Light gathering scopes

mike33

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I currently own 3 nfc 50 mm few Zeiss, few Leupold’s. Was wondering the best light gathering scope to get me a few more minutes of shooting time. I was watching some deer this evening with my 10x42 swaro hd but my zeiss 4-14 44mm couldn’t make out. I’m 63 and my eyes have changed was wondering the best out there.
 

Mark37082

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If budget and weight are not a limiting factors, start comparing ZCO, Tangent Theta, and Hensoldt. They exceed limiting factors in rifle scopes right now, but I still am trying to justify the TT315H as my next scope purchase.
 

TopPin

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I currently own 3 nfc 50 mm few Zeiss, few Leupold’s. Was wondering the best light gathering scope to get me a few more minutes of shooting time. I was watching some deer this evening with my 10x42 swaro hd but my zeiss 4-14 44mm couldn’t make out. I’m 63 and my eyes have changed was wondering the best out there.
March, Kahles, Swarovski, all have very high light transmission. Once again depends on how much you want to spend. Leupold Mark 5 is very good in low light, my opinion better than night force or Zeiss.
 

JTH

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I think the Swarovski Z6 or Z8 offerings with the 56mm objective lens are the best for early/late light gathering ability. I’ve got several TT 3-15, a TT 5-25, and a ZCO 4-20, a Z6 2.5-15x56 and a Z8 2.3-18x56. The 56mm Swarovsk’s are the brightest IMO. Wish they had the FFP, reticles and turrets of ZCO or TT.
 

shooters

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I think the Swarovski Z6 or Z8 offerings with the 56mm objective lens are the best for early/late light gathering ability. I’ve got several TT 3-15, a TT 5-25, and a ZCO 4-20, a Z6 2.5-15x56 and a Z8 2.3-18x56. The 56mm Swarovsk’s are the brightest IMO. Wish they had the FFP, reticles and turrets of ZCO or TT.
You are one of the few that I’ve heard of that has that combo of scopes. I’ve always wondered which would be better at low light. So you’re saying the TT and ZCO still aren’t as bright as a Z6 or Z8 at low light?
 

JTH

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You are one of the few that I’ve heard of that has that combo of scopes. I’ve always wondered which would be better at low light. So you’re saying the TT and ZCO still aren’t as bright as a Z6 or Z8 at low light?
Yes. The 56mm objective plays a huge role in this. The only caveat is I haven’t had the TT 5-25x56 out in a low light hunting situation yet. It might be close. I’d also say the simplicity of the lit reticle, its location and controls on the Swarovski are better in a low light situation.
 

Greyfox

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I have Zeiss, S&B, Leica, Kahles, Swarovski, and a few others. At very last light I like the S&B best because the images stay sharper a little longer.

I agree fully with this.
Being predominately a whitetail hunter where many shots are at first and last light, low light “resolution” and, reticle design have been critical factors that can mean the difference between a shot, or no shot. For several years, my S&B(5x25x56), and more recently the ZCO(4x20x50) have been my best performers(with comparable scope settings) under theses conditions……Add mirage management and glare/haze control as well.
 
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khmplus

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Jan 21, 2022
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Wisconsin
Image brightness is proportional to the square of the scope objective diameter. With the same quality of optics and coatings, a 56mm objective will transmit 25% more light than a 50mm objective and almost twice that of a 40mm objective. For quality optics, I’m happy with the ones I own from Leica, Zeiss, and Steiner. I’m sure that Swarovski, S&B, Nightforce, Hensoldt and a few others are great too.
 

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