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Finland Low Light Scope Test

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/17/2008 at 13:22
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The following information is about a test of scope performance in low light levels done in Finland. The data were made available by an individual who is identified as Low Light Hunter. Tom B.

From: LowLightHunter          Sat Jan 05, 2008 1:00 am    

To: MrGman.     Here is a test from a Finnish magazine where a bunch of scopes where tested.
A test board with E letters in different sizes on separate levels(the same as used for the driving tests) where placed 110 yards away. The test results show how many rows could be seen through the scope at different times during the evening. If a minus (-) sign is placed after the row number, it means that it could not be determined where the E pointed (up, down, left or right). The test results are in Finnish, but here is a translation table:

- riv = row
- ei näy = could not be seen

The test where done during winter time conditions.

Here are the test results:

Burris                 2,5-10x44 17.00: 3 riv. 17.30: 1 riv.- 20.00: ei näy
Bushnell         2,5-10x50 17.00: 3 riv. 17.30: 1 riv.- 20.00: ei näy
Bushnell         3-9x50         17.00: 3 riv. 17.30: 2 riv.- 20.00: ei näy
Docter              2,5-10x48 17.00: 3 riv. 17.30: 2 riv.- 20.00: 1 riv.
Docter              3-12x56    17.00: 3 riv. 17.30: 2 riv.      20.00: 1 riv.
Kahles              2,5-10x50 17.00: 3 riv. 17.30: 2 riv.      20.00: 1 riv.
Kahles              3-12x56    17.00: 3 riv. 17.30: 2 riv.      20.00: 1 riv.
Karl Kaps        2,5-10x56 17.00: 3 riv. 17.30: 1 riv.      20.00: 1 riv.-
Leupold         4,4-14x50 17.00: 3 riv.-17.30: ei näy      20.00: ei näy
Meopta              3-12x50    17.00: 3 riv. 17.30: 2 riv.- 20.00: 1 riv.-
Meopta              3-12x56    17.00: 3 riv. 17.30: 2 riv.- 20.00: 2 riv.-
Schmidt&Bender     1,5-6x42   17.00: 3 riv. 17.30: 1 riv.      20.00: 1 riv.-
Schmidt&Bender     2,5-10x56 17.00: 3 riv. 17.30: 2 riv.      20.00: 2 riv.-
Shirstone        4-12x56    17.00: 2 riv.-17.30: ei näy      20.00: ei näy
Swarovsik        2,5-10x42 17.00: 3 riv. 17.30: 2 riv.      20.00: 1 riv.
Swarovski         2,5-10x56 17.00: 3 riv. 17.30: 2 riv.      20.00: 2 riv.-
Zeiss              2,5-10x50 17.00: 2 riv. 17.30: 2 riv.      20.00: 2 riv.-
Zeiss                  1-12x56    17.00: 3 riv. 17.30: 2 riv.      20.00: 2 riv.-


The following info is for a different test. Tom B
From: LowLightHunter          Tue Apr 15, 2008 12:55 pm    
     
Ok, the test was conducted in the following conditions. 19 scopes with 56mm objective and illuminated rectile or red dot were chosen. A silhuette of a deer was placed out on a field abt 20 feet away from the testers. Then they waited for the sun to set. They looked through the scopes and when it was not possible to see the deer anymore, they put the scopes away.

Scopes tested were the following:
Barska Euro Pro 3-12x56IR
Docter Classic 3-12x56R
Docter Unipoint 3-12x56R
JahtiJakt 4-16x56
Kahles CBX 3-12x56L
Leupold VX-L 4,5-14x56
Luger PRO-NA 3-12x56
Meopta Meostar R1 3-12x56RD
Micro Dot 2,5-10x56
Night Force 3,5-15x56NF
Nikon Monarch E 2,5-10x56 SF M IL
Schmidt & Bender Zenith 2,5-10x56 FD LM
Swarovski 2,5-10x56 L LD
Vixen VF 2,5-10x56
Weaver Classic Extreme 2,5-10x56 SF
Zeiss Classic Diavari 3-12x56 T*
Zeiss Victory Diavari M 3-12x56 T*
Zeiss Victory Varipoint 3-12x56 T*
Zeiss Victory Diarange M 3-12x56 T*

At 4pm the deer was difficult to see the deer without a scope. Also at 4pm the first scope was put to the side. This was Barsk. The next seven in the order of how difficult to see were Luger, Vixwn JahtiJakt, Weaver, Leupold, Micro Dot and Nikon. All within 40minutes (4pm - 4:40pm).

