Introduction

When it comes to hunting, everyone knows that hunting isn’t just sitting and waiting that an animal comes to you. Sometimes the hunt can be much more difficult, and the hunter has to aim at running game. Because of that, we made a comparison of 2 European driven hunt rifle scopes. Both brands are very well known because they produce a lot of different types of optics.

Zeiss is a German brand which has its facility in Wetzlar, and until 2018 all products were made there. In the early of 2018 Zeiss decided to produce some products also in other facility’s out of Germany, and this product we tested was made in Japan. The rifle scope is called Zeiss Conquest V4 1-4×24 and is one of their latest production lines, the V4.

Also Steiner is a German company, located in Bayreuth. Steiner produces most of their products in their own facility, but some products are made also in Asian companies. For this product we tested, we didn’t find where it was made. The rifle scope we tested was a Steiner Ranger 1-4×24, which is the best comparison to the Zeiss in all aspects.

Size and weight:

A: Zeiss Conquest V4 1-4×24

B: Steiner Ranger 1-4×24

Weight:

470 g

490 g

Length:

256 mm

262 mm

Tube diameter:

30 mm

30 mm

Diopter setting:

-3 / +2

-3 / +2

Parallax adjustment:

Fixed at 100 meters

Fixed at 100 meters

Mounting with rail:

NO

NO

Number of Colors:

1

1

The similarity of these two products are quite big, and only small differences are noticeable from the specifications. In the weight, the difference is very small, 20 grams if we are correct. The Zeiss is 20 grams lighter, what is not even noticeable if you hold both rifle scopes in the hand at once.

The same is with the length of these two rifle scopes, Zeiss is only 6 millimeters shorter than the Steiner. All other specifications are exactly the same on both rifle scopes, because they both have a 30-millimeter main tube diameter body, are build from a one-piece aluminum and have fixed parallax at 100 meters. The diopter is adjustable on both rifle scopes from -3 to + 2, with a European style diopter setting on the ocular.

Both Steiner and Zeiss are available only in Black, and cannot be ordered with a rail for mounting.

Zeiss Conquest V4 1-4×24 vs Steiner Ranger 1-4×24

Optical properties:

A: Zeiss Conquest V4 1-4×24

B: Steiner Ranger 1-4×24

Minimal magnification:

1x

1x

Maximal magnification:

4x

4x

Zoom factor:

4

4

Maximal Field of View:

38 m / 100 m

37 m / 100 m

Minimal Field of View:

9.5 m / 100 m

9.2 m / 100 m

Minimal eye relief:

90 mm

90 mm

Maximal eye relief:

90 mm

90 mm

Light transmission – declared:

Tunneling effect at low magnifications:

No

No

Central sharpness – subjective impression at 1x, 2.5x and 4x magnification:

1x magnification – 2

2.5x magnification – 2

4x magnification – 1

1x magnification – 6

2.5x magnification – 6

4x magnification – 7

Edge sharpness – subjective impression at 1x, 2.5x and 4x magnification:

1x magnification – 1

2.5x magnification – 3

4x magnification – 3

1x magnification – 7

2.5x magnification – 4

4x magnification – 5

Inner reflections at 1x and 4x magnification:

1x magnification – 4

4x magnification – 3

1x magnification – 4

4x magnification – 5

FOV – subjective impression at 1x and 4x magnification:

1x magnification – 6

4x magnification – 7

1x magnification – 2

4x magnification – 1

Eye-box at 1x and 4x magnification:

1x magnification – 6

4x magnification – 1

1x magnification – 2

4x magnification – 7

Overall – subjective impression:

3

5

All in all (104 total points)

42

61

Like from the outside, so in the internals are the Zeiss and Steiner very equal. The magnification range is exactly the same ranging from 1 times to 4 times magnification, a small difference is in the field of view, where Zeiss has a small advantage of 1 more meter at the smallest magnification. The eye-relief is on both rifle scopes the same with 90 millimeters, and both rifle scopes have no tunneling effect.

On this test, we had again 8 volunteers, which don’t know a lot of optics, and they don’t know the manufacturers so they could have wrong opinions.

This test now was a little bit more exciting, because at the beginning the results were very equal. In the end, Steiner went into the lead with 19 points head start.

In the Central sharpness, the result is clear – Steiner is much clearer in the center, winning with 19 against only 5 points. The same is in the edge sharpness, also here the result is similar. The Steiner got 16 points and Zeiss only 7 points for the edge sharpness. For me personally, the difference was quite big, because on the Zeiss all around on the edge was blurry.

