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Eyesight and Scopes; Best Fix Login/Join 
Age Quod Agis
Picture of ArtieS
posted
As indicted in my "Rifle Shooting is a Perishable Skill" thread, I am having trouble shooting groups, and a lot of that trouble is coming from eyesight that just isn't as sharp at 53 years as it was a decade or two ago. Not that I was great then, but that's another story.

I don't wear corrective lenses full time; I get by just fine with 1.5 reading cheaters for most things, including pistol shooting, as the front sight is a nice, crisp post with dot.

When I get on a rifle scope, the image is initially clear; nice crisp reticle, target image stands out, etc. The problem is, my eyes fatigue quickly, and both the reticle and target go out of focus quickly, leading me to either rush the shot, or shoot into a blurry image.

Is there a fix for this? Will my cheaters help? Do I need to suck it up and spend $600+ on a pair of progressive lenses? Are there eye exercises I can do to improve this? Do I need to change the focus of my scopes?

I'm kind of at a loss here, and would appreciate any help from those who have gone through this, or from the eye and optics experts.

Thanks very much.

A



"We may consent to be governed, but we will not be ruled." - Kevin D. Williamson, 2012

"All the citizens of this land are of right freemen; they owe no allegiance to any class and should recognize no task-masters. Under the chart of their liberties, under the law of high heaven, they are free and without shackles on their limbs nor mortgages upon the fruits of their brain or muscles; they bow down before no prince, potentate, or sovereign, nor kiss the royal robes of any crowned head; they render homage only to their God and should pay tribute only to their Government. Such at least is the spirit of our institutions, the character of our written national compact."

Charles Triplett O’Ferrall of Virginia - In Congress, May 1, 1888
 
Posts: 10138 | Location: Central Florida | Registered: November 02, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
Picture of sigfreund
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I don’t wear corrective lenses when shooting with a scopesight, but I strongly doubt that any artificial aids would help with the problem of losing focus as your eyes tire.

The first thing I’d consider would be talking to an optometrist about the issue.

Based on my personal experience, however, there is one thing to consider. Probably the first thing that low blood oxygen levels affect is our eyesight by loss of sharp focus. That is very noticeable when shooting at high altitude where I normally am, but low blood oxygen happens everywhere if we don’t work to keep it up. Shooters in particular may experience the problem because sharp eyesight is critical for a good sight picture, and because they may consciously or unconsciously hold their breath or at least not breathe normally. Anything that compromises our body’s ability to absorb oxygen such as smoking will of course also make things worse.

Because it’s a greater problem where I live and teach, I caution my students to exaggerate their deep, heavy breathing when preparing for a precision shot, but it’s something I recommend you try yourself even where you are. You don’t want to hyperventilate, but don’t forget to keep breathing between shots. When shooting groups, I breathe to raise my blood oxygen level, then try to fire when I’m at a “natural respiratory pause” after exhaling naturally.




“The fundamental cause of trouble in the world today is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.”
— Bertrand Russell
 
Posts: 40101 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by ArtieS:
When I get on a rifle scope, the image is initially clear; nice crisp reticle, target image stands out, etc. The problem is, my eyes fatigue quickly, and both the reticle and target go out of focus quickly, leading me to either rush the shot, or shoot into a blurry image.

It sounds like eye fatigue to me, meaning that your eyes can compensate for the lack of corrective lenses for only so long.

A trip to the eye doctor is likely the first step. Once you know your vision is sharp, you can concentrate on the next items.

Your scope need to be focused properly. This is a topic on its own. However, your scope should have instructions on how to accomplish this. Or you may find the instructions on the web.

If your scope has fixed parallax and if your target distance is substantially different than the parallax distance, you'll have problems maintaining a crisp sight picture.

If you scope has variable parallax, you can adjust it to the target distance. Of course, once the scope is focused.

If you have a bargain-line scope, your eyesight may not play well with it. This might require a scope upgrade.
 
