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how do other premium scopes compare to the alpha 3

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/01/2011 at 21:58
atomiclab View Drop Down
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I have often wondered how other premium scopes compare optically to the alpha 3
scopes such as:
U.S. Optics
Valdada
Primer Reticles
S&B
March
Night Force

This may be a silly question, but, What would be the best optical "bargain" amongst the various premium scope manufacturers (including swaro, leica, zeiss)?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/02/2011 at 07:21
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Define premium and use..... The SS 5-20s have glass that compares to scopes that are priced much higher.  They have great reviews and the SS name to back them.  They are considered by some to be the best "bang for your buck" in the tactical field currently.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/02/2011 at 09:13
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Originally posted by atomiclab atomiclab wrote:


This may be a silly question, but, What would be the best optical "bargain" amongst the various premium scope manufacturers (including swaro, leica, zeiss)?
If I understand your question correctly, the answer IMO is the Zeiss Conquest.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/02/2011 at 09:26
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I don't have experience with all you have listed, but I do have a Swaro Z6.  I have had a bunch of IORs, looked through several USOs, and several Nightforces, during some precision rifle classes i have taken when I was using IORs and SWFA SS scopes.  I also have a SS 5-20x.

The Z6 is better glass than them all.  IORs and USO looked really close to my eyes, the SS 5-20x is also very similar to the IORs.  Then Nightforce comes up last to them all. 

Optically your best bargain scopes IMO are the SS series followed by IOR.  SS has incredible glass for the money it is right there with the IORs for a little less money. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/02/2011 at 09:30
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Of the ones mentioned I have only looked through various IOR, S&B and Night Force. The NF on my friends .300 is a tank. But I can say the S&B I've looked through had excellent glass.
Also missing in the list is Kahles. These scopes are definitely alpha class. I have four of them and put them right there with Diavari.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/02/2011 at 09:46
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the purpose of my question is to learn more about the "high end" target and tactical long range scopes and how they compare to each other. Mostly how they compare in optical resolution, clarity, apparent sharpness, and personal opinion of those whom have used or reviewed them

intended use would be long range target, varmint, and possible big game hunting (hunting with precision rifle)
 
well, my question is in regards to the brands mentioned.  I would like to know mostly if these scopes offer double or triple the optical performance since they are double or triple the price. BUT sometimes these can be found just north of $1000 used, which makes me highly interested again.  

SVT_tactical, i AM also interested in knowing what is the " best bang for the buck "  that is also the point of my question.  Honestly, I want to know both, peoples opinions of "x" scope has just as good of glass and is much less money... and ect.     and I also am interested in hearing peoples experiences with US optics, Valdada, Primer Reticles, March, Night Force.

I have read a few comments that NF doesn't exactly have the best optical resolution or clarity. don't know if that is true or not, but I found it interesting. 

I have read very favorable comments about Valdada IOR.

I have read nothing about US Optics, or Primer Reticles.


Stud Duck,  Im glad you think the Conquest scopes are such a good value.  I have spent a lot of time with my 2 Conquest 3-9x40 scopes and of corse they are the the best scopes I have ever had, and most expensive.  I did my homework and read forums and I think it paid off well. and by the way I snatched one of them off the samplelist for $299 (i feel like a big winner there)

I value you guys experience and opinions here on the forum.  and I want to learn much here. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/02/2011 at 09:50
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It depends on what you need out of a scope. IMO, Hensoldt (Zeiss), Premier and S&B offer the best (and usually most expensive) combination of optical quality, durability, design features (such as target turrets or zero-stop) and mag range. If glass doesn't matter a whole lot to you, then a NF will unquestionably compete on the rest of those features.

If all you need is really nice glass and you don't feel the need to reliably shoot out past 300-400 yards, you can go with something like the Zeiss Conquest or feel comfortable running an IOR. Kahles and Swaro glass also. If you can live with the mag range, the SS 5-20 has glass a notch below the ones I mentioned above and is an unquestionable bargain. In the past, I might have considered the Vortex Razor HD, but not with the SS around. The Razor is priced too close to a Premier 3-15 LT, which it outweighs by 9-10 oz.

