ZEISS HD5 VS Night force SHV?

Discussion in 'Hunting Equipment, Gear & Optics' started by CBH Australia, Jun 22, 2019.

  1. CBH Australia

    CBH Australia AH Enthusiast

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    My hunting /shooting needs vary a bit. Even more when i start reading sales advertisements.

    I have a Tikka CTR in 7mm-08. It has the ability to be a budget long range rifle. for me current goal is to achieve 1 MOA or better groups to about 500 yards, then target pests generally well under 500 but I want the ability to kill a dingo at 500. all things being equal i know I need to know range, elevation, wind and have a steady rest so most shooting is under 300 anyway

    Nightforce SHV was suggested in passing i didn't ask which model. that person also suggested Bushnell or Burris previously . He has scopes, skills and experience out of my league.

    I was thinking 50mm objective compact with some light transmission. Nice size balance on the rifle

    SHV 's can be had with 56mm objective or there is a First focal plane 50mm objective Illuminated the Dearest at $1600

    A Zeiss 3-15x50 with Lockable turrets finger adjustable type. Currently $1050

    Some forums suggest Zeiss is better glass less reliable turrets. Others are that Nightforce is better turrets more repeatable reliability. Not going tactical, regular bush travel maybe.

    Both have benefits but the Zeiss might be more of a hunting scope in the future and is maybe discontinued line on clearance.
    Nightforce is more a range scope i think, they may introduce more options in this class in future

    Im leaning toward the Zeiss but welcome comments. There might be some Coyote hunters here.
     

  2. IdaRam

    IdaRam SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    I think you are correct regarding the strengths of each brand. Zeiss will likely have a little better glass, Nightforce will be more durable by a good margin and have better turrets and more repeatable zero and a higher degree of adjustment accuracy.

    Not sure what you mean by Nightforce being a range scope?

    I would lean toward the Nightforce SHV 4-14x50. Either the Mil-R or the MOAR reticle, can’t go wrong either way, just depends on you preference for mils or moa hash marks. Both reticles are illuminated.

    I would stay away from both Bushnell and Burris. Not even close to the same league as either the Zeiss or the NF, although Burris is the much better of the two lesser options. Durability and repeatability will not be near as good on either.

    Do you have some experience with F1 scopes? Some people find they are less than thrilled with first focal plane scopes depending on the application. Your reticle may appear to be quite fine at low power. I would go check some out to make sure a first focal plane scope is what you want prior to dropping a good chunk of change on one.

    Oh yeah, and Nightforce is an Idaho company so I may be a little biased ;) Both are high quality optics, I just prefer Nightforce. I’m sure there will be others who prefer Zeiss. Probably can’t go wrong either way.
     
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  3. CBH Australia

    CBH Australia AH Enthusiast

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    Thanks IdaRam,
    I believe Night force is owned or was started by an Aussie. Ray Dennis who developed Lightforce spotlights. He owns a good chunk of country around another location where I worked.

    My reference to range scope? Wrong description perhaps. SHV is Shooting, Hunting and Varmint? perhaps i am inferring it is ideal for targets, long range shooters who dial corrections etc. Even long range hunting if you know what you are doing. The Zeiss more a hunting scope with the finger adjustable turrets for occassional dialing in.

    Ive never handled a FFP, I have read on them. One reference between these 2 is the Nightforce reticle are finer Great for targets . At 47 and using contacts my sight is already degrading. i find heavier reticles in scopes intended for spotlighting are easier to see. Particuarly shooting quickly from a rest in the vehicle. hunting in fading light or Low light a heavy reticle is easier too. Precisoin target work requires fine reticle

    Ive avoided illuminated reticle previously as it may be something else to go wrong . Im sure they are good and function if the illumination fails.

    If the 4-14x50 was non illuminated and priced closer to other models i would sway a little more because Im leaning toward the 50mm objective. My reasoning for hoping Nightforce extend the range down the track.

    FFP, i haven't had experience with ranging, estimating with these just read up on it. My Meopta 4-12x50 is SFP . It needs to be on 12 to work the holdover correctly. For shots from a static position with stable rest i guess both work.

    i have the BDC reticle in the Meopta. it is fine and only has 3 hash marks. not to cluttered. presumably 100, 200, 300 within reason. to date that scope is on the CTR but mainly used as a truck rifle as you might say in the US. It has worked well and has reasonable low light performance but may go to a .22-250 that will be the truck rifle. i wanted something of lower value for regular use from a vehicle. The CTR was new on clearance as no one wanted a .7mm-08 so much but I did. I wanted an affordable scope with low light ability. The whole outfit is say $2000 with Burris XTR signature rings. More than I intended but now i want another scope. The Zeiss will work in the 25mm rings and they also have offset inserts that allow you to change the cant of the scope. Another plus for the Zeiss with 25mm tube.

