Re: Kahles helia kx 4-12X50 or zeiss conquest 4.5-14
I own a Kahles 3x9x42 Multizero and recently purchased (then sold) a Kahles K418 4.5X18x50mm so I am very familiar with the Kahles. The Kahles glass is probably better than the Zeiss but to my eyes, the Zeiss was a little brighter. I think overall, Kahles scopes are on par with the Swaros if they happen to have a model that you like. (Just to be clear, I sold the K418 simply because it wasn't the scope I needed for a certain project. There was nothing wrong with the scope. It was in fact very nice.)
Both the Zeiss and the Kahles are great scopes for the money and you would be happy with either. The only caution I would throw out there is that Kahles hasn't had a a U.S. Distributor since last December nor do they have a network for repair or warranty work in the U.S. (Legacy Sports International and Kahles had a falling out due to lack of customer support from the home office is my understanding.) If you have a problem or otherwise want technical support (which is crappy by the way), you have to deal with the folks back in Austria. (Scope repairs are sent to the U.S. rep who in turn ships them to Austria) There is a single rep in the U.S. and I can provide his name and number if you want it but I think he is pretty bummed out about the lack of interest that Kahles is providing to the U.S. market right now.
Kahles are wonderful scopes. They just don't have their act together in regard to supporting the American market and in this economic environment, I wouldn't guess that you will see them investing in that arena anytime soon.
Just food for thought.