Nightforce ,swarovski, or zeiss

olympicmotors

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Feb 2, 2013
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I am trying to decide on a new scope for my 300 win mag. And have narrowed it down to A. Nightforce SHV 5 - 20 x 56
B. Swarovski Z 5. 5-25 x 52
C. Zeiss Conquest V4. 6 - 24 x 50
I already have an older Zeiss Conquest 4 -16, and I'm over all pleased with it, however I could use a little more magnification. I have never had a Swarovski or Nightforce. I understand none of these are really upper-tier glass, however I am really a holdover guy instead of dialing for distance, so tracking is not a crucial issue with me. All of these are in the 1000 to $1,500 price range that suits me, and they all have similar features and reticles that I want.

Does anyone here have experience with any of these scopes? If so what are your pros and cons with them?
 

rfurman24

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I tried hold over when I first got into "long range". I don't find it precise enough so my opinion may not matter much but I don't even consider the Z5 or the V4 to be in the same league as the SHV. I would take the SHV without a question.
 
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gpo1956

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I've had the SHV F1 and currently own the Zeiss V4. I liked the SHV ok, but the F1 version has short eye releif. The glass and reticle were very good. Wasn't really crazy about the turret. So far. I'm really enjoying the Z4. To me it has better turrets
(at least the elevation turret) adn the glass to my eye is comparable to the SHV. Its also 5-6 ounces lighter. I'd choose the Zeiss.
 

Shane Lindsey

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I think if long range first round hits are what you are after, you need turrets that you like. Hold over in my opinion is not as precise. Rapid engagement, great.

That said on my 30-06 I just replaced a NF NSX with Swaro Z3 w/BRX reticle. This is not a long range rifle but a lightweight carry rifle. I live in Virginia and it is pretty thick. I do not have access to long range hunting spots so this works. The NF was very good and I recommend them. Just too heavy for this rifle.

Not sure if glass is different in the SHV vs NSX but you won't be disappointed in the NF functionality and the durability of the them. Jury is still out on my Swaro.
 

BEEMAN

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I have a SHV on my 300 Win Mag and it works good. But the NSX turrets are superior for dialing. Also have the Swaro like you mentioned on my light weight x47. Haven’t set up the BT yet but it’s a nice scope. Another one that has glass that impressed me was the Gen 2 PST. Friend just got one and it’s a lot of scope for the money.
 

JJMoody

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I really like my new V4 6-24. It's lightweight, glass is good and bright, feels good to get behind. The zero stop is solid, turrets are a little softer than my NXS and I wish it had the MOART reticle as the MOA 1 (Zeiss) is a little thick. Can't have it all for $730, but the more time I spend behind it the more I like it.
 

MudRunner2005

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Zeiss V4. More scope for the money, and if you compare them all 3 side-by-side, the Zeiss Conquest V4 glass will be just as clear as the Swaro. I used to sell all the major high-end brands, and I learned A LOT. Most of what you see on the top-tier stuff is based solely on name and reputation. The price does not always dictate a direct correlation with superior quality. For example, Zeiss scopes in the US are not as revered to the same level of "exceptionalism" as Swarovski or Schmidt & Bender are. But the Zeiss scopes are just as high a quality, and in some instances that I've personally witnessed, some of those other elite brands have not shown remotely near the same quality as their prices have reflected...And were as poor as some of the cheapest scopes I've seen.

Go check them out in person, if you can find all 3 at the same place, that would be ideal to compare side-by-side.
 

5RWill

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We have a Z6 which is currently back at Zeiss in Germany being fixed because it wouldn't track though that's not indicative of the entire lineup just happened to get a lemon. Glass wise it's good i was honestly expecting a little more but for the price we got it at i wasn't really complaining. At the time i was comparing it to my HDMR II which is around the same price and the HDMR II had better resolution than the new Conquest. Though it suffered from CA pretty badly and edge to edge clarity wasn't so great. Zeiss had very good edge to edge clarity and CA control. It's to note the Zeiss turrets don't lock also, something i really liked from the HD5 series. The numbers are also small, my dad has issue seeing them at dusk if he's dialing.

