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  #1  
Old 11-16-2007, 9:39 PM
Flux Capacitor Flux Capacitor is offline
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Default Leupold vs Nikon

I have a Leupold VX-1 2-7x33mm and am verrryy happy with it. Just wish it has clickable adjustments. Its very clear and holds zero fine.

After reading some posts about how good Nikon was (also after reading Midway reviews), I bought a Nikon Prostaff 3-9x44mm w BDC reticle. I just got it today and had a chance to play with it. Its very clear at 3x while looking at something across a standard size room. I then move it to 4x and its still clear, but gets blury at 6x and really blury at 9x. If I move my eye (@6x) away from the lens it gets clear again.

My Leupold seems to stay clear no matter what power its on on the same object. Is there something wrong with the Nikon or is it just inferior quality? I haven't had a chance to look at it in daylight yet (just got it delivered), but so far I am less than satisified. Not sure if it makes a difference, but the "Made in the Phillipines" stamp on the bottom doesn't make me feel any better.
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  #2  
Old 11-16-2007, 9:52 PM
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PistolPete75 PistolPete75 is offline
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I have a Nikon buckmaster, and it has very clear glass. Hold zero quite well on my oll.

Nikons are good scopes, and offer alot of bang for the dollar.

Sounds like you either use it for just plinking and or hunting. Both Leupold or Nikons are good stuff.
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  #3  
Old 11-16-2007, 10:18 PM
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try it in daylight and shooting it at your expected distances.
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Old 11-16-2007, 10:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flux Capacitor View Post
I bought a Nikon Prostaff 3-9x44mm w BDC reticle. I just got it today and had a chance to play with it. Its very clear at 3x while looking at something across a standard size room. I then move it to 4x and its still clear, but gets blury at 6x and really blury at 9x. If I move my eye (@6x) away from the lens it gets clear again.
It sounds like you are describing a shift in eye relief and/or minimum focus.
It's not uncommon to have the eye relief change throughout the zoom.
It's certainly not desireable, but it's also not uncommon, especially as scopes get less expensive.

Also, you may be running into a minimum focus shift.
Scopes are designed to be used outdoors.
It's not necessarily within the design parameters for your scope to even NEED to focus as close as "across the room"
Take it out in the yard and try the same test "across the street"
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  #5  
Old 11-16-2007, 10:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PistolPete75 View Post
I have a Nikon buckmaster, and it has very clear glass. Hold zero quite well on my oll.

Nikons are good scopes, and offer alot of bang for the dollar.

Sounds like you either use it for just plinking and or hunting. Both Leupold or Nikons are good stuff.

Was your buckmaster made in the U.S?.... just curious
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  #6  
Old 11-17-2007, 12:25 AM
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A little expansion on eye relief - copied from a post I made a while back on this. You can check Leupold's web site or catalog and it shows the optimal eye relief at both ends of the zoom range, something more vendors should do. Nobody really specs the eyebox, as it's a good bit more subjective and harder to measure with accuracy. Also, having your eye at different ends of the eyebox can affect things like how blurry the front sight of an AR is at lower mags.

ar15barrels' point about the distance is dead on - you can't really test a scope well at short distances, unless it's got AO that can focus down to household distances like 20-30 feet.

Quote:
There are 2 aspects to eye relief - the optimal spot for eye relief at a given magnification (this is what's usually spec'd by the vendor), and the window where you can get useful eye relief, often referred to as the "eyebox" (and rarely spec'd). The vendor's spec for optimal eye relief is often calculated, not measured, and some vendors give the distance from the lens surface, not from the end of the scope body. It can be hard to compare across vendors unless you know what they mean.

One of Leupold's great strengths is they have a generous eyebox - you can get good eye relief at a decent-sized window around the optimal eye relief point, which means you can get quick target aquisition when you bring the rifle up quickly because eye position isn't as critical. Some other scope makers are good at this too, but it takes trying them out to find out.

Also, note that the eye relief (both optimal and eyebox) changes with magnification, and willl be different as you zoom the scope. Generally, eye relief gets closer and the eyebox gets smaller as you zoom in. Some vendors (like Leupold) are starting to spec the optimal eye relief at the zoom limits.

Some scopes have a decent optimal eye relief distance, but a small eyebox at high magnifications, which means you have to hunt for a good field of view or have a very repeatable cheekweld at a given magnification. Repeatable cheekweld is a great thing, but flexibility in eye position means flexibility in fast action shooting.