The other scope that is a bargain if you are interested in using turrets and a reticle to get out to say 500-600 yards is the SS 3-9. The glass is as good side-by-side to me as that in a NF 2.5-10X32 and it's safe to say it would do most of what I'd expect out of scopes costing 2-3X more.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/02/2011 at 10:06
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Originally posted by atomiclab atomiclab wrote:

well, my question is in regards to the brands mentioned.  I would like to know mostly if these scopes offer double or triple the optical performance since they are double or triple the price. BUT sometimes these can be found just north of $1000 used, which makes me highly interested again.


No, a $2000 scope is more in the ball park of offering maybe 5% better optical quality over a scope in the $1000 price range, if that.

Take a Zeiss conquest 3-9x vs a Swaro Z6 1.7-10x.  I dare bet there is not a 10% difference (probably less) in optical quality.  Sure the Swaro gives a incredible glass amazing edge to edge clarity and is just a joy to look through.  But the Conquest is really not that far behind optically in most respects.  

Using Binos as an example.  I have a pair of Cabelas Euro, that I paid $600 for.  I recently bought a pair of Leica Geovid HDs they were around $2400.  Optically I cannot tell much difference at all.  Kind of sad considering it cost so much more. 

A lot of times with the premium optics you are paying for more than just glass.  WIth the Swaro z6 line they offer the 6x erector system which I dare bet is much more complicated and costly design.  A lot of scopes that have a high erector ratio tunnel vision badly at the low end.  The Z6 does not at all.  It offers incredible FOV at 1.7x where scopes like IOR as soon as you get below 4x start to tunnel, so your FOV does not increase once below that point.

On Nightforce.  The glass is good and they are great scopes.  They just don't have glass quite as good as some other higher end scopes.  But again that difference is going to be a very low percentage.   
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/02/2011 at 10:13
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JonoMT actually I think the glass is more important to me than mechanical durability.   I would treat such an investment with kid gloves. and I am sure that any of these scopes in this class are durable enough for my needs.
but mechanical has its place for my needs in that I do want to be able to shoot past 500 yards reliably.
thats also part of the point of interest in a "premium" scope, or really a long range scope that would suit my needs.  Optical clarity and contrast and apparent sharpness are important to me.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/02/2011 at 10:40
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For big game hunting, the VX3, Conquest, Elite 4200, etc all get you past legal shooting hours/light.  The S&B Summit I have will get you a few extra minutes but that's all, and the S&B glass is as good as it gets.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/02/2011 at 12:20
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The thing I've noticed most from alpha glass is the resolution (clarity) and lack of eye fatigue. I spent some time with a friend's high-end Swaro bins and realized you could glass through something like that all day long. To give you an extreme example, I have been out to the range in moderate mirage and was able to see a target @ 300 yards (and even resolve bullet holes) with a Premier 3-15 on 15X while I couldn't see the same hardly at all with my cheap Bushnell spotter set @ 36X. Even an incredible 100mm objective uber-spotter will let you down at some point and I've always been skeptical that it would help until seeing things like that with my own eyes.

You might really want to take a good look at the non-illuminated version of the SS 5-20. It pains me to tell you (well, it would pain you more) to know that it was recently available for $1039.96, but the $1299 list price still makes it a great deal. I had the illuminated version and found it was great in every way, save one: mag range. I went back to Premier because I really wanted 3-15.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/02/2011 at 19:00
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I have a Sightron S3 16x42 . How good glass compared with the Night Force, IOR, Zeiss Conquest, SS HD, Bushnell Elite 4200/6500 ...?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/03/2011 at 02:09
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I have read lots of good things about the Sightron siii.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/15/2011 at 11:28
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does anyone have experience comparing Sightron siii to the SWFA SS scopes
thinking of a siii 6-24 x 50 with moa2 reticle or
SS  5-20 x 50 with modified mildot reticle

how do they compare optically? 
I understand they both have good glass.

