Best low light glass?

375 JDJ

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2019
Messages
84
Location
Oklahoma
I'll start off by admitting the most expensive glass I've had the opportunity to personally test is the Leupopd VX5 HD. Most of my deer rifles wear various versions of the VX3. Comparing these to others based solely on low light for their prices I've not seen any that outperform. However my experience is limited to a few makes and models. How do other brands and models compare to these solely on low light ability?
I have a Sig Sauer on my 300RUM and it is amazing in low light and clear love it best scope i have found. But they are a little pricey. You might want to check them out.
 

ed209clark

Active Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2020
Messages
26
Location
florida
S&B
Swarovski zeiss hensoldt kahles
Leupold vx6, sightron(Japanese glass) nightforce trijicon eotch vudu
Bushnell forge, burris, Nikon,vortex
Get the right illuminated reticle or you won’t see it.
Spend the money if you have it.
 

Gcan

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2017
Messages
433
I'll start off by admitting the most expensive glass I've had the opportunity to personally test is the Leupopd VX5 HD. Most of my deer rifles wear various versions of the VX3. Comparing these to others based solely on low light for their prices I've not seen any that outperform. However my experience is limited to a few makes and models. How do other brands and models compare to these solely on low light ability?
High end Minox!
 

Warbird2006

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2012
Messages
389
I'll start off by admitting the most expensive glass I've had the opportunity to personally test is the Leupopd VX5 HD. Most of my deer rifles wear various versions of the VX3. Comparing these to others based solely on low light for their prices I've not seen any that outperform. However my experience is limited to a few makes and models. How do other brands and models compare to these solely on low light ability?
Leica my friend
 

Don Titus

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2013
Messages
156
Location
PA
Agreed. I have several Sig Sauer, which is great glass for the price; comparable to say a vortex mid-high price scope. The Sig Sauer Sierra3 has a stated 92% light transmission. However, without the illumination reticle I’d be hard pressed at last light to have optimal shot.
S&B is by far the best and they know it. That’s Y you pay $4-5k for’em
I just sent my Sig Sierra 6 BDX back for inspection because I am not satisfied with clarity or brightness compared to my Zeiss V4 Conquest,
 

Bullmark

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2020
Messages
542
Location
Roanoke Va
Choose your reticle wisely.

Bob
C
Choose your reticle wisely.

Bob
Well said Bobcape. Depends on the intended use of the scope, but the right reticle is a must. Some guys dial yardage/windage and others use the reticle. I prefer to dial and don’t want anything (like a Christmas tree with all sorts of dots and lines) between me and my target. So busy reticles are out.
There are several optics companies that make great scopes but I would never consider them because they don’t offer the very simple reticle that I prefer.
In low light the additional cost of top shelf glass will begin to justify itself. I just bought a scope for a rifle that’s almost finished. I really wanted to try March and took delivery of a 2.5-25x52. I was really impressed with the quality of the build and all the features. It was a little more compact than my others and a few oz lighter....basically everything I was looking for. But I sent it back the next day. The eye box was a deal breaker. It was so finicky and small. Compared to my other glass it was not in the same conversation.
Ive resigned myself to being limited to Swarovski, Leica and S&B. They all have my reticle and are all amazing optically. The Leica (Magnus 2.4-16x56i) has a slightly larger FOV and friendlier eye box. The S&Bs (Polar and Exos) are built sturdier and the turrets are hard to beat. And the Swaro Z8i is the best optically...by a very very thin margin. But it is absolute perfection and gathers light the best.
I ended up buying another Leica from a member of this forum, only because I found it lightly used and the price was hard to beat. I’ll say this for the 1000th time, great glass does not wear out.
If I had to stick to a budget and stay at or just under $1000, the Trijicon Accupoint would be high on my list. Very very good optics and built solid as a rock.
I will give a shout out to Nightforce....if I could stand the weight and they offered a simple illum duplex reticle, I’d buy one. I had an Atacr a few yrs ago and didn’t realize it was so heavy until it arrived. Very nice glass and built as good as it gets. I sold it and bought the Exos.....found the glass a hair more clear, had the same tactical build, and was 10oz lighter.
Start with a reticle that will be ideal for your use, and that will narrow down the field.
 

