Swarovski scopes


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YZ
March 18, 2013, 02:06 AM
Hi everyone,

Are the Swarovski scopes as much better than competition (say Leupold) as their prices suggest? I see some used ones on eBay that say perfect glass.

People tend to praise what they paid big bucks for. Any dissent out there?

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kyhunter
March 18, 2013, 02:20 AM
many people (with deep pockets) swear they are the best out there. Ive never owned one but of the few know that do they love them. I seen a swarovski optik 30x50 that was probably the clearest scope I have ever looked through. But the price isnt worth the benefit for me. Maybe if i start shooting a mile and a half, but that aint my thing

Txhillbilly
March 18, 2013, 02:32 AM
I don't consider Leupold as competition to a Swarovski. Kinda like comparing a Chevy to Porsche.
While Swarovski is one of the best "Hunting" scopes made,there are other brands that I choose for Long Range work because Swaro's lack adjustment range for really long ranges.
If you find a used one for a good price,buy it. You will not be disappointed,and you'll never buy cheap optics again.
Most people that buy these higher end scopes take care of them,and most are rarely even used. I've bought several over the years,and have got them for half of what they originally cost new.
The older American,and newer Z3/Z5 have 1" main tubes,and the Pro Hunter and Z6 are 30mm.

http://i999.photobucket.com/albums/af113/1Txhillbilly/2012%207mm-08%20Savage/015.jpg

redneck2
March 18, 2013, 06:20 AM
Variants of this pops up every few months and it typically they end the same way.

The high end camp swears up and down that you always get what you pay for. Usually the more you spend the more you get. Clarity doesn't only mean clear in the store at high noon, clarity means being able to see at high power at dawn and particularly at dusk. Glass doesn't get milky at higher power. Repeatability of click adjustments. Holding zero.

Some guy will come along and say his _________ (fill in the blank with Swift, Barska, Tasco) is clearer, brighter stronger better etc than any high end scope ever made. I've bought an Acme for $50 and it is WAY better than a Schmidt & Bender.....uhhhh, yeah.

I can tell you what I've experienced in about 45 years of using scopes...

I believe you can get more for less money today than ever before. Doesn't mean that cheap scopes are as good as expensive ones, but you do get more performance in a lower end model than you did years ago.

Blanket statements like "Leupold are better than Burris" are short sighted at best. Manufacturers make product to fit various price points for a reason. They don't simply take the same pieces, put them into different models, and still charge the same. Only an idiot would believe that.

The trap most guys fall into is simply comparing brand versus brand. If you take the cheapest Nikon and put it against the best Leupold, the Leo will win hands down. Flip it around and the Nikon will win. So, who makes the "better" scope??

Couple years back I was going to Canada on a bear hunt. Walked into the LGS prepared to walk out with the Swarovski. Dealer suggested I compare the new series of Leupold against the Z-3. Compared them side by side. It was extremely close, but the Leupold was very slightly clearer. Important point..this was one of the newest models. I have several of the VX-III's. They are NOT as clear as the new VX-3's. Side by side at dusk you can see the difference. The Leupold was $300 less.

jehu
March 18, 2013, 09:07 AM
I have Zeiss, Burris,leupold, & Swarovski. At high noon on a clear day all are fine given comparable magnification and objectives. It's in the low light and the need for high contrast situations that the higher end scopes pay off.

303tom
March 18, 2013, 10:42 AM
To rich for my blood...................I can buy 4 or 5 guns for the price of some of there scopes.

taliv
March 18, 2013, 11:00 AM
when they say "perfect glass" in the ebay ads for used optics, they just mean it hasn't been damaged through use, doesn't have scratches, spots, etc. i.e. that it's in the same condition it left the factory in. (which may or may not be an exaggeration)

i have a couple swaro optiks. they are definitely nice.

Savage99
March 18, 2013, 11:25 AM
YZ,

Good question and good answers above as well.

I am an old marksman/hunter with good eyesight. I have had scopes since 1953 and still have that one!

My scopes were Lyman's like the Wolverine, Supertargetspots and then the All Americans, later Leupold's then Unertl, Zeiss and Hensoldt. When I got a Weaver on a trade I put it on the shelf for to scope a gun that I traded away.

