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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/11/2004 at 11:21
Beuf View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper
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Joined: July/11/2004
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Am thinking of buying Swarvoski PH or Ziess VM/V scope. Primarily hunt Whitetails on my property in West Central Alabama.  Have mature hardwoods, open fields and cutover areas.  Have used Leupolds for years with great results but am thinking that the PH or VM will give better performance, especially at dawn/dust .  Will greatly appreciate any information comparing the two-- or on other possibilities such as Schmidt+Bender.  Price is not a major consideration but yet I don't want to buy something just to brag about about brand or price.  As a side, I got Swarvoski EL 8.5x42 last year and could not be more pleased. Again, I will deeply appreciate nay advice or information.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/11/2004 at 17:34
SAKO75 View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
Optics Apprentice


Joined: February/29/2004
Location: United States
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Points: 246

let me preface my message by saying i own a S&B and love it. I dont think you can go wrong with any of the three. Mark's in Birmingham has all of these brands in their store you can look thru.

S&B has the most eye relief of the three, 3.7" constant. the rest is almost a wash. zeiss might be a bit brighter than the other 2 but i dont know if you could tell without the proper optics testing equipment, your eyes might not discern the difference. The S&B is a few oz.;s heavier, they are built like tanks. You will not miss a deer or not see a deer because you bought one instead of the other.

All these scopes have reticles that magnify as you turn up the power. if youve never seen it, i suggest you look at them 1st. its the only way to guarantee the POI will not change when you change the power.

S&B has a newer Zenith series that has more range of adjustment than they previously had. zeiss will have a wider FOV than the others by a small amount but all 3 are much wider than leupold FOV.

 

here is a PM i received comparing the 3:

 

I will try to rate these three brands as fair as I can.  I bought a Zeiss VM/V 1.5-6x42 a few years ago and traded it for the VM/V 3-12x56 2 years ago.  I bought a Schmidt &  Bender 3-12x42 last summer and hunted with it this past season.  I have used mostly leupold Vari-xIII's in the past and still have one.  I have not owned a Swarovski scope although I have compared them numerous times outside stores, I have never hunted with one.  I have a great deal of experience with their SLC binos but not their scopes.  Just a little backgroud info.

 

Optics:

 

Without a formal side be side comparison in the field it is really hard to say but I will give my opinion.  Chris is right about the Zeiss having the most field of view.  The VM/V's are awesome in this respect.  They are also extremely bright.  I compared the Zeiss 3-12x56 to the Swarovski 3-12x56 outside the a store one afternoon for about 45 minutes.  The Zeiss seemed to be slightly better in resolution and clarity but, the difference in field of view however was even more noticable.  That is one reason I bought the Zeiss (they didn't have a S&B 56mm to compare).  Optically it is hard to compare my Zeiss and S&B because the Zeiss is a 56mm and the S&B is a 42mm so naturally the Zeiss will be brighter.  But I will say that the optics in the S&B are incredible.  Resolution and clarity are just as good, maybe even better than the Zeiss.  Hunting with the S&B last year I noticed that it would provide razor sharp details and color rendition that my leupold never could.  Optically the S&B is very impressive.  I can't really say that either one are definately better than Swarovski but, everytime I have looked at the Swaros they have never really dazzled me with their optics (my observations have been informal and not in the field).  Maybe it is just my eyes because everyone else seems to thing they are great.  I would like to hunt with one just to see how the optics perform in the field.

 

Construction:

 

I am sure that you know much more than I about how they are built but,  Chris is right when he says that the S&B are heavy.  It does add a little to much weight to the rifle.  But to me they feel alot more solid and rugged than the Zeiss or the Swaro.  For example the Zeiss uses plastic elevation caps with plastics threads which I don't like.  The Swarovski are a little better but, they seem like they are stamped out of tin.  The S&B are steel which are nice and strong.  Not a big deal at all but it's like buying a $50,000 Mecedes and it coming with vinyl seats when you expect leather.  The S&B just feels like an expensive scope should feel.  I love the S&B eyepiece.  It is larger than the Zeiss or Swarovski.   The Zeiss VM/V offers a big optical performance with super wide field of view in the smallest lightweight package.  Have you seen the VM/V 2.5-10x50?  It is tiny compared to the other two.  The S&B on the other hand offers unsurpassed optics in a solid, rugged, and heavier package.  The Swaro is somewhere in between.  Both my S&B and Zeiss have plenty of eye relief and I have'nt compared the Swaro.  Chris is also right about the short adjustment range of the S&B.  I mounted it on a 7mm mag and after it was boresighted I only had one or two clicks of elevation left.  Luckly I only need one or two to Zero it at 200 yards but I have no elevation left.  This could be a problem for alot of people and it is a drawback of the S&B.  However I have to say that I do love the S&B.  I like the construction, cosmetics, and the size of the scope, I think it is my favorite.  I do wish it was lighter and had more adjustment range though.