    New rings another $180?

    Im open to discussion as im open to learning new skills and being I intend to use this from a stable rest then I can learn to dial correction etc.

    Im open to the MOAR reticle but dont want something that is too crowded or technical. Maybe dialing elevation and holding for wind is suitable as if the wind is to much im gonna pass up the shot on a critter

    $550 difference and $180 rings sways my thinking . But I welcome suggestion or a option with compromise.
     
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  4. Inline6

    Inline6 AH Veteran

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    I have had my fair share of glass.

    I always get a higher power than required, I don't hear I wish I had less power. I have heard I wish I would have had a little more up top.

    FFP is a must for shooting long range in my eyes. Once you have your shooting solution figured out. You will dial up your elevation, I personally hold for wind. It changes too much to fast to dial. So without an FFP you have no reliable way of knowing what your true hold actually is. Which leads me to this, if you miss your target by .4 mils on an FFP you can figure out what speed the winds down range actually are. In a SFP you are guessing unless you happen to be on the correct power setting perfectly.

    My personal preference for reticles are the Christmas tree style. At first glance the look complicated but way more positive than negative. Hold overs are very easy due to the way it's built. You might not think it now but if you shoot holding it saves you that much more time. Especially if you have the need to make a good shot in a short time.

    Glass is just that glass. Some looks better to your eye than others. I am more interested in how the glass is put together and how reliable it is. A scope that does not track true or can not return to zero does you no good.

    If you were state side I would tell you to pick up a used Gen II razor 4.5X27. Not sure what you have available over there. So out of the two you mentioned I would opt for the Nightforce. They have a very impressive video of the abuse they can take.
     
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  5. Mike Van Horn

    Mike Van Horn AH Veteran

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    Go with the nightforce for what you are doing
     

  6. Bullthrower338

    Bullthrower338 AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    I love all my nightforce scopes, if dependability and repeatability is what your after go with the NF. I own quite a few Zeiss scopes as well and really like them, especially the euro models. I have broken two of the 1” line scopes on heavy recoiling rifles. My 50 BMG’s, 505 Gibbs and several other rifles that might see hard work one day all wear NF.
    I have a couple of the SHV model scopes and for a budget scope it is excellent, I only call it a budget scope compared to their NXS line not comparing it to a bushnell by any means. They built a hell of a scope with a great price IMO.
    Another scope you may look at is the Meopta Pro line of scopes. I’ve had great luck with them and they are very much a lot of bang for the buck. BDC is very functional at the ranges you are requiring.
    Cheers,
    Cody
     
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  7. shootist~

    shootist~ AH Veteran

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    Get a range finder and some ballistic software on your smart phone. No need to "range". Shooter Ballistics by Sean Kenny works great and is $10 for Android or IPhone.

    The SHV 4-14x50 F1 is an excellent optic and will get you way past 500. I have one and did own two (both Mil-R). A buddy bought one and the RPR 6.5 CM it was mounted on a month ago.

    The con (for hunting) is since it's front focal, the reticle is very fine at low powder.
     

  8. buckmarkhunter

    buckmarkhunter AH Enthusiast

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    I have both the ffp and sfp in the nightforce shv. The ffp has exposed turrets the sfp does not. The ffp has 50 mm where sfp has 56mm. I like the moar reticle but that is personal. My wife and I shoot steel at 700 yards often with no problems with the scopes. I have an NSX on a long range gun and that is better but bang for your buck shv is awesome. I also went to Africa in May, both guns with shv scopes, nightforce rings and bases. I have a double pelican case and couldn’t get both guns in the case with the scopes on. I unscrewed the rings from the bases, put them in my carryon and when I got there screwed them back on 68 in/lb I believe and both held true and we’re good to go. Nightforce gets my vote.
     

  9. CBH Australia

    CBH Australia AH Enthusiast

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    I want both since the Zeiss is discontinued old stock clearance (like all my gear) But I’m paying off that trip I booked after meeting you lot!

    Which Nightforce? First focal plane? I read some more on Mil’s etc. . One click value is 10mm at 100m good. Not quite as fine adjustment as Moa but I’m from a metric country it’s easier maths in decimal.

