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Parallax Adjustment Range | Optics Trade Debates

Welcome to Optics Trade debates. In each episode, we talk about a different topic and try to answer the most common questions we receive about it. Today, we are going to talk about the parallax adjustment range.

Parallax adjustment range defines from which distance to which distance the parallax can be set so that the parallax error is zero. Some rifle scopes have an adjustable parallax. This range applies only to riflescopes that have an adjustable parallax on the front objective, side focus or a top parallax knob.

We usually provide distances in our tables in the product descriptions.

Most scopes that feature parallax adjustments have engraved numbers which mark the distances. These numbers are not exact and most manufacturers that produce riflescopes meant for the American market are marked with yards and the ones that are meant for the European market are marked with meters.

It’s getting more and more common that the manufacturers mark the minimal and the maximal value.

When the parallax is set on a distance of a target, the image should be in focus and when the user moves his eye, the reticle should be completely still. This is checked when the rifle and the scope are completely immobilized.

Parallax adjustment is not important for hunting, because it usually takes place on distances between 50 m and 200 m. In such a small range, the parallax error is neglectable.

The parallax adjustment is very important for F class and tactical shooting where maximum precision is needed.

Parallax adjustment is absolutely crucial for target shooting where the parallax setting is used to estimate the distance to the target.

When shooting on a close distance with small caliber rifles or with air guns, the parallax on the scope needs to go really low.

Scopes that are meant for very precise readings have very defined adjustments, so there is a lot more travel.

Riflescopes that have a magnification higher than 12x need an adjustable parallax. Lately, some manufacturers went past this rule and started producing riflescopes that have a 15x magnification without a parallax. Two manufacturers that made such scopes are Meopta and Zeiss.

Riflescopes that feature high magnifications require an adjustable parallax so that the image can be focused.

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Explanation of the term on our website:

Parallax adj. (adjustment) range tells you the minimum and maximum distance you can adjust the parallax on your rifle scope.

Most rifle scopes (mostly) with maximum magnification 12 x have parallax setting fixed, for example, to 100m (EU 100 m / US 100 yards or 91 m). On those, you can’t make any adjustment with parallax.

Rifle scopes with more than 12 magnification zoom have adjustable parallax setting, for example, from 50m to infinity.

There are some rifle scopes with special parallax settings. Schmidt & Bender Exos rifle scopes have CC mode, which means when you turn the magnification on 1, the parallax changes simultaneously from 100 meters to 25 meters, so it is much easier to look with both eyes open and therefore easier to shoot close distance running targets.

parallax adj. range

Products mentioned:
Riflescopes with parallax:



  • Is parallax needed at 12x and above? Or can you get away with no parallax adjustments at 12x and anything above that needs adjustments?

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