With the rest of the scopes it was still possible to see the deer picture to be able to make a shot at it. The moon started to give some light, so the deer picutre was moved to a darker place. After that the scopes were put in an order by which it was hardest to see the picture and so on. The two scopes that fell out first were Meopta and Schmidt&Bender. The next two scopes were Kahles and Docter Classic It was still somewhat possible to see the outlines of the deer with Docter. The next two were Docter Unipoint and Zeiss Diarange. Zeiss Victory Varipoint was a bit better than the last two. Swarovski PVI-2 and Zeiss Classic Diavari were on the same level, a little better than the varipoint. The last scope on the table was the Zeiss Victory Diavari.

The test also included other parameters which I will not mention, simply because the test was 6 A4 pages and I am only interested in the low light performance. They also measured light transmission, which gave totally other results. But what counts in the end is what you see through the scope and not the measured numbers.

Please note that this is my translation of a test that was conducted in a Finnish hunting magazine last month. I do not take any responisbility of the outcome of the test itself.

To MrGman, the scopes that I would recommend is Meopta Meostar and Docter Classic. They are good low scopes for low light hunting at a reasonable price. The best you can get, if you are prepared to pay, is of course Zeiss Diavari, both victory series with loctec coating and the classic series. For daylight hunting only I would for sure chose another scope.

From: LowLightHunter          Wed Apr 16, 2008 2:59 am    
Sorry It should be 55 yards!   They put the deer picture 55 yards out in the field. 55-110 yards is quite a normal distance for low light hunting on deer or wild boar.


I rearranged the data from the first test in the order of most to least Es seen at 8 PM. Tom B
Zeiss              3-12x56      17.00: 3 riv.      17.30: 2 riv.      20.00: 2 riv.-
Zeiss              2,5-10x50 17.00: 2 riv.      17.30: 2 riv.      20.00: 2 riv.-
Swarovski       2,5-10x56 17.00: 3 riv.      17.30: 2 riv.      20.00: 2 riv.-
Schmidt&Bender 2,5-10x56 17.00: 3 riv.      17.30: 2 riv.      20.00: 2 riv.-
Meopta              3-12x56      17.00: 3 riv.      17.30: 2 riv.-      20.00: 2 riv.-
Swarovsik       2,5-10x42 17.00: 3 riv.      17.30: 2 riv.      20.00: 1 riv.
Kahles              2,5-10x50 17.00: 3 riv.      17.30: 2 riv.      20.00: 1 riv.
Kahles              3-12x56      17.00: 3 riv.      17.30: 2 riv.      20.00: 1 riv.
Docter              2,5-10x48 17.00: 3 riv.      17.30: 2 riv.-      20.00: 1 riv.
Docter              3-12x56   17.00: 3 riv.      17.30: 2 riv.      20.00: 1 riv.
Schmidt&Bender 1,5-6x42      17.00: 3 riv.      17.30: 1 riv.      20.00: 1 riv.-
Meopta              3-12x50      17.00: 3 riv.      17.30: 2 riv.-      20.00: 1 riv.-
Karl Kaps       2,5-10x56 17.00: 3 riv.      17.30: 1 riv.      20.00: 1 riv.-
Bushnell        3-9x50      17.00: 3 riv.      17.30: 2 riv.-      20.00: ei näy
Bushnell        2,5-10x50 17.00: 3 riv.      17.30: 1 riv.-      20.00: ei näy
Burris              2,5-10x44 17.00: 3 riv.      17.30: 1 riv.-      20.00: ei näy
Leupold        4,5-14x50 17.00: 3 riv.-      17.30: ei näy      20.00: ei näy
Shirstone       4-12x56      17.00: 2 riv.-      17.30: ei näy      20.00: ei näy

I changed the power numbers from 1x12 to 3x12 for the Zeiss, and from 4.4 to 4.5 for the Leupold. Tom B

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/18/2008 at 08:28
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Excellent stuff. I found this very interesting. Who would expect to see Leupold so low on the list.  OK , don't all shout at once!!!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/18/2008 at 08:42
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Mouth%20Taped%20Shut Great info here. This should be a prime example for those needing lowlight ability.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/18/2008 at 11:08
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The test sort of confirms what I have thought and that is the glass on the top of the ine Zeiss scopes is probably the best available. I do like the retical choices and mechanical features on some of the other scope brands better then Zeiss.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/18/2008 at 11:38
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Originally posted by BSA BSA wrote:

The test sort of confirms what I have thought and that is the glass on the top of the ine Zeiss scopes is probably the best available. I do like the retical choices and mechanical features on some of the other scope brands better then Zeiss.



