I see parallax discussed quite a bit on different riflescopes and one question that comes up frequently is whether dialing for best image focus is the same as dialing out parallax. I just uploaded a short video with a simplified explanation. I hope it makes sense. If it doesn't, let me know and I will give it another shot. http://opticsthoughts.com/?p=2151
Scope mount questions often spark as much of a debate on different online forums as scopes do and sometimes more. A major problem in determining whether a scope mount is any good is that it really only has one function to do and unless something really craps out on you, it is hard to tell why a particular mount is better than the other. With mounts that can easily cost in the neighborhood of $300-$400, it is hard to find a real turd. Still, I tend to recommend things I have a lot of mileage with and, because I test scopes all the time, I had at least a dozen or so Aadmounts pass through my hands and I feel it is as good as or better than any other mount I have seen to date. Their scope caps are the most indestructible scope caps I have seen to date and I will take these over anything out there: http://opticsthoughts.com/?p=2147
From left to right: 6.5Grendel AR (mutilated CA style) with Delta Stryker HD 4.5-30x56 on it, 308Win Fix bolt gun by Q with Sig Tango6 4-24x50 and about Fix, this one in 6.5 CM with Vortex PST Gen 2 3-15x44. I've written about the Sig and Vortex before, but the Delta is new to me and I am quite impressed with it so far. Optically, it is right up there with just about anything under $2.5k while costing quite a bit less.
It just occurred to me that I completely forgot to talk about ATN. They have their new (3rd?) version of the X-Sight and they are dong some rather intelligent things in terms of making all of their sights look more or less the same, whether thermal or day/night. The buttons in the thermal sight are red, while in the regular digital sight the buttons are white. There are some other cosmetic differences, but there is obviously a close family resemblance. With the X-Sight th...e formfactor now includes two segments of a 30mm tube, so you can use a conventional mounting system. It looks a little clunky, but I can see where they are going with this. There is now a higher resolution (4K) version, which makes for great marketing and provides for more pixels to zoom digitally (thermal scope still has an integrated mount). The little LCD screen at the back that projects the image to your eye looked a little brighter than I remember it on previous models, which is a good thing. There is also now an add on LRF that screws into the objective, which, presumably liens it up with the riflescope. I do not think there is a way to fine tune the LRF sight in. The LRF communicates with the scope via bluetooth. It is very feature rich, but I do not know how logn the batteries will last. All in all, I kinda like the direction they are heading in, but can't easily tell how good the result is.
The final (I hope) SHOT 2018 video as up: http://opticsthoughts.com/?page_id=2124
Since I managed to forget all of my camera/video gear in the safe in my hotel in San Francisco, this one is recorded using my cell phone and an inexpensive shotgun mic. The funny thing is that I can't figure out if the shotgun mic is doing anything or not. I hope it is legible enough. I will start working on the write-up itself now, bit by bit. It will go onto the same page.
I still havn't gotten a chance to record the second SHOT video, and for that I apologize. For what it's worth, I do have a day job and it has a tendency to interfere with my hobbies. Odd, isn't it? Either way, I am finally going to head home tonight (or tomorrow morning depending on how wiped out I am) and, if all goes well, I'll wrap up with the "stream of unconsciousness" portion of my SHOT overview on Friday. Looking back on that, one of the things I really enjoy at SH...OT is catching up with people I have known for a long time, but only see once a year. My schedule was so crazy this year that I did not get to see quite a few people that I always make an effort to meet. I simply ran out of time and some of them weren't there this year. So, to Frank Galli, David Tubb, Scott Berrish, BigJimFish, SWFA guys (there is always a group) and others: see you next year. On the other hand, it was great to sit and chat with Cameraland's Doug, meet Ja Hymer, and spend a little time with my friends at various optics manufacturers (Paul Neess, Scott Parks, Sky Leighton, Geoff Rainville, Brad Bonar, Surujh and others). Given how much crap I have given these guys over the years when I ran into their products that I did not like, it is amazing they still talk to me.
Nightforce NX8 was one of the things I really wanted to see at SHOT and I am pretty impressed with what I saw. It is really compact for a 1-8x. The larger ATACR seems to be getting more attention, but I think this one is more unique in its own way.
Every year at SHOT I see something interesting in its simplicity. For example, I see more adjustment turrets on riflescopes with small lettering containing a fair information that is not very easy to see. MTC optics came up with a simple solution for that. There is nothing terribly complicating about putting a lens into the eyepiece cap, but I would have never thought of that.
I attempted to record the final SHOT video yesterday, but havn't had a chance to look through the files before I headed out to the Bay area. I just glanced at them and the video is out of focus and there is no sound. I am beginning to re-think using Z-Cam E1 for this. It is just unreliable and I do not do enough video to get an external video recorder (and I do not like to drag a whole lot of gear around). Perhaps, I should just use my Pixel smartphone with an external microphone. I've never seen Pixel miss focus. This whole video thing is kicking my ass. I'll try to re-record tomorrow. Wish me luck.
Burris' TMPR system was one of the more impressive things I saw at SHOT. Two new prism scopes (3x and 5x), each capable of being outfitted with a Fastfire and a laser and with all three running on common power when together. Wider FOV, waterproof, etc. New QD mount does not hurt either. It seems well thought out.
The second SHOT video is up, and I started a page on my website where the write-up is going to go as I slowly work on it. All my recollections of what I saw at SHOT, both written and video, will be accumulated there:
I am back home from SHOT and I am beginning to upload my impressions, while I still remember some of them. Here is the first clip: http://opticsthoughts.com/?p=2120
SHOT starts tomorrow and GPO had a press event together with Howa. I got my paws on a bunch of GPO products and they are looking pretty well sorted out. I plan to test the GPOTAC 1-8x24 in the coming year and one of their simpler hunting scope (I want to do a piece on hunting scopes in $400ish range). It is always nice to see a new brand that seems to be doing things right.
I suspect one of the first questions I will get is whether I sell scopes, binoculars, etc. No, I do not. Every once in a while, if I want to sell some personally owned optic, I will put it up, but I will not do it here. There are proper avenues for this, and I typically use the page my good friends from www.swfa.com have set up: https://www.facebook.com/groups/831039743733616/.
As far as buying new optical products goes, there are plenty of excellent retailers out there that I am friendly with aside from the close relationship I have enjoyed with SWFA over the years. When I publish a review on my website, I provide links. I would appreciate it if you click on them as I have a few affiliate accounts set-up here and there.