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Opinions on Zeiss Conquest Duralyt 2-8?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/02/2013 at 19:08
c1steve View Drop Down
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I notice there are some excellent prices right now on the Conquest Duralyt scopes, I suspect because there may be a model change coming.
 
I am thinking of the 2-8x model, non-illuminated. I have done some online research, but would like to hear from OT. What about the #60 reticle? Thick enough? Any comments about edge to edge sharpness?
 
I look forward to hearing about this, thanks in advance.
 
-Steve
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/02/2013 at 19:39
RifleDude View Drop Down
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I have that very scope, with the same reticle, though I haven't mounted it on a rifle yet. I bought off the SWFA Sample List (www.samplelist.com) for the same reason you're considering it -- the price.

It is a very good scope, as best I can determine from hand-holding it and looking at distant objects. In the center of the field, resolution is excellent, but the field edge is noticeably soft below 5X. It's not quite in the same league as Zeiss Victory series, as you'd expect for the price, but it's at least as good as the 1" Conquest series, with 4:1 zoom ratio, in a more compact size. It also has surprisingly good low light performance IMO.

Again, I haven't mounted mine to a rifle yet, so I can't really give a thorough evaluation of its performance.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/02/2013 at 22:00
c1steve View Drop Down
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Thanks for the thoughts. Yes, I noticed the very comfortable price on the sample list. I also like the reticle, the compact size, and slightly lower weight.
 
-Steve
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/03/2013 at 09:53
c1steve View Drop Down
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I just spoke to Skylar at SWFA, and ordered the scope. I did ask Skylar about issues with edge to edge sharpness, as I have heard several reports that there has been this problem on some of the scopes. Skylar told me that he had never seen that.
 
So RifleDude, if yours has a noticeable problem, perhaps SWFA could exchange yours for another.
 
 
-Steve
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/03/2013 at 10:46
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Ted:  How will it compare side by side to the ZA5 1.5-8X32 Minox?  I really like the ZA5 Minox when set above about 3X but below that down to the 1.5 the edge tends get soft. Is the Duralyt better or worse than the Minox.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/03/2013 at 10:47
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Hi, Steve...
The soft field edge isn't a "problem;" it's inherent with the design tradeoffs of the Duralyt's compact size and simpler optical design (vs. Victory series). I don't mean to make it sound like it's a huge problem; it's really not, and some people may not pay attention to it. It exists to some extent even with Zeiss's flagship Victory series scopes. The Duralyt just has more prominent field edge softness, though the center field image is very sharp. This isn't present in just some Duralyt 2-8X42's, it's present in all of them.

It's a good scope, and unless you're very picky about the soft field edge, you will likely be very happy with the scope. Again, it isn't a huge issue IMO, and it does go away to a large extent after 5X due to the increased magnification stopping down the FOV. Nevertheless, it is noticeable and worth mentioning, since there's no such thing as a perfect optic.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/03/2013 at 11:41
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Lile --
Overall, Duralyt has a bit better image across the field and much wider FOV at the same magnification than the Minox ZA5 1.5-8X32, but resolution in the field center is comparable. They are about the same overall length, but Duralyt is about 3 ounces heavier.

What you're seeing with the Minox 1.5-8X32 on low power is prominent barrel distortion -- where horizontal lines appear to curve outwards (convex) as they cross the center of the FOV (the opposite of pincushion distortion). This is also accompanied with the same loss of resolution at the field edge. The barrel distortion is most noticeable when panning. As you noted, it goes away and starts transitioning toward pincushion distortion past about 4X or so.

Duralyt has a "flatter" field (much less distortion) than the Minox, but with probably about the same % of edge softness relative to its entire FOV. However, it has a much larger "sweet spot" due to greater FOV. From my limited evaluations so far, it appears the Duralyt's low light performance is on par with Victory series scopes, which means it likely outperforms Minox in that respect. Duralyt's adjustments have a more positive feel than Minox's adjustments, although both of the Minox ZA5's I own have tracked flawlessly. I haven't been able to evaluate the Duralyt's tracking since I haven't mounted it on a rifle yet.

Overall, the Duralyt appears to exactly fit Zeiss's intended design criteria -- an entry-level, no frills "premium" scope positioned in between the 1" tube Conquest MC / Terra and the Victory series. I don't know how Duralyt compares to the new Conquest HD5 series, as I've only seen the latter inside buildings at shows. Duralyt is certainly more compact and, at currently available pricing, has a lower price tag than HD5.


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/03/2013 at 13:11
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The larger sweet spot with the Zeiss is what I expected from them. The edge distortion is inheriant to the design when increasing the range of magnification. The distortion is getting nit-picky on the Minox. This scope fits the application for me on the 1885 where it is mounted now. Thanks again Christopher for the good advice.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/04/2013 at 11:50
c1steve View Drop Down
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This is all very interesting. OT is the place to go and learn. Thanks for the posts RD.
 
-Steve
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