Low light performance: Conquest or NF?

Discussion in 'Long Range Scopes and Other Optics' started by Crop Damage, Dec 8, 2010.

  1. Crop Damage

    Crop Damage Well-Known Member

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    I'm going to buy another scope before our rifle season starts again in January. I'm debating the Zeiss conquest 4.5-14x50 with the rapid z 800, vs the Nightforce 3.5-15x50 or 56mm with the NP-R1 reticle.

    I'm looking for the best low light performance. I've got several leupolds, but they aren't cutting it for me at the last 5 minutes of legal light. I'm trying to identify specific bucks and roughly judge antler size, and most evenings these deer don't show up til the last couple minutes of light. Don't want to blast the wrong deer, again. Also, I'm 300 to 400 yards back. I know thats a lot to ask of a scope, but which would you all recommend?
     
  2. jwp475

    jwp475 Well-Known Member

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    Nxs, imho
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2010

  3. MTBULLET

    MTBULLET Well-Known Member

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    I like my conquest's in this situation, brighter/more light in AM and late PM.
     
  4. LouBoyd

    LouBoyd Well-Known Member

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    A 10 watt 12 volt halogen spotlight works pretty well and gives color vision to a couple of hundred yards with nearly any low power scope and even with metallic sights. It's much cheaper than a Gen 3 nightvision scope and gives better resolution. Some states do have pesky laws. In some a light or NV is ok but you can't shoot at all after a certain time after the sun sets. Check your state laws.

    No conventional scope can the image have an apparent surface brightness higher than the naked eye image, but up to a 10x scope with an objective 10 times larger then you're eyes pupil) can give more resolution than without a scope. The dark adapted eye has only about 1/10 the resolution of your color vision because the sensors (rods) are thinly distributed compared to the color cones. That's just the nature of optics and has nothing to do with the brand of scope. Most young human eyes are around 7mm maximum aperture but get smaller with age. A scope larger than 50mm and more then 10x magnification won't do us old guys any good, not not much good for anyone.

    Do some experiments to see what scope settings actually let you see best in low light.
    I'd suggest doing the tests on a moonless light setting eyechart at different distances from a constant white light source. For me a 10X50 is best if I don't need fast target acquisition too. If you do then less magnification and a smaller scope will do. I don't think brand matters much as long as it has decent coatings on all lenses. That does matter. The ability to see (and recognize what your seeing) depends on image brightness, image scale, and the resolution of the optical system. including and especially your eyes .

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2010
  5. Crop Damage

    Crop Damage Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the replies. It looks like it might be asking a lot from any scope. I like the idea of the spotlight, but its highly illegal here to "cast the rays of artificial light, intentionally or otherwise, for the purpose of observing wildlife", etc. The state loves my deer.

    I'm thinking Zeiss now. Thank you for the info.
     
  6. LRSickle

    LRSickle Well-Known Member

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    I have the same Zeiss your thinking of buying on a .257 Weatherby. What a great scope!! I also have Nightforce scopes too. The Nightforces are by far a better scope, but for the money, the Zeiss is an awesome scope that I think will serve you well.
     
  7. Crop Damage

    Crop Damage Well-Known Member

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    Do you think the night force gives you better visibility in the evening? I know they're the big name for long range, but I don't shoot much past 450. I'm open to either scope right now.
     
  8. Big_Red

    Big_Red Well-Known Member

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    I have both, but haven't done a direct comparison. My NXS is 5.5-22x and I have a 3.5-14x and 3-9x Conquest.

    My gut is to go with the Conquest.

    Heck, looking online you can get a 2.5-10x Victory for about the price of an NXS. That would be the sweetness. :D
     
  9. jwp475

    jwp475 Well-Known Member

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    IME resolution is important to the ability to see in low light and my NXS scopes are better than my Conquest scopes in both resolution and low light ability at 400 + yards .

    The high end Zeiss scopes are a different animal. The very best scopes in low light that I have used and tested are S&B
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2010
  10. Big_Red

    Big_Red Well-Known Member

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    Another thing to consider is the weight of the two. 50mm objective is about 20oz versus 30oz, for Zeiss and Nightforce, respectively.

    The Nightforce is built like a tank, but the weight comes with it. That may or may not be a concern for you - but something to consider.
     
  11. mike33

    mike33 Well-Known Member

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    I have 3 nfx and dont see where they are the best gathering light, but i dont own a conquest. Hate to say it, but i have a cheap swift 3-9x40 on my 223 i think would out perform them all on light gathering.
    mike
     
  12. LRSickle

    LRSickle Well-Known Member

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    The Nightforce is definately better in low light.