50 vs 56 mm objectives

sandbar782

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I'm looking for opinions on 50 versus 56 mm objective lenses. I shoot all 40 mm objectives now and have no issues. What are the biggest differences between 50 and a 56 mm Objective. It just seems to me that it's a 56 mm is that much better than a 50 mm then we should've skipped the 56 and went right to a 60. Any input you guys have is appreciated.
 

theo98

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I'm looking for opinions on 50 versus 56 mm objective lenses. I shoot all 40 mm objectives now and have no issues. What are the biggest differences between 50 and a 56 mm Objective. It just seems to me that it's a 56 mm is that much better than a 50 mm then we should've skipped the 56 and went right to a 60. Any input you guys have is appreciated.

As far as I understand, if all else remains the same (glass, build, etc.), 40 to 50 to 56 (or 60) objective size increases pulls in more light, especially noticeable at dusk and dawn.
 

CliffM

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So far I have never had a need for more light, but I do like the increase in the field of view at a given power. The downside is the size and weight of the larger scopes, they sit higher on the rifle and affect the overall balance of a lighter weight gun. On big heavy guns they are right at home.

Cliff
 

jpd676

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So far I have never had a need for more light, but I do like the increase in the field of view at a given power. The downside is the size and weight of the larger scopes, they sit higher on the rifle and affect the overall balance of a lighter weight gun. On big heavy guns they are right at home.

Cliff

X2. For my personal preference, 50mm is as big as I need. I have a 56 and it sits higher up on the rifle than I like. Most people won't need anything over a 50 for what they do.
 

sandbar782

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Thank you all for your responses so far.

jpd676 - when you put the 56 next to the 50, say at dawn or dusk, can you see more (light) through the 56? This would be in you opinion, of course, but technically the 56 should gather more light.

I concur whole heartedly in your assessment of the 50 being more than sufficient for what most people would ever need and physically sitting lower on the rifle. My problem is that I have no real experience with a 50 or a 56, so I have no basis for comparison.

I am looking hard at the 5.5-22x50mm Nightforce NXS. I have a VERY hard time believing that I need the 56mm or that I will be disappointed with the 50 mm.
 

theo98

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Thank you all for your responses so far.

I am looking hard at the 5.5-22x50mm Nightforce NXS. I have a VERY hard time believing that I need the 56mm or that I will be disappointed with the 50 mm.

Nope, don't "need" either 56 or 50, just depends on the quality of the 40-44mm glass. I use a VX-6 3-18x50mm (on a custom 10lb 700LA .30-06 Rem Contour) that is light (20oz) and compact (13.5")...fits perfectly and has excellent optics. The "extra" objective size and fully multi-coated\index matched lenses has allowed me to easily pick out game at down time (no light) and take that last second shot!

You should find the NF NXS 5.5-22x50mm equal or even better in very low light performance!

Ted
 

sandbar782

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I think I've decided on the 50mm objective. My rifle will too be a custom 30-06 and somewhat compact. Staying with the 50 will better suite this outfit. Thanks all for the comments and helping words.
 

lynxpilot

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Feb 12, 2010
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I don't claim to be an optics expert, but from what I can gather, there's a point of diminishing returns where the added size of the objective lens introduces more disadvantages than the advantages it provides. I think articles have mentioned that modern lens coatings are far superior than what was offered in the past. My current go-to in long range is 52mm objective and it has been outstanding. The discount scopes I bought in the past that have 56mm objective lenses aren't even close. In all honesty, brand loyalty might be a good thing in a situation like this.
 

jpd676

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Jackson Hole, WY
I have a 50mm Sightron SIII and a 56mm Sightron S-Tac, so in theory the glass should be of similar quality. It is really hard for me to tell if there is actually a difference in light transmission between the two scopes. It does seem like the 56mm gathers more light but glass quality can vary greatly between scope to scope, even of the same manufacturer.
 
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