Zeiss Scopes Brand Review: What Makes The Brand Unique

Zeiss and its 170 years of experience produce excellent optics. Read our review of Zeiss scopes to learn why they are leaders in this market.

Zeiss scopes are among the best products available. With 170 years of practice behind them, Zeiss employs strict quality control standards to ensure their models remain top choices for hunters, and their glass is exceptional. Hunters around the world trust Zeiss to provide them with great scopes they can rely on in any weather or hunting situation.

Beyond that, and for most avid hunters, Zeiss hunting optics don’t need an introduction. Gun and hunting enthusiasts recognize the name immediately, and the authority Zeiss exercises over the industry. Few optics makers share their attention to detail and quality, and hunting and optics experts swear by their glass.

Comparison Table

Product

Preview

Price

Zeiss Terra 3-9×42 RZ6 Riflescope

product photo of Zeiss Carl Optical Conquest

Buy on Amazon

Zeiss Optical Victory HT 3-12×56 Illuminated Reticle 60 Rifle Scope

product photo of Zeiss Carl Optical Victory HT 3-12x56 20 Plex Reticle Rifle Scope

Buy on Amazon

Zeiss Terra 4-12×42 PlexRiflescope

product photo of Carl Zeiss Terra 4-12x42 Plex Riflescope

Buy on Amazon

Zeiss Optical Conquest HD5 5-25×50 Rapid-Z 800 Ballistic Reticle Rifle Scope

Zeiss Carl Optical Conquest HD5 3-15x42 Rapid-Z 800 Ballistic Reticle Rifle Scope

Buy on Amazon

What Makes Zeiss Scopes Uniqueer Scopes

a rifle with scope on top of a rifle bag

Zeiss knows glass. It is that simple. Zeiss glass is everywhere you look from planes, automobiles, camera lenses, and some mobile phones. Their optics have literally been to the moon and back. In the optics industry, Zeiss glass and optics are the benchmarks. Their hunting scopes are no exception to the high standards they’ve set for their products.

The glass isn’t the only thing Zeiss offers in their optics, depending on the product, there are over 180 different types of glass used in Zeiss products along with precise mechanics. The mechanical parts keep your scope accurate through travel and the occasional bump while climbing in and out of your stand or taking your rifle out of your truck. If you’ve used a bargain scope before, you know it loses accuracy after you leave the shooting range.

Cheaper materials and mechanical parts are responsible for “loose” scopes. With Zeiss scopes, you’ll get the same accuracy on the field and the firing range. Unless you drop your gun and it lands on the scope, the scope’s precise mechanics won’t vibrate loose, change your settings, or otherwise degrade during regular use.  

Showcasing Zeiss Scopes: A Few Favorites

If you’ve done any research yourself, you will recognize these scopes or at least one of them. We didn’t choose our favorites based on price or personal experience. Instead, we looked at performance, sales, and customer comments or reviews.

The list of overall favorite Zeiss scopes is short but packed with high-quality scopes you can rely on to remain accurate, gather plenty of light, and perform above expectations.

​Zeiss Terra 3-9×42 RZ6 Riflescope

product photo of Zeiss Carl Optical Conquest

Buy on Amazon

We consider this scope an all-around scope. It performs well in low light conditions such as dusk and dawn hunts when heavy light collection is crucial. Visibility in low light is essential for safety and making sure you get a clean shot. For the money, at $ on Amazon, this scope is one of the most affordable Zeiss scopes.

Notable features:

  • Aluminum turret caps
  • MC anti-reflective coatings
  • Rz6 reticle
  • Rugged, anodized, and waterproof tube

Zeiss Optical Victory HT 3-12×56 Illuminated Reticle 60 Rifle Scope

product photo of Zeiss Carl Optical Victory HT 3-12x56 20 Plex Reticle Rifle Scope

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This scope is perfect for mid-range shooting. Whether hunting, competition shooting, or recreational target practice, the Victory HT is the brightest scope in the Zeiss Victory series. It comes with a pretty large price tag, $$$ on Amazon, but it’s worth every cent. It’s one of the brightest scopes on the market thanks to the Schott HT glass and boasts 95% light transmission.  

