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Zeiss 3-9 Conqst, Kahles 3-9, Sawro 3-10

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/09/2007 at 13:09
twofer View Drop Down
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More specifically, I am considering;

 

Zeiss 3-9x40 Conquest ($449 new, $349 samplelist) versus

Zeiss 3.5-10x44 Conquest ($589 new, $499 samplelist) versus

Kahles 3-9x42 CL ($927 new, $749 samplelist) versus

Swarovski 3-10x42 American ($928 new, $749 samplelist)

 

I’ve browsed and searched this great forum, but haven’t seen the above mentioned comparison, so . . .

 

I need to mount a new scope on my Kimber Montana in 300 WSM which is used for hunting whitetails in woods and fields, mulies and elk in the mountains, and antelope in the plains. In other words, I need a do-everything scope to go on my do-everything rifle. This rifle shoots 0.5" 5-shot groups and thus deserves some premium optics. The new scope will be replacing an older Burris Signature 4-16x50 which has done yeoman duty in taking many mule deer in the Colorado Rockies under some pretty nasty weather conditions.  My final choice will be mounted in Talley lightweight one-piece rings.

 

I would expect any of these scopes will work just fine for my purposes, but I want to make sure I get the most appropriate tool for my application.  Also, I want to stay away from objectives above 45mm due to their increased size and weight (I like my women top-heavy, but not my rifles).  Like most red-blooded americans, I prefer the reticle in the 2nd imaging plane.

 

From what I have read, all three scopes have outstanding optics.

 

I like the Zeiss 3-9x40 for its low price and its longer eye relief (4").  I like the Zeiss 3.5-10x44 (eye relief 3.5") for its slightly higher magnificatiion.  However, maybe the Conquests won’t be as robustly constructed as the Swaro and Kahles. The Swarovski is made for the American market, but is not necessarily "cheapened-down" for us Yankees as the Conquests presumably are. I’ve also head great things about the Kahles' (3.6" eye relief) strong design.

 

In particular:

1) Are the optics really similar?  Are there any optical standouts in terms of resolution and contrast?

2)  Are the Conquests' reduced prices an indication of potential quality problems?

3)  I see lots of comments on the Conquests (mostly good comments), does anyone have experience with these Swarovski or Kales scopes?

4)  How do the optics and construction quality of the Kahles compare to the others?

 

Anyone have any opinions, comments or preferences on these particular scopes?

 

TIA.

 

–Twofer



Edited by twofer
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/09/2007 at 15:16
jonbravado View Drop Down
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kahles w/out a doubt, it's the best of the bunch.

 

i would put it over the conquest and swaro american -

 

top of the line glass, coatings, and durability.

 

without a doubt.

 

let us know what you decide. and good luck.

 

J

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/09/2007 at 15:18
jonbravado View Drop Down
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furthermore -

 

the coatings/construction on the conquests and swaro americans are NOT the same as the higher end zeiss and swaro's.

 

the kahles has the best of breed. as good IMO as the high-end swaro and zeiss.

 

J

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/09/2007 at 18:48
twofer View Drop Down
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Johnbravado:  Thanks for your comments.  The pricing would suggest that the Conquests design and/or construction standards were lowered to bring the cost of the scope in line with what american consumers typically pay for scopes.  So it would not be surprising to me that the Conquests represents a compromise in quality for Zeiss (but still being a good scope, nonetheless).  However the Swarovski and Kahles have high-end prices, but you say the Swarovski is a compromise product like the Conquests?  And you really like the Kahles.  Can you be more specific on why you like the Kahles over the others?  Any inside company information or personal experiences?

 

Thanks!

 

--Twofer

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/09/2007 at 22:13
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I'd definitely go with the Kahles CL.  For your application(s), you are going to love the HUGE field of view provided in the CL series.  The glass is simply outstanding (in my opinion, the best of the bunch) and the tracking & adjustments are spot on.  From a reliablity standpoint, I've owned both the 50mm and 52mm CL models and both were very well built.  I didn't have one problem and wouldn't expect you to have any issues either.

 

The particular CL model you've selected to consider is a very good match for your rifle & usage.  I believe that there isn't a situation in the mountains, woods or fields where that scope would not excel.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/10/2007 at 07:31
twofer View Drop Down
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Seems like the Kahles has a lot of support.  I defintely prefer a scope that wasn't cheapened down for the american market.

 

I still hope to see a few more opinions.

 

--twofer

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/10/2007 at 10:02
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i have compared the kahles C and CL to the high end zeiss and swaros and it is at LEAST as good as them.

 

i really like what kahles has to offer.  I think you pay more for the glass, construction, etc.  and NOT the name.

 

my 2 cents.

