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Scope tests for bright picture

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/31/2008 at 02:22
8shots View Drop Down
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I have tested a number of scopes by placing a numbered test pattern (black on white) out a 100m. These numbers go from big to small. Much like an eye test. I also placed out at 100m a 1 inch squares of the primary colours with black around them. The conditions were bright sunlight, but the targets were in deep shade.
 
Yesterday I also had the chace to include the famed Schmidt&Bender 6x42 (fixed scope).
 
My summation (even of the S&B) is that a simple test like this is not enough to show any marked improvement/differences between the different scopes. So, anyone taking a scope inside a store, or even taking it outside to look at car reg plates etc, you will not see any difference.
 
Far more stringent tests are required. I read in another post Dale talking of late in the afternoon with a lot of blue light conditions etc.
 
So, untill I find a practical method of setting up such a test, my opinion is that other factors should be considered when purchasing a scope then its "brightness". Look at tracking, holding zero point, reticule offered, eye relief etc. All the mid to upper priced scopes are "bright".
 
I am sure Luznic would not mind me quoting him from the bino forum:
"Your question is a difficult one as it brings into play people's egos.

I would imagine that someone who paid close to $2K for a binocular is going to be loathe to admit that much of their purchase involved no real optical advantage but rather, was to pay for the prestige of the particular brand badge.

On the other hand, those who can't/won't spend such money for their optics (and I include myself in this group) are likely equally loathe to accept that the top dogs in the field actually do have something to offer that they are missing.

The truth of the matter is likely somewhere in the middle.  Yes, there is a difference.  Yes, it can be seen.  However, it is an exceptionally small difference and almost certainly won't make much if any real difference in the hunting fields, though it might in activities like birding where for example, very slight differences in plumage color can be the difference between making a positive ID or not.  Only you can decide if it is worth the extreme premium on price that you must pay for these differences and your needs"


Edited by 8shots - March/31/2008 at 02:38
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/31/2008 at 07:21
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Yes, I am certain that the real expensive scopes are really astonishing to look through.  Twenty years ago I was fooling around in a gun store in Longview, Texas.  I went up to the counter and had the salesman show me all the scopes that he had on display. He was not busy, and I wanted to look through all the optics that I had never had the time to inspect before.
 
I checked out everything.  The store had a huge picture window about 40 feet from the scope counter. I would grab a scope and walk to the middle of the floor and look out that big window---it was big enough to drive a truck through it!  I looked at the Burris scopes, Leupolds, Redfields, Bausch & Lombs, Nikons, EVERYTHING!!  Then I asked him to show me that there Swarovski!! ( It was a FAT scope---30mm---a 2,2 X 9,9 model). I looked through that window out across the parking area and into the trees!
 
HOLY GOSH ALMIGHTY!!! My mouth fell open like I was catchin' flies!!  UNBELIEVABLE!!  It was like going from a Black and White 19 inch TV and into a movie theatre with Technicolor and CinemaScope!  Incredible.  Like looking into a clear, Rocky Mountain trout stream!!  There can be no denying that those high dollar European scopes are magnificent!! 
 
Do you NEED one of those scopes to go hunting?  NO.  You can go hunting with a forty year old Weaver scope and shoot all the deer you want.  Would I like to have one of those scopes?  OH YES!  But, you really don't need it--unless you are in Sweden and you are hunting by moonlight.  After all, we are not using the scopes for PHOTOGRAPHY, we are using them for a sighting device.  But, I would love to have a couple of them!!!
 
This is one of the reasons why I get so annoyed when some person gets all foaming-at-the -mouth when I reject his statement that Leupold is the best scope in the world!! Haven't these people ever LOOKED through these scopes?
 
Most all the scopes in the world will do the job for hunting purposes.  But there are some Magnificent scopes out there!!  Smile                 --Ed
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/31/2008 at 10:42
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8 shots...... maybe you need to move that there target back more.  100m might not be far enough to distinguish the sample of scopes you are testing.  When I worked for Dick and Jim, Swaro had left us some of the grids like what you are describing.  We had some of the maint. guys hang them up in the store near the ceiling.  Not sure how far away there were, maybe 75 yds or so.  Then we'd look thru different bino's and spotting scopes (I didn't work in the scope dept).  I'm telling you this was enough to be able to tell the good from the bad.  It was night and day.  The better stuff was more clear and you could read smaller print.  I didn't do that with the scopes, but I'm sure the scope guys were doing it.  Before we had the maint. guy hang those, I had put one out about 25 yds away and not up in the darker ceiling area.  It was alot harder to tell any differences with this set up.
 
If your shots are never more than 100m, then I quess you really don't heed a high end scope!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/31/2008 at 20:00
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Guys, keep in mind that everyone's eyes are different.  I have run into some people that could not tel the difference between a $300 scope and a $1000 scope.  Even looking at the resolution charts they could resolve about the same (granted with the higher end scopes, I could resolve substantially smaller features than they could with the same scope).

