Nightforce Zeiss Swarovski

Discussion in 'Long Range Scopes and Other Optics' started by jarodjohns, Jul 19, 2013.

  1. jarodjohns

    jarodjohns Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    829
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2013
    What are everyones thoughts on a scope used strictly for hunting. Longest shot would be 500 yards on coyote/deer size game. I have owned a Nightforce 5.5-22x56 although i never mounted it. Reason for selling was I took it and a Zeiss Conquest 4.5-14x50 out one evening and compared the 2 and the Conquest was clearer and sharper. But i'm open to the 3 as I am ready to finally have my varmint gun and scope and my big game gun and scope and get out of the buying and selling stage i've been in for the last year. I've never even looked through a swaro other than in Bass Pro and anything looks good while in the store. So opinion on which of the 3 you prefer. Thanks..
     
  2. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    12,272
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2008
    If you're enjoying the Zeiss, an old phrase comes to mind..."If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Unless you're just bored and want to try something else. Personally, I love my Zeiss scopes.

    If you want one with better low-light clarity than the Zeiss you will have to move to the Kahles Helia KX scopes. They are close, but the Kahles is a little brighter at night.
     
  3. varmintH8R

    varmintH8R Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,123
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2011
    I have a Swarovski Z5 3.5-18x44BT as well as a NF 5.5-22x56. I like both, and for me they are totally different tools.

    My lighter hunting 280AI wears the Z5, and I have one on my 22-250 as well. The ballistic turret is a great feature out to 500yds, but IMO diminishes after that unless you get a custom turret. The glass is fantastic, to my eye much better than my NXS. The scope is relatively light and I haven't knocked it out of adjustment yet, but I am pretty cautious with it.

    My heavy LR rig wears the NF, and it works awesome. The turrets are designed for dialing elevation and windage from chart/ballistic program at long range, and the reticle gives more options/let's you stretch even farther if needed. It is big and heavy, and while I haven't beaten it up it sure seems like it would take more abuse than my Swaro's.

    I really like both scopes for specific applications, and I would not switch them on my rifles. I guess the best advice I can give is to determine what is most important in your application and do your research accordingly (range, ruggedness, weight, clarity, reticles, size, etc, etc). The good news is I am pretty confident you won't get a lemon if you choose any of the 3 you list above!

    Good luck
     
  4. jarodjohns

    jarodjohns Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    829
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2013
    Thanks for the feedback guys. I'm leaning towards a Zeiss HD5 or Swaro Z3. I really like the Zeiss plex reticle and after I think about it the more I don't think a Nightforce really fits in for this application. But I do agree that I dont think I could go wrong with any of the 3 as the if I went with the Nightforce I would be happy but think I will save the $$ and weight..
     
  5. Corvalliscory

    Corvalliscory Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    91
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2011
    what's your budget and is weight an issue? Are you looking for like a 4-12 or 3.5-18 or? What size objective?
     
  6. benchracer

    benchracer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,503
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2009
    IMO, the Nightforce is at its best for true long range shooting applications (1000+ yards). If the longest shot you plan to take is 500 yards, the Nightforce is a waste of money and capability.

    For shooting at 600 yards or less, most regular hunting scopes fit the bill very well. You don't really need to go with anything high end to do the job. If you simply want a nice scope, then by all means, go for it.

    I really like my Zeiss Conquest scopes and I think they would fit your application very well. They are a bargain for what you are getting, IMO. The Swaros are really nice scopes, too, but they are more expensive and don't really offer much advantage.

    That said, I have a Nikon Buckmasters 6-18x40 that does very well out to 600 yards. It doesn't have the low light performance of my Zeiss Conquests, but that is all it really gives up at 1/3 of the price.

    You can go Zeiss or Swaro if you want to, but they are not really necessary for your application. They are nice to have, though.
     
  7. jarodjohns

    jarodjohns Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    829
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2013
    Weight is not a huge issue but it is going on a Sendero which is already somewhat heavy for carrying around in the woods. I'm looking for the 12 - 18 upper power range and a 50mm. I will probably just end up going with another Zeiss as I'm impressed with my first one. I've had 3 Nikon Monarchs, currently just one as the first 2 had to be returned due to not holding zero. (Yes I know some will not believe this but it happened) Thanks again for your opinions.
     
  8. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    12,272
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2008
    I believe you, I had a Nikon Monarch Tactical 2.5-10x42 tactical scope on my custom built .308 (before it got stolen), and for the scope's $1K pricetag, I was really not that impressed with it.

    Also, I think you would be happy with the Zeiss 6.5-20x50 with the target turrets on the Sendero. I had mine on my Sendero SF 7mmSTW for a while, but did some scope swapping recently, and found it worked better on my Weatherby Accumark .257 Wby Mag.

    I think you will be happy with it.
     
  9. benchracer

    benchracer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,503
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2009
    I have had good luck with my Nikon Buckmasters, but I don't doubt you in the least. You are not the first person I have seen that had tracking issues with their Nikons.

    I concur with Mudrunner that you would probably be very happy with a 6.5-20x50 Zeiss Conquest.