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Thread: German Scopes The Big Three, Your thoughts

  1. #1

    German Scopes The Big Three, Your thoughts

    I am looking at replacing my 8x56 S&B on my 243 I am looking at

    S&B Zenith 3Ė12 x 50 Flash Dot. Like the scope but itís only a 50 objective lens which kind of puts my off as I want the same twilight range as my current scope.

    Ziess Victory Varipoint 3-12 x 56. Never had any experience with Ziess scopes but herd reports about them being better at light gathering the S&B?

    Swarovski Z6i 2.5-15x56 BT 4Ai. The thing putting me off about this scope is the warranty they only give you 2 years on the ir and 10 for the rest of it in my opinion that not very good when youíre paying nearly 2k for a scope you want a life time warranty, also the parlex puts me off as I've never used a scope with it before so donít know if it would help me or would be another **** you donít really need? The BT seams a great idea.

    The main use for the scope would be foxing and deer stalking with more to the foxing side of things, thatís why I want that bit more mag than I've got.
    Anyone that owns any of the above scope it would be great to hear your reports on how they perform.



  2. #2
    Why not buy the z6i 2-12x50 no paralax to worry about.It is available with or without the bt.Personaly i would buy the swarovski they are superb scope as far as i am aware all swarovski scopes come with a 30 year warranty and theres is known to be probaly the best.

  3. #3
    I would look at the zeiss 3x12x56 ir diavari . swapped to this from Swaro 8x56 and never would look at another scope. Takes deer and fox no probs great light gathering.

    ATB Steve

  4. #4
    The 50mm S&B will be more than good enough. 56mm variables are just too big and heavy IMO.

    Just because you are paranoid, doesn't mean they aren't out to get you......

  5. #5
    The best scopes in the world? I don't know of any tests that catagorically and scientifically prove which has the best light gathering capability. All I can say is when ordering the best for the British Snipers, US Marines, Seal Teams and those awfully nice people from Hereford they all choose Schmidt & Bender.

    I have two good friends who have bought Swarovski's that are variable power, one has a x50 and the other a x56. They both leave them set on 8x! I wish I had bought a 8x56 rather than the 7x50 that I did, I rather like the illuminated reticle one.

    Blindness to suffering is an inherent consequence of natural selection. Nature is neither kind nor cruel but fiercely indifferent.

  6. #6
    Dont let numbers in the twighlight range put you off. they are just theoretical numbers that are a multiple of objective lense size x ocular lense size.
    a 50mm objective from any of the companies you mentioned will be plenty enough.
    S&B have the lowest failure / warranty return in the market. did you know that they are bringing out a 3-20x50 Zenith ?

    Ive used a 3-12x50 in some of the darkest depths of the darkest forests in Germany, and its worked a treat. no need for a 56mm in my opinion.

    I must admit I have a soft spot for S&B. having use thier scopes for well over 15 years now with no failures. Ive also done some consultant work for S&B and Leica and have fairly good inside knowledge of thier products, whilst i wouldn't consider a leica scope, they do make them, they just aren't on the same playing field as the others just yet.

    As long as you buy one of the EU quality scopes you wont go realy far wrong., guess that puts us back to your original question,
    so its personaly preference x price and availability I would say.

    regards Pete

  7. #7
    3-12x50 zenith is possibly one of the finest scopes made. Go for the flash dot 7 which has a fine recticle good for long range shots
    and with the dot switched on high it doubles as a short range scope good for even driven game.
    I had the little bdc precision hunter turrets fitted which are great.
    In comparison with other good scopes the zenith is brilliant when shooting against sun light, very little stray light.

    My gripes: ( not so relevant when using as a stalking scope except weight)
    -I would prefer a paralax knob
    -scope is a bit too heavy
    -bdc turrets only have one turn and are finished at around 500m / 308.

    my other scope cost less than half as much
    -has paralax knob
    -has bdc turrets with more turns, for them longer rabbits.
    -is lighter
    -has almost as good glass
    Zeiss conquest 6.5-20x50 (possibly best performance for money scope)
    Put this on my main deer hunting rifle for now. I bet if Zeiss would sell
    the conquest range in Europe it would hurt other manufacturers.

