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Old March 10, 2013, 10:07 PM   #1
Venom1956
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Red dot is fuzzy and out of focus? Eye problems?

Hey all I got a RDS for my GF and we noticed that both of us have issues seeing the dot crisp and clear like i did a few years ago. Dot seems fine in a camera so i am guessing this is eye related?

Anyone else have this problem? we tried poking a hole in some paper as a peep sight and the dot cleared up dramatically. I know of those peeps you can stick to your glasses. Sadly they are not fashionable enough for my lady.

has anyone ever attempted to correct this with surgery or such? What exactly causes it?
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Old March 11, 2013, 12:50 AM   #2
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I found progressive lenses work pretty well for me. The downside is I had to get used to standing at a less aggressive stance and tilt my head back a little to focus the front sight.

You could also lengthen your arms.
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Old March 11, 2013, 01:01 AM   #3
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Some of them have an adjustable aperture, that would probably solve the problem if yours has that.
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Old March 11, 2013, 07:18 AM   #4
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focus on the target not the dot. it will sharpen right up. it's your eye's fault, not the red dot.
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Old March 11, 2013, 07:32 AM   #5
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Sounds like you need glasses. The dot is infinity focused, if you look at your target and superimpose the dot on it, the dot should be focused as well. If your target is out of focus, even slightly the dot will be also. I have Trijicon RMRs on two of my handguns, with my glasses on the dots are clear and sharp, if I take them off the dots are big and fuzzy.
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Old March 11, 2013, 07:54 AM   #6
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I don't know the mechanics, . . . but it is not always the eyes.

I saw a unit at a gun show, . . . it was crisp, clear, clean, . . . and there was only one $400.00 reason I didn't buy it that day.

Later on, I saw one by the same mfg, . . . that looked like a small bush fire when you tried to look through it. I would not have bought that one for $5.

There are differences, . . .

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Old March 11, 2013, 08:03 AM   #7
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Right, get somebody else to look at it and if it is clear to them, then you have the issue.

I too have a similar issue of a blurred (but mostly due to being skewed) in my red dots, but NOT in my camera. The issue for my is astigmatism. The brighter the dot relative to the background behind it, the greater the problem. It doesn't happen in the camera because the focus squares are actually very dim.
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Old March 11, 2013, 08:18 AM   #8
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Some, if not all, red dot sights will "bloom" if the brightness is turned up all the way. As others have said, the dot should be clear when you look at the target.

For those of us who wear glasses, there is sometimes a reflection between the first surface and the rear surface of our glasses that make the LED look lobed. I have had my glasses coated with an anti reflective coating and that has helped a lot.

The red dot sights that I have, Aimpoint and EoTech, do not have any sort of focus adjustment. They only have a brightness adjustment.

Mine are clear when viewed without my glasses and somewhat lobed when viewed with my glasses. Keeping the brightness to a minimum helps but does not cure the problem.

What sight do you have that has a focus adjustment?
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Old March 11, 2013, 08:34 AM   #9
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What is your age? It could be a developing cataract.
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Old March 11, 2013, 09:25 AM   #10
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I know that astigmatism can cause blurry, oddly shapped dots with these sort of optics.

Turn the brightness down, especially if you are in a less than lightly lit area. Go outside and look through it. when the dot is too bright compared to the ambient light it can cause a bit of flare around the dot.
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Old March 11, 2013, 10:52 AM   #11
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Astigmatism

If it clears through a pin hole it is not an astigmatism. An astigmatism can be diagnosed without an eye doctor. Here's how you do it: Look through a regular cross hair type scope (preferable not mounted to a rifle) and focus the cross hair as sharply as you can against a plain background. If you have an astigmatism the vertical cross hair will appear slightly blurry, or ghosted and thinner than the horizontal—more difficult to get sharp. There's a tendency to think there's something wrong with the scope... hold that thought. Maintain your eye relief, and rotate the scope 90 degrees keeping your head still. The once horizontal/sharp cross hair will appear slightly blurry, or ghosted and the once vertical sharp cross hair will appear to have come into focus and gotten thicker... they swap roles. Do this with both eyes. Also through a good scope bright target centers like the orange dot on black shoot n' see targets, will appear to have a ghost/double image next to/or overlapping them.