Baylor243

Active Member
Joined
May 30, 2020
Messages
29
Location
New Mexico
Just a thought for your consideration…magnification will cut your brightness way down in low light situations. Dial it back down and you’ll improve your visibility.

I have Swarovski, Zeiss and Leica glass plus have some new untested SIG and have swveral Vortex scopes too. My preference is in low light is probably the (1) Swarovski or (2) Zeiss scopes. Just my opinion.
 

Orange Dust

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2015
Messages
2,386
Location
Mingo Swamp
C

Well said Bobcape. Depends on the intended use of the scope, but the right reticle is a must. Some guys dial yardage/windage and others use the reticle. I prefer to dial and don’t want anything (like a Christmas tree with all sorts of dots and lines) between me and my target. So busy reticles are out.
There are several optics companies that make great scopes but I would never consider them because they don’t offer the very simple reticle that I prefer.
In low light the additional cost of top shelf glass will begin to justify itself. I just bought a scope for a rifle that’s almost finished. I really wanted to try March and took delivery of a 2.5-25x52. I was really impressed with the quality of the build and all the features. It was a little more compact than my others and a few oz lighter....basically everything I was looking for. But I sent it back the next day. The eye box was a deal breaker. It was so finicky and small. Compared to my other glass it was not in the same conversation.
Ive resigned myself to being limited to Swarovski, Leica and S&B. They all have my reticle and are all amazing optically. The Leica (Magnus 2.4-16x56i) has a slightly larger FOV and friendlier eye box. The S&Bs (Polar and Exos) are built sturdier and the turrets are hard to beat. And the Swaro Z8i is the best optically...by a very very thin margin. But it is absolute perfection and gathers light the best.
I ended up buying another Leica from a member of this forum, only because I found it lightly used and the price was hard to beat. I’ll say this for the 1000th time, great glass does not wear out.
If I had to stick to a budget and stay at or just under $1000, the Trijicon Accupoint would be high on my list. Very very good optics and built solid as a rock.
I will give a shout out to Nightforce....if I could stand the weight and they offered a simple illum duplex reticle, I’d buy one. I had an Atacr a few yrs ago and didn’t realize it was so heavy until it arrived. Very nice glass and built as good as it gets. I sold it and bought the Exos.....found the glass a hair more clear, had the same tactical build, and was 10oz lighter.
Start with a reticle that will be ideal for your use, and that will narrow down the field.
Thanks a bunch Brother! I was going to buy one for a LW rifle. Eyebox is a deal killer.
 

Bullmark

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2020
Messages
542
Location
Roanoke Va
Thanks a bunch Brother! I was going to buy one for a LW rifle. Eyebox is a deal killer.
I’m telling u I could not have hunted behind that March glass after being used to throwing up the Magnus or Z8i and having it be perfect without having to move around.
I’ll let everyone know that EuroOptics has the same Magnus that I have two of, on some sort of killer markdown for about $900 off retail. There is much about it that I prefer over any others and finding a Z8i for less than $3100-$3200 is impossible. It’s really a nice combination of amazing optics and built just rugged enough to take hunting and not worry about damaging....and it’s only 26-27oz.
Anyway...buy once cry once.
 

Hugnot

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2020
Messages
644
Location
Montana
Stepping way down in cost:

I have found my 20 year old Leupold Vari XIII's, VXIII's & Weaver GS scopes, all with 40mm objective lenses, superior in low light situations than comparable or sometimes higher price Vortex Viper scopes that have bigger 50mm objective lenses. As objective lenses get bigger the diameter of the exit pupil increases, like 40mm/20X = 2mm vs. 50mm/20X = 2.5mm. Yet, the Vortex scopes having bigger exit pupils failed to define gray/brown rodents against same color dirt just before quitting time. I could see my simple reticles real good but the rodents sort of blended in with their dirt background when I used the Vortex Viper scopes. Glass & coating quality matter. I'm guessing that the Leupold's use Japanese made glass with USA anti reflective coatings.

This is contrary to "relative brightness", square of exit pupil. Twilight factor being SQRT (objective lens diameter * power), like 32 for a 50mm & 28 for a 40mm, both having 20X. 32 vs. 28 don't mean much unless glass & coatings are equal. A 56mm objective lens at 20X with the very best glass & coatings would be very pricy but bright
 

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