Rifle Scopes  Is a Tangent Theta really that much better than a S&B?

USMCCOMBATVET

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I have a S&B 5-25 DT with Gen 2XR reticle. Looking at another one for the Tac Ops I'm having built and have been contemplating a TT. Can anyone give some insite who has handled them both to see if it's really that much better to justify the expense.
 

koshkin

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    "Better" is not a simple thing to quantify, since everyone places value on different features. The 5-25x56 S&B is an excellent scope that is a proven quantity. Also, you are familiar with it, which has a lot of value in and of itself.

    Tangent Theta TT525P is a newer design and it was built, in some ways, to outperform the S&B, which it mostly does, but the differences are not night and day. These are both very nice scopes and the differences are small. Generally, S&B 5-25x56 more or less defined this category and most scopes that came after it were designed expressly to beat it. The fact that so few manage to acomplish that is a testament to how solid this design is.

    In a nutshell:
    -Turret feel is better on Tangent Theta. I think these are the best turrets on the market, bar none.
    -Optical quality in the 15x to 25x magnification range is pretty close. I think TT is a touch better in terms of microcontrast, but that is alrgely it
    -Optical quality in the 5x to 15x magnification range is better with TT. S&B is really nicely optimized at the higher magnifiaction range, but below 15x, TT is clearly better to my eyes. Many people do not care about lower magnification ranges, but my scopes tend to spend most of the their time in the 8x to 14x range, so this is important to me.
    -Reticle choice: a lot more options with S&B
    -Track record: S&B has been around longer
    -Locking turret: TT does not have a locking turret in case that is important to you
    -Eye relief flexibility: pretty close. TT is a little better at lower magnifications.

    Since I like Gen 2 XR reticle, for my money, I would go with TT, but it is your money, so you need to decide what is important to you.

    ILya
     

    Killswitch Engage

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    "Better" is not a simple thing to quantify, since everyone places value on different features. The 5-25x56 S&B is an excellent scope that is a proven quantity. Also, you are familiar with it, which has a lot of value in and of itself.

    Tangent Theta TT525P is a newer design and it was built, in some ways, to outperform the S&B, which it mostly does, but the differences are not night and day. These are both very nice scopes and the differences are small. Generally, S&B 5-25x56 more or less defined this category and most scopes that came after it were designed expressly to beat it. The fact that so few manage to acomplish that is a testament to how solid this design is.

    In a nutshell:
    -Turret feel is better on Tangent Theta. I think these are the best turrets on the market, bar none.
    -Optical quality in the 15x to 25x magnification range is pretty close. I think TT is a touch better in terms of microcontrast, but that is alrgely it
    -Optical quality in the 5x to 15x magnification range is better with TT. S&B is really nicely optimized at the higher magnifiaction range, but below 15x, TT is clearly better to my eyes. Many people do not care about lower magnification ranges, but my scopes tend to spend most of the their time in the 8x to 14x range, so this is important to me.
    -Reticle choice: a lot more options with S&B
    -Track record: S&B has been around longer
    -Locking turret: TT does not have a locking turret in case that is important to you
    -Eye relief flexibility: pretty close. TT is a little better at lower magnifications.

    Since I like Gen 2 XR reticle, for my money, I would go with TT, but it is your money, so you need to decide what is important to you.

    ILya

    this is exactly my experience with both.
     

    Covertnoob5

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    My TT was better than my s&b and while I do love locking turrets, I was willing to give that up for the tool less zero and clicks of the TT. Also, you get a true 5x low end vs the tunneling of the s&b.


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    TheGerman

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    As with all things, at some point you will hit diminishing returns. The differences between the high-end optics come down more to user preference at that point, as spending that extra money isn't going to make you hit the target you missed with the other optic. What do you need, rather than I bought X because it costs more.

    For me, because of the conditions I usually shoot in, a locking turret is something I need to have. That tosses TT out for me because of that.

    I'm sure Orkan will be around shortly to tell me that since I don't have a TT scope, I must have no real world experience. But you'd do just as well with your S&B as with a TT.
     

    GIXXER2000

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    I was thinking TT 525 for my ELR build but just don't like the Gen 2 XR ( no floating dot) so for not much more I went with a S&B 3x27 with H59. No tunneling and glass is great and 34 mil of adj. If TT would EVER offer some of the Hours reticle's I would like to try one.
     