    Pete....tell S&B that if they get me the 3-20x50 to test I'll delete the second part of my post


  8. #8
    did you know that they are bringing out a 3-20x50 Zenith ?

    Very interested in this do you know when this is happing?

  9. #9
    SD Regular johngryphon's Avatar
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    Aug 2010
    Victoria Australia Sambar country.
    Quote Originally Posted by flytie View Post
    The best scopes in the world? I don't know of any tests that catagorically and scientifically prove which has the best light gathering capability. All I can say is when ordering the best for the British Snipers, US Marines, Seal Teams and those awfully nice people from Hereford they all choose Schmidt & Bender.

    Here`s an interesting little foray into testing and some results that may surprise!

    Note this quote "Remember, this is a lab test, not some testers subjective opinion. "

    Swedish magazine Vapentidningen no 6/2004 has printed a consumer lab test for riflescopes suitable for hunting at dusk/dawn.
    Their conclusion is that the German/Austrian scopes are by far the best, but the leap from the cheaper US scopes are smaller today than it was at the last test 7 years ago.
    Aerotech Telub lab did the scientific testing using spektrofotometers, broad spectral lamps and kolliminators.

    The scopes were tested for field of sight, eye relief, "tube effect", ergonomy, click adjustment accuracy, impact change with change of magnification, sharpness and contrast, light transmission, reflexes, twilight performance.
    Here's a bit more on the test. unfortunately the scope selection was somewhat limited. And please not that the test was geared towards scopes for post hunting in dark autumn evenings.
    The test and description of the test criterias runs over 10 typed pages, so there’s a bit too much work to translate all of that and post them on this forum However, I will post the scoring scales.

    Field of view at 100m
    0-5m 0 points
    5-6m 1 point
    6-7m 2 points
    7m+ 3 points

    Eye relief
    0-6cm 0 points
    6-8cm 1 point
    8-10 2 points
    10+ 3 points

    Tube effect
    Sight picture severly disturbed by tube effect at all magnifications: 0 points
    Sight picture severly disturbed at lowest magnification, disturbed at highest: 1 point
    Sight picture distusturbed at all magnifications: 2 points
    Sight picture disturbed only at lowest magnification: 3 points
    Sight picture not disturbed: 4 points

    Magnification ring turns smooth and even: 1 point
    Possible to read magnification marking in the dark: 1 point
    Quick and smooth focusing: 1 point
    Possible to click scope without tools: 1 point
    Click adjustment easy to feel: 1 point
    Good markings on all adjustments: 1 point
    Indication of scope center: 1 point

    Sight adjustment
    Click adjustment deviation in percent
    100-50% 0 points
    50-20% 1 point
    20-5% 2 points
    5-1% 3 points
    0% 4 points

    Adjustment range at 100m
    0-50cm 0 points
    50-100cm 1 point
    100-200cm 2 points
    200-300cm 3 points
    300cm+ 4 points

    Change of impact with magnification at 100m
    5cm+ 0 points
    5-1cm 1 point
    1cm- 2points
    Nil 3points

    Resolution and contrast
    Field testing, can/cannot see various targets, details and colours under equal conditions and settings
    Resolution 0-10 points
    Contrast 0-10 points

    Anti reflex
    Under equal conditions and settings with light source facing the objective

    Not able to see through scope: 0 points
    Sight picture is white, difficult to aim: 1 point
    Sight picture is white, but aiming possible: 2 points
    Sight picture a little white: 3 points
    Sight picture good, but without contrast or colour: 4 points
    Sight picture not affected: 5 points

    Not able to use the reticule: 0 points
    Severe shadows and reflexes on it: 1 point
    Shadows and reflexes on it: 2 points
    A little shiny: 3 points
    Sharp but mis-coloured: 4 points
    Sharp and black: 5 points

    Light transmission at 500-550 nm (twilight light)
    Please note that scopes can transmit other wavelengt light better

    0-10% 0 points
    10-30% 1 point
    30-40% 2 points
    40-50% 3 points
    50-60% 4 points
    60-70% 5 points
    70-80% 6 points
    80-85% 7 points
    85-90% 8 points
    90-95% 9 points
    95-100% 10 points

    Twilight performance
    Light were progressively reduced and scopes where excluded when it was no longer possible to determine target/crosshairs. Lighted reticules were not used. Scopes where used at all magnifications. Scopes where scored 0 to 10 points according to how little light it was possible to use it in.

