Introduction

 

Another review of two high-end hunting rifle scopes, this time between one of the oldest rifle scopes manufacturers on the planet, against a totally new competitor which started to produce hunting optics in the year 2017.

The first competitor is Zeiss, which produces high-end optics for any kind of use. In this comparison, we have one of the best hunting rifle scopes that the company is capable to produce, from their latest and best rifle scopes line. The rifle scope is named Victory V8 and has a magnification range from 2.8x to 20x with a big objective lens diameter of 56 millimeters.

The second competitor is Blaser, known because of their prestige hunting weapons, clothes, and ammunition. In the year 2017 they also started to produce optics for hunting, first, they came out with high-quality binoculars and now with high-quality rifle scopes. Like seen in our last review, the new rifle scopes from Blaser are truly high-end optics that can be compared to even the most expensive ones on the market.

Because we already had the Blaser Infinity rifle scope from our last test, I have asked a good friend if he can borrow me his Zeiss (which was already mounted) to make also a second test. So in this test, we have the Zeiss Victory V8 2.8-20×56 against the Blaser Infinity 4-20×56 iC.

To make the test as realistic as possible, I have cleaned the Zeiss lenses to be sure that nothing interferes the optical comparison.

TL;DR

The second comparison of the Blaser Infinity rifle scope, now against the Zeiss Victory V8 2.8-20×56. Blaser is known because of their prestige hunting weapons, clothes, and ammunition. Zeiss, on the other hand, because of all kind of optical products for any kind of use.

Size and weight:

 

A: Blaser Infinity 4-20×58 iC

B: Zeiss Victory V8 2.8-20×56

Weight:

770 g

855 g

Length:

365 mm

350 mm

Tube diameter:

36 mm

36 mm

Diopter setting:

-3 / +2.5

-3,5 / +2

Parallax adjustment:

50 m to infinity

50 m to infinity

Mounting with rail:

YES

YES

Number of Colors:

1

1

Because both rifle scopes have a huge 36 millimeters big main tube diameter, they both look very bulky and massive. Whatsoever, the weight of these rifle scopes tells differently. Sure they are not the lightest rifle scopes on the market, but for many features, big elevation range, big main tube diameter and even a Zeiss ZM/VM mounting rail, they aren’t even so heavy.

With 770 grams, the Blaser is the more lighter-weight rifle scope, with 85 grams less than the Zeiss, even if it’s for 15 millimeters longer and has a bigger objective lens.

The big 36 millimeters main tube has a big advantage compared to smaller main tube diameter rifle scopes because you get much more elevation range for shots on long distances, what is more, and more popular nowadays.

The diopter on both rifle scopes is adjustable, on the Blaser Infinity rifle scope from -3 to 2,5 and on the Zeiss from -3.5 to +2. The parallax on both rifle scopes is adjustable from 50 meters to infinity, and both rifle scopes have nice parallax adjustment turrets so the user can adjust the parallax even in low light.

Like mentioned before, the Zeiss was already mounted on a weapon with a specific mount for the Zeiss ZM/VM mounting rail. Also, the Blaser features such a rail, with which one the user can very easily mount the rifle scope on his rifle without the help of a gunsmith.

Both rifles are available only in one color, the Zeiss in Black and the Blaser in Black with brown details like the turrets, magnification ring, and the diopter adjustment ring.

TL;DR

Both rifle scopes have a 36mm main tube but are not too heavy. However, the Zeiss is 85 grams heavier, but 15mm shorter. The big main tube offers bigger elevation range.

 

Blaser Infinity 4-20×58 iC (below) vs Zeiss Victory V8 2.8-20×56 (above)

Optical properties:

 

A: Blaser Infinity 4-20×58 iC

B: Zeiss Victory V8 2.8-20×56

Minimal magnification:

4x

2.8x

Maximal magnification:

20x

20x

Zoom factor:

5

7.14

Maximal Field of View:

9.2 m / 100 m

15.5 m / 100 m

Minimal Field of View:

1.9 m / 100 m

2.1 m / 100 m

Minimal eye relief:

90 mm

95 mm

Maximal eye relief:

90 mm

95 mm

Light transmission – declared:

90%

92%

Tunneling effect at low magnifications:

No

No

Central sharpness – subjective impression at 4x, 12x and 20x magnification:

4x magnification – 3

12x magnification – 6

20x magnification – 5

4x magnification – 5

12x magnification – 2

20x magnification – 3

Edge sharpness – subjective impression at 4x, 12x and 20x magnification:

4x magnification – 4

12x magnification – 5

20x magnification – 5

4x magnification – 4

12x magnification – 3

20x magnification – 3

Inner reflections at 4x, 12x and 20x magnification:

4x magnification – 5

12x magnification – 4

20x magnification – 3

4x magnification – 3

12x magnification – 4

20x magnification – 5

FOV – subjective impression at 4x and 20x magnification:

4x magnification – 0

20x magnification – 1

4x magnification – 8

20x magnification – 7

Eye-box at 4x and 20x magnification:

4x magnification – 5

20x magnification – 5

4x magnification – 3

20x magnification – 3

Overall – subjective impression:

5

3

All in all (112 total points)

56

56

Already here, we see a big advantage of the Zeiss over the Blaser – the magnification range. Because the Zeiss has a zoom range of 7,14 times, it is a more universal rifle scope than the new Blaser Infinity 4-20×58 iC with its 5 times zoom. On the smallest magnification, the Zeiss has a field of view of 15.5 meters on 100 meters, compared to only 9.2 on the Blaser. This is in my opinion very important when you hunt also in the night, with a thermal or a night vision clip-on attachment, because you can find the animal more quickly and with less movement. If you want to use the rifle scope only in dusk and dawn, then maybe the Blaser would be the better choice because it gathers more light than the Zeiss, thanks to the bigger diameter of the objective lens.

The eye-relief on the Blaser is 90 millimeters, and 95 on the Zeiss. Because of this feature, when shooting strong recoiling calibers you are a little bit safer behind the Zeiss compared to the Blaser.

The Zeiss offers 2% better light transmission through the scope than the Blaser, but because the Blaser has a bigger objective lens, it gathers much more light than the Zeiss. Because of this, the Blaser is still brighter in low-light situations than the Zeiss.

And now the optical quality of both rifle scopes, which we tested again with 8 people that do not know any of these brands. Before the test, I adjusted both rifle scopes that they aim at the same spot and adjusted the parallax for the best image possible. The only thing the testers adjusted for themselves was the diopter setting.

As we see in the sharpness test, the Blaser has the upper hand. Especially on the biggest magnifications, we can see that the difference gets bigger and the end result was 28 against 20 points for the Blaser. Completely different was with the inner reflections because on the biggest magnifications more people voted for the Zeiss because it had fewer reflections than the Blaser.

The biggest difference and simultaneously the biggest advantage of the Zeiss is the big field of view. Even if we tested the rifle scopes on completely same magnifications on 4x and 20x, the testers gave the Blaser only 1 point and all other 15 got the Zeiss. The big field of view pulled the Zeiss out from loosing, because for the overall picture quality also more people voted for the Blaser than for the Zeiss. In the end, we came to a very interesting result – a tie.

TL;DR

Zeiss Victory V8 has a bigger zoom ratio and a smaller minimal magnification. Because of that, much wider field of view. Optically the Blaser is better, but because of the FOV, the test was a tie.

 

Blaser Infinity 4-20×58 iC vs Zeiss Victory V8 2.8-20×56

Reticle properties:

 

A: Blaser Infinity 4-20×58 iC

B: Zeiss Victory V8 2.8-20×56

Focal plane:

FFP

SFP

Reticle name

60

Reticle 60

Reticle illumination:

Yes, RED

Yes, RED

Daylight strong illumination:

Yes

Yes

Illumination intensity tuning:

Yes

Yes

Illuminated dot coverage:

/

0.55cm /100m (at 12x magnification)

Minimal reticle thickness:

/

/

Motion sensor:

Yes

Yes

Auto turn-off:

Yes

Yes

Reticle styles:

1

1

The reticles in those two rifle scopes are very similar in design, the difference is just in the middle, where in the 60 reticle from Blaser is a free space around the center dot. In the reticle 60 from Zeiss, the lines come in the middle together, where also the illuminated dot appears when you turn it on. Unfortunately, both rifle scopes manufacturers offer only 1 reticle option.

The main difference whatsoever is in the reticle position, because the Zeiss features a second focal plane reticle and the Blaser a first focal plane reticle. This means, that the reticle in the Zeiss has the same size and dimensions on the entire magnification range. On the Blaser, the reticle changes simultaneously with the magnification, so it is very thin on the smallest magnification, and much thicker on the biggest magnification.

