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Thread: Scopes - Zeiss vs vortex vs nightforce

  1. #1
    Member JoshC's Avatar
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    Scopes - Zeiss vs vortex vs nightforce

    Looking at buying a scope suitable for dialling out to 6-700m max.

    Will be used for everyday hunting, predominantly open country/tops. Most shots will be < 400m.

    Stretched ranges will be on steel.

    $1200-2000 budget.

    Options I've been contemplating so far are Zeiss Conquest HD5, Vortex Viper pst and Nightforce SHV.

    Not to bothered about magnification, either 15/16 or 24/25 max would be fine.

    Tending to lean towards HD5, Zeiss glass is hard to beat for money in my experience. However in saying that I haven't looked thru a vortex or shv.

    Vortex have a pretty big following in the US and have a great warranty.

    Experiences and opinions guys?? Other options around that price range?

    Reliability is probably my biggest concern.

    Thanks
    Josh




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  2. #2
    Rabbit Herder StrikerNZ's Avatar
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    I'll just speak on the vortex, as I have no experience with the other brands.

    Unless you particularly want the illuminated reticle or an FFP reticle, consider one of the other vortex lines instead of the PST. Either HS, HS-LR or HS-T.
    Main differences are the turrets-
    HS - capped resettable numbered turrets. Lower max travel than the others.
    HS-LR - windage turret as above, elevation turret target-style with 1/2moa increments.
    HS-T - Both turrets target style, 1/4moa.

    I've had the HS-LR 4-16x44 for around 2 years now on my 223 which I really like. Low light is impressive, clarity is good, dialling and return to zero all spot on. Had a number of people use that rifle/scope and come away very impressed. (if you're ever passing through Fairlie you're welcome to pop in for a look)

    The reason I've suggested one of the other lines against the PST, is I lined mine up next to a PST once with 3 different sets of eyes looking through them both, the HS-LR was unanimously streets ahead of the PST for clarity. (This may have been down to that one PST just being poor, but..)

    Being at the bottom end of your budget (HS-T and HS-LR should be <1k), I'd imagine the Zeiss and NF would probably have it beaten on optics, but it could still be a decent option..

  3. #3
    Member Tahr's Avatar
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    HD5. I have one with locking turrets ands its reliable and good glass. 1" tube, and medium weight. Would be my pick.

    The higher mag Nightforce SHV is a great big heavy ugly thing. Although I have got the 3-10 and its a different kettle of fish and I really like it. Capped turrets. Dials well.

    Don't know Vortex apart from what I have read. I doubt if the glass will match the other 2.

    Another option is the VX6. I have one of them too (2-12), and they are good but really need a locking turret, which you can get now on the higher mag model for extra coin.
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  4. #4
    Member tommygun's Avatar
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    We have a Zeiss Conquest HD5 2-10 with the rapid Z 600 reticle sitting here at work, and is awesome to look through, I have one shooting buddy with a Nightforce SHV 4-14 and another with a Vortex Viper PST 6-24 and I would say the Zeiss is the clearest in terms of optics, but that may just be the lower magnification range of the Zeiss. I can't speak to the reliability of any of them, as I haven't used any of them long-term, nor how well they track/how precise the adjustments are, but my money for reliability would be on the Nightforce, if the SHV is anywhere near as rugged as the NXS (I love mine). Both the SHV and the Zeiss have caps that need to be removed before you can dial the scope, whereas the Vortex has target turrets, probably not a big deal if you are just hunting with it though. There's a wide range of mil and MOA reticles available from Nightforce and Vortex, which are great, but the BDC one in the Zeiss is probably quite practical for hunting, it depends whether you'd rather adjust the scope for each distance, or hold over with a reticle. I'm assuming they all have a lifetime warranty, and I don't think you can really go wrong with any of them.
    -Tom
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  5. #5
    Member Danny's Avatar
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    I'd agree but I'd add that for glass the Zeiss has always been a large step up from Vortex. I wouldn't touch another Vortex. Karles and Zeiss are almost side by side for glass, Karles is best.
    The NF is a scope worth looking at and buying...Buy once/cry once.
    All your options are worthy. The rest may be personal and weight. That's my main reason for owing only Karles.


