Leupold or Sightron???

Discussion in 'Long Range Scopes and Other Optics' started by DoubleGobble00, Mar 3, 2009.

  1. DoubleGobble00

    DoubleGobble00 Well-Known Member

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    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica]I am trying to decide between a Leupold VX-III 8.5-25x50 LR and the Sightron 8-32x56 scope... Does anyone own a Sightron? The reviews are great on the scope but I know the Leupold will be good... Help me decide... Any opinions?

    DoubleG
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  2. RockZ

    RockZ Well-Known Member

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    A buddy of mine put a Sightron 8-32 on his 338 Lapua and it is performing awesome.

    I looked through it and shot it -- very good glass, clear and bright and the dot isn't as big as I thought it would be at 1/4". Doesn't obscure too much of the target at 1000yds and easy to pick up.

    The adjustments have been right on and have returned to zero every time, back and forth from 100yds to 1000yds and everywhere in between.
    The turrets are better that the older 6-24( which is what I have). They are larger and have a more positive detent and feeling, both audible and tactile.

    Great scope for under $900.

    If I don't get another Nightforce, I may get a Sightron 8-32 for my 338 Lapua Improved.

    Plus sightron has great customer service.
     

  3. davewilson

    davewilson Well-Known Member

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    the Sightron S111 scopes are just flat out better scopes than the Leupolds.
     
  4. Ernie

    Ernie SPONSOR

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    Yesterday I was doing some "lay" scope comparisons with a Mark 4 Leupy, S-3 Sightron and a NXS. Were looking at different things but one thing that stood out was when we were glassing antelope at near 500 yards. Both NF & The Leupold had much better contrast with color on the antelope than the S-3.
    NF came out on top, but the Leupold was noticeably better on the antelope whether they were in the shade or sunlight. On paper we couldn't tell this difference to the degree compared to animals and other natural landscape. The S-3 made the animals look dull and did not do a good job on color differences compared to the other two.

    This may be a matter of lens coating differences, but it was very noticeable. I am not taking away from the S-3's glass, repeatability on turrets, etc. I think they are a great buy for the money, but when looking at critters there was a definite difference.
     
  5. eddybo

    eddybo Well-Known Member

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    I do not think I have ever disagreed with anything you have ever posted here....until now:) It may just be my experience with the big sky sightrons that is keeping me sour with them. I probably posted here about that fiasco a couple years back.

    DG....I know where an as new 8.5x25 with alumina flip caps is for about the cost of a new one is. Those flip caps are high priced so it is a little bit of a deal not great. The way I look at leupold, a used one is just as good as a new one.....I love that warranty. I have had to use it too many times, but it was there. I think other brands break at the same rate as leupy but I shoot so many leupolds that I notice it more.
     
  6. phorwath

    phorwath Well-Known Member

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    Agreed. The Sightron SIII - for the money - should be an embarassment for Leupold. But Leupold continues to mass-market scopes with inferior glass, particularly in light of their inflated MSRPs. I used Leupold scopes for more than 25 years, until I finally "saw" the light - literally. Like being able to see my target and field of view clearly and cleanly in lower lighting conditions. I'm now down to my last two Leupolds, and they will also eventually be sold to someone that still thinks Leupold scopes are the greatest thing since sliced bread.

    There are a number of manufacturers producing scopes that outclass Leupold glass for less cost. But Leupold's brand name will continue to keep them in business for quite some time, because a large customer base of optics users just keep using what has worked in the past, even though there are less costly and better alternatives available, with equally good warranty coverage.

    Now I need to tie my running shoes on tightly and head for cover before the Leupold supporters start firing/flaming away. Dave, perhaps we can trade off the lead trail-breaker position as we make our get-away.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2009
  7. dmgreene

    dmgreene Well-Known Member

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    What are the others?

    I haven't had my hands on a SIII yet but I'm like eddybo, Sightron put a bad taste in my mouth a couple of years ago. The SIII may be the best bang for the buck right now but in the past it hasn't been. I have owned several Leupolds and yes they may not have the best glass out there but they are better than most. Some other brands of scopes I have seen one would have a good set of glass and the next three would be fair. All the Leupolds I have ever owned or looked through have been as good or better than 95% of the scopes that I have compared to in there price range. And one thing that you can't argue is that Leupold scopes have one of the highest resale value of any scope out there in there price range. I'm not saying that the SIII is not better than a VXIII, I haven't compared the two, but I'll bet that SIII is not that much better and when you get ready to sell the two that you will get more of your money back with the Leupold.

