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Re: Z3 3-9 vs Leupold 2.5-8 [Re: 444Matt] #16435847 09/15/21
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gunchamp Offline
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Both are good, but the leupold isnt even remotely in the same class, glass wise. Swaro glass is amazing. Ive owned many of both and it isnt even close


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Re: Z3 3-9 vs Leupold 2.5-8 [Re: 444Matt] #16435899 09/15/21
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If you can look at the 2 and compare before you buy. I did a couple years ago and at that time preferred the Leupold. It was sharper to me. I did buy a Z3 a couple months ago and love the optics on it. It was better than the first one I looked at. A friend has said you actually need to look through them because one may be good and the other not. I read that afterward on another thread (maybe on here) too.

Re: Z3 3-9 vs Leupold 2.5-8 [Re: 444Matt] #16436002 09/15/21
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I happen to have both currently. The Z3 I bought new from Cameraland last fall. The 2.5-8x36 is a VX-III that I bought new about 14 or 15 years ago and it has been on several different rifles...mostly long action model 70's and Ruger #1's. I think there was a short action M700 in there at one point too. Currently, each are mounted on Ruger #1's which can have eye relief issues with a variety of scopes.

The Leupold 2.5-8x36 has very generous eye relief on the lower half of its power range...4+ inches. On the upper end, the eye relief decreases but it is still okay. On my Number 1's, I do have to cheek crawl just a tad to get a good sight picture with the scope turned up to 8x. It has been a while since I have had it on my M70's and can't remember if I had this issue. On a M70, I did have it mounted with Talley light weights, I just had to turn them in facing each other so that the mounting length wasn't an issue. The duplex reticle is good. Not what I would call "great" for hunting in twilight hours, but okay....and worlds better than the wide duplex Leupold uses in many of their offerings. Zeroing, I still experience some of the random adjustments and have to fire a few extra to get it right where I want it zeroed, but once set, I have never had an issue with it losing zero.

The Swaro 3-9x36 has much more consistent eye relief though it has a slight decrease at 3x and again at 9X. Not significant, but enough to notice if you have an eye relief critical setup (such as a Ruger #1 without offset rings). The eye relief is not nearly as generous as the Leupold on the lower power range but they are practically the same on their upper magnification ranges. The 4A reticle that Swaro uses in their Z3 models is FANTASTIC for hunting in twilight hours. Bold posts that come in close enough to see in the waning moments of light, but a fine enough center section for more precise shots in good light. So far, this scope has only been on one rifle and sight in was short and sweet. A quick bore sight yielded a first shot that was only a few clicks off. Slight adjustment followed by a few groups to check and everything was good so I can't really comment on how reliable and precise the adjustments are on this scope. But I do know that the handful of times I have checked it over the last year, zero has been good.

I agree that the glass is good on the Z3, but I don't know how much you are gaining when comparing 36mm objectives. They are not in the same league as my larger objective scopes where I feel you can better discern differences in glass performance.

Re: Z3 3-9 vs Leupold 2.5-8 [Re: 444Matt] #16438118 09/15/21
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No contest. Have owned and hunted with both...to my eyes the Leupold 2.5-8x36 isn't in the same class as the Z3. I prefer the European style eye box to the locking ring fast focus of the Leupold...If you do go with the Z3 be sure to get the model with the 4a reticle. That reticle is great.

Re: Z3 3-9 vs Leupold 2.5-8 [Re: 444Matt] #16438253 09/15/21
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I used Leups for about 47 years and have tried a few others but was sold on Leups. Then a few yrs back I started having to screw the eyepiece back to focus better and this went on until I ran out of threads. I was seeing double crosshairs so if I used my readers the crosshairs were focused but the target wasn't. Eye dr said all I really needed was readers so prescription glasses wouldn't be much help but lasiks might help. So I went down to Cabelas and started looking through other brands and found that the Swarovski Z3 in 3-9 x 36 or 3.5-10x40 would focus great for me with a lot of adjustment left. I've now replaced 4 Leups with Swaro with one more to go. My sons were more than happy to take my hand-me-downs. A bonus was the Swaro has a noticeable clearer and sharper image.

So long story short....Leups are good but Swaro is better.


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Re: Z3 3-9 vs Leupold 2.5-8 [Re: 444Matt] #16439552 09/16/21
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I really appreciate the good reports on the Z3. I've looked at them but not pulled the trigger on one yet because reviews are few and far between. Since Leupold has gone to hell I've been looking for something to replace them in this weight and size class. That 4a reticle looks spectacular for woods deer hunting.

Re: Z3 3-9 vs Leupold 2.5-8 [Re: gunchamp] #16440427 09/16/21
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Originally Posted by gunchamp
Both are good, but the leupold isnt even remotely in the same class, glass wise. Swaro glass is amazing. Ive owned many of both and it isnt even close



I don't agree with that. I own three Z3 3-9x36 and a bunch of Loopy 2.5-8x36. Comparing the Z3 to the VX3i there is an advantage to the Z3 but it is not that wide to my eyes. The Z3 will have a little bit better light transmission on dusk but the Leupold is very close behind. I'd say the Loopy is at least 95% the brightness of the Z3 but only 66% of the price.

