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Old July 31, 2005, 01:03 PM   #1
casscad
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Schmidt Bender or Zeiss

Has anyone compared the Zeiss diavari series to the SB Zenith or pm2 series of scopes. Looking for a bright hunting scope in the 3x12 to 4x16 range. I don't hear much on the Zenith its always the pm2. Is the zenith as good optically as the SB pm2 or as the diavari. And which is generally more durable. It will go on a light 338 win.m.
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Old August 1, 2005, 02:32 AM   #2
mikikanazawa
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I have a Scmidt & Bender on a .338 Lapua Magnum rifle. I purchased it after agonizing a while. Originally I was going to go with a Zeiss because I had a relatively large amount of experience with their camera lenses (real good lenses).

However, their rifle scopes deviate in terms of quality, because some of their models aren't much better than Tasco.

The S&B set me back $1,500, but I have never regretted purchasing it. You can see EVERYTHING through this scope. At night you can easily see things you can't with the naked eye.

If you can, try out the models you're considering. I looked thru the various $750 scopes I was originally planning on purchasing, but after looking through the highline scopes, my mind was made.
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Old August 1, 2005, 08:38 AM   #3
casscad
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Thanks ,that says a lot about there durablity on a 338lm. Now I have to decide which power to get.
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Old August 1, 2005, 11:15 AM   #4
kojak
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The Zeiss will always have a better picture than S&B. I remember a test in a Scandinavian hunter's magazine where they tested most brand (yet unfortunately not Nikon).

Zeiss and Nikon are the two companies with all the patents. They are both able to build the best scopes in the world with the best lenses. Zeiss does with the Diavari line, I don't trust the Conquest line. I guess Nikon offers some slightly scaled down product as in their bino series. Nikon offers the best binos in the world at the right price. At the wrong price you get cheaper and cheaper stuff, sometimes not even water proof.

Kahles, Swarovski and S&B are all three inferior to Zeiss by a significant margin. (and all other brands inferior to them)

Interesting fact: they tested different optical qualities like light transmission ,flare etc. The burris 3-9x40 with 1" tube had the same good resolution as the zeiss Diavari 3-12x56!! Burris is doing something right, I mean the Burris was US$150 or at some point in time.

Enough about optical quality. S&B is not that inferior in optics department that you'll notice. All the other things in S&B scopes surpasses Zeiss imo. Over here in Germany you can send in your 20 year old S&B and have it reworked to another recticle, magnification etc. So I would say S&B has better mechanical quality and better customer support. I would buy the S&B.
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Old August 1, 2005, 01:11 PM   #5
casscad
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I have a conquest and a 6x24 diavari which is without question the finest scope I have ever looked through. I have not seen the current s-benders and compared them. Just wanted to know if I was missing out on something, the tac guys really seeme to like sb and nightforce ,and I don't hear much mention of zeiss or swarovski.
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Old August 1, 2005, 01:23 PM   #6
Fremmer
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Concerning Zeiss scopes, Mikikanazawa stated:

Quote:
Originally I was going to go with a Zeiss because I had a relatively large amount of experience with their camera lenses (real good lenses).
Quote:
However, their rifle scopes deviate in terms of quality, because some of their models aren't much better than Tasco.
I'm surprised to hear this considering Zeiss' reputation and cost...maybe my cheap Tasco is not so bad after all!

I'll trade ya my Tasco for your Zeiss....
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Old August 10, 2005, 08:26 AM   #7
ConRich
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A friend told me that some Zeiss scopes are now made in the U.S. and that they they are less expensive. He also said that they are inferior to the European made Zeiss. Can anyone add to this. Thanks, Rich
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Old August 14, 2005, 02:36 AM   #8
mikikanazawa
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Quote:
A friend told me that some Zeiss scopes are now made in the U.S.
Personally I believe that the materials locally available and used in lens making (sand, silicates) has enough of a bearing between each country's lenses to make a visible difference in the finished product. I for one believe it, and believe that U.S. lens glass can't be as good as some of the stuff that comes from Europe.

Or, maybe it's just what the optical engineer was brought up to believe is "good," and s/he sticks by his/her engineering philosophy.

