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Mark 4 vs Zeiss Conquest vs Nightforce?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/07/2008 at 15:47
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Hi all. First post here and need some suggestions. I currently own a like-new Zeiss Conquest 6.5-20 x 50mm (Z-plex) mounted to a Sako TRG-22 .308 and used for recreational benchrest shooting only at typically not more than 300yrds. In addition, I also own a NIB Nikon Monarch 6.5-20 x 44 (#6558 target dot reticle) which is sitting in my safe unused.
 
For my purposes, I am now considering a lower power tactical scope in the ~ 4.5-14 x 50mm range given their larger FOV and exit pupil, plus I also want a different reticle and the flexibility to go on the rare long-range shoot.
 
Will probably look to sell the Nikon regardless, since it's not being used. If I also sell the Zeiss 6.5-20 x 50, that would give me ~ $1000 to put toward:
 
1. Leupold Mark 4 LR/T 4.5-14 x 50mm with TMR reticle
2. Nightforce 3.5-15 x 50mm with NP-R2 reticle
3. IOR 4-14 x 50 with non-illuminated MP-8 reticle
4. The lower power Zeiss Conquest 4.5-14 x 50mm with Rapid Z-1000 reticle
 
OR... just simply keep my 6.5-20 Conquest and send in to have the reticle changed to Z-1000 !
 
The clarity of the glass is most important factor to me since I sit on a bench. My concerns are:
 
Nightforce -- 50% heavier and indestructible but not necessarily better glass
Mark 4 -- Cost but not necessarily better glass
IOR -- Looks really interesting! But warranty not as good as Zeiss or Leupold
 
Really could use some help of what you all would do. Thanks in advance.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/07/2008 at 16:01
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Send the 6.5-20X50 to Zeiss and have the reticle changed to the Rapid Z-1000, and get a 20MOA base. Thats my vote. Oh yea I'm a cheapskate.Wink
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Originally posted by BeltFed BeltFed wrote:

Send the 6.5-20X50 to Zeiss and have the reticle changed to the Rapid Z-1000, and get a 20MOA base. Thats my vote. Oh yea I'm a cheapskate.Wink
Well, looks like I won't be able to send my scope in for a Rapid-Z reticle change.  Looking around on their site (which is a disastrous unorganized mess btw), I came across this note:
 
"Please be advised that there is currently no available option to retrofit the Zeiss Rapid-Z reticles into previously purchased Zeiss riflescopes with a standard reticle. This is to ensure that customers who want to purchase a new Zeiss riflescope with the Rapid-Z reticle are given priority attention. We thank you for your understanding."
So I guess the easy option is out. Bummer.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/07/2008 at 16:52
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All are good scopes.  There is a significant difference between what you "want" and what you "need."  Buy what you want.

I like Nightforce, great experiences, great scopes; I like IOR's product but have had bad CustServ experiences and cannot recommend; I like Conquest and have had great experiences with the scopes and their CustServ.

For bench, weight is mostly irrelevant, clarity is important, and I don't see that you gain much from a ranging reticule (ranging with the reticule is very perishable - do it often to do it well.)

Go with what you want.

All choices listed are better than the Leupold, in my opinion. I'd lean toward the Nightfoce, but many will disagree.  I can say this for certain: the very best purchasing experiences I have had came from SWFA - be wary of doing business elsewhere.  And SWFA doesn't sell Nightforce.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/07/2008 at 16:53
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And why do you need 20X for a 300 yard shot?

Buy for the common shot, not the "I might shoot..." shot.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/07/2008 at 17:11
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Thanks Rancid. I have dealt with Alex Roy @ Eurooptic in the past for my Zeiss and I like them -- and they sell Nightforce. They also seem to have better prices than SWFA but you have to ask for it. Is SWFA the same way?
 
At least you answered one of my questions -- that the Zeiss Conquest is better than the Leupold Mark 4, which I suspected. Let's see what others here say.
 
The other problem is I have no local dealer nearby where I can see the Nightforce or IOR to compare the glass to my Conquest, so I don't know if I'm overpaying for a Nightforce nor whether the IOR warranty process is worth my effort.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/07/2008 at 18:59
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IN my humble opinion, you aren't overpaying for Nightforce and, so long as you stay away from their newest scopes, you aren't overpaying for the IOR either.  If you buy Leupold, you ARE overpaying.

