Carl Zeiss Conquest HD5 Review by Edward G. Gramza IV
When the moment of truth arrives, it doesn’t matter if you have done all of the preparation in the world. If you don’t have quality equipment that you can trust to work in any situation you might end up disappointed and go home empty handed. There are a few key pieces of gear that are vital to hunting with a rifle. In my opinion, there is no more important important tool than a quality scope mounted on top of your favorite hunting rifle. I prefer the Conquest HD5 line of scopes from Carl Zeiss Sports Optics.
Recently I replaced the scope on my Browning A-bolt .300wsm with the Conquest HD5 3-15×42 with a Rapid-Z 800 reticle. This is a feature packed scope at a great price. Most hunters and sportsmen and woman know that the best “glass” comes from Europe. Zeiss is based in Germany and is world renowned as one of the best optics company’s in the industry. The first time you look through an HD5 scope you will realize that Zeiss didn’t cut any corners when designing this hunting tool.
The lightweight, powerful 5x zoom, and low profile design make the Conquest HD5 the most versatile premium scope on the market. The scope is built with a lightweight 1″ diameter tube and the clearest glass you will find in a scope in this price range. The 1/4 MOA dials allow the user to fine tune the scope so that is it dead on for your favorite round. Even with the high quality materials that make up this scope, the lens coatings that Zeiss applies are what helps make the scopes perform in real world conditions.
LotuTec is a water and grease repellent coating that Zeiss uses on its premium optics. It is designed to shed water, dirt, and just about anything else that ends up on the lens. This is a very practical benefit for the hunter that ventures into the field no matter the conditions. If the lens does get dirty, the LotuTec coating will help in cleaning while out in the field. The LotuTec coating also adds a degree of scratch resistance to the outside of the lenses. Zeiss also uses their Zeiss T* multi-layer coating on the lenses. This coating helps to increase the light transmission which is extremely important in low light conditions like dawn and dusk. These two coatings are what helps set the Conquest HD5 ahead of the competition.
The Zeiss Conquest HD5 comes in a few sizes with various options in reticles and turrets. Included in the size options are the 2-10×42, 3-15×42, 3-15×50, and the high power 5-25×50. It doesn’t matter what type of hunting or shooting you do, you can find the scope that matches your needs. You can also choose from 5 different reticles including the standard Z-Plex and 4 different Rapid-Z options. Again, you can find the right option for your particular needs.
The Zeiss Rapid-Z reticles help take the guess work out of long range shooting while out in the field. Options include the Rapid-Z 600, 800, 1000, and the Rapid-Z Varmint. Each of the reticles include holdover as well as windage lines for designate distances. All of the reticles are located in the second image plane which helps reduce the amount of the target that is covered up by the reticle. The Rapid-Z 800 reticle on my scope has holdover lines for 200-800 yards in 100 yard increments. Once you have the scope zeroed in at the 200 yards, you use the Zeiss software to help calculate what yardage each line represents based on the magnification power the scope is set at. These calculations can be gotten from the Zeiss website as well as a mobile app that is available for both Android and Apple devices.
As seen in the screen shots from my iPad, my ideal magnification is 13x based on the caliber and bullet type I entered. This allows the lines to correspond to their intended yardages. As you lower the magnification, the yardages increase for each line. This is represented in the second shot showing that I lowered the power to 7x. While out in the field, it would be a good idea to have a sheet with the numbers printed on it or have your mobile device ready to go.
Another benefit to purchasing high quality glass from a company like Zeiss is the outstanding warranty program. Zeiss offers a Limited Lifetime Transferable Warranty on the Conquest HD5 rifle scopes. These scopes also include a 5 year No Fault Warranty. Within the first 5 years, no matter what happens to your scope, Zeiss has your back and will repair or replace it.
Anything can happen when you are out in the field hunting. Having quality equipment can help you sleep easy as having a failure in the backcountry is less likely. In the category of premium rifle scopes, there are a few companies that compete. However, at the price range of the Conquest HD5, there is very little competition. Zeiss is known around the world as a leader in the optics industry. If you are looking for an advantage while chasing your next trophy, look no further than the products from Carl Zeiss Hunting Optics.