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target clarity

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john bickar
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Post by valbern67 6/17/2019, 8:09 am

First topic message reminder :

How clearly should one see the targets at 50 and 25 yards?  What is a reasonable expectation of focus, especially at the center or X-ring? I'm trying to figure out if my regular contact lenses are sufficient, or if I should get glasses with sharper distance?

I'm currently weraing monovision contacts, and my dominant eye has the distance lens but my targets are blurry at 50 yds and less so at 25 yards.  Been thinking about getting prescription shooting glasses, but they tend to be really expensive. Is there an extra lens for extra magnification I could wear over the right eye over my normal glasses?

Thanks!

Val

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Post by shootingsight 7/6/2019, 7:19 pm

I didn't intend to make it binary - brightness and contrast are not of zero importance, however I think proper focus is a bigger driver than contrast.

As to your point about the appropriate glasses, that is correct.  Depth of field determines how blurry things are if they are not at the appropriate distance.  If they are at the appropriate distance versus the focal length of the glasses, things will be in focus regardless of aperture size.  But when you shift things away from your ideal focal point, they go out of focus quickly if you have a big aperture (small depth of field), and they go out of focus slowly if you have a small aperture (a big depth of field).

So if you have the correct glasses, the menu will be in focus regardless of light.  But if your eyes can only focus in as close as 4 feet, but you are holding the menu at 2 feet (because your arms are not long enough), that difference will result in blurry text with a large pupil in dim light, but in bright light with a small pupil you could still read it.

Another great trick for old eyes is to roll up your index finger so you just leave a tiny opening.  If you don't have your reading glasses, hold that up to your eye and look through the small opening, and it will help you read small text.

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Post by blindshooter 7/10/2019, 7:41 pm

Interesting thread, I shot match rifle for years and I have poor vision. At one time my corrections were in the -10 area. Needless to say very nearsighted. If the weather was good (no rain) I used a .25 in the front of the front sight aperture. This sort of helped make the target appear larger which I needed because the image I saw with my distance correction was somewhat smaller than what a normal person would see.  I only did this on my LR rifles. 600yd and closer it didn't matter so much. I spent a ton of money on glasses and match sight accessories, probably had more dollars on my head and the sights on the rifle than some of the guys had in their whole rig. The best thing I had going for me was a eye doc that was a shooter and understood what I needed.
This whole pistol thing is a butt whooper for me. I'm thinking about trying something like a merit or some other stick on aperture.

I'm not able to compete anymore but still love trying to shoot well even if its just plinking.

Got some cataracts growing so all will change before too long.

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Post by radjag 7/11/2019, 9:18 am

I'm also very interested in this thread. I had LASIK surgery on both eyes some 15 or so years ago (I had been short sighted in both eyes from my teens). The surgeon recommended "mono-vision" where my Right master eye is corrected for distance and my Left eye for reading. I returned to target shooting just recently after a 40 year hiatus and had forgotten about using an adjustable aperture to increase depth of field (I had previously used one back in the day). I tried a Merit adjustable unit with the rubber suction cup, but found it cumbersome. Then I tried an EyePal (many will find them expensive at $25 for two tiny bits of plastic film), but I've been very happy with them applied to high clarity safety glasses.

I have tried various kinds of blinders, side shades and even completely shading both eyes except for the aperture (that is really weird because lack of peripheral vision affects your balance and you sway uncontrollably!!!). But currently have just a flip down opaque shield for my left eye and masking tape over the safety glasses sides. OK - not ISSF compliant - but I'm not planning to try out for the next Olympics!

When I get back home at the end of the month I intend to create a better attachment frame for the Merit adjustable aperture so that I can experiment further. Yes, I know that Champions Choice have several different types of sophisticated shooting frames - but I prefer to have safety glasses protecting my eyes and therefore prefer to attach things to them.

So, last week I went back to the original surgeon who did my LASIK and asked him to check my eyes - all good - and explained about controlling depth of field, etc. He tested me for sharpest vision at front sight distance and it was really hard to discern any significant improvement with the various low power correction lens. He also told me that I have very little astigmatism - which was a surprise and good news.

Then he recommended something else. He applied a couple of drops of eye solution (artificial tears) - I had forgotten that LASIK can cause "dry eye". What an amazing change - suddenly everything was pin sharp!

Now I'm not suggesting that this will help everyone - we are all different - but it costs almost nothing and is certainly worth trying.

