Nightforce 56mm -vs- 50 mm

Discussion in 'Long Range Scopes and Other Optics' started by 700man, Feb 17, 2011.

  1. 700man

    700man Well-Known Member

    Feb 21, 2008
    I have a Nightforce 5.5-22 x 56 mm and want to get another. Thinking about going with a 50 mm. Just wondering if anyone knows how much of a difference there would be in the morning and late afternoon, as far as light gathering capability.

    Thanks for the help!
  2. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2007
    I have both and I never notice a differene.

  3. senderohunter

    senderohunter New Member

    Feb 17, 2011

    i dont think you would regret switching i wish i had the 50 but cant get it because i use mostly the 8x32 or 12x42 but all of my shooting buds use the 50mm in the 5.5x22 and it gives up nothing to the 56
  4. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

    Jan 6, 2003
    Mathematically, the 56mm is brighter.

    To the human eye you would likely notice nothing. You are splitting hairs at this point. You will notice the difference in weight and bulk and profile when carrying and handling the rifle for sure.

    After having 4 56mm and a couple of 50's, I will never look back to the 56's. The weight, profile and bulk does not justify the mathematical light transmision gain.

    A die hard 56mm fan will tell you other wise but it will boil down to how much more you are willing to carry for how little performance gain.

    As it is, the 50mm will gather enough light to get you into serious trouble with the game and fish before sunrise and after sunset.

  5. SBruce

    SBruce Well-Known Member

    Oct 31, 2009
    Sometime this summer I intend on doing a side/side test of 4 or 5 different scopes. I'll have to put them on similar powers to do a fair test, but intend on testing for contrast/resolution/brightness at dawn and dusk.

    Leup VX7 4-14 X 50
    Leup MK4 8-25 X 50
    NF 3-15 X 56
    NF 5-22 X56
    NF 5-22 X50

    So far, I've only looked through the VX7 4-14X50 and NF 3-15X56 very extensively (owned them the longest) and I haven't noticed any difference between the two in low light. Actually, the Leup may be slightly brighter, but that could be due to the fact that it's about 15 years newer too.?

    I intend putting the 56 on the big gun (I don't care about weight) and the 50 on the every day rifle that I'll carry while walking alot or may have to go into a scabbard of sorts.

    I doubt that this "test" will show much difference, especially between the two 5-22's.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2011
  6. 700man

    700man Well-Known Member

    Feb 21, 2008
    Thanks for all the input, I am going to get a 50 mm.