This seems to be the perfect place to post my question. I have been searching for the perfect spotting scope. I have done some research but have not had a chance to look through these scopes myself, so I would like your opinion and anyone else who has any information or would like to post their opinion. I have been considering a Leica APO 62, a Zeiss Diascope 65, and a Swarovski 65 STS HD.
I have come across 4 separate side by side field tests by different companies that compared these 3 as well as others in function, brightness, resolution, and color fringing. Actually 2 of the tests really compared the larger 80mm scopes and 2 compared the 65 mm by. I feel these tests were conducted as fairly as can be expected using a test panel looking at resloution charts, and testing them in low light. Based on the results in the 85 mm class the Zeiss won. The Leica 77 APO and the Swarovski 80 mm HD were closely behind it in brightness and resolution. Maybe due to the slightly larger objective who knows. In the 65 mm class the Zeiss 65 and the Leica 62 APO tied each other in brightness and resolution both being able to see the tiniest lines on the resolution chart. The Swarovski 65 HD again was slightly behind. Bottom line is that Zeiss seemed to outperform Swarovski (although only by a very slight margin) in all 4 head to head tests that I found. Not really a big deal except the fact that the standard Swarovski is nearly the same price as the Zeiss. The HD is another few hundred dollars more making it overpriced in my opinion. That is why I have eliminated the Swarovski because the Zeiss offers better performance for a better price.
So I am down to the Zeiss 65 vs. the Leica 62 APO. I still feel that the Zeiss offers a better value. Equal performance for less money because hear again Zeiss comes standard with Florite glass where the Leica is another few hundred dollars more for the APO glass. However I own a Leica Digilux. Well actually I have the Panasonic version with the Leica lenses. I have done the research and it is the exact same camera with a different label. The emailed Leica and they told me that they use the exact same adapters. So taking photos would be a nice feature that I could use some so I am willing to pay a little extra for the Leica if the performance is the same. Hunting, however is the main purpose and using on the range and taking photos would be other uses as well.
Bottom line hear is that I would like to purchase the best spotting scope regardless of the price or how little difference there is. I want the best optically. Whether it be Zeiss or Leica. I would like to get your opinion and anyone elses opinion. Have you had a chance to test these 3 scopes for yourself ? If so, do you agree with the results of the tests that I have mentioned. Based on your knowledge which would you recommend.
Thanks for your help,