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Thread: varifocal eyeglasses and optical distortion in rifle scopes?

  1. #1

    varifocal eyeglasses and optical distortion in rifle scopes?

    I had a stalker once in France claim that varifocals distorted his rifle scope vision, and that he had a dedicated pair of long distance eyeglasses made for hunting only I think the theory went that if he was sighting through the line between near and far sight that this could play hell with the scope. It kind of makes sense, but no one has ever as I have seen yet studied this effect. Has anyone had an issue or noticed a problem with this?

  2. #2
    Hi WW,
    i used to wear vari foculs. When I first had them my sight when reading a book would distaught the book, making the top of the book wider than the bottom. When out shooting I never wore my glasses and I never had a problem with focusing on the scope cross hairs. I've since moved to contact lenses - being a vain old fart - the right eye lense for long sight and the left lense for short sight, the brain compensates for good vision. Using my binos and scope when out hunting is not an issue.

    Rgds.
    Spaniel

  3. #3
    Yes, it is a fact. I have had to remove my eyeglasses on a number of occasions as they (varifocals) can cause massive image distortion unless you have the luxury of taking time to adjust your and the rifle's position to give you the optimal sight picture. I now find it easier to simply remove my eyeglasses before setting out.
    Having worn corrective lenses for more than fifty years I have experienced difficulty with single vision, bi-focals and varifocals.
    As I said, the easiest solution for me is to simply shoot without and make sure that my 'scope is set up accordingly and that I use my binoculars to best effect

  4. #4
    I have used varifocals for a number of years. Mainly need them for reading but find it easier to just were them all the time.

    For a long time I had difficulty shot gun shoot wearing them but now its no problem, I suppose I have just got used to wearing them.

    I can wear them with my rifle and have no problem with the scope, but find them a real pain with the bino's so just don't use them when stalking,

  5. #5
    I wear varifocals (that makes me feel old) at work and in the house. When I'm out and about or shooting, I wear the distance glasses.

    I struggle to keep the reticle in focus with the varifocals when using a scope.
    Brian.

    Just because you are paranoid, doesn't mean they aren't out to get you......

  6. #6
    Varifocals do tend to distort images if you look at things any way other than straight ahead. Stands to reason those areas where your long vision and short vision bits meet, things will get a bit fuzzy and as JohnT says, they distort too. Wouldn't take mine shooting, but I guess you could get used to them.

  7. #7
    I had a issue with perscription Oaley sun glasses that curve around my eyes, when I used them with a scope I was all over the place and couldn't hit a barn door, lucky it was found on a range test, as soon as I removed them and used the scope or my normal glasses I was fine, and so was the gun....

  8. #8
    Am now wondering if this was the problem when trying out a .22 L/R rifle at teh club last week? I also wear varifocals and have done so for a number of years and they do differ between lens makers I have found some have very narrow or small bits to look through but others are more forgiving. So will look into getting a plain distance pair of glasses for shooting.

    Thank you for bringing this matter up as I thought it was just me or the scope that was the problem.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by western woodsman View Post
    I had a stalker once in France claim that varifocals distorted his rifle scope vision, and that he had a dedicated pair of long distance eyeglasses made for hunting only I think the theory went that if he was sighting through the line between near and far sight that this could play hell with the scope. It kind of makes sense, but no one has ever as I have seen yet studied this effect. Has anyone had an issue or noticed a problem with this?
    Yes, I have tried several makes of varifocal lens and all have caused issues when used with a scope, varying from focus problems to distortion of the vertical/horizontal cross hair angles. I tried persevering and just making sure that I was looking through the top part of the varifocal lens ( long distance ) by moving the glasses position on the face and making sure I had absolutely the same cheek weld for eye position, this semi worked, but was a major PIA. In the end I gave up and now only use a set of distance only glasses for the rifle and shotgun .. This works fine until I forget which pair I have on and try to read something close up.. Older age is a royal pain at times.. still could be worse..

  10. #10
    I just got varifocal glasses which are i find are great for work (computers etc)and for long distance but when i tried them with the scope on some steel targets they were all over the place much better just to use without for when taking the shot.I have got some glasses cords now so that i can just leave them hanging when about to shoot oh and old age is crap!!!!!

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