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A Question For Expensive Optic Owners...

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/06/2010 at 01:22
The Apostle View Drop Down
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(I know this is the "Rifle Scope" thread but...)
 
I've got a question for anyone who owns any expensive optics (scopes, binos, spotters etc) made by companies such as Swarovski, S&B, Zeiss, Nightforce etc etc.
 
I just want to know: ARE THEY REALLY THAT GOOD???
 
This is coming from someone who owns these optics:
 
Bushnell Elite 4200 2.5-10x40
Bushnell Elite 4200 4-16x40
Bushnell Elite 4200 6-24x50 Tactical
Weaver Classic Rimfire 4x28
Leupold Yosemite 8x Bino ("f--king outstanding" was my comment I made as I first looked thru these!)
 
Have just bought these:
 
Redfield Rampage spotter
Redfield Renegade 10x bino
Redfield Raider RF
 
Couldn't buy any of their scopes yet as there's 5000 on back order over here in Australia...
 


Edited by The Apostle - November/06/2010 at 01:22
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/06/2010 at 02:42
8shots View Drop Down
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Yes, they are really that good. There is no comparison or replacement for quality.
 
Is it worth the money is another question and there is no simple answer.
 
As the saying goes If you ask the question, you probably cannot afford it.
 
If you hunt or shoot a lot, then it is worth it. If you pull the rifle out a couple of times a dear season, then mid range price scopes will do just as well.
 
They do not make you shoot better, they just give you clear vision and good repeatable performance. And when you put 2000 rounds plus a year down range, then those factors start becoming important.


Edited by 8shots - November/06/2010 at 02:43
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/06/2010 at 03:21
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Simply , yes they are worth it !
The but is ......... Don't buy a scope for hunting you can't afford to loose .
By that I mean the rigors of hunting can be rough on a scope . So a good scope is a must . You also run the risk of damaging the scope so don't shell out $ you can't afford to loose or replace .
Once you go to great glass you'll never go back !
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/06/2010 at 05:08
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Yes. 

My 14yo son double tapped these two right on dusk. He could see them in the Zeiss Diavari 2.5-10x42 (Set on 4x) when we couldn't see them with the naked eye. Only vague movements.


It is on dusk and in marginal conditions that the real advantage of quality optics become obvious. It is a market of diminishing returns however. You can pay double but only get a 10% improvement. Is it worth it ? For an extra 5 minutes of light, oh yes.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/06/2010 at 10:14
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Originally posted by Code4 Code4 wrote:

Yes. 

My 14yo son double tapped these two right on dusk. He could see them in the Zeiss Diavari 2.5-10x42 (Set on 4x) when we couldn't see them with the naked eye. Only vague movements.


It is on dusk and in marginal conditions that the real advantage of quality optics become obvious. It is a market of diminishing returns however. You can pay double but only get a 10% improvement. Is it worth it ? For an extra 5 minutes of light, oh yes.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/06/2010 at 10:15
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What are those? They are shaped like the Javelinas we have in South Texas but the coloring is different.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/06/2010 at 12:10
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Answer to O.P. - yes premium optics are really a lot better, but as 8shots commented, are they worth the extra $ ?
 That is not a question easily answered. I own anything from $60 Tasco's to $2000 Pecar-Berlin and Schmidt & Bender. I have found a use for them all. But if I am going to sit in a stand until dark, I do prefer the premium optics.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/06/2010 at 12:38
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For me, the older I get the better glass I need.The middle of the day I don't see a $1500 difference between my Elite6500 & my Swaro but comes the darker part of the day the expensive glass shows itself for what it is,the best!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/06/2010 at 14:29
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The more time I spend with the higher end optics the less I think they are worth it.  Mentionable scopes I've owned or hunted with are 3-9x40 zeiss conquest, SS 3-9x42, Kahles CL 2-7x36, and swarovski z6 1.7-10x42.  If any of them gave me 5 more minutes of hunting over the other I would be amazed.  I think once you get somewhere around the Bushnell Elite 4200 mark and up they will get you to legal hunting time in most places.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/06/2010 at 15:19
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I have had a Swaro PV 3-12X50, Zeiss Diavari 3-9x42, and a Kahles Helia C 3-12X56.And I have borrowed several rifles from a friend with 56mm Diavari's and one with 56mm Smidt and Bender. I currently have some old Zeiss Dialyt t* 7x42 bino and Leica BR 10x42 bino's.
 
I sold all of the scopes and bought better guns and replaced them with 44mm Zeiss Conquests, a Weaver Classic extreme 2.5-10x50, and a Bushnell 4200 2.5-10x40. All of which are very good in low light.
 
The high end scopes are better but not worth the cash for my style of hunting. I like having good bino's better and making my decision based on them..........if I make a call with my bino's I can easily shoot with my less expensive scopes. But if money were no object I would still have the better scopes...........for what I consider a moderate gain in performance. Some folks act like a 56mm Diavari at night is like having night vision...........I didn't personally ever see it that way at all!
 
