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Thread: Zeiss duralyt vs vortex viper, evening test. anyone else tried both?

  1. #1

    Zeiss duralyt vs vortex viper, evening test. anyone else tried both?

    Hi all,

    Had the opportunity last night to do a little testing of a vortex viper 6.5-20 vs my duralyt 3-12. In the interest of fairness both scopes were kept on 8x.
    I have to be honest I fully expected the zeiss to wipe the floor with the vortex given its prestige and also the fact that its a fair chunk more expensive.

    My findings were as follow

    Zeiss won out over the vortex in terms of glass clarity, Not by a long margin but still notably. The difference was more noticable as the light faded and i was able to pick out fine details better with the zeiss. That been said the vortex crosshair didnt disappear as readily when held against a dark backdrop, although this is attributable to the fact it is thicker in the first place so a double edged sword, worth noting though it is not too thick. In terms of usability both scopes would cope well right out till last light time last night. (overcast with some clear sky)

    The vortex has a slightly more fussy eye releif but then given the extra zoom offered its to be expected really. Where the vortex wins out over the zeiss is in the quality of the turrets which are a far more robust feeling and positive clicking system than what is equiped on the duralyt. And also the overall finish of the scope such as having metal as opposed to plastic turret caps, the magnification selection wheel offers more resistance but feels to be better quality and has knurled rubber to assist in grip.

    Also worth noting is the warranty offered with the vortex, it truely is buy once cry once as once you have purchased it you could run over it in your landy and they will replace it no quibbles. This was recently proved when my friend wrote off his binoculars which were replaced in less than a week.

    Overall I feel it would be a tough decision if I were in the position to be buying new and I was certainly surprised by the vortex. The zeiss has the prestige and edges it in terms of glass quality. But then the Vortex keeps up impresivly well with the glass and surpases the zeiss with its crosshair in low light conditions and its turret adjustment system. The larger magnification is largly a personal preference but its worth noting the viper is only under an inch longer than the 3-12 duralyt and barely heavier.

    Please note that all of the above is my opinion from what I have seen in my own testing, I am neither a profesional stalker nor writer but though this review may be of use to some people.


    For the minute the zeiss will be staying on my stalking rifle but given time and watching to see how my friend gets on with the vortex I may well sell up and get one myself. Even the comfort of knowing the warranty is a big selling point as I'm not sure about you lot but its alot of money that I dont have to replace should my zeiss be broken by a slip or fall.

    All the best

    KS
    Stealthy, like a giraffe on roller-skates....

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Kernow_Stalker View Post
    Please note that all of the above is my opinion from what I have seen in my own testing, I am neither a profesional stalker nor writer but though this review may be of use to some people.
    That is a very useful test as it is only very, very rarely that we see a direct comparison between two different scopes so it provides valuable information.

    For further entertainment it might be worth putting up a bit of newspaper at a fixed range and recording the latest time you can read the headline, or other print, with each scope. This will give you a value, in minutes, of the glass in each and you can then compare other scopes to this. Your eyes and so on change from day to day but even so it is good to have some metric, I always regret not doing this when I was comparing scopes.

    I wouldn't panic too much about not being a writer bearing in mind that someone reviewing scopes for the shooting press this week might have spent last week reviewing washing machines for "What Washing Machine Weekly." I'd say your review trumps that every day :-)
    For self catering accommodation on the Isle of Lewis please visit:
    http://www.7south.co.uk/




  3. #3
    That newspaper is a great idea. Hadn't even thought of that. I'll try to get it set up for a test in the next few days. Thanks for the positive feedback
    Stealthy, like a giraffe on roller-skates....

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Kernow_Stalker View Post
    That newspaper is a great idea. Hadn't even thought of that. I'll try to get it set up for a test in the next few days. Thanks for the positive feedback
    Newspaper is handy as if you pick the right page then you can usually get a good range of sizes of print. Also you can use smaller print sizes if you have less room so it can work over even short distances.

    Something else that might be fun to try is to pick a headline and, in daylight, move both scopes back to the maximum distance from which the headline can be read, you can them move in closer as it gets darker such that you can still read the print. I suspect a lot of the big scope makers wouldn't be keen on someone conducting a large test of this nature if it became clear that you could spend an extra 2k on a scope or move 3 steps closer :-)
    For self catering accommodation on the Isle of Lewis please visit:
    http://www.7south.co.uk/




  5. #5
    SD Regular willie_gunn's Avatar
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    The only problem I can see with that type of test is that you'd really need to change the newspaper each time, as once you know what the headline says your brain may interpret it for you on subsequent occasions, convincing you that you can read it when in reality you might not if trying the first time. This is what's known as the carryover effect.

    So really you'd want something like an eye test (LogMAR) chart where the actual letters are randomly generated for each iteration.

    Though perhaps I'm over-complicating things
    O wad some Power the giftie gie us to see oursels as ithers see us!

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by willie_gunn View Post
    Though perhaps I'm over-complicating things
    You aren't but on the other hand you have to make the best of what is available in a field :-)

    To make a test like this in any way valid you'd have to use lots, and lots, of people and do it in a room with very carefully controlled levels of brightness and...

    So, in the end sticking up a bit of newspaper and making the best of it is all you can do.

    Despite saying this I've found that some "non-scientific" testing of scopes can be quite consistent. Quite some time back I took my 8X56 S&B out and a group of us compared it to an 8X56 Swaro. We did this as the light was failing and there were about 5 - 6 people present. The first reaction of everyone was that the Swaro was brighter but then we started to look at detail and discovered that we could see the same detail with the S&B as with the Swaro. As the light faded everyone formed the view that the performance of the two scopes was exactly the same in terms of their resolving ability in differing light levels, despite our initial impressions. In the end we concluded that the image produced by the Swaro might have been "optimized" for showroom appeal as it is possible, I'm told, to do this and give a more "striking" image even if it isn't actually giving you more utility. Putting up a newspaper as the light fades helps counter "marketing tricks" and brings you right back to light gathering and resolution.
    For self catering accommodation on the Isle of Lewis please visit:
    http://www.7south.co.uk/




  7. #7
    We did go out the other night and finish the testing using letter box at various range and different light conditions. The results were outstanding. Kernow stalker is just finishing the review and will be putting it up over the next few days

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