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Nikon Prostaff 4-12×40 Review

Nikon ProStaff 4-12x40 BDC


Looking for a medium to long range scope that doesn’t break the bank can be time consuming. Luckily Nikon’s Prostaff 4-12x40 is an ideal scope for those in search of a moderate-priced scope.

The Prostaff scope has a ton of features on board to ensure that there is something for every shooting style. In the box you get the black matte finished scope, turret caps, and the lens cap. The scope is even compatible with Nikon’s 40 mm sunshade.

The technical capabilities of the Nikon Prostaff 4-12x40 are what you would expect from one of the worlds leading lens manufacturers. Nikon has coated all outside glass pieces with their patented multilayer coating. These coatings make sure you get the highest light transmission without target illumination.

The technical specifications below will lay out an at-a-glance view of the capabilities of the Prostaff scope, then we will highlight all the great features packed in this Nikon scope.

Technical Specifications

​Actual Magnification


​Objective diameter

​40 mm

​Exit pupil

​3.3-10 mm

​Eye relief

​3.7 in.

​Field of View at 100 yd

​7.3-23.6 ft.

​Tube diameter



​14.1 in.

​Adjustment graduation

​¼ inch

​Maximum internal adjustment

​60 MOA

​Parallax setting

​100 yd.

​Outside diameter of eyepiece

​44 mm


Starting with the objective lens, the Nikon Prostaff 4-12x40 features a 40-mm objective lens coated with the multilayer coating found on all Nikon Scopes. The objective lens is fixed, and parallax cannot be adjusted. Though Nikon fixed the parallax at 100 yds. making it easy for seasoned marksmen to get a clear shot.

Proper cheek weld should fix any parallax errors when shooting. If you typically hunt from a tree stand, you may find that you need to make aim corrections when your shots do not allow for a good eye positioning on the scope.

The multi-coating on the outer lenses of the scope allows for 98% light transmission. This shows the target in a high-resolution image even in less than perfect lighting. There is no target illumination on the scope, but that doesn’t hinder the scopes performance.

The magnification ranges on the scope is between 4x and 12x. These magnifications make the Nikon Prostaff an ideal scope for those who want a mid/long-range scope. If you are looking for a scope that allows shorter range shots, this may not be the best scope for you.

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The field of view offered by the Prostaff 4-12x40 ranges from 7.3 ft at 12x magnification to 23.6ft at 12x. These are not the most forgiving fields that scopes of similar ranges offer. The 7.3 ft at 12x is just enough to have the whole target in focus at 100 yd.

While the field of view isn’t problematic for stationary targets, it could offer difficulties when leading a target. Since most of the longer-range shots during hunting are taken at stationary targets, the limited field of view won’t hurt your chances of making a clean shot.

Nikon uses the BDC reticle on the Prostaff scope. This reticle makes quick work of sighting targets at 200,400 and 600 yds. There are easily identified bubbles on the reticle that mark your target distances and help you compensate for bullet drop.


The Nikon Prostaff 4-12x40 features windage and elevation turrets. The turret caps are included in the box and make it easy to protect your equipment for transportation. There is no turret for parallax because it is set to 100 yards by Nikon.

The turrets feature Nikon’s zero turn reset. The zero-turn reset makes it incredibly easy to get back to your zero settings without having to mess around with the turrets.

The markings on the turrets are high visibility and easy to read. The hand turn ¼ MOZ click adjustment allows you to get zeroed in easily. The turrets are easily maintained even during heavy recoil situations.

Other Aspects to Consider

The Nikon Prostaff 4-12x40 is a moderately priced scope. The price point on the scope lets those who don’t want to spend more on their scope than they do on their firearm to have high quality optics. Nikon doesn’t skimp on the quality of the scope.

The tube is nitrogen filled to prevent the internal glass from fogging. Nikon’s O-ring seal is durable and helps maintain keep the scope waterproof. These two features aren’t likely to fail but if they do Nikon backs up the Prostaff 4-12x40 with their warranty.

The warranty of the Prostaff scope goes beyond the 1-year manufacturers warranty that is standard on most scopes. This warranty allows you to receive a repaired or replaced scope for any defects for the life of the riflescope.

Many reviews on the Nikon website feature stories of how people have used this extended guarantee by Nikon to replace and repair their riflescopes. Nikon is not a difficult company to work with when getting your gun optics replaced.

In addition to being waterproof and fog proof the Nikon Prostaff 4-12x40 is shockproof. Small drops, bumps, and impacts won’t affect the performance of the scope. This is especially useful for those that travel with their rifles often as shock-proofing increases the overall lifetime of the optics.

Nikon has their Spot On application available for use with the Prostaff scope. The Spot On website and application allow those who use nonstandard ammunition to get the most accurate grouping with the BDC reticle.

Pros and Cons

The Nikon Prostaff has a lot of good features and few downsides. Here is a quick rundown of the good and bad features of the Prostaff 4-12x40


  • Excellent light transmission, 98%.
  • Spot On app allows you to compensate for different ammunition.
  • BDC reticle uses easily read distance demarcations.
  • Waterproof
  • fog proof
  • Shockproof
  • Zero-reset featured for windage and elevation turrets.
  • ¼ MOA hand turn turrets
  • Comes with turret caps in the box so that you don’t have to purchase additional accessories right away.
  • Good eye relief at 3.7 inches.
  • Sunshade compatible


  • The scope doesn’t have parallax adjustment, so you have to have a good cheek weld to ensure accurate shot placement.
  • Large scope. The objective tube diameter is 50 mm when the objective lens is only 40mm. Nikon could have saved some space and weight by more closely matching the tube/lens diameters. Most scopes are closer.


Being a Nikon scope the Prostaff 4-12x40 provides marksmen with high quality optics. The patented multilayer coating on the external glass allows this scope to have excellent light transmission. Even in less than optimal shooting conditions the high-resolution scope allows you to have a great view of your intended target.

The price point of the Nikon Prostaff scope allows hunters with a modest budget to gain access to great optics. This is a perfect scope for those who aren’t looking to spend more on their scope than they did on their rifle. There are additional features for the scope, like a sunshade, that make this a versatile scope for the money.

If you choose to hunt with the Nikon Prostaff scope, you will find your zero easily with the Spot Op smart phone application (or website). Spot On was developed to allow those who hunt with nonstandard ballistics calculate their zero without having to waste ammunition. Most people who used the Spot On application with the Prostaff were grouping rounds after only one or two shots.

The only downside to the Prostaff by Nikon is the lack of a parallax adjustment. The parallax is set to 100 yds, giving you a generous length. Once you get used to compensating for the parallax, you should have no problem hunting with the scope. Parallax adjustment isn’t a necessity, just nice to have.

The adjustable turrets for windage and elevation come with caps. They also have zero turn reset. Nikon really does feature some of the easiest to adjust optics and the Prostaff 4-12x40 is no different.

Altogether, the Prostaff 4-12x40 scope is perfect for those who don’t need parallax adjustment, want clear sights without target illumination, and need fast focus and easy adjustments on their scope. When you switch to the Prostaff, you will likely not hunt with another scope for a long time. The performance is just that good. 

Rifle Scopes Center Staff

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