Posts: 6103 | Location: Colorado | Registered: January 26, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
Picture of sigfreund
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As fritz says, proper scope adjustment is also important.

If the reticle is sharp and clear when you start shooting, it may be focused properly, but it may not be because your eye may be compensating at first. It’s important to check it by using the proper procedure.

And parallax adjustment is also important. If everything looks sharp at the beginning, it’s less likely that that’s the problem, but depending on your scope and the shooting distance, it could be a factor.




“The fundamental cause of trouble in the world today is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.”
— Bertrand Russell
 
Posts: 40101 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by fritz:
quote:
Originally posted by ArtieS:
When I get on a rifle scope, the image is initially clear; nice crisp reticle, target image stands out, etc. The problem is, my eyes fatigue quickly, and both the reticle and target go out of focus quickly, leading me to either rush the shot, or shoot into a blurry image.

It sounds like eye fatigue to me, meaning that your eyes can compensate for the lack of corrective lenses for only so long.

A trip to the eye doctor is likely the first step. Once you know your vision is sharp, you can concentrate on the next items.

Your scope need to be focused properly. This is a topic on its own. However, your scope should have instructions on how to accomplish this. Or you may find the instructions on the web.

If your scope has fixed parallax and if your target distance is substantially different than the parallax distance, you'll have problems maintaining a crisp sight picture.

If you scope has variable parallax, you can adjust it to the target distance. Of course, once the scope is focused.

If you have a bargain-line scope, your eyesight may not play well with it. This might require a scope upgrade.


Or not breathing properly, holding your breath. Lack of oxygen to your eyes will fog things up. Make an effort to simply blink. Try lubricating eye drops.
 
Posts: 2640 | Location: 9860 ft above sea level Colorado | Registered: December 31, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Age Quod Agis
Picture of ArtieS
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Thanks for the suggestions. The scopes seem to be focused properly for me. When I use someone else's rifle, I have to adjust focus, and I do adjust the focus on every scope I own. I have been using focusing optics since I was a young kid.

In addition, I have no trouble holding focus through my spotting scope, so the breathing thing may have some merit. I don't smoke, and am in decent shape, but oxygen is a pretty good drug, and the more, the merrier.

My scopes are of decent quality; Leupold, Burris and Vortex. These aren't Swaro or NF, but they're not too bad. Since my scopes are generally hunting scopes (other than the AR 332) I'm dealing with fixed parallax, but that shouldn't be an issue at 100 yards.

It may also be an issue of my eyes trying to deal with both the target and the reticle, and there may be a bit of eye confusion going on there. As noted, an optometrist may help.

I'm due for an eye exam, and possibly a prescription for lenses. My eye doc is a shooter, and I will ask him. I may bring a scope along as a conversation piece.



"We may consent to be governed, but we will not be ruled." - Kevin D. Williamson, 2012

"All the citizens of this land are of right freemen; they owe no allegiance to any class and should recognize no task-masters. Under the chart of their liberties, under the law of high heaven, they are free and without shackles on their limbs nor mortgages upon the fruits of their brain or muscles; they bow down before no prince, potentate, or sovereign, nor kiss the royal robes of any crowned head; they render homage only to their God and should pay tribute only to their Government. Such at least is the spirit of our institutions, the character of our written national compact."

Charles Triplett O’Ferrall of Virginia - In Congress, May 1, 1888
 
Posts: 10138 | Location: Central Florida | Registered: November 02, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The prior suggestion were fine; let me present you with something a little different.

As an opening line, I'm more than 10 years older than you are and I have been using progressive lenses for 25+ years. I like to remove my glasses or put them at the end of my nose and look over them through my riflescopes.

When I'm behind a scope, I work hard at not being fixated on one single spot; when I focus hard on the reticle and the target for more than a few seconds, my eye gets tired and the image gets blurry. What I have found, and I've talked to other F-class shooters about this, and this is what I teach to new competitors is this:

Don't stay locked on focus for more than a few seconds, look around the focus point and use peripheral vision to stay on target, then come back to the exact focus when you are ready to press the trigger. If you decide to shoot then you change your mind at the last second, let your eye wander around the target some, and then come back to the exact focus point when you are again ready to shoot.