Both rifle scopes feature an illuminated center dot for hunting in a low light environment, but the brightness can be adjusted also for day-time hunting. The center dot in the Zeiss is made of fiberglass, and that’s why the dot is really small and covers only 0,55 cm of the target on 100 meters with 12x magnification. On bigger magnifications, it covers even less of the target. Completely differently is it on the Blaser because of the first focal plane reticle, the red dot coverage is always the same. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find how much does the dot cover, and I searched the entire Blaser homepage for this information. What I’ve also noticed was the brightness of the illumination. On the Zeiss, the illuminated dot is better to see in a very bright environment, even if you look into the sky. But since these two rifle scopes are designed for low-light hunting, I think that such a bright illuminated dot is not even needed.

Both rifle scopes feature a motion sensor and an auto turn-off function, which is perfect to save the battery life. The motion sensor shuts the illumination off when the rifle is tilted sideways, upwards or downwards into a non-firing position. The turn-off function, on the other hand, shuts the illumination off if you let the rifle scope stay in a firing position for a long time and forget to turn the illumination off. The Blaser has also an additional function, named iC – illumination Control. With this function, combined with a Blaser R8 rifle, the rifle scope turns the illumination automatically on when you cock the rifle. So if you see an animal, you don’t need to adjust your illumination but simply cock the rifle. This is possible because all new Blaser R8 rifles and Infinity rifle scopes feature this new iC sensor, which notices when the rifle is cocked or if it’s locked.

TL;DR

The reticle in the Zeiss is in the second focal plane, in the Blaser in the first focal plane. Both have very similar reticles, and both are illuminated. The illumination in the Zeiss is much stronger, and the red dot is much smaller. Both rifle scopes have an auto turn-off function to save battery life.

 

Blaser Infinity 4-20×58 iC reticle with illuminated dot

Turret properties:

 

A: Blaser Infinity 4-20×58 iC

B: Zeiss Victory V8 2.8-20×56

Turret Style:

BDC

BDC

Click value:

0.1 mrad

0.1 mrad

MTC function:

No

No

Number of turns:

Single-turn

Single-turn

Turn indication:

CW

CW

Zero stop:

Yes

Yes

Position locking:

Yes

Yes

Elevation in one turn:

8 mrad (80cm/100m)

10mrad (100cm/100m)

Total travel of turret:

8 mrad (80cm/100m)

10 mrad (100cm/100m)

BDC turret type:

Lockable

Lockable

BDC turret accuracy:

0.1 MIL (1 cm/100m)

0.1 MIL (1 cm/100m)

BDC turret flexibility:

No

Yes

Elevation range:

8 mrad

10 mrad

Windage range:

18 mrad

7 mrad

Turret size:

10/10

9/10

Click sound

10/10

9/10

Click feeling

10/10

10/10

Ease of zeroing

9/10

10/10

All in all (40 total points)

39

38

Like I mentioned in the review between the Blaser Infinity and Swarovski Z8i, for me personally the turrets from Blaser are one of the best on the market. The only problem is, that you can not change them with a different BDC ring, so that you could have only numbers for different distances for your personal ballistic curve. With the turret that is standard on the Blaser, the user has to remember the clicks for each distance. What I like is that the turret is lockable at zero and 4 clicks over the zero, but everywhere else you can not lock the turret. Because of this, you visually see that you are not on zero and you cannot forget to turn it back after the hunt. The windage turret is capped, and under the cap is a very nicely designed small turret. What is very interesting, is that Blaser decided to make the windage turret on the left side of the rifle scope and the parallax adjustment and illumination control on the right side of the rifle scope.

It is completely different on the Zeiss, where you can order the rifle scope with the elevation BDC turret or both, elevation and windage BDC turrets. The BDC turret on the Zeiss is extremely well made, and it is always locked when you don’t use it. If you want to adjust, you have to pull the turret up to unleash the locking function. Then you simply click the desired elevation or windage, and when you let the turret go, it automatically locks in place. This is a great feature, so you can’t accidentally change your adjusted settings. Another great feature of these turrets is the ability to change the rings where you see the clicks. On the beginning, there is a standard ring on it where the spacings are in mrad, with numbers only every 10 clicks. Additionally, you get 9 different BDC rings with different scales for different ballistic curves, which cover the most of known calibers.