I've never been behind an SHV only the ATACRs which are very nice but heavy.
The SHV i hear isn't quite that vibrant but has solid resolution. Though i really dislike NF reticles and their markup so i have a hard time putting money on one. I do love their ATACR series but again if i'm spending $3000+ i'm stepping up the Kahles, Minox, or Schmidt.

I don't have experience with that particular Swaro but i do currently own a Kahles 624i which is the sister company of Swaro. I also have a K525i on preorder which supposedly has the same glass stack as the Swaro X5 optics (i can't confirm this), to which i'm hearing is nothing short of spectacular. Now the K624i has to date has been the brightest optic i've looked through and the resolution is up there with the heavyweights of the industry. Very reminiscent of the Schmidt PMII i looked through a month ago though with a much wider FOV and a much better eyebox. Where the Kahles K624i suffers is CA control which is so so for a $3000 optic. Now evidently that doesn't exist in the X5 and in the two new Kahles released (k318i, k525i) it's been fixed.

I'd probably go Swaro honestly, just to give them a try. Assuming you still get a adequate reticle, zero stop, and decent elevation per rev. If not i'd go Zeiss.
 

SidecarFlip

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The older I get (I'm 69) the lighter stick I want because I don't like lugging a tank around and I cannot afford a porter to carry it so I run no nonsense light optics, in my case Vortex. I own a pair of Swaro EL Range Bino's and if I was to buy a high end optic it would be Swaro. IMO, best glass available. Having said that however, I'll keep running my Vortex optics. My spendable income is on hunts, not glass at this point.
 

Buzzsaw

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of the 3 you mentioned, I own then Swaro and the SHV

Both are GREAT scopes!!! if I had to choose, it would be the SWaro, just because of weight.

I dial dope on the SHV and have custom BDC turrets on my SWaro's

don't be intimidated by dialing your dope. Its very easy and fun to learn, with the plethora of ballistic tables available, just borrow a chronograph.

Now, if all your shots are within 300 yards, you didn't say what caliber you're shooting but a solid shoulder shot should kill any deer sized game.
 

Weatherby Fan

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Maple Ridge, BC, Canada
Sorry I can't help you on any of the scopes you mentioned but.........

3 buddies and myself did a comparison of a Zeiss V4 4-16x44, Leupold VX6HD 3-18x44, Zeiss V6 3-18x50, Swarovski Z6 2.5-15x44 and also threw in a Leupold 4.5-14x30 30mm cds ........
I brought over my Custom Remington 700 28 Nosler which had 30mm low Talleys on it, the scope I have mounted on this rifle normally is the Leupold VX6 HD 3-18x44

Mountability-eye relief, all were fine in this department except the Zeiss V4 4-16x44, the tube was to short and the power adjustment ring would touch the foot of the rear mount and even if it didn't touch there was no adjustment for eye relief.

As far as actual eye relief no issues with any of the scopes all had a generous eye box when mounted on the rifle and when shouldered all picked up nicely, only one I had to search tiny a bit for was the Leupold VX3i 4.5-14x40 30mm

Dawn and Dusk sight picture--all were very good in this dept, the Zeiss V6-3-18x50 was the best, only criticism is the crosshairs in the Swarovski Z6 would disappear at last light where the rest of them you could still see without issue

Optically-wow Zeiss hit it out of the park with their new V4/V6 line as edge to edge clarity and brightness is amazing a pleasure to look through, a hair better than the Swarovski Z6/Leupold V6 HD, funny thing the youngest guy in the crowd preferred the Leupold VX3i 4.5-4x40 30mm overall ?

the Turrets, I find its a matter of personal preference in this dept, we didn't do any shooting so hard to judge on tracking, the new Zeiss has a very positive click with their turret, but I have used VX3i, VX5 HD and VX6 HD turrets and haven't had any issues with tracking so far at the range.

Hard to be critical of any of the scopes, I did find optically the VX3i didn't match up but at that price point I would expect it wouldn't be on par with the others but certainly not that bad, this is the scope I use mostly for hunting.

Overall for the money/options/optically I would take the Zeiss V4 4-16x44,
this all depends on application as if your looking for lightweight I'm back to the VX3i Leupold !
 

