1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

How crisp should my dot be?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by mikebravo, Mar 5, 2012.

  1. mikebravo

    mikebravo Well-Known Member

    OK, so I just bought a Vortex SPARC red dot today, and am really liking it. But it's my first red dot, so I have a question about the dot itself. How crisp is it supposed to be? The dot has a bit of a star-burst effect, which goes from moderate at low brightness to extreme at high brightness, making the dot not really look like a circle. It is still totally usable, but I just want to know if it is normal. I tried to take a picture, but my camera wouldn't focus correctly. I have uncorrected 20/20 vision, and had the dot looked at by two other people who agreed with me. Any input?
  2. MrCleanOK

    MrCleanOK Well-Known Member

    A red dot is not going to be a clean circle like you may have seen in video games. It will be fuzzy around the edges, and it is normal for it to be worse at higher brightness. The best practice for adjusting brightness of a red dot is "as low as you can go and have the dot easily noticed". For example, zeroing from a bench requires less brightness than practicing defensive shooting, close range marksmanship, etc.

    Sent from my ADR6350 using Tapatalk
  3. FrankieJames7

    FrankieJames7 Active Member

    yeah i agree...the cod games you play are never ever a place to compare real life to...
  4. mikebravo

    mikebravo Well-Known Member

    Just for clarification, I am not basing my questions upon video games. I have seen a few pics online which appear to be more clear, and it just seems as if it should be a tad more uniform. I have some limited experience with other sights (a few Micro T-1s) but don't remember them well enough to compare.
  5. benzy2

    benzy2 Well-Known Member

    It could also be your eyes. I would try to take a picture through the red dot with it on. I personally see a distorted dot yet when the camera takes a picture the dot is very clean and crisp. I believe this is due to a slight astigmatism. If there is an issue with the dot it should be seen on a picture looking through the optic.
  6. mikebravo

    mikebravo Well-Known Member

    I tried, the camera I was using couldn't focus on the dot. But I did have two others try it out, and they saw the same thing I did. Like I said, I have 20/20 normal vision without any known astigmatisms.
  7. benzy2

    benzy2 Well-Known Member

    It certainly could be a problem with the optic or depending on the degree it could just be the way they are. I'd send an email or phone call to Vortex and see what they say. They seem to have stellar customer service so they should be able to let you know if the amount of distortion is normal or if this is something that requires repair/replacement.
  8. SigMic

    SigMic Well-Known Member

    How far away from your eyes is it.
    I've found that the closer to your eye that they are, the more fuzzy.
    On my Sig556, I've got a long rail so I have choices on where I can put it.
    Move it just a little further out, and it is more clear.

    May be an option for you depending on what it is mounted on.
  9. Sergeant Sabre

    Sergeant Sabre Well-Known Member

    The dot will tend to bloom, and the brighter it is the more it will bloom. Turn it down until you can barely see it and that's the best chance you will have of seeing a perfect, crisp dot.
  10. briansmithwins

    briansmithwins Well-Known Member

    I agree that lower is better for zeroing, turn it up for use.

    Red dot sights are almost designed to test for astigmatism. Even if the degree of astigmatism is so low a eye doc won't touch it, it can still cause distortion.

    To test if it's the sight or your eye try this: Rotate the sight while looking though it. If the irregularity follows the rotation of the optic, it's the optic. If the distortion stays in the same place, it's your eyes.

  11. helotaxi

    helotaxi Well-Known Member

    One final thing...are you focusing on your target or trying to focus on the dot? Focus on the target.
  12. briansmithwins

    briansmithwins Well-Known Member

    I keep hearing this.

    Isn't the dot focused for infinity? Shouldn't it be in the same focal plane as the target? Isn't the dot taking the place of the front sight (and you shouldn't you focus on the front sight)?

  13. Z-Michigan

    Z-Michigan Well-Known Member

    Focus on the target, at least 10 feet away. The dot is focused approximately at infinity. If you look through the RDS indoors at a blank wall then your eyes will focus on the dot and it will look fuzzy no matter how perfect your vision. I know, for a long time I thought I couldn't use RDS, then I found out I was testing them wrong.

    Look through the RDS outside, in daylight, at something at least 10-20 feet away. The dot should look reasonably crisp and round. Not necessarily perfect, but it should NOT be an amoeba. If it still looks like an amoeba under those conditions then either you have an astigmatism or the RDS is defective.
  14. helotaxi

    helotaxi Well-Known Member

    Exactly. The dot is at an infinite focal length. It doesn't work the same way as a set of iron sights, just as a scope doesn't. If you had to focus on the dot, it would leave the target out of focus and would provide no advantage over irons. The whole point of a RDS is to allow the shooter to keep both eyes open and keep the target in focus while having a POA reference.
  15. Psa1m144

    Psa1m144 Well-Known Member

    I have a vortex sparc on my mini14 and as long as you have the brightness setting where it's "supposed to be" for how bright it is where you are it shouldn't be overly "starbursty." When I am indoors I keep it on the lowest setting and it is pretty crisp. Play with it and you'll notice that when it's on the most appropriate setting for your surroundings it will seem more crisp.

    The sparc has only a 2 MOA dot so it really isn't big enough to be a well defined circle IMO.
  16. Ragnar Danneskjold

    Ragnar Danneskjold Well-Known Member

    I don't believe the OP mentioned playing Call of Duty in his post...
  17. Alec

    Alec Well-Known Member

    I've also wondered this.

    Took a photo of my cheap red dot through a camera. It was a perfect dot. Also tried the rotation trick, and... well, I suppose I have slight astigmatism, because the optic is fine.
  18. mikebravo

    mikebravo Well-Known Member

    I tried the rotation trick, and the little irregularities moved along with it, so no astigmatism.
  19. Z-Michigan

    Z-Michigan Well-Known Member

    Well that's good for you! Now you can try out Vortex's excellent customer service and send it in for a replacement.
  20. JustinJ

    JustinJ Well-Known Member

    I wondered the same thing after buying my first aimpoint. I've never seen an aimpoint that didn't have the same blur around the dot. The only model i've ever seen without it was a Nikon Monarch red dot.

Share This Page