How to Fix a Blurry Scope

There’s nothing as frustrating as a blurry image or target. How are you supposed to take that beautiful shot of birds or hit that target with a shaky image? A blurred image is actually more common than you can imagine, but novice users will always do research on how to fix a blurry scope.

Well, you are in the right place. This guide will show you what causes blurred imagery and how you can fix it.

Fixing a Blurry Scope

A blurry scope can emerge from a number of reasons, nothing too technical to fix. The causes can be;

  • Dirty lenses
  • Blurry Reticle
  • Blurriness at High Magnification
  • Focusing For Parallax
  • Dealing With Mirage

Read further and learn how you can clear blur under each and every one of these issues.

1. Dirty Lenses

All too often, we look through the scope, see a blurred image and blame it on the scope’s mechanisms. Sometimes, the problem of a blurred image could be as simple as dirty lenses.

The dirt could be from grime, insects, or fungi. Either way, the solution is to just clean the lens and keep using it. Learn how to properly clean the scope lenses.

  • Dampen a cloth and wipe the lenses and the surrounding gently. Put a keen focus on the eyepiece since it has many crevices where dirt can hide. In case you can’t reach the areas using the cloth, use a cotton swab. Clean the cups as well as they may have leftover dust particles or grime.
  • Look through the light again and check to see any greasy marks or remaining debris. Use a lens brush to dust off, or blow gently on the lens.
  • For a deeper and shinier cleanse, add a cleaning agent to a microfiber cloth and wipe the entire surface in a circular motion to avoid leaving marks.
  • Again brush the surface for a polished look. If it’s waterproof, you can rinse it off with water, while with a microfiber cloth, then polish.
  • Check again under the sun to expose any remaining grime marks. Wipe them off gently.
  • Use a lens pen to clean any final marks of fingerprints or dust with a carbon pad.

After cleaning the lenses, look through to confirm if the lens is better off. If not, the image issues may not be caused by cleanliness but by other mechanisms of the scope.

2. Blurry Reticle

A very common cause of blurred images is this. The reticle needs a focal point where the light bounces off to give you clear imaging. If it goes out of line or out of focus, then the sharpness will be off causing a blurred image.

During purchase, of any best spotting scope under $200, it’s advised to properly set the focus point assuming you, as the user, will maintain the same optic health.

Recalibration may be needed to get cater for other users or for later when your eyesight changes.

In case you need to adjust the scope’s reticle, here is a step by step guide on how to do so.

Preparation Stage

  • Prepare to use the scope. For example, put on your glasses or contacts and position yourself on the scope for adjustments.
  • Remove the eye cups from the scope for any model that may have them. In case there are none, proceed to the next step.
  • Point the scope towards a blunt target. Avoid facing the scope towards direct sunlight. It could have adverse effects on your eyes.
  • Twist out the eyepiece in an anticlockwise motion. Use any other method to unlock the eyepiece depending on the model or make.

Refocusing Stage

  • Focus the scope towards a neutral surface to determine the blurry reticle. While pointing towards the real target, you might not clearly identify any error.
  • Take your attention away from the scope to allow your eyes to relax and away from refocusing. You can begin engaging the eyepiece again in a clockwise motion.
  • Take a quick glance to identify a blur in the reticle again. The reason for the fast look is to avoid letting the eyes automatically adjust to the faulty reticle. This could cause you not to identify any errors since your eyes may try to correct them.

Correction Stage

  • Repeat the steps until you attain a sharp reticle focus.
  • If the make has a diopter setting, you could note down the adjustment for next time. In cases where you share the scope, you won’t need to undergo this process again. Just adjust to your setting.
  • Ensure the setting on the reticle is perfectly sharp and with black clear imaging. Opposite of that can cause eye strain or distress.

Again, check to see if that was the issue affecting your scope. If not, proceed to the next issue.

3. Blurriness at High Magnification

Several scopes tend to lose their focus when used under high magnification. This can be proven if the scope tends to have clearer images at low magnification or a short distance targeting. This can be linked to the Parallax.

This is when there is uncertainty or shaky imagining when the target is too close. The manufacturer of scope may place factory settings at a specific point probably 150 to 200 yards.  The magnification power of such scopes will be less than 10.

Shooting targets close by will cause them to be fuzzy and the anomaly then transmits to poor image quality.

An easy solution to fix the blurry scope is to change magnification settings in the scope to lower to see if there’s a change in the imagery.

Another reason could be the make of the scope.  Cheaply made models tend to have a lower optical buildup, hence, they’re unable to fully support the scope under high magnification power.

Depending on the use of the scope, it’s probably best to buy a high-value scope.

4. Focusing on Parallax

Some models of scopes need focus adjustments from the objective lens. It’s called an adjustable objective or a side turret. The relation between the AO and the reticle is that if either focus points are off the sharpness of the image will be compromised.

To avoid parallax, your target has been on the same plane level as the reticle.

This will mean the crosshairs will be still and a better image. In order to correct any parallax issue you may have, you have to understand the features present in your scope.

Adjusting the Objective

  • Use a range finder to measure the distance to your target. If you don’t have one, simply estimate the distance.
  • Rotate the objective to be in line with any reference markings on the scope. Relative to the distance of your mark.
  • Return to the previous picture and change up the magnification power for a sharper image.

Adjusting the Side Focus

  • Measure the distance again.
  • Check the settings in the side focus.  Ensure it’s past the infinity mark.
  • Set it down to where the image strategy to sharpen. It should be at par with the reference markings on the scope.
  • Adjust magnification power.

For image quality to be at its maximum, you have to ensure that the parallax setting in the scope is approximately 50 yards in relation to the target distance. If you underestimate the target range, the image could be faulty.

Another factor to consider is the magnification power. Ensure the power resonates with the distance. The focus highly depends on these numbers and their correlation.

5. Dealing with Mirage

Mirage is when the sun exhibits some form of steam or water in the air from a distance. This is a very likely cause of blurry images and it has nothing to do with the mechanism of your scope.

The mirage appears in both short and long-range distances, so what do you do? This is a question that most people ask when they research how to fix a blurry scope.

The main way to fix heat distortions is by changing the magnification power. The scope will definition definitely be affected by this mirage but if you tone down the magnification, the scope has a better chance at focusing than before.

The reason you have to tone down the magnification is that high power will give off wave illusions, which cause the image to appear shaky and off-target. At least under low power, one can easily stabilize the scope to the target area.

There are other types of mirage that affect close-range focus. These are suppressor mirage and barrel mirage. The heat waves from the gadget can affect the imaging causing uneven focus. There’s no real solution to this problem.

Dealing with Blurry Errors

Fixing the blurriness of the scope is not such a hard task as seen above. The main way to solve these problems is to ensure you understand the working of the scope.

This allows you to know when and where needs to be adjusted. Unless there are defects of the gadget from the manufacturer, there’s really nothing else to fix.

Maintain the focus and lens on the same line to ensure sharper images. Following this guide on how to fix a blurry scope step by step will help in identifying the real issue with that scope and the solution to this.

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