Conquest is a good scope, there might be no reason to change - except that you need a little less magnification.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/07/2008 at 19:05
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the nf is the best choice in all catagories and none of the others come close, and the leo is better than the zeiss in all catagories-- glass is a small part of the equation in tactical scopes, and the zeiss doesn't even qualify as a tactical scope, (plastic turrets, hash marks don't go completely around the turret)
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/07/2008 at 19:36
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He didn't ask for a tactical scope, and he said glass was more important.
Naaaa!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/07/2008 at 20:03
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As this is  a bench rifle, shooting 300 yards and less, I see no need for a tactical scope.  The Conquest would do just fine.  Out to 300 yards, you should have no problem doping the scope.

If it were a 600+ yard gun, my recommendation would change; however, for a bench .308 inside 300 yards in full light, get what you want, the Conquest is all you need - but, as said before, there is a dramatic difference between want and need.

I do like my NF and can't say enough good things about it. Some have better glass, but not much better (at least in full light situations.)

The NF is a great scope.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/07/2008 at 21:49
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Brencat - first things first SWFA has a 110% price guarantee to have the LOWEST PRICE.
I personally would not buy a quality scope any where else unless it was a brand that they do not carry which would be Nightforce or U.S. Optics.
 
Second SWFA allows you to TRADE IN optics on the purchase of  your choice - simply click on the samplelist link and click on the trade in form to bring it up.  Since you have a
6.5 to 20x50 Zeiss Conquest you know what good glass looks like and you may not be happy with anything less than (U..S. Optics, Nightforce, Schmidt Bender, Kahles, Swarovski,or Zeiss)  You do have a TRG22 which is a "tactical rifle" and as such I would be inclined to put a tactical scope on it but I'm inclined to put a tactical scope on everything.
I will note that Leupold Mark 4 4.5-14x50 long range tactical scope may not have the worlds best glass but it' not bad and the clicks are consistent and it has 100moa of internal adjustment. since a duplex can be bought for  $974.95. and   the Nightforce is about $1425. I would hope you got something for the half again as much money.
I will suggest other options for you at this point:
KLS10383 New%20Kahles%204.5-18x50%20Helia%20K418%2030mm%20Riflescope%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20 New Kahles 4.5-18x50 Helia K418 30mm Riflescope
  • Matte
  • Plex
  • 30mm
  • Target Turrets
  • 2nd Focal Plane
SWFA: $1,499.95
More%20Info... Buy%20Now
947P4L New%20Schmidt%20&%20Bender%204-16x50%20Police%20Marksman%20LP%2034mm%20Riflescope%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20 New Schmidt & Bender 4-16x50 Police Marksman LP 34mm Riflescope
  • Matte
  • Illuminated P4F
  • 34mm
  • Double Turn Knob
  • Side Focus
  • 1/4 MOA
SWFA: $3,248.95
More%20Info... Buy%20Now
944P3 New%20Schmidt%20&%20Bender%203-12x50%20Police%20Marksman%20II%2034mm%20Riflescope%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20 New Schmidt & Bender 3-12x50 Police Marksman II 34mm Riflescope
  • Matte
  • P-3 Mil-Dot
  • 34mm
  • Double Turn Knob
  • Side Focus
  • 1/4 MOA
SWFA: $2,678.95
More%20Info... Buy%20Now
301848 IOR%203-18x42%20Tactical%2035mm%20Rifle%20Scope%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20 IOR 3-18x42 Tactical 35mm Rifle Scope
  • Matte
  • MP-8
  • 35mm
  • Side Focus
  • First Focal Plane Reticle
  • Free IOR 35mm Medium Rings w/ Purchase
SWFA: $1,494.95


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/07/2008 at 22:10
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2007 T-Bone Riflescope Optical Rating Scale

 

10 - Swarovski Z6, Zeiss Victory

9.5 - Kahles CL MultiZero

9 - Schmidt & Bender, Swarovski PH & American, Zeiss Classic

8.5 - X.O.T.I.C.

8 - Kahles KX

7.5 - Zeiss Conquest

7 - Leupold VX-7, IOR Valdada

6.5 - Bushnell Elite 4200, Nightforce, Nikon Monarch

6 - Leupold Mark 4 VX III & VX-L, Weaver Grand Slam

5.5 - Burris Black Diamond XTR & Euro

5 - Burris Signature Select, Meopta, Pentax Lightseeker, Super Sniper, Trijicon

4.5 - Sightron

4 - Bushnell Elite 3200, Leupold VX-II, Simmons Aetec (pre-Meade)

3.5 - Nikon Buckmaster

3 -  Burris Fullfield II, Leupold Rifleman & VX-I, Millet, Mueller, Redfield USA

2.5 - Leatherwood, Simmons, Swift

2 - ATN, Tasco

1.5 - Barska, Leapers

1 - BSA, NcStar

Thanks to SWFA we have an idea how t hese scopes compare optically.


