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Scope Testing ??

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/31/2006 at 11:35
john300exc View Drop Down
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Looking to purchase a new scope, 3-14x power range. One of my considerations is low light performance. Reading through many posts there seems to be little scientific evidence provided. Most reviews seem to be more of the “I looked thro my cousins scope and my brand X is brighter than his brand Z.” I am also suspicious of manufactures claims about various lens coatings, as it seems this is only part of the light transmission equation.

Are there any objective tests where similar scope’s light transmission ability have actually been MEASURED with more than a subjective Eyeball Test? Are there any specifications that reliable reveal a scope's performance?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/31/2006 at 12:49
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John funny you should ask. Your question has been a hot topic on several threads recently. The answer is no, there are no objective tests out there, just a lot of opinions.3-14X is a very broad range to cover and what you want to hunt and where and how far are all major factors. In low light, low power is better than high. Perhaps a good 1-5 (or so variable) would work unless your shooting varmints at dusk at 300 yards. the best basic rule is that if you spend $300 for a scope in that power range, it will be very good. To provide any advice (i.e. opinion) you need to provide more info on intended use.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/31/2006 at 13:12
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There are not a whole lot of official laboratory results (not that are contemporary that I am aware of).  However, there are quite a few people on this forum who have taken the time to compare scopes side by side.  While it certainly does not allow for an absolute measurement of a scope's quality, it does allow to compare between scopes and see which one has better glass.  If you compare scopes side by side under several different lighting conditions and stare at the resolution chart for a bit, you'll have an idea of what is better.  Obviously this only pertains to optical quality.  Mechanical quality can only be measured out in the field with some extensive testing of adjustment accuracy and general toughness.  I am not the best guy for that.  Other people herelike Mike MacDonald know more about that.  I am an optics guy.

Now, about light transmission.  Generally, it is the most often used and one of the least relevant or important qualities of a scope. 

The ability to see an image is not controlled solely by light transmission. The apparent brightness to the eye has two primary contributions: amount of light and image resolution. A bright image that is not very well defined will often appear darker to the eye than a dimmer image with crisper resolution. Two images of equal brightness, as measured by the equipment may appear profoundly different to a human eye due to the difference in resolution of the optical system. This resolution, in no small part, comes from the quality of the glass surface (way before the coatings are applied) and the peculiarities of the lens design.

Coatings are very important, but not for the total light transmission as much as for keeping various internal reflections in check.  That minimizes, among other things, secondary image formation and other factors effeting image fidelity.

ILya


Edited by koshkin
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/31/2006 at 13:41
Acenturian View Drop Down
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You are correct, there is very few actual tests out there with regards to scope performance. Most of these comments based here on this forum are just opinions. But then again that is what forums are for, a place to post one's "opinion".

 

Personally, I am more apt to take into account a fellow hunter or shooters opinion when looking at an optical decision more than any magazine article. So far the advice I have received on this forum has been very positive.

 That does not mean that I ask for advice and whatever is given I run right out and buy. I'm still the ultimate judge for "my" optical purchases. I for one believe that once you get to a certain level of optics only you the purchaser can make the decision as to what looks good to your eyes and what you are willing to spend.

 

I agree with Rootmanslim, that at the $300 level your into good glass and it will come down to personal preference as well as intended use.

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

AC

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/31/2006 at 13:59
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Originally posted by Acenturian Acenturian wrote:

 

Personally, I am more apt to take into account a fellow hunter or shooters opinion when looking at an optical decision more than any magazine article. So far the advice I have received on this forum has been very positive.

 That does not mean that I ask for advice and whatever is given I run right out and buy. I'm still the ultimate judge for "my" optical purchases. I for one believe that once you get to a certain level of optics only you the purchaser can make the decision as to what looks good to your eyes and what you are willing to spend.

 

 

Well said and you can not go wrong on OT. There are some very good opinions here and don't forget to use the search function.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/31/2006 at 15:23
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My baseline rifle scopes I am currently using are a VariX 3.5 - 10 40mm and a VariX 6.5 - 20 50mm. I own several other older Leupolds. While it seems I am a Leupold guy, it's just that I have not been exposed to other brands. It appeared that the Leupold brand offered reasonable performance for the price. Some other cheaper scopes I saw in the past did not measure up to the quality of the Leupolds with which I had experience. I am talking 10 + years and I suspect things may have changed by comments I see on this board and others. I recently purchased a Weaver 3-9 for a rimfire when I was considering a more expensive Leupold rimfire scope. I am very happy with the quality of the Weaver and the money saved.

