Whether your looking through a rifle scope, microscope or telescope, the picture shown just isn’t quiet as large as your natural vision is giving you.  The size of the picture your seeing is described or known commonly as the “field of view”

The field of view is the amount of space seen through the rifle scope typically measured in feet or meters by most companies.

Have you ever had trouble trying to find your target looking through the rilfe scope? You seem to look up, down, left and right and wonder just where it went.  That’s caused by having a small field of view as you search a wide background only seeing a few feet of it at one time.

What determines field of view, believe it or not, has nothing to do with the size of the objective lens or whether your rifle scope has a 1” or a 30mm tube construction. Field of view s most effected by the magnification setting on the scope as well as how the scope was designed.

As the magnification or zoom factor increases, the field of view decreases and sometime quite rapidly. So if your having troubles finding that target, try reducing the magnification  first, locate the target and then increase the magnification back to where you need it while keeping your target acquired.  Sometimes easier said than done.

Manufactures can also increase field of view in the design but that comes at the expense of eye relief. Eye relief is the distance your eye is from the rifle scope to get a clear full image.  If your shooting a heavy rearward recoiling rifle, it’s nice to have the rifle scope a few inches if not more from your eye to avoid an injury by being struck by the rifle scopes as it is thrust rearward from recoil.

Products that have a wide field of view such as the MTC Optics Viper Connect are meant to be used only on non-recoiling rifles such as a PCP airgun or a .22 Long Rifle.  Other products with a wide field would include binoculars and telescopes where recoil is not a concern.

In some rifle scopes it may be more difficult to get a clear picture.  It seems with any slight movement of your head the nice round sight picture you want is partially cropped out,  surrounded by a large blackened circle as if your looking through a tunnel or the picture is a bit eclipsed.  This actually has nothing to do with eye relief, the scope size or the field of view.  This has to do with something called the exit pupil.  Look for our next blog on exit pupil, what it is and how it works.