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Zeiss Conquest vs Leupold VX-3

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/21/2009 at 20:39
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I am currently looking for my first rifle scope, to be put on my Remington 700 in .308, used for target shooting and eventually hunting whitetail. The specs I am looking for are 3-9X40mm.

I have found the Zeiss Conquest and the Leupold VX-3 both in 3-9X40 for $500. I think I'd be happy with either one of these. Would anyone like to weigh in on the pros and cons of these two scopes?

Thanks in advance!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/21/2009 at 20:45
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The glass on the Zeiss will be better, brighter.  In my opinion, you get more scope for the money with Conquest.

If you do get the Leupold it too will serve you well; and if you never compare it side-by-side with another scope, you will like the glass in the Leupold..
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/21/2009 at 21:02
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Originally posted by Rancid Coolaid Rancid Coolaid wrote:

The glass on the Zeiss will be better, brighter.  In my opinion, you get more scope for the money with Conquest.

If you do get the Leupold it too will serve you well; and if you never compare it side-by-side with another scope, you will like the glass in the Leupold..
 
Yup, that pretty much sums it up.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/21/2009 at 21:07
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Not sure a 3-9 comes in the VX3 series.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/21/2009 at 21:28
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Pardon me, the magnification on the Leupold is 3.5-10. 

Any difference worth mentioning in terms of durability or scratch/corrosion resistance?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/28/2009 at 23:49
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I ended up buying a Zeiss Conquest 3.5-10X44mm w/ the Rapid-Z 800 reticle from the sample list for $613.95 shipped. I got the shipping notice from UPS today and can't wait for it to get here.  I had intended to buy the 3-9X40mm Conquest w/ the Z-Plex reticle but someone else snapped it up. My credit limit is mad at me but I think I'll be happy with the upgrade.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/29/2009 at 13:02
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I bought the same scope last year and have been very happy with it.  That was after 30 years of using nothing but Leupys.  I don't think you will be disappointed.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/29/2009 at 13:29
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Neither do I that scope will serve you well for many years to come.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/29/2009 at 15:53
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On thing to consider if you're going to use the scope for target shooting over long distances is the internal adjustments.  A Leupold, or any 30mm scope will be an advantage over the Conquest.  Sure, there are 20MOA bases out there but if you want to plink up close ranges (100yds), you'll be high.  I know this because I went through the pains (for a .308) and ended up getting a Leupold VX-3, 8.5-25x50 wit a lot of internal adjustments. 
 
Regarding the difference in glass between the two;
 
-  If used in broad daylight the edge for clarity/resolution/sharpness goes to Zeiss but not by much.
-  For light gathering (in daylight) there isn't much of a diference, if any.
-  If used in the wee hours of morning/night, the Zeiss is brighter and the reticles are very dark (which helps a lot).
 
HTH
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/29/2009 at 16:09
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I think you got a great deal on a very nice scope, .308BoltAction!
 
As for the comparison, I don't know that I agree with the consensus so far.  The new VX-3 series is better optically than the previous generation VX-III, so should not be confused with it.  I think the VX-3 series is now probably in the same league as Conquest optically.  If not, they are very close.  The advantages of one over the other mainly boils down to personal preference.  The main advantage to the Zeiss is fixed eye relief.  Leupold has variable eye relief.  Leupold has better overall reticle selection and slightly better warranty & customer service.  With the VX-3 series, I think Leupold has risen to the challenge of offering better value for the $ spent.  Competition is a good thing.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/29/2009 at 16:47
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MY late 2 cents....ZEISS
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/29/2009 at 18:26
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I agree I would in most cases select the Conquest over the VX-3.  I just think Leupy has come a long way in closing the gap, so I don't think Conquest is as "head and shoulders" better anymore.  Not to say Conquest has taken a step down; Leupy has taken a step up.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/30/2009 at 02:05
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rifledude you are absolutely correct the new vx3 are now longer the under dog when it comes to the conquest. if anything i would give it to the vx3 optically by a smidge. but the vxlll is an under dog for sure when comparing to the conquest but not the new vx3.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/30/2009 at 11:22
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RifleDude,

 

I agree.  In the wee hours when its probably illegal to hunt (but not snoop) "my" Zeiss Conquest 4.5-14x50 on 10 power is just a smidgen brighter than "my" Leupold VX-3 8.5-25x50 on the same power.  I don't have a VX-III to compare but both are light years ahead of the VARI-X-III.

 

A couple of months back I did a side-to-side comparision in broad daylight for sharpness at 200 yards in broad daylight through some thick mirage.  I felt the Conquest may be just a hair sharper but it took a lot of looking back-and-forth to come to that conclusion.  It was really close and perhaps another set of eyes may have seen it differently.

