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Thread: A bit of a test, Leupold VX 5HD versus others – Long Post (and cross posted)

  1. #1
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    A bit of a test, Leupold VX 5HD versus others – Long Post (and cross posted)

    Recently I bought the most expensive bit of hunting glass I’ve ever had, a Leupold VX-5HD 3-15x44mm CDS-ZL2 with a firedot duplex (I got lucky buying my Leica 8x42 HB RF binos, on a super special about 3 years ago they were a wee bit less that the VX 5).

    I wanted to see if what I bought met my expectations (pretty high) and thought I’d conduct a bit of a test. Now this is about as unscientific and subjective as tests get so I’m not going to make any claims as to the validity of my results – they are what they are to me!

    I assembled a test team of the glassware I had on hand, some mounted on rifles, others not. I chose the test panel to try and represent a wide range of glass, and sorry if your brand isn’t there, I just didn’t have one to try.

    The Team:
    Leica Geovid 8x42 HD binos – this is my benchmark, it is a superb instrument, I know there are others considered better but these really suit my eye and where chosen after comparing most of the available competitors at the time I bought them.

    Weaver Superslam 2.5-10x42 – about 4 or 5 years old

    Sightron Siii 8-32x56 - 2 years old, this is a target scope but it’s the most expensive Jap glass I have

    Leupold VX 2 3-9x33 (the lightweight model) – about 3 years old

    IOR 4x32 – I’ve had this for years, its served me very well and I always thought it was a really “bight” scope, and it has a sort of “pop” which makes game animals stand out to my eye

    Kahles s2 2.3-7x32 – many years old, maybe as early as the late 60’s, I’ve got a couple of these and chose the best one with the brightest blooming to test

    Kahes s2 3-9x42 – as above, I got this scope for $150 when I was watching TM one day at work (when I should have been working, however as I parted in bad blood from that place several years later – not for slacking I might add, I feel good about that now). Its in very good condition too. It has a fine cross hair reticle and I’ve never used it on a hunting rifle for that reason – now about to change!)

    Leupold VX-5HD 3-15x44mm CDS-ZL2 – got the first one into the shop. Expensive but has all the features I think will make it a classic NZ hunting scope – IF it lives up to its hype.

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    And hence my first test – how does it perform against some others as it starts to get dark. To test I set all the scopes/rifles out along the bonnet of the truck, with a beanbag as a rest. I selected as a target triplex strainers on a deerfence 180 metres away. The backdrop to this target was native bush. Just in front of the deerfence were a couple of Rams lying down, one just behind the other. They were backdropped against grass.

    I set the Kahles 2.3-7x32 to 4x, so it was the same as the IOR, and the others were at max power except the Sightron which I set at 15x so it was comparable with the VX5.

    As it gradually got dark I switched in order thought the scopes on both targets. I pretended to take a bead on each target. Bloody Norwest rang up about ¾ of the way through (1739) and yakked which slowed me down a bit but didn’t impact the results – I hope!

    First to lose the triplexs was the IOR, and it got a bit hard to see them through the Kahles 2.3-7x32 (at 4x). I reset the Kahles to 7x and to my surprise I could easily see them again.

    As the light faded the Superslam also lost the Triplexs, followed by the VX2. At this stage I could still have shot the rams with any scope. Next I doubt I could have shot the rams with either of the IOR, VX2 or the Superslam (even turned down to 4x). Hanging in there were the VX5 still at 15x, both Kahles at high power, and the Sightron. The reticle on the Sightron is a fine target type, even though the view was “bright” I couldn’t pick up the fine reticle – even against the light coloured sheep.

    Through the Bino’s I could still see the fence, the sheep and would have easily seen even a dark animal against the bush.
    The little Kahles was next to lose the triplexs, so I turned it down a bit, and was still able to take a bead on the sheep. The Kahles 3-9 with its fine reticle (No 6 I think) was still OK to shoot with at 9x as were the Sightron (no reticle though) and the VX5 at 15x. I stopped testing the Sightron at this stage as things were happening fast.

    By now it was quite dark, I couldn’t see the sheep at all with the naked eye. I turned the VX5 down to about 9 or 10x (didn’t turn anything on to check it to save my night vision). All scopes lost the triplexs and it got pretty hard to see a proper aiming point on the sheep with both Kahles (I was pretending to head shoot, hard to do if you can’t discern which end is which). The VX5 at about 10x was still shootable, and I could count the sheep with the binos (some of them got up at this stage and moved about to try and wreck the test). Just for a laugh I turned on the Firedot. On the bright setting it was pretty horrible, but turned down below half it was a really good tool.

    At this stage I felt the VX5 had proven itself, dinner was calling (1754) so I finished up and started carrying everything inside. Over the space of another 2-3 minutes I kept looking through the VX5 and it was still just shootable – maybe. Final time inside 1801.

    Cheers
    Foster
    P38, Tahr, 199p and 7 others like this.

  2. #2
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    How many minutes appart would separate the vx5 from your binos if you had to do the test again?

  3. #3
    The Scope Whore ! Philipo's Avatar
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    Good on ya Foster for posting up, having a play & testing things out

    But beware once you get the "good glass" bug it turns into getting "great glass" eventually the "best glass" bug bites & you will never go back, it's just a little hard on the bank balance. But fuk it's super cool & you'll never regret it
    Shoot it, root it & then BBQ it !!!

  4. #4
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    Is that coming from "the scope whore" Phil???

  5. #5
    The Scope Whore ! Philipo's Avatar
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    Yes, it's a dirty but good disease to have
    Shoot it, root it & then BBQ it !!!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Friwi View Post
    How many minutes appart would separate the vx5 from your binos if you had to do the test again?
    Hmm - interesting, I didn't note that, might have a try another evening.

    I'd liked to have had a modern Swaro or S&B to compare but my budget is never going to run to those (I think) as low light isn't such a thing for me anyway.

  7. #7
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    i have a z5 3.5x18-44, and 10x42 swaro range finder bino's, you can add into the mix if you want.
    and a leupy vx 3. 3x10-40
    hunty
    6.5x55AI

  8. #8
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    Nice kit Hunty. Maybe it would be good to catch up and do a compare with a Brown glass in the spare hand. I'm at Otatara.

  9. #9
    Member Beetroot's Avatar
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    Good post, I've often thought if everyone on the forum did a test comparing all their scopes, we could come up with a some what reliable list of what scopes and how they compare.

    I've just done a very quick look through a few of my scopes with light fading very quickly (5:30-5:45).
    Nikon Monarch 4-16x42
    Vortex Viper HST 4-16x44
    Leupold VX6 3-18x44 (non HD version)

    The Nikon Monarch was better than the Vortex which surprised me, as it has a smaller objective lens and is a 1" tube not 30mm.
    The Vortex wasn't far behind the Nikon, but the eyebox became very finicky and took a while to get a good sight picture (it's the most sensitive even in day light).
    The Leupold was clearly the best, let in heaps more light and had the reticle been illuminated could've reliable taken for an even longer time.
    The eyebox was still very forgiving (as it is in the day time) where the other too were not so great.
    Timmay and Mathias like this.

 

 

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