The Japanese can come up with some amazing glass from time to time, but I don't know where they get the raw materials. If you compare the U.S. and Japanese Canon "L-Series" lenses side by side, there is a visible difference in color transmission and contrast, with the Japanese lens making a "warmer" photo.
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Old August 14, 2005, 03:34 AM   #9
Wildalaska
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My understanding is that all premium glass in the world either comes from Swarovski, Nikon and one other comapny I cant recall (Schott?), and that any premium binocular, camera or reilfescope maker uses glass from one of these three suppliers.

Coatings are proprietary as are the grinding. Zeiss does make some glass as does Lietz. Cheaper glass is made by Hoya

In terms of riflescope quality Schmidt und bender is waaay up there

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Old August 14, 2005, 04:50 AM   #10
shaggypiper
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Some of the folks I work with use S&B on their long guns, look great to me. Funny though you mention it, same guys who are some of the greatest shots out there- they have to be- use that $150 Burris on their civilian rifles.
Another one to try is http://nightforceoptics.com I've got one on my Savage 10 that rocks especially if you're looking for an variable ill ret. Just my .02
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Old August 15, 2005, 03:10 AM   #11
xenophobe
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Wow... I registered here just because I'm seeing the need to add my .02...

The Conquest line of scopes are German parts assembled in America. They're high-quality scopes. Much better than any Leupold or Nikon for the same price range, IMO.

As for Zeiss quality, German optics are some of the finest in the world, and only companies like Swarovski and Leica can produce products at this high of a level consistently. Nikon is catching up in the ball game, but don't do it consistently like the "big three".

Zeiss Diavari scopes are on par with Schmitt & Bender and Swarovski. You're not getting any bad glass at this price-point... it's ALL personal preference here.... which do you like the looks of, which name sounds better to you? That's going to be more difference psychologically to your shooting than the actual difference between this high-end glass.

Even the Conquest scopes use glass which is free of lead or arsenic, and also improves the optical quality. Nikon glass that is lead and arsenic free is trademarked Eco-Glass. Generally only binoculars that are $1000 and up have Eco-Glass.

Combine all of this with the Lifetime Transferrable Warranty, and you've got a damn good product, that until now, I've never heard anything bad about. Also, if you've ever heard about "coated" glass. Um... sorry to say this, but Zeiss was the first to offer optics with lens coatings in the world.

Schott Glass Works is owned by the Zeiss Foundation and IS considered to be the best glass in the world, bar-none. Do a search on "Zeiss FL" and hear what all the optics freaks are saying about their binoculars. Ever heard of Leica and Leitz? Their glass is manufactured for them by Schott. Enough said.

P.S. I work for a gun shop, and am not an employee of Zeiss.
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Old August 15, 2005, 08:11 AM   #12
BredanSIG
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Don't mean to hijack as I am enjoying this thread, but isn't IOR Valada(sp) glass from Schott Glass Works?

I am trying to save up for a fixed power scope, and S&B was one of the brands I was checking out. Kahles and IOR are also being considered.
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Old August 16, 2005, 02:01 PM   #13
xenophobe
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Yes, it appears that IOR does use Schott glass. That doesn't necessarily make them comparable to Zeiss.

All the IOR scopes I've seen are quite nice, but I've heard a lot of mixed opinions on them. I'd definitely check one out before buying. High-end Leupolds are something you should consider as well, at least for that price range.
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Old August 16, 2005, 02:33 PM   #14
shotone
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scopes

I have not used the models referenced but I have used 1.5x6x42 (European models) of both and of other major manufactures. The Zeiss has a low light, and sunset (glare)advantage. Zeiss coatings and glass are the most advanced I have used. The SB is outstanding clear scope. I'am not associated with any manufacture but do have most of the major brands in the 1.5x6x42 and have compared them.