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Post by mikemyers 7/11/2019, 2:13 pm

radjag wrote:I.......had forgotten about using an adjustable aperture to increase depth of field........then he applied a couple of drops of eye solution (artificial tears) ........ What an amazing change - suddenly everything was pin sharp!...
Two quick thoughts - I never thought about it before, but I do get "dry eyes" every so often, and blinking makes everything sharp for a bit....   yes, eye drops will do the same, and they'll stay that way for a while.

I'm in the opposite situation.  I would like to reduce my depth of field.   I have a thin white line on my front sight, and I am attempting to focus solely on that white line, to the exclusion of everything else.
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Post by shootingsight 7/16/2019, 5:35 pm

Lenses work because there is a difference in refractive index between the air and the material the light is passing into.  In the case of your cornea, that is SUPPOSED to be a water layer on your eye, so if you have dry-eye the index of refraction is off.

This is also why you cannot see under water.  Your eye is designed for light to pass from air to the water layer on your cornea.  Simply passing from water into your cornea is different.

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Post by bruce martindale 7/16/2019, 8:38 pm

I only needed 1/2 diopter to bring the front sight into focus. Dr. Wong used to be on the board here and would add perspective but we haven't heard from him in a while.

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Post by lablover 7/16/2019, 9:12 pm

Got one of those nifty flip up single lens from shootingsight while at Perry.  Game changer for me and irons now....I can see them!
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Post by john bickar 7/16/2019, 10:25 pm

Lots of good advice in here about focusing on the front sight with irons.

I focus on the target with the dot, and use my distance prescription. (I use different glasses for dot vs. irons.)

Someone else advocates focusing on the target with a dot too. I think his user name is something like "12XNPC" on this forum? Probably just a Russian bot, though.
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Post by Jack H 7/16/2019, 10:57 pm

I never see this from Zins added when looking at dot vs target is discussed.  I think this is very important.  I believe the point of it is that looking at the target bull is best left to when your wobble is small.  Your subconscious probably cannot handle a large wobble without coming back to the dot.  Which defeats looking only at the bull, or only at the dot.


FOR ME, I find that when looking at the target I accept the wobble of the dot more and do not get hung up on the trigger. NOTE: if you have a big wobble area this is harder to acheive. There are days that my dot may not sit as still as I like and on said days I will bring my focus back to the dot. So if you have a decent hold you should be able to do this with a good deal of success. If you a big wobble, the true method of looking at the dot is great. Remember that is how I learned to shoot.
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Post by john bickar 7/16/2019, 11:03 pm

Looks like he let his domain registration lapse, but here is Brian's article on "Aiming the Dot Sight". (The Internet never forgets.)
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Post by xmastershooter 7/18/2019, 4:22 pm

bruce martindale wrote: Dr. Wong used to be on the board here and would add perspective but we haven't heard from him in a while.
Hi Bruce, been traveling quite a bit lately and have missed quite a bit of postings.  Missed going to Camp Perry and meeting good folks like Bruce.

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Post by mikemyers 7/18/2019, 4:25 pm

I wasn't around when you first started posting, but I very much enjoyed (and learned things) from the earlier posts you made.  Welcome back!!
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Post by xmastershooter 7/18/2019, 5:40 pm

valbern67 wrote:How clearly should one see the targets at 50 and 25 yards?  What is a reasonable expectation of focus, especially at the center or X-ring? I'm trying to figure out if my regular contact lenses are sufficient, or if I should get glasses with sharper distance?

I'm currently weraing monovision contacts, and my dominant eye has the distance lens but my targets are blurry at 50 yds and less so at 25 yards.  Been thinking about getting prescription shooting glasses, but they tend to be really expensive. Is there an extra lens for extra magnification I could wear over the right eye over my normal glasses?

Thanks!

Val

alien
Hi Val,

I believe I can help with some basics.  If you are correctable to 20/20 during your eye exam, you should be able to see the targets clearly, both at 25 and 50 yards.  If you do not, then your contact lens for the distance and your eyeglasses are either out of date or were not proper when you first got them.  Being that I do not know your history, I believe you are presbyopic because of the monovision contact lenses, one eye for distance and the other eye for near.  I don't think you are a grand senior with eye health issues because there was no mention of cataracts, macular degeneration or corneal problems.

Until we know what is your best distance prescription and the best visual acuity, any advice given would not be helpful at this time.  Since you shoot more with the dot scopes, you really should have better corrected distance vision, very important for safe driving also.  I met two past national champions who said they can see the .22 holes at 50 yards without a scope, Jim Lenardson and Doc Young.  Doc said he could see the x-ring open up while shooting a string.

