Experiences with D-300 and Mini-14 hand select

Customer Reviews of Night Vision Equipment

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Experiences with D-300 and Mini-14 hand select

Postby fkalich » Tue Mar 21, 2006 8:53 pm

I purchased a D-300 Alpha from ophticshq.com in 2004. Great view. It had a bit of hex pattern when looking at a light colored backgound under bright conditons, that was the only issue. The hex pattern is typical in tubes, the literature states that. However some have more of it than others. Still it had a great view, and the pattern was invisible most of the time I was using it. Then in 2005 I purchased a second scope from opticshq.com, a Mini 14 Alpha. I mentioned to one of Michael's staff that if possible, I would like one with less of that hex pattern. I was told that Michael hand picked a tube for me Super tube over 28 s/n, the Mini 14 is fabulous, I loved it then, still love it.

Late last year Michael had some Alpha select tubes with 30+ s/n, and he offered to let me upgrade my D-300 for a price that I could not resist. As I said, the D-300 had a nice tube, 25 s/n. However I figured, what the heck, go for it.

Well when I got the upgraded D-300, I was disappointed. I could not help but feel that the quality of view was not as good as my earlier D-300. I felt that when compared to the Mini-14, the view of the new D-300 was quite inferior. I had not felt that with respect to my prior D-300 scope. The Mini does have nicer optics, I knew that. Brighter, and a bit wider angle of view. Still, it seemed that the view of the D-300 had gotten signficantly worse, not better. Michael had put a new casing on it (the old battery housing had a minor issue), I wondered if that was the problem. I waited to contact Michael for a bit, till I could try to figure out what was the matter.

After 6 weeks I was looking though my D-300, and realized that the focus was not good except in the center. I then thought, "that must be the problem." I had a general perception of "not a very good view", but until then did not know why that was. I sent it back to Michael. He told me that the lens was indeed out of alignment, and he aligned the lens for me. He also put an adaptor on my 3x lens so the new scope casing would accept my old 3x lens.

I took my scopes out tonight, and now my perception is "well the Mini has a better view, however not that much better, the D-300 is still great, and now no hex pattern at all, even less than the mini, this is definitely better than my earlier D-300." So I am very satisfied. Indeed, the lens being out of alignment just had given me a general perception of "bad view" even though it took me 6 weeks to figure out specifically why that was. Aligning the lens put things in order, I am happy.

Basically you get what you pay for. The Mini has nicer optics, and a wider view, it is brighter. However the D-300 still is very good. I would go ahead and get the Mini though if spending the money again. However now that the lens has been put into alignment, I am almost as happy using the D-300 as I am using the Mini (although not quite!)

I wrote this for two purposes, perhaps I should have put it in general discussion rather than reviews. I do compare the Mini-14 to the D-300, so it may be justified being here. However purchasing this equipment is not like purchasing a commodity from walmart or target. The decision on the dealer you buy it from can be as important as what you buy. So this is also a testimonial to the good service that I have received from Michael and his staff. He has delivered what he promised, and all issues have been taken care of nicely.

Frank Kalich
Posts: 161
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 4:05 pm

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