How can I determine how to compare optical products between brands?
Optical products, such as binoculars and rifle scopes, share common design features no matter what brand they are. There are differences that occur in raw material qualities (especially the glass used), type and quality of lens coatings, tolerances and quality control. Many of the quality differences are not readily apparent looking through a scope under indoor lighting and conditions. Metal internal parts as opposed to plastic; structural epoxy versus lesser quality adhesives; even multi-piece versus one-piece main tube construction are all durability considerations that may not be obvious at first glance. Rifle scopes and binoculars require skilled craftsmen to align lenses during construction, so labor costs are another factor in the final production equation. Even top quality optics can fail, making warranty service another consideration.