 

One place where the Zeiss is better to my liking is the eye relief.  The Zeiss is constant through the whole rang while the Leupold is not, although it too is very good.

 

When one adds up the price difference of the two plus all the options Leupold offers its darn hard to turn a Leupold away.  Zeiss too has a lifetime warranty but they do-not allow the reticles to be swapped to the extent Leupold does (unless their policy has changed recently).    Additionally, I'm wondering what their turn around time is since these scopes go back to Europe for repairs and upgrades.

 

Jim
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/30/2009 at 17:38
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I did not know Conquests went back to Europe.  I would think not since the Conquests are assembled in US.
 
Pros for the Leupy:
Lightweight
Good elevation range
Customer Service
Reliability
 
Pros for Zeiss:
Optical quality
Black as coal laser etched reticle
More forgiving of head movement
Constant eye relief
 
I'd take the Conquest by a smidge and my answer may be different tomorrow.
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/30/2009 at 22:20
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Thats what I was told earlier this year by their C/S rep when I was contemplating a reticle change earlier this year.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/30/2009 at 22:42
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I use and like both scopes, but feel compelled to comment on the eye relief. I have tested three of the new VX-3's thoroughly now, and the eye relief has varied .4 inch from low to high in two 3.5-10's and .3 inch in a 2.5-8x. The latest 3-9x Conquest I've tested varies .2 inch from low to high. In the real world it would be hard to tell the difference, since I doubt most of us can hold our rifles so that eye relief is within .5 inch each time we put the rifle to our shoulder, especially when hunting.
 
The Leupold is lighter and easier to mount low. The Conquest might be a little brighter. I have found that judgement often depends on the individual. Both are excellent scopes and most of the time it won't matter a heck of lot which one you choose.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/31/2009 at 03:23
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I have been milling over buying a new scope in either low variable or fixed power, and both the conquest and the FX-3 have been on my mind. I know the FX-3 is pretty much identical optically to the VX-3 line since they have the same coatings and technology minus the new erector system in the VX-3's. The thing that is bother me is that neither line seems to have the reticle I want (german #4 or whatever the different makers call it) in the scope that I want. I know I could go through leupold's custom shop and have it done, anyone know what it would cost to send a scope in for reticle change? I was sort of leaning towards the Conquest, in one of the lower powered models or maybe even the fixed 4x, simply on aesthetics and how it matches the rifle and setup I have. But I really want the german #4, and of course these models don't seem to be available with it best I can tell. I wonder if Zeiss could swap the reticle for me?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/31/2009 at 06:56
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Michael
I don't know what they are now charging to swap reticles.  Have you tried building it on the custom shop website?  They have a pretty streamlined site for that.  It gives a cost in the bottom corner of the page as you make changes.  They don't inflate starting price of the scope either.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/31/2009 at 11:51
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ZEISS;
I was just looking on the Zeiss website and in the Conquest line the #4 reticle is offered in the 3-9x40 up to 6.5-20x50 (non-illumunating reticle).  I'm presuming that is what a German-4 reticle is. 
 
Last fall I spoke with Zeiss C/S and I understood their policy was; "if the desired reticle is offered in the line & size of the scope you have they will change it".  Cost was around $90.00, IIRC and I believe the turnaround was about six weeks but don't quote me on the time frame.  What Zeiss WOULD-NOT do is install a RAPID-Z style reticle (RAPID-Z-600, RAPID-Z-800, RAPID-Z-1000 & RAPID-Z-Varmint) on a scope that was sold with a NON-RAPID-Z reticle.  In my case, they would not remove my Z-Plex (#20) reticle and install a RAPID-Z-800.  Other than company position/policy, no other reason was given.  IMO, from a customer satisfaction position, as long as the reticle will fit into the older scopes, they should reconsider their position because as good as they are, they're not significantly better than the new Leupold VX-3.
 
One plus thing about Zeiss scopes, they have the "blackest" reticles out there and that is a nice option to have in both bright and dim lighting.
 
LEUPOLD:
AFAIK, Leupold will install any reticle offered into any scope.  According to my catalog a #4 reticle is available.  Apparantly, they WILL back fit any reticle to an older scope line as long as it fits.  I have a 1985 model 3.5-10x40 VARI-X-III with a duplex reticle.  I stopped by their factory and asked if a B&C reticle can be installed.  The technician went and did some checking and he came back and said it could be.  I don't recall the exact price but I believe it was around $100.00 for the exchange.
 
As far as options, IMO Leupold is tough to beat.  They have more reticles and turret options in comparision to everybody else.  I don't think to many can arque with their C/S reputation.  In the box with my 8.5-25x50 I received a sunshade, a scope coat (neuprone cover), instructions and warranty card.  In the box's of Zeiss Conquest scopes I received bikini-style lens covers and instructions with the scoped wrapped in some sort of cardboard type material.
 
