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Zeiss 3x9x40 Review/Comparison

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/26/2008 at 08:21
martin3175 View Drop Down
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I was lucky enough to receive a Zeiss 3x9x40 Conquest to Test Drive. So I set about to repeat the format I used when I reviewed the Vortex Diamondback ( I skipped the - 2 through + 2 ratings , as these scopes were just to close in performance to use that ) . So-here we go:

Initial impression ...I like the reticle . It doesn't "go silver'ish " on you in bright sunlight. It seems to be just about perfect in size and clarity. The scope feels substantial, and is a good looking piece. The plastic turret caps and windage/elevation adjustment rings caught me off guard ( seemed too cheap for this price point - heck even $50 scopes have aluminum caps ). They may prove durable, but call me old fashioned, I want metal. I mounted it on my good old H&R 30-30 , and no issues at all. It boxed out spot on , and is bright , + easy to use .
 
The contestants:
Using the Zeiss Conquest as a baseline --it's images were bright, the reticle stayed crisp and clear in all light variances, and has a forgiving ,  constant eye relief. It seems worthy of its excellent reputation.
 
Leupold 2.5-8 ( on a Encore ) Vari-XIII -- held its own , it has Leupold standard reticle which could be a bit thicker , not quite as bright as the Zeiss, but inline with the Browning, Weaver, and Pentax, Only a 36 mm objective which could affect it also... crisp images and excellent color resolution.. It's on a kicker ( 50 cal Blackpowder ) , and has lived up to its durable reputation.
 
Pentax 3x9x40 Whitetails Unlimited ( on a Rem 700 308)- Wow- the twilight plex reticle is the thickest and boldest of the bunch ..I like it.. really jumps out at you , but not the first choice for varmints.. almost as bright as the Zeiss, pretty close  and certainly in line with the Grand Slam , Browning , and Vari-XIII.... certainly bright enough though, with crisp images
 
Bushnell Elite 4200 3x9x40-  Crisp images , great color resolution, Rainguard , you just gotta like these.. Sorry Zeiss fans- I couldn't see any difference in clarity and brightness at all times of the day from dawn to dusk.. I will give the nod to the Conquest though on the reticle , as the 4200 could use a pinch thicker posts and did seem just a touch"silver'ish" in direct bright sunlight as the sun started to set  behind images being viewed.
 
Swarovski 3-10 American ( on 300 Wby Mark V )- well, this one edged the others out and so it should considering it's cost. I have to admit though, it wasn't a knock out punch. My son agreed ( so it wasn't necessarily my 43 yr old eyes) . It was a bit brighter and crisp optically, & very well made and a handsome scope, but worth 2 to 3 times as much as the others? --well- that's up to you ..Mine was my 40 yr old birthday gift , and I love it,,but if my $, the jury is still out  -- maybe ....
 
Weaver Grand Slam 3x10x40 -- nice scope, feels rugged ..optically in  line with the Pentax , Browning and Leupold ( call it a draw optically with these 4 ). the reticle is a great size. All those I know who have  one -like'em . Mine is still waiting for me to step up and find it a home. Just the tiniest behind the Monarch,4200 and Conquest, but not really noticeable until the very last-last minute of the day ( I know -that's when you need it , but it wasn't drastic) .
 
Nikon Monarch 3x9x40 ( on a Wby 30/06 Vanguard ) ,, looking through this and going back and forth with the 4200, I thought  was virtually a tie. In fact, I couldn't tell them apart. On these two , I would the give the nod to the 4200's Rainguard. Plus, I have dealt with Nikon's CS and it  was horrible!
 
Browning 3x9x40 Sports Optic ( on Rem 7400 243 ) -- this one I picked up for the mid $100's range new ..Gotta admit- great value. It is made by Bushnell ( recently discontinued- although a few out there) , and seems to fall right between the 3200 and 4200, but without the Rainguard. I like it. Optically it  falls right in line with the Grand Slam, Vari XIII and the Pentax. The reticle could be a bit bolder. I am not a fan of the gold circle on the scope caps, and it's not the best looking scope body with the ridge on the objective bell, but nevertheless entirely functional.
 
So there you have it ,, It's a fine scope overall ....but worth $200 more than the Nikon Monarch and 4200...It does have a bolder reticle and 4" eye relief ( but I haven't been boinged by my any of my 4200's yet either on kickers like 300 wby's and a 300 RUM -so kinda mute) , I will give it that , but in my humble opinion--Naah . It may be for you though---your call.    Big%20Smile  


Edited by martin3175 - October/11/2008 at 08:29
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/26/2008 at 19:48
Roy Finn View Drop Down
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This is a nice review. Thank you for taking the time to share this with us.
 
Roy
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/26/2008 at 20:38
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Nice job, Martin.  Thanks!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/26/2008 at 20:39
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Very good review, thanks.
I also find observations on my Monarchs and 4200 to be the same.

Doug
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/26/2008 at 22:12
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I shoulda lined some of them up side by side a long time ago,,,really revealing..
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/27/2008 at 08:03
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Thanks, Martin, nice post. I see the way you lined them up on such a precarious positition that your next test was for durability or "which scope survived the fall" test!
Good one!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/27/2008 at 09:14
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Looks a little scary, but the rail is nice and flat--no worries as  no scopes were harmed in this testing (or my irish setter mix )
 
hey --1001 posts Mr Optics Master-congrats to you on getting over the 1000 mark .


Edited by martin3175 - June/28/2008 at 13:20
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/15/2008 at 15:18
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Martin,

After see both scopes, if you had to choose between the Leupold (VXIII) and the Zeiss and price was not an issue which scope would you choose and why?
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/17/2008 at 00:52
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Nice review thank you for that.
 
The bushnell 4200 continues to suprise me. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/17/2008 at 06:02
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Outstanding review! Thank you!

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/06/2008 at 08:28
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Cannon,

 
Just saw your ?...Between a  VX III 3.5-10 and Zeiss 3-9..both at the same cost..I'd probably go with the Leupold just because of "it's a Leupold" ...Yup, I may have succumbed to Leupold legend ,... Plus, Leupold has a ton of extra goodies to add to the scope like custom reticles,covers,etc....
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/06/2008 at 19:43
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I scanned through this review when it first came out but didn't reply.  Now I took the time to accually read it.  It was a darn good review and I am glad I read it. Great job.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/06/2008 at 21:46
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Excellent Martin!!!  Thunbs%20Up
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/07/2008 at 09:11
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thanks ... The side by side thing is an eye opener !!!!!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/07/2008 at 13:04
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(In my very best Eduardo Cornholio voice) Muchas Gracias!!!!!!! Muy bueno
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/08/2008 at 12:57
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" Now, I ordinarily do not always come to this thread....but I ....I did today,....... just to check up and see whether you fellers were actually doin' any work over here or whether you fellas were just foolin' around....
 
....anyway, I liked the review....very good......very.....COMMON SENSICLE!!
 
( and I think that Ed ought to.....why, he ought to punch cyborg right in the nose!! ) "
 
 
 
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