Notable features:

  • 56mm diameter lens
  • Knurled turrets
  • Schott HT high light transmission glass
  • Fast focus eyepiece

Zeiss Terra 4-12×42 PlexRiflescope

product photo of Carl Zeiss Terra 4-12x42 Plex Riflescope

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This scope is one of the more affordable in the Zeiss Terra series. You can order it from Amazon for $. If we were picking a favorite scope for low-light shooting at mid to long ranges, this scope is a strong contender. Its sturdy and compact design make it ideal for stalking. At the same time, it’s an excellent choice for recreational shooting.

The reticle and crosshairs are suited for shooting large or small targets. They lack illumination, but the light collection on this scope is outstanding. The RZ8 reticle is suited for long shots using a large caliber gun such as the 300 Winchester Magnum, or smaller calibers for coyote or pest hunting. Bring all these features together, and this is a nearly perfect all-purpose scope.

Notable Features:

  • 44 MOA windage and elevation adjustment
  • MC AR coated optics for maximum light transfer
  • RZ8 reticle
  • Parallax free from 100 yards

Zeiss Optical Conquest HD5 5-25×50 Rapid-Z 800 Ballistic Reticle Rifle Scope

Zeiss Carl Optical Conquest HD5 3-15x42 Rapid-Z 800 Ballistic Reticle Rifle Scope

Buy on Amazon

This is one of the sharpest scopes in the Zeiss lineup. It features the Rapid-Z 800 reticle for accuracy at long ranges using large caliber ammo. It’s designed with long-range shooters in mind with its 5x variable magnification, lockable turrets, and ballistic Rapid-Z 800 reticle. You’ll get good use out of this scope on the range or a hunt. You can order it from Amazon for $$.

Notable features:

  • Rapid-Z 800 ballistic reticle
  • Second focal plane
  • 50 MOA windage adjustment
  • 70 MOA elevation adjustment
  • Fast focus eyepiece

Any of these scopes is an excellent choice for hunting or recreational shooting. They’re all suited for mid to long range shooting, even the scopes designed for long range work well at mid ranges if necessary. You’ll need to decide how far your average shots are and choose accordingly. Unlike economy scopes, you won’t lose accuracy with repeated shots from large caliber guns. They can take the recoil.

Let’s Talk Price

a soldier hiding and holding up a firearm with scope

Zeiss scopes are not cheap, but they’re worth every dime. They have some of the highest light transfer among their competitors, and they’re tough. You can find a Zeiss scope suited for any situation from recreational shooting to long range hunting. The scopes we highlighted above are favorites, but only represent a fraction of what is available.

You can’t talk about the price of Zeiss scopes without thinking about their competition. Leupold scopes are the first thing we think of when we think about competitors that have similar scopes, quality assurance, and durability. There isn’t a huge price difference if we compare similar Zeiss and Leupold scopes.

Leupold’s Competition Series 45x45mm rings in at an MSRP of $$, and their VX-6 7-42x56mm has an MSRP of $$$. These aren’t identical to the scopes we covered above, but they are similar in use, magnification, and quality. They’re close enough that we can say Leupold is slightly less expensive than Zeiss, but we think Zeiss is better based on glass quality.

When you find yourself in the market for a new scope, it comes down to a choice of how much you want to invest compared to which scopes perform the best in specific situations. For instance, if you are a recreational shooter, low light shooting probably isn’t on the list of things to consider. However, if you are a hunter, you must deal with poor light conditions quite often.

We all want to save every dollar we can and buying a high-end scope is a substantial investment. That said, the price of the scope is less important than the quality and performance. If you have decided to buy a scope along the same quality lines as Zeiss, you have accepted the hefty price tag that comes attached to the scope. In the hunting optics world, you can’t find a quality economy scope.

Customers Love Zeiss Scopes

a hunter standing and aiming his gun by looking through the scope attached to his firearm

If you’re an avid hunter or shooter, you recognize the top of the line scope brands like Zeiss, Leupold, Burris, and Bushnell, to name a few. We all have our favorite brand and getting us to buy something else is no easy feat. However, if you don’t have experience with Zeiss optics, we urge you to take a more in-depth look at their products.

