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Nightforce vs. Conquest

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/17/2011 at 15:52
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Which has better glass, Nightforce or Zeiss Conquest?


Not worried about any other feature. I hear that Nightforce is good optically, but most of the money spent on a NF goes into other areas like the turrets etcetera. Meaning, the NF is optically inferior to its price point compared to $1,600 price range scopes.


Thoughts?


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/17/2011 at 21:07
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Depends on how it's going to be used. Just today, towards dusk, I was using both my 8X Zeiss rangefinder and NF 2.5-10X32 to glass deer at 450-800 yards. The Zeiss glass was definitely better. How that carries over to their scopes I can't personally say but would expect it to be as good in that price range. However, no Zeiss scope short of their Hensoldt tactical scopes has had a combination of reticle and target turrets that would suit me for mid-to-long range shooting. Having used the NF for 2.5 years, I have full confidence in its mechanicals and accuracy.

As it turns out, I didn't have anything to legally shoot at, given the tags in my possession. However, if a mule deer buck had popped up at anywhere less than 500 yards I was in a prime position to take it, despite the less-than-great glass. I found myself wishing I had my Premier 3-15X50 LT with me. There you have a scope with incredible glass and resolution right into the end of legal shooting hours.

If you will be happy shooting at 300 yards max (and that's really all anyone needs for game) a Conquest will probably suit well. If you want maximum durability and the ability to target shoot out to 600 or more, a NF will not let you down unless it's almost too dark to see.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/17/2011 at 22:56
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better glass is Conquest hands down but the Nightforce has great mechanicals in spite of its mediocre glass.  There was some word they were going to improve glass quality but expect price to go up with it.  Have you looked at the 5-20 Super Sniper or the 5-20 Trijicon Accupoint I have both and love the glass in both of those.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/18/2011 at 07:27
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I agree that Zeiss glass is better. I appreciate great glass, especially since starting to use scopes like the Premier, but "mediocre" is Barska or BSA or even some of the lower-end Leupolds. NF glass is good. It's just a shame that they couldn't go a notch or two higher. When you're already paying $1500 for a scope, what's another $100-200?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/18/2011 at 10:41
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I owned a zeiss scope first and loved it. Then for my next rifle I bought a nightforce benchrest. They are both great scopes. I do believe that the zeiss is actually better optically. They are both very well made and I love them both. If I was to get another scope right now, depending on my intended useage, I would get another Zeiss.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/19/2011 at 01:36
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I own the Zeiss Conquest 6.5-20x ...

I'm interested in a Nightforce because of the turrets, adjustment range and illumination...but not at the expense of inferior optics to the Conquest. Equal to Conquest? Alright, maybe I'd go for it. The NF is about $650 - $700 more. For that, you get greater internal adjustment, more rugged, illumination...but at the same time, $700 is a lot of money and ought to include optics at least as good as the Conquest, or slightly better.

My Conquest (target turret model) has been absolutely repeatable and tracks perfectly. Tracking perfectly isn't something Nightforce has exclusive rights on. But the Conquest has very little range of adjustment.


I don't know about you guys, but good glass spoils. There's no going back. Only forward. Big Grin


Worst thing you can do for your wallet is to spend enough time behind good glass to realize what you've been missing, literally and figuratively. Next up is a Swaro. Excellent optics.



Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/19/2011 at 08:56
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I wouldn't say Nightforce has mediocre glass.  To my eye, it is pretty close to Conquest, not equal, but not far behind.  I have no problems with low light usage (light transmission is quite good), it does not exhibit any flare, tunnel effects are minimal, there are no "weird effects" as seen in some of the lower dollar glass "optics", resolution is good, chromatic aberration is "acceptable" (to me).  Nightforce has improved its glass quality some over time with little cost increase. 
Your questions do not indicate what your usage is going to be.  If you are hunting, primarily, the Conquest is an outstanding choice.  NF is designed for particular user communities.  If you are not doing tactical or benchrest shooting, NF is probably more than you need.  Conquest is marketed as a hunting scope and target scope, but primarily hunting.  If you NEED the ruggedness and reliability that NF brings, then there should be no question.  If Conquest meets your requirements in those areas, you can't go wrong with the strong points Conquest brings.  
Personally, I would never consider a Conquest for an application where I thought I needed a Nightforce.  Would certainly use it if that is what I had, but application requirements are the drivers and if I truly NEED a Nightforce... I'm going to get one.  I've found that oftentimes people are ANXIOUS to get a new scope and let NOW drive the decision rather than letting the need drive the decision.  They then end up with something less than what they want and blame the hardware for their own failure.  Or... "ole Joe told me I should get XXXX... I sure wish I hadn't listened to Joe.  I thought he knew what he was talking about."  
I don't recommend scopes.  I DO recommend people look at their true requirements, find a scope that fulfills those requirements and make the purchase.  If it is more expensive than one wants to pay... start saving (or decide to settle for what can be afforded NOW)... Discipline, and sacrifice, is a part of shooting.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/19/2011 at 09:20
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Well said, KB. I only use my NF 2.5-10X32 for hunting, although it gets some range time in support of that. I took a fall a couple years ago on it, hard enough to bruise the inside of my arm (and I don't bruise easily, except for my ego). I never worried about the scope losing zero and shot an elk with it the next day. The next time I went to the range it was still fine.