 

 When comparing binos that are both 10x42, same size and same weight, the major factor comes down to just brightness resolution, and color rendition.  But when choosing between these scopes I would let the size objective and the type rifle dictate the brand because the optical qualities are all so close but the size and magnifications are all so different.  I will give some examples.

 

56mm Objective:

 

In my opinion, I would go the the Zeiss.  The Schmidt & Bender 3-12x56 is way too big and heavy.  The Swarovski is not as heavy but it is too long.  The Zeiss to me has a slight optical advantage over the Swarovski and field of view over both, but mainly it's size is the biggest advantage.  It is the most compact and lightweight 56mm and gives an awesome optical performance.

 

50mm Objective

 

The Zeiss 2.5-10x50 offers great optics in a very short lightweight scope.  For a mountain rifle it would definately be my first choice.  However, for a stardard rifle I like the S&B 3-12x50.  This is one of my favorite 50mm scopes available.  Optics are  awesome and I love the size of the scope.  Not too short like the Zeiss but not too long like the Swarovski.  For a long range rifle, I like the Swarovski 3-12x50 because length would not be an issue but mainly I like the TDS recticle.  Of these three my personal favorite would be the S&B even though it is the heaviest of the bunch and Zeiss may have a better field of view.

 

42mm Objective:

 

As far as the 1.5-6x42 go.  I would flip a coin to decide.  Actually I would probably compare them like I do binos.  Look solely at brightness and resolution side by side, because there is not enough difference in size to matter.  I will say that I did formally compare my Zeiss VM/V 1.5-6x42 to a Leupold Vari-XIII 3.5-10x50 and a Leica 4.5-14x42 at dark and the Zeiss was the brightest of the three.  However I didn't get a chance to compare it to Swarovski or S&B.  Would be a tough decision but I would lean a little toward the Zeiss because of brightness and field of view.

 

Comparing the S&B 3-12x42 and the Swarovski 2.5-10x42, I have to say this would be a hard decision.  Ze

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/11/2004 at 17:38
SAKO75 View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
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Joined: February/29/2004
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Points: 246

here is another post:

 

I’ve done a side by side comparison of the following scopes. S&B 3-12x50 Zenith, VMV 2.5-10x50, PV-I 1.5-6x42

Here are my findings

a) Day Resolution All at 6x Tested resolution chart  1-!-S-5-G-E-B-:-.-%-0-O-D-4-G-& 1  pattern. Pattern was chosen to have minimal differentiation from symbol to symbol, for example 0-O-D can be confused if scope is not sharp, S-5-G similarly.

1st S&B

2nd PV/VMV even though the PV was a 42mm scope!

Results coincided with those when viewing fine bush root branches, tree branches and other natural color patterns etc…

In some cases, the S&B was the clear winner, hands down. In some other test/COLOR patterns, the differences minute and few had the VMV/PV as the winner.

b) Day Resolution S&B/VMV 10x. Its important to test a scope for resolution at it’s highest magnification, as there is were the differences become more apparent… I kept the max power @ 10x for a fair comparison though.

1st S&B

2nd VMV

In some color test pattern instances, the differences were small to non-existing, but for all resolution cases (eye chart, tree branches etc) S&B was better

d) Night Resolution All 6x. Here the test pattern was a set of lines of the same thickness but various shades of grey, starting from white all the way to black, against a black background. The objective was to be able to distinguish the line’s outline. In real hunting conditions you have a brown/dark animal against brown/dark/green background. Another pattern was a set of brick roof tile trying to distinguish individual tiles

1st S&B

2nd VMV

3rd PV. The PV was a very very close 3rd

e) Night Resolution S&B/VMV 8x

1st S&B

2nd VMV

 

In general, day or night, I could see more details with the S&B regardless if the image appeared to be brighter or not. Color intensity was not what gave image definition. The question for me was “Is the S&B better enough to justify the extra weight and the less field of view 3x vs 2.5x?”

