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Leica Optics Worth of the $?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by CmdrSlander, Dec 8, 2012.

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  1. CmdrSlander

    CmdrSlander Member

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    So, if you know about cameras, then you know Leicas are the holy grail in terms of industrial design and quality (though I will agree they are probably overpriced). What about Leica scopes? They are cheaper than their cameras and priced competitively with other high end optics like top of range Leupolds, Nightforce, and Zeiss. Are they as good as other high end scopes? I'm interested in one because I really like Leica's industrial design, and because it dovetails nicely with my German heritage, camera and gun hobbies. My dream is to, when my ship comes in, purchase a Ruger No. 1 International in 7x57 and outfit it with a Leica Magnus.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2012
  2. Archangel14

    Archangel14 Member

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    I think that when you go really high end, it's more of a specialty thing to the individual. I have a Nikon scope that is great. I paid $200 for it at a fire sale. Normally it was $450. I image the quality of a Leica is outstanding. But you can really get very nice scopes out there for a lot less money. On the other hand, if you have a great rifle and have the dough.....
     
  3. esheato

    esheato Member

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    Never played with their scopes, but I have one of their LRFs...glass is better than most other peoples riflescopes.

    IMHO, if it has the features you want/need and it tickles your ticklin' spot, then go for it.
     
  4. Gordon

    Gordon Member

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    Last edited: Dec 9, 2012
  5. DM~

    DM~ Member

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    In that price range, i'd be looking at Schmidt Bender...

    DM
     
  6. esheato

    esheato Member

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    Didn't Leica have Leupold assembling their riflescopes a few years ago? I'd be surprised if it was China for those prices.

    OP, have you looked at Zeiss? It checks the European box and would adorn a 7x57 intl stock beautifully.
     
  7. Ken70

    Ken70 Member

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    It's an incremental improvement. It's maybe 10% better, but it costs three times as much. If you have the money to buy it, it's not an issue. The rest of us buy Tasco and Simmons.....
     
  8. esheato

    esheato Member

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    Oh absolutely...and nobody is disputing that.

    Some people have needs for that level of quality (BR, F-Class, LR, etc).
     
  9. CB900F

    CB900F Member

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    Cmdrslander;

    I'm with Esheato on this one. Take a good long look at & through Zeiss. Their warranty service is reputed to be as good as Leupold, though I haven't had to use it. The glass is good enough that I have several of the scopes. I also have other glass from Simmons thru Leupold, Nikon Monarch and Sightron inclusive, to make comparisons with.

    900F
     
  10. hq

    hq Member

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    The main advantage of top quality class and coatings is light transmission and clarity in low light. Dawn and dusk (or even nighttime) hunting is legal in most of the Europe and that's what many of higher-end scopes are built for. I've downed quite a lot of game in moonlight and that's when you really need the best scope you can afford - Leica, Swarovski, Zeiss, Schmidt & Bender, Kahles, Meopta, IOR or the like. I used to skimp on scopes and while the likes of Nikon and Leupold are fantastic for range use and daylight hunting, they're no match to real top shelf scopes when it gets dark. Also remember to take all claims of light transmission percentages with a grain of salt - they may hold true at certain wavelengths, but comparing many "95%" scopes to a 56mm Classic Diatal in real world hunting situation, there's a world of difference.

    Leicas are great scopes, but unless you're going to shoot in the dark, you can get away with a much cheaper one and never notice the difference.
     
  11. WYOMan

    WYOMan Member

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    I have one of thier LRF's, and I wouldn't part with it, or trade for another brand. But, for the price tag, I would stick with my IOR's for scopes. I don't think that thier overall construction, or the quality of the glass, is an improvement for the amount of money they are asking.
     
  12. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Member

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    Until we realize that it's wiser to spend a little more on a Burris, Leupold, Nikon or Weaver than to waste money on Tasco and Simmons. But then again, this thread isn't really about that, is it???
     