Black Squirrel, you are defnitely right. Good glass does spoil a guy. The NF is on my go-to hunting rifle so it will have a place until SWFA comes out with a 3-12 HD scope in FFP (here's hoping). I have full confidence in it. However, having acquired scopes from Premier and the SS 5-20, it is nice to have awesome glass. One thing I've noticed is that the resolution is so good you are not distracted or fatigued when looking through them. I would recommend that in addition to considering a Swaro, take a good look at the Premier 3-15 LT. Comparable Swaros are several hundred more and are not FFP. I know that's not everybody's preference, but with a mil reticle and turrets I think it is the more versatile way to compensate for drops and windage. It may be that some proprietary systems for this are good, but then what happens when you switch to another optic? Perhaps they hope you will outfit all your firearms with their brand.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/01/2011 at 21:35
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I am surprised to read that night force has less that awesome glass.  Considering the price I would expect more
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/01/2011 at 21:40
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JonoMT  you mentioned Primer Reticles.  they look like really nice scopes, are they essentially "alfa" glass?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/04/2011 at 15:29
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I bought a Nightforce based upon thier reputation and used it hunting for one week then returned it and bought a Zeiss.  The optics are much better in the Zeiss and I have zero need for any turrents to twist and turn when I'm hunting.
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/04/2011 at 16:22
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I have had both on 22-250 which has not other purpose but to long range varmint.  I ended up going Conquest, shortly their after I ended up swapping for an older Swarovski PH with the TDS reticle.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/04/2011 at 17:12
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Wow...I can't believe ya'll like the glass on the Connie better than the NF. I always felt they were at least too close to call. Been awhile since I compared them side by side, admittedly, but if I had to choose between the Conquest or the NXS, I'd go with the latter, no question. Too me, it's a better scope.  

I love the Conquest, don't get me wrong. Had the silver 3.5-10x44mm Conquest on my Sako.   
I been pimping Conquest's on here for years, but it ain't no Night Force.      
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/04/2011 at 20:03
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Indeed, a Nightforce is no Zeiss.  The spider web thin reticle in the Nightforce is another reason mine is down the road.  I much prefer the Zeiss for a hunters rifle. 
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/04/2011 at 22:26
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Could just be me but the Nightforce scopes I looked through left me thinking the glass was more like Leupold Mk4 not upto Bushnell 4200 or Conquest. I didnt do any extensive test but to me when I looked through a U.S. Optics scope I thought it was Awesome and I can only guess what the premier and Heinsoldt are like.  For some reason I wasnt wild about the Razor I looked at either.  I'm sure all of them are good scopes but my prefrence list would be #1 Heinsoldt #2 U.S. Optics #3 Super Sniper 5-20x50
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/04/2011 at 22:28
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Zeiss 4-16x56 Tactical Hensoldt Telescopic 34mm Sight Zeiss 4-16x56 Tactical Hensoldt Telescopic 34mm Sight
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  • 1st Focal Plane Reticle
$3,962.95
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/04/2011 at 22:30
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US Optics 3.8-22x44 SN-3 35mm Riflescope US Optics 3.8-22x44 SN-3 35mm Riflescope
Stock # - USOSN3C
  • Matte Black Type III hard Anodizing
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  • 35mm
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  • 11 Pos Rheostat (Red) Illumination
  • EREK 1/10 MIL Elevation Knob
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  • ERGO Parallax Control
$2,924.95 


Edited by Urimaginaryfrnd - December/04/2011 at 22:31
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/04/2011 at 22:34
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SWFA SS 5-20x50 Tactical 30mm Riflescope Illuminated Mil Quad SWFA SS 5-20x50 Tactical 30mm Riflescope
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$1,499.95

 
SWFA SS 5-20x50 Tactical 30mm Riflescope SWFA SS 5-20x50 Tactical 30mm Riflescope
Stock # - SSHD520X50MQ
  • Patented First Focal Plane Mil-Quad Reticle
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  • HD Model
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  • 0.1 Mrad Elevation & Windage
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$1,299.95 


Edited by Urimaginaryfrnd - December/04/2011 at 22:35
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/05/2011 at 09:41
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Originally posted by atomiclab atomiclab wrote:

JonoMT  you mentioned Primer Reticles.  they look like really nice scopes, are they essentially "alfa" glass?