For the inner reflections, the results were different. The result is much more tight, scoring only 7 against 9 for the Steiner. Here we have to say that it was very difficult to see any difference, and this because of the small magnifications. At big magnifications, the reflections are much easier to see.

The strongest benefit of the Zeiss is the bigger field of view. In the specifications, this is only 1-meter difference, but when you actually see through the scope, the difference is quite big. Only 3 points in this category were given to the Steiner, and 14 to the Zeiss.

The eye-box on both rifle scopes is very good, and you have to be very careful to notice some difference between the Zeiss and Steiner. Whatsoever, our testers gave 2 more points to the Steiner, because like they said, you can move your head also more away from the scope and you still have the same nice picture.

Zeiss Conquest V4 1-4×24 on the left and Steiner Ranger 1-4×24 on the right

 

Reticle properties:

A: Zeiss Conquest V4 1-4×24

B: Steiner Ranger 1-4×24

Focal plane:

SFP

SFP

Reticle name

Reticle 60

4A-I

Reticle illumination:

Yes, RED

Yes, RED

Daylight strong illumination:

Yes

Yes

Illumination intensity tuning:

Yes

Yes

Illuminated dot coverage:

No information found

1x – 16.3 cm / 4x – 4.1 cm

Minimal reticle thickness:

No information found

1x – 16.3 cm / 4x – 4.1 cm

Motion sensor:

No

No

Auto turn-off:

No

No

Reticle styles:

1

1

The reticle in both rifle scopes is located in the second focal plane, what is normal for a hunting rifle scope. This means the reticle has all the time the same size, even if you change the magnification. This is a nice feature because the reticle does not get thinner at smaller magnifications, what could cause that you wouldn’t see the reticle when you are aiming at a running animal at the smallest magnification.

The reticle in the Zeiss is named 60, and the reticle from Steiner is named 4A-I. These reticles have a standard crosshair design with thicker lines at the side, and thinner lines in the middle. The reticle in the Steiner is a little bit thinner, what is in our opinion a little bit better.

Both rifle scopes have an illuminated red dot in the middle, for quicker and easier aiming at running animals. The illumination in the Zeiss is stronger, so on really bright days, or hunting in snow it is much better visible like in the Steiner. Like said, Steiner has a weaker illumination, which is barely visible if you aim into something very bright. If you aim into something white where the sun is shining on, you will barely see the red point in the middle. Whatsoever, the red dot in the Steiner is nicely defined, and even on the strongest setting, the red dot is still nice and round without an annoying star effect.

Unfortunately, we didn’t find the dimensions of the 60 reticle from Zeiss, in their user guide there is no information and also on their main page is no information. There is only the information about the reticle thickness at 12x magnification of other 3 V4 rifle scopes with the same reticle.

Steiner, on the other hand, has everything nicely described, so we know the correct reticle thickness at the minimal and maximal magnification. At 1x magnification, the reticle is 16.3 cm thick, and at 4x magnification only 4.1 centimeters thick. Both values are described for 100 meters. Both manufacturers offer only one reticle style.

Zeiss Conquest V4 1-4×24 – Reticle 60

Turret properties:

A: Zeiss Conquest V4 1-4×24

B: Steiner Ranger 1-4×24

Turret Style:

Capped

Capped

Click value:

0.5 MOA (15mm / 100 m )

0.1 mrad (1cm/100m)

MTC function:

No

No

Number of turns:

Multi-turn

Multi-turn

Turn indication:

CCW

CW

Zero stop:

No

No

Position locking:

No

No

Elevation in one turn:

40 MOA (118 cm / 100 m)

8 mrad (80 cm/100m)

Total travel of turret:

120 MOA (356cm /100 m)

42 mrad (420cm / 100m)

BDC turret type:

No

No

BDC turret accuracy:

BDC turret flexibility:

Turret size:

6/10

8/10

Elevation range:

120 MOA (356cm /100 m)

42 mrad (420cm / 100m)

Windage range:

120 MOA (356cm /100 m)

42 mrad (420cm / 100m)

Click sound

10/10

8/10

Click feeling

10/10

8/10

Ease of zeroing

10/10

9/10

All in all (40 total points)

36

33

Like previously mentioned, both rifle scopes have standard capped turrets like you can find on almost any wide-angle hunting rifle scope. The only difference is in the material used for the caps, because Zeiss caps are made from plastic and Steiner caps from aluminum like the entire rifle scope. This is in our opinion a small but a nice advantage, because you have a more quality feel when you take the Steiner in your hands. The question is also if the caps from Zeiss wouldn’t break if you hit an obstacle with the scope in winter when the plastic is more sensible for breakage.

