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Tndeerhunter's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Tennessee
Joined: 04/13/2009
Posts: 1136
30mm scopes

I am curious to know how many have purchased a 30mm scope and what they think of them. I own a couple of 30mm Leupolds and I'm very pleased with their quality and usefulness. The 30mm scopes I have seem to be very forgiving when it comes to eye placement. Although those 30mm Leupolds do provide excellent low light performance, my eye seems to prefer the very similar priced Zeiss Conquests (1 inch tubes) I own if compared side by side.

I'm curious to hear what others have to say about their experiences with 30mm scopes.

jim boyd's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Joined: 07/06/2010
Posts: 889
I am no optics expert but I

I am no optics expert but I am a glass snob... have been accused of that many times.

I love Leupold but they have been ripped for making what they call the European 30 mm series... it is reportedly the same glass found in other 1" tubes. I think they even allude to this on their website.

I think the reported advantages are more room to move the reticle, supposedly better light gathering, etc.

They are a pain because you have a use a different ring when you set them up (Leupold rings are about $40 set).

They are also bigger and heavier than a 1" tube... which is a downside.

I have personal experience with three of theese 30 mm scopes... Swarovski 2.5-10x56 PH, Zeiss Conquest 3-12x56 (the only Conquest with 30mm tube) and two different Meopta Meostar 3-12x56's (4 and 4b reticles).

(I had a Bushnell Elite 4200 one time that I think may have been 30 mm but can not recall right now. Got it in a trade and sold it to my buddy's wife and she loves it - but I will not include this scope in the following discussion)

All three of these are simply stunning.

The Zeiss is by far the brightest. The images are breathtaking.

The best low light performer of the three is the Meopta - of that I am convinced. It is also the lower cost of the three.

The Swarovski is stunning in performance all around but also stunning in price - over double the cost of both the others ones.

If I had to choose (and I have), I choose the Meopta.

For the money - and high end European glass - I do not feel you can do better.

I cannot comment on any other 30 mm units - but I know a lot of people know make them just to say they have a 30mm in their lineup.

I have also seen some of these Euro folks make some stunning new lower cost 1" stuff also... Swarovski, Zeiss and Meopta all have lower cost 1" scopes that are simply GREAT!

The good glass hurts when you buy it - but I say buy once, cry once...