This can also play out in a RDS and can be seen as a flare going off in a direction from center. rotate the scope... if the flare rotates as you rotate the scope it's not an astigmatism. If the flare rotates when you rotate your head... then it probably is an astigmatism. The good news is that astigmatisms generally aren't bad enough to effect anything under hunting conditions. But at the bench can be infuriating.

I have just been through this whole eye issue. And I returned several high end scopes that I swore up and down were faulty. They were not. I got a prescription but it hasn't really helped except for reading. Contacts are not an option with an astigmatism as they will rotate and an astigmatism is very much a horizontal <-L|R-> issue in older eyes that are becoming less round as we age.

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Old March 11, 2013, 11:24 AM   #12
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It may be as simple as your glasses prescription.

Get a friend to look through your sight. If its sharp for him then it's working correctly. If its not sharp to another person try cleaning the glass & repeat the test. I've seen some red dots so covered in sprayed oil & dirt I can't see anything through them clearly!

If that doesn't work look into getting glasses set up for distance viewing only as the actual dot is "way out there" as viewed even though its only a couple of feet in front of you.
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Old March 11, 2013, 12:39 PM   #13
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The lens on the sight may have distortions or the lens on the laser may have distortions. Both can break up the laser into multiple rays.

I have one sight that is horrible on this and another that is crystal clear.
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Old March 11, 2013, 09:17 PM   #14
Venom1956
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Ok, so here's the deal. if you take a picture of your red dot with a camera cellphone works fine you can see the ideal sight picture. Which i did on all my RDS and they all look a lot crisper/better then what i can see.

Geeter, I honestly don't feel that the brightness is the issue. since from its lowest to its highest setting when viewing it thru the hole in paper it clears the dot up dramatically. I encourage you all to experiment with it. several people were blown away with the difference.

Now I'm not an expert on how the eye works so I stopped at the eye doc today to ask some questions. It was quite an interesting conversation I spoke to a eye tech in depth and a doctor briefly they both felt that lasik would probably yield the best improvement.
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Old March 11, 2013, 09:44 PM   #15
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Venom, . . . think twice on the lasik treatment, . . . there is a lot of hoopla going on with it, . . . less than half the patients who get it would do it all over again, . . . most wish they had not.

My son is one of the "wish he didn't" folks, . . . cannot stand any wind on his eyes, . . . cannot watch a bonfire or even a small camp fire, . . . heat sources like an electric space heater drive him to the other side of the room, . . . and anytime the humidity is low, . . . his eyes bother him bad.

And he got it done from one of the most highly touted places around.

Check into it first, . . . I wouldn't do it on a bet, . . . it is totally irreverseable.

May God bless,
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Old March 12, 2013, 03:27 AM   #16
Venom1956
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Dwight55, I appreciate the heads up and honesty luckily i really don't NEED to have it done to see and am capable of seeing pretty decently. If I did decide to have it done it would probably quite a few years in the future.

The doctor just felt that lasik would probably improve the crispness of the dot better then some sort of lens since that would tend to distort/blur the dot regardless of prescription just due to how they work.

Curious if anyone has tried the small hole in paper yet?
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Old March 12, 2013, 06:24 AM   #17
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Quote:
Curious if anyone has tried the small hole in paper yet?
As I age, I'm having the same problem with the dot losing its nice round defined shape and getting blurry with a bit of a "tail." Viewing through a small aperture will definitely help - the pinhole acts to increase your depth of field, and will sharpen everything up, including the target. It's also just about mandatory for me these days if I shoot iron sights.

