logo
 

Go Back   HuntingNet.com Forums > Outdoor Gear > Optics

Optics Quality optics are a must-have for any serious hunter. Discuss them here.

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 04-13-2008, 05:26 PM   #1
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 5
Default Swarovski, Leupold, Nikon, Zeiss?

I'm in the market for a better than average rifle scope. I'm trying to get a lightweight scope that offers good glass. Swarovski, Leupold, Nikon, Zeiss, all have scopes in the 11-13oz range, 3-9x mag. but vary greatly in cost ($200 - $1000)

Now, I do a bit of photography and when looking for 'fast glass' (lenses that offer a high amount of light transmission and low distortion/abberation) I can refer to a 'f-stop' rating. For example an 85mm f1.4 is 'faster' better glass than say an 85mm f4.5 (the latter is 'slower' meaning less light transmission and nearly impossible to get a crisp non-blurring shot in low-light conditions). Is there a SIMILAR number that can be referenced to rate the quality/ight transmission of rifle scope glass?

I know that when I buy any f1.4 glass from any lens maker (Canon, Nikon, Leica, Zeiss) it's gonna cost $$$. I have yet to see a number used to rate light transmission for rifle scope glass.

Is it all a matter of $$$"”the more you spend, the better glass you get? Or am I missing something?

So, if I had 1k to spend and wanted a lightweight, roughly 3-9x scope which should I go with? Swarovski, Leupold, Nikon or Zeiss?

Any experience/advice is greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
C
cardopski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2008, 08:15 PM   #2
Fork Horn
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Hamiltucky, OH
Posts: 485
Default RE: Swarovski, Leupold, Nikon, Zeiss?

Quote:
ORIGINAL: cardopski

I'm in the market for a better than average rifle scope. I'm trying to get a lightweight scope that offers good glass. Swarovski, Leupold, Nikon, Zeiss, all have scopes in the 11-13oz range, 3-9x mag. but vary greatly in cost ($200 - $1000)

Now, I do a bit of photography and when looking for 'fast glass' (lenses that offer a high amount of light transmission and low distortion/abberation) I can refer to a 'f-stop' rating. For example an 85mm f1.4 is 'faster' better glass than say an 85mm f4.5 (the latter is 'slower' meaning less light transmission and nearly impossible to get a crisp non-blurring shot in low-light conditions). Is there a SIMILAR number that can be referenced to rate the quality/ight transmission of rifle scope glass?

I know that when I buy any f1.4 glass from any lens maker (Canon, Nikon, Leica, Zeiss) it's gonna cost $$$. I have yet to see a number used to rate light transmission for rifle scope glass.

Is it all a matter of $$$"”the more you spend, the better glass you get? Or am I missing something?

So, if I had 1k to spend and wanted a lightweight, roughly 3-9x scope which should I go with? Swarovski, Leupold, Nikon or Zeiss?

Any experience/advice is greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
C
When speaking of the technical things, you're above my head on this one. In the scope industry, the light transmission #s one most often sees are in percentages, such as 93% or 95%. However, those figures don't seem to mean much, as many scopes with lower numbers will seem much brighter/sharper than others with higher numbers - to my eyes, anyway.

$1,000 will buy an excellent (and then some!) scope, & the makes you've mentioned are all good. Swaro & Zeiss are usually mentioned above Leupold & Nikon, but trying to rank optics 'round these kinds of forums usually stirs up pages worth of heated (if ill-informed) debate among the partisans of each brand.

At that price level, I'd also suggest checking into Kahles, Docter Optics, and Schmidt & Bender.

To give you an idea of how my own eyes work, I compared a $399 Zeiss Conquest to a $960 (at the time) Swaro AV, & couldn't tell the difference. So when you go to the optics counter & start checking scopes for yourself, if your eyes tell you differently, then you'll know exactly how much of my post you should disregard.

Good luck on your scope quest!

FC
__________________
Eschew Obfuscation!
Folically Challenged is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2008, 09:33 PM   #3
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 5
Default RE: Swarovski, Leupold, Nikon, Zeiss?

Folically Challenged, thanks for your advice. I'll def. check out those brands and thanks for the tip on the Transmission %. I just read at zeiss.com (from their handy ABC's of Optics:

=====
Transmission
This is the amount of light in % which can pass through an optical system. Here, it is not only important that it is as high as possible - 90% is standard in binoculars and riflescopes from Carl Zeiss - its maximum must also lie in the right spectral range, an important factor in binoculars to be used in low light conditions. As the sensitivity to blue of the human eye increases in twilight, an image with a yellow or pink tinge in daylight indicates a low transmission in the blue spectral range and hence poor detail recognition in low light conditions.
=====

But they also mention other factors like Exit Pupil and Twilight factor/Twilight performance among others.

While I know it will all depend on my going to a few scope dealers (there aren't many in my town) I really appreciate the information, advice and opinions of people like you. Thanks!

