Nikon Prostaff 5

snake284snake284 Senior MemberPosts: 21,832 Senior Member
A year or so back, I had read where Nikon was going to upgrade the Prostaff scope line to where it had higher light transmission and was equal to the Leupold VX-3 line.

Well now I see where they have come out with the Prostaff 5 series. These scopes are a bit more expensive than the base line Prostaff, but still a good bit cheaper than a comparable Leupold. They advertise 98% light transmission, about 3% higher than the Nikon Monarch, previously their top line scope. I saw a 4-12x40 for about $260 online. However, that was an introductory offer. The regular Prostaff 4-12x40 sells for around $200-$220. I personally have no complaint with the regular Prostaff, and especially the Buckmasters, of which I own 3. But I'm curious whether there's enough difference in the base line Prostaff and the Prostaff 5 to spend the extra. To be honest, this isn't a big price difference. I normally don't like the idea of spending another $200 for a few percent of light transmission, because I don't think it makes that much difference. I have one VX-3 and it doesn't give me the performance the price difference should dictate. But when you think of getting VX-3 grade performance for another $50-$100, why not go for the gold?

One thing that has me a bit puzzled is how much does 5 or even 10% light transmission give you? I just haven't seen that great a difference in my lesser scopes as opposed to my one VX-3.
Daddy, what's an enabler?
Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.

Replies

  • kansashunterkansashunter Senior Member Posts: 1,427 Senior Member
    Snake I have not seen or read about the prostaff 5 but I am not buying 98%. I own several Nikon scopes, monarch and buckmasters and leupold vx1 and vx2. In a nonscientific test I have compared them in low light conditions and the better ($$) scopes are better. In my opinion a buckmaster and a vx1 are close and a monarch and vx2 are close. All of them are good but the first and last 15 minutes of light there is a difference. I would like to try a vx3 or a $1500 scope and see the difference. I have read here that a 40mm will gather as much light as the eye can use but I have a 50mm monarch that seems really good in low light but I don't like one that big but got a good deal on this one and it's not a deer gun.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,832 Senior Member
    Snake I have not seen or read about the prostaff 5 but I am not buying 98%. I own several Nikon scopes, monarch and buckmasters and leupold vx1 and vx2. In a nonscientific test I have compared them in low light conditions and the better ($$) scopes are better. In my opinion a buckmaster and a vx1 are close and a monarch and vx2 are close. All of them are good but the first and last 15 minutes of light there is a difference. I would like to try a vx3 or a $1500 scope and see the difference. I have read here that a 40mm will gather as much light as the eye can use but I have a 50mm monarch that seems really good in low light but I don't like one that big but got a good deal on this one and it's not a deer gun.

    Well that's what they're advertised to be. But if you're comparing this to a Monarch it won't fly. A Monarch is only advertised to have 95% Light Transmission, 3% less than a VX-3, and only 3% more than a Buckmaster or a VX-2.

    As for comparing any of these, as I've said, I have a VX-3 with a huge 56mm objective lens and a 30mm tube, which I would think is the best case scenario for maximum light transmission, and this scope is only minimally better in low light than any of my three Nikon Buckmasters. The VX-3 is better, but at $900 it better be. However, I'm not sure it's really practically better. In other words, I doubt it makes a bit of real difference in the field. I bought it because I wanted one really good scope. I like it, but I wouldn't do that again.

    As for a 50mm objective, I have read, and there was a good article somebody here put up a few years back that said that a 50mm Objective didn't make much discernible difference below 10 power, and this seems to be the case. But the problem is what I've seen is that in low alight, you need to screw the power ring down to the lower settings below 6x to see much in really low light. And this is true with all my scopes including my VX-3 with its big 56mm objective lens.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,832 Senior Member
    I don't have a problem with any of my scopes. They do what I want them to do. However, if you want to talk about clear and good in low light, I have a 4-12x40 Vortex Diamondback scope that is about as clear as it gets in low light. However, 30 minutes after sundown its cranked down to 4 power, and I can't see crap through any of them. When it's dark, it's dark. 30 minutes after sun down is the end of legal shooting time here.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,832 Senior Member
    Thanks Wambli. I agree. I'm not bad mouthing Leupold, I have 5 of them and they are all excellent glass. One thing up front here, I should have qualified this thread as being for hunting. The extra perks you get from expensive scopes for target, Varmint, other, shooting may well be worth it. These are just my reflections on hunting scopes.

