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open discussion on scopes


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#31 Brant

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Posted 18 May 2008 - 06:53 AM

It's obvious that there is a lot of snake oil in rifle scope sales and it's difficult to believe a $200 scope might have indiscernable clarity and brightness qualities from a $1500. You sure won't see a qualified study from the high-end manufacturers published unless they have a superior position to justify the expense and some of these results make it apparant why. This testing was done in Germany by VISOR in 2006. VISOR tested nine optics from eight manufacturers in the middle to highest price range for clarity, brightness (light transmission in low and high light), and climate proofing.The testing summary from the study:Technology overview(Manufacturer/Brand/Model) |(Length mm) | (Diameter mm) | (Weight grams) | (Reticle type)* Burris Signature 6-24X44 | 418 | 25.4 | 620 | Various* Docter VZF 8-25X50 | 416 | 25.4 | 796 | Plex, MILDOT* Leupold VX-III LR 6.5-20X50 | 366 | 30 | 556 | Various* Nightforce NXS 5.5-22X56 | 387 | 30 | 918 | Illum. Various* Nikon Monarch II 6.5-20X44 AO | 377 | 25.4 | 602 | Various* S&B PM II/LP double turn 5-25X56 | 422 | 34 | 1104 | Illum. Various* Swarovski PV-S 6-24X50 P-Sport | 397 | 30 | 686 | Various* Zeiss Victory Diavari 6-24X56 T* | 389 | 30 | 812 | Illum. Various* Zeiss Victory Diavari 6-24X72 T* | 383 | 34 | 1034 | Illum. VariousOptical results:Manufacturer |(Transmisson day%)| (Transmission Night %)| (FOV min. m/100m) | (FOV max. m/100m) |(Parallax 50-300m)| Diopter | (Focal Point De. 2nd plane)* Burris | 88.4 | 85.1 | 1.70 | 5.40 | Ok | Not Meas. | Not Meas.* Docter | 86.0 | 78.4 | 1.50 | 4.30 | Ok | 0.1 | 2 cm* Leupold | 92.2 | 87.2 | 1.85 | 4.75 | No Scale | 0.1 | None* Nightforce | 88.2 | 85.1 | 1.55| 5.90 | No Scale | 0.3 | None* Nikon | 93.3 | 91.4 | 1.75 | 5.20 | Ok | Ok | 1 cm* S&B | 93.1 | 91.0 | 1.65 | 5.40 | Ok | 0.1 | First Plane* Swarovski | 90.9 | 88.2 | 1.75 | 6.10 | Ok | Ok | None* Zeiss (56) | 92.0 | 88.8 | 1.68 | 6.00 | Ok | 0.2 | None* Zeiss (72) | 92.1 | 88.8 | 1.70 | 6.10 | Ok | 0.2 | 1 cmRemarks: The minimum and maximum values for the field of view were measured on the 10-meter board and then extrapolated. Parallax adjustment was tested for the following distances: 50, 100, 200 and 300 m. With Leupold and Nightforce this is more difficult because of the scaling missing. The diopter constant is determined on 100 m with the change from the lowest to the highest magnification. Focal point deviations occur only with samples with reticles in the second plane - and this also is measured at 100-m by changing from the lowest to the highest magnification.Climate-proofing (-25 Celsius)Manufacturer | Eyepiece | Magnification |(Illum. Reticle)| Parallax* Burris | --- | --- | --- | ---* Docter | Good | Good | --- | Difficult* Leupold | Good | Frozen | --- | Good* Nightforce | Good | (Very difficult) | Good | Good* Nikon | Difficult | (Very difficult) | --- | Frozen* S&B | Good | Good | Good | Good* Swarovski | Good | Good | --- | Good* Zeiss (56) | Good | Good | Good | Good* Zeiss (72) | Good | Good | Good | GoodRemarks: After the water leaked onto the Burris it was not placed in the climate chamber. After the cooling shock all samples were heated to 50į Celsius. The grease then became liquid, the threads and fitting surfaces could squeak. That was easy with both the Zeiss and the Schmidt & Bender to notice. With the Docter the magnification ring squeaked, but the parallax worked now somewhat more smoothly."This is very revealing and It certainly confirms my personal experiences. I will not purchase another Burris and I would be hard-pressed to swing for a Nightforce or Doctor scope after these results. Nikon and S&B had the best optical results - especially in low light and the Leupold VX-III performance was good in high lighting but in low light fell off to the level of considerably more inexpensive scopes. I would like to see a similar study done in the US but with many of the lower end scopes included. The impact could be significant to sales so I don't see the companies with higher-end branding like Leupold funding such a study anytime soon based on these results. Brant

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#32 The Pied Sniper

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Posted 18 May 2008 - 07:42 AM

I have a Swarovski and it's it out of this world. When it comes to scopes it seems that you get what you pay for. IMO you when you by a scope you need to just start slapping leather and dish out as much money as you can. My Swarovski cost about $2000 and i will admit i cried a little but i knew that i had just bought a scope that would last 3 life times.

