 

Super Sniper 10x42 30mm Rifle Scope

Super Sniper 10x42 30mm Rifle

Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/03/2005 at 10:29
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Brands listed two times kinda fall in between and or offer a diversity of products whos average spans two number ranges.

 

tbone rating scale 

 

   10 - Zeiss VM/V, Swarovski PH, Schmidt & Bender

    9  - Swarovski PH, Swarovski A-Line, Schmidt & Bender

    8  - Swarovski A-Line, Kahles, IOR

    7  - Zeiss Conquest, Kahles, Elite 4200, IOR, Leupold LPS

    6  - Leupold VX III, Weaver Grand Slam, Nikon Monarch, Bushnell Elite 4200, Burris Euro & Black Diamond,

    5  - Leupold Vari-X III, Weaver Grand Slam, Nikon Monarch, Burris Signature Select

    4  - Burris Fullfield II, Bushnell Elite 3200, Simmons AETEC, Leupold VX-II, Nikon Buckmaster

    3  - Simmons, Redfield, Rifleman, Leupold VX-I, Nikon Buckmaster

    2  - Simmons, BSA, Tasco

    1  - BSA, Tasco

Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/15/2005 at 12:01
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Chris,

 

When you ranked Kahles, what model were you ranking? Where would the Kahles American Hunter model rank?

Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/16/2005 at 16:36
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I would say the American Hunter would be a strong 7.5.  They are discontinued now and have been replaced by the CL which would rank as 9.5 (only thing keeping it from being a 10 is the fact that they are brand new and I have yet to use one for an entire season).

Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/19/2005 at 09:14
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Which scope is better for low light whitetail hunting the zeiss conquest 3.5-10x50MC or the Kahles American Hunter 3.5-10x50?

 

thank you

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