- Mar 12, 2017
I was one of those guys. I bought a 50mm bell thinking it would let in more light. When I compared it to a 44mm, it was such a marginal difference that it wasn’t worth the cost or the weight. At least from what my eyes saw.
Light gathering is only one of the benefits. A larger objective also helps make eye placement less critical or as folks like to say (big/forgiving "eye box"). On higher magnification powers there becomes a notable benefit but certainly not critical for teens and lower magnification levels most of the time. A very clear example of this is comparing my kowa 553 spotter vs my 82mm meopta - The kowa can resolve very sharply but it's finicky about eye placement comparatively and takes way more concentration and effort to keep a clear image.
In regards to scope size, i don't come across many scenarios where my scope gets in the way of anything. Id much rather have a big scope than a long barrel in that regard. The super short scopes folks have been clamoring for are a bit of a pet peeve for a couple reasons - 1: it limits your mounting flexibility with rings and 2: a super short scope, especially with a large magnification range is usually a recipe for finicky parallax adjustment, shallow depth of focus, and tight eye box. Give me a longer scope without those compromises every time!