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High magnification range - advantages/disadvantages?

 
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  #1  
Old 02-27-2013, 02:30 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2012
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High magnification range - advantages/disadvantages?

I'm seeing more and more scopes with high magnification ranges. I'm talking about the ratio of the lowest power to the highest power magnification. It used to be that most scopes had a 3x range (like a 3-9x) or a 4x (4-16x). Now we're seeing 5x or even 10x range like the Bushnell Elite 6500 (2.5-16x for example), or the March scopes. Can't remember who made it, but I saw one that was an 8-80x. (Yikes!)

It seems like these newer scopes would make awesome "all-around" scopes for everything from beating the brush to 800 yard shots. My question is: what's the downside? Seems like you never get something for nothing. Do they really have good optics quality at all ranges or are you trading quality for flexibility? What changed to allow the greater magnification ranges? I'm all for options, but there's something to be said for the optical quality of a good fixed power scope.

I've got a AR-style 308 that shoots really well with it's current low-power ACOG (holes often overlap at my 170 yard range), and I'd like something with higher magnification without sacrificing short range speed, but I'm not sure it's worth it.

Thoughts?
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  #2  
Old 02-28-2013, 11:12 AM
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Location: Huron, SD
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Re: High magnification range - advantages/disadvantages?

The positives and negatives would need to be weighed against each specific model.

All things being equal, there is no down side to having a wide magnification range.

However, as you said, all things are often not equal.

With the U.S. Optics 1-8 DFP, there is absolutely no down side.
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Old 02-28-2013, 11:20 AM
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Re: High magnification range - advantages/disadvantages?

Like Greg said.....I don't think there is a downside to a wide magnification range.

I prefer to shoot higher magnification scopes, personally. After having several 20-power and higher scopes you really get spoiled, especially if you grew up shooting a 3-9x50 like I did. Heck, growing up the most magnification I had was a 3.5-10x50 Leupold Vari-X III. Before that my whole life was iron-sights and a 3-9x50 Tasco World Class, or something really old with alot less magnification. These days I am really spoiled on the higher magnification scopes.
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Old 02-28-2013, 01:28 PM
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Re: High magnification range - advantages/disadvantages?

Over the years I've talked to a few Lens Designers or should I say Computer Lens Designers and Suppliers . I was told that as you go to a wider Range of Magnification and as you go to bigger and bigger Optics , one BIG downside is Cost . If you want to get the finest Resolution and minimize all the bad Optics problems / Aberrations , and maintain all the good stuff like accurate Clicks , etc . ...... the Cost goes up drastically . I don't recall exactly , but say you want to produce a top Quality 56mm Lens vs. a 28mm Lens , the Cost is not double , but goes up as the 3rd or 4th Power ..... in other words , it will Cost you a bundle ! So if you have deep pockets ....no problem . The broad Magnification Range Scopes are great for Yote Hunters or for those Big Game Hunters who also want to hunt Varmints ..... although the Retcle choice that works for both would be a real compromise .
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  #5  
Old 02-28-2013, 05:43 PM
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Re: High magnification range - advantages/disadvantages?

Just a though but I think the down side could be the parallax adjustment issue and speed. Meaning that a lower range 3x9 does not need an adjustable objective. IMO my NF is little complicated, but complicated is what I need to get a long shot accomplished accurately. Whereas, my vx3 leu 4.5-14 is a point and shoot scope. Both have their pro's and con's of course.

Beyond that the wider power range scopes are quite expensive, heavy, and a little slower due to objective adjustment. I wouldn't give it up though for the precision it offers at longer ranges or even for shorter range precision work.
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  #6  
Old 03-01-2013, 12:54 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2012
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Re: High magnification range - advantages/disadvantages?

What tulku said, X2.

With lenses (camera, scope) the price for HIGH QUALITY zoom glass goes up at a very rapid rate as the zoom factor increases.
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  #7  
Old 03-01-2013, 01:55 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Huron, SD
Posts: 305
Re: High magnification range - advantages/disadvantages?

Magnification doesn't really seem to be a determining factor which affects price among high end optics manufacturers.

A Premier Tactical 3-15 for instance sells for $3100... while the 5-25 sells for $3500. Definitely not orders of magnitude higher in price.
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