Once you have the proper prescription, then you may evaluate if the red dot clarity is good or not. We did a survey of 116 shooters over 10 years ago and 60% responded that the red dot appeared in front of the target, 23% responded that it was at the same plane as the target, while 17% were not sure.  I have found that most of my patients were happy with their distance prescription in seeing the red dot well.  There were a number of patients who needed a slightly different prescription from their distance Rx in order to see the red dot best.  If there was a significant difference, then your doctor messed up in the refraction.

I have the most fun with helping my patients in determining their best iron sight Rx.  I emphasize the Rx which gives the patients their preferred sight picture.  This, of course, would include the front sight, the rear sight and the target.  This cannot be done in the eye exam room, with the use of a reading card, and with both eyes opened focusing onto this card.

Norman

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Post by bruce martindale 7/18/2019, 8:31 pm

Great to hear from you again! Thanks

And.. I think it's time for new shooting glasses prescription.

Shoot me an email

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Post by james r chapman 7/18/2019, 9:08 pm

Oddly enough, I've found I shoot irons best when using a higher diopter value causing the target to become a blob. Nothing left but to concentrate on the frt/rear sight relationship and centering of the blob.

Steve McQueen would be so proud!
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Post by john bickar 7/18/2019, 10:40 pm

james r chapman wrote:Oddly enough, I've found I shoot irons best when using a higher diopter value causing the target to become a blob. Nothing left but to concentrate on the frt/rear sight relationship and centering of the blob.

Steve McQueen would be so proud!

You spelled "Sundance Kid" wrong:

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Post by xmastershooter 7/19/2019, 12:48 am

james r chapman wrote:Oddly enough, I've found I shoot irons best when using a higher diopter value causing the target to become a blob. Nothing left but to concentrate on the frt/rear sight relationship and centering of the blob.
Nothing odd about "your" preferred sight picture. 

Consider a couple of Mike Myer's problems he posted with his shooting glasses.  Last year he gave the measurement of the distance between his eye and the front sight to his eye specialists/opticians.  Not sure if they calculated the shooting lens Rx or if they actually did the measuring with the reading card on the phoropter but he did not see as he expected.

This year, Mike wrote that he again gave the measurement of his eye to the front sight and he was not happy that the bullseye was too clear at 25 yards.

The bullseye blur while shooting iron sights is a personal choice, but keep in mind that this may vary with time and experience.

Norman

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Post by mikemyers 7/19/2019, 3:46 am

Hello again!

Yes, I measured the distance from my eye to my front sight, shooting two-handed - 24 inches.
Then I measured the distance from my eye to my front sight, shooting one handed -30 inches.

I made up a "toy" gun that I could hold up as if I was shooting, and put a business card at the end, at the appropriate distance.  I got a prescription exactly for that distance.

I have had cataract surgery in both eyes, so my right (shooting) eye can no longer focus.  With the appropriate glasses, the front sight is perfectly sharp and clear, as expected.  For better or worse, the target is also very sharp, slightly blurred, but my goal was to get a sharp front sight in front of a blurry target.  Since I'm mostly shooting at an outdoor range, my pupils get smaller (because of so much light) which increases my depth of field, meaning the target never gets blurry as I had expected it to.

What I've learned, is that I never really needed the prescription for 30 inches, as the 24 inch lenses work at both distances.


I also had a pair of glasses made for red dot sights, so my right lens is my distance prescription.  As Brian Zins suggested, I concentrate all my attention on the target, and not on the red dot.  I try to move the red dot over the target and. keep it centered, but I am trying to only pay attention to the target - keeping the dot centered is what I'm trying to do, while trying to allow my subconscious to operate the trigger.  I'm not very good at that, as I still keep thinking of the trigger, just keeping it moving slowly towards the rear, while attempting to keep the dot where I want it.


Right now I'm having another set of shooting glasses made, with the "inverted D" in the upper part of the right lens.  That prescription will be for 24 inches, four use outdoors or indoors.  The surrounding lens will all be my distance prescription.  The goal is to move my head slightly down, to see at 24 inches, or slightly up, to see the target and dot (distance).  Since the left lens has no function, I'm having a prescription for that lens for "reading", so I can use that eye for adjusting my sights, and so on.  This time, my glasses will have side protection.  I was shooting two weeks ago, wit a revolver, and somehow something got into my eye and bothered me.  I flushed it out later in the shower.  I know it couldn't get to the eye from the front, which left the side which is wide open.  That, and standing on the shooting line with the fellow on my left spraying me with hot cases convinced me that side protection was a must.

