40mm vs 50mm in new VX3

Discussion in 'Long Range Scopes and Other Optics' started by JARHEAD1371, Aug 25, 2009.

  1. JARHEAD1371

    JARHEAD1371 Well-Known Member

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    I have read before that a 40mm objective scope with good coatings is just as good, if not better, than a 50 mm objective scope with slightly lower quality coatings.
    My questions is: With the new "high tech" coatings of the VX3, is a 4.5-14x40mm scope a better choice than a good 4.5-14x50mm scope? It will go on a custom built 7mm SAUM deer/antelope killing machine. I was dead sent on a 4.5-14x50mm from Grey Bull, but I'm checking out other options. Any advice?
     
  2. JMUPT

    JMUPT Well-Known Member

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    I had heard the same thing about the 40mm & 50mm so I decided to get a 4.5X14X40 VX3 without the side focus or adjustable objective and I don't really like it. It seems to be dark and I can not seem to get it to focus to my eye very well. The glass seems to be no better than a burris fulfield II to me, now that being said I haven't had a chance to try it at dawn and dusk. I was out the other day with a rifle that had a zeiss conquest 3X9X50 and it was brighter and clearer than the Leupold. If i were to do it all over again I would get the 50mm with the side focus.
     

  3. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    The 50mm lens will gather more light normally in the same brand scopes than the 40's.

    The main advantage to the 50's if they have 30mm tubes is they can also have side focus
    and can have more elevation and windage adjustments (Clicks) also they can be shorter/
    more compact.

    The downside to the 50mm scopes is that have to set higher on the rifle and the bell may
    be wider than the rifle for-end placeing them in harms way.

    We all shot the 40mm scopes for years but now there are bigger and better scopes available.

    J E CUSTOM
     
  4. fireroad

    fireroad Well-Known Member

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    Ah, the ole 40 vs 50 mm debate. JE Custom pretty much hit the main points. IMHO, 50mm's really belong on on a few rifles, namely benchrest and prairie dog rifles. The 50mm does gather more light, but I have always been able to see through my 40's way before legal shooting light. 50mm sit very high on a hunting rifle, and do stick out width wise making them susceptable to damage. 50mm are also usually quite a bit more coin versus what you would pay for the 40mm. Also, if you need the extra adjustment and side focus, there are numerous 40-44mm models out there with 30mm tubes. Basically, going to 50 mm has alot more to do with marketing and keeping up with the Jone's then actual need.

    As a long time Leupold fan, I was very dissapointed with the VX3 as well. The VX-III's one weakness was low light,and I don't really see where the new coatings are much improvement in that catagorey. Others may and will disagree. I think Leupold was number 1 for so long they started resting on there laurels until the other scope makers caught up, and even passed them. Bushnell is a great example. The 4200/6500 Elite glass is manufactured for them by Wonder Optics in Japan and is excellent...and the 4200 series is alot cheaper then the VX3.

    Your best bet is to shop around and look at the other competitors like the Bushnells, Zeiss Conquest, Sightron SII Big Sky or Hawke Frontier. You'll find you can get the same glass for alot less, or much better glass for only a few bucks more. Your Eyes May Very.
     
  5. John Burns

    John Burns Well-Known Member

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    For me the 50mm is better for the following reasons:

    • Better resolution. With all other factors being equal a larger objective will offer better resolution or the ability to see detail better. A scope with better resolution will offer better low light performance.

    • Larger exit pupil. A larger exit pupil allows the shooter to better spot his own hits and to acquire targets faster under stress.

    o At 14X a 50mm has an exit pupil of 3.6mm
    o At 14X a 40mm has an exit pupil of 2.9mm

    • Slightly shorter overall length makes up for the slightly larger objective

    • My stocks have very little drop at the comb to keep the recoil straight back and to minimize muzzle climb. I mount all my scopes 1.7 above bore line and this clears either 40mm or 50mm with my barrel contours.

    I am going to agree that the imported glass has gained a lot over the years but disagree that Leupold has not gained. The trend is everyone's glass getting better and the choice comes down to other factors such as drop compensating turrets, reticle options, MOA per rotation, repeatable adjustments, ultimate durability, compact size, warranty service, ect.