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    Dan M

  6. #6
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    I have two vortex and now looking for a third scope, want the side focus wearing glasses it works well. Haven't looked at a Zeiss, but if the glass is better than the vortex I'd better! The glass on the vortex always surprises me with its clarity. I run one on my 17hmr and another on my 17 hornet, want a third to replace the Leupold V111 3-9 on my 6.5, need more magnification. All about dollars! I'll have a look at the Sika Show.
    Boom, cough,cough,cough

  7. #7
    Member Cartman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommygun View Post
    We have a Zeiss Conquest HD5 2-10 with the rapid Z 600 reticle sitting here at work, and is awesome to look through, I have one shooting buddy with a Nightforce SHV 4-14 and another with a Vortex Viper PST 6-24 and I would say the Zeiss is the clearest in terms of optics, but that may just be the lower magnification range of the Zeiss. I can't speak to the reliability of any of them, as I haven't used any of them long-term, nor how well they track/how precise the adjustments are, but my money for reliability would be on the Nightforce, if the SHV is anywhere near as rugged as the NXS (I love mine). Both the SHV and the Zeiss have caps that need to be removed before you can dial the scope, whereas the Vortex has target turrets, probably not a big deal if you are just hunting with it though. There's a wide range of mil and MOA reticles available from Nightforce and Vortex, which are great, but the BDC one in the Zeiss is probably quite practical for hunting, it depends whether you'd rather adjust the scope for each distance, or hold over with a reticle. I'm assuming they all have a lifetime warranty, and I don't think you can really go wrong with any of them.
    -Tom
    Pretty sure the nighty offer a target turret setup and I know the zeiss does I've got one. Has similar locking system to the super slams and has zero stop. Only down side to this is you only get one revolution out of it but 17 moa will get you as far as your asking.

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  8. #8
    Member Cartman's Avatar
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    I should add the zeiss is the smallest and comes with a rain guard coating. I looked at all these options and the 3-18 vx6
    On a line up the zeiss won in the glass aspects and the reticle. Didn't like the vortex as it was way to thin for my liking . The night force was great but was bigger and I needed a 25 mm tube . Got the zeiss , never had anything to do with them before but it's hard to heat and doesn't lack much next to my much more expensive kahles

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  9. #9
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    vortex are good in the low power ranges but over 16x they start to drop away. not really in the same class as the other two.
    i went with the shv 4 x 14 x 56 from nightforce.
    everyone that looks through it the first thing they say is "Fark thats clear"
    i liked the ziess but it only has 60 moa of ajustment, so without an off set rail you will (at best) get 30 moa for elevation the nightforce has 100 moa.
    i know it is a little heaver but i prefer a little more weight if i get better performance. the moar reticle is cool too.
    you can have a look at it if you want, i have it at work.
    greg
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  10. #10
    Member craigc's Avatar
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    I'd be going for an H5, but don't go for the 5-25 magnification the 16 power one is heaps. I find it quite hard to find some targets at the higher magnifications.

    The Z800 or Z600 is an awesome reticle; I could hit the 1000 yard gong today in less than ideal conditions; but the shorter distance ones were a lot easier...

    I also am pretty happy with my VX6.
    JoshC likes this.

  11. #11
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    I had the HD5 3 -15 and it was a premo hunting scope out to 650, no frills, worked everytime
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  12. #12
    Member Pengy's Avatar
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    Where is best buying for Zeiss in NZ?
    I am looking to possibly upgrade my Bushnell 6500 2.5-16x42 as the reticle is too thick at bigger distances. Although I did manage to hit a specified rock at 1000 yards first time out (tinarse)
    Forgotmaboltagain+1

  13. #13
    Member Cartman's Avatar
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    Probably Tiahape sports. They pretty much shit on any one else short of importing your self. Which with the currency rate isn't that flash

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    wsm junkie, Pengy and Gibo like this.

  14. #14
    Member JoshC's Avatar
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    Thanks guys. I was tending to lean towards the HD5.

    Nothing else in that price bracket I should be looking at?

    Won't be importing, with the exchange rate etc, will save bugger all.
    BRADS likes this.
    I'm drawn to the mountains and the bush, it's where life is clear, where the world makes the most sense.

  15. #15
    Sending it Gibo's Avatar
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    +1 for Giles and the team at Taihape. Smashed any other quote going for my HD5 by a lot

 

 

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