Looking at the list they left out a couple of the top shelf big three scopes, but great info all the same!!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/20/2008 at 21:50
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The Nightforce 3-15x56 is on the list, but not in the results section. Where did it fall in the out come?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/21/2008 at 17:06
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I did not leave out the results by accident: LowLightHunter did not include the Nightforce in his commentary.

The results of a 2004 test of rifle scopes, done in Scandinavia, includes a Nightforce NP 1, 3.5x15, 56.

See:http://www.zeiss.se/4125680F002BA25A/EmbedTitelIntern/Vapentidningen/$File/Vapentidningen.pdf

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/21/2008 at 18:01
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Very good information. Based upon "eyes" the results may vary a little, but I would think this is very close to "the way it is". Thank you.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/21/2008 at 18:46
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I have used just about every brand of scope out there in my time.
they all have there good and bad points to them.
if you could put them all togather in one scope, then you got something to talk about.
bottom line is the zeiss conquest 3x9x50 is the best over all scope I have ever used.
I have taken many deer,elk,bear,and moose in very low almost dark with no light.
the zeiss optics were the best I have ever looked threw in low light.
from a well seasoned hunter.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/24/2008 at 09:31
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although conquest is a great scope and an excellent value - the zeiss diavari is noticably better - but you pay for it dearly.
 
zeiss is a great scopemaker. period.
 
J
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/24/2008 at 11:17
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verry interesting read buddy.
never thought much of leupold scopes, only vxiii and up really.
a lot of budget type scopes missed out.
thank you for good post
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/26/2008 at 22:11
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like to see them test a VX-7
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/28/2008 at 13:52
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Thanks for the info.

Doesn't surprise me one bit though. I knew Zeiss would be the best. I have a Zeiss Diavari 3-12X56, its worth every single penny.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/28/2008 at 13:56
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Originally posted by BSA BSA wrote:

The test sort of confirms what I have thought and that is the glass on the top of the ine Zeiss scopes is probably the best available. I do like the retical choices and mechanical features on some of the other scope brands better then Zeiss.

 
Yep.
 
Thats the problem with Zeiss. They refuse to expand their line up & create better options for the US market like Swarovski. I guess they figure 2.5-10 & 3-12 has everything covered. I wish they'd make a 4-16 in the Diavari line. The 6-24 is just too much.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/28/2008 at 14:11
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I wonder why Zeiss does not offer their Hensoldt line of scopes here.....I think they would compete well against the S&B PM scopes
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/28/2008 at 14:44
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excellent,
needs to be made a sticky.
and theres me thinking leupold may be worth the moneyBucky..

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/31/2008 at 18:02
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Originally posted by SAKO75 SAKO75 wrote:

like to see them test a VX-7


z6 too. Smile


Edited by mike650 - July/31/2008 at 18:26
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Originally posted by SAKO75 SAKO75 wrote:

like to see them test a VX-7


Other than the shape of the objective lenses, what are the differences in the VX-7 and the VX-L? Are the lens coatings and the glass identical?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/01/2008 at 07:27
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The vx-7 has Twilight Lens System with Diamondcoat2 coating while the vx-l has Index Matched Lens System with Diamondcoat (1) coating.


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/01/2008 at 07:54
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The functional test of being able to see a deer in falling light had the Leupold VX-L being the 6th of 18 scopes listed to drop out. I am not well enough informed to even make a SWAG about how the VX-7 would have done.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/01/2008 at 08:06
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Don't sweat it!!! Just trying to help.

Thanks again for posting this. Smile
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/15/2009 at 17:02
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How old is this finnish test -- 2004?  if so, is it even relevant now?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/16/2009 at 10:03
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The Docter 3-12x56 is a very good low light scope.Nice to see how Leupold did,many Leupold fans must be upset by the results. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/17/2009 at 05:33
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Originally posted by csumpm csumpm wrote:

How old is this finnish test -- 2004?  if so, is it even relevant now?

The test was in Metsästys & Kalastus (Hunting & Fishing) issue march 2008.
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It´s worth mentioning that both Leupold VX-III and Nightforce NF both got very good marks on their optical quality in daylight use.

The reasons why Nikon Monarch E and Nightforce NF performed poorly in low light situations were later analyzed by Helsinki University of Technology. It was noticed that the light transfer rates with blue light wavelength were poor compared to mid-european scopes. Both scopes have excellent light transfer rates in daylight spectrum.
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