Note: I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
You’ve heard or read that Zeiss; that is, the Carl Zeiss company, makes some pretty nice rifle scopes. But you wish that you didn’t have to slog through a ton of Zeiss scopes reviews just to find out whether or not a particular Zeiss instrument will work for you.
Every time you go searching for information on scopes, you feel like you’ll just be reading more sales pitches.
Know what? You aren’t alone.
I often feel the same way, and I’m the one writing these reviews!
So let me knock down several targets at once here and tell you all you need to know about Zeiss scopes in one place. I’ll cover riflescopes, pick a crossbow scope, and tell you about using Zeiss instruments with air rifles.
You can pick and choose the information most useful to you by clicking the links in the box below. If it’s all good, just scroll and read.
Are Zeiss Scopes Any Good?
In particular, are Zeiss Terra scopes any good?
You probably already know that Zeiss does make good glass; that is, the lenses in their scopes, binoculars, and so on. You’ve likely also heard of the Zeiss Terra 3X line, the Zeiss Conquest line, and the Zeiss Victory line.
Update: The Terra line of rifle scopes seems to have been replaced (at least, at Amazon) by the Conquest V4 line.
There are currently 5 models in the Terra 3X series for long range shooting. You can click the links below to check the pricing and availability of these riflescopes at Amazon.
- Terra 3X 2-7×32 scope
- Terra 3X 3-9×42 scope
- Terra 3X 4-12×42 scope
- Terra 3X 3-9×50 scope
- Terra 3X 4-12×50 scope
Terra scopes are considered low end, but they are still quite good.
If you’re looking for a summary of some of the vital statistics about these scopes, check out the table below. You can use it to compare these five Terra 3X rifle scopes so you can get a better idea of which one is the best Zeiss scope for you.
|Model||FOV (@ 100 yds.)||Eye Relief (mm)||Length (in.)||Weight (oz.)|
*Without inner rail
Where Are Zeiss Rifle Scopes Made?
The origin of a scope with the Zeiss brand depends on both the model and year. Some are made in the United States, some in Germany, and some in China.
But don’t you really want to know about quality regardless of where it was crafted?
If the rifle scope that comes from China works better than the one from Germany and the one from Germany seems to have better craftsmanship than the one from the United States, which would you choose?
I’m not saying that the order of quality suggested above is accurate. The point is that I think the best build could come from anywhere in the world. You should be more concerned about the actual product than where it comes from.
Are There Any Zeiss Scopes for the Crossbow?
There is one scope that comes highly recommended by crossbow owners. It’s the Terra 2-7×32 XB75.
To be fair, it’s the only dedicated crossbow scope that Zeiss currently makes.
The handful of reviews at Amazon are short and to the point. Of note is that this scope has clean, clear optics and works well even in low light situations – something almost every hunter is bound to encounter sooner or later.
Does Zeiss Make Any Scopes for My Air Rifle?
And here’s why.
Air (spring-piston) rifles have a radically different construction from hunting and tactical (recoil) rifles.
In a hunting rifle, the recoil is created by the bullet and the air quickly leaving the barrel.
In an air rifle, multiple movements occur when the heavy spring and piston slide forward and backward.
This spring and piston action will very quickly make trash out of even an expensive scope that isn’t designed to handle such forces moving in two directions.
Zeiss doesn’t currently make any scopes that claim to have this capability.
You can read a much more detailed description of these differences and their importance here at the Los Angeles Silhouette Club site.
Can I Get a Zeiss Scope with an Illuminated Reticle?
If I understand the information at the Zeiss site correctly, only the Victory line of scopes have illuminated reticle capability. Conquest and Terra owners are out of luck.
That said, if you do have a Victory scope without illumination, you can probably have it retrofitted with a new reticle that does have illumination.
Which Is the Best Zeiss Terra 3X Rifle Scope?
Based again on research and Amazon reviews, the most popular (and by extension, the best) Zeiss Terra scope is the 3-9×42 model.
Here are a few comments from several owners that back up this conclusion.
“For the money, you can’t beat the clarity of these Zeiss scopes.”
Concerned about low light conditions?
“I needed something that had better dusk to dawn light transmission as I hunt deep into the heavy pines and brush. This is by far the most amazing scope I have purchased….”
Is this the best bang for your buck?
“Excellent. Better clarity and vision than the Conquest 3-15 and the Terra 4-12. Literally. This surprised me, because the old adage “you get what you pay for” doesn’t apply here. This is less than half the price of the others, but better glass.”
There is one downside that may be of concern to you.
“My problem with this scope is that the turrets are not adjustable to zero. As a matter of fact, there is no numbers on the turrets. It is made so that you zero in at a certain distance, turn turret to accommodate to that zero and put the covers back on. Wherever the turret ends up, that’s it.”
In addition to great glass at a great price, there is the Zeiss warranty to consider.
This is a “Limited Lifetime Transferable Warranty.” Zeiss will repair or replace your scope if there are defects in workmanship or materials for the life of the instrument.
The neat thing about this is the transferable component. If you buy one second-hand, you’re still covered. Not everyone is willing to do that.
So rest assured that whether you decide on a brand new Zeiss rifle scope or a used one, your purchase will be safe for many years to come.
Why wait any longer?