Hope it helps Frank
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Old August 18, 2005, 05:01 PM   #15
Foxman
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S&B orZeiss

There was a time when zeiss were the people to measure against but that was a long time ago, they are still good but certainly not that much better than the other europeans. The most telling thing is that zeiss ans swarovsky make everything from ornaments to binoculars, Schmidt and Bender make nothing but rifle scopes. Also the Us and UK secial forces and snipers all used S&B scopes because their lives depend on it, need I say more. I have 9 S&B scopes, 2x 4-16b x 50, 2 x 2.5-10x 56, 1x 8x 56, 2x 3-12 x 50, 2x 6x 42. I have owned some of the for 15 yrs now and have never had to think about them. I have also fitted and reroed then in 3 -4 shots no more. Finally they are the only scopes that have an idicator so you can return to centre at any time.
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Old August 18, 2005, 07:36 PM   #16
shaggypiper
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QUOTE]Finally they are the only scopes that have an idicator so you can return to centre at any time.[/QUOTE]

Actually Foxman, there is another scope that has that feature, made by Shepard- their ad is in SGN all the time. http://www.shepherdscopes.com/ Check them out it's a good optic, no illum ret though.
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Old August 19, 2005, 01:27 AM   #17
Foxman
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Nice scopes on the Sheperd site, I would like to see one in the flesh. however their method is different to the S&B and perhaps i did not make clear that the re-zero I am refering to is the ability to return the reticle to the centre of the scope/ lenses, rather than the rifle zero, which is handy if it all goes wrong or you move it to another rifle. They are not correct in saying that Jap lenses are best in their ad either, the best glass and the knowledge on lense design is still in Europe/USA. But I would still like to try one of them out, thanks for that info.
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Old August 19, 2005, 09:59 AM   #18
shaggypiper
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Hey no problem, I haven't used it yet it arrived at the house the day before I went to on my sunny vacation to the sand land but I'm coming home in two weeks and it's going on top a savage Model10 so I'll write the report when I try it out. Buddy of mine's got one and loves it even survived the 3' drop test (unintentionally)
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Old August 19, 2005, 01:47 PM   #19
Foxman
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Nice! please let us know how you get on with it, like I said it looks very good and I like the idea of the two image zeroing.
Good Luck
Mike
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Old August 23, 2005, 01:57 AM   #20
xenophobe
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Quote:
There was a time when zeiss were the people to measure against but that was a long time ago, they are still good but certainly not that much better than the other europeans.
Zeiss was the first to coat optical lenses in the mid 30's. Schmitt & Bender's secret lens coatings are proprietary to either Zeiss or Nikon... No if's and's or butts there.... The one thing S&B has going for it is all the scopes are handcrafted, but so are the Zeiss Diavari line.

Zeiss is STILL one of the "Big Three" and their FL series binoculars are rated the best in the world, bar none. I still prefer my Leica Ultravids, but that's personal preference in this quality range.

To think they're not in the game anymore is quite misinformed to say the least.

Please name the top producers of glass in the world if Zeiss isn't one of them....

Quote:
The most telling thing is that zeiss ans swarovsky make everything from ornaments to binoculars, Schmidt and Bender make nothing but rifle scopes.
Zeiss and Swarovski are companies that have been around long before S&B was even a thought. Zeiss makes surgical microscopes... how much more serious is that compared to just a rifle scope? Perhaps you should browse their website to see just how technically competent Zeiss STILL is to this day. S&B is a small niche market manufacturer.

S&B most likely make their lenses with glass made by Schott Glass Works, a subsidary of the Zeiss Foundation.

Quote:
Also the Us and UK secial forces and snipers all used S&B scopes because their lives depend on it, need I say more.
No, but that doesn't necessarily make them the best. Hendsolt and Zeiss Jena have produced countless more German Snipers with their scopes. Other companies like US Optics and Leupold offer some high end scopes that are just as reliable and rugged. Out of all the products in the field, S&B probably have the smallest segment.

Quote:
I have 9 S&B scopes, 2x 4-16b x 50, 2 x 2.5-10x 56, 1x 8x 56, 2x 3-12 x 50, 2x 6x 42. I have owned some of the for 15 yrs now and have never had to think about them. I have also fitted and reroed then in 3 -4 shots no more. Finally they are the only scopes that have an idicator so you can return to centre at any time.
A nice feature, but resetting to mechanical zero is a feature that isn't really necessary.
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Old August 23, 2005, 03:30 PM   #21
casscad
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Just thought I would add a thought. Japan makes some of the best glass in the world. Look at their camera lenses or their LX or se binos, there as good if not better than any german bin. Their resale is just not good thats why I usually stay away from them. I still think in scopes zeiss optically is the best I have ever used. Even their conquest line has glass compareable to NF,SB and swarovski. I also like the nf and sb scopes, it just depends on what I am doing with it. And SB didn't help matters with their huge price increase.
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