nightforce clarity

Discussion in 'Long Range Scopes and Other Optics' started by jayran, Feb 18, 2009.

  1. jayran

    jayran Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    81
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2009
    I was wondering what some had to say about nightforce's clarity and light gathering compared to zeiss or swarovski?
     
  2. idig4au

    idig4au Member

    Messages:
    17
    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2008
    I wasn't all that impressed with NSX optics. They were really heavy and the glass wasn't much better than VX-III scopes. Maybe I just looked at a lemon as I have heard they have variability in the glass. I compared all of them side by side just awhile back when considering high end scopes. Swarovski has decent glass, but the lack of both eye relief and side focus were turn offs for me. The Zeiss scopes are very bright and clear, but again I didn't care for the 56mm objective which comes standard for the magnification range I was looking for.

    I was impressed with the Leupold VX7scopes....to my eyes, they were right up there with Zeiss.

    What scope did I end up with....I decided to spend a few hundred more and get a Schmidt and Bender.
     
  3. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,068
    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    I have an NSX 5 1/2 - 22 x 50 and have never had the opportunity to look through some of the other higher end scopes, so I cant really give you a comparison.

    But I can share my experience with you. IMO, the clarity is more than adequate to engage game well beyond 1K. The longest confirmed sniper kill of 2430 M was accomplished with an NSX 5 1/2 - 22.

    As for light gathering, this past Dec I scoped elk one evening just at the end of legal shooting hours, 30 min past sunset, on high power setting of 22 with sun shade still attached. It was cloudy and we were on an eastern slope. The light and contrast were great.

    There may be scopes with better glass, but IMHO, a NF is more than adequate for most any hunting stuation. Someone else in another thread said he prefered for USO for their optics and their greater ability at night hunting. But then the USO and S&B will cost more $$$.

    I'm very happy with my NSX.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2009
  4. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

    Messages:
    5,085
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2001

    In case it hasn't occurred to you yet-- the sunshade works 24-7. It eliminates non-target light in bright light and in low light and even in the dark. You have totally no use for any light that is not coming from the target and immediate background.

    Here is you a little exercise in applied math.

    Go and get your NF and a ruler and straight edge. Measure the depth of the lens at the edge of the housing and again at the center of the housing and then determine at what angle (O'clock) the sun will hit the lens. Determine what amount of time during the day the direct rays from the sun will not hit the lens because it is shaded.

    Then put the sunshade on and do the same exercise of what times of the day the direct rays of the sun will hit the lens. Remember that the only light we are interested in is the light that is reflected off the fur of the animals and the grass and trees in the near vicinity and maybe we would would like some light from the big ole massive 400+ antlers. :D


    Jayran

    There are a couple of things to look for in a scope and most people will just say words like "bright" or "clear". As best I can decipher, when a person says their scope is bright it means it has poor optical coatings and is letting in too much stray light which causes the whole image to "lighten". I certainly am not a linguistics expert but that is my impression of what people are seeing. To me brightness is not a criteria. Resolution of fine detail is a criteria and that goes with what most people call clarity. Another important attribute of a scope to a hunter is color transmission. If you are shooting black on white targets color may not be important. But for the hunter, many of the animals are not that different in color from their background so the lens system needs to not mix up the colors. This helps in distinguishing fine details such as where the tips of the horns end.

    Clarity is the ability to resolve detail. Here is a picture of my rifle set up and the NXS 8X-32X-56mm is dialed up on a 3X3 elk at 1870 yards. There is 8 inches of snow where he is standing so you get a lot of reflected light but you also have a high contrast background so it is six of one and half dozen of the other. With the 56mm objective and magnificatin set at 32X it will let me see the ice crystals on his muzzle!!! I could see each individual crystal. I could identify the plant he pulled out from under the snow.

    My son said that he had watched a forkhorn deer with the NXS at 1980 yards two days earlier and could tell that it had two points on each side.

    I often shoot antelope with a Leupold V3 6.5-20X-50MM and my best shot is 1140 yards with that scope. For antelope shooting, which is normally broad daylight, I can see enough detail at about 1400 yards to perhaps 1500 yards to know a buck from a doe and have a very well defined aiming point.

    So for me, I feel comfortable with a Leupold V3 out to about 1500 yards in good light and on the 240 Wby that is all the rifle needs and after that I want the Nightforce with the 56mm objective and it will get me out past 2K on the elk rifle in any light I have ever seen an animal in. I go subsonic at about 2300 yards IIRC so I have all the scope that rifle can use


    [​IMG]
     
  5. NightforceKen

    NightforceKen <b>SPONSOR</b>

    Messages:
    75
    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    Buffalo,

    That is a great looking setup and a great write up as well.

    Did'nt mean to highjack the thread.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2009
  6. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,068
    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    BB, thanks for the edumication. One of these nights I'll go find an alphapha field full of deer or elk and spot them with my NSX shade on and off and see if I can detect a difference. It gives me a warm fuzzy that I dont have to worry about taking my sunshade off at last light :D
     
  7. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,363
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2003
    I would say my NXS and Mk4 scopes are equal as far as optical qualities(and flaws).
    Neither is even close to Swarovski.

    But as pointed out, there is alot more to scopes than just optics. You have to consider the whole package..
    It won't matter a bit how good the optics are if the scope lacks needed functions, adjusts in some awkward way, is too high, weighs too much, subtends to conceal your target, won't work for your gun because of this or that, etc. And cost is no indicator for this, but it is a factor like all the others.
     
  8. jayran

    jayran Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    81
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2009
    thanks for the info guys i will consider one for sure on my next scope!
     
  9. autgrs

    autgrs New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    I have two 5.5-22x50(one on a 7 rsaum and the other on a 7rum) I have looked threw some swaro's and a few zeiss scopes and I think the nightforce gathers light much better and is just as clear. And they are made in the USA.
     
  10. phorwath

    phorwath Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,169
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2005
    I would have to see this with my own two eyes to believe it. I guess that should be one eye.

    I have read many posts from many different posters at any number of different forums, and the common concensus is that Nightforce NXS has average glass, supreme mechanics and reliability.

    This is the first opinion I've ever read, anywhere, stating that Nightforce NXS glass is the equal of Swarovski or Zeiss. Perhaps you're refering to the lowest grade scopes that Zeiss is willing to put their name on? I'm convinced the glass in a top end Zeiss or any comparible Swarovski will spank the Nightforce NXS.
     
  11. autgrs

    autgrs New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    The only ziess scopes I have any experience with is the lower grade and the swarovskis i have looked threw (never shot with one) were fairly old. These must be the reasons but I still love my Night Force
     
  12. LewisH

    LewisH Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    458
    Joined:
    May 13, 2007
    Schmidt & Benders have been the scopes by which all others are judged for quite a while now. Are they worth twice as much as a NXS? Opinions differ, to say the least.

    As has been said over and over and over, each person must make that judgment for themselves.
     
  13. phorwath

    phorwath Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,169
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2005
    You don't have to buy a S&B to get better optical clarity than the Nightforce line of scopes. In my opinion, you can get better glass than Nightforce in scopes that cost less than Nightforce. And the topic of this thread was "nightforce clarity". Nightforce scopes aren't at the top of the pack in that regard - again, simply my opinion.

    Many believe mechanical repeatability and reliability are the top priority, which would explain the popularity of the Nightforce scopes. All depends what the priority is.
     
  14. jwp475

    jwp475 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,595
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2005
    I've found Nightforce Optics to be pretty dam good. I'm not sure what is better that's cheaper???