Which scope is best in low light conditions?

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Which is the best scope for low light conditions? I am considering a Tasco 3-9X50 and a Leiupold vari-x II 3-9X50. Since my knowledge is zip about these things I need some expert advise.
I currently have a Simmons 3-9X50 on my 30-06 which is a Remengtion bolt action. I have poor visibility during low light conditions with the power at 3 so I have decided to change scopes. Input please.
Jim
 

germag

Gone But Not Forgotten
I'd say that between the two you mention, the Leupold is hands-down the brighter scope....much higher quality glass.
 

chuckdog

Senior Member
Of the two, I'd pick the Leupold without question. I don't think you'll have any votes otherwise? If allowed, I suggest spending about the same money and get the 2.5 X 8 VXIII. The VXIII series offers better performance in a smaller package. My vote is for quality over quanity.
 

DS7418

Gone But Not Forgotten
I would suggest a Bushnell 3200 , in , 3x9x50mm.
It is the brightest,clearest scope I ever used in low-light conditions and the adjustable eye pc will give you a perfect clear view.
 

jglenn

Senior Member
Burris Fullfield IIs are every bright given their price range.

really all depends on a price range then pick the best in that range
 
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Dub

Top Chef
I've been shooting mainly Leupolds for about 15 years.

That has changed this month.

I asked the same question you were asking. PM'd a lot of Woody's members here as well as one of my buddies whose spent considerable time studying up on scopes. It's almost a side hobby of his.

Anyway....I have two guns I wanted to scope....one to be my main hunter for virtually any occasion. I had a bigger budget for it. The other is a back up gun and something I'll mainly use in the swampy areas and thick cover areas.

I bought these two last week....same brand...way different budgets. Clarity is super. I did a test run last evening in the backyard. I'm very glad I took everyone's advice.



Like I said, they've got them in all budgets. Budsgunshop.com has a brand new 3-9x40mm version for $380. I'd put it up against any 40mm scope at twice it's price.


Good luck.
 

Barroll

Senior Member
I have a vari-x II 3x9 50mm and it is very good in low light. It is not quite as good as the 30mm leupold i have but unless you want to spend 6-700 the vari-x II is a great scope. And i dont care what anyone says, 50mm makes a big difference over a 40mm. Im sure people will try to argue that with me on here.
 

Dub

Top Chef
I have a vari-x II 3x9 50mm and it is very good in low light. It is not quite as good as the 30mm leupold i have but unless you want to spend 6-700 the vari-x II is a great scope. And i dont care what anyone says, 50mm makes a big difference over a 40mm. Im sure people will try to argue that with me on here.
No arguments from me. :bounce:



With some classic rifles, I'd keep the 40mm or less to maintain the nice lines of the gun.

Most of my guns are "beaters", though, so aesetics aren't the top concern. Function over form for my guns...most times.

It's true the bigger objectives are more heavy but I can loose far more weight on my gorilla body.:bounce:
 
Just like with anything else, normally you get what you pay for and in scopes it really rings true. For the best low light, Zeiss and Swarovski are about the best you can find, the Tasco is as far on the other end.
 

Buzz

Senior Member
First off - the Leupold in question is a Vari-X II which is NOT muticoated with Leupold's MC4 coatings as the new VX-II models. They have the older magnesium flouride coatings and optically are not on par with newer models from Leupold and competitors, some far cheaper. I'm not sure if you meant the newer model or not but there is a lot of difference optically between a Vari-X II and a VX-II.

Second - IMO, the practical advantages to large objectives and very expensive scopes in terms of light transmission are often rather exaggerated. Just about any modern multi-coated scope 32mm or larger will provide enough light transmission to make a shot during LEGAL shooting hours. Binoculars are far superior to identifying targets in low light than a rifle scope. As long as the scope has enough light to make out the target it's bright enough and I have never had any modern mutlicoated scope not be bright enough to get on a target during legal shooting hours. A decent set of 8x42mm binoculars will appear brighter than any rifle scope because the cups set so close to your eyes you are not getting the interference with outside light as you do with 3" or 4" of eye relief from a scope. My 6x32mm Vortex Viper Binoculars are bright enough that I can identity targets well past what would be legal to take a shot.
 
Jim, What is your budget? What are you being quoted on the Leupold?

If your budget is $200, recommending a $800+ scope doesn't help you and wastes bandwidth. And if the price you're being offered on the Leupold is out of line, it doesn't help you to be told to buy that just because it's "better" than the Tasco.
 
First off - the Leupold in question is a Vari-X II which is NOT muticoated with Leupold's MC4 coatings as the new VX-II models. They have the older magnesium flouride coatings and optically are not on par with newer models from Leupold and competitors, some far cheaper. I'm not sure if you meant the newer model or not but there is a lot of difference optically between a Vari-X II and a VX-II.

Second - IMO, the practical advantages to large objectives and very expensive scopes in terms of light transmission are often rather exaggerated. Just about any modern multi-coated scope 32mm or larger will provide enough light transmission to make a shot during LEGAL shooting hours. Binoculars are far superior to identifying targets in low light than a rifle scope. As long as the scope has enough light to make out the target it's bright enough and I have never had any modern mutlicoated scope not be bright enough to get on a target during legal shooting hours. A decent set of 8x42mm binoculars will appear brighter than any rifle scope because the cups set so close to your eyes you are not getting the interference with outside light as you do with 3" or 4" of eye relief from a scope. My 6x32mm Vortex Viper Binoculars are bright enough that I can identity targets well past what would be legal to take a shot.
:cheers:
 

Predator56

Senior Member
i have owned most all of premium brands...at varying price points..
I do feel the high dollar euro stuff is "better", however much better is debatable and whether its useable in legal hours is questionable. only the owner and their eyes can decide
 

win270wsm

Senior Member
I would suggest a Bushnell 3200 , in , 3x9x50mm.
It is the brightest,clearest scope I ever used in low-light conditions and the adjustable eye pc will give you a perfect clear view.
I would recommend this one over any others! However, between the 2 you mentioned I say leupold
 
I have 2 Nikon Monarchs (or equivalent) and I have no trouble seeing deer way past legal shooting hours.

There may be scopes that have better technical numbers, but it's sort of like having a 600 HP engine -- where are you going to use it.
 

Bruz

Gone but not forgotten
A very very important factor that has yet to be mentioned is reticle. So far I only have one data point but I can tell you that with 2 minutes of legal shooting light left I took a deer at upwards of 150 yards with my Leupold FXIII 6x42mm with the Heavy Duplex reticle.

In my opinion...that reticle made the difference in killing that deer it is not a target pleaser but as far vas a hunting reticle goes....I haven't seen better. I am in process of having all of my Leupold scopes converted to this reticle....I like it that much.

Bruz
 

Predator56

Senior Member
the heavy duplex is heavy all the time, at all powers, which i dont always want, especially if it aint anywhere near being dark or if its longer range.....face it most of the time we sit out there, it aint dark.

THe front focal plane scopes sort of allow you to choose the reticle size although it remains relative to the target...some can deem this an advantage of the euro scopes...THe heavy duplex in a second or rear focal plane leupold, is always heavy and wouldnt be my choice to shoot deer at longer ranges or during regular lighting conditions... the HD reticle is a "love" or "hate" reticle I believe and if it works for you thats awesome.
 
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