Clearidge Ultra XP5
Curiosity got the best of me and I ordered one of the 4.5x22.5x50 models last Thur. evening. Gotta give kudos to Jon and the Optics Zone as it was on the doorstep this afternoon at 4:30, pretty darn quick delivery!!
First impression out of the box was positive, seems solidly built with a smooth even finish, all around nice looking scope.
After looking it over I dug out a Nikon Tactical 2.5x10x44 and a Zeiss Conquest 6.5x20x50 for a little glass and turret comparisons.
First the turrets. The Nikon and Zeiss both have more audible clicks than the Clearidge, however the Clearidge has the more positive "feeling" of the three, but not to the point that they are hard to turn. The Clearidge and Conquest have a little lower turrets than the Nikon but they are still easy to get a hold of and turn. The side focus on the Clearidge has actual numbers on it instead of the dots that the Nikon has, something that i personally thought was a plus.
For the optical comparisons I set all three scopes at 6.5x(as best I could) then 10x then I compared the Clearidge and the Conquest at 20x, trying to keep things as apples to apples as I could.
Brightness was very good in all three with the Conquest being the best, but you had to pay close attention to notice it as it didn't jump out at you. Between the Nikon and Clearidge I struggled to tell the difference but I think there is a very slight edge for the Clearidge.
Clarity was equally impressive in all three, crisp picture all the way out to the edges. Again the Zeiss was tops but the Clearidge was every bit as good as the Nikon and not all that far behind the Conquest.
Low light ability. Again all three were good enough to take a shot up until and after season would have legally closed out to 250 yds (as far as I can look from home). Again the Conquest was tops but the other two would have done just fine in a hunting situation.
Overall I'm very impressed with the Clearidge, its not a Conquest but at nearly $300 dollars less I really didn't expect it to be. It is however every bit the scope that the Nikon Tactical is and since my 2.5x10 Nikon was $610 three years ago and the 4.5x22.5 Clearidge was $580 to my door, I'm feeling pretty good about the purchase.
Once the rifle this is going on shows up I'll mount it up and test its repeatability, won't get much of a recoil test as its going on a 7-08 but I am looking forward to running it through a box test. If it fails I'll be extremely disappointed, but I don't expect that. As of now I would have to say that the Clearidge definately rates a "10" in the bang for the buck department.
Ignorance can be treated with education, sadly there is no cure for stupidity.