Introduction

 

And again we have a battle between two European companies, this time between two well known manufacturers of hunting optics. The first competitor is Zeiss with their fairly new rifle scope Conquest V6, and the second one is Kahles with also a pretty new rifle scope, the Helia. Both rifle scopes in this comparison are designed for low light hunting, and that’s why the smaller magnifications and big objective lenses.

Zeiss is known because of their high-quality optics such as binoculars, rifle scopes, spotting scopes, and in the year 2017 they introduced this new rifle scope called Zeiss Conquest V6 2.5-15×56. This is also one of the first rifle scopes from Zeiss that are not made in Germany, so let’s see how it can be compared against an Austrian made scope.

The second competitor is, like I said, Kahles Helia 2,4-12×56. This rifle scope is, like Zeiss, on the market since 2017, but the difference is that it is completely made and assembled in Austria. Kahles has a great history about the production of various optics, and it is the oldest manufacturers on our planet.

 

Size and weight:

 

A: Zeiss Conquest V6 2.5-15×56

B: Kahles Helia 2.4-12×56

Weight:

690g (725g with ZM/VM rail)

680g (704 with SR rail)

Length:

352 mm

359 mm

Tube diameter:

30 mm

30 mm

Diopter setting:

-3 / +2

-3.5 / +2

Parallax adjustment:

NO – fixed at 100 meters

NO – fixed at 100 meters

Mounting with rail:

Yes – ZM/VM rail

Yes – SR Rail

Number of Colors:

1

1

As we can see in the physical specifications, these two rifle scopes are very similar with just a few small differences. For example, the Zeiss is for few grams heavier but is also for few millimeters shorter than the Kahles.

Both rifle scopes feature a 30-millimeter main tube diameter, which is almost a standard in modern hunting rifle scopes. They can also both be ordered with a mounting rail for easier and very precise mounting. Zeiss can be ordered with their ZM/VM rail, and Kahles with a Swarovski SR rail.

These rifle scopes have a fixed parallax at 100 meters, what is, in my opinion, a big drawback, especially if you want to use these scopes on maximal magnification and for precise shots on longer distances. They are both available only in one color – black.

Zeiss Conquest V6 2.5-15×56 (on the left) vs Kahles Helia 2.4-12×56 (on the right)

 

Optical properties:

 

A: Zeiss Conquest V6 2.5-15×56

B: Kahles Helia 2.4-12×56

Minimal magnification:

2.5x

2.4x

Maximal magnification:

15x

12x

Zoom factor:

6

5

Maximal Field of View:

16.4 m / 100 m

16.5 m / 100 m

Minimal Field of View:

2.7 m / 100 m

3.3 m / 100 m

Minimal eye relief:

90 mm

95 mm

Maximal eye relief:

90 mm

95 mm

Light transmission – declared:

92%

 

Tunneling effect at low magnifications:

No

No

Central sharpness – subjective impression at 2.5x, 8x and 12x magnification: 2.5x magnification – 1

8x magnification – 2

12x magnification – 1

2.5x magnification – 4

8x magnification – 3

12x magnification – 4

Edge sharpness – subjective impression at 2.5x, 8x and 12x magnification: 2.5x magnification – 0

8x magnification – 1

12x magnification – 2

2.5x magnification – 5

8x magnification – 4

12x magnification – 3

Inner reflections at 2.5x, 8x and 12x magnification: 2.5x magnification – 4

8x magnification – 3

12x magnification – 3

2.5x magnification – 1

8x magnification – 2

12x magnification – 2

FOV – subjective impression at 2.5x, 8x and 12x magnification: 2.5x magnification – 5

8x magnification – 4

12x magnification – 4

2.5x magnification – 0

8x magnification – 1

12x magnification – 1

Eye-box at 2.5x, 8x and 12x magnification: 2.5x magnification – 2

8x magnification – 1

12x magnification – 2

2.5x magnification – 3

8x magnification – 4

12x magnification – 3

Overall – subjective impression:

2

3

All in all (80 total points)

37

43

One of the most important features of a rifle scope is definitely the optical quality. With these two, also very small details are noticeable on further distances, but what is important, these rifle scopes are designed for raised hide hunting in low light, so that’s why they feature a big 56 millimeters objective lens.

In the central and edge sharpness, we can see that Kahles has the upper hand. The details were better noticeable with the Kahles in the center of the image and also on the edge. The difference is not big, but enough that our 5 testers saw it. Where Kahles also scored was in the eye-box comparison, but the 5 millimeters longer eye-relief wasn’t noticeable from any of the 5 testers.

Zeiss Conquest, on the other hand, scored in the field of view and inner reflections comparison. The biggest difference against Kahles is definitely in the field of view, on which we were very careful that the testers compared them on the same magnifications, so the results are as accurate as they could be.

