Zeiss Conquest Gavia 85 Spotting Scope Review

The Conquest is lighter and more functional than scopes in its similar price point and has glass quality of spotters considered a step above.
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    Zeiss Conquest Gavia 85 Spotting Scope Review
    By Jose Gardner


    Page 1 of 3

    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.

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    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.

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  1. xTapouTx
    This is fantastic, thank you for your time on this!
      jmgardner likes this.
    1. jmgardner
      Thank you very much!
  2. catorres1
    How was the eye relief, especially in comparison to the other two scopes you tried? The only scopes I can use at top power and still see the whole image are the Cabelas/Meopta and the Leupold. Would like an alternative.
      jmgardner likes this.
    1. jmgardner
      I never noticed any issues. but I also ride scopes (spotter or rifle scopes) a lot closer than the average person. That being said though, I had alot of people get behind it to give me their opinion, and never had eye relief mentioned. Considering how many of these guys are optics snobs, I would say no news is good news.
  3. DrillDog
    Your review is interesting, but unfortunately quite biased.

    You can't compare an 85mm objective scope to a 65mm objective scope. That is no comparison at all. I'm sure the Zeiss is nice, but of course it will seem brighter and a little sharper than a smaller scope. The 85mm objective will have a bigger 'sweet spot' and draw in way more light. Only a comparison to another $2000+ spotter with a minimum of 80mm objective would be a feasible test.

    Front objective lens size has nothing to do with field of view either. FOV is determined by the positioning of the prism and lenses in the body of the optic and the eyepiece construction. That's why you witnessed a 65mm spotter having the same field of view as an 85mm spotter.

    Im not saying the Conquest isn't an amazing scope, but I would like to see it compared the the Swarovski ATX 85mm spotter or the Meopta S2 HD 82mm spotter. That would be a true test of apples to apples that would determine if it belongs with the big dogs regardless of a little cheaper price point. Though for $2K, it better be darn good glass! ;)
  4. EdWalton
    How's the Gavia's end of day performance?
    Thank You!
    1. jmgardner
      Great! large objective and glass do a great job gathering light.