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Thread: low lite rifle scope

  1. #1

    Default low lite rifle scope

    i'm looking to upgrade my scope for very low lite conditions. leupold has the VXlll heavy duplex in both 1.75-6x32 and 3.5-10x50. Which would be best in low light given shoots under 150yards? I'm leaning toward the 1.75-6, but I understand the 50mm would let through more light.

  2. #2

    Default Scope

    I am not sure which scope lets in more light or not. I was told the 50mm does let in more light but not sure. I can say however, I just bought a Leuopld VXIII 4.5-14x50 mm Long Range with the Deplux and I love it!!!!

  3. #3
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I know a few folks who dote highly on the leupold 6X42. There is something to be said for less lens' providing a brighter clearer picture.

  4. #4

    Default Scope

    Take a look at the VXIII 2.5x8 by 36mm with a post cross hair from the Leupold Custom Shop. The heavier reticle will show up better in low light and the brush. So will the German#4 reticle. They are both good hunting reticles for almost any Alaskan hunting. It will still allow you to take the long shot. Some of the very high dollar, heavy and long European scopes with the huge objective lens will transmit more light. They will not transmit a $1,000.00 or more of light though. I have used my old 2.5x8 by 36mm in near darkness on more then one moose and a Brown Bear. Spend $1,500.00 on binoculars!

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    Default A quick way to calculate light transmission

    Take the objective diameter (a 3.5-10x 50mm has a 50mm objective) and divide the lowest magnification (3.5x in this instance) into that number.

    ie...50/3.5=14.29

    Or in the case of a 1.75-6x by 36mm: 36/1.75=20.57

    The bigger the number the better.

    Now obviously the quality of the lenses (Swarovski vs Swift) & the diameter of the tube (30mm vs. 1") will have a lot to do with it as well. But this is a quick way to see what would be brighter.

    I have a Leupold LPS 1.5-6x by 42mm (30mm tube) that could be almost considered a night vision scope. If there's any kind of light out, it looks like broad daylight through the scope.

    Hope this helps.

  6. #6
    Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kloshe View Post
    i'm looking to upgrade my scope for very low lite conditions. leupold has the VXlll heavy duplex in both 1.75-6x32 and 3.5-10x50. Which would be best in low light given shoots under 150yards? I'm leaning toward the 1.75-6, but I understand the 50mm would let through more light.

    If you are serious about a scope for low light shooting, then you are looking in the wrong place, when you are looking at scopes made for the American market.

    European scope manufacturers have to build scopes for low light conditions. Hunters in Europe hunt at night legally. They have had this as a requirement for many generations.

    You would do yourself a favor by doing some research on the subject.

    http://www.schmidtbender.com/

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    Big Al is correct. I have a 2.5x10x52 Zeiss that I have used to shoot wild boar at midnight while stationed in Germany. The 30mm tubes allow more light. There are some American scopes that do well too. But to answer your question, from experience I would go with the lower power scope. I usually set mine at 2.5 at night.

  8. #8

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    My pet is the Vx11 2-7x33(WD), also have a soft spot for the Vx111 2.5-8x36.

    I've had the so called greats, these days I prefer my 2-7's! I hunt in some dark dingy areas, my 2-7 has never let me down & don't think it ever will.

    Backed with Leupold's famous warranty, it's a winner & the only brand I warm to these days




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  9. #9

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    If you want a comparably priced scope for low light conditions, buy a Zeiss Conquest. 3-9 or 4.5-14.

    Either will cost about the same or less than a Leupold VX-3, and both will transmit more light than the Leupolds. Zeiss also has a good warranty and warranty service. I used Leupolds for the my first 30 years of big game hunting. I learned that they're a decent scope, but their glass and optics don't transmit the light or provide the resolution of a number or other scopes that don't cost any, or much, more. Not bashing Leupolds. They're a decent mid-range cost and quality scope. But after seeing the light, I don't use them anymore. Pun intended.

  10. #10

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    I like the Zeiss 1.8-5.5x38mm Conquest, it has excellent clarity and low light ability. Even the Zeiss 4.4-14x44mm Conquest is outstanding in low light.
    A GUN WRITER NEEDS:
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    THE HIDE OF A RHINOCEROS

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deathray7 View Post
    Take the objective diameter (a 3.5-10x 50mm has a 50mm objective) and divide the lowest magnification (3.5x in this instance) into that number.

    ie...50/3.5=14.29

    Or in the case of a 1.75-6x by 36mm: 36/1.75=20.57

    The bigger the number the better.

    Now obviously the quality of the lenses (Swarovski vs Swift) & the diameter of the tube (30mm vs. 1") will have a lot to do with it as well. But this is a quick way to see what would be brighter.

    I have a Leupold LPS 1.5-6x by 42mm (30mm tube) that could be almost considered a night vision scope. If there's any kind of light out, it looks like broad daylight through the scope.