    Scopes tested:
    BSA big cat 3,5-10x42
    Burris fullfield II 3,5-10x50
    Bushnell elite 4200 2,5-10x40
    Docter 3-12x56
    Kahles cb 3-12x56
    Leupold XIII 3.5-10x50
    Meopta artemis 2000 3-12x50
    Meopta artemis 3000 3-12x56
    Micro Dot 2.5-10x56
    Nickel gerhardt 3-12x56
    Nightforce np1 3.5-15x56
    OXO ontario 3-9x56
    Pecar 4-10x56
    S&B Zenith 2.5-10x56
    S&B 2.5-10x56
    Shirstone Gold 4-12x58
    Shirstone Gold 3-10x56
    Swarovski Habict 2.5-10x56
    Tasco Titan 3-12x52
    Trijicon accupoint 2.5-10x56
    Zeiss diavari z 3-12x56
    Zeiss varipoint v 3-12x56
    Zeiss diavari v 3-12x56
    A short summary of the results below.

    Scope name
    B resolution (max 10)
    C colour & contrast (max 10)
    D anti-reflex (max 5+5)
    E light transmission (max 10)
    F twilight performance (max 10)
    G overall test result (including all test results, not just the ones I've printed. Max possible 7Cool

    Remember, this is a lab test, not some testers subjective opinion.

    BSA Big cat 3,5-10x: B3 C3 D5 E6 F3 G44
    BURRIS FULLFIELD II 3,5-10X: B10 C7 D6 E9 F7 G58
    DOCTER 3-12X: B7 C8 D8 E8 F7 G60
    KAHLES CB 3-12: B6 C8 D8 E9 F8 G62
    LEUPOLD VXIII 3,5-10X:B7 C7 D8 E8 F6 G60
    MEOPTA ARTEMIS 3000 3-12X: B7 C7 D7 E7 F7 G57
    MEOPTA ARTEMIS 2000 3-12X: B6 C7 D7 E7 F6 G55
    MICRO DOT 2,3-10X: B7 C6 D7 E8 F7 G58
    NICKEL GERHARDT 3-12X: B9 C8 D8 E9 F9 G66
    NIGHTFORCE NP1 3,5-15X: B9 C6 D9 E8 F7 G60
    OXO ONTARIO 3-9X: B3 C3 D4 E6 F2 G39
    PECAR 4-10X: B5 C6 D6 E8 F5 G46
    SCHMIDT UND BENDER 2,5-10X: B9 C8 D8 E9 F9 G66
    SHIRSTONE GOLD 4-12X: B5 C5 D5 E7 F5 G47
    SWAROVSKI HABICT 3-12X: B9 C9 D8 E9 F10 G68
    TASCO TITAN 3-12X: B5 C6 D6 E7 F4 G49
    TRIJICON ACCUPOINT 2,5-10X: B8 C6 D8 E9 F8 G64
    ZEISS DIAVARI Z T 3-12X: B10 C10 D10 E9 F10 G72
    ZEISS VARIPOINT V 3-12X: B9 C10 D10 E9 F9 G70
    ZEISS DIAVARI V 3-12X: B10 C10 D10 E9 F10 G73

  10. #10
    3-20x50 Zenith will probably be end of the year,
    Ive got a load or 3-20x50PMII's on order which are overdue.. but thats nowt new with optics, there are often delays when new scope, bino's or spotting scopes are to be marketed.

    Edi you cheapskate, the conquests are a good basic scope, but they aren't in the big league. try hunting boar at 02.00hrs with it.

    to be honest, who needs a paralax or a BDC with more than 500m on a hunting scope. ? very few.. yeah sure I use PMII's and have been known to take the odd game animal past 600m which sure as hell makes paralax and a BDC-Windage very handy indeed. but for 98.9% of deer that are taken under or even well under 300m, its a want it factor rather than a realy need it factor.
    I'll phone Christian up and see if they want something field testing. I did have a look at the 3-20x50PMII at the Eurosatory in Paris. and was very impressed with it. I haven't seen the zenith version yet, but have seen the paperwork for it.
    rgds Pete

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