Scope opinions.


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Following on from another thread, I just wondered what people's opinions are on say the big 3 european scopes, zeiss, swarovski, and schmidt, and which they thought the best in terms if optical clarity, light gathering. Or is it just a case of some scopes "behave" differently for different people.? I've mainly had schmidt bender in the past but looking for another scope and thought I'd have a thorough shop around.


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For hunting rifles I use Swarovski z6i 2.5-15x44

For target rifles I use S&B pm2 DT 5-25x56


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They are all excellent, you are splitting a bees dick.
I use Zeiss of various configurations, my favorite is by far the Victory V8 1.8-14x50 with rail.
But any money spent on a Zeiss, Schmidt, or Swarovski is well spent.


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Hi I have a ziess, swarovski and last week I bought a kahles 624i looking through all set on the same mag I looked through them as it was getting dark to my eyes all were equal


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To my eyes Zeiss is brighter and has superior resolution to Swarovski,but saying that I'm very happy with my z6. Never owned an S&B though. Can't really go wrong with any of their top models,it all depends on what you want from your scope and what type of shooting you're doing.


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It is what works for you mate. I am heavily biased towards recommending zeiss, but this is only they work great for me. This is why I got their RF binoculars and rifle scope...


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Any of the (very, very few) well conducted tests I've ever seen always put Zeiss top of the pile for glass and light gathering.

Tests I've done myself actually put Nickel first and Zeiss second but Nickel are big money and although easy to get you don't often get the chance to play with one, or admire their magazine adverts. Also my testing wasn't a scientific achievement and it was a few years back so Zeiss may have moved on, for example.

Quite a few of us tested Swaro against S&B at last light one evening and although both scopes "looked" different in actual fact none of us could detect any difference in their resolving ability as the light faded. The general perception was that the Swaro would be brighter as in good light the image "looked brighter" but I suspect they had just tweaked the colour balance or something to give this impression as it wasn't reflected in actual resolving ability. I suspect some manufacturers do this "tweaking" to make their scopes stand out against others in the gunshop.

So, my view in order of light gathering/optics is:

1 Nickel
2 Zeiss
=3 S&B and Swaro

As said well conducted tests put Zeiss top so I'm almost certainly mistaken on the top 2.

Another thing to bear in mind is that I shoot sika in dark commercial forestry at last light and find my 8X56 S&B totally adequate and suitable for the job - having "the best" doesn't give you any real advantage when shooting deer in legal shooting time in the UK, it just gives you bragging rights. If you want to shoot more deer then keep your S&B and spend the cash saved on more stalking, changing your scope will make sod all difference.


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I use Zeiss for stalking. For driven hunting, the Swarovski Z6i 1-6x24 has the best field of view and I prefer it to my Aimpoints any day of the week. I use S&B PM11s on my target rifles. I also use a Leica ER on my 22-250. The glass is crystal clear, it has incredible eye relief but the reticle is too thin for use in low light conditions.


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Mind you,I think the top of the range Meopta scopes are not far behind Zeiss and Swaro and probably equal or better than S&B and at a fraction of the price. If I was on a budget,that's where I would be looking.


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They are all better than your eyes will ever be!

Find end the one that you prefer as they all have foibles. Personally I have all S&B as I am a devoted first plane man but it's purely personal choice.


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For driven hunting, the Swarovski Z6i 1-6x24 has the best field of view and I prefer it to my Aimpoints any day of the week.
I've yet to try the Z6i 1-6x24 that I've mounted on the .308 for driven game in a couple of weeks, but the FOV is certainly one of the best available. Which reticle are you using? I've got the CDI and it looks very handy for driven.


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Agree its what suits you in this range, last summer I had a chance to compare my Leupold Mk 4 50mm against a 8x56 swarvi, yes the swarvi is brighter, but virtually no difference in the times when you caould see to shoot so to speak.

Main issue is as you get older your eyes deterioate so prehaps that might explain the differences.

I am toying about doing a comparrison in the summer, using my 20 yr old son with brilliant eye sight, shooting buddy who has very good eye sight and me as the oldie with specs. Have access to top end Zeiss, Kahles, Meopta and Nightforce, and Vortex and Hakko so could be a basis of something helpfull.



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Trouble is in real world you couldn't tell the difference between Zeiss, Smidt, Swaro and Kahles... When people say Zeiss or S&B or Kahles is better its probably because its suits their eyes better!
Ive had all the above in various guises and for certain scenarios one is better than the other! However I really wouldn't like to say overall one is better optically than the other!


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I have a Zeiss and I am very happy with it, I have looked through a high end Swarovski scope and found the image to be of equal clarity, it's usually when I look through the more mid priced range of scopes that I realise the money I spent on the Zeiss was Money well spent, as I tend to forget just how good the scope image actually is.

I have looked through a good few scopes out on the range that I have access to, I recently looked through a weaver scope and was surprised as to how poor the image quality was in comparison to my Zeiss. Maybe not a fair comparison considering the price difference but all the same I was happy to get back to my scope.

Many years ago, back in the full bore pistol days, I took my dad with me to an outdoor range for an afternoon of fun, shooting at various targets (metal plates etc) with my handguns. I brought a pair of reasonably priced 16x50 binoculars along with me to have a look at the scenery as the range was situated on the outskirts of a Forrest. A guy turned up and had a pair of swarovski 8x30 binoculars which he let us look through, we were absolutely gobsmacked with the clarity of the image from the swarovski's in comparison to my binoculars!!.... Up until that point I had thought that my binoculars were really good!
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