The Optics Trifecta! | Tactical Scopes & Binoculars

Finding the perfect balance of eye relief, field of view and magnification!

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Riflescopes and binoculars bring faraway things close, and make little fuzzy things big and crisp. Wonderful. But how well you see those improved images depends on which scopes and binoculars you choose.

Cheap glass handicaps you because it lacks resolution—it denies you the razor edges that separate colors and textures. Cheap optics may also not be fully multi-coated. An uncoated lens can rob you of 4 percent of incident light at each air-to-glass surface. Multiply that by the number of lens units in a scope or binocular, and you get a dim picture. For better aim and to find more game, buy the best optics you can afford. Good glass is an investment that pays dividends. Good glass will last longer than the ice pack off Greenland.

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Adjusting a scope’s eyepiece focuses the ret­­icle, not the target. Do it once, then leave it!

Alas, even the most expensive scopes and binoculars yield to the optical triangle. Not as deadly as the Bermuda Triangle, it is equally unforgiving. The three sides of an optical triangle are eye relief, magnification and field of view. You can’t change one without affecting the others.

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Power down your riflescope when tree-standing for whitetails in tight cover. Brad Herndon Photo