I hope this thread doesn't ruffle too many feathers.

C

cardopski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2008, 11:11 PM   #4
Nontypical Buck
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Rivesville, WV
Posts: 3,192
Default RE: Swarovski, Leupold, Nikon, Zeiss?

If you have the $1,000 to buy the A-Line Swarovski. Then by all means BUY IT. It is definitely the superior scope. I have one of the 3X10's on my go to 30-06 for deer hunting. I have had it for years, and will have it for years to come. It is by far the best of the ones you listed. Tom.
__________________
West by God Virginia.
We need to stop using these terms today, "Sniper Rifle", "Tactical", "Assault Weapon".
HEAD0001 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2008, 11:52 PM   #5
Fork Horn
 
B.B.A.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Sweden
Posts: 113
Default RE: Swarovski, Leupold, Nikon, Zeiss?

Quote:
So, if I had 1k to spend and wanted a lightweight, roughly 3-9x scope which should I go with? Swarovski, Leupold, Nikon or Zeiss?
You've got 2 choices: Zeiss or Swarovski. I recomend Zeiss diavari victory or victory varipoint. Swarovski is also great but always comes second to zeiss in tests. Note I'am not talking about the conquest series.
__________________
Jagdterrier rules
B.B.A. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2008, 12:43 AM   #6
Fork Horn
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Hamiltucky, OH
Posts: 485
Default RE: Swarovski, Leupold, Nikon, Zeiss?

Quote:
ORIGINAL: cardopski

... it will all depend on my going to a few scope dealers (there aren't many in my town) ...
For 1,000 bills, I'd say it'd be worth the drive to find a place with a good selection to compare these high-end scopes against one another. Offhand, I can think of Cabela's, & Sportsmen's Warehouse. BassPro doesn't have the high end of either the Zeiss or Swaro lines.

Can anyone else think of some other places?

Cardopski, can you tell us where you're located?

FC
__________________
Eschew Obfuscation!
Folically Challenged is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2008, 05:14 AM   #7
Nontypical Buck
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Clermont Florida U.S.
Posts: 4,715
Default RE: Swarovski, Leupold, Nikon, Zeiss?

If your main criteria is optical quality, then the normal "rank" IMO is Swaro Z6, Zeiss Diavari and Schmidt and Bender. Down a tiny bit are the Kahles "C" series and Swaro AV. That's certainly very important, but other factors that need considering include reticle type and design, reticle in what plane (1st or 2nd), tube size and length, objective size, exit pupil, weight, price / value, durability and warranty coverage. Factoring all these together you'll come up with the best compromise. I recently did that for a new rifle and selected the Swaro AV 3.5-10 X 42 with the TDS reticle.
__________________
If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got.
bugsNbows is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2008, 08:26 AM   #8
Giant Nontypical
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location:
Posts: 6,470
Default RE: Swarovski, Leupold, Nikon, Zeiss?

Quote:
If you have the $1,000 to buy the A-Line Swarovski. Then by all means BUY IT. It is definitely the superior scope. I have one of the 3X10's on my go to 30-06 for deer hunting. I have had it for years, and will have it for years to come. It is by far the best of the ones you listed. Tom.

They have great customer service but an overpriced scope sorry but the truth hurrs. My 4-12x50 had a blemish and lost zero first time out of the box on a sako 300 wsm. I got excellent service from Swaro and then it got mounted on a 25-06 where I used it and then sold it after buying a few Kahles scopes.A kahles KX or Cl is every bit the scope a AV is and I believe more recoil proof and are a fair bit lower priced. BTW I thought I was the only one that felt this about Kahles but evidently over at the SWFA forum they are held in a similiar light.
__________________
"Banning guns is an idea whose time has come."

- Joseph Biden

Associated Press 11/18/93



"Be thankful that we're not getting all the government we are paying for." Will Rogers
oldelkhunter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2008, 11:47 AM   #9
Nontypical Buck
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Rivesville, WV
Posts: 3,192
Default RE: Swarovski, Leupold, Nikon, Zeiss?

I will agree that the Kahles is a good piece of glass. So is the Meopta, but they were not on his list of considered scopes. Also everyone else listed the higher end Zeiss and Swarovski-these higher end heavier scopes are not on his list either. Most of those bigger scopes are heavier, and not as "sleek" as the ones listed. I purchased the A-Line Swarovski for the same reason. It is fantastic glass, but stilll in a more compact package.

As far as saying the Kahles is better than Swarovski. I disagree, but we may be splitting hairs. there is a major difference between Swarovski and Kahles(and Meopta). That would be resale value. My Swarovski and Zeiss pieces of glass have greatly appreciated over the years. I think I gave a little over $200 for my first piece of Zeiss glass(straight W. German 6X). I have people try to buy it from me all the time. I have one Meopta scope(great scope). I have never had anybody offer to buy it.I have looked at the Kahles before, but just stepped up a bit and bought the Swarovski.