This scope will be placed on a rifle for shots under 250 yds on whitetails. I had an experience earlier this week when right before dark, several deer appeared at about 150 yds in shadows. I could see antlers but was unable to get a good view. I knew it was not the particular buck I was hunting, as his antlers are unusually white. My old binoculars, Nikon 10 x 50 Action Lookout IV, were somewhat better. If there is better low light performance, I am interested.

My first consideration was to buy a Leupold VX III, 3.5 - 10 40mm. I was trying to justify the 50 mm objective when I stumbled across the Leupold vs the "other" debate.

I am open to as good of a scope for the same or less dollars, and also open to spend more if the extra dollars resulted in a significant improvement in clarity and brightness.

I just have no way to tell! Looking across sporting goods store with a scope has never been much of a test for me.

An analogy would be when I have to buy video equipment. When every I have strayed from Sony, I usually regret the purchase. Ya'll know anything about LCD and Plasma TVs??

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/31/2006 at 16:08
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i was a leupold only guy for years too, and i got out of that when they quit making the vari x series and started making the vx's because the price went up and the quality i think did not and that was disapointing to me, so i switched to nikon and burris and someday i promise everyone i will own a 4200!! just to prove i will try a bushnell
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/01/2007 at 16:10
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Originally posted by tahqua tahqua wrote:

Originally posted by Acenturian Acenturian wrote:

 

Personally, I am more apt to take into account a fellow hunter or shooters opinion when looking at an optical decision more than any magazine article. So far the advice I have received on this forum has been very positive.

 That does not mean that I ask for advice and whatever is given I run right out and buy. I'm still the ultimate judge for "my" optical purchases. I for one believe that once you get to a certain level of optics only you the purchaser can make the decision as to what looks good to your eyes and what you are willing to spend.

 

 

Well said and you can not go wrong on OT. There are some very good opinions here and don't forget to use the search function.

 

+1,use that search function.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/01/2007 at 17:54
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John300EXC:

 

By no means would you be left out in the cold with a Leupold. They still make a very nice scope.  Personally, I'm not a big fan of 50mm objectives on a hunting rifle, just too big and heavy for the trade off which would be better low light performance at higher magnifications. On a bench gun, 50mm or bigger is fine but again that is just for me.

 

I can totally relate to the TV thing. I have always bought Sony.  Last year I went down to look at a LCD TV for the bed room and I was so impressed with the Samsung.  When I was growing up Samsung and Sharp were...well junk.  I did some reading on TV reviews and I have a friend that knows what all the numbers (Refresh rates ect..) mean and he told me that the Samsung and the Sharp got great reviews....who would have known.

 

You are right years ago Leupold at the top and followed by Redfield were about the only quality scope within the working mans budget.  Sure there was Zeiss, Swaro, and Kahles but they were and are very expensive. So if you wanted a good scope it was Leupold or Redfield and that was about it. Bushnell, Weavers and some others were pretty much low end junk. 

 

The playing field has some what changed. Leupold still offers a very good scope, Redfield (new company) I think has priced itself out of the affordable market but now Bushnell with the Elite series, the Weaver Grand Slam (my favorite buy out there for the money), Nikon, Sightron, Pentax and Burris all make good scopes that can run right up there with the Leupold series.  So sometimes it pays to check other things out and then make your decision.

 

Happy New Year

AC

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/01/2007 at 20:54
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Originally posted by john300exc john300exc wrote:

An analogy would be when I have to buy video equipment. When every I have strayed from Sony, I usually regret the purchase. Ya'll know anything about LCD and Plasma TVs??



It is not directly in my field of expertise, but I know a litle bit about LCD/Plasma TVs.  What information are you looking for exactly?

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/02/2007 at 12:05
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Our retirement home is currently under construction, roof now on the structure. We are at the deciding phase for the TV size that will either be placed beside or above a fireplace. My brother has a Samsung 40 or 42" LCD. It's good, as is a friend's similar size Plasma. The most impressive set I have seen in stores is a Sony Bravia 46" LCD.

It's hard to know what kind of feed stores are using to judge picture quality. We have Direct TV .

We thought about placing the TV above the fireplace but are concerned that it will be too high for comfortable viewing.The room is 23' X 24'.