    BurnOut

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    As with all things, at some point you will hit diminishing returns. The differences between the high-end optics come down more to user preference at that point, as spending that extra money isn't going to make you hit the target you missed with the other optic. What do you need, rather than I bought X because it costs more.

    For me, because of the conditions I usually shoot in, a locking turret is something I need to have. That tosses TT out for me because of that.

    I think you hit the nail on the head here... the actual performance (whether that's optical performance or mechanical performance) of scopes at this level is such that while there may be measurable differences between them, in practical terms, anything that is likely to make one scope "better" (also keeping in mind that "better" can vary not just from person to person, but also use case to use case) than another one is likely to fall into either known feature set or personal preference. For instance, I can see where the tool-less re-zero on the TT would be quite valuable to someone running a switchbarrel setup, or changing loads often... however, if you have a static configuration for your rifle/load, then that feature, cool as it is, just isn't likely to bring much value to the table for you. Knob click feel on all scopes at this level is going to be good enough, even if you have a preference for one company's knobs. Reticle selection is very personal, and something that is a known quantity before you ever receive the scope, much less get a chance to run it in the field.
     

    hk dave

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    I don't really get why the tool less zero is such a cool thing. Maybe I'm not understanding something. It just replaces tools to loosen a turret right?

    Now, if a scope manufacturer figured out a way to allow you to have multiple zeros... that would be incredible. Kinda like the Razor Gen II turrets, and witness marks... although I've yet to test it out.
     

    TheOE800

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    I don't really get why the tool less zero is such a cool thing. Maybe I'm not understanding something. It just replaces tools to loosen a turret right?

    Way more convenient than dicking around with all those tiny set screws. You ever watch a video of how TT does it? It's amazing. I like Vortex L-Tec zerostop because it's pretty simple IMO, but TT takes it to a whole different level: http://tangenttheta.com/sites/default/files/test2.mp4
     

    NoLegs24

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    Is it better? sure. Is it worth 2k more? Don't think so.....

    If you got unlimited funds, go for it, if not then the Schmidt is as good a 2nd opt as any. Especially when they're going mid $2k right now...
     

    BurnOut

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    I don't really get why the tool less zero is such a cool thing. Maybe I'm not understanding something. It just replaces tools to loosen a turret right?

    Mostly it's the quickness and ease of getting it done. No little tool to lose in the range bag (or forget at home), no little caps to drop in the dirt, no tiny screws to worry about over-tightening.

    As I said, if you find yourself adjusting your zero frequently (due to changing barrels/chamberings or tweaking your load), I can see the value... but if you tend to set your zero and leave it where it is for long periods of time, it just not a feature that is likely to hold much appeal for you.
     

    -Time-

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    We can get you one, call us at 916.670.1103 :cool:

    +1, Mike and Richard are great guys, they've put up with all my questions and bothering them.

    as to the locking turrets, not a big deal with the TT IMO. The windage is rotation limited, so you cant get lost on that, and the 2nd rev indicator on the elevation is very obvious.
     

    vh20

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    Optical quality in the 5x to 15x magnification range is better with TT. S&B is really nicely optimized at the higher magnifiaction range, but below 15x, TT is clearly better to my eyes. Many people do not care about lower magnification ranges, but my scopes tend to spend most of the their time in the 8x to 14x range, so this is important to me.

    ILya

    I'm curious about this, and admit to ignorance on the subject. My question is how, as they're using the same lenses at all different magnification settings, is there a difference in optical quality between the two at low magnification, but not at high magnification?

     

    FourT6and2

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    I've had both side by side. I bought the TT. So yeah, the differences are enough (for me) to make the additional price worth it (to me). S&B set the bar. TT raised it. I'd be happy with either in all honesty. But since I can afford it, I went for it.
     

    morganlamprecht

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    I don't really get why the tool less zero is such a cool thing. Maybe I'm not understanding something. It just replaces tools to loosen a turret right?

    Now, if a scope manufacturer figured out a way to allow you to have multiple zeros... that would be incredible. Kinda like the Razor Gen II turrets, and witness marks... although I've yet to test it out.

