Zeiss vs. Leupold

Discussion in 'Long Range Scopes and Other Optics' started by J300UM, Dec 7, 2010.

  1. J300UM

    J300UM Well-Known Member

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    I"m aware that the Zeiss has the better glass of the two. My question is which is the more durable of the two. I'm having a light weight rifle built for long pack trips in some pretty rugged country so I want a scope that will take some abuse should the worst happen. I'm usually very carefull with my guns but sometimes $#it happens. I want to keep it under $1,000 so I think that pretty much rules out a NF. I have yet to have any misfortunes with my Leupolds but I would like to set this rifle up anticipating the worst. The scopes in question would be the Conquest and the VX-3 LR. Any comments or opinions are appreciated.

    I've been told that the Ziess offers 18 moa in one turret revolution. Is there any merrit to this? Thanks again!
     
  2. Derek M.

    Derek M. Well-Known Member

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    I've got both. I am NOT impressed with Leupold's light gathering ability the last few minutes of legal hunting time which happens to be when I kill a lot of game. 2 days before the KY season ended I had plenty of time to check magnification on a deer. I cranked it from 4.5 to 14 and back twice. Anything above 5 got dark quick through the scope and I still had 12 min of legal hunting time.

    If this deer happened to be beyond 300 yards, I would not have taken a shot. Leupold is a great company and they make quality scopes. But for the money, I am better served with higher quality glass through Zeiss. I have compared the 2 during these conditions enough times now where I can say, I bought my last Leupy roughly 10 years ago.

    My Nikon 4x12x40 I bought 21 years ago did a better job for me than any one of my Leupold 4.5x14x40s when it counted.
     

  3. partisan1911

    partisan1911 Well-Known Member

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    I have never used a zeiss so I don't know about their durability. On my lightweight 300wsm I broke two leupold reticles. I never broke these on a heavier rifle so I can only assume the extra recoil is what did them in.

    I ended changing to a nightforce 2.5-12x32 just so I know it would work when needed.
     
  4. J300UM

    J300UM Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the replies. I've had people tell me they broke reticles in Luepolds before. It's never happened to me...yet... Though recoil shouldn't be an issue. The rifle is a 264 WM so recoil will be fairly mild.
     
  5. shootnmoa

    shootnmoa Active Member

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    My rifles all have either Zeiss Conquests or Leupolds on them. I have a Conquest 3x9x40 on my .300RUM and its holding up fine, for the last 7 years. I have shot several boxes of bullets through it, so its had some use. And I reload, so a box isn't 20, its 100.
    I have never broken any reticle in either brand of scopes, and here is the first time I have heard of this. My dad did break one in a Weaver, on his .270win. They replaced it under warranty, no questions asked. He also had a power ring lock up on a Leupold, also repaired under warranty.

    Comparing the L vs the Z, the Z has an edge in low light gathering capabilities. That's comparing both brands in 3x9x40mm.

    Good luck to you on your hunt.
     
  6. jhibbard24

    jhibbard24 Well-Known Member

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    I like leupold but there are definitely some other scopes with other styles/options that i would like to have on a Leupold. i haven't had too much experience w zeiss but i always use good quality glass and products (ie. Swaro, zeiss, leupold) for binos, scopes, spotters, etc. Here are a couple of my opinions

    1st off: Glass... it is very hard to beat german glass and there is some very high quality glass coming out of Japan. Leupold has definitely improved the quality of their glass in the later years but keep in mind that there are different lines/grades of scopes from them. the VX3 models are going to be far better than the rifleman and VX1 lines. A leupold from 10 years ago does not have the glass as a new model. swaro glass is probably the best by far and price shows. zeiss is very very nice also and definitily takes a little bit of an edge over the leupold. Leupold has better glass and lens coatings than NF. early morning hunts with sunrise will glare out the NF but not the leupold. i got to watch a dandy buck at 1400yds with my Leupold while my brother had to give up on trying to see thru his NF. though we never did get a chance to cut the yardage down enough to try to kill it; damned canyon country!

    2nd: Durability... I have personally never had a problem with a leupold breaking or going tits up. i have dropped them and bounced them off rocks and they hold their zero. I've been rough on a couple leupolds over the years climbing the steep rocky ridges of snake river/hells canyon country in idaho. Actually a good test on the leupold happened to my buddy when his soon to become ex-wife grabbed his 7wsm w/ Leupold M4 4.5-14 by the barrel and beat it like a sledge hammer on the floor a few times; then proceeded to throw it across the room about 15' and hit the wall followed by a bounce off the floor. after all this was done i got asked to go shoot and check the zero for him while he got divorce papers. i'm happy to say it was dead on. i even used it the following weekend in a multi gun fun shoot with various ranges from 50 to 1000 yds. I dominated each event that i used that 7wsm with the leupold. i just haven't had the experience of that sort of roughness on the zeiss. I would assume that it would hold up well.

    3rd: Weight... You mention that nightforce was outta the question because of the price but i think other downside of NF is the weight for a choice on a lightweight rifle. Leupold and zeiss seems to be right about the same with each other.
     
  7. J300UM

    J300UM Well-Known Member

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    Thanks guys. So far I'm leaning toward the leupold. It's a little bit cheaper than the Zeiss and with my wife already bresthing down my throat over the $2000.00 gunshith bill, cheaper is better. Hearing from someone that has had some misshaps with his leupold and it survived helps my decision also. I've had lesser scopes stop my hunt dead in its track before when I didn't have the money to buy decent equipment. Now I just want to do everything I can do (or afford to do) to see to it that it doesn't happen again. Especially when I'm a full days hike from base camp and a back up rifle...
     
  8. shootnmoa

    shootnmoa Active Member

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    You might also give the new Redfields a look. They are made on the same assembly line and by the same techs as the Leupolds. This is since Leupold bought them out. There was a recent article in one of the gun magazines about this. They carry the same warranty for life as Leupold. Look them up on the web, they have a lot of information, and are much cheaper than Leupolds. I looked at them in the gun shop and they looked as bright as the Leupold, at a much cheaper price.