Because both rifle scopes are made in Germany, are the clicks in 1 cm on 100 meters. The clicks are clockwise, and both have a single-turn turret design. In one turn on the Blaser, you can adjust the reticle for maximal 80 centimeters on 100 meters (80 clicks). On the Zeiss, on the other hand, you have 20 clicks more available, so altogether 100. With such a big elevation range, you can shoot with some fast calibers even over 1000 meters.

Like previously mentioned, I find very interesting that the Blaser switched the windage turret with the parallax control and the illumination control compared to all other rifle scopes manufacturers. I personally find this decision a little bit inconvenient, because it is somehow easier to adjust the parallax and the illumination with the left hand (if you are right-handed) and you hold a rifle in your hand. Maybe they looked this over the Kahles K series rifle scopes, because there you can order the scope as you want. But in my opinion for a tactical rifle scope this is a great option to have, because there you have to adjust windage more often and on the left side it is closer to your free hand. On the Blaser scope, you have to grab over the scope or even adjust it with the right hand. When you do this, you can not simultaneously aim and adjust.

Whatsoever, the design, and how the parallax adjustment turret and the illumination control are made, is of the highest quality possible. The parallax has a small groove on 100 meters, so even at night, you know if your parallax adjustment is correct. To adjust the parallax, you have to pull the adjustment ring out, and then simply turn it to the desired distance. On the turret are also lines for distances up to 300 meters. In the same turret is also the illumination control, where you have to pull the ring out to turn the illumination on, and then simply turn it slightly to adjust the brightness of the illumination.

Zeiss has a more standard design of the parallax control, with a normal rotatable turret on the left side of the rifle scope. This turret is adjustable from 50 meters to infinity, and on exactly 100 meters, there is a ˝click˝, so even in low light, you know where your parallax adjustment is. The illumination control is one of the best – or the best on the market because it is on a really good spot for right and left-handed shooters. The illumination control is easy to operate, and all functions are completely quiet so no animal can hear what you are doing. To turn the illumination on, you just have to push the button in the middle of the ring on the ocular, and then simply rotate the rotation button to adjust the brightness of the illumination.

TL;DR

The turrets on both rifle scopes are excellent, and both are lockable. Blaser has the parallax and illumination control on the right side of the rifle scope, which is inconvenient and not so easy to reach. On the Zeiss, the illumination control is on the perfect position for left and right-handed shooters.

 

Blaser Infinity 4-20×58 iC (on the left) vs Zeiss Victory V8 2.8-20×56 (on the right)

General properties:

 

A: Blaser Infinity 4-20×58 iC

B: Zeiss Victory V8 2.8-20×56

Made in:

Germany

Germany

Introduced in:

2018

2014

Available original accessories:

No

Yes

Warranty period:

10 years

10 years

MRSP Price:

3289 €

3095 € (+ Windage ASV 3380€)

Both rifle scopes are made in Germany, even in the same city of Wetzlar. Wetzlar is the capital city of optical products in the world because the most innovations came directly from this city. In Wetzlar are stationed many well-known manufacturers like Zeiss, Leica, Schmidt & Bender and so on.

Zeiss produces all their products in their own company, except for the lenses, which they order from their partner SCHOTT AG. All these lenses are then additionally coated in the Zeiss facility, to gain better resolution and light transmission. Zeiss was also the first company which used fluoride glass in optical products like rifle scopes, because this type of glass has the best light transmission rate compared to other glass alloys.

Blaser, on the other hand, is a completely new company in the optics world, because they started to produce optics in the year 2017. These optics are produced by GSO, which was founded in 2013 when Minox, Optronika and L&O Group united. Both, Minox and Optronika have a long experience in optics, especially in the rifle scopes production. Because Blaser rifle scopes are on the market for just a few months, they don’t yet have original accessories available. At Zeiss, they offer few accessories like rifle scope neoprene covers, flip-up covers, lens cleaning kits and so on.

Both manufacturers offer 10 years long warranty for their products, but even after these 10 years, I am sure that there will be no problem if something will be defective.

Both rifle scopes have a premium price, which is not affordable for any hunter. Especially for a newcomer is the price with 3289 very high, if we compare that the Zeiss comes with even more features for almost 200 Euros less. If you add an additional BDC turret for windage, then the price gets higher for 285 Euros.

