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Quality of Hi vs Lo power Variable Scopes

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/17/2004 at 11:31
GoldenDog1 View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
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I am trying to decide upon a variable ranging from 2.5 X 10 X 50 vs. 4 X 16 X 50.  I am familiar with all the concerns such as weight, length, FOV, exit pupil/brightness, eye relief, etc.  My question is really of a technical or manufacturing nature.  If dealing with the same brand/manufacturer, same line of scopes; is there any reason why the overall quality of the view should be different when identical powers have been dialed in on different powered variable scopes? For instance, a Bushnell Elite 4200 2.5 X 10 X 50 vs. 4 X 16 X 50, both dialed in somewhere between the 4 to 10 powers?  Is there more required "stuff" built into the larger powered scope that technically affects its functioning vs. a less powered variable scope?  The length of the higher powered scopes are typically 1" to 2" longer, althought the weight is not necessarily greater.  Are mfg. technical specs different in fabricating larger variables which degrades the overall relative quality compared to lesser variable ranges?  If one can purchase a higher variable scope for the same price and factors such as FOV, dimensions, etc. are not an issue; is there any reason not to go to a more versatile higher variable powered scope? 

 Question #2:  I currently own a Leupold Vari-X II 3X9, Burris Signature 1.5 X 5 and Redfield 4X12, so I have limited experience with various manufacturers and power ranges.  I think I favor the 3X12X50 specification to replace the Redfield on my Weatherby .240 Magnum, however, not many vendors offer this power combination.  Burris Black Diamond offers it, however, I am not impressed with the brightness of  my 1.5 X 5 Signature.  Even with the smaller objective lens, it should be as bright as my other two scopes given its low power range and exit pupil.  Any experience with the Burris Black Diamond line you could share would be appreciated.  My current scope finalists are Leupold VXIII, Nikon Monarch Gold, and Zeiss Conquest.  While the Bushnell Elite 4200 looks attractive pricewise, I have not heard as many positives compared to the others.  I would appreciate any and all assistance the forum can offer.  Thanks.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/18/2004 at 23:29
Guests View Drop Down
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Hey Golden Dog.

Man, that question #1 is a doozy.  I'm not a manufacturer, or a scientist but I'll try and help if I can.  I have sent an email to one of the R&D guys at Bushnell who designs their scopes for an answer.  To tell you the truth, you've got me interested too.  MY htouights on how this works is that different powers in the same line with equal objective and eyepiece lens sizes might be expected to be the same at equal power; however, I'm pretty sure that some of the scopes in the same line have more lens elements than others.  If I'm not mistaken, certain power ranges in some models also feature lenses like aespherical or ED (UD) lenses.  Some of the Nikons I'm pretty sure have ED lenses just like in their camera lenses.  Because of the way the need to focus light to the back of the scope into the eyepiece, I'm pretty sure they have to design the lens arrangements for each power range and tube length/shape.  I could be talking completely out of my a$$ here so bear with me until I get word from the man.  

Regarding question #2:
I don't think you really can compare to the brightness of a 1.5-5 with a 26mm tube over something with a larger objective in the same line by just using exit pupil as a gage.  Let's use my eotech as an example:  It has no power at all, just an illuminated reticle.  There is absolutely no exit pupil; however, I can see targets better and brighter with a good quality scope set at modertae power than I can with my naked eye under a moonlit sky.  Any of those scopes you mention are great scopes and you won't really notice the difference of 3-4.5 on the low end once you start shooting it so take your pick and practice mounting your rifle quickly to your shoulder at close range targets.  Try this with your eyes open and your dominant eye will take over.  After a while, you're rifle will just fly up to your target without thinking even on close cover whitetails.  I regularly kill deer in timber with 6X scopes.  No problem.  Mount your scope as low as possible while still being able to turn your power change ring and this will be even easier, just like pointing a shotgun.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/22/2004 at 19:59
hangfire View Drop Down
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Extra-low Dispersion glass (ED) doubles to triples the cost of a camera lens. I'm sure if it were used in a major brand scope, they'd be crowing about it to no end. The one thing I can see missing from the list of features/specs is "resolution", something nobody measures, and only the vaguest advertising terms are used to gloss-over it ("clear", "sharp").

Even while "Brightness" is harped on constantly, only theoretical/calculated light transmission values are given in advertising- no lab figures. You can get a lot of brightness out of any scope- at the expense of flare, and loss of contrast.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/23/2004 at 10:01
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Actually hangfire, Nikon has been putting ED glass into many of their lenses lately. They will often put one element in just to get the ED staturs to help sell lenses.  many ED lenses can now be purchased at reasonable prices.
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