So if we make a short summary, the Kahles has a better image sharpness and eye-box, but Zeiss has less inner reflections and more field of view on the same magnifications. I have to say that Zeiss features also more magnification, which also helps to determine details on longer distances. Because of the smaller zoom ratio, we noticed that Kahles is slightly brighter in low light than Zeiss. Whatsoever, the difference is very small, and when the sun goes down the difference is noticeable only in minutes.

 

Zeiss Conquest V6 2.5-15×56 (on the left) vs Kahles Helia 2.4-12×56 (on the right)

 

Zeiss Conquest V6 2.5-15×56 (on the left) vs Kahles Helia 2.4-12×56 (on the right)

 

 

Reticle properties:

 

A: Zeiss Conquest V6 2.5-15×56

B: Kahles Helia 2.4-12×56

Focal plane:

SFP

SFP

Reticle name

Reticle 60

4-Dot

Reticle illumination:

Yes, RED

Yes, RED

Daylight strong illumination:

Yes

Yes

Illumination intensity tuning:

Yes

Yes

Illuminated dot coverage:

2,8cm – 2,5x magnification

0,6 cm – 12x magnification

0,5 cm – 15x magnification

5,8cm – 2,4x magnification

1,2 cm – 12x magnification

Minimal reticle thickness:

4cm – 2,5x magnification

0,8 cm – 12x magnification

1,2cm – 2,4x magnification

0,25 cm – 12x magnification

Motion sensor:

Yes

Yes

Auto turn-off:

Yes – after 3h

Yes

Reticle styles:

1

2

The reticle in both rifle scopes is positioned in the second focal plane, what means, that the reticle has the same size on all magnifications. For a hunting rifle scope, such a reticle is very useful, because it covers a very small amount of the target at bigger magnifications. At smaller magnifications, whatsoever, the reticle is thick enough to see it also in a darker environment.

From the design the Reticle 60 from Zeiss and the 4-Dot reticle from Kahles are very similar, the one big difference is, whatsoever, in the illumination. The red dot in the Zeiss appears in the middle of the lines and does not shine out of them. In Kahles, the red dot shines directly on the lines, and that’s why the dot appears bigger. In Zeiss, this is possible because their rifle scopes feature glass fiber illumination. Thanks to it, the illuminated dot is much smaller than the dots from any other rifle scopes manufacturer.

Both rifle scopes have a stepless illumination intensity control, which can be simply adjusted with turning the turret on the left side of the rifle scope. The illumination is very strong, so it can be used also during the day.

These rifle scopes are also equipped with a motion sensor, which notices in what position the rifle scope is. If you turn the illumination on, and then put the weapon away, the illumination automatically shuts off to save the battery life. As soon the scope is in a shooting position, the illumination turns back on.

To further save the battery life, both rifle scopes shut the illumination off if the motion sensor doesn’t notice movement for a longer time.

For this model, Zeiss offers only 1 reticle style and Kahles 2.

 

TL;DR

Both rifle scopes have the reticle positioned in the second focal plane, which is great for hunting, because on smaller magnifications the reticle is thick enough to see, but is very thin at bigger magnifications for precise shot placement. The illumination in the Zeiss is stronger, and the dot is smaller for more precise aiming. The illumination can be adjusted stepless and is also daytime bright. The reticles are very similar in design.  

Reticle 60 of Zeiss on the left side and 4-Dot reticle from Kahles on the right side – Look at the difference of the illuminated dot

 

Turret properties:

 

A: Zeiss Conquest V6 2.5-15×56

B: Kahles Helia 2.4-12×56

Turret Style:

BDC / capped

capped

Click value:

0.1 mrad

0.1 mrad

MTC function:

No

No

Number of turns:

Single-turn

Multi-turn

Turn indication:

CW

CW

Zero stop:

Yes

No (Yes with the BDC turret)

Position locking:

Yes

No

Elevation in one turn:

7.5 mrad

5 mrad

Total travel of turret:

20 mrad

19 mrad

BDC turret type:

ASV H

Yes – Optional

BDC turret accuracy:

0.1 MIL

0.1 MIL

BDC turret flexibility:

No

Yes

Turret size:

8/10

7/10

Elevation range:

20 mrad

19 mrad

Windage range:

20 mrad

19 mrad

Click sound

9/10

7/10

Click feeling

9/10

7/10

Ease of zeroing

9/10

9/10

All in all (40 total points)

35

30

Because these rifle scopes are designed for hunting, the turrets are capped. The only open turret is the elevation turret on the Zeiss because it is designed as a BDC (Ballistic Drop Compensation) turret. It is possible to get the Kahles also with a BDC turret, but for this, like on the Zeiss, you have to pay extra money. Unfortunately, we had only the Zeiss with this turret, so the comparison of clicks and zeroing isn’t as accurate as it should be. The clicks are in MIL, so exactly 1 cm on 100 meters.

