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SWFA 5-20x50mm SS, a Super Sniper Evaluation

 
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  #8  
Old 07-17-2011, 03:37 PM
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Re: SWFA 5-20x50mm SS, a Super Sniper Evaluation

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Originally Posted by Jon A View Post
Very nice review, thanks for posting. Have you had a chance to compare it to the others in low light conditions? I'd be interested to hear how it compares for you to the NF and Leupold ~30 min after sundown--both glass and reticle illumination.
Me too.
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  #9  
Old 07-17-2011, 11:16 PM
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Re: SWFA 5-20x50mm SS, a Super Sniper Evaluation

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Originally Posted by Buffalobob View Post
Just looking at the pictures, the color does not seem true. You only show green and you should check the scope both at blue and at red.
The color may be off due to several reasons.

A 10 year old 4mg camera that has seen its better days…

It was very hot and humid when I took the pictures over the corn field with heavy mirage present.

Even though I was using a sand bag on the top of the stock on the range pictures, it was very difficult to get the camera just right and perfectly aligned for a good clean picture.

The field shots were just hand held with no sand bag for support and It took many tries before I could get one without shadowing/fading present.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon A View Post
Have you had a chance to compare it to the others in low light conditions? I'd be interested to hear how it compares for you to the NF and Leupold ~30 min after sundown--both glass and reticle illumination.
I have looked through it at about that time frame and didn’t see any issues, but other than my pair of trusty 6.5 bino’s, I had no other rifle scopes with me… When time permits, I will take them out and compare them side by side in low light and report back.
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  #10  
Old 07-24-2011, 04:20 PM
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Re: SWFA 5-20x50mm SS, a Super Sniper Evaluation

Low light test:

I have been out twice now. The first time just a informal stroll in the field using trees, limbs, leaves and weeds as my objects to judge the scopes ability to resolve in diminishing light from sunset to a full hour after using both the SS and the Leupold 3.5-10x40mm LR M3. What I found was surprising. The SS lost the ability to resolve fine detail much quicker than the Leupold even though the Leupold has an objective lens 10mm smaller.
Because of what I experienced I felt compelled to test again using the 1951 USAF resolution chart below at 100 yards with one of my Nightforce 3.5-15x50mm thrown in the mix.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:1951usaf_test_target.jpg

With the above chart printed out on a standard size paper. With the Leupold set at 10x I dialed down the other two until the image was of equal size in all scopes.

Also please keep in mind the area I was doing this test in is not uncovered, open ground. My 100 yard range at home is populated by many mature pine trees and the majority is on the western side of the range so the light levels are lower than they would be out in the open.

Testing was done at 100 yards.

Sunset +7 minutes;

With the SS I could resolve only the largest horizontal set on the page corresponding with the #1(bottom right); vertical sets resolved were # 1, 2 and 3.

The Leupold resolved down to line 4 on the left for horizontal (referred to H from here on) and also line 5 for vertical (referred to V from here on).

The NF was able to resolve all but the smallest H (#6) on the left side and all V sets on the left side were discerned.

Sunset +15;

The SS had lost all H (left and right sides) and I could just make out the largest set of V on the left side and the larger V on the bottom right.

The Leupold was holding its own, resolving #2 H and #2, 3, 4 V on the left.

The NF resolved #2 and 3 H and 2, 3, and 4 V.

Sunset +20;

The SS was unable to resolve anything but the large white square at this point

With the Leupold I could discern no H lines but could make out #2 V on the left and #1 V on the right.

NF was able to detect only the #1 H on the right and down to # 3 on the left for V

Sunset +25

SS- if I didn’t know the White box was a square it could have easily been mistaken for a circle.

Leupold- I could only resolve the box and the V on the right.

NF- I was able to pick up the box and largest V sets on the left and right sides.

Sunset +30

SS-just a white blob for the box.

Leupold- just the white square

NF- White Square and largest V on the right.

At this point I stopped viewing.

I had turned the Illumination on a few times throughout the testing on both the SS and NF. I found the ability to set my desired power level on the SS a great benefit and the NF was almost blindingly bright as the light level faded. The NF is still at the factory set level as I have not opened the unit up to adjust it. This NF had the np-r1 reticle and I need it bright at times for use during daylight against dark backgrounds.

Also, when I was out in the field, I turned my two optics toward the western horizon as the sun was setting and both the Leupold and SS handled internal flair well. While it was present in both, it was not as bad as I have experienced in other optics.

So that concludes my lowlight testing… Questions???
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  #11  
Old 07-24-2011, 05:29 PM
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Re: SWFA 5-20x50mm SS, a Super Sniper Evaluation

Thanks once again, even if the reported performance is lacking in low-light conditions. Ya gotta tell it like ya see it. And I appreciate that.
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  #12  
Old 07-24-2011, 05:36 PM
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Re: SWFA 5-20x50mm SS, a Super Sniper Evaluation

It is very seldom that people use any kind of standard when evaluating scope. It was good of you to do your homework and try to come up with a scientific method.

In addition to all you said is the fact that eyes lose their night vision slowly after about age 45 and that is why many of us use the Nightforce 50mm.

Just out of curiosity how old was the Luepold scope. Some of their advances in lenses and coatings are very interesting to me.
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  #13  
Old 07-24-2011, 11:15 PM
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Re: SWFA 5-20x50mm SS, a Super Sniper Evaluation

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Originally Posted by Buffalobob View Post
Just out of curiosity how old was the Luepold scope. Some of their advances in lenses and coatings are very interesting to me.
This Leupold seems to be exceptionable. It was made before the MK4’s came out and is labeled a Veri-X III Long Range. I have compared it with another MK4 3.5-10x40 and a 4.5-14x50 and the image in this one was better than either of those two. I don’t know how it would compare with this year’s MK4’s. Leupold has up dated the boxes they ship in and I have heard rumors that they have up dated the glass as well. I have not used any of those yet, so I can’t say.
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  #14  
Old 07-25-2011, 03:58 PM
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Re: SWFA 5-20x50mm SS, a Super Sniper Evaluation

Nice test, thanks for posting. Though I must say the results are a bit surprising, that’s OK, maybe the SS just doesn’t agree with your particular eye very well. That’s why it’s nice to read about as many people as possible doing tests like this. And that Leupold you have must be a freak of nature—don’t ever sell that thing!

As an aside, when I clicked on the link to the chart you used I was surprised—I’ve never seen that chart in the “negative image” like that before. I’ll have to try that sometime, I’m not sure how my eyes would like that. Sort of like a web page that’s black screen with bright text on it. Anyway, I’ll have to try it sometime. The chart I normally use, and seems to be more popular, is this one: http://accurateshooter.net/targets/usaf1951.pdf . I do a lot of resolution testing in the daylight at higher powers, for that the chart needs to be sharp even on the tiny portion which I noticed the one you used wouldn’t be good enough for:



It doesn’t look as good in a picture naturally, with the bare eyeball and a good scope you can resolve down to the tiny numbers in the middle. I usually print it on beige “target color” paper to be a bit easier on the eyes on sunny days. I have used it in low light/dark as well but haven’t so far with the SS—my testing with that mostly has been picking out brown and gray shapes from dingy backgrounds where it did exceedingly well. Now I’m getting ideas about printing my chart above in say, brown ink on beige paper or grey ink on light grey paper or something like that to try and test “deer colored” scenarios as realistically as possible.

Anyway, thanks again for the test. Looking at that chart just got me thinking out loud is all….
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