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Discussion Starter #1
I see a lot of people commenting on their VX II or VX III's but I haven't seen much in the way of opinions/reviews of Leupold's European line. Are there any strong negatives or positives for the VX III line over the European line of scopes? I know the European is metric but other than that, I don't see many differences.

Thanks and looking forward to your opinions,

Bucktrucker :D
 

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The 30mm scopes are usually heavier and have more adjustment. They aren't brighter or better. At one time the euro scopes weren't available in the US as per Leupold's site. In europe 26mm scope tubes were the norm just a few years ago. The Leupold internal lens size is the same in 1" tubes and 30mm ones.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the help Dave. I don't much care about 1in vs 30mm cause I cant find anywhere that says that makes much of a difference. One of the things I saw that was interesting on the europeans was the reticle choices though.

Either i'm asking stupid questions or nobodies got opinions on the europeans cause i'm not getting much help on this one.

BT
 

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The european line use 0.5cm at 100m click. This is equivalent to 0.05mills as used by the military but of no use in hunting as once adjusted you do not play with them for drop correction !

The main difference is the so called German reticle that has thicker posts.
They are easier to see in low light, especially on wild boar.

Still hunting is autorised one hour before sunrise and one hour after sunset and in some places during the night mainly for wild boar and fox.

Variable european scope have also the reticle that changes with magnification, that means the reticle is thicker at high magnification, thus improving its visibility usually at the expense of accuracy but this is hunting, not bench shooting.

The post are also dimensioned in a way you can guestimate the distance to the target.
The Leupold can do it by playing with the magnification.

Low light means also 50mm to 56mm objectives.

Now if you have an illuminated reticle you are OK with a heavy duplex, the standard american reticle.

I recently bought a Vari X-VIII 50mm with illuminated reticle (cross) and made it to good use this last Sunday by killing a small wild boar (about 35kg)

As they spotted me, I took a running shot and frankly, without the illuminated reticle I would not have been able to get it. It was about 45 min after sunset and the distance about 30 m.

The only thing I miss on the Leupold is the low magnification that is only 3.5X which is a bit too much for this kind of shot.

I have a friend who hunts with a Swarowski 2.5X10 50mm and the 2.5 setting is better fit for running shot.

I do not see much difference between his Swaro and my Leupold in term of optical quality in low light. The Swaro may be a bit better.
But definitely, the German reticle on the Swro is better suited than the heavy duplex without the red cross.

So to get the best of both world, accuracy during daylight and usability during low light, take the heavy duplex with illuminated reticle.

Compared to my bino, Zeiss 10x40mm, I can see a bit more details in low light than through the Leupold but may be it is just because my right eye although is is as old as my left (I am in my fifties) :grin:

As for the tube diam, only a few high quality brand use real 30mm optics. Some make good use of it for the adjustements, useful for long range shooting were they need a wide range to adjust for bulet drop.
 

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Very good post BoarHunter. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Boarhunter,

Thanks, that is a great post with exactly the kind of info and comparisons I was looking for. I'm very new at this and really don't want to make a big optical mistake which is why I'm trying to get real user info before I buy.

I "think" I would like the German #4 reticle the best (or maybe the new B&C one as well). That's what prompted me to look at the European line since the VXIII's don't have that reticle without going illuminated. Basically, I'm finding that I can get a European 3X9X50mm German#4 for $420 vs. a VXIII 3.5X10X50mm German#4 illuminated for $730. A Heavy Duplex VXIII 3.5X10X50mm is $550. Unless there is some downside to the European line that I'm missing, I don't know why I should spend more money for the VXIII line.

Am I missing something big here?

Thanks for the help.

BT :D
 

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If you do not want to spend the money on an illuminated version, you are right with the German reticle. It is best suited for hunting especially in low light and on running shot.

Keep in mind the German reticle comes from the hunting field while the duplex comes from the target shooting community.

The lower cost of the European line may also come from less sophisticated optical treatement and the line may be based on the VII serie.

If you hunt during regular hour, sunrise to sunset unless in heavy cover, it should work fine.

I had in the past a Redfield Widefield 2-7 X 32mm and it was usable while we were allowed to hunt only between sunset to sunrise, except on overcast days.

Things are different now as the legal hours have been extended mainly because wild boar are smart enough to travel in low light condition.
I hope they will not learn to move only at night ! :grin:
 

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BuckTrucker, go to Premier Reticles site and look at the reticles they have for Leupold scopes. I had a German #4 installed in my VX 2 1x4 this past winter and I really like it.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
BoarHunter said:
The lower cost of the European line may also come from less sophisticated optical treatement and the line may be based on the VII serie. :grin:
Boarhunter, This is half right from my conversation today with a Leupold Technical Product Specialist on the phone. The line is not based on the VXII as speculated but there is a difference in optical treatment.

The European line has fully multi-coated lenses and the VXIII does not. At first, this may seem like VXIII is lacking but actually, the VXIII's index matched lens system includes optimization of the individual lenses through the use of selective coating materials and procedures. Each lens in the VXIII is measured for total light transmission (TLT) utilizing all available coatings and determinations are made to maximize the TLT. This could include decisions like coating only one side of the lens.

In the end, the tech specialist admitted that the difference in TLT was 92% for the European vs. 98% for the VXIII and that only the most experienced people could notice a 6% difference. He admitted that it was challenging for their technical people to percieve the difference but most could since they work with optics all day long.

Cheers,

BT :D
 
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