 

The tie of this subject to a riflescope forum is just outside the room is a patio overlooking a 16 acre lake where deer  are often seen. I don't want my neck to be in spasm or my eyes blurred from watching a poor quality TV when I take a shot from the patio!

 

Thanks for everyone help

 

John

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/02/2007 at 12:39
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Personally I prefer LCD, but this kinda depends on what size of a TV you want.  If you want something really large, like 50" or above Plasma is pretty much your only way to go.  It is a cheaper technology, but it hard to make small pixels, so to have good resolution plasma TVs have to be pretty big.  If  you have a large TV with somparatively low resolution, you will see pixelation if you happen to be fairly close to the screen.  LCD can have higher resolution and I would suggest going with a model that can support 1080i or 1080P programming (if if you do not currently have it, it is coming).

Generally, plasma screens will have somewhat better color, but the difference has pretty much disappeared with modern day TVs. 

Also, modern LCDs from reputable makers have wider viewing angle than Plasmas.

Plasma TVs used to suffer from burn in, but that seems to have been resolved.  Still LCDs typically last anywhere from a tme and a half to twice longer than plasmas.

LCDs burn a fair bit less energy and are a lot lighter (makes a difference when you are mounting it on the wall).

The biggest difference to me is that plasmas do not have sufficiently bright picture in the dark which is when I watch TV the most: after hours.  LCDs work fine with little background illumination.

ILya

 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/02/2007 at 12:49
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Great info here from Koshkin. These are the two TV's that I currently looked at and liked. I have always had good luck and good performance from sony products. Almost all of my electronics are sony but this Hitachi Plasma looked very nice when I saw it and has alot of good reviews.

 

LCD:

 

http://www.circuitcity.com/ssm/Sony-46-BRAVIA-XBR-LCD-HDTV-K DL46XBR2/sem/rpsm/oid/156853/catOid/-12867/rpem/ccd/productD etail.do

 

Plasma:

 

http://www.circuitcity.com/ssm/Hitachi-55-Plasma-HDTV-55HDS6 9/sem/rpsm/oid/148966/catOid/-12869/rpem/ccd/productDetail.d o

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/02/2007 at 13:13
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I've got to admit that I thoroughly detest Sony (they probably have the worst customer service I've ever experienced).  Besides, they tend to come up with their proprietory standard and try pushing them on other companies.  That is a consumer nightmare for me.  For example, flash memory that Sony uses is not compatible with products from any other company.

They do make pretty good TVs although I generally prefer Sharp and Samsung LCDs to Sony.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/02/2007 at 15:15
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I have a Samsung 56" widescreen DLP HDTV w/ 1080p resolution and are really happy with the picture. Some broadcasts seem to jump out of the screen because of the depth of the picture, almost like 3D.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/03/2007 at 09:56
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Choosing the type of TV is like choosing a scope.  It depends what you are going to use if for.  Watching TV?  Watching movies?  Gaming?  LCD, plasma, and projection each have their advantages and disadvantages.  What is the resolution of your source?  There is not much 1080 around yet so you may not want to pay the premium for it.  There are some good forum around to help you with this choice with better advice than you will get here.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/03/2007 at 10:49
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I recently purchased a Toshiba 32" LCD HDTV and I've been overjoyed with it.   The picture quality is outstanding and I can pull in 1080i broadcast signals with an HDTV antenna for free.  I believe the Toshibas have been on the Consumer Reports top 5 lists for HDTVs so you might want to check them out also.

 

To keep this scope related, I just got a killer deal on a Nikon Monarch UCC 4-12x40 with BDC reticle from SWFA.  A lot of places seem to be blowing them out recently, is Nikon coming out with something new?

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/03/2007 at 11:15
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Originally posted by gtsteve03 gtsteve03 wrote:

I recently purchased a Toshiba 32" LCD HDTV and I've been overjoyed with it.   The picture quality is outstanding and I can pull in 1080i broadcast signals with an HDTV antenna for free.  I believe the Toshibas have been on the Consumer Reports top 5 lists for HDTVs so you might want to check them out also.

 

To keep this scope related, I just got a killer deal on a Nikon Monarch UCC 4-12x40 with BDC reticle from SWFA.  A lot of places seem to be blowing them out recently, is Nikon coming out with something new?

 

I noticed all the big markdowns on the Monarchs. 2007 is going to be a good year for new optics IMO, I say unless you realy need a scope, right now is not a good time to buy. Here is my pick on a budget for what I have seen so far to come this year.

 

http://www.opticstalk.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=5239&PN=2

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