This way you do not break position; you do not lose the setup or anything, but you are letting your eye relax or rather, not get focus-locked and get a deteriorating picture.

It seems a little strange at first, but once you get into the habit, you can say behind your scope for long periods of time and not get tired vision. Since only your eye is moving, the rifle should stay dead nuts on target until you focus back on the exact target.

It's comes easier in F-class because we look all around the target to discern mirage, see what the neighbor shot, look at the target number, etc. Try that consciously the next time you're shooting and then practice letting your eye wander without moving and it will become second nature. Remember, just focus hard on the reticle and target as you press the trigger; the rest of the time, look around the target but your brain will notice the reticle on the target at all times.
 
Posts: 2993 | Location: Texas | Registered: June 20, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of old rugged cross
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Artie, like many do. Mistake using cheap readers for prescription lenses. It is a really bad idea. I am shocked how many do it for years. I just do not understand it. But oh well. Get some glass bro. It will help with many things, including your shooting.




"Practice like you want to play in the game"
 
Posts: 13873 | Registered: September 21, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Age Quod Agis
Picture of ArtieS
posted Hide Post
Thanks again for the additional info. I will be seeing an eye doctor in the next month or so.

Nikon, thanks for the suggestions for eye relaxation and exercise. I will try that as well.

A



"We may consent to be governed, but we will not be ruled." - Kevin D. Williamson, 2012

"All the citizens of this land are of right freemen; they owe no allegiance to any class and should recognize no task-masters. Under the chart of their liberties, under the law of high heaven, they are free and without shackles on their limbs nor mortgages upon the fruits of their brain or muscles; they bow down before no prince, potentate, or sovereign, nor kiss the royal robes of any crowned head; they render homage only to their God and should pay tribute only to their Government. Such at least is the spirit of our institutions, the character of our written national compact."

Charles Triplett O’Ferrall of Virginia - In Congress, May 1, 1888
 
Posts: 10138 | Location: Central Florida | Registered: November 02, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Now Serving 7.62
Picture of 10X-Shooter
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I wear progressive lens bifocals with adjustment for astigmatism. This started at 40 and killed my competitive shooting edge. I’ve found a few things help me, one being really good eye drops. One tho go that fatigue my eyes is taking longer to aim without blinking. Good lubricant eye drops help some, not with the time it takes but keeping my eyes soothed while I aim. The largest improvement I’ve had has been the addition of a new Steiner M332 scope I picked up not long ago, it has adjustments so that I can aim and shoot without my glasses (on rifle at least) which have been the most consternating obstacles to shooting. Also, I got a pair of glasses for everyday that is set to pistol sight distance as the focal point. It helps some. Don’t know if any of this will be of help.
 
Posts: 5153 | Location: TN | Registered: February 12, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
Picture of sigfreund
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Yes, thanks, NikonUser, for that tip about avoiding eye fatigue while on a scope.

Something else I’ve learned here that I’ve not seen in the many discussions I’ve read about the problems of remaining on a scope for an extended period.




“The fundamental cause of trouble in the world today is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.”
— Bertrand Russell
 
Posts: 40101 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Sigless in
Indiana
Picture of IndianaBoy
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It is possible that you don't have your diopter set correctly.

Your eye can overcome that for a short period of time, but when it fatigues you lose the clarity.
 
Posts: 13448 | Location: The Edge of the Ozarks | Registered: December 04, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
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quote:
Originally posted by sigfreund:
Yes, thanks, NikonUser, for that tip about avoiding eye fatigue while on a scope.

Something else I’ve learned here that I’ve not seen in the many discussions I’ve read about the problems of remaining on a scope for an extended period.


One day I should seriously think about writing a book. Razz

Just stuff, I've accumulated of the years (decades.)
 
Posts: 2993 | Location: Texas | Registered: June 20, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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