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Leupold's reputation

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/15/2008 at 09:38
cannon View Drop Down
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Can somebody with some authority (not just a person of brand bias) give me the Reader's Digest version for the evolution of Leupold scopes over the 20-30 years.  When I was a kid 20-30 years ago, my father, uncles, relatives, friends, and etc. all had Leupold scopes on all their guns.  It seems to me that Leupold once had the upper end hunters scope market.  Did something change over the course of time?  Did Leupold lose it's quality?  Did new companies emerge? Or did Leupold hold the market based upon undeserving reputation?  
 
I ask because I am torn between the tradition of my family owing Leupold scopes and now I am considering trying a Zeiss Conquest 3X9 on a new 30.06 purchase.
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/15/2008 at 10:38
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I don't think Leupold has lost its quality, I think that other manufactures caught up to them and are offering and equal or better product for a cheaper price.

Take the Bushnell 4200 for example against the VX3.  Some feel the 4200 glass is better than the VX3, others feel they are pretty equal.  But the 4200 costs considerably less money for the same scope.  Granted with the Leupold you have more options for finishes and custom reticles and such.  Which is a big plus for many people and not so much for others. 

As far as a Conquest vs a VX3 the conquest will be a very nice upgrade in glass quality over a Leupold with a maybe exception of the VX7.  But they are very pricey so you are back to paying more for a VX7 that offers nothing over the Conquest. 

I think they make good scopes, I had a couple VX3's but sold them on guns that I sold.  But comparing them to my 4200s or Meopta or IORs, I will never buy another Leupold because I feel you are getting nothing extra for the extra cost.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/15/2008 at 11:01
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Well put.  Thanks for your insight. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/15/2008 at 11:17
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Not sure if I qualify as "(not just a person of brand bias)" but I was pretty much of the same thought of you!  I always thought they were the best, although more than once I compared them head-to-head with other scopes in the same price range and bought the other scope..... Nikon Buckmaster and a Redfield 5-Star - can't remember the Leupold scope I compared them to. 
It wasn't until  I found this sight that I found my selections weren't off-base.  I think I thought I just wasn't looking at the right scope because I still thought they were the best even after I picked the Nikon and Redfield.  Seems like I and a lot of the folks here put a lot of importance on how bright a scope is and Leupold doesn't seem a bright to us.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/15/2008 at 13:51
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Originally posted by cannon cannon wrote:

Can somebody with some authority (not just a person of brand bias) give me the Reader's Digest version for the evolution of Leupold scopes over the 20-30 years.  When I was a kid 20-30 years ago, my father, uncles, relatives, friends, and etc. all had Leupold scopes on all their guns.  It seems to me that Leupold once had the upper end hunters scope market.  Did something change over the course of time?  Did Leupold lose it's quality?  Did new companies emerge? Or did Leupold hold the market based upon undeserving reputation?  
 
I ask because I am torn between the tradition of my family owing Leupold scopes and now I am considering trying a Zeiss Conquest 3X9 on a new 30.06 purchase.
 
 
......................Years ago and even going back to the 60`s and 70`s, Leupold captured the majority of the scope market, hence the uncles, brothers, friends, fathers, etc. having Leupolds on their guns. Once the mind set is in the cement, in most cases it stays there with the diehards.
 
Leupold has not lost its quality. Instead, other manufacturers are simply duplicating and increasing their optical quality to compete vs Leupold for the same price and in many cases for a cheaper price. The Elite 4200 is a great example.
 
I`ve owned a 4200, currently have a Nikon Monarch and currently have a VX3.
 
Where the Leupolds shine, is in their selections and damn good looks. They offer a scope and reticle for every rifle, caliber and hunting situation. I`m not biased towards Leupold or any other maker, but I give credit where credit is due.
 
Without bias or favoritism, I mount the proper scope, that will be the best possible compromise for my rifle and caliber at the price point I wish to pay.
 
A 1.5-5x20 VX3 German #4 sits on my .375 Ruger Alaskan. At that price point, or even at $100 in either direction, the VX3 for that particular rifle application, fills the bill beautifully.
 
