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Zeiss Conquest 3-9x40 eval as a hunting scope

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Printed Date: October/20/2018 at 12:33
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Topic: Zeiss Conquest 3-9x40 eval as a hunting scope
Posted By: huntingaddict
Subject: Zeiss Conquest 3-9x40 eval as a hunting scope
Date Posted: November/29/2009 at 17:06
Well I finally purchased my new scope.  I had been shopping for quite a while and had always wanted a Zeiss.  I tried to look for a less expensive alternative, but in the end whenever I see someone asks about a great low light scope for hunting Zeiss is one fo the first and most often suggested scope and the one I really wanted.  So, l finally bit the bullet.
First a little background.  I have never owned anything but your average $150-200 scopes.  I have owned the following:
Simmons 8 point - total crap but came on a gun, but i will say it has been reliable
Bushnell Elite 3200 - Very good for the money
Nikon Buckmaster BDC - very clear but the reticle was hard to see in low light
Leupold Vari-xII - Very good scope and fits the period rifle that I have it on to a tee
Burris Fullfield II - Very good scope for the money and it performs better than most in its class
I knew I wanted a step up, but had trouble putting up the money for fear that the result wouldn't be worth it.  It is impossible to see the benefits of a scope inside a store.  Heck they all look good in there.  Even carrying them outside only helps a little bit in the daylight.  Carrying them outside at dusk helps but only if there are not streetlights, etc.  I finally got outside away from the lights and looked at a treeline with a VX-III and a Conquest.  When looking around near some lights, the difference was hard to see even between them and my Fullfield II which I had taken along.   Looking into shadows doesn't really help even though it's the most we can do a lot of the time.  Anyway, with the lights gone the difference was EASY to see.  With the VX-III, which was a 50mm, the sight picture was still dimmer than the 40mm Zeiss set on the same power.  The real telling part though was the reticles.  The Leupold was hard to see and I would have had trouble making a shot on a lot of that treeline.  Then looking through the 40mm Zeiss, the reticle stood out clearly along the entire treeline.  Both scopes had the standard plex reticles of which the Zeiss is thicker, but still not near as thick as a Leupy heavy duplex.    I had made up my mind.
On to the fun part.  I mounted up my new Zeiss and headed to the range.  I had boresighted the gun so I setup at 50 first.  Saw where I was and dialed in the clicks.  To my delight they did exactly what they were supposed to do.  This is not something I'm used to with my $200 scopes.  Normally the adjustments interact or do something stupid.  Moved on to 100 yards and same story, adjustments had me perfect in short order.  I'm impressed.
More fun, a friend invites me to hunt the day after Turkey day.  I took his son to a box blind for a hunt.  As it started to get light enough to see with my binos, I looked through the scope and it was excellent.  Now I'm even more impressed.  That evening I hunt again by myself in a pretty dense area.  At last light I look through my scope and could have easily made a shot 100 yards way in the woods.  By the time I get down with my climber and hike 1/2 a mile on my way back to camp, I get to a food plot.  It's now way past legal light.  I peer across the food plot and could have made a shot not problem with the half moons light.  What a scope for hunting. 
I struggled over this decision for a year plus because anytime I looked through scopes in stores I couldn't see that big of a difference.  Even outdoors the difference was hard to see in non hunting conditions.  All I know is that when you are in the woods and your eyes have adjusted the difference is VERY plain to see.  The Zeiss conquest was well worth the price I paid.  The 40mm zeiss was  significantly better as a hunting scope than the VX-III.  Notice I said a hunting scope.  I'm also impressed with the accuracy of the adjustments on this scope.  My friends that I told about the adjustment just responded that they wished their Leupy's were that accurate on the adjustments.  I'm sure the VX-3 is much better than the VX-III in that respect. 
Anyway, in closing.  I've read on so many forums when someone wants a quality scope for a hunting rifle in low light and people respond something like "No contest, buy a zeiss and never look back".  Well I do have to say now that I have used one, I agree.  It was worth every penny I paid for it.

Posted By: cheaptrick
Date Posted: November/29/2009 at 17:12
Thanks for the review. Nice job!

Posted By: tahqua
Date Posted: November/29/2009 at 17:50
Thanks for the review and your observations, well done. I can't agree more about being able to use the reticle in low light with background cover.

Posted By: pyro6999
Date Posted: November/29/2009 at 19:59
i know when i test drove one last year i was truly impressed with it too. zeiss conquest has to be one of the best scopes in the sub $500 category.

They call me "Boots"
375H&H Mag: Yeah, it kills stuff "extra dead"

343 we will never forget

God Bless Chris Ledoux
"good ride cowboy"

Posted By: atomiclab
Date Posted: November/30/2011 at 11:42
I have 2 of these scopes.  I am very impressed also.  and In all honesty they are the best scopes I own.

Great review huntingaddict

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