    The Nightforce 4-14x50 is the only 50mm and is only in first focal plane .now as someone who wants to get some long range skill for the odd shot at different ranges I can use the reticle or scale to estimate distance of a target if I know the approx size. I don’t know if the scale is required, just clutters view maybe

    Any reason to consider others from SHV lineup?

    inline 6 says glass is glass, Yeah but clarity is nice. I believe that’s a lot to do with coatings. He also likes the Christmas tree reticle. My Meopta BDC is that I guess. Makes sense, that’s a fine reticle that has me worried about the FFP in the N/F

    I wasn’t considering range finder or ballistics software yet. I have someone who said they will give me some pointers in practice. If that comes off I will see what he uses.

    In a practical sense I’m not setting up to shoot targets or an unsuspecting Buck at 400+.
    It may be more targeting a pig or a dingo sighted in open and I’d need a good rest fast. Dingos will often look back after 300m, safely past 200 where many might shoot from a vehicle.

    Still pondering options
     

  10. Rule 303

    Rule 303 AH Fanatic

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    If the Zeiss is a Victory model that is a damned fine price. If it is not then forget about it. The lesser models are built to a price and their, glass, strength are somewhat less.

    I have both the Victory model in a 1-6 X 42 and a Nightforce NXS 2.5-10X32. The Victory glass is noticeably clearer to my eye. Sharp kickers I put the NXS on.

    I'll disagree with Inline 6 on power. I have heard people say their scope was on to high a power and A) took to long to find the animal B) Animal was to close and couldn't identify the aiming point on the animal. Lower power gets the job done when hunting in close areas.

    Also re distance shooting, I have found glass clarity makes up for a lot of magnification. I can see and judge a deers antlers with good glass in binos at 6 power better than poorer quality binos that are 10 power. Just my experience.
     
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  11. ZG47

    ZG47 AH Enthusiast

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    Mildot-type FFP reticles need illumination for readability at lower magnification. Any target-style FFP reticle in a scope with zoom ratio higher than 3x will also need illumination. Outside of those situations illumination is only necessary for military prismatic sights such as Elcan, ACOG, etc.
    The SHV FFP scope appears to be a derivative of the old NF 3-15×50 scope, given that it shares a relatively short eye relief of 2.8 inches with that optic.
    You will need to test.this type of kit before buying. I suggest that you ask around for someone local who can help you out.
     

  12. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    Interesting reading. Zeiss Victory models are wonderful things, and I have never had an issue with one. I really do not care for 50mm and up glass on a hunting rifle - particularly on something like a 7mm-08. To my mind it turns something light and handy into something - well big and less handy. And in the quality you are considering and ranges of intended use, you won’t gain any meaningful optical advantage. I also don’t see the need for all that high-end power. I have shot a lot of things in the field, and other than prairie dogs with a very specialized rifle, do not believe that I have ever had a scope actually set higher than six-power. Now should you be headed to Central Asia with a .300 ultra wiz bang uber magnum for a Marco Polo - different story. And ringing metal way out there for fun or competition is also a different discipline. But what you describe is a handy hunting rifle for a broad range of uses with the occasional long shot at a varmint throne in. My 7mm and .270 class rifles all wear best quality 1.5x10 42 class optics. They seem to work awfully well with minimum fuss and bother.

    On the other hand, if you are simply looking for an excuse to have a rifle equipped with dial a range turrets and a reticle reminiscent of that used on an Abram’s main gun, then have at it. That is what this madness of ours is all about.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2019

  13. Mike Van Horn

    Mike Van Horn AH Veteran

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    I have both a Zeiss and Nightforce scopes

    Zeiss, very clear nice scope until l couldn't hit the target and couldn't adjust the scope. Sent in and will be sold as refurbished when it returns

    Nightforce, target scope, very clear, very reliable turret adjustments

    I also have a vortex gen ll, maybe not as clear but does fine, good turret adjustments, half the price

    Pick your poison, smaller light weight , larger with larger turrets
     

  14. Dewald

    Dewald AH Veteran

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    I’ve never had issues with any Zeiss scope. From old Diatal and Diavaris to a few HD5’s.

    The HD 5 is definitely not a Victory, but the price is good, optics are great and the turrets work well and track reliably.

    I’ve looked at some SHVs, they seem well made, but never owned one. Another option would be a SigSauer Tango 4. I bought one beginning of the year to play with at some local PRS and NRL matches and it’s been very impressive.
     

  15. Fastrig

    Fastrig AH Enthusiast

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    I prefer smaller optics, 1.5/3.5-10x42 range. Not shooting out past 350 normally and like lighter weight rifle/scope combos for trucking around the field. Picked up a SigSauer Sierra3BDX 3.5-10x42 with the range finder for under $300, “blemished” deal, and it’s a steal for the quality. Glass is much better than I thought it would be. Having fun with the electronic ballistic stuff, but even using it as a straight scope with illum dots it’s great. Depends on what you want a scope for, but when the optic and rings cost more than the rifle I start asking if that money is truly getting me all that much more, plus I start getting paranoid about damaging it.
     