Edited by Urimaginaryfrnd - July/07/2008 at 22:12
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/07/2008 at 22:11
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then why are 3 out of the 4 choices tactical scopes??
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/07/2008 at 22:13
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To give him a choice of scopes he has not previously considered which may suit his purpose.  In particular scopes carried by SWFA .

Edited by Urimaginaryfrnd - July/07/2008 at 22:18
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/07/2008 at 22:21
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was in reference to beltfeds remark

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/07/2008 at 23:16
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Thanks to all who have replied. Interesting also to note that on T-Bone's optical rating scale, that the Zeiss Conquest rates higher than both the Nightforce and the Leupold Mark 4.
 
While I thought it might be interesting to upgrade to a tactical scope, perhaps the best choice in this case is to simply walk away.   The fact of the matter is, given a recent family incident, I don't have an extra $500+ at this moment to make up the difference between what I might get by selling my Conquest + the Nikon to afford a Nightforce or even a $1500 Kahles or IOR.  My price point is ~ $1100 to put my out of pocket at +/- $100-$200. 
 
If I'm understanding most of you correctly, since the glass is my first consideration, it doesn't appear anything in my price range can beat the Conquest I already have -- is this a fair statement?
 
And finally the Zeiss warranty, like Leupold is terrific. I'm sure Nightforce is good, but many of the others sound like it might be a hassle or a long turnaround if something went wrong.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/08/2008 at 09:16
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ask this same question on snipershide and see if the conquest has the best glass.  they don't use the T-bone over there.  if you want to go a bit more in power get a 8x32 nf bench for about 1100.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/08/2008 at 09:46
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Sniper's Hide is a good forum with good information and some very knowledgable people; however, it is filled with 18-year-olds who want to be snipers some day and with 22 year olds who are snipers now and want to kick everyone's online ass (and has a fair number of armchair quarterbacks who buy a tactical gun, put it in a gun safe, and sell it year later, never having shot it.)

The needs of the deployed sniper are very different than the needs of a civilian shooting at the range. A tactical scope in this situation isn't "needed" but it would function well.

Owning both Nightforce and Conquest, I constantly disagree with the Tbone list (and was the first, probably its first few days up, to point out that Nightforce is, in my estimation, a far better scope - and priced accordingly. Walk the line at many long-range and/or tactical matches you see few (if any) Conquest and many, many Nightforce.

With all that said, my advice: spend some time at the range deciding what you do and do not like about your scope.  If you see someone shooting a scope you like, ask to look through it, most will let you.  Decide what you want and why.

For now, the Conquest is a great scope and you will probably only be happy trading to an IOR or Nightforce or higher (if glass is your primary concern.)
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/08/2008 at 15:42
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Originally posted by Dale Clifford Dale Clifford wrote:

then why are 3 out of the 4 choices tactical scopes??
After I posted I realized that. His primary concern was glass and the Conquest does have better glass than the Mk 4. I have a Savage 10FP in a Bell and Carlson tactical stock with the Conquest 4.5-14X50 on it. Looks like a tactical rifle, but I use it at the range for practice. It's cheaper and easier on me than my Remington Sendero 300 Win Mag with a Leupold 6,5-20X50 AO, that I use for long range. I hope to upgrade the Leupy some day with a real tactical scope. For now it will do.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/10/2008 at 00:45
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I laid out three scopes today at the local gun store a Swarovski Z6 a Kahles and a Trijicon and to nobobys surprise the Z6 has the best glass but I am fairly sure that my Leupold Mark 4 3.5-10x40 FFP scope will kill somthing with astounding reliablity at any distance you could hope to use any of these scopes at and in all likelyhood more than twice the distance because you can dial in correction.  Everyone knows the glass is better but if you cant dial in correction to adjust for trajectory and wind drift you are fairly limited as to range and the added high resolution glass is no help in striking the target without the ability to dial in correction all you can do is watch the target run away.  Leaves me thinking:
414530 IOR%204-14x50%20Tactical%2030mm%20Rifle%20Scope%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20 IOR 4-14x50 Tactical 30mm Rifle Scope
  • Matte
  • Illuminated MP-8
  • 30mm
  • Exposed Knobs
  • Side Focus
SWFA: $1,149.95
More%20Info... Buy%20Now