The fitting that rests on the nose is adjustable, so I can raise or lower the lenses to adjust the "line" where the prescription changes from "close" to "near".

https://www.safevision.net/safevision-pershing.html#/lens_type-frame_only_no_lenses/bifocal_type-none/tint_type-please_select/tint_color-please_select/anti_reflective_coating-none/mirror_coating-none/case_type-none

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Post by shootingsight 7/22/2019, 7:58 pm

Be aware that since the target is not at your focal point, the degree of blur you see on the target is a function of aperture size.  If you are using a stick-on aperture, you can control the size.  However if you are shooting without an aperture, ambient lighting will affect the diameter of your pupil.  So as your range lighting changes, the blur you see on the target will also vary.

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Post by mikemyers 7/22/2019, 10:17 pm

shootingsight wrote:Be aware that since the target is not at your focal point, the degree of blur you see on the target is a function of aperture size.  If you are using a stick-on aperture, you can control the size.  However if you are shooting without an aperture, ambient lighting will affect the diameter of your pupil.  So as your range lighting changes, the blur you see on the target will also vary.
The stick-on aperture can only give me more depth of field, making the target sharper, along with the already sharp front sight.  I want the opposite - I want the target blurry.  If anything, I want me pupil to get bigger.


With my distance prescription, and my red dot sights, everything is perfectly sharp, and my goal is to concentrate on one or the other ONLY.  Brian Zins suggested focusing on the target, so that's what I'm doing.
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Post by impalanut 9/19/2019, 8:08 pm

I am a new shooter (<2000rounds) shooting a S&W model 41 with iron sights. I have had cataract surgery with both eyes clear at distance and no astigmatism. With a +1.25 the front sight is perfect, but the target is so blurry I can't hold on center. At +1 the front sight is almost perfect and the target is almost roundish. At +.75 the front sight is not great but at least I can see the target as a round blur like the picture further up in this post. I have been shooting entirely indoors with modest lighting at the target but with a small spot light on the wall that illuminates the gunsight well.
How, if possible, can I get the front sight a little clearer and keep the target from being so blurry I can hardly see it? I wish I had the above problem of the target being too clear.
Thanks

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Post by mikemyers 9/19/2019, 8:21 pm

One thing you could try, is to get your eyes tested and get a pair of glasses set for the distance to your front sight.  If your eye doctor allows it, bring your gun.  Another option, bring the barrel for your 41, but first measure the distance of your eye to the front sight, holding the gun the way you shoot.  Bring a tape measure, so they can position the barrel such that the front sight is at the correct distance from your eye.  (You can tape a business card to the end of the barrel, which will work fine, and the people testing your eyes will understand better what you're doing.....)

I had two pair of glasses made up for my cataract-corrected (for distance) eyes, one for 24", the distance to a 1911 held in two hands, and one for 30" (for shooting one handed).  I now realize I could have gotten just one pair.

You didn't say which barrel is on your gun, the 5" or the 7".  

In daylight, my front sight is crystal clear, and the target is a little blurred.  Indoors the sight is still crystal clear, and the target is a nice blur, perfect.  I wish it looked like that when I am outdoors!!
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Post by impalanut 9/19/2019, 11:41 pm

I have no problem getting the front sight in focus. The problem is that the target is so blurry I can't get a good picture to aim at.

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Post by mikemyers 9/20/2019, 4:48 am

Next time you go to the range, try something.  Don't think of aiming at the target at all.  

Just line up the sights perfectly, ignoring what part of the blurry target you can sort of see.  That doesn't matter.  All that matters is getting the sights aligned perfectly, and not disturbing that alignment when you work the trigger.

The more blurry the target is, the better.  Just line up the sights perfectly.



To prove to yourself that what I just wrote works, even if it sounds silly, get a gun rest to support the gun.  Now the gun won't move as you fire - it will be stable.  Just line up the sights perfectly, with this blurry mass that is the target more or less centered.  Do NOT aim at any particular part of the target, spend all your concentration ONLY on aligning the sights.

You do NOT want a good picture of the target to aim at.  Don't even think of that.  ONLY work on getting the sights aligned correctly.  That perfectly clear image of the front sight needs to be centered with the rear sight, and the tops of both need to be at the same level.

You will probably find that all your shots appear in a nice tight group, some number of inches away from the bullseye.  Ignore that.  Just work at getting a nice tight group of holes.   Once you've done that, adjust the sights to "move" that group until it's over the bullseye.  Put up a new target, and test.  

Where the holes are doe not matter.  All that matters is the group.

(By adjusting the sights, you will move the group around until it's centered around the bullseye.)
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Post by inthebeech 9/20/2019, 10:27 am

I did the same as Bruce.  I did not want the diopter that is truly perfect for the front sight distance (for me 28 ") because the target was too blurry.  I use a .5 diopter which gets the front sight "nearly" perfect and doesn't blur the target much.  It's a compromise.
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