I can see well with just about any optic however the Weaver's were not clear or sharp. I saw no big advantage of one over the other until I got a Zeiss Conquest. Those Conquests have a better view for me and a superior reticule system than the others however they are bulky and heavy.

I have not seen but only heard about the latest and best Leupolds. I am not even sure of that Leupolds model ##'s? Is it VX3?

A new to me custom 30-06 hunting rifle came my way with a Leupold and I did well with it but I wanted something upscale to show off!

Thus I got a 3-9 Swarovski for it. I am not sure of the Swarovski yet. It's new to me. It's crosshairs seem to turn pink like the Leupolds did in bright light.

If I were to buy another new scope for hunting it might be a higher magnification Leupold variable of the latest model.

http://imageshack.us/a/img690/1410/1000031rj.jpg

Savage99
March 18, 2013, 12:29 PM
I have now brought 6 rifles here together and compared their scopes looking into the woods in the back and comparing them to each other so as to define "what is it?"

The Zeiss 3-9 Conquest is superb however it's big.
The Swarovski 3-9X36 is good but not special.
The Kahles 2-7x36 is excellent and and bright with large, sharp crosshairs however more magnification would be wanted for longer ranges.
The Leupold VX 111 2.5-8 is good, about like the Swarovski.
The Leupold 4.5-14 is very good however it's so big and the crosshairs are fine.
The Zeiss Conquest 4.5-14 is good resolution wise at 5X up close looking into the woods however at long range it's magnification range and AO might make it my choice if bulk did not matter.

dubbleA
March 18, 2013, 01:54 PM
I have some Swarovski products, are they the best stuff available? Probably not but they are considered some of the best. They're decent when it comes to ergonomics, durability, the glass used exhibits good edge to edge clarity, resolution, contrast etc. Have been on more that a few hunts when around other sportsman with other equipment and able to compare them side by side.The results are usually ...."wow there really is a difference"I had no idea, they look the same in the store".
A few years ago I had problems with a 30mm Professional Hunter scope so I called their USA customer service dept. I explained the problem and the time constraint I was under as I was leaving the country on a hunting trip in a couple weeks. I followed their instuctions and the scope was sent, repaired and returned within 7 days. There was no charge and they even paid return shipping. To me that tells me they care about their customers.


With that said I own and use quite a few brands of glass and each one of them have their place. I am in no way a Swarovski fan boy just stating are one of the better optics companies.


With anything there comes a time when "the point of diminishing returns" comes into play. It's argued all the time. One has to realize their needs and and what they want out of a product and what they are willing to pay for it. Only you can decide that. This really comes to light with the advancements of technologies we are seeing today. Even the low end scopes of today perform better that glass of yesteryear. Case in point, I have no experince with the new Vortex line but they are getting alot of rave reviews and seem to be a great value.




http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f268/dubbleA/Scopes%20and%20Things/IMG_0196_zps8486bce3.jpg

OldTex
March 18, 2013, 05:20 PM
My first Swaro, a Z6, 3-18 x 50. Hands down the clearest, brightest scope I've ever looked through. This is the Ballistic Turret version, the only verson with anything approaching target turrets. It has three rings you can custom set for your choice of distances.
http://www.pbase.com/texindian/image/137190428.jpg

Since buying that one I have bought a Z5 , 3.5-18 x 40mm (about 40% cheaper) and a pair of their binocs with built-in laser rangefinder (more than their best scope).

Prior to buying these I was a dedicated Leupold man. There really is no comparison on the brighter, clearer glass. But Swaro offers very little in terms of reticles, target turrets, etc. Most of my guns are wearing Luppies simply because of the prices and extra features. Even if price was no object, I'd still have some Leupolds. And I also have a Zeiss and a Burrris.

Paper_Zombie
March 18, 2013, 06:48 PM
The only thing I say in favor of Swarovski, is that they are one of the foremost producers of super-high-quality crystal in the world.

This would of course affect only the optics, not necessarily the construction of the scopes themselves.

