My comments after receiving my scope. I own quite a few scopes and camera lens and consider myself an optics snob. I appreciate and I'm willing to pay for quality optics if I have to. That said............I love a bargin.
· Image quality, feature set, tracking and construction is Exceptional for this price point. This Arken is an exceptional value. Image quality equals scopes costing up to $ 1,000.00. A very crisp and detailed image can be obtained using the side focus knob. Image contrast and color definition is Very Good. Image brightness is Very Good in low light conditions. Color rendition, contrast definition and crisp focus is slightly better than the Vortex Viper PST Gen. II 5-25x50 when compared at the same magnifications. I feel this scopes performance and features are a bargain for the price, despite some flaws of the illuminated reticle which are not detrimental in actual usage under low light conditions if you have enough time to fiddle with the controls to obtain a usable, visually clear illuminated reticle. This scope is built like a tank.
· Closest crisp focus distance on 4x is about 24 feet. Closest crisp focus distance on 16x is about 42 feet.
· Very little ‘Fish Eye’ distortion is apparent at 4x but does get a little worse as power increases. Not really an issue.
· Very little ‘Tunneling’ occurs across the entire magnification range. This scope has less than the Tract Optics Toric Ultra HD, 4-20x50.
· Apparent ‘Field of View’ (FOV) is slightly wider (approx. 10%) than the Vortex Viper PST Gen. II and even more so (approx. 15% more) than the Tract Toric at the same power levels. It visually appears wider than the OEM technical specs depict for FOV between all these scopes. The Arken definitely has a more comfortable FOV. It is easier to keep a subject in the FOV using the Arken.
· Image and reticule appearance quality is not altered as magnification is varied up or down.
· White Wall Test: Image brightness is Very Good at or below 12x but begins to slightly darken at 13x and expectedly gets worse as power increases. At 16x it is only somewhat noticeable at dusk but is not a real problem in partial or full sun light. This is mainly due to physics of Exit Pupil getting very small (3.1mm) as power magnification increases to full power.
· Fast focus Ocular adjustment works well. Medium stiff ring movement reduces mis-adjustment due to casual impacts.
· Power magnification ring dial movement is quite stiff but smooth. It needs the optional large ring lever. Dial ring diameter is 1.850”.
· Large 1.655” (42mm) diameter Elevation and Windage turrets are very precise with very tactile and audible clicks. They DO NOT lock. Could be knocked off zero if woods hunting...bumping into trees.
· Some amount of ‘Vignetting’ can be seen at every magnification power but is not a real issue. Above 9x shadowing subsides a great deal.
· Image is crisply focused mostly all the way out to the edge of the image on every power if the head is held on or near scope center line. The outer 3-5% of the image will distort slightly but only if head is not on center line and only at power levels above 10x. Not really an issue.
· The MOA First Focal Plane reticle is very precise, accurate and crisp…………. when NOT illuminated.
· Reticle Illumination: The illuminated reticle feature is not very good. Only the center dot and short segmented center cross hairs receive illumination and brightness level is extremely dim and gets blurry (blooms out) when increased above #3. Illumination is very weak and is only practical to use on very dimly light ambient conditions or in almost complete darkness. Not usable in daylight conditions. Knob has very stiff detents. User must fiddle too much with intensity and magnification controls to obtain a usable reticle. At the very last moments of sun light at dusk, settings #2 and #3 work best against dark subjects without blooming the reticle too much.
· Exit pupil eye box is fairly generous and usable but precise centerline head placement behind scope is required to avoid all “scope shadow” which occurs slightly in the lower magnification ranges below 12x. Above 12x requires even more effort to maintain a good sight picture. That said…………This scope is fairly easy to get behind and follow a moving subject even on 10x.
· I have not performed a tracking test yet but it is known to track perfectly from internet reviews.
· The optional flip-up scope caps are heavy duty, well made excellent covers and fold completely flat when opened.
· Both the Arken MSR type one piece scope mount and their individual scope rings are very well made.
· The only thing this scope is lacking IMHO are Locking Turret Caps. No big deal. This scope is a steal for the price!
Not mounted at this time.