On the Zeiss, the clicks are in ½ MOA, what is a little bit inconvenient, especially for a European company. Steiner, on the other hand, stayed with the traditional 1 tenth of a MIL per click. Because of this, you can adjust the Steiner more precisely, but since this is only a 4x magnification rifle scope designed for hunting on short ranges, this doesn’t matter a lot.

Both rifle scopes have multi-turn turrets, and with one turn on the Zeiss, you can adjust the elevation or windage for 40 MOA (118 cm on 100 meters). The Steiner, on the other hand, can be adjusted for 80 centimeters in one turn on both turrets what is equal to 8 MIL.

The turrets from both manufacturers don’t have a zero stop feature and they are not lockable, but you can reset both turrets to zero when you are done with shooting your rifle in. Whatsoever, the elevation and windage range on both rifle scopes is huge, and we think that no hunter would ever need so much adjustment range on such a rifle scope.

When the caps on these rifle scopes are on, the size is almost the same, except that the Zeiss turrets are a little bit higher, about 5 millimeters. Under the caps, there is a little bit bigger difference, since the turret of the Steiner is bigger, what makes it easier to adjust. This turret has a nice design, and it looks like a small tactical turret.

The Zeiss has smaller turrets under the caps, which have in our opinion better-defined clicks, but the upper side of the turrets is wider, what makes the grip not so good than on the Steiner. This isn’t very important since mostly the rifle scope has to be shot in once and then it stays like it is until the user changes the ammunition.

For resetting the Zeiss turret it is as easy it could be, you just pull the turret up and turn it to your desired position. Also the turret from Steiner is easy to reset to zero, once you have your rifle sighted in, you just turn the ring in the turret so the 0 is on the front and that’s already it.

The biggest difference between these two rifle scopes is in the illumination control turret construction. The illumination control on the Zeiss is much bigger for easier adjustment even when wearing gloves. The illumination has 10 intensity settings with off positions between every setting. This turret can be turned continuously all around from the lowest setting to the highest, and also on the opposite side.

The Steiner, on the other hand, has a smaller turret, which can be turned much easier, with a difference that the turret cannot be turned all around. When you come to the minimal or the maximal illumination setting, the turret stops and can not be turned further. Steiner has 11 intensity settings and it also has off positions between every setting. First 6 settings are designed for low-light use, and other 5 for day-time use.

Zeiss Conquest V4 1-4×24 on the left and Steiner Ranger 1-4×24 on the right

General properties:

A: Zeiss Conquest V4 1-4×24

B: Steiner Ranger 1-4×24

Made in:

Japan

unknown

Introduced in:

2018

2015

Available original accessories:

No

No

Warranty period:

10 years

10 years

MRSP Price:

995 €

999 €

As previously said, Zeiss V4 rifle scopes are not made in Germany like we would expect it from Zeiss, but they are made in Japan like many other high-end rifle scopes from other manufacturers. Where the Steiner is made we don’t know, and we checked everywhere on the product and on the box of the Ranger 1-4×24.

Steiner Ranger 1-4×24 is on the market already for 3 years, but Zeiss V4 is a completely new series from Zeiss which were introduced this year on IWA Outdoors Classics in Germany.

For both rifle scopes no additional accessories are available, so every user has to look for aftermarket equipment like flip-up covers and so on.

The warranty on both rifle scopes is 10 years, and both cost a little bit under 1000 euros.

 

Conclusion

I hope there is some useful information for all who are interested in these two products, and hopefully, you can now more easily decide which one is better for your needs.

In our opinion, the Steiner is better in many aspects, like the build construction so the optics itself. But, if you are searching for a rifle scope with a better field of view, the Zeiss would be more appropriate for you.

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.

Because the parallax is fixed on these rifle scopes, we adjusted them on trees and buildings that were 100 meters away to have the best possible picture without parallax errors.

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 1x, 2.5x and 4x

  • Edge sharpness – subjective impression at 1x, 2.5x and 4x

  • Inner reflections at 1x and 4x

  • FOV – subjective impression at 1x and 4x

  • Eye-box at 1x, and 4x magnification

  • Overall – subjective impression

In this article, we tested optical properties with 8 volunteers, which have no experiences with hunting wide-angle 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 100 meters away. Each person adjusted the diopter setting for himself and from 8 volunteers 3 were women and 5 were men.

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