  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/15/2008 at 15:09
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Leupold is American made and is headquarted in Oregon.  Service should be a factor in selection for the, "just in case" situation.  However, any of the scopes should be trouble free as long they are not abused.  I still think Leupold at the high end offers better value than the euro glass if you can get a good discount.  The euro glass is usually not discounted unless it is a blem.  The euro glass is more expensive and I am not sure it is worth the extra money.  Also, has anyone tried to get a Swaro, Zeiss or Kahles fixed or maintained?  Or get replacement parts? I bet it is not as easy as Leupold. 
 
I have just recently purchased a Leupold VX-7 for a good price and have taken ease of service and maintenance into account.  If I paid the list price I would take a closer look at the Kahles, or Zeiss or Swaro.  But I have a budget and I am sticking with it.  I will report on its performance when I get back from my hunt.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/15/2008 at 15:24
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ptalar,
 
Thanks.  Good stuff here for my novice self.  I just posted this same question in the review section but since it is on point with you I will also ask you.  If you were going to chose between a Leupold VXIII (3.5X10X40) and a Zeiss Conquest (3X9X40) for a hunting rifle, with an average shot between 200-300 yards, price was not an issue, which scope would you choose and why?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/15/2008 at 15:45
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Just so you know, Zeiss Conquests are made in the USA as well.  So if you do have a problem with one service should be good.  Zeiss will get my vote, it has noticeably better glass than a VX3
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/15/2008 at 16:01
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Although I didn't look thru a VXIII, I did buy a Zeiss Conquest 3-9X40.  I really like it, it has CONSTANT 4" of eye relief and a forgiving eye box (doesn't black out if you move your head a bit) is very bright and has a great reticle.  Not sure if the Leupold has had a price increase recently, but the Conquest was at $399 when I bought it which is $80 less than what the VXIII is now.  Conquest is now showing $449.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/15/2008 at 16:14
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Originally posted by cannon cannon wrote:

ptalar,
 
Thanks.  Good stuff here for my novice self.  I just posted this same question in the review section but since it is on point with you I will also ask you.  If you were going to chose between a Leupold VXIII (3.5X10X40) and a Zeiss Conquest (3X9X40) for a hunting rifle, with an average shot between 200-300 yards, price was not an issue, which scope would you choose and why?
....................Most would choose the Zeiss over the VX3. The Zeiss will be brighter to a degree. But having looked through both, the VX3 imo and to my eyes, is certainly 95% of what the Zeiss Conquest is.
 
Would the extra 5% or so Zeiss advantage mean the difference between filling your tags or not?..............No!............... I thought about a low powered Zeiss for my Alaskan. The price was about 2 to 2 1/2 times more than my 1.5-5x20 VX3 #4.....That`s ridiculous! Would I have gained 2 to 2 1/2 times the optical quality by going to the Zeiss??.....NOPE! Absolutely not! 
 
For you, the real question should be; "what do my eyes see and like" and to heck with everyone else`s individual observations.
 
One thing you also need to consider is any warranty issues should they occur. Leupold without question certainly excels in that dept, which is perhaps the best in the business. That may further explain why people, including the old cement headed diehards, continue to buy Leupolds. Service after the sale is also very important.
 
Kahles for example!!.... Even though the Kahles glass is exceptional, should a warranty issue occur, one must now send the scope to Europe for repair work or replacement. That greatly increases the turn around time and inconvenience. No such problem with Leupold.......With Zeiss, I do not know but you need to find out.
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/15/2008 at 16:32
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Cannon,
 
Big Squeeze says it all.  However, the criteria I used for selection was:
 
Objective Lens - Wanted 50mm or better
Tube size - wanted 30mm
Follow-up service - Easy to get parts and repair
Adjustable Parallax - Leupold VX-7 has it.  Only some of the Zeiss Kahle and Swaro have them.
Cost - $1200 limit and wanted a new scope, perfect one, not a blem.
Magnification: 3 power min - 12 power or so max. 
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/15/2008 at 17:08
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Originally posted by ptalar ptalar wrote:

Leupold is American made ...
 
Except for the glass, which they buy from Asian suppliers. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/15/2008 at 17:13
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/15/2008 at 17:23
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30 YEARS AGO...Redfield was the bomb.  The Marines used them.  Weaver was the norm.  They fell by the way based on quality issues.  They both kept cheaping up the scopes to make money.  You never saw a Zeiss, unless the owner was a doctor.
 
