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Help in Choosing a New Scope - Zeiss or Swarovski

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Optics Apprentice
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    Posted: January/21/2022 at 16:58
I'm considering purchasing a 30mm scope for one of my hunting rifles.  There are two very-slightly used ones for sale at the moment:

(1) the Zeiss Victory diavari 2.5-10x42 (No. 8 reticle) and

(2) the Swarovski Z6i 1.7-10x42 (duplex reticle).

Neither is illuminated, which I don’t want.  The Zeiss is an older model and is FFP, and the Swarovski is SFP.  The price is almost identical for each, so that won't be a factor.  For those of you with experience with either or both of these scopes, is one a clear winner over the other with respect to optical quality--brightness and clarity of the image?

I haven't owned a FFP scope and so am wondering about the wisdom of going to one now.  The scope will go on a hunting rifle that will be used for hunting in a variety of terrains--short to long range in open country and cover.

One thing I haven't been able to figure out is the reticle subtension of the FFP Zeiss at various distances--in particular how thick the crosshairs would be.  I've scoured the internet for information from Zeiss about this, but haven't found what I need yet. (Only the newer reticles seem to be covered.)  For example, how thick are the crosshairs at 10 power at, say, 100 yards?  And how thin do they get at, say, 3 power at short ranges.  Is there a formula to determine this?  I’m more concerned about this than I would be with a SFP scope like the Swarovski.

Any help will be much appreciated.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Urimaginaryfrnd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/21/2022 at 21:41
Swarovski would be my pick. not only in it a newer design with better coatings on the glass but it offers a wider magnification range.    If you zero at 200 yds and know where it hits at 100 and 300 you should have what you need to know with a duplex.   If you are shooting past 300 then you either want target type knobs to dial in correction or a ballistic reticle. With 2nd focal plane ballistic reticles are used at the max power of the scope. But center x is true at all magnifications. 

With a First Focal Plane scope and mil dots or a ballistic reticle what the marks mean is always the same at any power.  

You may have to call Zeiss I'm sure the info is neatly hidden somewhere. 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Scrumbag Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/22/2022 at 10:07
I'd go swaro as well
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kickboxer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/23/2022 at 16:17
I have the Zeiss scope you mention (2.5-10x42 T*) with #4 reticle and have a Swarovski Z6i 1-6x24 (basically same reticle as the Zeiss).  As for optics and coatings, choose either and you have chosen well.  They are both excellent(superior) in low light.  The reticle in the Zeiss is clean and clear at all powers... I actually like the Zeiss power range better, but no real preference in the scopes. The Zeiss is on a Voere Titan II in 30-06 and I have killed every deer I've shot at with the combo.   The Swarovski is on a Champlin Custom rifle in .378 Weatherby Magnum...I've fired a couple hundred rounds through the rifle with that scope mounted and no issues, so it is "tough enough".  
Never any problems with either scope for any use.  The Zeiss is not illuminated, the Swarovski is... I like illumination (done properly, which both Zeiss and Swarovski do very well), the Zeiss is FFP, Swaro is SFP... I like FFP better (generally), but have a number of SFP scopes.  With these scopes, doesn't really matter.
Adjustments are not suited for dialing for range on either, you CAN, of course, but not optimally.
To me, you are looking at a coin flip or pick the name you like best.  Both are exceptional.  

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote South Pender Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/23/2022 at 18:18
Originally posted by Kickboxer Kickboxer wrote:

I have the Zeiss scope you mention (2.5-10x42 T*) with #4 reticle and have a Swarovski Z6i 1-6x24 (basically same reticle as the Zeiss).  As for optics and coatings, choose either and you have chosen well.  They are both excellent(superior) in low light.  The reticle in the Zeiss is clean and clear at all powers... I actually like the Zeiss power range better, but no real preference in the scopes. The Zeiss is on a Voere Titan II in 30-06 and I have killed every deer I've shot at with the combo.   The Swarovski is on a Champlin Custom rifle in .378 Weatherby Magnum...I've fired a couple hundred rounds through the rifle with that scope mounted and no issues, so it is "tough enough".  
Never any problems with either scope for any use.  The Zeiss is not illuminated, the Swarovski is... I like illumination (done properly, which both Zeiss and Swarovski do very well), the Zeiss is FFP, Swaro is SFP... I like FFP better (generally), but have a number of SFP scopes.  With these scopes, doesn't really matter.
Adjustments are not suited for dialing for range on either, you CAN, of course, but not optimally.
To me, you are looking at a coin flip or pick the name you like best.  Both are exceptional.  



















That's really helpful, Kickboxer.  Can you help me out with the reticle subtension with the FFP Zeiss?  I'm wondering what thickness the thin center crosshair is at 10 power at 100 yards.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BeltFed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/24/2022 at 10:50
In a front focal plane scope, the reticle covers the same amount of real estate at any power. As the power increases the image increases, and the reticle increases.
In second focal plane scope the reticle stays the same size, as the image changes size with the power.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cbm Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/29/2022 at 12:54
I have had both of these scopes. But I need to explain a little about my Zeiss opinion, since I have asked here before. I have had a lot of alpha glass, particularly in the 42mm range objectives. I have had several Zeiss Diavari's and I think they are great in low light but I just do not see as well with them as other brands. I believe what was explained to me was that Zeiss leans toward blueish hues for low light performance and I guess my eyes just do not work with that as well. So anyway: 

Zeiss 2-10x42 I owned had a #4 and those older ffp zeiss scope reticles get real heavy on max power. There is absolutely no need for illumination in any situation I have been in. Not saying there is anything wrong with illumination(done right like KB said), but those Zeiss reticles are huge. It was a great all around scope, but I sold it. 

I currently have several Schmidt and Benders, but my go to is a Swaro Z6 1.7-10X42 plex. They thickened up the plex a few years ago and I would call it about a perfect hunting reticle IMHO. It takes me into some extremely low light just fine without illumination. I prefer it to the super thick Zeiss #4 reticle. Overall, I just think these scopes are easy to get behind and on target quickly. The field of view is amazing and something someone should test side by side with some other brands. Like it is amazing the difference in FOV between this Z6 and my Leupold VX6-HD 2-12X42 which I tested on 6x. The vx6-hd is no slouch in low light. But when testing them side by side, I just feel like you can see a lot more with the Z6 and almost feels like it is at a higher magnification than the VX6 set to the same power. 

Don't know if that helps any at all. But I love my Z6 and besides the optical performance, it just feels easier, smoother, and better made to me than the Zeiss. About this only thing I like as much is illuminated Schmidt and Benders, particularly the L7 reticle. I like the 3-12x42 klassik but it is a fair amount heavier than the Z6 1.7-10X42 . 


Edited by cbm - March/29/2022 at 13:15
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Something like this I imagine…..





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Winner!!! ^^^
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