TL;DR

These are very expensive rifle scopes, with many features. For a lower price you get more at Zeiss than at Blaser, and you can upgrade the scope with another BDC turret. For the high price you get 10 years of warranty.

Blaser Infinity 4-20×58 iC rifle scope

Conclusion

After a long and detailed testing of those high-end rifle scopes, I can really say that both of them are very well made, even in the smallest details. Because of the smaller and more compact turrets on the Blaser, the rifle scope does not look so bulky like the Zeiss.

As I said, I like the elevation turret of the Blaser, but after a while of testing, I think that the turret of the Zeiss is still better because you can lock the turret on every setting. This is very useful if you use a clip-on device because it can happen that the device changes the point of impact. So if the device changes the POI, you can easily click the difference and lock the turret in place, so that you have a true zero when you have a clip-on on the rifle scope.

Another benefit of the Zeiss, in my opinion, are the parallax adjustment and illumination control locations. I don’t understand why Blaser chose to put those adjustments on the right side of the rifle scope, but for me personally, the location is a little bit inconvenient because I am right-handed. On the Zeiss, the locations are on the perfect spot, especially the illumination control which is directly on the ocular. And not only the position, but also the illumination itself is the best you can get in any rifle scope today. The glass fiber illumination is extremely strong, so that you see the dot even if you look in a very bright target, and it is still very small so it does not cover a lot of the target. The parallax whatsoever has a better design on the Blaser, because it is locked at exactly 100 meters.

Another big benefit of the Zeiss is the bigger zoom factor and because of this the wider field of view, which is crucial for my decision which scope is better. The Zeiss offers 6 meters wider field of view, what is very important if you hunt in low light conditions. Though the bigger zoom factor has also a drawback, which is the light transmission. Here the Blaser scores big, because it has a bigger objective lens and because of that a much brighter picture in low light. Also in the optical quality, Blaser scored extremely well, where it was in some points a lot better than the Zeiss V8.

TL;DR

From the design, the Blaser is much more elegant than the Zeiss. Blaser is brighter in low-light, because of the 5 times zoom factor and the bigger objective lens diameter. Zeiss, on the other hand, is a more universal scope because of the much smaller minimal magnification and a wider field of view. The ergonomics of the Zeiss is better because the turrets are easier to reach and use with gloves.

Disclaimer

 

We would like to thank Optics-Trade for letting us use and test the above-mentioned products. We also thank them for letting us use their videos.

This featured test is impartial and we always try our best not to prejudice and favor one product over the other. Our team of enthusiasts who tests these products and writes these articles is doing it from dedication, as rifle scopes are our big passion. We also feel a great amount of joy and satisfaction when we know that we have contributed and shared with you our experiences. We try not to be biased and try to be as accurate as possible when interpreting our sightings. We will do our best to described things as they really are.

How the testing is done:

Our team comprises of two enthusiasts who write the articles for hobby and our very helpful unbiased friends who help us make the evaluations, such as the optical characteristics. As we are volunteers/enthusiasts we are not always present in the same numbers. Our ranks can fluctuate from 5 to around 8 people at the time of a test. Other than the two of us who are responsible for writing the articles our friends have almost zero experience in rifle scopes. They have no prejudice and are as such perfect for our objective observations. None-the-less we always try our best to hide all the labels that can give away the products ID. For that reason, we mount the rifle scopes in parallel on a special stand and cover them so the brand names are not visible.

We accurately fine tune the parallax on all the testing products for observing trees and buildings at 200 m and each person sets the diopter for their specific needs.

After we are sure that the test can be done without preferations we ask our volunteers to test the following parameters:

  • Central sharpness – subjective impression at 4x, 12x and 20x
  • Edge sharpness – subjective impression at 4x, 12x and 20x
  • Inner reflections – subjective impression at 4x, 12x and 20x
  • FOV – subjective impression at 4x and 20x
  • Eye-box – subjective impression at 4x and 20x
  • Overall – subjective impression

In this article, we tested optical properties with 8 volunteers, which have no experiences with hunting scopes and have no bias towards any of these two brands. To be exact none of the volunteers even knew any of these two brands before the test. Both scopes were mounted in parallel and people observed trees and buildings about 200 meters away. Parallax was fine-tuned before the test and each person also adjusted the diopter setting for himself. From 8 volunteers 3 were women and 5 were men.

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