Originally Posted by Jagermeister
Sorry, I will have to disagree. I can tell a big difference between my x56 scope and my friends x50 scope while dusk/night hunting. My friend went out and bought a 2000 dollar x56 scope when he saw the difference. Our scopes are expensive and the quality glass does make a difference. You are right about the glass. I will stick with my advise of buying a 3-9 magnification for a more precise shot and the needed extra power to insure what you are shooting at at dusk. I have been a night hunter for some time and have experienced the necessity of a larger quality lens.
Jager, just curious, but is it possible that what you experienced was the result of a smaller exit pupil given the objective size and magnification setting of the scope in question?
If you were working with a variable power scope and you turned down the magnification to make optimal use of the exit pupil diameter for the light conditions you were in, did you see a brighter or more sharply contrasted (clearer) image?
Higher quality glass that transmits more light to your eye will obviously make a difference, but two scopes with the same magnification and different size objectives will transmit a varying diameter image, and thus varying amounts of light, through the ocular.
I think human pupil dilation diameter ranges somewhere between 2MM and 8MM. Any scope that has an exit pupil diameter optimized to transmit the light that forms the image between 6MM to 8MM is probably going to be better for low light environments.
If it were me and I absolutely needed magnifying optics, to save money and have a higher quality optic, I'd select a fixed magnification scope with an objective diameter and magnification value that would transmit the largest image that my pupil was capable of taking in under the expected lighting conditions.
Any variable magnification optic that performs as well as a fixed magnification optic with the same general specifications is going to cost a lot more money for the same level of quality.
If the scope were for 300 yards on in, I'd think a 6X scope would work.
The types of optical distortion you'd run into with lower quality scopes really aren't all that apparent at closer targets, but the contrast/sharpness/clarity of the image are pretty apparent at any distance.
- If shooting in low light, consider the exit pupil diameter for the magnification level of the scope
- Don't buy variable magnification scopes that aren't first focal plane if you intend to use a MIL or MOA reticle for what it was designed for
- Variable magnification means a lot more is going on inside the scope and to achieve the same level of optical performance you have to spend a lot more money
- If you want to spend less than 1K for a high quality scope, then variable magnification is not for you
- The best scope in the world won't do you much good if you use a cheap mount, which is to say any mount that doesn't stay put or is improperly machined- don't spend 2K on a scope and put it in a $50 mount
- Properly mounting the scope is important at extended ranges- just as canting your rifle can cause your shot to fall someplace other than where intended a canted scope can cause the same problem
- If you're shooting at targets at varying ranges, then repeatable and true windage and elevation adjustments are a must
- Illumination of the reticle certainly helps in low light, but clear and bright images are the most helpful
Apart from that, try a few before you buy one