Last edited by Elvis; 09/16/21.
Re: Z3 3-9 vs Leupold 2.5-8 [Re: Elvis] #16440490 09/16/21
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Originally Posted by Elvis
Originally Posted by gunchamp
Both are good, but the leupold isnt even remotely in the same class, glass wise. Swaro glass is amazing. Ive owned many of both and it isnt even close



I don't agree with that. I own three Z3 3-9x36 and a bunch of Loopy 2.5-8x36. Comparing the Z3 to the VX3i there is an advantage to the Z3 but it is not that wide to my eyes. The Z3 will have a little bit better light transmission on dusk but the Leupold is very close behind. I'd say the Loopy is at least 95% of the brightness of the Z3 but only 66% of the price.


What generation are your Leupolds, Vari-X, VX-III, VX-3, VX3I?

Re: Z3 3-9 vs Leupold 2.5-8 [Re: magshooter1] #16440562 09/16/21
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Originally Posted by magshooter1
More tube on the Z3 than the VX3i. That might be a factor mounting on a long action. The VX3i barely fit on my M77 .30-06. Very little wiggle room fore and aft.


^^^ THIS

Re: Z3 3-9 vs Leupold 2.5-8 [Re: Moto_Vita] #16440622 09/16/21
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Originally Posted by Moto_Vita
Originally Posted by Elvis
Originally Posted by gunchamp
Both are good, but the leupold isnt even remotely in the same class, glass wise. Swaro glass is amazing. Ive owned many of both and it isnt even close



I don't agree with that. I own three Z3 3-9x36 and a bunch of Loopy 2.5-8x36. Comparing the Z3 to the VX3i there is an advantage to the Z3 but it is not that wide to my eyes. The Z3 will have a little bit better light transmission on dusk but the Leupold is very close behind. I'd say the Loopy is at least 95% of the brightness of the Z3 but only 66% of the price.


What generation are your Leupolds, Vari-X, VX-III, VX-3, VX3I?


They are VX-III, VX-3, VX3i. But see in my post I compared the VX3i model to the Z3. I'd like to compare the 3HD Loopy but I don't have one. I really like the little Swaro Z3 scope. I think it is a fantastic small size hunting scope, especially with the #4 reticle, which my three have. But with all optics, there comes a point where a small gain in brightness (performance) comes with a much higher gain in price. To my mind, the VX3/VX3i Leupold line seem to be right at that point of offering very good optics at an affordable price. They are much better than the cheap rubbish lines but compare quite favourably to the higher end optics. I really like my Z3s but I also like my Leupolds. smile

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Re: Z3 3-9 vs Leupold 2.5-8 [Re: 444Matt] #16441111 09/16/21
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I have several of both scopes and if you want the BEST scope buy the Z3 but if you want the best scope for the money get the VX3-HD, you really cant go wrong here as they are both fine rifle scopes....Good luck...Hb

Re: Z3 3-9 vs Leupold 2.5-8 [Re: Elvis] #16441209 09/16/21
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Originally Posted by Elvis


I don't agree with that. I own three Z3 3-9x36 and a bunch of Loopy 2.5-8x36. Comparing the Z3 to the VX3i there is an advantage to the Z3 but it is not that wide to my eyes. The Z3 will have a little bit better light transmission on dusk but the Leupold is very close behind. I'd say the Loopy is at least 95% the brightness of the Z3 but only 66% of the price.


Pretty much agree.
I own every generation of the Leup 2.5-8 and owned two Z3 3-9's--sold one to finance a new stock. If there is a difference in glass I would give a slight (very slight) nod to the Z3. Although the Z3 has a good eyebox it's not as good as the Leupolds, especially at the highest magnification. Plus the Swaro is $200+ more.

Last edited by alpinecrick; 09/16/21.

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Re: Z3 3-9 vs Leupold 2.5-8 [Re: Moto_Vita] #16451923 09/20/21
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gunchamp Offline
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Originally Posted by Moto_Vita
Originally Posted by Elvis
Originally Posted by gunchamp
Both are good, but the leupold isnt even remotely in the same class, glass wise. Swaro glass is amazing. Ive owned many of both and it isnt even close



I don't agree with that. I own three Z3 3-9x36 and a bunch of Loopy 2.5-8x36. Comparing the Z3 to the VX3i there is an advantage to the Z3 but it is not that wide to my eyes. The Z3 will have a little bit better light transmission on dusk but the Leupold is very close behind. I'd say the Loopy is at least 95% of the brightness of the Z3 but only 66% of the price.


What generation are your Leupolds, Vari-X, VX-III, VX-3, VX3I?

Any of the generations. I've owned them all. My daughters rifles wear VX-3is and they work for her. They do not remotely compare once the sun goes down to my eyes. Swaro Z3 increased that by 15 min easily. Its very noticeable. I use Z5s now and cant go back honestly. They spoil my eyes, but everyone sees things differently


Re: Z3 3-9 vs Leupold 2.5-8 [Re: 444Matt] #16454501 09/21/21
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Zeiss Conquest 3-9x40. You won’t notice the weight difference.

Re: Z3 3-9 vs Leupold 2.5-8 [Re: Bearded] #16454586 09/21/21
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Originally Posted by Bearded
Zeiss Conquest 3-9x40. You won’t notice the weight difference.



This, best 3~9x40 there is IMO!


"Some who wander are not lost"



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Re: Z3 3-9 vs Leupold 2.5-8 [Re: Sbrown] #16456363 09/21/21
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Originally Posted by Sbrown
Originally Posted by Bearded
Zeiss Conquest 3-9x40. You won’t notice the weight difference.



This, best 3~9x40 there is IMO!


Were they made by Meopta?

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