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Thread: 50 vs 56mm scope

  1. #1

    50 vs 56mm scope

    Guys anyone with real world experience of the premium scope brands in the above formats?

    What i'm interested in is the twilight performance between a 50 and a 56 of the same make/type. Is it marked or noticeable difference?

    Hope this makes sense


  2. #2
    Often in the price .......................... yes.

    of course the 50mm can be mounted that bit lower.

  3. #3
    Had both in Swarovski John the 56 does have a bit more light gathering ability but the 50 on a low mag had more than enough for me.
    Anglo deer management and training
    Yet another 7mm 08 user ..................... if Carlsberg made calibers.........................

  4. #4
    Have had both as well . . very little difference in my opinion.

  5. #5
    Hi John,

    When buying my swarovski Z4i scope for foxing. The gun dealer recommended that the 3-12 x 50 would be the better scope compared to the 2.5-10 x 56.
    So I fitted the Z4i 3-12 x 50 to my Sauer 223 rifle and haven't looked back since.
    But for my Deer Stalking rifle I have a Z6i 2.5-15 x 56 with ballistic Turret fitted to a 6.5 x 55 sako 75 rifle.

    The best thing would be to look through the two different sizes just before dark and see if you can notice any difference.


  6. #6
    I would trade the potential for extra light gathering of the 56 for the ability to mount a 50 mm as low as possible so i can get a nice cheek rest on my stock particularly if you shoot in the prone position. Comments based on experience with 8 x 50 and 8 x 56 kahles scopes. Fit is priority one for me .

  7. #7
    Ahhh gentlemen scopes cannot gather light only transmit it .

  8. #8
    If you compare a 56mm scope and a 50mm scope at the same magnification, then the 56mm will be a little bit brighter, but the difference in the detail you can observe at the target is very small in low light. I have looked through my own 8x50 and friend's 8x56 scopes and you can see a small difference.

    However, if you look at the variable scope options, then the manufacturers compensate for this by typically offering higher magnification in the 50mm scopes than in the 56mm scopes. If you take Swarovski's Z4 range, the 2.5-10x56 has a twilight factor of 24 on 10x. Compare this to the 3-12x50 which has a twilight factor of 25 on 12x.

    This is the same for binoculars; you can see more detail in low light with a 10x50 than you can with a 8x56 binocular because at low light levels, the visual acuity of the eye is poor and a bigger image scale is more valuable than the size of the exit pupil (within practical limits of objective size and magnification).

    However, just as higher magnifications have some disadvantages such as magnifying unsteadiness (increased image shake) and narrower field of view, so too larger objectives mean larger size, heavier weight and for scopes higher mounting (assuming you can get appropriate rings/bases). On balance, I prefer 50mm scopes on rifles unless you start going for very high magnification e.g. more than 15x. Actually, up to 10x there is nothing wrong with a 42mm scope, but they seem to be out of fashion!

  9. #9
    I would suggest that a bigger objective lens needs to be coupled with a larger tube size to take advantage. Very little difference though.

  10. #10
    Once the exit pupil gets larger than 7mm I am afraid you are paying for boasting rights. A 7mm exit is the biggest your eye can cope with.


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