Zeiss Conquest Gavia 85 Spotting Scope Review
By Jose Gardner
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Like a kid at Christmas, I was incredibly anxious and impatient waiting for the Zeiss Conquest Gavia 85 spotter to come in for review. From the moment I opened the box, I was highly impressed. I did wonder, however, if like the kid at Christmas who becomes quickly bored, my regard for the scope would diminish. The answer is a flat out NO. The conquest is a lightweight, functional, and highly clear piece of glass that I would highly recommend to anyone looking to get a whole lot of bang for the buck. Whether you’re trying to spot impacts on steel through terrible Colorado mirage or you’re glassing up big game for hours on end, this spotter should definitely have a place in your pack.
The night this spotter arrived, I decided (read: couldn’t wait) to get it out of the box and get a feel for it. It comes in a very eye-appealing box. Looking back, the high definition of the artwork on the box should have been a sign of the definition and clarity you get from the scope. A carrying case might be a nice touch, but for the price point, it seems Zeiss squeezed every bit of quality you could ask for and more out of the spotter itself.
Sleek, simple, eye-appealing box.
The first thing that struck me when handling the spotter was how light and balanced it is for an 85mm spotter. The Conquest comes in at 60 oz. Compare that to a Vortex Razor HD 27-60x at 65.6 oz. or a Swarovski ATS 80 at 58 oz., and the scope is already on the winning side of weight for price point in my mind. I mounted it on my Vortex Pro GT tripod, what I would consider an average tripod for a hunter, and it sat and panned just as smooth and easy as my 11x33 spotter.
My previous experience with 85mm or even 65mm bells is for them to be quite front heavy and that making fine adjustments is difficult. The Conquest rides any tripod with ease, which will be a point of emphasis later on. Additionally, the Conquest rotates within its tripod-mounting collar with a quick turn of a knob, giving it a lot of flexibility for glassing while sitting or from the cab of a vehicle.