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High magnification range - advantages/disadvantages?

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Unread 03-01-2013, 02:12 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Hawaii
Posts: 76
Re: High magnification range - advantages/disadvantages?

Tulku is right. With a higher magnification range, either optical quality will suffer, or the price will go waaay up. Compare prices between the Bushnell Elite 3200, 4200, and 6500 (3x, 4x, and 6.5x magnification ranges, respectively). The same is true for camera lenses. Ask any professional photographer.
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Unread 03-01-2013, 05:16 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 227
Re: High magnification range - advantages/disadvantages?

Orkan , I think the original question was not about High Magnification , the question was about high magnification RANGE . Both of the high end Scopes you mention have a Range of 5X . Take a look at the cheapies like the BSA Tactical 3-16X at $110 and the Mid priced Bushnell Elie 6500 2.5-16X at around $700 , and whatever else is out there and you will see that high end extended RANGE Variables are very expensive as they cost a lot to Manufacture . The case could be made that the highest Quality high Magnification Scopes of any Range or Fixed Power ( like March ) are also very expensive . Go to a Benchrest Match and ask to look through the Riflescopes and Spotting Scopes these guys use . You will see a big difference in Image Quality even at 100 , 200 , and 300 Yards , let alone at 1000 Yards . I swear there is even a big difference in what you see through Haze , on hot , humid days . I shoot only informal Targets on near perfect days and Varmints in bright light . I would be very happy with a high quality ( 2X Range ) 15-30X Variable and would be satisfied with AO not side "focus", a 44mm to 50mm Objective , and a decent Reticle like the Holland , the Leupold VH , or any of the other Christmas Tree types like Schmidt & Bender or Nightforce have . I've been told this could be done for under $750 , but I will probably never see one because a big Market is not there . Lots of folks want Giant Scopes , Extended Range Powers with all the bells & whistles . For now I will just have to be satisfied with Sightrons , used Leupolds and Nightforces which run a few bucks more than I would like ..... unless I win the Lottery & then it's March time .
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Unread 03-01-2013, 05:32 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Meridian, Idaho
Posts: 1,510
Re: High magnification range - advantages/disadvantages?

I wonder how many people think a night force is affordable? I have not and do not want to look through anything better than my NF as I know the cost is ridiculous to upgrade.
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Unread 03-01-2013, 05:52 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 15
Re: High magnification range - advantages/disadvantages?

Originally Posted by orkan View Post
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.
Both 5X zooms? I was saying that higher zoom factor with equally HIGH optical quality = $$$$$.
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Unread 03-05-2013, 10:26 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Jackson, MS
Posts: 5
Re: High magnification range - advantages/disadvantages?

At my age (54), if it doesn't have at least 4 mm of exit pupil diameter at a given magnification, it's too dark for me to use effectively. So, to get that 4mm EPD value, the size of the glass and tube MUST go up in size, adding weight, complexity, and cost.

In my case, a 3X9-40 will suffice for most shooting out to 200 yards or so. At longer ranges where you NEED the glass to see the target...belly up to the counter with your money boys!
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Unread 03-08-2013, 12:18 AM
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Ventura CA
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Re: High magnification range - advantages/disadvantages?

Another possible drawback to high zoom ratio is high glare and low contrast. Generally speaking, the higher the magnification, the higher the glare. which reduces contrast. Also, glare tends to be highest near just the edge of the exit pupil. In scopes that have noticeable glare, the glare tends to be bad when the exit pupil is smaller than the eye pupil. On these scopes the extra magnification may not be useful in high glare conditions, such as when facing the afternoon sun and looking into shaded areas, or on overcast days in general.

Also, I have a nit about some manufacturers who claim that their scopes have higher magnification ratio than they really have. Some of these wide ratio scopes don’t actually give you a wide ratio in the field of view. Instead, the field of view stops increasing at some point before the minimum zoom value is reached. As the zoom is decreased further, the entire sight picture starts to decrease. The magnification decreases, but the field of view stays constant. It appears as though the scope is being pulled away from your eye.

For a hunting scope, the primary motivation for turning the zoom down is to see more of the target area. A wider field of view speeds up target acquisition and provides better situational awareness. If the scope doesn’t increase the field of view, then reducing the magnification isn’t very useful to me. As far as I’m concerned, the lower end of the range is that magnification at which the field of view stops increasing.

Here are three examples: On the S&B 5-25x50, the field of view stops increasing below 7X. In my book that makes it really 3.6:1 zoom ratio, not 5:1. On the US Optics LR-17 3.5-17x50 it happens below 6X, making it really 2.8:1 zoom ratio, not 4.9:1, On the Bushnell HDMR 3.2-21x50 it happens below about 4.5X, making it really 4.7:1 zoom ratio, not 6.6:1.

Still, there is one thing in their favor. Another reason to reduce the magnification is to increase brightness in low light conditions by increasing the exit pupil. Fortunately, on the all wide ratio scopes I’ve inspected, the exit pupil does increase all they way to lowest magnification.

Not all wide ratio scopes have this problem. The Swarovski Z5 and Z6 scopes I’ve looked at increase the field of view all the way down to the lowest magnification.
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Unread 03-08-2013, 09:04 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Meridian, Idaho
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Re: High magnification range - advantages/disadvantages?

Night Force?
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