    When I talk of scopes, I will quote light transmission numbers only because I don't know any other tangible measurement to use. It is what the manufacturers use and so for the sake of comparison I use it. Of course, the best measurement of a scope's performance is personal use. And anything I say here of my own experience is based on that. It's my personal opinion if you will. However, I thought it interesting that Nikon would take their cheapest model and upgrade it to a higher advertised light transmission than their top line scope.

    I'm interested in the new Prostaff and want to look through one and hear other's opinions. So I started this thread to see if anyone had seen one, looked through one, or used one and hear their comments.

    Also, I would like to hear other's opinions on this move my Nikon to upgrade their cheapest model. So what say you?
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • PegasusPegasus Senior Member Posts: 2,569 Senior Member
    Could you please post a link to a Nikon webpage that talks about the Prostaff 5 with 98% light transmission? It must be age, but while I can find 92% for the Buckmasters and 95% for the Monarchs (and they have some new ones,) I can't find such a figure for the Prostaff 5.
  • MichakavMichakav Senior Member Posts: 2,417 Senior Member
    Pegasus wrote: »
    Could you please post a link to a Nikon webpage that talks about the Prostaff 5 with 98% light transmission? It must be age, but while I can find 92% for the Buckmasters and 95% for the Monarchs (and they have some new ones,) I can't find such a figure for the Prostaff 5.

    Yup. Everything i'm seeing says "up to 95%".
  • PegasusPegasus Senior Member Posts: 2,569 Senior Member
    I have reviewed the Nikon website quite carefully using search engines and other tools and I cannot find any reference to 98% light transmission for the Prostaff 5. I'm not saying it's not there, I am saying I have not found it.

    Nikon does talk about a new coating for the Monarch, something called Ultra Clear Coat. I see no reference to it with the Prostaff. This is very important.

    Why is it important? Glad you asked. As we know regular glass robs 5% on the light that is transmitted to it at each glass-to-air surface. If there are multiple leans elements, the transmitted light degrades rapidly. The way to reduces this loss is to coat lenses on both sides to handle all light frequencies, hence the term "multi-coated." You also want all air-to-glass surfaces to be coated in a riflescope "fully multi-coated."

    Nikon was and remains a pioneer in lens coating so when they talk about new leans coating methodology, people should listen.

    I did notice the price of the Prostaff 5 has jumped quite a bit. I suspect this is due to the use of better coated glass and workmanship, but I do not know. I guess we will find out in time.
  • shotgunshooter3shotgunshooter3 Senior Member Posts: 5,387 Senior Member
    I have looked at the recent Prostaff scopes and IMO the quality of construction has gone south. I can't speak for repeatability or durability, but the scope itself just looks cheap to me. Light transmission appears to be good though.

    I still fall back to my default suggestion of a Nikon Buckmaster for folks looking for a good scope.

    One thing is for sure in optics, you generally get what you pay for.
    - I am a rifleman with a poorly chosen screen name. -
    "It's far easier to start out learning to be precise and then speeding up, than it is having never "mastered" the weapon, and trying to be precise." - Dan C
  • PegasusPegasus Senior Member Posts: 2,569 Senior Member
    Buckmasters are indeed good scopes for the money. I've never had a Prostaff or Buckmaster, only Monarchs, which I think are awesome.

    I'm not so sure about your statement regarding money and optics. There is a correlation, for sure, but there is also a growing discrepancy as the lower end scope become increasingly better as the technology advances. Now, I have not even seen a new Prostaff, so I can't say anything about it, but I do know that today's inexpensive scopes are far superior that yesterday's inexpensive scopes and rival yesterday's medium priced scope. And so on up the line. It's the nature of the beast.

    I will point out that in scopes, one pays a lot of money for the name and the reputation, and regardless of the price, there are horror stories about all of them. As an example, about 2 years ago, during the Texas State Mid-range championship, no less than 3 Nightforce scopes took a dump. That did not deter me from buying one last year, but it was an "eye-opening" moment, if you will pardon the pun.

    Spend your money wisely and remember scope comparisons in a store are useless.

    BTW, did you ever start loading your own ammo?
  • shotgunshooter3shotgunshooter3 Senior Member Posts: 5,387 Senior Member
    Not yet, I am nose deep in Advanced Instruments right now. I probably won't be able to start until next year. It is unfortunate, but they pay me good money so I can't complain too much.

    The "box" is patiently waiting.
    - I am a rifleman with a poorly chosen screen name. -
    "It's far easier to start out learning to be precise and then speeding up, than it is having never "mastered" the weapon, and trying to be precise." - Dan C
Sign In or Register to comment.
Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Guns & Ammo stories delivered right to your inbox every week.