One guy said Swarovski alwayscome in second to Zeiss. I am not sure what his source of information is?? I have not seen these comparisons.I will admit that Zeiss makes a good product. I have3 Zeiss scopes. But the only Zeiss that compares to the Swarovski is the West German 3X9 in their one inch scope(with the features the author listed). And that scope is over $1,000(last time I checked). The Conquest does not compare quality wise to the A-Line.

The power ring on my A-line scope is as smooth as butter. The smoothest I have ever felt on a rifle scope. And the repeatability of the adjustments is second to none. It is the only scope I have ever done a box test on that returned to exact zero. Not close, but exact. And I have done the box test with a lot of quality scopes. The only other scope that came close(within 1/2 inch at 50 yards) was a S&B. Most Leupold's and other scopes are off an inch or so. Some friction adjustment scopes are not even close. I do a 4 inch box test.

I must add that I have never done any testing on the Night Force scopes. Tom.
__________________
West by God Virginia.
We need to stop using these terms today, "Sniper Rifle", "Tactical", "Assault Weapon".
HEAD0001 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2008, 12:59 PM   #10
Giant Nontypical
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location:
Posts: 6,470
Default RE: Swarovski, Leupold, Nikon, Zeiss?

Quote:
As far as saying the Kahles is better than Swarovski. I disagree, but we may be splitting hairs. there is a major difference between Swarovski and Kahles(and Meopta). That would be resale value. My Swarovski and Zeiss pieces of glass have greatly appreciated over the years. I think I gave a little over $200 for my first piece of Zeiss glass(straight W. German 6X). I have people try to buy it from me all the time. I have one Meopta scope(great scope). I have never had anybody offer to buy it.I have looked at the Kahles before, but just stepped up a bit and bought the Swarovski.

I don't know how someone that hasn't owned both products can even comment on this subject but yet you did and even to throw Meopta into the mix(although a fine scope in its price class) and to lump it in with Kahles. Lets go thru it point by point.

Resale value ? First off there is a few hundred dollars difference between the 2 brands(retail fixed price)and both companies at one point operated under Swaro because the owner of Kahles haddied and the owner of Swaro(his best friend)took over temporarily . Theyhave now splt up again to go their separate paths.

Let's see I bought a 4-12x50 AVwith plex for 999 and sold it on Ebay for 745. I purchased a 3.5-10x50 Kahles AH for 625 with TDS 3 years agoand later sold it for 625. Now where is the resale value difference?Here are some addt'l tidbits for you. Most Kahles scopes have etched reticleswhich only 1 Swaro av has.The Swaro 4-12x50 I owned had a reticle turn orange one day at the range, a call to their CS and they confirmed it was a wire reticle all that for 999.As far as durability I have purchased just a few 30mm Swaros and one AV and only one had to go go back since it lost POI and it was an AV. I have never had a problem with any Kahles i have ever owned.

Quote:
But the only Zeiss that compares to the Swarovski is the West German 3X9 in their one inch scope(with the features the author listed). And that scope is over $1,000(last time I checked). The Conquest does not compare quality wise to the A-Line.
I had one of those a few years back and I didn't pay 1000 dollars for it either and it couldn't compare with either a Swaro or a Kahles.

Quote:
The power ring on my A-line scope is as smooth as butter. The smoothest I have ever felt on a rifle scope. And the repeatability of the adjustments is second to none. It is the only scope I have ever done a box test on that returned to exact zero. Not close, but exact. And I have done the box test with a lot of quality scopes. The only other scope that came close(within 1/2 inch at 50 yards) was a S&B. Most Leupold's and other scopes are off an inch or so. Some friction adjustment scopes are not even close. I do a 4 inch box test.





Yeah I have to use a pipewrench to turn the dial on my Scopes. Conquest is a lot close to the AV then any Swaro owner or Swaro themselves care to admit. It is just a little bulkier that is all but it has a etched reticle .Schmidt & Bender dude get real. I like Kahles scopes but S&B is the rolls royce of scopes.
__________________
"Banning guns is an idea whose time has come."

- Joseph Biden

Associated Press 11/18/93



"Be thankful that we're not getting all the government we are paying for." Will Rogers
oldelkhunter is offline   Reply With Quote
 
 
Reply


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Zeiss or Swarovski? kendradad Optics 16 10-10-2008 09:59 PM
Swarovski vs Zeiss retrieverman Optics 4 12-24-2006 03:54 PM
Help me decide which scope to buy. Zeiss Nikon or Leupold texasaggiebowhunter Firearm Review Forum 44 07-28-2004 09:04 AM
Zeiss, Stiener, or Swarovski ? eightwgt Bowhunting 16 09-25-2003 12:06 PM
More Scope Questions-Leupold, Nikon, Zeiss Cnqst? seattlesetters Guns 13 01-16-2003 09:48 AM

 

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 11:21 AM.