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Kahles CL, Swaro, Zeiss, Leupy

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/22/2005 at 08:44
mwyates View Drop Down
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I posted below to see if anyone had compared the new Kahles CL to the Swaro 1" and there was no response so.......  I loaded up the credit card and ordered a Kahles CL 3-9X42 and a Swarovski 3-10X42 and a Zeiss Conquest 3.5-1-X44.  I had a Leupold VX III 3.5-10X40 on hand so I threw it into the mix.  I spent an afternoon doing very subjective and unscientific tests.  I made a wooden rack to hold the 4 scopes side by side (I had to keep them new so some could be returned). I looked at a variety of targets through the afternoon in sunny and cloudy conditions, up until dark.  First, some generalities.  All of these are very nice scopes and would function well under normal hunting conditions.  The Leupold wasn't as bright as the other three.  The Zeiss felt a bit clunky compared to the others ( you can look up sizes and weights, I won't list them here).  Leupold had the easiest to use zoom ring; Kahles had the worst.  Leupold has a locking eyepiece, the others don't.  When you first look through the scopes, it is apparent that the Leupold has a "smaller" image.  The Kahles, on the other hand, has a huge, in your face image.  I decided this was due at least in part to the longer eye relief of the Leupold.  The Leupy had about an inch more than the other 3.

I compared all four at low, mid, and high powers.  The Swaro was the clear winner at low power.  I could get the Kahles close, but had to adjust the focus to do so.  I decided the adjustable focus would probably be nice on a target rifle, but for hunting it would be a hassle.  Zooming required refocusing for a optimal image.  At mid and high power the Kahles was the winner (as long as it was properly focused).  The image was very bright and sharp and seemed to provide more magnification than the others, even at the same power.  I guess this was related to the large image I mentioned above. 

 

So what's my choice?  This scope is going on a Cooper Custom Classic in .243 Win and will be used for deer and varmints.  Well, cost is an issue.  Swaro - $850, Kahles - $800, Zeiss - $580, Leupold - $470.  Eye relief - Leupold wins (this is an issue for me, because I am right handed and left eyed and have to close my left eye to shoot.  It's nice to have that extra field of view because the scope is farther away).  Image - Kahles wins.  If they made this scope without the adjustable focus, I would keep it.  Overall handling, ergonomics - Swarovski wins.  This is a very nice scope.  The locking eypiece on the Leupold is a plus for me.  My scopes that don't have it always seem to need adjusting.  This may just be my perception, but on my Leupolds I know I can set it and forget it.  The Zeiss is a good compromise; image quality is better than Leupold, but not up there with Swaro and Kahles.  It's $100 more than the Leupold, and the image is probably $100 better, but the weight, size, and eye relief make me prefer the Leupold.

 

Bottom line is...I haven't decided yet.  I'm pretty sure I won't spend almost twice as much for either the Swaro or Kahles.  They are great, but not twice as good.  It's down to better image on the Zeiss vs. all the other good qualities of the Leupold.   I'll keep y'all posted.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/24/2005 at 22:16
mwyates View Drop Down
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Update - I feel kind of stupid.  After fooling with the Kahles CL some more I noticed I wasn't focusing it properly.    I was assuming that it indexed at the top of the dial, but there's an obvious indexing mark facing back towards the shooter (where it should be).  Proper focusing made a lot of difference.  It's in focus at all powers at a given distance, and if you want to set and forget it you can put it on 100 and shoot as close or as far as you like.  I think I'm going to have to keep this one.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/27/2005 at 03:24
gozarian View Drop Down
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I think you made a wise choice.  Glad you posted your results.  I get the feeling that Kahles CL is one heck of a scope!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/27/2005 at 14:38
Chris Farris View Drop Down
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The Kahles CL is a totally new line of scopes from the ground up.  They claim that it is the undisputed, best 1" rifle scope in the world....and I believe them.  The CL scopes have a huge ocular housing and lens that greatly increases field of view and ease of use.  The optics and coatings are noticeably better than their previous series.  Now that they are no longer sharing technology with Swarovski, Kahles has passed them.  1st with the new CSX (which is the top illuminated scope in Europe by a landslide) and now with the CL.  Add the Multizero feature and look out !!!
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