They're good enough for the Canadian mint, but we're talking glass. It may indeed be the finest glass you've ever looked through, but the question lies in "does the scope suit your needs?"

Rembrandt
March 18, 2013, 07:39 PM
It's not about the cost....it's about the performance. Once you've experienced the quality of the glass, everything else is a disappointment. Fox hunting in the snow is a good example.....with most glass you can pick out the animal, with Swarovski you see the brilliant red color of the pelt stand out. This aids in scanning long distances for a glimpse of elusive game that may be obscured by brush or foliage. No more eye strain when glassing 6-8 hours straight.

Binoculars cost me about $50 per year to hunt with the best......figure $1000 divided by 20 years of service. Spotting scope will pick out bullet holes in targets at dusk when everyone else has packed up and gone home. Light gathering ability and clarity are hard to beat.

Only regret is I don't have more of it....


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v405/Rembrandt51/025_zps0a88b5c9.jpg

YZ
March 18, 2013, 07:56 PM
It seems the real possible advantage of supreme optics is seeng better in the dusk. Has anyone tried to compare different scopes side by side shooting a distance in dim light?

witchhunter
March 18, 2013, 08:29 PM
This has been a few years ago, but I was hunting mule deer in Wyoming, a guy I ran into on the mountain had a brand new Swarovski spotting scope, I was using my Leupold. We were glassing just before dark. I spotted a buck accross canyon, after looking at him for a few minutes, I just couldn't tell how big he was. i looked through his glass and yup it was noticeably better. Was it twice as nice? No, but I want one still.

matrem
March 18, 2013, 08:29 PM
Of the things I've "overspent" for at times that maybe I shouldn't have, good glass (including Swarovski) are not one of them.

I don't spend as much time actually searching & staring through a rifle scope as I do binos, and Leupolds are about all I own for rifle scopes, but those Swaro & Leica binos are a notch above when your eyes have to be attached to them for extended periods.

Coltdriver
March 18, 2013, 08:42 PM
Leupold has really jumped up their glass quality with the VX-3 series. I am convinced they did that in response to things like the Zeiss and the Swaro's coming into their market.

I know that all of the glass makers have improved over time. So for example, a Kahles made in the 60's is not better than a Leupold VX 2 made last year. If you buy an ancient Swaro it will have good glass for its day, but will not have better glass than you can get today.

If you go to the Schmidt and Bender web site they have a great article on their approach to glass making. They say that nobody gets better than passing 95% of the light. And the key to the coatings is to use the higher frequency light waves that are brighter to your eye (blue). In Europe they can and do hunt at night.

You can go for good enough and a lot of product is. Or you can save up and go for good enough for life. The downside to all of this is that once you have used a top notch scope, everything else will be a disappointment!

Sun Tzu warrior
March 18, 2013, 09:00 PM
The difference is, at dawn or dusk, you can look out across a field and with a high end leupold, or Nikon ect... you can see a tree with some leaves on the other side....... with a Swarovski, you can count you the leaves on that tree. Can you see a buck on the other side of the field, yes, but are you looking at the buck you have targeted, or the buck that needs another year to be in his prime? Most rifles can be made to shoot accurately, It is definately the scope that makes the difference in a hunting rifle. Most trophies live to be trophies, because they are nocturnal. That having been said.......
I loaned a Leupold VXIII to a "friend" who said it wouldn't adjust properly, it was obvious he had broken his scope, when the serial number did not match the one I gave him. I it sent back to the factory for repairs. I figured when they charged me, since it was not the one I had a warranty on, I would give him the bill. They repaired it, certified it and sent it back at no charge. The OP never stated what the scope would be used for, unless trophy hunting get a Leupold, the others are want and wish scopes..... You will want one, then wish you bought a Leupold! I have a VXIII on my primative weapon, and when the trophy deer showed up I could see him in the scope, but not the crosshairs. I do like Austrian Glass, their reticles with very thick to very thin crosshairs, would have netted me that buck!
Just put the thick part of the reticle around the 10 ring, even though it is too dark to see the thin.