 

J

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/11/2007 at 15:10
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Conquest 3-9x40.  I have lots of them and there is nothing cheapened down about them.  They are cheaper because they are not made in Germany.  There is no where in N.America that the Conquest won't do just as good as the other mentioned scopes during legal shooting hours.  If you wanted to european night hunt, you might have an arguement against the Conquest. 

 

ranburr

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/14/2007 at 21:14
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Hey Guys,

I have owned them all.The Kahles CL is better than the Zeiss conquest and the Swaro AH, but all  are good.I even have a Kahles American . It is better than the conquest, but not quite as good as the Swaro American. Good Luck.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/14/2007 at 22:17
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Exellent choice of caliber, my choice is the kahles CL. This scope will definetly outperform the other scopes listed in every way and at a great price.

Also keep a look out for the Kahles KX in 2007. Happy shooting.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/15/2007 at 15:30
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I have not owned many Euro scopes but have had alot of their binos,[Swavs and Leitz] and finally bought a new Zeiss Conquest 3-9 with the German #4 reticule. I can tell you this much regardless of anything you may have heard when I compared it here right at dark [too dark to see with you naked eyes] on actual deer I am feeding here behind the house I got quite a pleasant suprise! It certainly surpasses the specs you see on paper........... It blows my Leupold VXIII away and smokes a Nikon Buckmaster I have ............ these may not have all the hype of the pure Euro models but the Germans have not forgot how to build a very nice scope!  I would highly recomend this scope for the money and will be buying more of them to replace some of my older Leos.............

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/16/2007 at 07:38
twofer View Drop Down
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Hi Everyone,

 

Thanks for all the replies.  Your personal experiences count for a lot to a new buyer like me.  Sounds like either a Zeiss Conquest and the Kahles CL would be a great choice for me.  I wish I could find a store with both so I could do a side-by-side comparision to see how each works with my eyes.

 

BTW, I am starting to think that maybe I should wait for the releases of the Swarovski Z6 and Kahles KX models before making a purchase.  In particular, I wonder how the Kahles CL 3-9x42 compares to the new 3-9x42 KX.  The specifications (zoom range, 2nd plane reticle, objective diameter, tube diameter, eye relief, lens coatings) appear to be the same, so what is the difference?

 

Also, the Swarovski 1.7-10x42 Z6 has a huge zoom range.  What (if any) are the optical trade-offs to get that huge zoom range and are they worth it?

 

Thanks.

 

--Twofer



Edited by twofer
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/16/2007 at 08:23
jonbravado View Drop Down
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i have owned zeiss conquests before, they are indeed excellent scopes, but the kahles CL is far superior in the lowlight -

 

i have A/B tested them at dusk.  and the lower end swarovski's aren't worth paying for the name.

the high end ones are a different story.

 

just so you know, it's not just my opinion - i have tested them with other peoples eyes as well.

 

and why can i notice a huge difference between the high-end zeiss and the conquest, if there isn't a quality drop?

 

kahles is just a top-notch company with superior products. buy with confidence.

 

J

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/16/2007 at 09:24
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Originally posted by twofer twofer wrote:

BTW, I am starting to think that maybe I should wait for the releases of the Swarovski Z6 and Kahles KX models before making a purchase. 

Also, the Swarovski 1.7-10x42 Z6 has a huge zoom range.  What (if any) are the optical trade-offs to get that huge zoom range and are they worth it?

 

twofer,

There is a HUGE difference in price between the new Kahles KX and Swarovski Z6 scopes!  The Z6 is approx DOUBLE the expected prices of the KX! 

 

On the optical tradeoffs for the Z6's huge zoom range...

I don't see one.  The eye relief has been improved.  FOV is the same or greater on the upper end of magnification range as any other equivalent scope, and on the lower end, it provides a much greater FOV than other competing scopes.  They are surprisingly compact for their magnification range, and optically, they will be superb, as would be expected from Swaro.

 

There are only 2 disadvantages I can see:

1.  Price.  They will range in price between about $1600 to over $2000, depending on model.

2.  If you typically use lower magnification in the type hunting you do than any power setting above, say 6X, the Z6 is physically larger than other scopes you'd typically select covering the lower end of the magnification range.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/16/2007 at 10:05
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Hey I will tell you this about optics in general ................ If a person belived everything that they advertise you would get a huge suprise, the truth of all this is that when you discuss the air to glass interface and the actual losses involed to someone in a physics lab they will tell you very quickly that the coatings that are used dont vary that much and that the difference between a $250 Japanise Scope and a $1250 is no where near the differance in the money................ you are paying a HUGE preamium for 1 1/2% better light transmission. I would agree that the top end Euro scopes are better but the money they charge is crazy and unless you are just a NAME person . [I know alot of people that will only drink a real COKE] IT ISNT WORTH IT. If you want the very best and money doesnt matter or your just a scope freak than by all means blow an extra grand for the best . If you want fantastic value for your money look into a Zeiss Conquest and you will never look back.................. they are 98-99% of the high end big name stuff for a realistic price................