I will say that "if" a guy could only plunk down cash on one item , it would be a high end scope. But for someone like me, I would go for high end bino's and keep your 4200's !
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/06/2010 at 19:46
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Originally posted by cbm cbm wrote:

 
But for someone like me, I would go for high end bino's and keep your 4200's !
 
I agree with this statement.
You spend a bunch of time behind the binos, and it seems like the shot just takes a few seconds.
The mid range scopes do a pretty good job.
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/07/2010 at 07:54
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When it comes to shooting in low light, or at night under the full moon, the scopes reticle is just as important as the quality of the glass. Thin target crosshairs are almost impossible to use and cheap illuminated crosshairs which are too bright are even worse. Thats my opinion at least. Ill stick to Trijicon and Zeiss Conquest with reticle 20 IF the scope is for hunting. I agree about the binoculars though, since I spend literally hours behind mine while Im hog hunting. Right now Im using Vortex Vultures but I would like to upgrade soon, and have no doubt that a good pair of Steiners would do the trick. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/07/2010 at 09:25
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Shooters become emotionally attached to their equipment. Scopes also. After putting out the big bucks maybe even more so, and in some ways the equip decribes the shooter. This characteristic in hunting is nothing compared to trap, skeet, action shooting, bench rest --- in short organized shooting. Orginal poster doesn't limit question to hunting, but most of the answers given from this view. A br or precision shooter can spend as much time on the scope as a hunter ever does on binocs. The better scope shows up pretty fast here. Also as 8's points out, the quantity of shooting makes a big difference. When the numbers get around 10k rounds down range the differences become even more apparent. Just the repeatability at this level is different, not just in the machine (scope) but in system becoming more than the sum of the parts. For the occasional shooter to jump into a net discussion on high end scopes is very confusing, as none of the defining circumstances have been put down, and everyone assumes the playing field is the same when its not. If a medium range hunting scope is used under the same circumstances as a high end tactical it will fail poorly. When high end tactical is used as a hunting scope (not counting the wt. ) one could probably not tell the difference. Does this answer the question? Yes and No.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/07/2010 at 12:46
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It depends a lot on "Your" eyes.  Mine aren't very good so I tend to notice more difference with a better grade of glass than say someone who is 20 years younger than me.  I am sure it will get worse as I get older.  That being said I have not had the chance to hunt varmits at night and I don't typically hunt up until last light so I don't need the best.  Do what is best for you and remember things might change in a few years (as they have for me) so don't forget to change you equipment with it.  YMMV
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/07/2010 at 13:27
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Over the last 20 years it seems I've owned every scope mentioned here and some more that weren't.  If you're going out to sit in a stand once a year for a week or less, then the Bushnell Elite series or a Leupold 6X42 would serve you well.

 

The higher end optics have a better image, but the mid-range optics have a great image too, just not as good as the high end optics.  Then you get into repeatability, tracking and general robustness of the build.  This is where the high end optics show their value.  Not only do they give you a great image, they track reliably, return to zero reliably, doesn’t have any POI shifts...and this is over thousands and thousands of rounds.  This is where the Night Forces, Schmidt & Benders, US Optics and Hensoldts to name a few shine.  Mid-range scopes can, and do, crap out if subjected to the rigors of a sniper/tactical training course.  The high end optics can take the abuse and turret spinning, and come back for more.

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/07/2010 at 16:17
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Originally posted by tejas tejas wrote:

What are those? They are shaped like the Javelinas we have in South Texas but the coloring is different.

Mature African Bush Pigs. Taken in the NW of South Africa.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/07/2010 at 16:21
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/07/2010 at 20:21
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Most of the scopes you list are hunting scopes.  So I will assume you are discussing hunting scopes.  I to was plagued by your question and bought a 3x12x56 illum diavari this year.  I have 2 elite 4200s with 50mm bells.  These were my primary hunting scopes.  The zeiss is all around better than the 4200s and should be for the extra money.  From a hunting stand point the zeiss will allow me to see much more in low light.  I hunt white tail deer and usually over a field surrounded by woods (300 yards or less; usually under 100).  Just before dark you can still see the field with the 4200.  You cannot see into the edge of the woods.  I am able to see into the edge of the woods with the zeiss.  I could also see into the field well after legal shooting hours too.  I could not with the bushnell. 

If I could afford to outfit all my rifles with high-end zeiss scopes I would.  

I will be harvesting deer next week with my 4200 and favorite deer rifle.  As for the zeiss; my 15 year old son will hunt with that this season. (I would rather him kill that monster buck hiding in the shadows)

Hope this helps.


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/07/2010 at 20:35
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My take is that any decent scope will let you shoot does and a nice buck
I am on a "trophy" lease this year and the ante is much higher, can't shoot just any "nice buck" you run across (not that you should anyways) but, trying to age a deer, check antlers at last possible light at 300 yards in the edge of a tree line is challenging..   I have good  binos and use them, but there is sometimes not enough time to glass, decide and then engage.