    I'm not flaming you, heck my next scope may be a SIII. I'm just stating that Leupold isn't a bad scope and that they are hard to beat in there price range, but I not saying that they can't be beat.

    David
     
  8. FEENIX

    FEENIX Well-Known Member

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    I know you said VX-III but the VX-IIIs of the past are not the same as the newly re-designed VX-3s ...they've upgraded it with optical technology: Xtended Twilight Lens System, DiamondCoat 2 lens coating, blackened lens edges, second generation waterproofing, twin bias spring erector system, and cryogenically treated adjustments ... now similar to that of Mark 4s.

    As Ernie noted, Mark 4's optics are superior.

    Good luck in your decision!

    Ed
     
  9. eddybo

    eddybo Well-Known Member

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    Yall hve me wanting to give sightron another look. Anybody with any feedback on the customer service. I was using a local dealer with the last sightrons I dealt with. He took 3 back within a week before refunding my purchase price. Maybe they have sorted things out, any other opinions on them?
     
  10. DoubleGobble00

    DoubleGobble00 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all the GREAT information fellas.. This have been a great topic and please keep them coming. From the numerous posts I have read the SIII is a TOTALLY different beast than the SII. The glass and quality is suppose to be much better with the SIII. I have read bad reviews for the SII but not the SIII. My decision is still up in the air. Wish I could put a Sightron in my hand and then decide. THe outer appearance of the Leupold is a big plus... It feels like a solid scope and I know what I am getting. I wonder if the Sightron is as solid and feels like a well made scope or does it feel more plastic? We'll see how it goes... I will decide one day.. ha..

    DoubleG
     
  11. Ernie

    Ernie SPONSOR

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    I am convinced the S-3 is a solid scope. The only negative I have found thus far, I have already mentioned. We have not done low-light comparisons yet.
    I also have one of new VX-3's 8.5-25 LR/T, but didnt have it out yesterday.

    All in all we will be comparing current: Mark 4 6.5-20, VX-3 I mentioned above, NF NXS their new FFP 3.5-15, Sightron's 6-24 S-3, and Huskemaw's 5-20.
    Once all is said and done, it will be written up.
    I am having three other guys give their thoughts on them as well, so it will not be the opinion/eyes of one shooter.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2009
  12. davewilson

    davewilson Well-Known Member

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    OK, i've got my laces tied up on my sneekers! DG, look what you started. LOL just buy a Nightforce and you'll have a great feeling scope.
    one thing about optics is everyones eyes are different and they see different through each product. i looked through a Mark 4 and an S3 side by side and i would have guessed the Sightron should have cost 300 more. each scope is different also. it would be great if we could look through the scope before we buy but usually we mail order one. Leupold does have great customer service, it's part of their reputation. i recently had an older Sightron not do so well because i lent it to a guy, ah that's another story.anyway, i had nothing but great service from them, as i've heard several say.
    i agree with Paul, Leupold has been riding on their "earned" reputation from the past, but several companies have caught and passed them with better products at lower prices. their recent upgrade of the vx111's is an example. more and more people were buying something else.
    i guess it's like Ford and Chevy. i drive a Chevy....with a Sightron scope in it!
     
  13. phorwath

    phorwath Well-Known Member

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    David, I was afraid someone would ask.