Thats my 2 cents worth

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/16/2007 at 11:05
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I agree to a point, but I have scopes and binos in all different price ranges, and I assure you, I notice a HUGE difference between a $250 class scope and a $1000 class scope, especially in poor light conditions.  It's more than just the lenses and coatings too, it's the design of the whole optical system that really matters.  Whether or not that difference is worth the extra $ one spends depends on the individual.  I assure you, I could care less about the name on the side of the scope, as long as the scope itself has the features and optical performance I want for the particular task at hand.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/16/2007 at 11:06
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I disagree with the Conquest bieng 98-99% of the real stuff. I would say more like a B effort.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/16/2007 at 11:32
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I am sure that anyone that has spent $65,000 on a Lincoln Navagator will say the same exact thing you are. That there is a HUGE difference between that and the Ford Expedition that cost $35,000 ........................... and their is a difference, but it aint the extra $30,000 nor even $10,000................. its a spruced up dash and a fancy grill and some bells and whistles and is the exact same thing here, as the Zeiss scope of course the $1200 one is better . But to condem the Conquest as B grade and imply it is junk is absolutely bull....  I will stick to my guns and say again it is about 98% of the $1200 scopes, as I have owned them too, and they just aint worth the money !! They are Nice but obsurdly overpriced and behond most peoples ability to even see the difference...............
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/16/2007 at 11:35
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A B is not junk but look at what you are comparing it to. Have you comapred a Conquest to a Zeiss VM/V or S&B both optically and Mechanicaly, I have.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/16/2007 at 11:37
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There is no similarities inside and out from a Conquest to the above mentioned.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/16/2007 at 11:43
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What anything is worth depends entirely on how critical one is of a products performance expectations, the value one places on a given set of features, and one's wallet.  I personally don't think the $2000+ S&B scopes are twice as good as some of the $1000 scopes, so they aren't worth the price to me, but I don't dispute that they're excellent products and don't criticize those who do think they're worth their price tag.  The same can be said for any price scope you can name.  Some people don't think that a $250 scope offers them enough of an advantage over a $75 scope sufficient to justify the price.  I know many people in that category.  It's all a matter of what you place value on. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/16/2007 at 11:50
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Rifledude it all depends what the use of the scope is if you were or in LE or Military or a serious competitive shooter a $2000 PMII would be a exellent choice both in competition of if your life is on the line. For $1000 you can get at best a Kahles with a standard reticle.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/16/2007 at 12:11
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Agreed, but since I'm in neither LE or military, to me, no scope is worth that kinda cash, even if it also did my taxes and mowed my lawn for me.  And I'm not totally convinced that even if my life were on the line that only a $2000 or $2500 S&B is dependable enough for the application, vs. a $1500 scope, but that's just me.  For a general hunting scope, with few exceptions, in all honesty a really good 1" tube scope gives me everything any $2000 scope will get me within the bounds of the game laws.  That's what I mean when I say it's all a matter of what the individual deems important.  There are very few etched in stone, universally accepted rules with regards to optics, guns, or most anything else.

 

I disagree for competitive shooting applications, but I guess it depends on the definition of "competitive shooting."  I can't envision a competitive venue where I'd choose a S&B scope over other options, except for maybe competitive sniper shooting. 

 

Short range benchrest = fixed power 35X - 45X scopes  - NO VARIABLES.

Long range benchrest = Nightforce or maybe IOR.  Nightforce absolutely dominates in that sport.  In both BR classes, weight requirements dictate to some degree the scope you choose.

High power = depends on the class, but S&B scopes aren't typically chosen for that shooting discipline either.

 

In most competitive shooting, a FFP reticle is a liability, not an asset.

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/16/2007 at 12:44
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S&B's scopes are preffered in Tactical and Airgun dicipline competition across the globe.

Yes Rifledude the above RFP scopes listed are better suited for Benchrest competition,

taget,varmint..............

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/16/2007 at 14:23
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 I like many others just don't have the money to spend on a scope. With a son in college I don't have thousands extra to spend on a hobby.  I have looked at many and have friends who own them and will agree that they are wonderful. When it came to actually buying one I got the Zeiss conquest for a pre-64 300H&H. Less than $400.00 and in my opinion a great scope for the money. While I agree that the other (Kahles, S&B, Swaro) do look better, to me they did not look $1000.00+ better. If I had the money to spend I would have looked at the Kahles, but don't regret getting the Zeiss. If it ever breaks Zeiss will repair it.
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