  13. stubbicatt

    stubbicatt Member

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    +1. I agree whole heartedly. The LRF is really swell, and doubles as a really good monocular also for glassing the field in place of binoculars.
    The IOR scopes are really nice, other than on my older 2.5 - 10x the magnification ring has become more difficult to manipulate over the years.
     
  14. MCMXI

    MCMXI Member

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    I agree with this suggestion particularly since you like the European look of the Leica scopes. I have three Zeiss Conquest scopes and consider them to be great value for the money. They're assembled in the US which brings the price down. Bear Basin has the 3-9x40mm Z-Plex on sale for $399.95. The 3-9x40mm with the RZ600 reticle is also on sale and there's a $100 rebate bringing the price down to $469.

    http://www.bearbasin.com/zeiss-scopes.htm
     
  15. DM~

    DM~ Member

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    The Zeiss Conquest is the scope that pulled me away from Leupold... Like was already said, they are a better low light level scope, and they have a LOT of eye relief too...

    They are worth what they cost, to me!

    DM
     
  16. beag_nut

    beag_nut Member

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    I'll never forget when I first looked through a Leica scope. I expected the usual reduction in image brightness, as with most scopes. Surprise! Looking through the Leica yielded a BRIGHTER than normal (naked eye) image!
     
  17. .333 Nitro Express

    .333 Nitro Express Member

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    I know I'm going to get chastised for this, but...

    Nowadays, the curve of diminishing marginal returns on scopes flattens out considerably above $500--*IF* we are talking just lens quality, consistency of adjustment and durability (I'll address the intangibles later). Sure, you are definitely getting a better product with a $1500 Leica scope, but definitely not five times better than a $300 one--not even twice as good.

    Think about what you use a scope for, if you're a big-game US-based hunter (I assume you are, by the choice of rifle you say you want). After glassing and spotting the game, glassing it again to assess its shootability, raising the rifle to your eyes--the scope helps you aim at something you've already spotted and judged. A solid high-midrange scope like a Leupold will do this reliably the greatest majority of the time.

    OK, OK, "but what about that X% of cases in which I'd have to pass up shots when it's almost too dark to hunt legally, but there's still (technically) a couple photons in the air?" Well, sometimes life is just a you-know-what--deer could have also shown up on the day I had the flu.

    Mind you, I wouldn't say the same thing about a pair of binoculars: if you're a serious hunter, it makes sense to go with the absolute best optics you can afford--as long as we understand how to compare apples to apples: a 10x25 Leica will NOT be as "bright" in poor light as a 7x40 pair of honest binos costing a few hundred bucks.

    On the other hand, I do admit that Leica has a powerful brand allure to which I am by no means immune--I own several Leica cameras, and am trying to justify buying a scope like the one you covet. There's something about that little red dot that screams European quality, excellence in optics and an almost cultish sense of belonging to an exclusive fraternity. If I could afford it, every piece of glass I use would be Leica or Swarovski.

    For now, I console myself by shooting with good-quality but moderately priced scopes, and taking pictures of my trophies with my 1936 Leica iiia.

    I say, if you have the cash go for it. You can always sell it, and it will lose very little value if you take care of it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2012
  18. jehu

    jehu Member

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    Don't let anyone tell you that their Lupypold, Tasco, Simmons, or midrange scopes are just as clear and bright as an alpha glass scope such as Lieca,Swarovski,Schmit & Bender or Zeiss. I have mostly Swarovski scopes and Binos with one Ziess. Where they make the BIG differance is at the low light situations allowing a clear bright ethical shot when the big boy steps out with no guessing about shot placement.
     
  19. DM~

    DM~ Member

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    True story! And it's why i switched to Zeiss on my "go to gun". I have a second rifle that i'm hunting with more and more, and i think the Leupold on it, is about to become a Zeiss!