oh and I guess I would throw Zeiss conquest 5-20x50




Edited by atomiclab - December/15/2011 at 11:30
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/15/2011 at 11:32
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interesting, I was really wanting to know how the expensive long range/ tactical scopes compared with each other, but the conversation still went to the sightron, SS, and such.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/15/2011 at 12:15
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Okay. Back to high-end scopes:

For features and magnification range (3-15), as well as reliability and tracking, I would choose either a NF F1 or Premier LT (in my case, went with the Premier because of significantly better glass). But that's because target turrets, zero stop, reticle choice and the above-mentioned attributes are what's important to me. Hensoldt (Zeiss) would be the top of the heap, but that extra $1K is too much for me. Other Zeiss offerings in the $1700 - $3000 range just lack the features that make it worthwhile to spend the money. Great glass is just one desirable feature. A scope without a reticle with uniform subtensions and matching TARGET turrets is worth no more to me than a much cheaper Conquest. Same goes for Swaro or S&B hunting scopes.

USO is a company I greatly respect but they share one thing in common with Nightforce: decent but not great glass. All this is just my $.02 so you have to consider what is important to you.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/15/2011 at 12:19
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I wrote three rather lengthy articles on High End Tactical scopes.  There is some discussion of them that you can see on this thread:

Or you can go directly to the articles on my OpticsThoughts website.

ILya




Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/15/2011 at 19:02
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Originally posted by atomiclab atomiclab wrote:

JonoMT actually I think the glass is more important to me than mechanical durability.   I would treat such an investment with kid gloves. and I am sure that any of these scopes in this class are durable enough for my needs.
but mechanical has its place for my needs in that I do want to be able to shoot past 500 yards reliably.
thats also part of the point of interest in a "premium" scope, or really a long range scope that would suit my needs.  Optical clarity and contrast and apparent sharpness are important to me.


I can understand why when you lay out so much cash that you would treat these scopes with kid gloves. The real market however for optics like this is people who stake their lives and the lives of others on their equipment. Therefore, when you get to optics in this class good glass is certainly a requirement but durability and mechanical precision are mandatory
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/15/2011 at 21:47
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Ilya,

That was a great review.  It really helped answer a lot of my questions about this class of scopes.

I really like that MP-8 reticle that IOR has.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/15/2011 at 21:51
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Biggren,  I totally understand, and I agree,  the point I was trying to make is that I am not a real sniper, I am not looking for a scope for my self and then fight on the front line.  I am a hobby shooter and varminter and hunter.

Those who do have to use their guns and optics as life and death to protect us in what ever job that may be ( military, police, ect...)  have my HIGHEST respect.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/16/2011 at 21:40
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You never said a particular round, bullet, or ballistic profile..or intended use except pass 500yd...If you are common as I would say of myself then you may hunt ten weekends a year...prolly paper punch half that much? Belong to a Club Range? Then you may see 500yd steel? There are a lot of gimmick money traps. I can only tell you this, selling nothing. My Conquest is Day to Night compared better than Leupold VX-3. Own both. I am not sure if as stated above @ a 5% gain that $3,000 makes sense over my $1,100 Conquest. But I can say this further...My eyes are tested a minimum of every two years per CDL medical card. This July I tested 20/10 uncorrected. @ 10x on a 1'nch circle @ 100yds I am not capable of what my rifle is capable of comparing sandbag to a vise...Its better to know your rifle and round @ shorter distance in order to pre evaluate at long distance than it is to waste money for that 5% of glass. That said...I can bet money on a .5moa at 100yds. But I will not lie and say I am a 500yd shooter. Heck, I wont even bet on 300. @ 10x at 100 on a MOA Im doing good and very lucky planting them .5's. Everything is relative. You got the change and perceived need to hit a 6' kill circle on a human or animall target @ 500 then jump for that 5%. If so go with S&B for glass. Best I ever seen and never needed.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/17/2011 at 21:19
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FuddyDudd,  I hear you, Im right there with you.  and that is the whole point of this conversation.  
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