  16. CBH Australia

    CBH Australia AH Enthusiast

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    The idea is a compact rifle with long range capability. The Tikka CTR are capable. It’s not so much intended for hunting oils carry it for an afternoon stroll along the creek if I left my .308 hunting rifle home. ( Work house/home basepurchased The CTR at $1200 on clearance . A $600 save. Always wanted a 7mm-08 , It was to be a universal firstly a truck gun that wasn’t to heavy to carry if I went for a walk. I have a Rem 700 varmint with 26” Barrel and a Kahles 8x56 scope Pretty much my spotlight rifle and a costly replacement.
    I put a Meopta 4-12x50 BDC on the truck gun at $600 total $2000 with mounts. Bought ammo and components on top.
    I have a Tikka .308 with Zeiss Diavari and Options Loc rings, fairly heavy for hunting, again costly replacement on scope and laminated stock prone to marking with vehicle use.
    The Tikka CTR was dubbed Ugly Betty, I’ve shot well with it and carried it on a quad bike. A few marks won’t bother me.
    I am collecting a Tikka .22-250 that is secondhand and shortened medium weight barrel. It can be the truck gun and the Meopta may be topping that.
    If I buy another scope in the $1000+ range then I’m considering adjustable turrets and learning to use them. If I carry it for hunting then it won’t be ideal but it’s just for short walks at this stage. Not a mountain rifle. Maybe learning to shoot 3,4,500 maybe. Targeting dogs (Dingoes) from a vantage point.
    I will look at options suggested. I have a budget but reluctant to buy sub$1000 and decide I should have got what I wanted first time, save a little longer.
    I read some stuff on the Terminal Ballistics site (Nathan Foster New Zealand ) forums before. He has a following and also promotes Sightron, sells tutorial books etc.
    I looked at Athlon scopes on the Precision Defence industries website. They make Bolly carbon fibre stocks, Athlon scopes between $500 to $1500 they also sell others over $5000.
    A training facility that teaches long range say get a March scope, $3000 or more,
    I will look into member suggestions, I do want clarity. I’m 47 and starting to buy better and hoping to shoot more
    My Zeiss is 600g, my Meopta 600, the Nightforce SHV 800, HD5 600?

    If I go down this line the weight shouldn’t matter for this compact setup.

    I’m also trying to lighten my hunting / carry rifle so a Leupold may do that and dropping $1000 on a carbon fibre stock would save 500 grams.

    It’s not cheap the obsession we have.
     
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  17. shootist~

    shootist~ AH Veteran

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    At some point when you want to learn about ballistics - JBM Ballstics (a free site) is a good place to start.
    https://www.jbmballistics.com/cgi-bin/jbmtraj-5.1.cgi

    The above link is saved to the free ballistics calculator, but you should start at the Home Page and read through the definitions and instructions.

    Personally, I would go Vortex optics (or others) before Leupold for anything you want to dial or use a ballistic reticle. Not as rugged as NF, but will get you to the dance if on a budget. Note that Vortex does cheap, good (PST), and excellent (Razor) lines of optics. The PST line is generally what I'm referring to. (I have the Gen 2 PST 5-25x50 FFP in Mil.)
     

  18. Inline6

    Inline6 AH Veteran

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    Hitting the gym is the cheapest option and you will be better off in the long run.

    I have an Athlon 4.5X27 I just picked up. Mount is ordered wait for it to come in to try her out. Glass is nice but need to see how she holds up.
     

  19. CBH Australia

    CBH Australia AH Enthusiast

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    That could be costly, my obsession would soon turn to something that’s out of my league! Likely to be Younger, Pretty and not interested. If she were then then the costs are calculated in windows not glass.

    Im 47 I have no business being at the gym and my work is remote and my time home limited. I walk for exercise. I’m not after a lightweight just a nice balance for “Ugly Betty” The Tikka CTR.

    Secondly a lightweight hunting outfit is of interest. More of a hunter , rifle enthusiast than targets. Pests make fine targets and give me satisfaction.

    The thread is about Scopes not women, I already know I want what I can’t have , the scope is achievable.

    Congrats on the Athlon, keep us posted!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 1, 2019

  20. CBH Australia

    CBH Australia AH Enthusiast

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    @Inline6 do you have an update on the Athlon?

    Does anyone have experience with March scopes? Dearer but i found a model i like.
    Ive been told before they are excellent quality but pricey. Reliability would matter. Nightforce have a good reputation there.
     

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