    Anything i can see with my GOOD bino's, i can shoot with my Zeiss, can't say that for any other brand of scope that i own. That's important to those of us that take our hunting seriously!

    DM
     
  20. aka108

    aka108 Member

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    I shot with a guy in Nevada who can buy anything and not miss the money. He used Zeiss for all of his optics. Beautiful stuff. Since the range I use is 100 yds max I use a "Focal" brand scope, made in Japan, that I bought from K Mart years ago for 19 dollars and a garage sale 5 dollar tripod. It will clearly show 22 cal holes at 100 yards. Have thought about upgrading but then better judgement sets in and says why.
     
  21. hq

    hq Member

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    At the range you can get away with a toilet paper roll and two pieces of cotton string for a reticle. For anything else a baseline I've kept is somewhere between Bushnell Elite and Leupold VX-II. For serious hunting it's something else entirely, the lowest end scopes being Zeiss Conquest/Duralyt and Meopta Meopro. Nighttime hunting? Swaro Z6i and Zeiss Diatal/Diavari all the way.

    Once you've had enough cheap scopes and even one failing on you on a $$$ overseas hunting trip, you realize what cry once means. Never again.
     
  22. .333 Nitro Express

    .333 Nitro Express Member

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    Guys--jehu, DM--what you say is true, "alpha" glass being objectively better than the midrange stuff. It is measurable, and it's not a matter of opinion.

    But to suggest that unless you put a $2,000 scope on your rifle you are not a "serious hunter"--or that serious hunters put only $2,000 scopes on their rifles--I think that's taking it way too far.

    Throughout my life, I've known plenty of men of modest means whose passion (or even profession) is hunting, who buy only the best they can afford--falling far short of Zeiss-quality scopes--but who constantly have more success at hunting than many who bring only the very best to the field.

    I stand by my assertion that above $500, the law of diminishing marginal returns on scopes (binos are another story) kicks in a lot harder--even for hunting at dusk. The "slice" of legal shooting time in which a Leupold or Nikon fail but a Zeiss or S&B would still enable you to see is too thin to justify the theory that "serious hunters" only put four-digit glass on their rifle. :)

    The bottom line for me is this: if you're a serious hunter, buy the best rifle and the best optics you can afford. If you have the budget to get a premium Euro scope, great--if not, there is plenty of good, honest US-made stuff that has been more than enough for a majority of hunters to collect fantastic trophies in the last 50 years.
     
  23. R H Clark

    R H Clark Member

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    I have heard a couple bad customer service stories about the Leica scopes.I would stick with Zeiss or Swarovski.I haven't used their top end glass,but I'm sure it is comparable with a proven CS record.
     
  24. DM~

    DM~ Member

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    WHO said or suggested that??? Did you even read my post?? Have you priced a 3x9 Zeiss Conquest?? They are LESS expensive than many Leupolds...

    It's important to me to beable to see and beable to shoot 30 minutes longer each day, as that's when the animals are moving best. If you are serious about your hunting too, then it's important to you too.

    DM
     
  25. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    IMHO, Euro stuff tends to carry a bigger price tag than it's worth, but in most cases it's superior optics, so it really COSTS. :D If you got the money, why not? I've got more of a Nikon/Weaver budget for rifle scopes and they do the job for me.

    Now for binos, I inherited a Canon from my wife's ex, well, and my wife...his loss...:D These things cost up in the 2K range new. He was into bird watching and the wife says he never bought less than the best. Seems he had problems hanging on to it, but hey, another thread. Anyway, these things are image stabilizing which is a good thing since they're something like 16x power. Push the button and all the shaking goes away. Only problem, they weigh like 200 lbs. Okay for hunting a blind, though. :D Now, ME, I have a pair of 50 dollar 10x22 compact Bushnells for walk and stalk. Yeah, I'm a polar opposite of her ex, probably one of the qualities that attracted me to her....:D Now, if only that guy woulda bought a Schmidt and Bender rifle scope.....
     
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