PERFORMANCE
From a performance point of view on 12x, the Zeiss (mine is a 4.4-14x50) is a smidgen brighter in the dark compared to my Leupold VX-3 (8.5-25x50).  This could be due to the color differences of the two (VX3 has warmer colors while Zeiss's are cooler), clarity was dead on.  The differences in the scope sizes may contribute to this. 
 
I have a friend that has a Zeiss Conquest 6.5-20x50 I'm going to try and do some side-by-side comparisions with my VX-3 looking for brightness, clarity and resolution in both dim lighting and through some challenging mirage on a bright clear day and see how the two compare then.  FWIW, my other Conquest is a 3.5-10x44 and it doesn't even compare to clarity and resoultion of the 4.5-14x50 in dim lighty, It's good but, but its not close...
 
HTH,
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/31/2009 at 15:13
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tjtjwdad, thanks for all the info. I haven't quite made up my mind yet, which direction I am going to go. I really like the 1.8x5.5x38 Conquest-it has great field of view and I really don't need anything more than 4 or 6x magnification. But obviously, the two low powered Conquest models are the two that cannot be bought already with the #4 reticle (which doesn't make much since to me because they would seem to be the models that it would be most suitable on for fast shooting and target acquisition.) I am very curious about the differences between your two Conquests, you would think that a difference of 4 mm on the objective on two scopes of the same model would not make a huge difference in optical performance. Even in daylight the clarity and resolution are significantly better on the 50mm? Since during the day there would be far less need for the extra light gathering ability of the 50mm, I guess I don't understand why there is such a discrepancy.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/31/2009 at 16:17
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just a question, a remmy 700 in .308 is not a light rifle, why worry about the weight of the scope.

Edited: for that kind of money I would have bought the Bushnell 6500 2.5-16X42 with the side focus and target turrets. 30mm tube gives you plenty of ups and quick to adjust on the range and 2.5X give you quick target acquisition in the field.  the turrets are solid enough not to worry about brush rubs and it a little over a oz. heavier.
  


Edited by Steelbenz - July/31/2009 at 16:30
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/31/2009 at 18:06
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Originally posted by mlv2k5 mlv2k5 wrote:

I am very curious about the differences between your two Conquests, you would think that a difference of 4 mm on the objective on two scopes of the same model would not make a huge difference in optical performance. Even in daylight the clarity and resolution are significantly better on the 50mm? Since during the day there would be far less need for the extra light gathering ability of the 50mm, I guess I don't understand why there is such a discrepancy.
 
Let me try and clear this up.  The light gathering in the dark hours of the morning/evening is where the 3.5-10x44 significantly trails the 4.5-14x50.  In broad daylight I haven't tested, nor noticed a difference.  In broad daylight regarding brightness, I haven't seen a significant amount of difference between the;
 
- Zeiss 4.5-14x50
- Leupold VX-3 8.5-25x50
- Nikon Monarch 6.5-50x44 (old style Monarch, haven't tried the new style yet).
- Burris FFII 4.5-14x42
 
The reason I can talk more about the top three is because I've been shooting those rifles a lot lately.  The Nikon died a couple of months back and I haven't gotten around to test the new one yet.
 
For me, I've been looking at both a Zeiss Conquest 6.5-20x50 with Rapid-Z-Varmint reticle and a Leupold 6.5-20x50 with Hunters Varmint reticle.  The price difference is around 100.00 more for the Zeiss.  However, because the Leupold has a 30mm tube, new scope rings are a must so that would cut into the price difference just a bit.  Once I get a chance to compare a Conquest (6.5-20) to my VX-3 (8.5-25) then I'll decide.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/31/2009 at 22:55
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Ohh, ok that does clear things up. I'm still surprised that there is such a difference in the two conquests but i suppose at high magnifications every little bit of exit pupil will matter for clarity and brightness in dim light. As for myself, I am trying to make a decision on a new scope for my K31. I want either a low fixed power or a low variable, preferably with the #4 reticle. I really like the Zeiss 1.8x5.5x38, but it doesn't come with the #4. Plus, I can get a really good deal on Leupold stuff so I may end up going in that direction.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/01/2009 at 00:42
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When I looked at the two Conquest scopes I looked from 4.5 power up to 10.  Even at 3.5  pwr (44mm) vs 4.5 pwr (50mm) the larger objective came out the brightest. 
 
You know, a good choice for you that has a wide power range may be the Bushnell Elite 6500.  The down side AFAIK, there are only two choices for reticles, mil-dot and duples.  But with a 2.5-16 range, thats pretty darn good and I haven't heard anything bad about them.  C/S is unknown to me. 
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