 

f) Construction. I liked the Swaro PV’s construction. Simple and to the point, not over done, not under done. The S&B was the heaviest but it’s construction was the most solid. It’s a smooth scope.  It’s turrets were the best. The VMV had bad turret markings and feel. The PV was in between even though it had the smallest turrets in diameter, they were very visible and user friendly. The VMV turrets look very similar to the Conquest ones. All had very crisp, repeatable and very positive clicks. The best was the S&B, second was the VMVs (off course the PV was not new) The S&B and PV have the largest ocular. I like that since it tends to shown quality. The ocular is a very important piece in an optical instrument. The power ring of the Swaro I liked the most. Had slightly elevated power markings making it easy to set from a shooting position. Off course in the field that is not an issue. All were smooth. I liked the VMV’s power ring the least. Maybe it was too smooth for a new scope. Off course I have no idea how they would perform at 0F degrees…As for the fast focus piece/ring, the Swaro has the retracting focus whick I like very much. Off course it has 0.35” less eye relief but the retracting portion makes up for 0.2” of it plus it acts as some additional sun shade…The VMV has a plastic focus ring. Hard and maybe more durable…since it doesn’t bend etc but still plastic. Unlike others, I like the plastic turret caps of the VMV since they are more durable and provide cushion BUT I wish they had metal threads…I don’t mind a plastic cap as long as it encloses and protects a metal cap. The VMV’s were all plastic and I didn’t like that after all... Size and weight wise, the VMV is the winner. Very compact and very versatile. Hands down the most compact, considering as well the thinner ocular(that earlier called a minus…)  The S&B was hefty but all the heft is toughness and quality. So still acceptable to me. The S&B had the nicest turrets with lockable zero reset BUT had the least adjustment range of them all(by 20% which is not a big deal for hunting, assuming you mount the scope properly without wasting most of your adjustment range for bore sighting ) but the biggest problem I could see was the smallest adjustment range per turret’s revolution. Again for hunting I don’t think it’s a problem but others might thing otherwise. Regardless of that, still the nicest turrets with zero travel and ultra positive. If you don’t care for an illuminated reticle, then the Swaro and the S&B have about the same waterproof”ness”  specs and temperature ratings. The VMV is not guaranteed water proof without the turrets on. It might be and I know people that take the VMV’s to the harshest conditions of the pacific north without a problem, over and over again and always will according to their saying, but the manual does not make such a claim. 

g) Reticle. If you don’t care about illuminated reticles, then all 3 brands have similar reticle offerings to cover all your particular needs. If you like illuminated reticles, then the PV-I reticle 4A-IK is one of the most versatile reticles. Works for both day and night shooting and has a size that gives you handy holdover and windage r

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/11/2004 at 20:55
SAKO 75 SS View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
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Joined: March/31/2004
Location: United States
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Points: 37

I have experience with Swarovski and Zeiss. I own a Swarovski PH 2.5X10X56 with the illuminated reticle, and a Zeiss VM/V 1.5X6X42. The Swarovski is brighter only at higher magnifications because of the 56mm objective lense. I have never needed the illuminated reticle so I would not spend the extra money for it again. The Zeiss I have has the 11 reticle which uses three post-German reticle and are extremly heavy so i can see the reticle in very low light. Zeiss warranty is immpecable and most shots I take are less than 100yards so I like using the Zeiss better myself. I hunt green fields In South Alabama, Baldwin County not to far from you and have never needed nore than 6 power. You can save alot of money if you choose by going with the lower magnification and smaller objective lense. You will still be able to see well past legal shooting time with a Zeiss, Swarovski, or schmidt&Bender in heavy reticle. By the way which County and town do you hunt near? thanks, Brian

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/12/2004 at 11:22
Beuf View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
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Brian--Thanks for the reply--it was the kind of info I was seeking.  I hunt in Green County-- at Mt. Hebron, about 12 miles west of Eutaw. I am new at this so am not sure I did all the right things to post a reply.  Could you please let me know if you receive this.  Many thanks.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/12/2004 at 11:57
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Optics Apprentice
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Beuf, I recieved your reply. I would love to be hunting up there in the Black Belt where you are! I have been up that way once when I was in high school we played Warrior Academy in Eutaw. I remember the fields we passed right before we got into Eutaw were just filled up with deer, right at dusk dark. By the way I played ball for Escambia Academy near Atmore. Good Luck with your scope choice and remember you can't go wrong by choosing between a Zeiss, Swarovski, or Schmidt&Bender. Thanks, Brian!
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