Leupold was there and priced a bit high.  They drove home the service issue hard.  They have peaked quality wise compared to everybody else.  They shine in two areas, service and recoil tolerance. 
 
Leupold has desided that market share is an issue, so they are making cheaper scopes;  witness the rifleman and vx-1.  This also means that they are not putting the stuff into the upper lines. 
 
Shrinking world market has forced everybody into the US market.  They are playing on quality and value,
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/15/2008 at 17:49
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1) Rosary beads??....Check!

2) Holy water?....Check!
 
3) Copy of The Lords Prayer near computer?...Check!
 
 
 
 
 
OK...I'm ready for this thread now!! Wink
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/15/2008 at 17:50
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/15/2008 at 19:00
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Originally posted by cheaptrick cheaptrick wrote:

1) Rosary beads??....Check!

2) Holy water?....Check!
 
3) Copy of The Lords Prayer near computer?...Check!
 
 
 
 
 
OK...I'm ready for this thread now!! Wink
 
So, Mark... in your opinion, how does Leupold stack up against Millet's best scopes? Wink
 
Peeker


Edited by RifleDude - September/15/2008 at 19:01
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/15/2008 at 20:42
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its not that leupolds quality ain't good, 30 years ago there were only a few optics companies and leupold was on top. now 30 years later there is i dont even know how many good optics companies out there that make awesome optics at a fraction of leupolds prices. everybody has caught up with the game.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/15/2008 at 20:42
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/15/2008 at 21:03
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im a recovering loopie user, and after i bought something other than a loopie my eyes were certainly opened for me. everything from old school m8's to my last loopie in a varixII i dont think loopies quality really changed, its just others build a better mouse trap for cheaper.
 
i would take the conquest all day over the vxIII
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/15/2008 at 21:29
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Originally posted by pyro6999 pyro6999 wrote:

im a recovering loopie user, and after i bought something other than a loopie my eyes were certainly opened for me. everything from old school m8's to my last loopie in a varixII i dont think loopies quality really changed, its just others build a better mouse trap for cheaper.
 
i would take the conquest all day over the vxIII
.............So would I,,,,IF THEY WERE THE SAME PRICE or within a $100 of each other. NOT in the case of the lower powered variables though! Depends on the application.
 
My 1" tubed VX3 on my Alaskan was $399 w/ the German #4. The lower variable 30 mm Zeiss is over 1K.
 
Sorry!...... The Zeiss does not give the better performance by more than two fold, justifying an extra $600 or so......Ridiculous!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/15/2008 at 21:34
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Ooooops!!!..............The 1.1-4x24 Zeiss is ,,,,,,,,,$2K............I was just a little off!......I`ll stick with the VX3! 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/16/2008 at 05:30
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Originally posted by Big Squeeze Big Squeeze wrote:

Ooooops!!!..............The 1.1-4x24 Zeiss is ,,,,,,,,,$2K............I was just a little off!......I`ll stick with the VX3! 
 
But what about the 1" Zeiss Conquest, the 1.8-5.5x38 Conquest will cost you $399 as well.
 
COmpare the two of them side by side now at the same price, which would you choose?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/16/2008 at 06:04
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I don't think that Leuolds quality for uild a durale scope a slipped in any way. Their CS is still first rate and I rarely hear of Leupold failing int he field. I do, howevr, as it has been mentioned, that many new scopes are out ther that offer better scopes optically for less money, the 4200's in particualr, and I also feel they are every bit as durable if not more so in some csaes. I think that part of the reason is their no questions asked unlimited warranty, which, for the consumer is a great thing, but most folks in the business world will tell you that you just can't keep doing this as it is quite cost prohibitive. As an all arould scope they are tough to beat. I think that Leupold dosn't do anyone one thing outstading in all areas, buy as a whole, they are a tough act to follow. I also think, that while it is great for the consumor, their product line must be very costly. Again, grat for the consumor, but their inventory has to be quite extensive. I think you will probably see a rduction in that area as well. They could start by cutting down on the numers if color option and etcle choies and shirt some of that to a Cutom Shop proposition. Furtrmore, I think they could be better could go along way ib imroving their glas quakity a that reakk sems to be
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/16/2008 at 07:28
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