    I can build the Greybull Precision Hunting Optic on a 40mm if someone wants it and we used to sell about 1 out of 20 with the 40mm although we seem to be selling fewer nowadays. We don’t have 40mm in stock so expect about 3 weeks to get a 40 if you decide it is a better fit for you and your applications.
     
  6. su37

    su37 Well-Known Member

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    I called Leupold about this question as I'm buying a new scope.

    40mm or 50mm?


    Leupold says there is no difference.

    I will say this, I have the older vxlll and a new vx3 in 4.5x14 LR.

    For my eyes there is a big difference with the new vx3 coatings.

    Better with the vx3.
     
  7. phorwath

    phorwath Well-Known Member

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    Could you clarify? No difference in what between the 40 and 50mm?
     
  8. su37

    su37 Well-Known Member

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    As far as I gather, there is 10mm difference between the two scopes and nothing else.

    Leupold has told me by 3 different people now you don't really gain anything by
    going to the 50mm. People demand 50mm so Leupold gives them what they want.

    Just an hour ago I bought a new VX3 LR 6.5x20x40. I 'll be sending it in for a M1 on top.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2009
  9. phorwath

    phorwath Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. I think Leupold's answer is less than 100% correct. But I'm not going to try to convince you or anyone else that I know more than a Leupold employee. John Burns may provide a refined explanation for the advantage to the 50mm objective. I've experienced the advantage with spotting scopes in the past - 65mm versus 85mm objective. The 85mm was definitely easier and faster to capture the field of view because there is a larger exit pupil or image transmitted to the retina of the eye.

    Here's how John explained the advantage of the 50mm versus the 40mm in another thread. I have also found this to be true.

    • With the larger exit pupil the optic is faster and much easier to use. The 4.5-14x50mm has an exit pupil of 3.6 mm @14x and the same optic with the 40mm has an exit pupil of 2.86 mm. It is easier to see thru a 3.6mm hole than a 2.9mm hole and you can acquire targets quicker and spot your hits better thru the larger exit pupil.

    You can go to this thread to read the rest of John's comments:

    http://www.longrangehunting.com/forums/f18/leupold-comparison-46027/index2.html

    In good lighting or at less than maximum power setting, you may notice very little difference. However in dim light and/or especially on the maximum power setting, a person may find it to be easier and faster to pick up the field of view through a scope with a larger objective lens.

    Enjoy your new VX-3. Let us know how you like it after you've had a chance to use it?
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2009
  10. su37

    su37 Well-Known Member

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    "In good lighting or at less than maximum power setting, you may notice very little difference. However in dim light and/or especially on the maximum power setting, a person may find it to be easier and faster to pick up the field of view through a scope with a larger objective lens. "


    And that was by far my biggest concern. I wanted a scope to use right at the end of day with just a few minutes of light left when the deer start coming out at 700 to 800 yards.

    Leupold was adamant the 40mm would work.

    Actually I have been comparing the two for some time now.

    One thing I do notice is that this new twilight coating that Leupold uses DOES make a
    difference to MY eyes.
     
  11. phorwath

    phorwath Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for providing your impression of the newer VX-3 glass coatings. That's why I'm prowling these threads. Trying to determine if the Leupy glass is getting better. I looked through a 2.5-8x VX-3 yesterday but it's tough to compare that variable power scope to the 4.5-14x or 6-24x scopes I'm currently using.
     
  12. su37

    su37 Well-Known Member

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    The 6.5x20 LR is the second VX3 scope I have bought in the last 3 months.

    A new VX3 4.5x 14x40 LR now sits on a 300 WSM.

    I believe they are better, far better.

    They also track better with the dual springs.
     
  13. JARHEAD1371

    JARHEAD1371 Well-Known Member

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    As it turns out I purchased a Mark 4 6.5-20x50 yesterday. The deal was too good to pass up ($900 NIB at a major outdoors store, if you ask they give you deals if you spend over $4k at once). I had it out yesterday eve to check out how well I could see as darkness approached. I have to say that I am impressed. I could easily see the antelope, I was watching at about 800 yards, good enough to shoot well past legal light even at 20x. On the other hand, I also tried out the 10x42 Leupold Acadia Binos and I was impressed again. They are excellent $200 binos. My wife and I each have one and we can't be happier. The Nikon binos, that were similar in price and the same 10x42, were much darker to look through. Just thought I'd pass it along. gun)