• The Truth about Light Transmission

    Scopes and Light Transmission: Myth and Truth

    It is impossible for any scope to gather light. It can only transmit existing light. And, regardless of advertising claims you may have heard, there is no riflescope made that can transmit 100% of available light.

    What Happens Before Light Reaches Your Eye?

    As light enters the objective end of the scope, before it reaches your eye it passes through several lenses. Each lens absorbs a small quantity of light. Residual reflection from the individual lenses will also prevent a certain amount of light from passing through the scope.

    In addition, undesired reflections within the metal tube can hinder the quality of the viewed image and the transmission of light.

    Each lens has two surfaces. Thus, the total number of lenses within a scope (a variable-power scope can have between seven and ten) is multiplied by two, then multiplied by 0.25% to determine the amount of light lost in the transmission.

    However, this is not accurate or completely true because each succeeding lens reduces the total amount of successfully transmitted light. When some scope manufacturers claim their scopes have light transmission values close to 100%, they are probably measuring just the first objective lens and conveniently leaving out the rest!

    So, What Does This Mean?

    Any higher transmission levels are physically impossible to achieve with current technology, and claims to the contrary are to be discounted. What does light transmission mean in practical terms?

    An average scope may transmit around 85%, and inferior scopes substantially less. The human eye can distinguish transmission differences of 3% or more. Consequently, there is a very real difference in what you can see through a superior scope versus run-of-the-mill optics.

    The very best rifle scopes human beings can create will transmit to your eye — under perfect conditions — a maximum of 94.5% to 95% of available light. There are but a handful of scope companies remaining that produce optics approaching these levels, Schmidt & Bender being one of them.

    Under hunting conditions, when you might be trying to distinguish a target at absolute last light, these differences can be critical. It can determine whether you bag your game or whether you have long since called it a day.

  • Specs 10*42 PM II

    Dimensions (mm)
    A B C D E F
    85 60 54 55 54 50
    G K L
    30 42.5 338
    Aluminum tube, 30mm without rail
    Hard anodized black surface
    Reticle in first focal plane
    Optical data
    Magnification: 10x fixed
    Field of view @ 100m: 4m
    Exit pupil: 4.2mm
    Eye relief: min 85mm
    Light transmission: min 90% day & night
    Diopter setting: +2 to -3
    Elevation adjustment
    Elevation increments: 1cm (0.1 Mrad)
    Windage range: 130cm at 100m
    Windage adjustment
    Windage increments: 1cm per click
    Windage range:
  • Police Marks Man II

    Schmidt & Bender Riflescopes

    Police Marksman II

    • In use all over the world by professionals
    • Suitable for all environments, from urban settings to the desert and jungle
    • Maximum windage and elevation adjustments with click stops
    • Special turret with an 11-stop system for illumination control (illumination levels: almost invisible, for use with night vision equipment, full bright)
    • Also functions as a standard scope with non-illuminated crosshairs
    • Parallax adjustment
    • Wide field of view
    • Target distance for up to 1000 meters

    Police Marksman II 3-12×50 mm

    • Standard equipment of the US Marine Corps
    • Offered with P1 or P3 reticles
    • 2 elevation and windage options
    • Parallax adjustment (separate turret)
    • Reticle brightness fully adjustable (11 settings)
    • Illumination settings and technology designed to save battery and enable easy access to pre-adjusted settings
    • Available with P3, P4, and P4 Fine reticles

    Police Marksman II 4-16×50 mm

    • 50 mm lens for superb performance in low-light conditions
    • Wide magnification range allows for shots to distances above 1000 meters
    • Available with parallax adjustment only or parallax and illuminated reticle adjustment (separate turret to control each setting)
    • Color-coded elevation knob
    • Available with P3 or P4 Fine reticles

    Police Marksman II 5-25×56 mm

    • Aim at targets as far as 2000 meters
    • 5x magnification and a wider FOW
    • Parallax adjustment (separate turret)
    • Illuminated reticle with 11 settings
    • Elevation knob is color-coded for instant reference
    • Comes with P3 or P4 reticles
  • Precision Hunter

    About the Precision Hunter riflescope

    The Precision Hunter riflescopes are based on three of our most popular Classic scopes. They come equipped with:

    • a top-mounted bullet drop compensator and
    • reticles perfect for long-range shots

    Thanks to the numbers and graduations found on the elevation adjustment knob, you can create a custom distance chart for the desired caliber. Blank elevation rings are also available.

    P3 Mil-Dot reticle

    The Mil-Dot reticle was originally designed for military use.

    It’s ideal for estimating holdover at longer distances and for leading moving targets, but its magnification range is broad enough to serve both close or long shots. At 4x magnification, you can perform quick target acquisition using fine crosshairs and four posts. At 16x magnification, the Mil-Dots become visible and allow for rangefinding, windage and trajectory calculations.

    Parallax-free at 200 meters, and with the same Mil-Dot capabilities as our 4–16 x 50 model.