#33 gmoney

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Posted 18 May 2008 - 12:15 PM

Brandt, this is a neat article you summaried...This is the kind of info I was looking for. Very interesting thank you

#34 Brant

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Posted 18 May 2008 - 01:55 PM

Brandt, this is a neat article you summaried...This is the kind of info I was looking for. Very interesting thank you

I did some searching and found the same type of study done by a Finnish group with similar results:The order is from best to worst....The Scope______ Twilight F Exit Pupil Bright. Merit 8pm Visibility Schmidt & B. 2,5-10x56 23.66 5.60 132.52 1.5 Swarovski 2,5-10x56 23.66 5.60 132.52 1.5 Zeiss 1-12x56 25.92 4.67 120.97 1.5 Zeiss 2,5-10x50 22.36 5.00 111.80 1.5 Docter 3-12x56 25.92 4.67 120.97 1 Kahles 3-12x56 25.92 4.67 120.97 1 Kahles 2,5-10x50 22.36 5.00 111.80 1 Docter 2,5-10x48 21.91 4.80 105.16 1 Swarovski 2,5-10x42 20.49 4.20 86.07 1 Schmidt & B. 1,5-6x42 15.87 7.00 111.12 0.5 Karl Kaps 2,5-10x56 23.66 5.60 132.52 0.5 Meopta 3-12x56 25.92 4.67 120.97 0.5 Meopta 3-12x50 24.49 4.17 102.06 0.5 Bushnell 3-9x50 21.21 5.56 117.85 0 Shirstone 4-12x56 25.92 4.67 120.97 0 Bushnell 2,5-10x50 22.36 5.00 111.80 0 Burris 2,5-10x44 20.98 4.40 92.30 0 Leupold 4,4-14x50 26.46 3.57 94.49 0 Brant

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#35 D-Man

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Posted 18 May 2008 - 04:02 PM

Still very hard to pass up my Shepherd scope. I would also respectfully disagree on scope price vs rifle price. A great scope can make an average rifle even better. I know I spent more on the glass then I did on the rifle and don't regret it. Granted, I love Swarovski and Zeiss but at what range will you be shooting and at what targets plays a major role in what kind of glass you buy.Darren
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#36 capitol

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Posted 18 May 2008 - 05:51 PM

I purchased a a 5.5x22-50 Night Force Scope and its like looking at high definition tv through your scope. The entire fov no matter what the power setting is extremely bright and clear from edge to edge.I think low end scopes are fine for daytime range duties. Get out in low light conditions at 15 degrees and tell me how well a BSA or Simmons scope performs.A premium scope will make you shoot better.
Bullets are pretty worthless. All they do is hang around waiting to get loaded.

#37 Brant

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Posted 18 May 2008 - 05:59 PM

Look at that German study I posted again with respect to low-light tests.... There are a lot of misperceptions on scope performance w/o real numbers to look at. The low-light transmissions results in the mid 80s are comparable with a lot of moderate priced scopes.

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#38 capitol

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Posted 18 May 2008 - 06:53 PM

I wonder who really sponsored that testing? I don't need a lab case to tell me what I've experienced. I've been out in rice fields to the bone cold dessert and know high end optics are worth the extra dough. I agree in normal conditions and adequate light many scopes will be perform just fine.I wont even try and tell you what a quad will do to cheap glass, mounted in gun racks.
Bullets are pretty worthless. All they do is hang around waiting to get loaded.

#39 Brant

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 06:44 AM

b

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#40 Brant

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 06:45 AM

As an update I emailed Swift for their light transmission numbers since they upgraded their lens coatings a couple of years back. If the numbers are accurate they rate as well as if not better than many of the high end scopes at least in terms of brightness. This is very apparent when I compare my Swift scope to my Leupold VX-III 6.5-20 or especially to my buddies new Night Force. I understand why independ testing isn't being performed in the US. If the differences were really significant given the marketing budget of Leupold this would be a given.BrantHi Brant,There was a testing done a couple of years ago that included Swift. It was done in Europe, but I donít have any of the original material, nor do I remember results. Sorry.I will get you any of our factory specs that you may request, though. As for Light re-transmission, our spec for the 678 series has been an average of 90% to 92%. Too many lens elements and too small an aperture to get a greater number than 92% for this specific scope, so as long as the different productions block glass and the different productions of the chemical agents we use to coat the lenses keeps everything at a minimum of 90%, we can breath a sigh of relief that at least we donít have to start all over. One of the many joys of mass production!Thank you,BillBill Medal Swift Sport Optics

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