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Real World Difference Between a $500 and a $1000 S

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/24/2013 at 23:52
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Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper


Joined: January/17/2012
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Over the course of the last year or so, I have been on a bit of a journey to replace what would be considered "average" guns with higher quality stuff. After reading, listening to, and maybe moreso conversing with certain people on this forum, I decided to get something I would be happy with for some time. I started the journey with a Sako 85 Hunter, got rid of that and ended up with a Sako 85 Bavarian. After a month of looking at what I felt was a very pretty wood oil finished wood stock, I was convinced that I would inevitably beat it up during hunting season, and get mad about it. So I got rid of it, and got the gun I deep down really wanted, a Cooper Jackson Hunter (stainless/composite stock) 

Now to my question. I currently have a Zeiss Conquest 3x9x40, that I picked up about 7 months ago, on this new rifle. Like many, I consider this to arguably be the best $500 scope on the market, but now I am pondering on putting a different scope on this gun.

In your experience what is the real world performance difference between a $500 scope and a $1000 scope such as a Zeiss HD 5, Swaro Z3 or even a Trijicon Accupoint? 

I look forward to your answers, particularly from people who use $1000 (or better) scopes.

PS: I'm in Canada so the prices are a bit higher than you good folks would pay for the same in your fine country.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/25/2013 at 06:29
Code4 View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
Optics Apprentice
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Joined: July/11/2010
Location: Australia
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The only generalisation I can make is that optics are usually a matter of diminishing returns as far as cost -V- perceived optical improvement. ie a scope that is 2x the cost of another does not give twice the performance. It may only be 10-15% improvement as seen with the eyes of the purchaser.

Having said that, in my experience there is (again generalising) a real jump in useability at low light once you get past the $800 - 1K mark. I'll try not to get into the Euro -V- USA debate however all my scopes are euro in origin. 

I have had scopes that cost 4x the cost of the rifle they sit on. Buy the best you can. 

May I suggest the entry models of many lines are not always the best value.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/25/2013 at 11:33
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Optics Jedi Master
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bowsNbugs

Joined: March/10/2008
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Originally posted by Code4 Code4 wrote:

The only generalisation I can make is that optics are usually a matter of diminishing returns as far as cost -V- perceived optical improvement. ie a scope that is 2x the cost of another does not give twice the performance. It may only be 10-15% improvement as seen with the eyes of the purchaser.

Having said that, in my experience there is (again generalising) a real jump in useability at low light once you get past the $800 - 1K mark. I'll try not to get into the Euro -V- USA debate however all my scopes are euro in origin. 

I have had scopes that cost 4x the cost of the rifle they sit on. Buy the best you can. 

May I suggest the entry models of many lines are not always the best value.


+1. Very well stated.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/25/2013 at 13:44
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Optics Jedi Master
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Price does not always equal quality - regardless of price.

Conquest is a decent scope, but bumping to a swaro 1" series is a marked improvement, in my opinion. Likewise, $1,000 will buy a Leupold that probably won't equal the conquest is most respects.

Scope quality also has different meanings to different people. Some people care more about glass, some more about mechanical repeatability, etc.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/25/2013 at 15:55
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Optics Apprentice
Optics Apprentice


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$500
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/25/2013 at 17:41
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Optics Master
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Scope Swapper

Joined: October/17/2009
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I have replaced a few Z6 Swaros and a few Zeiss Victory FL scopes with a not so popular brand Sightron, to me for the SIII 3.5-10. and 6-24. I downgraded from say $2,000-3,000 scopes to $1,100.00 and below scopes and maybe lost the 15% they are talking about.

However when one of the posters said that from $500 to $1,000 is maybe only 15% difference I would have to say only when speaking of the Conquest you have and maybe Kahles (the closeouts when they dropped the US distribution) maybe even Meopta the rest of the scopes are considerably different in my opinion. 

It is very hard to tell you what you will get difference as stated it is Perception or perceived improvment from one scope to the next.  

For myself I like solid turrets that are repeatable and the ability to distinguish colors and contrast at long distances and I like a scope that gives good perceived depth of view or 3-d'ness.  

I have found that Sightron delivers this notably above the conquest line and very close to the Swaro Z6 not as good as the FL series but while the Z6 has great clarity at say 20x the Sightron is neck and neck, the Zeiss FL is better and is hard to beat but @$3k... I do agree that we all have a different perception but I have found that among the users that own the scopes in the 1K and above range we agree 90+% of the time.

I am not in the majority for liking the Sightron as most here are upgrading glass where I am downgrading but I can speak from experience and say that the diminshing returns is true but I would never trade a $1000 scope for a $500 scope when coming out of $2-3k scopes not because I am a snob or a prick but simply due to the fact that you lose to much in the way of perceived clarity, contrast, and low light performance, as well as a little thing called Chromatic Aberration (CA).  Your Zeiss does not show this but if you step into the wrong $1000 scope you can get bit and you won't be happy. 

I hope I helped a little and didn't confuse you more.

I do agree that it is all perception and that Price does not equal Quality.

Your value of your dollar is neck and neck with ours but you still buy for a little more than us on most brands how is pricing on the Sightron SIII up there can you get one in your hands?

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/25/2013 at 17:53
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Optics Master
Optics Master


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For me and how I hunt, and the VX3, Conquest, and Elite 4200...there's not a nickle's worth of difference optically.  Eye relief, FOV, a forgiving eyebox, etc are all things you'll probably have to figure out for yourself if they are to your liking.  They've all been reliable in the field for me.  Optically speaking the VX6 and Swaro A (Z3) are a step up, but the Swaro A is the only scope I've had go titsup in the field, on a hunt, while trying to kill a 190" muley buck.  Swaro said the erector failed, they fixed it like new, and I sold it.  All of these mentioned are good for me past legal light, so I call them "good enough". 

I love the glass in the high end euros like the S&B Summit and the Z6, but I very much do not like their duplex reticles...they are much to thin for me in poor light, therefore they won't work for me.  I prefer to put more money in binoculars than in scopes, because their are many scopes nowadays that are plenty good enough for the average hunter. 

If you want bulletproof reliability get a fixed power like the FX3 6x42.  Great stuff.  Meopta now makes a 6x42 that will probably be equally good.  Shooting out to 4-500 yds is easily doable with a fixed 6x, given the wind cooperates of course. 
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