Best Low-Light scope?

jayleto

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Feb 2, 2010
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I deer hunt in Mississippi, and am looking to improve my optics for the upcoming year. Low-light visibility is extremely important, because that's when the deer are usually seen. Members of my club use Leupold's, Schmidt & Binder, Zeiss Conquest, Khale's, Trijicon etc.

I'm currently shooting a 300 Wby Mag, with a Leupold Vari X III 6.5-20x50mm. The scope was on the gun when I purchased it about 12 yrs ago, and has served me well. It just doesn't seem to be that bright in low-light conditions, even when turned all the way down. I'm wondering how many much longer I could see to identify and shoot a deer with better optics. Big deer were killed yesterday afternoon when I had packed up 15 minutes prior!

The bulk of my shots are in the 100-250yd range, but would like to start shooting further distances. I'd prefer something in the same magnification range that I currently have, but with a 56mm objective and 30mm if possible.

Any opinions of how much longer I could see with a better scope? What models should I be looking at? Would love to find something used if that's a viable option. I would like to be able to see much later. I'd like to know what the best is, and what is a great "bang for the buck".

Thanks,
Jay
 

malcarjeb

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Zeiss 6-24x72 victory FL.....NOTHING will beat this for low light. Ive wasted time and money tring just about everthing and finally bit the bullet and got this. Its big and heavy with the 34mm tube and 72 objective but unbelivable performance in low light.
 

Boss Hoss

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USO, S&B, or the VMV series. Have them all and as a group perform very close to one another.
 

jayleto

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Zeiss 6-24x72 victory FL.....NOTHING will beat this for low light. Ive wasted time and money tring just about everthing and finally bit the bullet and got this. Its big and heavy with the 34mm tube and 72 objective but unbelivable performance in low light.

I just looked at this online and WOW. Had no idea something like this even existed. I can say at $2800 for a base model, there's just no way I can afford that. Unless I can find a used model.

Jay
 

jayleto

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USO, S&B, or the VMV series. Have them all and as a group perform very close to one another.

Do you mind elaborating a little more on this? I'm looking for a 56+mm, and a range somewhere around 6-20. How does the pricing compare on these? Any chance of finding one used?

Jay
 

Loner

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Bottom line , if you are serious and want the best low light scope you'll rule out
variables first off. They have way more lens than a single power and the lenses are
where the light is lost. I am sold on USO's myself. But you probably should compare
them to Swaro's and Zeiss as they are both extremely bright in the products I own of
theirs.
 

Boss Hoss

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Do you mind elaborating a little more on this? I'm looking for a 56+mm, and a range somewhere around 6-20. How does the pricing compare on these? Any chance of finding one used?

Jay

Sorry Jay I do not use 56mm-----not necessary. I have tried all of mine and over time the Swaro and Loopy as well side by side.

One thing to try and this will help sort it out for you---the target is under trees at almost 300 yards (feeder) there is an open field on all sides so when looking under the trees as the ambient light is shaded from the ground if you will, what you see then tells the tale. The USO, VMV and S&B's work very nicely with the edge given to the S&B PMII. This test will show you who the big boys are in the optics field.
 

Loner

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The objective lens size is only important as you go up in power. A 40mm will get you
up to about 7 or 8 power. After that you can use more and more lens size as the
power increases. It has to do with your pupil size and how much light it can take in.
 

Ukko

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Jan 19, 2007
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Absolutely that zeiss 6-24x72mm is best but real difference beetween model 6-24x56mm and it isnt so huge. You have to remember that actually size beetween those scopes is really really different. That 72model need 34mm rings and those have to be really EXTRA high. And 56 model is normal 30mm rings. Weight is also one thing what need look.

I had use both model and i can promise you will be happy with both. Difference with any leopold scope is like day and nigh. Here is europe hunting at night is really common and its totally illegal use any night vision or other real night scopes. But good x56mm scope will be enough for you use if you just want know what you try shoot.

My next scope what i use little same kind hunting will be S&B 12,5-50x56. I know its not best for night but i hope it will be enough and it give so much more power at day time and early in evening. And when i go place where need stay really late at night distance will be much more less and then smaller power in scope is enough. And dont worry those variable scopes too much. Ofcourse more lens mean more lose light but again its not so huge that difference. Just when you scope is swarovski, zeiss or S&B all is fine. Except swarovski new Z6 model isnt so good like older model, sad but true. Even im big fan of swarovski optics.

So my advise is buy x56mm zeiss if you want safe little money and if you want keep gun size reasonable. Scope power can be 3-12 or 6-24 just what you like more. Anyway in night you have to use anyway power about 8.
And if money isnt problem and gun is allready heavy then ofcourse x72mm model. You do all waht that smaller and little more. Like i say difference isnt big but maybe sometimes its just that what you need. With 72mm front lens you can use little bigger power in scope but that want be big difference.
 
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RDM416

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Jan 31, 2005
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Searcy, Arkansas
One thing you might consider is a good spotting scope to complement your scope. I whitetail hunt from a box stand often and always take my Zeiss spotting scope. Often I can see a deer well enough to shoot him through my rifle scope, but cannot judge the antlers well enough to decide if he is a shooter. The spotting scope solves that problem. If it is too dark to see through it....... shooting hours are over.:) You might also consider a scope that adjusts to a fairly low power if you are going use a variable. The lower the power setting the brighter the scope will be. Very low light conditions don't make for good long range shooting, so you may want to consider a compromise with the power range, maybe a 4-12 or so rather than 6-20.
 
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