They are alpha glass, competing very well with the very best in tactical scopes.


I think, in this thread, we have blurred the line between hunting and tactical scopes (as companies selling into one/both segments have also done.)

For a true tactical scope, used as intended, glass quality is a distant 3rd or 4th priority, far behind precision of mechanicals and durability.  For a hunting scope, many seem to prioritize glass quality above all else.  In truth, the difference between the best glass and decent glass, while hunting dusk/dawn, is probably little more than a few minutes of shooting time.  Great glass doesn't get you another hour of shooting time, as some have told me theirs does.

Resolution only really becomes an issue (on a rifle scope) beyond about 500 yards - for hunting purposes.  If you are counting points and evaluating game through your rifle scope, get a good spotter or good pair of bionos, because you're doing it wrong.

All that said, there is great glass in tactical scopes, but you gotta pay for it.  Hensoldt, Premier, S&B, all great glass, all pricey has hell.

On hunting rifles, I have moved more toward coatings than glass quality or size.  I find my shots more limited by rain/elements than I do ambient light.

I've always been amused by the Nightforce threads, people seem to like them or hate them, very little "in between."  I've owned/used Nightforce, it is among the best non-alpha scopes available; however, with their price now approaching alpha prices, I tend to buy others as of late.

Never have I not taken a shot with a Nightforce because the glass was up to snuff.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/05/2011 at 10:01
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Originally posted by Wbypoor Wbypoor wrote:

Indeed, a Nightforce is no Zeiss.  The spider web thin reticle in the Nightforce is another reason mine is down the road.  I much prefer the Zeiss for a hunters rifle. 
 

 


That is what I really like about Night Force scopes is very fine lines on the reticle and it is my biggest dislike on the SS line of scopes. My usage is target compitition and heavy reticles just bothers me.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/05/2011 at 10:27
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Higher contrast and resolution also helps when the possibility of small obstructions can cause wounded game. This helps when shooting close or long range in any light.
The line between tactical and hunting is getting pretty blurry in some instances. I want good glass and reticles.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/05/2011 at 16:14
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Tactical scopes like the Premier LT offer me what I want for both hunting and target shooting. I never have felt that way about any non-tactical. Specifically, I like exposed target turrets, turrets that match the reticle and reticles that have uniform sub-tensions, e.g. mils.

I can see where things like environmental conditions can play a part. I've never really thought about the coatings on scopes like the the Premiers and NF that I've owned...just assumed they were good or better and haven't had any problems. But then, it's either bone dry or snowing around here during hunting season. I've only had it rain on me once or twice. I also use a ScopeShield a lot of the time if the weather is nasty.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/05/2011 at 21:18
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Originally posted by cheaptrick cheaptrick wrote:

Wow...I can't believe ya'll like the glass on the Connie better than the NF. I always felt they were at least too close to call. Been awhile since I compared them side by side, admittedly, but if I had to choose between the Conquest or the NXS, I'd go with the latter, no question. Too me, it's a better scope.  

I love the Conquest, don't get me wrong. Had the silver 3.5-10x44mm Conquest on my Sako.   
I been pimping Conquest's on here for years, but it ain't no Night Force.      


+1

If NF glass was really that substandard then why does one see a large number of NF scopes at bench rest competitions?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/06/2011 at 08:15
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Originally posted by Sparky Sparky wrote:

Originally posted by cheaptrick cheaptrick wrote:

Wow...I can't believe ya'll like the glass on the Connie better than the NF. I always felt they were at least too close to call. Been awhile since I compared them side by side, admittedly, but if I had to choose between the Conquest or the NXS, I'd go with the latter, no question. Too me, it's a better scope.  

I love the Conquest, don't get me wrong. Had the silver 3.5-10x44mm Conquest on my Sako.   
I been pimping Conquest's on here for years, but it ain't no Night Force.      


+1

If NF glass was really that substandard then why does one see a large number of NF scopes at bench rest competitions?
cause they have dead nutz adjustments and are built like tanks ( yes, RC i know tanks break down too) and that counts
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/06/2011 at 13:22
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Also, NF Benchrest scopes use completely different optical designs and generally provide a better image than the NSX scopes.  Durability, internal travel, etc, were higher priority for the NSX's.
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