  • Reticles PM

    Police Marksman Reticles

    • Specialized reticles developed for Police/Marksman II scopes
    • Effective rangefinding
    • Accurate estimation of target distance at any magnification level

    P-1 (Bryant) reticle

    • Specially developed for Schmidt & Bender by Deputy Sheriff Robert Bryant, an experienced SWAT team member and police advisor
    • User-friendly design with crosshairs, posts, and lines
    • Developed for easy and efficient rangefinding

    P-3 MilDot reticle

    • Developed by the U.S. Marine Corps in the 1970s for distance estimation on marine snipers
    • The dot on the reticle is spaced on the crosshairs in increments of 1 milliradian (1 mil)
    • This unit of measurement is used to determine the distance of the object being targeted

    Converting to minutes of angle

    • Mil-dots on the vertical line of the reticle can be used for holdover estimation
    • They have to be converted to minutes of angle first
    • How to convert mils to minutes of angle: multiply the number of mils with 3.438
    • Each scope comes with conversion tables

    P-3 MilDot Illuminated

    • Adjustable illumination of the crosshairs
    • Makes shooting in low-light conditions easier
    • Added third turret with click stops lets you control brightness levels
    • The reticle is turned off between stops
    • Easily restore your preset illumination level with a miniature turn of the knob

    CQB reticle

    • Designed for Schmidt & Bender 1.1–4 x 20 CQB scope
    • At higher magnifications, the detailed center section allows precise rangefinding
    • Flash Dot technology: three different illumination levels (stops 1-3: illumination for use with night vision goggles, stops 4-6: illumination levels that aid the naked eye to see a dark target in low-light conditions, stops 7-11: high-intensity illumination of the center dot)
    • Can also be used as a standard scope with non-illuminated crosshairs

    P4 and P4 Fine

    • Designed for precise rangefinding to 2000 meters.
    • The P4 is available with the 5-25 x 56
    • The P4 Fine is available with the 3-12 x 50 PM II Military
    • The P4 Fine has thinner lines than the P4

    Reticle No. 7

    • Also offered in the 1.1–4 x 20 CQB scope
    • FlashDot illumination technology
  • Scopes Variable

    Schmidt & Bender RifleScopes

    • Wide magnification ranges
    • High precision: point of impact remains the same across the entire magnification range

    1.5 – 6x 42mm Classic Riflescope (now discontinued)

    • Can be used in all weather conditions
    • Suitable for close shots on moving game or longer shots
    • Available with standard or illuminated reticles

    2.5 – 10x 56mm Classic Riflescope

    • Ideal for low-light conditions
    • Ideal for long-range shooting at max magnification (10x)
    • 2.5x magnification suitable for forest hunting
    • Available with standard or illuminated reticles

    3-12x 42 L7

    • Perfect for flat-shooting rifles
    • Magnification allows for both close or long shots
    • Available with standard or illuminated reticles
    • Also in the Precision Hunter series

    3-12x 50mm Classic Riflescope

    • Comes with a larger objective lens, but otherwise identical to the 3–12 x 42
    • Superb performance even in low-light conditions
    • Sleek design allows low mounts
    • Can be used in all hunting conditions
    • Available with standard and illuminated reticles
    • Also in the Precision Hunter series

    4-16x 50mm Classic Riflescope

    • Suitable for hunting in low-light conditions
    • Comes with a third turret parallax adjustment
    • Also used in target competitions
    • Available with standard and special varmint reticles
    • Also in the Precision Hunter series
  • U.S. Marine Corps

    Schmidt & Bender scopes in the US Marine Corps

    Did you know that the Schmidt & Bender 3-12 x 50 Police Marksman LP II scope can be found on all .308 and .50 caliber sniper rifles used by the US Marine Corps? The USMC snipers use Scout Rifle Day Scopes.

    Our products were selected among those of 25 other companies. It was the only one that met the high standards and meticulous specifications set by USMC.

    Now, our 3-12 x 50 PMII LP is replacing a sniper scope that has been in use for more than 25 years.

    Product specifications

    • Custom-made elevation dial
    • Can be used on .308 and .50 caliber weapons
    • Windage and elevation dials for .308 and .50 caliber weapons


    A similar model is available for purchase to the public.

    We are proud to represent and serve the US Marine Corps and will continue delivering our superior products to further support this organization.

  • Specs 5-25*56PMII LP

    Dimensions (mm)
    A B C D E F
    118 44 38.5 92 72 62
    G K L
    34 42.5 410


    Aluminum tube, 34mm without rail
    Hard anodized black surface
    Reticle in first focal plane; second focal plane by special order.


    Optical data
    Magnification: 5 – 25x
    Field of view @ 100m: 5.3m – 1.5m
    Exit pupil: 10.95mm – 2.28mm
    Eye relief: min 85mm
    Twilight factor: 14.1 – 37.4
    Light transmission: min 90% day & night
    Diopter setting: +2 to -3


    Elevation adjustment)
    Elevation increments: 0.1Mrad
    Elevation range: 0 – 26 Mrad


    Windage adjustment
    Windage increments: 0.1Mrad per click
    Windage range: ±6 Mrad
    General data
    Parallax adjustable from 50m to infinity
    Reticle illumination:
    Settings 1-11: For use in low light conditions
    Battery: CR2032, 100+ hour life. Illumination is switched off automatically after six hours to conserve battery
    Weight: 1080g
    Waterproof to 25m, 300 mbar inner pressure


    P3, P4, P4 Fine
  • Scopes Zenith

    Schmidt & Bender’s Zenith riflescopes

    When they first hit the market, Zenith riflescopes were praised for their design and even won the prestigious international IF Design Award. They were also voted “the Best of the Best” by Field & Stream magazine.

    Zenith riflescope models

    Zenith 1.1–4 x 24

    • Wide field of view (36m/100m or 36 yards/100yards)
    • Reticle located in the second focal plane
    • Ideal for close-range hunting of dangerous and fast-moving game

    Zenith 1.5–6 x 42

    • Enhanced low-light performance thanks to a large objective lens
    • Large field of view
    • 6x upper limit
    • Versatile: suitable for stalking, stand hunting, and close-range hunting

    Zenith 2.5–10 x 56

    • The shortest 56 mm scope on the market (13 in total length)
    • Superb performance in low-light conditions thanks to 56 mm objective lens

    Zenith 3–12 x 50

    • Magnification range from 3x to 12x
    • Ideal for long shots
    • Suitable for forest and open-country hunting


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