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DD Optics Round-Up

DD Optics Round-Up

I got a call from Mark Swift (MD) of RUAG Ammotec UK Limited towards the end of 2018 saying that they had taken on a new range of optics from a company called DD Optics. I suggested he send me some for testing and he did. Well, I can only say, what a lot they’ve got! It includes scopes, red dots, binoculars, spotting scopes and night vision and thermals too.

DD who?

DD Optics was founded in Dresden in 2004. Design and inspiration is all German with the majority of product being manufactured in Japan, which is a common method these days, as it allows a well-made, yet cost effect range of products. So, let’s start with the scopes!

There are three options: Generation (Gen) II and III and the Tactical series. Specifications go to; 1-6x24, 1.5-6x42, 2.5-10x56, 2.5-15x56, 8x56 (fixed power) and a 5-30x50 Tactical. Gen III and Tactical are the higher end models, with a x6 zoom range, zero stop and both MOA and Milliradian click values. Illumination uses what they call an IFibre automatic position control, with a choice of reticles that includes Mil-Dot as well as more standard patterns. The Tactical has familiar, tall, externally dialling turrets. We are told that light transmission is 96% from the CT glass used.

Build

Gen II is less costly, but from what I’ve seen, not that far off in ability. I was sent the NatchFalke Gen II 2.5-10x56 and the Tactical 5-30x50. General build quality looks good, with a smooth semi-matte finish and well-marked turrets in white and yellow. All reticles are in the second focal plane, the illumination control is on top of the eyepiece bell (power from a CR 2032 cell) and there’s a fast-focus system. Body tubes are 30mm with a one-piece build, both hunting and tactical types have a zero stop feature, which is a rotary collar with a clamp screw that simply stops downwards movement of the turret, basic but it works. Turrets (either type) have a large screw on top, so that they can be set to zero/0 position. Prices: Tactical 5-30x50 £1,174 and Gen II 2.5-10x56 £1104.

Complementing the scopes are three red dots (DDsight) all are reflex-types with the smallest being the Mini with a separate Weaver base; slightly larger, though similar, is the Gen II with a wider front lens and QD lever base. The biggest, the Milspec, offers eight, selectable reticles in red and green and a lever base. Plus, this one can be re-charged via a USB plug and cable. Controls on all consist of combined +/- and ON/OFF buttons on the left, tools and rain covers. They are very similar to the Geco range of dots I looked at a few months ago! Prices: Mini £200, Gen II £200 and Milspec £280.

Binos

Binocular choice goes to 39 separate models, from the smaller Kolibre Hummingbird and Ultralight ranges up to the big Pirschler series, which go up to a massive spec of 15x56; now, that’s a lot of mag and objective. The build shows bodies of magnesium alloy with rubber armoured outer casings with a non-slip gripping pattern moulded in. Depending on model, you get an open bridge (front and rear hinge) or a single bridge with a wider, mid-positioned hinge. The EDR range shows the hr model (high resolution image) in the middle the standard EDR to the compact and ultralight Fieldstar with the best rated field of view. Specs range from 7x42 to 12x50. For night and hide hunting, there are three models Nachtfalke HDX, Pirschler Gen II and Nachtfalke Ergo, with a range from 8 x 56 to 15x56. All come well presented with a soft zippered case with external pouches, lens cloth, front and rear protective caps and a Niggeloh padded neck strap. Here’s some info on what I was sent.

8X56 pirschler Gen.3 magnesium green

The new ultra-bright and indestructible night and hunting binoculars Pirschler 8x56 Abbe-König prism and a light but strong magnesium body. Designed for longevity and making use of modern materials and construction technologies from airplane manufacturing have made these 8x56 binoculars much lighter than their predecessor. Price £580

EDX 8X42

A good spec for hunting, they are also well suited for twilight and moonlight, despite having a relatively small objective diameter. They offer natural colour reproduction, a resolution only reachable with premium binoculars and the typical manufacturing quality of the EDX series. And feature a DDlucid coating. Price EDX 8x42 £945, EDX hr 8x42 £1110.

8X42 Kolibri Gen. 3 green

Low-budget, light-weight and beautifully formed with excellent image characteristics. The roof prism binoculars Kolibri 8x42 offers the hunter a light-weight build with bright and reflexion-free image that displays good contrasts and the large field of view of 126m especially during twilight. The new Gen III comes with a new slender bridge and better optics. Price £265.

8X42 ultralight

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These universal hiking and hunting binoculars are available as the high luminosity 42mm version since 2015. Small, light, handy and high-performance are their characteristics, they are also watertight and sturdy. The open bridge offers an assured, comfortable and natural hold. The coating of the prisms and lenses in conjunction with the 42mm objective diameter have even been coated with a dielectrical, that ensures a bright and pleasant image. They are easily carried in a pocket and their light weight of 650g means that they can be used without fatigue. Price £170.

Laser rangefinder

On its own is a compact, bolt-on laser rangefinder, the RF800 Pro. It’s near identical to the one NiteSite offers, but it has a Weaver/Picatinny-type adjustable mount, so you can set it up as to your rifle/scope combo. Plus, a remote pressure pad, which is a great feature as you don’t have to press the unit to operate it, which runs the risk of misalignment. Price £320.

Night vision

Like the binos, DD’s range of NV products is prolific, with an eclectic mix of tubed and thermal types, plus there’s a front-mounted add-on the Nightshooter Pro/Photonis™ Gen. 2+ and an IR illuminator torch. I was sent the following.

Ultralight 1 x 24, these polymer-bodied compact binoculars feature an integral IR illuminator. With front and rear individual focus they can be used hand-held or head-mounted as DD offers a number of mounting systems to suit. They are 110mm long and weigh just 280grams. Price 480.

The Mini DD-14 (FPM 1000) monocular is equipped with selected XX1441 Photonis commercial picture tubes of the newest generation. Similar to military models, but without the auto-gating feature. Plus, an integral IR illuminator. Again, they can be used hand-held or head-mounted. Price £2950.

Thermal imaging cameras

There are three options, two are similar in build to the FLIR Scout series and the last confusingly looks like an ATN X-Sight

Nachtfalke VOX-HR

Strong and waterproof, it measures 50x50x200mm and weighs 690g. The combination of the Vanadium-Oxid-detector (VOx) with 17μm pitch and the efficient OLED display with 1024x768 pixel display, not only offers extremely sharp images, but also a detection of heat sources up to 1450m. With accurate visual recognition up to 525/275m depending on the temperature. Price £3,900.

This is a high-performance yet low-budget device that can be used for most tasks. Thanks to the high-performance VOX detectors with 384x288 pixel and 17μm pitch, it’s especially well-suited for forest and field hunters. The VOX-FX allows for detection of thermal heat sources on up to 650m. Price £1,110.

Nachtfalke IR 50

Extremely robust in all conditions, the IR 50 is perfect for the raised hide hunt or the night search. It can also be used in combination with a drone for overhead observation and searching. Finding and targeting game is possible up to 800m during absolute darkness or in daylight. Price £2,200.

As can be seen, DD offers a lot of diverse product and we are keen to look closer at it in the coming months Contact RUAG Ammotec UK Ltd; www.ruag.co.uk

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