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Thread: Comparing optics

  1. #1

    Comparing optics

    Does anyone have any links to video demos which demonstrate the light qualities of various low-high end scopes on the market?

    would just be interested to see the light quality differences of the various well-known scope makes and models.

    Cheers
    Mike

  2. #2

  3. #3
    cant see videos (or Swaros) on that link??

    I'm looking to see comparison of light quality rather than anything else.

    cheers
    Last edited by Mickeydredd; 22-09-2014 at 15:39.

  4. #4
    That is actually a really good question. If you look at various forums, there is a lot of conversation on low light performance. Everyone has their favourites. With Swaros on for over 2K in some models, with other leading European optics providing similar features, I wonder if the scientific difference is negligible, thus undermining their USP (cynical...moi??)


    Also, I am going to add..does wider field of view automatically mean greater light gathering power? For example, I compared my 8*56 kahles helia C against a S&B 8*56 and Zeiss victory 3-12*56 (set at 8 power). The khales had the widest field of view of them all. Crude method employed was to be at a known distance, have the cross hairs centered on a point and took note of what I could see (or not) at the outermost edge.

  5. #5
    Field-of-view size and light-gathering aren't directly related. Magnification affects both, but a 40-degree AFoV eyepiece at 10x will show the same field-of-view as a 50-degree AFoV eyepiece at 8x -- so magnification isn't the whole story.

    What you're really concerned about in low-light conditions are (1) how bright is the image and (2) is there enough contrast to make out detail you need to see. The first is mostly down to exit-pupil size and coatings. You can determine the exit-pupil size by dividing the objective size by the magnification. Anything over about 5 is wasted (in terms of brightness) as your eye's iris won't be any bigger than that. So if you're looking at a 6x scope you probably want at least 30mm, and at least 40mm for 8x.

    Most modern multi-coatings lose on the order of 2% per glass surface, and most rifle scopes have transmission in the 70% to 90% range. Your eye can't pick up any differences smaller than 10% or so, so there's not a huge amount in it (but this is one of the places the more expensive scopes will shine).

    Of course low-light performance isn't the whole story. A wider field-of-view allows you to see more around your target, and allows you to more easily acquire your target. Both of those are important. This is another place you'll see your money (wider designs often require more glass, and/or more expensive types of glass).

    FWIW, I personally value a wide field-of-view above low-light performance.

    Contrast is mostly down to the smoothness of the polish and coatings, although the objective design (and to a lesser extent the eyepiece design) also factors in. (An achromatic objective won't focus all the colours in exactly the same spot, which reduces contrast. An apochromatic objective will.) This is another place your money goes -- apochromatic objectives require expensive ED glass or (even more expensive) fluorite.

    At the end of they day, only you can decide if the features the more expensive scopes have are worth it to you. As in many things, a 10% improvement often comes at a 30% cost differential.

    Cheers,
    Jeff

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Mickeydredd View Post
    cant see videos (or Swaros) on that link??

    I'm looking to see comparison of light quality rather than anything else.

    cheers
    not sure there any videos on there, or swaros, but the chap has done a pretty comprehensive test of scopes
    which you will have difficulty finding anywhere else, and really highlights the cost of marginal performance improvements

  7. #7
    Thats the reason for the question. I have access to some ground and have also joined a syndicate where both offer the opportunity on Reds, but mainly at last light. My current scope cant cope with the lack of light so I'm planning to upgrade. I have options on a S&B, a Swaro and a Zeiss but havent a clue which would be the best option. I'm sure they will all be good, but how on earth do you choose, other than by trying them all out?!

    Everyone has their own favourite, probably driven by what they have used themselves, but it would be useful to see a video of the options, if such a thing exists.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wills View Post
    That is actually a really good question. If you look at various forums, there is a lot of conversation on low light performance. Everyone has their favourites. With Swaros on for over 2K in some models, with other leading European optics providing similar features, I wonder if the scientific difference is negligible, thus undermining their USP (cynical...moi??)

  8. #8
    Print out some eye charts, Zeiss test chart, and USAF optical clarity test chart.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Mickeydredd View Post
    Thats the reason for the question. I have access to some ground and have also joined a syndicate where both offer the opportunity on Reds, but mainly at last light. My current scope cant cope with the lack of light so I'm planning to upgrade. I have options on a S&B, a Swaro and a Zeiss but havent a clue which would be the best option. I'm sure they will all be good, but how on earth do you choose, other than by trying them all out?!

    Everyone has their own favourite, probably driven by what they have used themselves, but it would be useful to see a video of the options, if such a thing exists.
    All three makes have a good reputation and the difference between them optically if you are comparing similar scopes will be absolutely minimal. Why not simply go for the one that suits you and not worry about it.
    It's the calibre of the shooter that counts not the calibre of the rifle.

  10. #10
    Good advice, but it depends upon the definition of "suits". As you say, there may not be too much between them other than price, although the actual options are:

    8*56 S&B - 2nd hand 350 (1 inch mounts so I'd need mounts)
    6-24*50 Swaro - 2nd hand 750 (30mm mounts so I already have them fitted).
    Zeiss Duralyt 3-12*50 IR - new 750

    The price isn't really an issue so I'm just trying to work out my "best" option. It sounds like they will all do the job. A mate is waiting on delivery of the Zeiss so I can get a wee looksie through his to see the quality.

    Thanks for all input

    Mike

    The second hand S&B
    Quote Originally Posted by 8x57 View Post
    All three makes have a good reputation and the difference between them optically if you are comparing similar scopes will be absolutely minimal. Why not simply go for the one that suits you and not worry about it.

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