Zeiss vs Swarovski

Discussion in 'Long Range Scopes and Other Optics' started by 35whelen375, Aug 18, 2013.

  1. 35whelen375

    35whelen375 Member

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    Hello all, I have read a lot through these forums from various links, and it seems as there are quite a few of knowledgeable people out here, I have archery hunted my entire life with the exception of a couple rifle hunts, as far as shooting goes, I have handled big bores quite a bit and familiar with recoil and such, I recently picked up the Leupold VX-6 2x12x42 with illumination, for my 375H&H, I based this decision of warranty and features, and did some low lights tests before I mounted it, and am quite happy with it so far, now I have another rifle I am building-(just received my Bullberry barrel yesterday).

    I have narrowed the optics down to the Zeiss Conquest HD5 2x10x42, I have looked through it and am impressed, and really like the set up feature they have on there website for telling optimum magnification for longer shots with the Rapid Z600, In fact I really want to buy it, BUT and a big BUT, I love the Swarovski Z3 3x10x42, I always try to compare features and it looks like the Zeiss might have the edge here, but these are just in store comparisons, the guy at the counter isnt really any help, he kept pushing Vortex to me, Not that it's bad, but its not one of my choices, anyhow I thought I'd come ask some of the experts and real life users if you guys have compaired or used and what your opinions are, This will be my last rifle I'm doing so its a either or thing, but would like the best between the two, weight is not a issue.

    My set up is the TC pro hunter encore, Bullberry 35 whelen 26" barrel
    2630 FPS- with the Barnes TSX 225's
    I like the advantage I guess mostly with the Rapid z to sneek one in at 400 yards being it drops around 28" (and I'm not a dial turner) but don't want to be left out if Swarovski is the better choice.

    Sorry if its long winded or missed the point, but you guys are the pros and I'm lost.

    Thanks
    Paul
     
  2. 8andbait

    8andbait Well-Known Member

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    It will depend on the features you want, the zeiss hd5 glass is not great in my opinion. The Z3 glass is exceptional so it comes down to how important the glass is and if a particular scope has the features you want. Not really a wrong decision both are nice scopes.
     

  3. marinetowgunner

    marinetowgunner Well-Known Member

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    I'd go the Z3 with the BT and 4w reticle and here is why:
    1. The zeiss weighs in @ 17.5oz vs the z3 @ 12ish. I don't know why Zeiss made the new HD5 scopes so heavy, but that has been a deal breaker for me personally.
    2. I prefer the ballistic turret over the/any velocity reticle because I don't want to me married to a certain power for the reticle to be true. With the BT system you can do one of two things. Set the scope up using the color coded rings provided. This allows the shooter to set a zero and then three more zeros/references after that in any increment YOU choose. So if I want to move in 25,50,100 yard increments I can do so. The second way to use the way you can use the system is to have Swarovski make a collet that is marked in yardage increments from your zero moving in 50 yard increments.

    Optically I think your would be hard pressed to say one is definitely better than the other. I just prefer the weight/length as well as the the bt system that swaro offers.

    Conquest HD5
    Swarovski Z3
     
  4. varmintH8R

    varmintH8R Well-Known Member

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    I have two Swaro Z5's that I really like. I have no hands-on experience with the Z3, but have heard the glass is just as good as the Z5, just a smaller magnification range.

    Like Marinetowgunner, I'm a big fan of the ballistic turret. Since I see you are not a dial turner, take a look at their BRX reticle. I'm not sure how it compares to the rapid Z 600, but the concept is the same. Swaro has a ballistics calculator on their website that gives the corresponding subtensions for range/load (sounds similar to what you describe for Zeiss).

    I am not by any means anti-zeiss, I just don't have experience with them. From what I read, you can't make a bad decision based on your options...
     
  5. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    I don't own any Swaro scopes, but have shot through many. I am a big Zeiss fan, and highly recommend their products.

    If you're looking for a lightweight scope with incredible glass, look into the Kahles Helia KXi scopes. I have the older version Helia KX (non-illuminated) 3-10x50 and it is like looking through an HD TV. Honestly, the best glass I've ever looked through.
     
  6. 35whelen375

    35whelen375 Member

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    Thank you gentlemen so far, I forgot about the Kahles, I'll look into that, tough decisions
     
  7. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    Oh, and the Zeiss Conquest scopes are THE best scopes in their respective price ranges. IMO, they can't be beat.
     
  8. bruce_ventura

    bruce_ventura Well-Known Member

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    All good options. I've looked through the Zeiss HD5, and Swaro Z3 and Z5 scopes a fair amount. There are fundamental reasons for performance similarities and differences between theses scopes.

