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Swaro Z5 vs. Leica ER

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/06/2013 at 20:36
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I am guessing that this has been previously debated.... I plan to purchase this week (from SWFA) either the Z5 3.5x18 or the Leica 3.5x14. The extra magnification is not the big issue for me. 14 is plenty for my hunting. This will be an all around Western and Southeastern scope. I will replace a Kahles CL 3.5 x10 with this scope. The Kahles is great scope but has had some troubles with wet/foggy conditions. Hoping the Swaro and Leica hydrophobic coatings are better. I have just eliminated the Conquest HD from contention. It did not pass the highly technical side by side, inside the big box store test, against the Swaro. The fluorescent light was not transmitted as well and the water skiing equipment on the other side of the store was not quite as crisp. 

Is the Leica of better optical quality as compared to the Z5?
Does anyone know if the IBS G7 reticle is as thick and easy to resolve as the BRH reticle in the Z5?
Does anyone know if the Z5 about to get "refreshed" with a "HD" or "Platinum" model in the next couple of months? (this always happens to me). 
I know the Swaro has the customer service record and field proven loyalty. Is it worth taking a risk on the Leica for possibly better optics?

Thanks!

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/06/2013 at 22:27
mike650 View Drop Down
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Optically both scope are outstanding. IMHO, you need to do your testing out side of the store to fully be able to test the differences optically.


If your worried if the z5 is going to get an HD upgrade, wait until the Shot Show early next year, that's usually when Swarovski announces any product changes and/or additions. Just be aware that the newly announced products may not appear on the market until almost a year later.


Edited by mike650 - October/07/2013 at 16:41
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/06/2013 at 23:14
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The store testing example was somewhat of a joke. One of these products had to go so the Conquest got the boot. I need to get one fairly soon for some hunts. I am leaning toward the Swaro but very curious about the Leica. Have been happy with the Kahles but time for an upgrade. Kahles will find a home on another rifle. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/07/2013 at 08:06
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Both scopes are quality to be sure. I tend to lean more toward Swaro... primarily for CS type "issues". I've never had anything but top notch service from the Swaro people. I had no issues with my Leica either, but apparently, some folks have had less than pleasant dealings with the CS team at Leica. Additionally, I will say that the hydrophobic coating on the Leica worked great!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/07/2013 at 08:34
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The IBS reticle is thinner than the BRH

I just got a new 3-12x50 IBS illuminated center dot reticle with AVS turret.

This turret has a locking feature and feels fine.
Not sure if there are any difference to previous AVS.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/07/2013 at 11:00
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You'd have to be very picky to find any flies on either scope. You'll be very happy with either.

Swaro has better customer service, and the Z5 has more zoom range, yet weighs slightly less.

The Leica ER has about 1/4" more eye relief, is about an inch shorter, yet has a longer main tube for more mounting length flexibility on long actions (due to the short eyepiece design).

Optically, they're comparable. To say one is better than the other in any optical characteristic would be nit-picking, IMO. Only you can decide which is better to you, depending on what your eyes prefer.

Low light performance is basically equal.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/07/2013 at 11:10
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Originally posted by ccoker ccoker wrote:

The IBS reticle is thinner than the BRH

I just got a new 3-12x50 IBS illuminated center dot reticle with AVS turret.

This turret has a locking feature and feels fine.
Not sure if there are any difference to previous AVS.



That's good to hear. My Lecia ER turrets are very easy to spin, too easy, the clicks are faint and hard to feel. If you're not completely focused when making adjustments you can easily make a mistake and go beyond the change you're trying to make. This is the only flaw I see in the scope.


Edited by mike650 - October/09/2013 at 20:12
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/07/2013 at 11:37
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does yours have the locking feature?

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/07/2013 at 12:12
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No. I wish it were like my Swaro and Zeiss turrets.

Just in case, my scope is a 2.5-10x42 ER (with 4a reticle).
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/07/2013 at 12:54
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so, standard turret, not the ASV


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/07/2013 at 13:06
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Between these two it is a tough call.

Optically, I slightly prefer the Leica to the Z5, since it is a little easier for me to get behind (the eye piece allows for a touch more position flexibility) and since the contrast seems a touch higher.

Also, the FOV of the Leica ER is a little wider than that of the Z5 at the same magnification.

However, it is a small difference and Z5 has a slightly larger objective lens and wider magnification range going for it.

I have a 3.5-14x42 with the IBS reticle and it seems to be rather nicely visible in low light.

Keep in mind that with second focal plane scopes the reticle is calibrated at a particular magnification, usually the highest and the apparent size of the IBS reticle in the 3.5-14x42 is probably a little different (larger) than in the 3-12x50.

Thanks
ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/07/2013 at 13:59
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Ilya,
Do you have the ABS turret?

Does it look like this?


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/07/2013 at 15:02
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The turret on mine is not locking.  I think I have the earlier version of the ASV turret.

It does have a zero stop.  I would also prefer that it took less effort to turn, but it seems tight enough.







My apologies for the crappy picture quality.  The reticle shot was taken with a handheld cell phone.  The hill I am looking at is about 1200-1400 yards away.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/07/2013 at 15:43
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cool
So, I wonder if the people that are saying they think the turret feels a little mushy are referring to the standard turrets?

