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Thread: Are NS Panamax really this bad?

  1. #31
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Perth
    Posts
    169
    Hi Clive.

    Basically, an AO scope focuses by moving the objective lens backwards and forwards by rotation. The big problem with this is that unless the optical centre and mechanical centre of the objective lens are absolutely identical, as you rotate the lens, the image (which is what you actually aim at, not the target) goes round in a circle. This is made even worse if the other lenses - there are at least two - are not also in perfect alignment. The tiniest misalignment through the system can give big problems at even medium distances. With a Side Focus system, the objective stays still and the focus lens is moved backwards and forwards. This is a more expensive mechanism, and far from foolproof, but it does mean that there is more chance of the effects of any alignment inconsistencies staying constant, as the whole thing is not rotating. So, in my opinion, SF systems are inherently better than AO systems, but whatever system you use, if you want the best precision you and your setup are capable of, you need to check it out at each distance you shoot.

    Also remember that as well as optical precision, you also pay for robustness. I have had two scopes that started life pretty much perfect, but started zero-wandering after a couple of months of careful, real-world outdoor use.

    As it happens, it looks like I have got lucky with a 175 Hawke Vantage SF 3-12 x 44 scope. At the moment, this particular scope is spot on at every distance I shoot, and compares very well on all counts with my 600 Sightron S111.

    Good shooting

    Alan

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Guildford
    Posts
    83
    Hi Alan,
    Thanks for the explanation.
    It is more or less as I thought, though expressed far more coherently and eloquently than I would have managed!

    I take some hope from the fact that both you and Amac have recently bought "affordable" Hawke scopes that do work accurately.
    I would happily pay around the 200.00 mark for a scope that was guaranteed to perform correctly but I wonder how many retailers would put the shutters up when they saw you coming to return your fourth or fifth inaccurate scope?!

    Luckily, the only AO scope that I have purchased was a heavily discounted
    Nikko 3-9x50 for around 35.00 so it has not proved to be an expensive lesson.
    The next will be no more than x16 magnification with a 40mm-ish objective lens and side focus. Hopefully by the time that I have spare cash and feel inclined to experiment with a better scope there may have been some improvement in manufacturing methods.

    Regards
    Clive

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Cannock
    Posts
    17
    Looks helpful

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Formby
    Posts
    3,119
    You will not believe this, but the Hawke scope I referred to was the exact same model of Vantage with the side parallax as Alan has described!
    I didnt experience any zero shift either. Two out of two isnt a lot of current or previous users judgements to base a buying decision on, but it sounds pretty good to me, especially for under 200.

    Alan, that was a brilliant explanation of what is actually happening when we move the adjustable objective scope lens. I didn't realise that there were so many items moving and needing to perfectly align, and it would of course explain perfectly just why it easy to lose your POI.

    I have also owned a few Sightron S3s over the years and would agree that whoever puts them together in Japan does a fine job. Mine have all been the fixed ten with parallax adjustment in the ocular lens area, but also had the usual pin sharp image only found with quality lenses.

    Quality scopes, expensive, but always worth it if affordable!

    Andy
    Member, the Feinwerkbau Sport appreciation Society (over 50's chapter)
    http://www.rivington-riflemen.eu/ Andy, from the North !

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Guildford
    Posts
    83
    Well based upon the experiences of Alan and Amac and with three being a lucky number: I have e mailed Hawke and Uttings and asked them to confirm that the zero shift problem is indeed a fault, which if present, would be covered under their guarantee.
    Subject to their agreement, I will purchase the Vantage 3-12 x 44 SF and let you know whether they have apparently solved the problem!

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Warrington
    Posts
    4,171
    I have two 3-9x50AO Panamax and both work as they should. Nice clear optics too.
    You can spend thousands and still miss a barn door or spend just enough and enjoy yourself. If you haven't got the talent to start with a million pound won't fix it. Whippet, Russell, a few bang sticks and a flat cap. http://www.smart-tech1st.co.uk

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Guildford
    Posts
    83
    Quote Originally Posted by Scubashot View Post
    Well based upon the experiences of Alan and Amac and with three being a lucky number: I have e mailed Hawke and Uttings and asked them to confirm that the zero shift problem is indeed a fault, which if present, would be covered under their guarantee.
    Subject to their agreement, I will purchase the Vantage 3-12 x 44 SF and let you know whether they have apparently solved the problem!
    It would appear that both Hawke and Uttings are confident in these new Vantage scopes. They have both responded to my e mails and assure me that a failure to hold zero would be a fault covered under the guarantee.
    Furthermore, Hawke do not feel that Alan and Andy have been lucky with the performance of their units. They say that these examples are representative of the normal quality to be expected.

    That's good enough for me!
    My only problem now is whether to go for the 3-12x44SF or for an extra 10.00 the discounted 4-16x44SF. I'm leaning towards the 3-12 mag and put the extra 10.00 towards some Sportsmatch mounts.
    Any opinions welcome!

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