For instance, the optimal eye relief for the Leupold scope you mention changes by 0.9" going from min to max zoom, so having a generous eyebox is critical to getting good eye relief at various zooms, even (or especially) when you have a repeatable cheekweld.
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  #7  
Old 11-17-2007, 10:12 AM
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i heard the buckmaster has a small "tunney visioney" field of view, can anyone confirm this?
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  #8  
Old 11-17-2007, 1:00 PM
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I don't have a Nikon, but "tunnel vision" is often associated with tight eye relief (that is, a small eyebox), especially at the far extreme of the zoom range.

If you've got a scope with, say 3" optimal eye relief at 3x and 2.2" optimal eye relief at 9x, with a relatively small eyebox, it's possible to mount it such that you get good eye relief at one end of the zoom, but you're outside the eyebox at the other end of the zoom, which results in tunnel vision unless you move your eye position back into the eyebox.

You can get around this by careful placement of the scope so that you've got good eye relief at the entire zoom range, but you'll need a repeatable cheek weld as well (always a good thing). Another option is to use scopes with generous eye relief and large eyeboxes, which keeps the positioning fast and flexible.

The scope construction also can contribute to this - if it's got a largish body that causes a ring around the field of view, it increases the perception of tunnel vision, while if the body and eyepiece shroud is close and slim, you avoid too much dark blur around the FOV.

I'll admit I'm somewhat of a Leupold fanboi, because I need a lot of eye relief and a lot of flexibility in eye relief, and Leupold tends to have it in spades, even in their inexpensive scopes. My Vari-X I and II and VX-Is are fast, bright, and flexible, though I don't have any $1000 scopes to compare them to.

I'll be interested in hearing more about the Nikon, as lots of people are saying good things about the less expensive ones these days.

ETA:
This is one of the key differences between inexpensive and more expensive scopes (along with sturdiness and optical clarity/light transmission) - the amount of usable eye relief, particularly at high mags.

Last edited by maxicon; 11-17-2007 at 1:52 PM..
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  #9  
Old 11-17-2007, 5:05 PM
Flux Capacitor Flux Capacitor is offline
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Well I got a chance to test the Nikon out today. Its decent. AT 100 yards its pretty clear from 2x to 9x. Its pretty blury when looking at something much closer (when I move the scope and point towards a close flower bed). Its good, but its no Leupold. I guess the eye relief/eye box is different from the Leupold. I plan on exchanging it for a Leupold
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  #10  
Old 11-17-2007, 9:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flux Capacitor View Post
Was your buckmaster made in the U.S?.... just curious
Buckmaster made in philippines
Prostaff made in china

I use both Leupold and Nikon on all my rifles. Personaly I would stay away from the prostaff if your budjet says so. The durabilty, finish, clarity is so much worth it on the buckmaster vs prostaff.

Last edited by T-Bear; 11-17-2007 at 9:43 PM..
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  #11  
Old 11-17-2007, 11:20 PM
Flux Capacitor Flux Capacitor is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T-Bear View Post
Buckmaster made in philippines
Prostaff made in china

I use both Leupold and Nikon on all my rifles. Personaly I would stay away from the prostaff if your budjet says so. The durabilty, finish, clarity is so much worth it on the buckmaster vs prostaff.

Sure you don't have that backwards? My prostaff is clearly stamped Made in Phillipines. Yea, I am gonna stay away from Prostaff despite the wonderful reviews by everyone else. Maybe Nikon's higher end products are better, but this experience has left a bitter taste in my mouth. I've made this mistake more than once. Now I'll stick to Leupolds. Even the cheapest Leupolds are awesome.
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  #12  
Old 11-17-2007, 11:36 PM
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Buckmasters and the Tactical line are where it is at for Nikon.
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  #13  
Old 11-18-2007, 11:21 AM
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Default my experience

I don't have any experience with the low end Nikon's but I do own two Leupold M4 scopes (a 3.5-10x mildot PR and a 3.5-10x M3 TMR) and they seem to be great scopes. I also have two older Nikon Tacticals that for all intents are their equals. I know it will make everyone cringe but I also have a couple of the new Millett TRS-1 4-16x50 Tactical scopes (yes assembled in China) and after months of use I can say they are **almost as good** the only difference is that the Leupolds may have "slightly" better resolution at ranges past 600 yards. The milletts street price of $300.00 versus the $650.00 for the PR and $1200 for the M3 makes the Millett and awesome deal to me.



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