By the way, My hunting rifle; Remington model 700LH, used $350, Scope; Sworovski $1150

G'dale Mike
March 18, 2013, 10:22 PM
Was in northeast Montana on a mule deer hunt, my rifle topped with a swavorski z-6,, my hunting buddy had a high end leupold, he is a leupold man. He's buying a z-6 now.

cdb1
March 19, 2013, 02:16 AM
If I could afford it I would buy a Swarovski or a Schmidt and Bender or a Nightforce. But I can't. I believe though in buying the best scope you can afford though. For me and my family that means four star scopes. I have Zeiss, Leupold, Vortex and Bushnell. We have two rimfires, a .22 LR and a .22 Mag. I recently upgraded the scopes on them and realized that good glass is just as important for a rimfire as it is for a centerfire. The difference in quality between a $100-$150 rimfire scope and a $250-$300 rimfire scope is amazing.

DeepSouth
March 19, 2013, 03:40 AM
I have a Swarovski and I can say it easily the clearest scope I have ever looked through, especially around dusk dark. I mainly own Leupold's (most are VX-3's) and there is no comparison, the Swarovski out preformes them in every way.

That said I will probably never own another Swarovski and will own many more Leupold's, if I would have had to pay anything near a reasonable price for the Swarovski I have, then I would not have it. The Leupold's do everything I need them to do, I can typically see past legal hunting hours with them, and 9 times out of 10 when I'm shooting through a scope I'm hunting so I have no real need for anything better, but I can see where some people could.


In full disclosure, the Swarovski is a 4x14x56 if I remember correctly, and most of my Leupold's are 3x9x40's or 4.5x14's all less than 50mm. So I wouldn't expect them to be in the same class as my Swarovski. I love my Leupold's and will own more, great CS to.



Excuse spelling posted via iPhone.

Ash
March 19, 2013, 06:46 AM
The highest end I own are two Nikon Monarchs. In the binocular world, the top end glass is better than middle-grade, but not by much. Indeed, there are some top-end manufacturers whose products are really not any better than middle-grade. By middle grade, I mean $500-$1000 binos. I have Monarchs and a few Burris Signature Selects and have looked through Swarovski and Zeiss binos and that observation is true. All of them are going to give crisp color and in none of them will you suffer eye strain.

With rifle scopes, I do have this comparison. If the Swarovski buys you 15 more minutes hunting. In that 15 minutes, how often will an animal walk up? Not likely, though possible of course. It does happen, it has happened to me, and with my Bushnell I could not make out enough of the deer through the slats of my blind to shoot it. Now I use what I use.

Guys who go top-of-the-top are getting the best. But not 3 times better. At the very top, the extra dollar does not get you as much. Again, that is not to say my Monarchs are better. They are not. But, and I have experience with top-end scopes, they are not (in the case of the Monarchs I got for $210 when SWFA had a sale) 6-8 times better. I won't deny a Bugatti is fast, but it isn't 6 times faster than a Porche.

Even so, I have no grudge against the top-end guys. I'm just happy with my Monarch mounted on my Pedersen Custom and Burris Signature Select binos in my kit.

jehu
March 19, 2013, 07:50 AM
"In that 15 min. how often will that animal walk up/out?" If it's a Whitetail buck more than likely that's when your going to see him. Bottom line is you can't shoot what you can't see and you should not shoot what you can't see and identify clearly. When it comes to optics for a hunting rifle buy the best you can afford.:banghead:

YZ
March 19, 2013, 10:18 AM
So at I am looking at a used "excellent" Swarovski and a NIB Trijicon. Both $699 on eBay. The Trijicon is not as famous for its glass but has an illuminated dot in the crosshairs that is always on. Does it offer an advantage vs a non illuminated reticle in the best optical glass? (The fiber optics help me on handgun iron sights)

Ash
March 19, 2013, 07:47 PM
Remember, the used Swarovski doesn't tell you how it was treated or on what rifle it was used.

And jehu, relax, my Monarchs let me see just fine - certainly better than a mountain of other scopes out there and I sleep just fine at night.

redneck2
March 19, 2013, 08:47 PM
By middle grade, I mean $500-$1000 binos. I've got some 10x50 Leupold Mojave-3's. Guess I have a hard time thinking of them as low end of mid grade, as they are Leupold's best. In any event, they are superb.