    Hope this helps.
    The objective diameter divided by the magnification gives you the "exit pupil" of your scope. A larger exit pupil is nice, but keep in mind that your own pupils can generally only dilate to about 7mm. With age, the eye loses even more and by about age 50 can only usually dilate to about 5mm. What this means is that an exit pupil of greater diameter than 7mm is pretty much wasted light. With that said, I like a larger exit pupil because I think I can acquire the target faster. I've been lusting over Swarovski's 1.5 - 6 PH for some time now. It would really be a nice addition to a .375.

  12. #12
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    akav8tr-

    You're correct about pupil dialation (sp?) and exit pupil definition.

    I've read the same thing over the years and I know it makes sense mathematically and scientifically; but when I've tried to duplicate it in the field, the lower magnification settings were brighter. My brother and I even played with changing the magnification (without telling the other what it was set at) and handing it over to a "blind" tester and playing the eye doctor game (which is better, number 1, or number 2?).

    My 1.5-6x by 42mm should have the same level of brightness through the scope at 6x as it does at 1.5x (42mm/6x magnification= 7mm exit pupil), according to the maximum exit pupil my eyes can use, but that is definitely not the case.

    For that matter, an 8-32x scope (set at 8x) on a 56mm objective should be as bright as anybody should need for low light. I don't have one, but I would like to hear from anybody who has one, and a lower power (large objective) scope like mine to test them and post what they think.

    Of course, you have to take into account the percentage of light transmission that the optics allow into the equation.

    Thank you (akav8tr) for helping me to clarify my position. Sometimes in my head I have things more detailed and explained than what I end up putting down through the keyboard.
    Last edited by Deathray7; 11-01-2007 at 05:35. Reason: Had to leave before I could finish.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deathray7 View Post
    akav8tr-

    You're correct about pupil dialation (sp?) and exit pupil definition.

    I've read the same thing over the years and I know it makes sense mathematically and scientifically; but when I've tried to duplicate it in the field, the lower magnification settings were brighter. My brother and I even played with changing the magnification (without telling the other what it was set at) and handing it over to a "blind" tester and playing the eye doctor game (which is better, number 1, or number 2?).

    My 1.5-6x by 42mm should have the same level of brightness through the scope at 6x as it does at 1.5x (42mm/6x magnification= 7mm exit pupil), according to the maximum exit pupil my eyes can use, but that is definitely not the case.

    For that matter, an 8-32x scope (set at 8x) on a 56mm objective should be as bright as anybody should need for low light. I don't have one, but I would like to hear from anybody who has one, and a lower power (large objective) scope like mine to test them and post what they think.

    Of course, you have to take into account the percentage of light transmission that the optics allow into the equation.

    Thank you (akav8tr) for helping me to clarify my position. Sometimes in my head I have things more detailed and explained than what I end up putting down through the keyboard.
    Good stuff, but if the glass is not the good quality stuff and the coatings to match the good glass, you can have the best combination of mathematical and scientific mechanical set up and not be able to accomplish your desired goal. The kind of glass, coatings along with all the other you have mentioned is need to accomplish the mathematical and scientific objective you are wanting. I think only a few companies really give you all of that and fewer for the dallar spent that is why I buy Zeiss now. There are others but I have chosen Zeiss.
    A GUN WRITER NEEDS:
    THE MIND OF A SCHOLAR
    THE HEART OF A CHILD
    THE HIDE OF A RHINOCEROS

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by beartooth View Post
    Good stuff, but if the glass is not the good quality stuff and the coatings to match the good glass, you can have the best combination of mathematical and scientific mechanical set up and not be able to accomplish your desired goal. The kind of glass, coatings along with all the other you have mentioned is need to accomplish the mathematical and scientific objective you are wanting. I think only a few companies really give you all of that and fewer for the dallar spent that is why I buy Zeiss now. There are others but I have chosen Zeiss.
    Very true. I was only commenting on the one aspect of brightness. Light transmission also depends on the glass transmitting as much light as possible. Of course this is accomplished by quality glass, coatings, and minimizing light refractions within the scope. BTW, until you get up into the VXIII line from Leupold, they are not that great at light transmission.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by akav8r View Post
    Very true. I was only commenting on the one aspect of brightness. Light transmission also depends on the glass transmitting as much light as possible. Of course this is accomplished by quality glass, coatings, and minimizing light refractions within the scope. BTW, until you get up into the VXIII line from Leupold, they are not that great at light transmission.
    Now that is a fact about having to be in the VXIII line of scopes and price range for there to be good light transmission. Amen on that!!!
    A GUN WRITER NEEDS:
    THE MIND OF A SCHOLAR
    THE HEART OF A CHILD
    THE HIDE OF A RHINOCEROS

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