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Discussion Starter #1
I've just joined the forum and reentered the shooting hobby after a 20 year lull. I've also been doing a lot of astronomy work so am familiar with optical systems. My question is in regard to putting a Leupold VX-II 3x-9x-40mm scope on a Ruger M77 Hawkeye 308. Will this scope show any appreciable chromatic aberration or color fringing at 9x. I remember years ago that the Bushnell Banner series was bad but the ScopeChief was ok. Since the later model is no longer made, I'm looking at the Leupold. Comments and suggestions are welcome.
 

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What,Huh ???

OK Mr. Wizard,at least for me you will have to break down and define "chromatic aberration" and "color fringing". In shooters terms if you please.

Thanks for your patience in this matter.-----pruhdlr
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Chromatic aberration or color fringing is a phenomena seen in refractor types of telescopes and is common when the objective lens is made from just one element. A single element lens does not focus all colors of visible light at the same distance. As a result, a white target will have a color fringe around the outside because that color is not at focus. It depends somewhat on how the user has perceived focus and whether the target has a black center and white rings or the reverse. Target shooting in bright light is likely the only place where you would see this problem. The solution is to use a dual element objective lens, achromatic, using glasses of different refractive indexes. The second element has a focal property whereby all colors seem to focus at the same distance. The result is no color fringing. This problem is seen in variable scopes when used at max zoom. Scope price is an indicator of quality but not a guarantee. Since the VX-II is around $300, I want to be sure I don't have this problem. Most of my shooting will be at paper targets at 200 yds+ and at 9x. This is where the problem will appear.
 

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I have never observed chromatic aberration in a rifle scope, even with the cheapest scopes I have used. My Leupold VX-II definitely does not have this problem. However, I have used a couple of spotting scopes that exhibit chromatic aberration.

(And yes, I say this as someone familiar with the phenomenon, both as a photographer and an owner of a cheap telescope.)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you UnCruel, that's exactly the info I needed. I got a good price locally on the scope so can order it tomorrow when I pick up my M77.

I've also seen CA on cheap spotting scopes and a Bushnell Banner 3-9 from the 1970's. Doublet objectives were more expensive to build back in those days so it may not be much of a problem now.

Thanks again.
 

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I have never seen chromatic aberration in a low power scope like a 3-9. I have seen it in scopes like lower priced 6-24, 8-32, etc., as well as in some spotting scopes.

There's a fair chance that being an optical wiz you will be disappointed in the sharpness around the edges of the VX-II. You may wish to look through a Bushnell Elite 4200 before you plunk down your money. The 3-9x40 4200 can be had for about $260 and exhibits superior optics to the VX-II.

Don't flame me now boys. I have both scopes. For a hunting scope the VX-II has advantages, like generous eye relief, a wide "eye box", trim looks, etc. But in terms of optical quality the 4200 winds hands down. All to my eyes of course
 

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I'll go out on a limb a bit and say it doesn't matter. Yeah you might like it better. Birdwatchers do too as they want to see all the color.... BUT.....

You said target shooting but will you ever take it out hunting? The minutes that your scope will make or break you are before sunrise and after sunset. Light gathering, and a reticle design that works for your game is more important. Doesn't matter what colors are at that time of day as things tend to go black and white in low light.

I get to shoot pigs in low light and will take all the brightness I can get, and a heavy enough reticle, over anything else. Don't care if the deer look bright orange in broad daylight - have binoculars to decide if it's a shooter or not. Also like to look at the quail, cardinals, etc., with the binos when there's no critters out, so yeah, I appreciate a good set of optics for that.

For shooting big game, though, I think it's a non-concern. Target shooting also. Black reticle on a a white target? Colors not being perfect might be distracting, but shouldn't make you miss. Might help picking out gophers in the grass? There are other reasons for very good picture quality in a scope. An adjustable objective is a big help when target shooting for extended periods of time, or a different ranges at very small targets.

I would spend the money on an adjustable objective for certain. 9x might be on the low end for target shooting, anyway. No reason you can't step up to 14x, 15x, or so, unless the rules of your sport don't allow it. Just something to think about. Consider a fine target-style reticle if you'll never take it in the hunting fields.

Good luck with your search.
 
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