I have a Kahles Cl 3-10x50 with a 4a reticle, it will allow me to see and discern better than the Zeiss Conquest 4.5-14 I had, the resolution is better, not just seeing a deer but being able to really see the deer clearly and decide to shoot or not..

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/07/2010 at 21:25
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The Apostle,
I have a 12-42X56 NightForce and a 4 1/2-30X50 Bushnell 6500.  Durnign the day no one can tell any difference in the quality fo images with both on the same magnification.
 
When I compared them after sunset, the Bushnell quit at 6:44 PM and the NightForce quit at 7PM.
 
When I turned the power up on the Bushnell it came back into usefulness.  So for at the begginning and end of the day the NightFrorce is better.
 
Next week I will post how they compare with a Z5 5-25X52 Swarovski.  It should be here Monday or Tuesday.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/07/2010 at 22:12
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Originally posted by ccoker ccoker wrote:

My take is that any decent scope will let you shoot does and a nice buck
I am on a "trophy" lease this year and the ante is much higher, can't shoot just any "nice buck" you run across (not that you should anyways) but, trying to age a deer, check antlers at last possible light at 300 yards in the edge of a tree line is challenging..   I have good  binos and use them, but there is sometimes not enough time to glass, decide and then engage.

I have a Kahles Cl 3-10x50 with a 4a reticle, it will allow me to see and discern better than the Zeiss Conquest 4.5-14 I had, the resolution is better, not just seeing a deer but being able to really see the deer clearly and decide to shoot or not..

i would hope so for more than double the price Wink
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/08/2010 at 02:28
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I have looked through a lot of scopes during normal sunny days. All side by side comparisons at gunshows, rifle ranges etc.
When we talk about glass, it is as a lot states above...not too much to choose from. In fact I would love to see a blind (pardon the pun) review on scopes. Put them in a shoebox, with only the ocular and the objective visible, then rate a set of scopes from 1 - 10. The results, like blind wine tasting, may be surprising.
However, there is a lot more to scopes then glass. Ruggedness, reliability, reticules, flare, edge to edge clarity, repeatability etc etc.
 
Like verything in life, what you pay for is what you get.
 
A VW Beetle will get you to the Oscar's, but a Limousine will get you there in style !!!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/08/2010 at 09:33
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Originally posted by The Apostle The Apostle wrote:

(I know this is the "Rifle Scope" thread but...)
 
I've got a question for anyone who owns any expensive optics (scopes, binos, spotters etc) made by companies such as Swarovski, S&B, Zeiss, Nightforce etc etc.
 
I just want to know: ARE THEY REALLY THAT GOOD???
 
This is coming from someone who owns these optics:
 
Bushnell Elite 4200 2.5-10x40
Bushnell Elite 4200 4-16x40
Bushnell Elite 4200 6-24x50 Tactical
Weaver Classic Rimfire 4x28
Leupold Yosemite 8x Bino ("f--king outstanding" was my comment I made as I first looked thru these!)
 
Have just bought these:
 
Redfield Rampage spotter
Redfield Renegade 10x bino
Redfield Raider RF
 
Couldn't buy any of their scopes yet as there's 5000 on back order over here in Australia...
 
 
 
Others have already said it, but the answer is YES.  The best way to find out for yourself is go to a local dealer and line them up side by side under the same conditions at the same time, preferably twice during both low light and full sun.  Try to use scopes with similar specs, ie objective size and power range, for your comparison.
 
When I bought my first scope I did this.  The options were more limited then than now.  At that time, for my eye the swarovski 30mm ph series won out. Second was the 30mm zeiss then the nikon monarch series.  After that they dropped off greatly down to the leupold and bushnell levels.
 
Since then I have gotten to compare some other scopes and recently bought a burris.  It is very close to the swarovski and the zeiss, but not quite as good.  Still better than nikon and leupold to my eye.
 
After getting the burris, I finally found a local dealer that had the trijicon in stock.  I got to compare that with some of the others mentioned, but not all.  I would not hestitate to buy one of those also.  (I am not sure which would look better between the trijicon and my new burris since I didn't get to see those side by side, the edge may go to trijicon.) 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/08/2010 at 09:47
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Rich am looking forward to your findings on the Z5.I myself have Swaro Z5 3.5-18 & when I compared it to my elite 6500 there was no comparison even during the mid afternoon,which kind of surprised me!
 
To be fair the Z5 does cost twice as much.6500 is still a great deal & I will continue to use it on my AR15 [.22lr]as I think it is better than my originall SS 10X which presently sits on it but not up to the task of my SS 10X HD.
 
I'll say no more as I don't want to sway your findings any more tha I already might have.
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There's a place and purpose for the premium optics and they are indeed "better" in some ways, but for most hunting needs, they aren't essential.  A good mid range optic will do most of what you need these days.  It's all a matter of what value you place on getting ever-diminishing performance improvements and what purpose the optic is intended to serve.
 
 
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