The elevation turret on the Zeiss is designed as a single-turn turret, with 75 clicks in one turn. I think that for any hunting situation this should be enough because with a non-magnum caliber you can easily reach out to 700 meters or even more. What I don’t like on this turret is that you can’t change it with a custom ballistic ring, for easier aiming on longer distances for hunters, that are not so familiar with MIL turrets. The clicks, whatsoever feel nice and are nicely quiet like they should be on a hunting rifle scope. The windage turret, on the other hand, is capped for protection and can be easily zeroed. The cap is made of plastic, what somehow doesn’t have such a high-quality feeling. But, the plastic is made very thick, so the turret is well protected, and I’m sure it can’t break even in an extremely cold environment.

Like previously mentioned, the turrets on Kahles are capped to protect the inner turrets. For most hunters, such a configuration is more than enough, but some prefer the BDC turret on top. This turret can be ordered separately but will cost you 250€. The turrets underneath the caps have a multi-turn design, and the clicks feel decent. The BDC turret for the Kahles Helia has a different design as the Zeiss one because the user can order a custom ring with his own ballistic curve.

The illumination turret on both rifle scopes is on the left side of the rifle scope, and on both the illumination can be adjusted stepless, so the user can adjust the brightness very precise. On Kahles, you simply turn the turret to turn the illumination on, and then the brightness constantly grows.

On Zeiss, on the other hand, the illumination is turned off until you pull the illumination turret out. Then the intensity of your last setting turns on again. With turning the turret, you simply change the intensity. When the turret is pushed back inside, the illumination turns off and saves your last intensity setting. The turret can still be turned, but the illumination stays out and the last intensity setting also.

 

TL;DR

Unfortunately, we have only the Zeiss with a BDC turret, so the comparison of the turrets is not perfect. The BDC turret of the Zeiss is good, but also not perfect. It can’t be changed with a custom ballistic ring with bullet drop data. The windage turret is capped but can be also zeroed. On Kahles, the user can also install a BDC turret, which is better designed because you can change the ballistic ring. The illumination can be adjusted stepless on both rifle scopes.  

Zeiss Conquest V6 2.5-15×56 (on the left) vs Kahles Helia 2.4-12×56 (on the right)

 

General properties:

 

A: Zeiss Conquest V6 2.5-15×56

B: Kahles Helia 2.4-12×56

Made in:

Japan

Austria

Introduced in:

2017

2017

Available original accessories:

Yes

Yes

Warranty period:

10 years

11 years

MRSP Price:

1619 € +180€ for the ASV H turret. ZM/VM turret does not cost extra

1569 € + 70 € for the SR Rail and +250€ for the BDC turret

Both rifle scopes manufacturers are located in Europe. Zeiss in Germany and Kahles in Austria. The difference is, that Kahles produces their rifle scopes in their own company, Zeiss, on the other hand, put the manufacturing of some product to Japan to save production costs. This Conquest V6 is made in Japan under the quality control of Zeiss.

The Zeiss Conquest V6 and Kahles Helia were both introduced in the year 2017, so they are fairly new on the market. For both rifle scopes you can get some original accessories like flip-up covers, but nothing more for the Zeiss. Kahles offers also a sunshade and a honeycomb filter for the Helia.

The warranty on the Zeiss is 10 years and 11 for the Kahles. The warranty is long, but also if the warranty runs off I am sure both companies will repair their scopes even after a long time after.

In the start, the Zeiss is for 50€ more expensive, but if you want the whole package with a ballistic turret and a mounting rail, Kahles overcomes Zeiss for exact 90€. For this extra price, you get less maximum magnification, but that’s why a ballistic turret that can be adapted to your bullet trajectory.

Conclusion

Very decent hunting rifle scopes for this price. They both have some great features many hunters would love, and the price is still reasonable for such high quality.

The image quality on both rifle scopes is very good, and especially the illumination on the Zeiss is great. The small dot is easily noticeable during day-time use and very fine adjustable in dusk and dawn. Perfect in my opinion is the locking elevation turret and the illumination turret that shuts off when you push the turret inside. A small drawback is again the elevation turret because you can’t adjust for a custom bullet trajectory.

Kahles is maybe a little bit brighter in lower light, but this is an extremely small difference. It has less maximum magnification, but for that, you get an elevation turret which can be made specifically for your rifle and bullet.

Whatsoever, both rifle scopes have some room for improvement, but you will surely be satisfied with any of these on your hunting rifle.

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 350 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 2.5x, 8x and 12x magnification

  • Edge sharpness – subjective impression at 2.5x, 8x and 12x magnification

  • Inner reflections – subjective impression at 2.5x, 8x and 12x magnification

  • FOV – subjective impression at 2.5x, 8x and 12x magnification

  • Eye-box – subjective impression at 2.5x, 8x and 12x magnification

In this article, we tested optical properties with 8 volunteers, which have no experiences with tactical 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 350 meters away. Parallax was fine-tuned before the test and each person also adjusted the diopter setting for himself. From 7 volunteers 4 were women and 3 were men.

 

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1 Comment

Simon Jeffreys

Good review. I have a Zeiss 6×42 which was made in USA and I know they previously had some scopes made by Meopta, probably including mine!

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