    IMO the gen 2 razor style turrets are the best out there for running multiple barrels...im not talking about 2 or 3...closer to 10

    if i take a barrel off and then switch 6 different barrels over 8 months and then decide i want to go back to the original barrel, i dont have to remember where my original reference zero was, just go back to the noted settings

    you note the setting of the center turret settings for each barrel and you can never get lost switching from barrel to barrel because you always have that reference there...on other scopes you can count from the min travel point up how many clicks each zero is if you get lost, but thats slow and in a turret with a built in zero stop, itd be a pain
     

    hk dave

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    Ah so you've tested it and it returns to those settings without hiccups? If that's the case, I'm going to have to start using it on one of my switch barrel setups.
     

    morganlamprecht

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    Ah so you've tested it and it returns to those settings without hiccups? If that's the case, I'm going to have to start using it on one of my switch barrel setups.

    yessssir, i ran one for 2 years on my AIAT, swapping between 2 different 6mm barrels, 2 6.5 barrels, 1 308 barrel, and 1 22 creed barrel...more than once id show up to a match with my 6/6.5 barrels on and the match description was 95% 300-600 yds so id switch out to the 308 barrel and run with it...or some matches would have an "open" shoot and then a 308 side match, and id swap barrels and shoot both...never had an issue...return to zero of the barrels and scope was always within 0.1 mil with all of them

    all your zero's should be within 1 rev (10 mils) so unless you spin it a rev, you never get lost
     

    Nemain

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    S&B has a better finish and a few more reticle options, everything else is better on the TT. With that said, the S&B is still a hell of a good scope and not a bad choice.
     

    diverdon

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    I think it makes more sence to compare the TT to the S&B 3-27. I've never had a TT and Likely never will. While the MTC on the S&B is not perfect, it is easy for me to live with this single shortcoming. For me every other aspect of the S&B 3-27 is a unending delight. I know many dislike the term "eyebox" but this is a very easy scope to get behind even in different positions. The FOV at 3X is astounding for a precision rifle scope.
     

    Mute

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    Given current available pricing on S&B and the continued lack of reticle choices for TT, I don't see myself picking up a TT anytime soon, even though I think it's best in class right now in almost every area.
     

    hk dave

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    I think you might be thinking about Premier. Premier is gone and TT graciously took up warranty service for SOME of their scopes.

    Pretty sure TT covers all TT warranties.
     

    hk dave

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    Professor dickweed... lol that brings back so many memories of childhood.
     

    orkan

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    It's always interesting to see the directions these threads head off in. :)

    We have lots of TT's on the shelf and always keep it that way. This is widely known, as is the fact that I'm happy to talk to anyone about them and answer what questions I can. If there are any questions I can help anyone with, just give a ring! 605-554-1911.

    One area the TT's absolutely smash S&B's is the parallax performance. The two scopes can't even be compared in this category. That's how badly the S&B's fall short. Another area is simply the feel of the turrets and behavior of the clicks. The zero stop adjustment/rezeroing is vastly superior, but that is quite obvious. The locking diopter also is much preferred (as far as I'm concerned) to the fast adjust diopter. The obvious things are just that... obvious. Though during practical use in the world there are many other things which put them at the very top of the pyramid in rifle scope performance.

    If you don't ask more of your rifle than a leupold vx-III can handle... then obviously you don't need a TT. However, some do ask more of their rifle scopes and to date I've not had a customer ask something of the TT which it could not deliver. (aside from being lighter or smaller) ;)

    Maybe a Tangent Theta is right for you. Maybe it's not. I'd rather not sell you anything than sell you one if it isn't going to meet or exceed your expectations. I sure as heck have no interest in pushing you off onto another inferior product for the sake of making a sale... any sale. Thus why we "only" sell Tangent Theta's. They are simply the very best, and I, nor my customers have time for anything less.
     
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    ICU22250

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    I am on the verge of giving the TT 525P a try... For this scope to be the absolute best scope on the market, they need to address their reticle selection.. The only thing that gives me hesitation is the Gen2 XR reticle, but I'm starting to warm up to the idea of it.. I wonder if they have any future plans of new reticles any time soon..
     

    orkan

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    I know of no future reticles being released. Lots of folks competing and doing VERY well with the GenIIXR. I hunt with it almost exclusively as well. Fantastic reticle.
     

    ICU22250

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    I know of no future reticles being released. Lots of folks competing and doing VERY well with the GenIIXR. I hunt with it almost exclusively as well. Fantastic reticle.

    Thanks Greg for your reply, I appreciate it.. I'm not saying I can't use it, I'd just hate to drop that kind of cash and the 2018 shot show rolls around and they are introducing a new and improved reticle. Lol..
     

    FourT6and2

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    Thanks Greg for your reply, I appreciate it.. I'm not saying I can't use it, I'd just hate to drop that kind of cash and the 2018 shot show rolls around and they are introducing a new and improved reticle. Lol..