    Both the Zeiss HD5 and Swaro Z3 scopes have doublet objective lenses. Therefore the resolution and color fringing at the optical center (zero elevation/windage setting), and resolution at high elevation setting are similar. The Z3 may have an edge over the HD5 in the field of view (erector optics), but I have not done a side-by-side comparison yet, so I can't say for sure. The Z3 does have higher contrast than the HD5 because of lower stray light.

    The Swaro Z5 is in a different class because it has a triplet objective lens. It has noticeably better resolution at high elevation setting than either the HD5 or Z3. The Z5 also has the Z6 erector tube optics, which are outstanding. For that reason it has a wider sweet spot, or field of view over which the image is crisp. Again, the contrast is higher in the Z5 than in the HD5.

    In my opinion, the Swaro Z5 optics are good enough that the scope can be used in any lighting condition at max magnification. The image is similar to a good, non-HD spotting scope at the same magnification. Granted, the spotting scope will go to a higher mag and have a wider field of view, but either the 18X or 25X Z5 can nevertheless be used to spot details like antler points at a much longer range than the typical 8x or 10X binocular. The ability to substitute for a spotting scope in some applications makes the Z5 a bit unique.
     
  9. bruce_ventura

    bruce_ventura Well-Known Member

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    All good options. I've looked through the Zeiss HD5, and Swaro Z3 and Z5 scopes a fair amount. There are fundamental reasons for performance similarities and differences between theses scopes.

    Both the Zeiss HD5 and Swaro Z3 scopes have doublet objective lenses. Therefore the resolution and color fringing at the optical center (zero elevation/windage setting), and resolution at high elevation setting are similar. The Z3 may have an edge over the HD5 in the field of view (erector optics), but I have not done a side-by-side comparison yet, so I can't say for sure. The Z3 does have higher contrast than the HD5 because of lower stray light. As others have said, the Z3 is obviously lighter. On the plus side, the HD5 clearly has the wider zoom range.

    The Swaro Z5 is in a different class because it has a triplet objective lens. It has noticeably better resolution at high elevation setting than either the HD5 or Z3. The Z5 also has the Z6 erector tube optics, which are outstanding. For that reason it has a wider sweet spot, or field of view over which the image is crisp. Again, the contrast is higher than the HD5 scopes.

    The Z5 optics are so good that the scope can be used at maximum magnification in almost any lighting conditions. The resolution and the contrast holds up very well in bright light and at high elevation settings. In my opinion, the Z5 image quality is comparable to a non-HD spotting scope at the same magnification. Granted, the spotting scope will go to higher magnification and have a wider field of view, but either the 18X or 25X Z5 can still be used to reliably spot details like antler points at ranges far beyond the capability of an 8X or 10X binocular. The ability to effectively use these rifle scopes in place of a spotting scope in some applications makes the Z5 somewhat unique.

    For more information on the Swarovski rifle scopes, go to this link:
    Swarovski Rifle Scopes

    HighPowerOptics is an Authorized dealer for Swarovski and Zeiss. For information about special pricing for LRH members, PM me.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2013
  10. Two 10's

    Two 10's Well-Known Member

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    Don't look thru a NXS Nightforce or you will be saving your money for a while longer I have all four of the scopes talked about but a NXS can't be beat.
     
  11. bruce_ventura

    bruce_ventura Well-Known Member

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    We talked about more than four models. Specifically which models do you have?
     
  12. Snidely Whiplash

    Snidely Whiplash Member

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    Kahles glass floats my boat.
     
  13. lightwind

    lightwind Well-Known Member

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    You won't go wrong with any choice you make between Zeiss or Swarovski. I have Swaro Z-5s (three), Swaro Z-6s (two) and two Ziess Victories and they are all outstanding. I have a number of different reticles and turrets. I have one thought for you. I saw the recommendation of the ballistic turret and my caution is that it limits the turns for elevation to one rotation. That means that you will have to zero a long distance if you want to shoot out to very long range (depending on your drop). Both Swaro and Zeiss offer ballistic reticles (like the Z-600 you looked at). I like the Swaro BRH more than the BRX because my eyes can see the BRH easier. I have the Zeiss Z-1000 and love it for my .308. As I said above, you will not go wrong with either of them. Good shooting to you.
     
  14. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    There is better glass out there than NF for less money... Kahles for example, although their tactical line is priced up there with S&B, USO, and March.

    NF makes excellent scopes, and I want one myself, but facts are facts.