You are asking “what is eye relief” because you are having trouble understanding this value on your device, or simply put, you recently have a scope bite.
When it comes to specs, you might think it is boring and useless, but learning how to read this mystery number can help you make the best selection for your needs.
Now, are you ready to learn the trick? Let’s get started
What Is Eye Relief?
It is the distance between your eyes and the eyepiece to give you a full picture without any obstructions or shadowing. This distance is critical for shooters to have a comfortable view and avoid the recoil of a rifle scope.
However, there is a misconception when people usually say that you should not buy a device that has too much eye relief because it will block your view. But it does not work like that, here is why.
Eye relief is measured in inches (inch) or millimeter (mm), varying from models to types of the equipment you are using.
Having a device with a long eye relief does not give you a blockage. It only does when you place your eye too close or far away from an ideal distance.
Simply put, the distance of your eye from the eyepiece should be equal to the stated value on your devices.
How does the field of view and magnification relate to eye relief?
Field of view is the measured area of the scene you can see from edge to edge through the optic of your devices, usually determined by feet or meter. Obtaining a clear full of view is what you want when using an optic.
Magnification is a convenient setting on your equipment that allows you to adjust the field diameter to get a closer look at the targets. When you increase the magnification, field of view will decrease, and vice versa.
But what do these settings have anything to do with eye relief anyway?
When you increase magnification, you will reduce the measured distance of the field of view, and this affects your eye relief. Technically, you will lessen the amount of eye relief to maintain a clear sight.
For example, if the spotting scope has 30-70x magnification, at its 30x, it may offer 104 feet at 1000 yards with 15 mm of eye relief. But when you increase it up to 70x, you will end up seeing 57 feet at 1000 yards with only 1.8mm of your eye relief left. Got it?
Short Eye Relief Vs. Long Eye Relief
Short eye relief is anything less than 13mm. If you are not myopic and don’t wear glasses, this should not be an issue for you. But to get a clear field of view, you might have to push the eyepiece closer to your eye. This can cause discomfort.
However, people with eyeglasses may have trouble viewing when eye relief is less than 16mm as eye relief needs to be longer for them to obtain the full field of vision because of the interference of your glasses. A tip for you to test whether an optic fits you is to try it with your eyeglasses on, and then remove it. It should work well in both cases.
Long eye relief, which is anything around 20-24mm, on optics is what people wish for the most. It provides more comfortable viewing because you may not need to place your eye too close to the eyepiece. This also can help you to avoid a hit from the recoil of your rifle.
To have a better experience while shooting, I recommend that you should learn to read the eye relief value to get an idea how far from the eyepiece you should place your eye. A too close or too far distance can cause you problems such as:
- Vignetting image
- Light transmission lost
- Limited field of view
- If you are using a rifle, a hit from the recoil of a gun is inevitable. You have been warned!
Rifle Scope And Eye Relief
Standard eye relief of a rifle scope is around 3-3 ½ inches. This distance plays a crucial part while you are using a rifle scope.
If you have a hard-recoiling rifle, high-powered scopes are the must, and of course, the need for longer eye relief is essential. So let me help you to figure out what is a good eye relief for you.
We can save you from having to do the math, just look at this table below.
Long eye relief scopes on powerful rifles not only give a safe distance for your eye during recoil but also assist in clearing the chamber on bolt action rifles easily.
You should watch this video to have a better understanding of how eye relief can make a significant difference to your shooting game.
What a relief now!
It is tedious when it comes to specs and techs. That’s why we are here to help. If there is anything you should know to get ahead of the game, it is eye relief.
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