Riflehunter1776

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Nov 7, 2017
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Zeiss V4. More scope for the money, and if you compare them all 3 side-by-side, the Zeiss Conquest V4 glass will be just as clear as the Swaro. I used to sell all the major high-end brands, and I learned A LOT. Most of what you see on the top-tier stuff is based solely on name and reputation. The price does not always dictate a direct correlation with superior quality. For example, Zeiss scopes in the US are not as revered to the same level of "exceptionalism" as Swarovski or Schmidt & Bender are. But the Zeiss scopes are just as high a quality, and in some instances that I've personally witnessed, some of those other elite brands have not shown remotely near the same quality as their prices have reflected...And were as poor as some of the cheapest scopes I've seen.

Go check them out in person, if you can find all 3 at the same place, that would be ideal to compare side-by-side.
yes and no.

Checking them out in a store gives you a sense of their weight and feel. But it is impossible to get a sense of glass quality in a store, looking at some kind of stuffed animal "mountain" under artificial light. It is equally pointless to go out in a parking lot, even at dusk, with all kinds of stray artificial light all around.

To test glass properly, you take it out and conduct side by side tests under true hunting conditions with varying natural light. To do that you have to buy it or be an official tester.

And if, like the average person, you cannot afford to buy every piece of glass you are interested in, you need to talk to people who have them, and who have taken them out in the field under real conditions. But just looking at them in the store isn't going to tell you much. This guy always has excellent info: http://opticsthoughts.com/

And don't forget that these companies have premium and economy lines as well.

And as far as Zeiss, I like them a lot, just like you. I have 7 or 8 of them. 2 of their true alphas and a bunch of their economy conquests. None of their garbage terras, though. I also have Swaro (alphas), Kahles(best quality), Meopta(best and economy), and others. I used to sell it too.
 
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Riflehunter1776

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Nov 7, 2017
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1,047
Sorry I can't help you on any of the scopes you mentioned but.........

3 buddies and myself did a comparison of a Zeiss V4 4-16x44, Leupold VX6HD 3-18x44, Zeiss V6 3-18x50, Swarovski Z6 2.5-15x44 and also threw in a Leupold 4.5-14x30 30mm cds ........
I brought over my Custom Remington 700 28 Nosler which had 30mm low Talleys on it, the scope I have mounted on this rifle normally is the Leupold VX6 HD 3-18x44

Mountability-eye relief, all were fine in this department except the Zeiss V4 4-16x44, the tube was to short and the power adjustment ring would touch the foot of the rear mount and even if it didn't touch there was no adjustment for eye relief.

As far as actual eye relief no issues with any of the scopes all had a generous eye box when mounted on the rifle and when shouldered all picked up nicely, only one I had to search tiny a bit for was the Leupold VX3i 4.5-14x40 30mm

Dawn and Dusk sight picture--all were very good in this dept, the Zeiss V6-3-18x50 was the best, only criticism is the crosshairs in the Swarovski Z6 would disappear at last light where the rest of them you could still see without issue

Optically-wow Zeiss hit it out of the park with their new V4/V6 line as edge to edge clarity and brightness is amazing a pleasure to look through, a hair better than the Swarovski Z6/Leupold V6 HD, funny thing the youngest guy in the crowd preferred the Leupold VX3i 4.5-4x40 30mm overall ?

the Turrets, I find its a matter of personal preference in this dept, we didn't do any shooting so hard to judge on tracking, the new Zeiss has a very positive click with their turret, but I have used VX3i, VX5 HD and VX6 HD turrets and haven't had any issues with tracking so far at the range.

Hard to be critical of any of the scopes, I did find optically the VX3i didn't match up but at that price point I would expect it wouldn't be on par with the others but certainly not that bad, this is the scope I use mostly for hunting.

Overall for the money/options/optically I would take the Zeiss V4 4-16x44,
this all depends on application as if your looking for lightweight I'm back to the VX3i Leupold !
I agree completely with what you're saying about testing at dawn and dusk; and that's funny about the VX3i. I got their "brightest" one with the 50mm objective and had it in the stand last fall next to my kid's 90's era 3-9x36mm Diavari. The old zeiss blew the door off it, and it wasn't even close. We were seeing deer walking around clearly in her scope (and in the swaro binos, of course) LONG before the leupold looked like anything other than the inside of a cave at midnight.
 

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