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Scope Comparison

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/26/2008 at 21:17
BobH View Drop Down
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I recently bought a couple of hunting scopes and wanted to make a comparison to some other scopes that I already owned.  I have done some simple tests of looking out at dusk with the scopes to see differences, but wanted to know if there was a test that could be done that would dramatically display the differences in scopes from high to low to a not-so-advanced user.
 
I will be testing a Swarovski 3-9x36 AV, a Zeiss Diavari 1.5-6x42, a Leupold 1-4x20 VX-II, a Burris 3-9x40 Fullfield and an older Bushnell 3-9x40. 
 
I am planning on setting all of the scopes to 4x and am most interested to see how much of a difference I will see between the Burris to the Leupold, and then again from the Leupold to the higher end.
 
Thanks in advance
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/26/2008 at 22:02
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A simple test is take a gray sheet of 8.5x11 paper. Starting .5 inch below the "top" edge (longwise), use a ruler and draw lines every inch. You should end up with .5 in margin from the bottom. Mount the paper, if you can, at the edge of a woodsy area and set up a table 100yds away. Start about 30min before sunset and observe through the scopes you are testing every 5 minutes until 5 minutes before sunset, writing down your observations (Column 1 Scope A, Column 2 Scope B, etc). Then, begin taking readings every minute. The scope of lesser quality will "gray out" first...lines undetectable. As the test continues, you will see less lines through all the scopes until finally, even the best will gray out. That is the test I use on scopes to figure out which ones are true "junk" and which ones are only "junk" by fiat.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/26/2008 at 22:13
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I haven't heard of that test before......... sounds interesting.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/26/2008 at 22:35
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It's based upon some infra-red testing I once did.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/27/2008 at 08:54
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 Try a NIKON and you could eliminate at least 2 of those .... Whistling
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/03/2008 at 21:24
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Kickboxer, I took your method and adjusted it a little bit to reflect conditions around my house.  From my back porch I can view a chain link fence that is backed by a "Grayish" building, both of which are about 60 yds away.  I began looking through the scopes right around dusk, and watched through them until I saw a loss of definition in the fence.

Today I tested a new Leupold VX-II 1-4x20 and a 5 year old Burris 3-9x40 Fullfield II.  The first thing that was dramatically different to my eye, was the difference in the power levels.  I had both scopes set at 4x, and the Burris was clearly zoomed in more than the Leupold at the same setting.

I then looked at the scopes in both 3x and 4x to try and resolve the fence, and in this case, found that the Burris was able to resolve the crosshatch of the fence longer than the VX-II.  It may have been that  the power difference made the fence more visible to the Burris, but even changing the Burris to 3x and leaving the VX-II at 4x, it seemed to be a dead heat.
 
I am going to try and do the same tests with the Swarovski and the Zeiss next, I will post my opinion in the next week or two.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/03/2008 at 22:12
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Those results do not surprise me.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/04/2008 at 10:21
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I would not consider this a really valid test of quality but it is easy and fun and tells you something - I'm just not quite sure what.

I once tested scopes by hanging a newspaper page on a fence and then moving back to the farthest spot where I could still read the print. I then put the scope down on the grass in that spot. I did each one in turn and finally had a "line" of optics on the lawn showing their relative ability to resolve newsprint on a fence.
 
Obviously there is a lot more to a good scope image besides close distance sharpness - but I was suprised at the large difference between scopes. The best part is you can do it at home in a few minutes.
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