As for Nikon Monarch, I was thinking that was pretty much the top of the line for Nikon. If so, they ought to be pretty good.

As noted several times, gotta take the date of manufacture into account.

Savage99
March 19, 2013, 09:14 PM
"It's not about the cost....it's about the performance. Once you've experienced the quality of the glass, everything else is a disappointment. Fox hunting in the snow is a good example.....with most glass you can pick out the animal, with Swarovski you see the brilliant red color of the pelt stand out. This aids in scanning long distances for a glimpse of elusive game that may be obscured by brush or foliage. No more eye strain when glassing 6-8 hours straight."

I find the above quote difficult to accept.

My comparison of a Swarovski scope is above also.

I will compare them again at some time.

TexasPatriot.308
March 19, 2013, 09:49 PM
if I could afford some, I would get one, would rather have lots of quality rifles with proven, low priced optics like Leupold, weaver, redfield. Burriss. if you got the money spend it, somoe of my Leupolds would probably outshoot ya. spend money and good luck.

dubbleA
March 20, 2013, 09:50 AM
"It's not about the cost....it's about the performance. Once you've experienced the quality of the glass, everything else is a disappointment. Fox hunting in the snow is a good example.....with most glass you can pick out the animal, with Swarovski you see the brilliant red color of the pelt stand out. This aids in scanning long distances for a glimpse of elusive game that may be obscured by brush or foliage. No more eye strain when glassing 6-8 hours straight."

I find the above quote difficult to accept.

My comparison of a Swarovski scope is above also.

I will compare them again at some time.

That statement does not really pertain to the original post but more toward binoculars and spotting scopes. Glassing for hours at a time with great quality glass is head and shoulders better than doing it with lesser glass. It doesnt cause stain and headaches. Resolution and contrast come into play big time here. It's not like taking some scoped rifles out for a short time and looking into the woods.

I agree with Rembrandt on this one.

X-Rap
March 20, 2013, 10:20 AM
I have noticed on many occasions the difference in quality of glass between my Binos(Swarovski) and my rifle scope(more often than not a Leupold VXIII) that in the dim light of mornings and evenings I can often see deer/elk and make out the one that I would shoot with the binos only to not at times even be able to see the animal in my scope.
I can't say a better rifle scope would ever equal my 10x50 binos because of other factors but I can say there is a big difference. The same would go when comparing binoculars, I have not seen an equal to Swarorvski binos in optical quality as well as durability, they are made to last.

1858
March 20, 2013, 02:02 PM
A few years ago I had problems with a 30mm Professional Hunter scope so I called their USA customer service dept. I explained the problem and the time constraint I was under as I was leaving the country on a hunting trip in a couple weeks. I followed their instuctions and the scope was sent, repaired and returned within 7 days. There was no charge and they even paid return shipping. To me that tells me they care about their customers.

I had a similar experience with my Swarovski Laser Guide. I took it up to 11,000 feet elevation and the button stuck in the down (on) position. I called Swarovski and they told me that it would have to go back to Germany for about three months. They shipped me a loaner to use in the interim. That's good service!!

Rembrandt
March 20, 2013, 06:48 PM
Double A is correct, my comments were in reference to the binoculars and spotting scopes.

Last year while hunting Iowa whitetails, one of our party hit a buck in the hind quarter near the tail.......as the deer ran off he couldn't tell what direction the buck went or if he had hit it at all. Using 10 X 42 Swarovski binocs, began scanning a group of deer running at over a 1/2 mile away....I could clearly see the red blood soaked tail, indicating he had hit his target. Other hunters in the party were dumbfounded that you could see that detail at those distances.

Biggest argument I hear concerning Swarovski is price, rarely hear dissatisfaction in performance. Unfortunately, with the Federal Reserve printing devalued money has made the exchange rate unfavorable for Swarovski Optic.....it now takes more devalued dollars to buy it.

Sun Tzu warrior
March 20, 2013, 09:46 PM
What Rembrant says is very true! I deal in forign machinery, not because I want to, but because this type of machinery is no longer made in the US. The exchange rates are brutal! Bernanke's printing money, doesn't seem to affect domestic goods, as much, as goods from abroad. I'm just grateful that anyone will exchange goods and services for federal reserve notes!