Hunters and shooters that own Zeiss scopes swear by them. In a few minutes of searching popular hunting, shooting, and gun enthusiasts websites, we found hundreds of glowing reviews for Zeiss scopes. So, don’t take our word for it; have a look for yourself. We think you’ll see the gun community supports our stance on Zeiss scopes.

A large chunk of Zeiss customers praises their scopes mechanics and turrets. The scopes hold their settings during travel, rough hunting trips, and even a few bumps. Once you have your scope set, the only adjustments you’ll need are windage and elevation changes in the field.

Nothing ruins a hunting trip faster than seeing dirt fly up six feet to the left of your target because your scope didn’t handle the trip well or took a little bump on the way up the stand.

Some customers reported less than .5 centimeters change in groupings over a two-year period. We found several comments claiming similar results. Those comments alone are a testament to the quality of Zeiss scopes and their mechanics.

Customers commenting on how well the scopes hold their settings admitted that the only times they had to adjust their scope, aside from windage or elevation, was when their gun fell or was otherwise shocked pretty hard.

a person wearing a camouflage cover in his head and holding up a gun with scope

Customers had plenty to say about the scope’s other great features as well. Brightness was a key talking point across all the comments or reviews we read. We can’t review or test every scope Zeiss offers.

So, we look to customers to tell us about their experience with other models in the field. Brightness in low light situations and, as we mentioned above, the scope’s internal mechanics are the reasons most customers say they continue to buy scopes made by Zeiss.

Many of the comments compared Zeiss scopes to other scopes the customers used in low light conditions. Competitions shooters don’t deal with low light very often, but hunters find themselves trying to aim in low light all the time. Compared to economy scopes, Zeiss was a favorite among hunters, and their most significant reason for loving the scopes is their performance in low light.

The high-quality glass and coatings send Zeiss scopes soaring above the competition for light collection. Many customers claimed the light collection properties of these scopes is beyond compare. Nothing is indeed beyond compare, but these scopes do a fantastic job of collecting light and helping you find a target at dusk or dawn when light levels are low.

Other than the price, we didn’t find many negative reviews or comments. Overall, customers are happy with their scopes. The few negative remarks we saw all came down to the price. Like we mentioned above, Zeiss scopes are not economy scopes. If you don’t hunt or shoot often, the cost is too high to justify. Otherwise, you get what you pay for, and Zeiss scopes are worth the money.

Our Take on Zeiss Scopes

close-up photo showing what you can see through a rifle scope

We firmly believe you will fall in love with these scopes if you try one. If you currently use another brand’s scope and have problems with the mechanics or light collection properties, give these scopes a chance. You won’t regret it, especially if you are used to economy scopes. Upgrading to a Zeiss scope from an economy scope is a tough decision, for the money, but we’re confident it’s the best choice.

The real choice is in your hands. Unboxing a $$$ scope is a great feeling but knowing that money netted you a top of the line scope is another feeling altogether. You have to decide if the money is worth it when compared to your needs.

If you don’t hunt very often and you aren’t a recreational shooter, these scopes are not the best choice for your money. A mid-tier scope is all you need for a few hunting trips a year or some occasional target practice with friends.

Conclusion

Zeiss is a leader in the optics world. They have exceptional light collection abilities and cutting-edge reticles. Their scopes are designed to perform in the best and worst weather conditions, and they exceed every expectation. The internal mechanics and turrets outperform the competition, and they hold their settings through travel, storage, and rugged use.

Zeiss scopes earned their spot among the leaders in optics and glass manufacturers. They’ve practiced for 170 years, and they led the race to 95 percent light transference. Don’t take our word for it.

Try any of their scopes that fit your needs, and you’ll see why we say they are in a class above most scopes. At the very least, talk to your friends that shoot or hunt and get their opinions on these scopes. We’re betting they will tell you the same thing.

Last update on 2021-05-18 at 05:28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API