I was shooting my Bullseye matches with an inexpensive commercially available plastic stick-on aperture but found it was a bit difficult to keep aperture, dot sight, target, etc. all lined up so stopped using it, but I'm thinking of going back to it if the eye doc appointment I've got scheduled later this week can't offer some relief.
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Old March 12, 2013, 06:34 AM   #18
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Let me guess, you're over 40? The eye's ability to focus at closer distances changes due to you lens getting harder as you age and it won't bend as easy to focus. It will get worse as time goes on which is why your prescription changes every couple years. Welcome to the club.
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Old March 12, 2013, 07:00 AM   #19
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I've been over 40 for more than a couple decades now. The problem is not presbyopia. Like many people, I started needing reading glasses in my early 40s - but the dot in a red dot sight is focused at distance, not at typical close-in reading distance (typically 16" for most people), and certainly not at the actual distance the dot sight is from the eye. When everything is working properly, you should be able to have both the target and the dot in good focus, something that's optically impossible for iron sights.

I never had any issues with the dot appearing nice and round until the last few years when I started needing some distance correction, which initially was a simple +0.5 diopter and now appears to be developing into some sort of astigmatism. I'll know a lot more after my upcoming appointment with the ophthalmologist.
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Old March 12, 2013, 07:41 AM   #20
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Without my glasses on a "Dot with a circle" reticle is almost useless to me in a red dot. A normal 2 or 4 MOA red dot is not that sharp but still works @ CQB ranges. With my glasses it is pretty much fine.

I cannot however use a EOtech at all though. With the glasses it is a little fuzzy and drives me crazy, without it is totally useless at any range.

To the OP sounds like you have some kind of an eye thing going on.
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Old March 12, 2013, 08:20 AM   #21
Rifleman1776
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Quote:
Curious if anyone has tried the small hole in paper yet?
I use the Merit disc on the range that sticks onto my glasses. Kinda akward but works very well. Would be useless for hunting.
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Old March 12, 2013, 09:33 AM   #22
Venom1956
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Rifleman I totally missed your question. I am 26 and my GF is 22. I've seen the discs that you can wear over you eye I am thinking about getting one just for long range pistol shooting. hitting 6" steel @ 100yds with a sharp dot like that would be much easier.

Does anyone know of a dot like sight that uses an illuminated reticule that's etched in to the glass, like the IL crosshairs on a scope? I doubt they would have exactly what I am looking for but I would be good to know in case I do need something like that down the road.
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Last edited by Venom1956; March 12, 2013 at 09:48 AM.
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Old March 12, 2013, 11:17 AM   #23
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How about some kind of holographic sight instead of a projected dot?
The percieved reticule in a holographic sight is percieved as being much further away than it physically is, maybe that would help?
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Old March 12, 2013, 11:42 AM   #24
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Quote:
How about some kind of holographic sight instead of a projected dot?
The percieved reticule in a holographic sight is percieved as being much further away than it physically is, maybe that would help?
I'm pretty sure the OP is asking about dot sights such as the Ultra Dot or Aimpoint, not laser "sights" that project a dot like the Crimson Trace grips. The perceived location of the dot in those sights is the same as for the holographic sights, i.e., downrange toward the target.
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Old March 12, 2013, 04:13 PM   #25
wogpotter
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Actually it isn't.
A non laser type red dot sight has a lens system that creates a "virtual plane of focus" at infinity. Thats why you look through the sight to the distant target & they appear in the same optical plane. That negative lens could be incompatible with the glasses worn by the shooter.

A holographic sight, not a projecting laser, has an interference pattern lit by laser light within the sight that the eye interprets as being several feet beyond the actual physical glass. This could, when coupled with corrective lenses behave qquite differently.

To be really clear I'm talking about sights using red dots with LED dots, or holograms, not lasers projecting a dot onto the target with a laser beam fired away from the unit.
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