Edited by Urimaginaryfrnd - July/10/2008 at 00:46
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Bah, grab an SS10x42 for 300 bucks, use the hell out of it, get good with it, and then after a little while you will find out what you really need.  You're not shooting at running insurgents, so you don't need a variable with low end mag, and your not shooting +1000 yards so you won't need more than 10x mag.  It's built like a tank, repeatable, durable and clear, and if it's not what you want, they hold their value much better than most other scopes, and if you do like it but want something more than keep it as a backup and you'll only be out 300 bucks.  Seems easy to me. 
 
The Nightforce kicks serious ass but Rancid can agree with me on this, some of the best shooters in the world did it with 10x fixed scopes or lower for many many years, and did it well. 
 
Edited for mispelling.Loco


Edited by Mithran - July/10/2008 at 01:48
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/10/2008 at 11:39
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I agree with Mithran on most points; however, going back to the original question from the firt post, if glass is the most important part of the decision, only the IOR or Nightforce will be better glass.

If you want to make a few bucks, sell the Conquest and the Nikon and buy a SuperSniper: good glass, tactical scope, very rugged, not as heavy as Nightforce.

At the end of the day, I recommend you buy what you want - not what you think you need.  The Zeiss is a good scope, has more than enough magnification (which can be dialed down to the minimum, some people forget that), and has good glass.

Since shooting is done on the bench with a max range of 300 yards, in truth, I see no reason to buy another scope - unless you just want one.
You really don't "need" a mil dot or ranging reticule, nor do you need tactical (but it is a tac gun, and a damn fine one),  so forget "need" and decide what you "want" and move in that direction.

Mithran is also right that a good 10X can place hits on a target out to 800 yards and beyond, assuming the shooter does his part.

I am not an advocate of too much magnification (having learned precision shooting on a 10X) so I own nothing higher than 17X (USO SN3, great scope.)  And for shots up to but not exceeding 300 yards, glass ain't gonna be a problem for you, get what you want.

Of your list, I'd buy Nightforce, with IOR as a second; but there is absolutely nothing wrong with the scope you have now.  If you want, go to Kenton Industries, get a BDC for the scope, it'll be allot cheaper than all new glass, and you will have range-specific load data on the elevation turret - easy to make dope changes.
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Seriously, thank you all for your replies. Family is going to PA for a BBQ this weekend and I may sneak out for 30 mins to visit a local dealer near our friend's place that carries Nightforce. May finally get to see one (I hope!) so will see what all the rage is about.
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Originally posted by Urimaginaryfrnd Urimaginaryfrnd wrote:

 
Leaves me thinking:
414530 IOR%204-14x50%20Tactical%2030mm%20Rifle%20Scope%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20 IOR 4-14x50 Tactical 30mm Rifle Scope
  • Matte
  • Illuminated MP-8
  • 30mm
  • Exposed Knobs
  • Side Focus
SWFA: $1,149.95
More%20Info... Buy%20Now
 
Update 7/16/08:
 
Wanted to let you all know that I posted a similar question in the Snipershide forum and Scott Berish from Libertyoptics replied that the IOR 4-14x50 which urimaginaryfrnd linked above is "a step or two above the Zeiss Conquest" with respect to optical quality/glass. He also mentioned if I'm primarily interested in glass, Nightforce or Leupy Mark 4 would NOT be an upgrade for me.  I value Scott's opinion because he has a reputation of being extremely detail oriented and critical.  Just wanted to put that out there for those of you who helped me out in this forum.  Thanks again, B.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/17/2008 at 13:20
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I agree.
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Big Nasty vs. Zeiss Conquest Rancid Coolaid Rifle Scopes 31 6/21/2007 6:08:08 PM
Zeiss Conquest 10X30 for hunting? DaveC Binoculars 4 7/11/2007 4:47:45 PM
Zeiss Conquest vs Bushnell 4200 Joe Williams Rifle Scopes 8 7/18/2007 1:25:47 AM
WTS: Zeiss Conquest 6.5x20 50mm *SPF* ceylonc Optics For Sale 2 8/2/2007 5:13:41 AM
Mount for Zeiss conquest steadyshot Rings and bases 0 8/16/2007 10:36:02 PM


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