Optics Test Pattern

We've designed the chart on the next page so you can evaluate optics and determine which binoculars, rifle scope, or spotting scope gives the best resolution. Purchasers of this book are authorized to copy this chart for their own or agency use, provided they do not remove the credit line and don't reproduce it for sale.

The pattern's as wide as it is high, consisting of three distinct stripes. Copy it and post it at least 25 yards away—or beyond the optics' minimum focus distance.

Start by observing the largest pattern and adjust the focus so it's crisp and clear. Then, see which of the smaller patterns is the smallest in which you can still see whether the stripes are vertical or horizontal. At some point, a pattern just looks like a black square; the next larger pattern becomes the finest resolution this lens allows you.

Take a competing optical device of the same magnification and repeat this process, first focusing on the biggest pattern and then seeing which is the smallest pattern you can distinguish.

The device that allows you to see the smallest pattern has better resolution, but this is only valid when comparing devices of equal magnification.

When comparing 7.00m rifle or zoom spotting scopes, compare them only at one equal setting—usually the highest magnification—and brace yourself so vibration doesn't give you false results.

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