How do you like the IBS reticle?

Mine is installed on a Nosler 280AI for a hunting rifle.



Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/07/2013 at 16:39
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Originally posted by ccoker ccoker wrote:

cool
So, I wonder if the people that are saying they think the turret feels a little mushy are referring to the standard turrets?




Yes, sorry Charles, I was referring to standard Leica turrets and not the ones you and Ilya posted.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/07/2013 at 16:57
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No worries, just trying to clarify.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/08/2013 at 02:39
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Interesting discussion.

I have come around to these two being at the top of my list as well for a Cooper 280 AI; Swaro Z5 3.5-18x with BT and 4W and Leica ER 3-14x with what I have seen them listed as "Target Turrets"; only guessing they mean ASV?? 

From the photo posted here of the IBS reticle the Leica seems like the best of both worlds as you have a target turret to dial and holdover marks to hold.  The Swaro 4W gives you hold over marks for wind only.

Were it not for the photo posted here, I would have expected the IBS to be way too busy for me but I don't find it distracting at all.  Thank you for posting the photograph!

I prefer generous eye relief so advantage Leica there.

The multi zero stop feature on the Swaro is advantage Swaro.  CS is advantage Swaro and I'm guessing that is the case for resale value as well.

I guess it is a tough decision for me as well!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/08/2013 at 02:40
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Tad concerned about the reports that the turrets turn easily.  Does not sound like this is the case for the target turret version.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/08/2013 at 23:14
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Overall it sounds like the Swaro is possibly a bit behind the Leica in optical perfection but perhaps a safer bet for function and customer service. Either way this will be the best scope I have ever owned. My Kahles CL is a great scope but does not seem to have a great hydrophobic coating. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/08/2013 at 23:27
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I made the decision between these two scopes of going with the Swaro Z5 3.5-18x with the ballistic turrets and 4W reticle.  The customer service history on Swaro was the deciding factor.

OP, good luck with your choice.  The Leica sure looks nice and I'm sure I would have been thrilled with it as well.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/08/2013 at 23:33
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Originally posted by ccoker ccoker wrote:

cool
So, I wonder if the people that are saying they think the turret feels a little mushy are referring to the standard turrets?

How do you like the IBS reticle?

Mine is installed on a Nosler 280AI for a hunting rifle.




If it is the standard turrets, which are typically covered, I wonder why it matters if they are mushy.  I have a 2.5-10x42 here with those and the turrets seem OK.  They are dead on repeatable, but they are really designed to be adjusted when you sight in and then closed up, like with most hunting scopes.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/09/2013 at 07:15
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Originally posted by koshkin koshkin wrote:

Originally posted by ccoker ccoker wrote:

cool
So, I wonder if the people that are saying they think the turret feels a little mushy are referring to the standard turrets?

How do you like the IBS reticle?

Mine is installed on a Nosler 280AI for a hunting rifle.


If it is the standard turrets, which are typically covered, I wonder why it matters if they are mushy.  I have a 2.5-10x42 here with those and the turrets seem OK.  They are dead on repeatable, but they are really designed to be adjusted when you sight in and then closed up, like with most hunting scopes.

ILya


IMHO, comparing them to my Leupold, Zeiss and Swarovski, the Lecia turrets are my least favorite. I noticed while at the range a couple of times that they spun too freely and if I were not watching and paying attention I could very easily go a couple of clicks or more too far.


Edited by mike650 - October/09/2013 at 20:14
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/09/2013 at 09:22
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I agree the W/E adjustments spin too easily and the clicks are pretty faint on the hunting turret versions of the Leica ER. Like Mike, I would prefer the adjustments to be more tactile to avoid over-shooting the required adjustments or losing track of how many clicks you dialed during sight-in. That and the fact the power selector ring is a bit stiff to turn are my only gripes with the scope, and I consider those things minor. Despite the lack of resistance in the adjustments, my experience with the two 2.5-10X42 ERs I own mirror Ilya's in that tracking, repeatability, and ability to hold zero has been flawless. Since mine are both on hunting rifles, once zeroed and the caps go over the turrets, I'll seldom ever open the caps again unless I need to make a zero change for some reason.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/09/2013 at 09:33
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Makes perfect sense Ted..



Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/09/2013 at 20:11
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Originally posted by RifleDude RifleDude wrote:

I agree the W/E adjustments spin too easily and the clicks are pretty faint on the hunting turret versions of the Leica ER. Like Mike, I would prefer the adjustments to be more tactile to avoid over-shooting the required adjustments or losing track of how many clicks you dialed during sight-in. That and the fact the power selector ring is a bit stiff to turn are my only gripes with the scope, and I consider those things minor. Despite the lack of resistance in the adjustments, my experience with the two 2.5-10X42 ERs I own mirror Ilya's in that tracking, repeatability, and ability to hold zero has been flawless. Since mine are both on hunting rifles, once zeroed and the caps go over the turrets, I'll seldom ever open the caps again unless I need to make a zero change for some reason.


Now that you bring it up, the power selector is kinda ..... hahaha.  Thanks Ted for the great write up as usual. You're right these are minor things, the scope is fantastic, hope I can try it out this year hunting.  Wink
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