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/31/2008 at 20:55
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Good point ILya!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/01/2008 at 03:44
8shots View Drop Down
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Originally posted by koshkin koshkin wrote:

Guys, keep in mind that everyone's eyes are different.  I have run into some people that could not tel the difference between a $300 scope and a $1000 scope.  Even looking at the resolution charts they could resolve about the same (granted with the higher end scopes, I could resolve substantially smaller features than they could with the same scope).

ILya
 
I had other people look through the scope and they had the same comments.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/01/2008 at 03:46
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Originally posted by Tip69 Tip69 wrote:

8 shots...... maybe you need to move that there target back more.  100m might not be far enough to distinguish the sample of scopes you are testing.  When I worked for Dick and Jim, Swaro had left us some of the grids like what you are describing.  We had some of the maint. guys hang them up in the store near the ceiling.  Not sure how far away there were, maybe 75 yds or so.  Then we'd look thru different bino's and spotting scopes (I didn't work in the scope dept).  I'm telling you this was enough to be able to tell the good from the bad.  It was night and day.  The better stuff was more clear and you could read smaller print.  I didn't do that with the scopes, but I'm sure the scope guys were doing it.  Before we had the maint. guy hang those, I had put one out about 25 yds away and not up in the darker ceiling area.  It was alot harder to tell any differences with this set up.
 
If your shots are never more than 100m, then I quess you really don't heed a high end scope!
 
Tip 69, our range is unfortunately only out to 100 meters.
I hunt out to .... well... 300yds +. Last year I took Kudu in excess of 400yds.
 
And yes, my test showed up one bad scope. So as I said in the beginning, a real bad scope will show up, but once you enter the mid to upper range stuff, the quality of picture becomes more and more difficult to tell apart.
 


Edited by 8shots - April/01/2008 at 03:53
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/01/2008 at 03:50
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I know this is a very controversial issue. I desparately wanted my Leupold to be better then anything else.
I still say, why do we never see a proper scientific evalution of scope A against Scope B in any of the zillions of scope articles being published? The best we get is " this scope is really bright" and " the colours are really bright". Come-on, we live in a very scientific world, surely these guys can do better.
I have read a few articles that describes all the tests that define a scope or glass, chromatic abberration, pin-cushion effect, low-light transmissin and so the list goes on. But is a scope Brand A or B ever subjected to theses tests? No.
Well I have my theory and that is that a lot of myths would be blown out of the water about scope quality if this had to be done. Or maybe it has been done but never published..


Edited by 8shots - April/01/2008 at 03:57
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/01/2008 at 04:48
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I'm sure I have seen links to scope testing. Only problem is they were never in english.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/01/2008 at 07:32
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I have just returned from a gunshop. A person was buying a low end Nikon scope for use on an air-rifle. I looked through this scope, and could clearly see (or not clearly see) that it is inferior to the mid to upper level scopes. So to allay one issue, yes my eyes can tell the difference between crap, not so crap, average and good. But it struggles between good and very good. And this is my point, who can? And why pay for something you cannot see?

Edited by 8shots - April/01/2008 at 08:01
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/01/2008 at 08:18
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This is all fine and good, 8shots - and true - BUT a true measure of resolution or scope GREATNESS (at least in the U.S) is still how it resolves under failing light conditions (or relative brightness) - The ability for a scope to resolve details in failing light actually adds to the scopes 'brightness' - resolution in daylight is still important - but if folks take just any 'decent' scope in the lowlight for a dawn/dusk hunting scenario - they are going to be missing out on a LOT. my 2 cents.
 
J
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/01/2008 at 08:19
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Let me add something further in the mixing tank. The gunsmith Sean who was present on Sunday, owns a 308 with Shilen barrel that shoots clover-leaf groupings. It is toppen with a Nightforce 6-32x50. I had hoped that he would bring it with on that day so that I could add it to the test. He looked through my Leupold, a Lynx, a Tasco and the Schmidt and Bender with him giving a slight edge to the S&B in colour rendition. I then said I wished I had his Nightforce to test. He immediately said, well his scope is a bit old and maybe the optics is not like the new ones etc. I think he himself was taken aback at the similiarity between all the scopes. He certainly was not convinced that his scope would stand out against the other. I recall on one shoot I briefly looked through his Nightforce and was ceratainly not blown away like in parting with another $1200.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/01/2008 at 08:25
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Originally posted by jonbravado jonbravado wrote:

This is all fine and good, 8shots - and true - BUT a true measure of resolution or scope GREATNESS (at least in the U.S) is still how it resolves under failing light conditions (or relative brightness) - The ability for a scope to resolve details in failing light actually adds to the scopes 'brightness' - resolution in daylight is still important - but if folks take just any 'decent' scope in the lowlight for a dawn/dusk hunting scenario - they are going to be missing out on a LOT. my 2 cents.
 
J
 
jonbravado, you are absolutely correct. My test only caters for good conditions with the target in the shade. Hopefully it helps potential buyers to look beyond that of just looking in the store or down the road at some object.
Of course in South Africa my test is very representative of what the average hunter will encounter.
As our winter approaches, I will repeat this test under failing light and rain conditions.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/01/2008 at 09:10
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sounds good - i look forward to your findings, as they should be very interesting.
 
thanks, 8shots.
 
J
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