My view on optics (pun intended) is rather predictable isn't it?
On my 6.5-06 I have a Zeiss 6-24x56 scope and with that I can shoot 20-30 mins earlier in the morning and 20-30 mins later in the evening here in Norway and Sweden than I can with the 3-9x50 Leupold I have on my 375Ruger.
I shoot about 20-25% of my animals in those extra minutes.
And with a bit of snow on the ground and a faint moonlight, I can hunt and shoot all night with my 6.5-06 if I want.
And because of this I don't use my 375Ruger as much as I want and is the main reason for why I want to replace the Leupold scope with the 3-12x50 Zeiss Duralyt.
I have a Zeiss 'Victory' 1.5-6 x 42 with a #4 reticle on my Sako 85 and am very happy with it. It's brilliance and clarity is outstanding. On a 2010 hunt in Zimbabwe I took a leopard in extremely low fading light where a lesser scope might have meant no shot costing me the only opportunity of taking this elusive cat.
On a prior hunt in Mozambique I got lucky on a lion we had been tracking for 18 days and took him early morning with my other Sako .375 which was topped with a Zeiss 'Victory' 2.5-10 x 50. Again, it was a tough shot in extremely low light and I firmly believe my success on this hunt was due to those brilliant optics.
I have owned and used several quality brands of scope, including those you list.... but when the total cost of a trip to Africa is taken into account, and considering you may only get one chance at an outstanding trophy, the money spent on a quality scope is probably the best investment you can make towards successful safari.
For a plains game only hunt, the 2.5-10x gives great versatility but if your safari includes dangerous game I would opt for the 1.5-6x in any top brand. Choose a bold reticle if possible as it will speed up your ability to aim precisely in poor light.
nice post let us know what you end up with ..cheers
FWIW, I am headed to RSA in May and just bought a 375 H & H. This trip is a plains game hunt, but I have dreams of going back for buff, so I mounted a Zeiss Conquest 3 X 9 in Warne QD rings so, if the buff hunt materializes, I can easily swap it for a lower power scope.
First I'd put a Hawhke 1.25-4.5 x 24 QR because I don't know the quality of the Winch Safari Express enough,
After 40 shots I have put my Leupold VII 3-9x40 (QR of course) perfect !!!! for my eyes ...;)
Take care to the distance between your eye and scope need 4". ... :)
I have a Zeiss Conquest 3-9x40mm on my M70. Plenty of eye relief. The M70 has plenty of weight, it's just not going to slam a scope with reasonable eye relief into your face. Then again the Zeiss has good eye relief too. I love that scope, just a phenomenal value for the money. The local Cabelas in fact is going to have a sale on them this weekend at $299, I may just have to go get one just because.
Eric, have you tried the Conquest scopes before? I have owned several and they are top notch and comparable to the Leupold (I actually prefer them) all day long. In fact Leupold assembles them for Zeiss using Zeiss parts.:hail:
Leupold binoculars and spotting scopes are not good. They need to improve, poor in low light and not sharp for the dollar.
$800?? Most Conquests I have seen are in the 4-600 dollar range.
Natchez price 3.5-10 x 44mm Rapid Z-600 Reticle $800, 4.5-14 44mm $900.
I guess I'm still living in the Dark ages! I wouldnt pay that much for ANY scope! Still, good is good and I'll bet side by side with a similar priced Leupold, the Zeiss would win. JM NOT SHO! :rolleyes:
i bought two conquest 3-9x40 when i was in reno for $499.00 each. converting the difference from sterling this is approx $200.00 cheaper than the equivalent zeiss in the uk, so i would be happy with the prices over there.:)
The Zeiss Duralyt 1.2-5x36, 2-8x42 and 3-12x50 cost around $1000 at Opticsplanet.
If you want them with illuminated reticle, they cost about $300 more.
They are the best value for the money scopes you can buy in my opinion.