    It's gossip/hearsay, so take it for what it's worth. But when I bought my TT a year-and-a-half ago, I asked them about reticles. I was told they have no immediate plans to introduce new reticles within the next 5+ years at the very least.
     

    ICU22250

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    That's a little disappointing but it is what it is.. Like I told you FourT6and2, I'm having trouble deciding between the TT 525P and the NF ATACR 7-35 Tremor3.. Having both simply isn't an option unfortunately for me.. The reticle is my biggest hang up, basically I've never looked through the Tremor3 or the gen2 XR so it makes my decision tough as hell... I know both of these are alpha scopes but I wanna get it right...
     

    Covertnoob5

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    It's gossip/hearsay, so take it for what it's worth. But when I bought my TT a year-and-a-half ago, I asked them about reticles. I was told they have no immediate plans to introduce new reticles within the next 5+ years at the very least.

    That corresponds with what I was told when I asked a few months ago. I spoke to a very nice lady at TT and she said they are not currently considering any additional reticles and it'll be a few years before they possibly add new ones.


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    orkan

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    That's a little disappointing but it is what it is.. Like I told you FourT6and2, I'm having trouble deciding between the TT 525P and the NF ATACR 7-35 Tremor3..
    There is literally no competition between those two scopes.

    Not even a little bit.

    If you buy that atacr and then never ever use a TT... you'll likely be happy. This just happened this weekend, as I was shooting with a guy that had an atacr. He was all excited... right up until he watched me rezero a TT. Then he wanted to try it out, so I let him take a few shots at targets at various distances. He got up and was upset because now he was going to have to sell his brand new scope. I can't be any more forthright with you than that.

     

    usmcmad

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    The re-zero function on the TT is outstanding. The parallax is absolutely amazing. The control was super smooth and very easy to dial in. I don't have experience with the S&B and bought the TT sight unseen. Couldn't be happier. Very little experience with it so far but there are no regrets. If I had bought an S&B, Vortex or Nightforce I think I would be second guessing myself.

    The TT is also a dick magnet. Everyone wants to know what it is when they see it on top of your rifle.
     

    ICU22250

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    I tried a Schmidt & Bender PM II 5-25, I wasn't a fan of the turrets or the parralax, not to mention the tunneling from 5-7.... The glass was great though, I think you dodged a bullet there... How much does the TT seem to darken at the top of it's mag range and is the reticle illumination daylight bright?
     

    ICU22250

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    Excuse my last post, I didn't mean to say "parallax", I meant to say "eye box". The Schmidt's parallax was perfect...
     

    FourT6and2

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    I tried a Schmidt & Bender PM II 5-25, I wasn't a fan of the turrets or the parralax, not to mention the tunneling from 5-7.... The glass was great though, I think you dodged a bullet there... How much does the TT seem to darken at the top of it's mag range and is the reticle illumination daylight bright?

    The illumination is not daylight bright. Not even in the slightest. It's meant for night vision or for shooting at dusk/dawn.

    As far as light transmission loss at high magnification, it's minimal. I wear sunglasses when I shoot (Oakley's). And I have zero complaints about the brightness of the scope.
     

    Covertnoob5

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    Some of you may not want to hear it, or disagree and that's fine, but when I compared my TT525 and NF 7-35 both set at 25x the NF was noticeably brighter in low light. Daytime you probably wouldn't notice a difference.

    So yes setting the zero stop absolutely sucks on a NF. Too many steps and a TT will spoil you for sure, but if you aren't constantly changing it then I don't think that feature equates to much. I personally used the re-zero a lot on the TT because of my dta, but YMMV.


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    orkan

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    If by "brighter" you mean more washed out... I can see that. I've had people say things like that before. ... then I asked them to remove the ARD. :)
     

    Covertnoob5

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    Lol definitely no ARD's here and no washing out. Welp I guess we'll just have to respectfully disagree. I guess that's why we all got different eyes.


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    ICU22250

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    So to everyone who's owned the Tangent Theta 525P, how's the tracking performance? For those of you that have needed the warranty on them, what was the problems with the optic?
     

    Covertnoob5

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    So to everyone who's owned the Tangent Theta 525P, how's the tracking performance? For those of you that have needed the warranty on them, what was the problems with the optic?

    Tracking was 100% and honestly that's what's expected for an optic of this caliber. So it was boringly accurate. Nothing to see nothing to tell. You get what you dial. I ran several tracking tests and I ran it from the bottom to the top not just 10 mils or something.




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