TexasPatriot.308
March 20, 2013, 09:55 PM
imagine they are nice scopes, grew up shooting medium price Leupolds....still do. my 59 year old eyes do a helluva job with Leupolds, Nikons and Weaver Grand slams and save my money for other stuff. most of the people I see using swaroski are being sponsored by them. guess high dollar scopes are nice, but the common man's scopes work just as good.

03Shadowbob
March 20, 2013, 10:13 PM
All my FIL puts on his rifles are Swarovski or zeiss. After having to hunt with his rifles a couple times I will definitely say if I had the cash, I'd follow suit.

rayatphonix
March 21, 2013, 03:24 AM
YZ, you didn't say what you use your rifle for, or if you did I missed it. I have scopes from Nikon (Monarchs), Leupold (older models), Minox (ZA5), Vortex (PST), Trijicon and Swarovski. For hunting at dusk and dawn my favorite is the Trijicon by a wide margin. The fiber optic dot in the reticle is a huge help at first or last light. My Swarovski is my second choice. You asked the question about comparing the Swarvo and Trijicon and nobody else had responded.

rayatphonix
March 21, 2013, 03:37 AM
Texas makes a good point about "common man's scopes" working just as well. Most medium quality and higher scopes today will hold zero and return to zero after adjustment. I dropped my rifle while climbing down from a stand last year and my Monarch was fine. I'm embarrassed to say how far it fell, but I was expecting to have to repair or replace it.

Higher end scopes do provide better clarity, less distortion and better light transmission. There's no comparison between my Monarch and Swarovski or Trijicon. I usually head to the range with several rifles and the difference in optical quality is apparent when switching between rifles. It just depends on what's important to you.

stubbicatt
March 21, 2013, 05:26 AM
There is a difference in glass to be sure. I have a Nikon on my 243 which is plenty clear. I notice that if I should shoot that rifle first, and then change over to my IOR glassed 308, the latter is just so much easier to look through.

--Perhaps I need to work on the focus or something on the Nikon. Or perhaps the IOR is 3x more expensive than the Nikon and that difference is apparent.

YZ
March 21, 2013, 01:55 PM
Rayatphonix-
Good question! I don't stalk deer. I shoot mostly for sports. Occasionally at sunset or in the winter overcast. You said it. Trijicon!

Savage99
March 23, 2013, 11:31 AM
dubbleA,

This is also part of the post:

"with most glass you can pick out the animal, with Swarovski you see the brilliant red color of the pelt stand out. This aids in scanning long distances for a glimpse of elusive game that may be obscured by brush or foliage. "

I does matter, to me, if I can see the quarry in my rifle scope!

I want my scopes to be the best.

you see the brilliant red color of the pelt stand out. :)

SabbathWolf
March 23, 2013, 04:41 PM
There is a difference in glass to be sure. I have a Nikon on my 243 which is plenty clear. I notice that if I should shoot that rifle first, and then change over to my IOR glassed 308, the latter is just so much easier to look through.

--Perhaps I need to work on the focus or something on the Nikon. Or perhaps the IOR is 3x more expensive than the Nikon and that difference is apparent.


Did somebody mention an IOR glassed 308?
:D
My IOR is my most favorite scope I've ever had.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v648/Swampdragon/Savage10FCP308McMillan2.jpg

Girodin
March 24, 2013, 04:49 AM
I REALLY notice the difference between an OK scope (leupold etc) and the higher end (Swarovski, S&B, etc) optics in low light. There is just a world of difference in low light conditions. The difference in easily ascertainable in other conditions as well, but in low light its immense.

High end optics are like a lot of other things in life, its easy to get by with less while when you don't know what you are missing. After you experience the good stuff there is no going back. I certainly appreciate that not everyone can or wants to spend a couple grand on a scope. I will tell you that, from a performance perspective, I would rather have something like a stevens with awesome glass than a $1500 rifle with a $600 scope. I'd also rather have one really good scope that I had to move between rifles than 4 $500 scopes on 4 rifles.

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