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Scope resolving power

This is a discussion on Scope resolving power within the Optics forums, part of the Gun Forum category; We all read various author's works on scopes, and when they write of a scope's clarity they will only write in generalities. Does anyone know ...


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Old February 6th, 2017, 06:56 PM   #1
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Scope resolving power

We all read various author's works on scopes, and when they write of a scope's clarity they will only write in generalities. Does anyone know why "resolving power" isn't used? (A simplified description of this term as used in the astronomy community is how well a telescope can "split" what appears to be a single star into showing that it a binary star). In essence, how well does the scope allow one to see detail.

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Old February 7th, 2017, 06:05 AM   #2
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Agreed - some sort of standard would be good.

Saw a set of reviews (YouTube?) where they had printed an ordinary eye chart and put it downrange, then took a picture through each scope. It did show a difference.

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Old February 7th, 2017, 11:25 AM   #3
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Google Air Force 1951 chart. It's an optical resolution test chart made for this purpose. It would be nice if people used it, apples to apples.

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Old February 7th, 2017, 12:10 PM   #4
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In essence, how well does the scope allow one to see detail.
Because setting up an eye chart test in a controlled environment takes effort & it still doesn't tell you which scope will "look good" for every person or which one will perform best in low light conditions.

Also an eye chart tells you nothing about reliability.

IMHO the best way is to look at the "hive mind". Hunters and target shooters who are serious about what they do always gravitate towards a few select brands and models.

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Old February 7th, 2017, 01:54 PM   #5
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Because setting up an eye chart test in a controlled environment takes effort & it still doesn't tell you which scope will "look good" for every person or which one will perform best in low light conditions.

Also an eye chart tells you nothing about reliability.

IMHO the best way is to look at the "hive mind". Hunters and target shooters who are serious about what they do always gravitate towards a few select brands and models.
Resolving power is an absolute measurement, and when I was into astronomy it was common that all decent telescopes listed specs, including resolving power. It doesn't matter who is looking through the scope. I just don't understand the reasoning that it's not used for firearm scopes. It's not as if it would cost manufacturers big bucks to post it; they have to already know the data. And it wouldn't be unreasonable for reviewers of scopes to do their own tests.

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Old February 7th, 2017, 05:06 PM   #6
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So you got me thinking about this. How would the resolving power be independent of the magnification? Testing a 10x scope against a 15x scope for example, you would expect the 15x to have better resolution at a given distance.

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Old February 7th, 2017, 06:10 PM   #7
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There was a test done. Lots of flawed info, and it wasn't a "controlled" test. People see through scopes differently. Light conditions affect resolution. An individuals vision prescription changes percieved resolution. Too many variables in this test or any resolution test done by a human.

Here is the link, you can decide for yourselves.

http://precisionrifleblog.com/2014/0...sults-summary/

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Old February 8th, 2017, 06:49 AM   #8
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So you got me thinking about this. How would the resolving power be independent of the magnification? Testing a 10x scope against a 15x scope for example, you would expect the 15x to have better resolution at a given distance.
---------
That's true if the image on the eye (or camera/whatever) is smaller than the receptors (e.g. pixels / nerves) can discern as being separated.

In practical use of resolving power, higher magnification of a low resolution image will just be a larger blur and still not able to see separation because the edges of the separation 'merge together' and fill the gap so it's not obvious. With lower magnification and higher resolution the image is smaller but the separtion can be seen because the gap is more distinct.

It's about how crisp and precise the edges appear.

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Old February 8th, 2017, 12:58 PM   #9
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---------
That's true if the image on the eye (or camera/whatever) is smaller than the receptors (e.g. pixels / nerves) can discern as being separated.

In practical use of resolving power, higher magnification of a low resolution image will just be a larger blur and still not able to see separation because the edges of the separation 'merge together' and fill the gap so it's not obvious. With lower magnification and higher resolution the image is smaller but the separtion can be seen because the gap is more distinct.

It's about how crisp and precise the edges appear.

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Exactly! Testing of scopes could be done on a low and high power setting in the case of variables.

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Old February 8th, 2017, 01:51 PM   #10
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I just don't understand
People buy scopes based on how it looks to their eyes, features, budget, reliability reputation etc...a resolution score on the side of the box is meaningless for that.

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Old February 8th, 2017, 05:06 PM   #11
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Optical clarity is important but there a lot of other factors that I look at when I purchase a scope. One of the big ones is tracking. If I dial up 10mils and it is only 9.7 it doesn't matter to my how clearly I can see my miss.

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Old February 8th, 2017, 05:18 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by noob14s View Post
People buy scopes based on how it looks to their eyes, features, budget, reliability reputation etc...a resolution score on the side of the box is meaningless for that.
I agree but also think resolution could be added to the list; after all, shooters tend to take into account the accuracy certain firearms are capable of. Resolving power is to optics what accuracy is to firearms.

Even if someone is debating on which inexpensive scope to choose, they would still like a specification to compare scope to scope.

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Old February 8th, 2017, 05:21 PM   #13
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I always thought it was optical clarity with the amount of light it could let in, which made the more useful scope in the long run...

I could be wrong, it sure wouldn't be the first time and not the last by any means in my life.



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Old February 8th, 2017, 05:26 PM   #14
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Optical clarity is important but there a lot of other factors that I look at when I purchase a scope. One of the big ones is tracking. If I dial up 10mils and it is only 9.7 it doesn't matter to my how clearly I can see my miss.
Agreed

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Old February 8th, 2017, 05:33 PM   #15
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I always thought it was optical clarity with the amount of light it could let in, which made the more useful scope in the long run...

I could be wrong, it sure wouldn't be the first time and not the last by any means in my life.


You're not wrong, just think of optical clarity as another way of saying resolving power.

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