    Here's an evaluation I recently conducted and reported for a LRH forum member .
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    "Today I compared the SIII 6-24x50mm to a new IOR 3-18x42mm MP-8 and my Zeiss Conquest 4.5-14x44mm Mil-Dot scopes. I conducted an elevation turret test on all three scopes at 100 yds. Then I compared all three scopes for resolution and light transmission at 300 yds in the evening (fading) light. The SIII is hitting on all cylinders and I would rate it the best scope of the three - without regard to cost - provided you're content with that 6-24 power range. Based on cost it's obviously the best buy. Here's how I rated these three scopes. I own all three so there's no pride-of-ownership compromises involved in my evaluation.
    Resolution.
    1) IOR and SIII equally good at 18X. Then I turned the SIII up to 24X and it maintained excellent resolution and improved my ability to resolve details at 300 yds that I was unable to see at 18X through either the IOR or the SIII. In other words, I felt like I obtained the full benefit of the higher powers available in the SIII. Razor sharp.
    2) Zeiss provided less resolution with all three scopes tuned to 14X at 300 yds. Still good, but not as sharp as the IOR and SIII.
    Light transmission.
    1) SIII - best
    2) Zeiss - about midway between the SIII and the IOR.
    3) IOR – I believe the IOR has some extra lenses in it to provide the 6X power range magnification, and every additional lens will reduce light transmission.
    Weight.
    1) Zeiss - 17.5 oz - 1" tube
    2) SIII - 21.9 oz - 30mm tube
    3) IOR - 28 oz - 35mm tube
    Parallax Adjustment.
    1) SIII - easiest to adjust, however the adjustment operates at a pretty fast rate.
    2) IOR - just about as good as the SIII - operates at a slower rate than the SIII.
    3) Zeiss - I've never really cared for the parallax adjustment on my Zeiss. It's OK but sometimes a struggle to know if it's set properly.
    Crosshair/Reticle.
    1) IOR - Best, I really like the IOR MP-8 reticle.
    2) SIII and Zeiss - both standard military Mil-Dot.
    Cost.
    1) SIII ~$800
    2) Zeiss~$850 w/o or $950 with target turrets
    3) IOR ~$1565 w/illuminated reticle
    Elevation Turret Test Results.
    SIII: 0.273"/click/100yds in both the UP direction & DOWN direction over a distance of 26" at 100 yards. Same value/click/100yds in both the UP and DOWN directions, however different than the advertised 0.25"/click/100yds. This is why an elevation turret test is mandatory prior to putting any scope into action. Now that I know the IPHY click value, I'll be all set.
    Zeiss: 0.243"/click/100yds in the UP direction over a distance of 26" and 36" at 100 yards. No DOWN test completed with Zeiss.
    IOR: 0.260"/click/100yds in the DOWN direction over a distance of 26" at 100 yards.
    0.250"/click/100yds in the UP direction over a distance of 26" at 100 yards.
    The IOR yielded a different value per click per 100 yards in the UP direction versus the DOWN direction. My other IOR is dead nuts on - yielding 0.249"/click/100yds in both directions. This was a brand new IOR scope so I will have to conduct the elevation turret test again and make sure I didn't make a mistake with my calculations and determination.

    [IN ORDER TO CLARIFY MY ELEVATION TURRET TESTS: All three scope's elevation turrets returned to zero properly. From a set Zero, I turned the turret in the UP direction and then returned back to zero. Then I turned the elevation turret in the DOWN direction followed by a return to zero. The IOR yielded a slightly different click value when turned in the DOWN direction than in the UP direction, however it and both of the other two scopes returned back to their zero setting correctly.]

    I haven't shot the SIII yet but others have already confirmed the turrets are repeatable and that the scope is durable. The SIII has as good, or better, of a replacement warranty as the Zeiss or the IOR. If I were to buy another scope today, it would be another SIII 6-24x50mm Mil-Dot. Sightron is supposed to be adding some additional offerings to their SIII line. Whether there will be additional reticle options or power options, we'll have to wait and see. I understood they're expected to be out in the late summer-fall.

    Hope this helps you spend your money wisely. For the money, the SIII is a best buy in my book
    ." lightbulb
    ___________________________
    The Vortex Viper is another scope that's at least as good as a Leupold VX-3 at a lesser cost, and the Vortex also includes a no fault lifetime warranty. You can run over the Vortex Viper with your GM (or Toyota) and return it for a replacement - no questions asked.

    One year earlier I compared my Zeiss Conquest to my Leupold VX-3. The Zeiss Conquest smoked the Leupy in resolution and light transmission. It wasn't really even close. And I'm now telling you that the Sightron SIII bested the Zeiss Conquest in both categories in my recent side-by-side field comparison. The Sightron SIII is Sightron's top of the line scope. Comparing it to the SIs or SIIs is like comparing a Leupold Mark 4 to a Leupold VXII. The current limitations in the SIII series (my opinion) are the power range and the reticle options currently available. I'm led to believe some additional SIII options may become available later this year.

    Leupold has made a good solid aiming device for many many years, which is why they still enjoy such a strong following. But there are currently a number of new players competing for their customers, and some are producing a better product with an equal warranty, at a lesser cost. Now I'm going to put my camo face paint back on and try to blend into the background noise...
     
  14. rtv900

    rtv900 Well-Known Member

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    Really??? Leupold - hands down. I cannot say enough about Leupold. Great company and great scopes.