Featured Atibal XP8: Ballin’ on a Budget–or just Budget? Dave Merrill April 20, 2017 We’ve had our hands on an Atibal XP8 for several months now and have been giving it a shakedown. We should start by saying the XP8 is a 1-8x optic that has a full MSRP of below $400. And as you may have surmised by the price point alone, this offering by Atibal is not set out to compete with the likes of Schmidt & Bender, US Optics, or NightForce; it would be like like comparing a Toyota Camry to a Ferrari. But can the Atibal XP8 compare with the Camry? That’s what we want to see. Features and Details The XP8 is a Second Focal Plane (SFP) optic, which means that the reticle doesn’t scale with the magnification of the scope. The reticle at 1x is the same size as if it’s at 8x–just the target appears larger. Many hunters, and three gun/multigun competitors opt for SFP optics, and in this case it doesn’t hurt that the mechanism is considerably less complicated to manufacture. While the Atibal XP8 does feature a reticle with a Bullet Drop Compensator (BDC) for 62gr 5.56 ammunition, it is only scaled for use with the highest magnification, The center dot of the diamond is a .5MOA dot, which is used for a 100 yard zero–at least if you want to BDC to be even marginally close. The bottom of the diamond is for 300 yards. The Atibal XP8 also features turrets which can be set to zero after sighting in. They accomplish this with a simply mechanism; you just push it in place with your finger. One of the turret covers features a spare battery holder so you can have an extra on hand if you need it. In order to quickly adjust from one magnification to another, there is a removable throw lever. We’re told different colors and options for levers will be available in the future. The rear objective can be focused as well. The Atibal XP8 also comes with a quick release mount, called the TPM. Of course any 30mm mount in the appropriate height can be used. Just like the amps in the movie Spinal Tap, the brightness setting of the XP8 goes up to 11. Specifications include: Magnification: 1-8x Objective Lens Diameter: 24mm Eye Relief: 4 inches Field of View: 105-12.45 ft Tube Size: 30 mm Turret Style: low profile capped Adjustment Per Click: 1/2 MOA Max Elevation Adjustment: 120 MOA Max Windage Adjustment: 120 MOA Weight: 17.4 ounces with no mount Length: 10 inches Made of 6061-T6 aircraft grade aluminum Attributes, Quirks, and Warts Remember that setting of 11 in illumination? Unfortunately while shooting 3-gun in the bright Carolina sun, setting #11 still wasn’t bright enough to cut through the rays. Hopefully future models will have more oomph in the illumination category. You can just about guarantee that any magnified optic at this price point is going to have some warts, and this is no exception. There is a bulging or fishbowl effect in the center of the optic, which is exaggerated as magnification increases. With magnified optic without hard stops, it’s very unlikely that the 3x setting is actually going to truly be 3x–but perhaps close. The hard ends on either end of the spectrum, in this case 1x is true, or close enough that you can’t tell the difference (usually anything below 1.3x isn’t noticeable). But how about some other settings? We set out to test this for ourselves It appears that the XP8 is rounded up to 8, from ~7.6 The color accuracy of the Atibal XP8 is very good, with no obvious reduction in any particular hue nor an overall color cast. As expected, there is some prominent chromatic aberration. Photographylife.com defines chromatic aberration well: Chromatic aberration, also known as “color fringing” or “purple fringing”, is a common optical problem that occurs when a lens is either unable to bring all wavelengths of color to the same focal plane, and/or when wavelengths of color are focused at different positions in the focal plane. Chromatic aberration is caused by lens dispersion, with different colors of light travelling at different speeds while passing through a lens. As a result, the image can look blurred or noticeable colored edges (red, green, blue, yellow, purple, magenta) can appear around objects, especially in high-contrast situations. We tested the XP8 in a high contrast environment: tree branches against the sky. Here’s how it performed: Even the best lenses will have some chromatic aberration or fringing–though it isn’t always visible to the naked eye. In the case of the Atibal XP8, though it exists at lower magnifications, it isn’t very prominent until you hit higher magnifications. We did not perform specific return-to-zero testing with the Atibal XP8 and mount, but we can stay that after being banged around in cars, trucks, and generally rough handled we didn’t observe any significant shift in zero. The Final Verdict We’d be lying if we said this optic was perfect, but you have to take the bad with some perspective. Say this slowly: Four. Hundred. Dollar. One. To. Eight. Power. Will we be replacing our other, more expensive low-power variable optics with XP8’s? No sir. Would we buy one of these over other similarly priced 1-4x or 1-6x power optics? Yes. Just about everything at this price point has some or all of these same defects, but you gain more usable magnification with the Atibal XP8. If they could make the reticle just a bit brighter, this would make for an excellent starter optic–and certainly better than the cheaper Walmart garbage glass most begin with. 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