Just purchased a Conquest 3.5-10X w/RZ 800 reticle for my big game stick. Overwhelmingly, I chose it for its reticle and only for that reason. I have been well-satisifed with various Leupolds and a previous generation Nikon 3.3-10 X44 but wanted the speed of multi-stadia reticle for 400 + yd shots. The game doesn't always seem to want to wait for turrets to turn. On my Vari X III's and the aforementioned Nikon I have added Stoney Point (Leupold) or used the midrise turret which came on the Nikon to tape yardage marks which were arrived at by range testing to 800 yds at the Sac Valley Shooting Center. Agree very closely with the online ballistic program, corrected for altitude that I use. The Nikon is a mil-dot and I use it to holdover for distances where I know that will work. (Like 400 yds on my 22-250 Ackley sending 75 gr Amax at 3250.) The Rapid Z (PF) system appealed to me, especially as it lines up beautifully for my 270 WSM/ 140 Berger loads at my normal shooting altitude of 5500 ft. (66 gr 7828, F215 M Match, WW 2.825" OAL 3170 fps) Tested it today and its near perfect out to 600 yds. (Far as I tried today.) Here's the bad news, however... my Nikon has better glass. That's good and bad news, I guess, since I have the scopes on two rifles, but I am dissapointed that the Zeiss glass is not "more wondrous" as it cost twice the $$s or nearly so. I am even more convinced now that shooters are as influenced by marketing hype and "brand" as the rest of the consumer world. Not bitter, the Zeiss is a fine scope but now know (at least in my example) no better "optically" than another product which cost a lot less. As i type this and the sun is going down, I have both pointing at a hillside behind my place to see what changes as it gets darker. I "hope" the Nikon doesn't resolve detail longer than the Deutch product, but that won't surprise me!
Maybe just manufacturing variance. I really "want" the Conquest to be better. It is lighter and has that reticle. Haven't spent a lot of time adjusting the diopter either although, normally I just do so to get best reticle focus against a featureless background. (Like the sky.) Fair amount of parallex too, not serious for out to 600 or so as long as I keep a good stock weld. (The 3.5-10X hasn't an adjustable objective. Don't consider that a "need to have" just a "nice to have" up to 10 power.) The Nikon does but that makes its objective bigger and I like low rings. I'm sure all will be well!
I found a great deal on the Zeiss conquest 3-9X40 and bought it on-line through Cabelas, I bought it to replace an older Nikon Monarch of the same size. I waited 1 month to receive it as it was backordered, once it arrived on at my door I was litteraly pulling out of the drive for a weekend archery deer hunt and decided to take the scope with me and play with it as I would be camping out under a full moon. That night I oppened it and it seemed faily clear and good in the moon light. Later that week I took it out on my patio 45 minutes before the sun went down and started to compare it to it's predesessor. I instantly found a flaw in the lense and it a peice of bebris inside of it. So I drove 1.5hr to return it at the Cabelas retail store for an exchange of the same model. That evening I started my same test on the patio about 45min before dusk. I have a large tree behind me where a giant hawk always nests and catches the last rays of the day from. I pulled out the Zeiss and the old Monarch and went head to head with them, at first the Zeiss was fine, but as the sun dissapeared the Monarch started to shine. This went on until night fall looking at various objects and turning back to the hawk to find that the Monarch showed much more detail even well after legal shooting light.
I have three Monarchs two are 3-9X40 and the other a 2.5-10X50 ILL the third one is much better in low light than the other two and just not even close to a fair comparison against the Zeiss.
Did I buy two bad Zeiss in a row, or are they not as good as we had thought? I still need to buy one for my sons rifle and like the Zeiss specs for the long eye relief, what should I do common sense has alreay shown me twice what not to buy?