First Focal Plane Vs. Second Focal Plane

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by ishootkittens, Mar 3, 2013.

  1. ishootkittens

    ishootkittens Well-Known Member

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    I know the difference.. but I am having a hard time understanding what the advantage is to having a FIRST focal plane scope vs. a second focal plane.. any input is appreciated. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Browninglover1

    Browninglover1 Well-Known Member

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    The 1st focal plane scopes allow the reticle subtensions to be accurate at all powers. For example: my Sightron 6-24 with a mil dot reticle is calibrated to accurately measure 1 mil at 24x. If the scope was a 1st focal plane the reticle changes size with power changes so that the mil dots are always 1 mil apart.

    This basically allows you to use the reticle for holdovers, range estimations or shooting corrections at any power instead of a specified power like on a 2nd focal plane scope.
     

  3. orkan

    orkan Well-Known Member

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  4. ishootkittens

    ishootkittens Well-Known Member

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    Ranging and sizing a target would be easier with the FFP..but wouldnt the reticle be finer for long range shots with the SFP?
     
  5. Browninglover1

    Browninglover1 Well-Known Member

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    Correct on both accounts.
     
  6. sp6x6

    sp6x6 Well-Known Member

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    Depends somewhat on reticle design.My TMR is open in center
     
  7. orkan

    orkan Well-Known Member

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    Actually, that is false.

    It's a blanket statement, that has nothing to do with FFP or SFP. It has to do with reticle/optic design.

    There are thick FFP reticles, just as there are thick SFP reticles.

    The problem lies with the vast majority of people having exceedingly little experience with FFP. It's unknown to them. Actually, it's shocking to me just how many people make statements about FFP optics and their capabilities without having any experience with them.

    A nightforce velocity reticle in a 5.5-22 covers .07" at 100yds while on 22x, and .10" while on 15x. The lower the power, the more the reticle covers. A GenIIXR reticle in a Premier 5-25 covers .07" at 100yds while on all magnifications.

    The statement about FFP reticles not being fine enough is a myth. There are LOTS of myths surrounding FFP optics, which are happily perpetuated by people that lack the FFP experience to know otherwise.
     
  8. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    There are also people that have spent the extra money for FFP scopes and did not like them, at all. I being one.

    The fact is, I shoot long range, not just to 700 yards now, but regularly to a mile and beyond. I much prefer the SFP for the FACT that it allows the target to grow in size as the magnification is increased while the cross hair lines remain the same size and appear finer on the target. This I prefer for a more precise point of aim on a long range target. Even at only 1000 yards.

    In many cases, a FFP with a fine enough cross hair to suit me on full magnification has a crosshair that is too fine on low power. I will admit I hardly ever turn my long range scopes down in power, but if I go into a wooded area I will. That is not a good time for the reticle to get finer, hard to see, in lower light. For this reason I say the FFP is backwards. If it would have a thicker reticle when on low power and get finer as the magnification was increased it would make more sense to me for both ends of the power range. But I realize that is probably impossible. So for me the SFP is a better choice for my type of hunting and shooting. I will take a larger target and finer crosshair for long range anytime I can get it.

    Jeff
     
  9. brentc

    brentc Well-Known Member

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    Couldn't have said it better. The first sentence applies to me as well. I spent the money and soon decided the FFP wasn't for me.
     
  10. orkan

    orkan Well-Known Member

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    I already pointed out that a nightforce reticle at 22x covers the same area as a Premier GenIIXR. One is NOT finer than the other, and due to the Premier's 25x magnification, it actually provides for a finer hold point than a nightforce, whom are known for having some of the thinnest and most precise reticles in the industry.

    [​IMG]

    The image above is through a Premier 5-25 with GenIIXR reticle. The target is a full size IPSC steel at a distance of 1125yds. The head on the target is 6" square. Even with the diminished quality of through-the-scope pictures, you can plainly see that quartering the head on that target would be a piece of cake. Could on convincingly argue that a SFP optic of equal magnification would be better?

    I do a lot of mile, mile plus shooting, just as you do. In no situation have I been handicapped by a FFP reticle. I dial back my magnification quite frequently. Having my reticle scale correctly at all powers is very important to me.

    That's the beauty of America. We can both have what we want.

    I'd simply appreciate it if you would try to take care not to perpetuate myths which are easily proven untrue. I cannot say that SFP reticles are too thick, or too thin, or can't do a thing well... anymore than you can say it about FFP reticles. What an optic is capable of is purely a function of reticle/optic design.

    Even with SFP optics, you won't find anyone advocating a 22x nightforce for deep, dark, woodland hunts. They'll recommend a 4x with a thick duplex. So the idea that the scope which is suited for mile shots is also best suited for dark up-close engagements has no bearing in reality. Again, it is an argument against FFP in that "the reticle gets too small at low magnifications." This is yet another blanket statement that DOES NOT apply to all FFP reticles. There are FFP optics which are suited very well for dark, up close engagements. Those optics overcome the problem the same way SFP optics overcome the problem. The reticle is made thicker and illumination is provided.

    Ten years ago, the things you said would probably ring true, as there were much fewer FFP options then. Times change, and there are more FFP optic options than ever before. So much so that there is increasingly few situations where I would not recommend an FFP. Known distance competition such as benchrest would be one, and dangerous game or very close brush hunting would be another.

    That being said, I would like to see someone argue that a March 8-80 FFP would fail at benchrest, or that a USO 1-8 DFP would not work well up close in the brush.

    The point here is that the FFP "facts" of old, are no longer true. If you disagree, then lets start talking about specific situations where you believe FFP will not work well, and I'll choose a specific optic make and model for that situation that I've found to work well, or believe would work well. It will be a good academic exercise and those that are truly looking to decide for themselves will be presented with the data by which to make an educated decision.
     
  11. orkan

    orkan Well-Known Member

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    What scopes did you buy?
     
  12. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    If you are ever in the area I would be glad to share my range or do some shooting with you. That would be a chance for you to show me in real world scenarios. Just looking at a camera pic with out seeing them side by side does little for me. I will admit the last FFP I owned was a NXS F1. That was a few years back and I have not used a premier . But I still do not in any way see why I would want to spend the extra money of for the FFP. I simply do not feel it will bring anything to the table for me. Plus I still like the target growing while the reticle does not. Sorry, that is just the way it is. As far as the part about not using my long range rig in dark woods, well I have, and am sure I will again. Out here where I hunt elk the shot can be from as far as you are prepared to shoot while out in the open, to 50 yards or under if you go in after them during the day while the bulls are bedded in timber. If I hike in I choose to only pack one rifle. I use the same rifle and optics for both. That is a fact and I usually fill my bull tag.

    Edit to add: One more thing on the pic you posted. Would you not agree that this shot would even be easier if the target with the 6x6" head grew in size and the reticle did not? That is what I am saying and what the SFP does for me. I am not saying the shot can not be done with a FFP. But what I said was I prefer a larger target without the reticle growing. This is the fact and the difference in SPF / FFP and why I like the SFP better.

    Jeff
     
  13. ishootkittens

    ishootkittens Well-Known Member

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    so.. with the magnification turned down.. the reticle gets smaller? Why the hell is that good?!
     
  14. orkan

    orkan Well-Known Member

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    I think I'll take you up on that. If I get a tag, I'll be headed out to Oregon for mule deer this september. Townsend is right along the way with a tiny detour up north. I'll gladly bring all my wares along and we can make a day of it. If you have any extra elk like the one in your signature... I'll try to talk you into pointing me at one of those as well. ;)