Zeiss makes everything optical. Seriously, rifle scopes and binoculars are a footnote for this large company. Any quick perusal of their website shows they make everything from glasses’ lenses to lenses for microscopes. Tucked in, there is a high quality, massively popular, and premium scope brand. Zeiss is a German company, and with that, you do get that fantastic German optical engineering.
Leupold is an established American company with names commonly associated with high-end rifle scopes. Leupold is all about sporting and tactical optics from binoculars to long-range sniper scopes. They provide optics to military and police forces worldwide and are renowned in every part of the shooting world. From hunters to Marine snipers, their optics are ubiquitous and rightly so. Hell, their red dots even pop up in a Captain America movie.
We are going to look at the optics of both companies, examine their durability, their clarity, reticle selection, magnification ranges, and so much more. At the end of our guide, we hope you can make an informed decision on which optic is better for you. Then you’ll finally know who’ll win in the Battle of Leupold VX6 vs Zeiss HD5.
Leupold VX6 vs Zeiss HD5 Round One: Reticles
- Leupold VX-6HD 1-6x24mm Riflescope
- Price: $1,399.99
- Price as of 05/31/2020 22:47 PDT(more info)Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
When it comes to your reticle selection, you have plenty of choices. Leupold allows you to choose between a wide variety of optics that vary between the magnification settings of the optic. This includes quick reaction duplex options with a fire dot reticle. Others include MOA reticles for range estimation, and long-range choice with both range and windage drops.
- Zeiss Carl Optical Conquest HD5 3-15x42 Rapid-Z 800 Ballistic Reticle Rifle Scope
- Price: $1,199.99
- Price as of 06/01/2020 02:18 PDT(more info)Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
The Zeiss HD 5 conquest also has various reticles that depend on the optic’s magnification. However, they are necessarily three different configurations. A standard duplex, a varmint, and a reticle drop system that varies by the range it’s supposed to be at. The RapidZ 600, 800, and 1000 are the same reticle but designed for different ranges.
Leupold VX6 vs Zeiss HD5 Round Two: Reticles Glass Clarity
This is a tough call. Both provide an epic amount of clarity, and they deliver a clear HD image that allows you to see everything in vibrant color. This type of clarity allows you to see and distinguish the colors of a deer from the colors of the fall. A tough proposition no matter the optic.
- Zeiss Carl Optical Conquest HD5 3-15x42 20 Plex Reticle Rifle Scope with Lockable Target Turret
- Price: $1,199.99
- Price as of 06/01/2020 16:21 PDT(more info)Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Both optics feature fully multicoated lenses. The Zeiss HD5 uses its proprietary lens coating known as LotuTec. LotuTec is a strong coating that doesn’t just provide excellent clarity but makes the lenses water resistant and tougher than most.
- Leupold VX-6HD 3-18x44mm Rifle Scope
- Price: $1,699.99
- Price as of 06/01/2020 16:21 PDT
The Leupold VX-6 uses its twilight management system that grants you an extra 30 minutes of visible light compared to the competition. This system is designed for hunters and proven to give hunters an edge as deer move. The advantage Leupold has over the Zeiss is its edge to edge quality. From one side to the other, the scope is crystal clear.
Leupold VX6 vs Zeiss HD5 Round Three: Durability
Premium scopes are designed to last. Both of these optics are designed to withstand the rigors of the hunt or tactical applications. Both the HD5 and VX-6 are water-, shock-, and fogproof. This extreme degree of durability is the same between both optics. They can both withstand the rigors of high caliber recoil and are well proven in the field.
The main difference comes from the lens coatings. The LotuTec coating (see full specs) is unique in its ability to resist abrasions and scratches. That gives a slight edge in the durability department to the Zeiss HD5 and is a genius addition to the scope.
Zeiss HD5 vs Leupold VX6 Round Four: Magnification Ranges
When you go with a variable powered optic, you have to slow down and choose the right magnification for the task at hand. Long-range shooting means you need a higher-powered optics, hunters are best equipped with moderately powered scopes, and tactical application is best suited with either a powerful optic for snipers or a low powered optic for close to moderate ranges.
The Zeiss HD5 offers you three magnification ranges that vary between 2-10X to 5-25X. It’s a good variable range for both long-range shooting and hunting. The Zeiss HD5 Conquest series offers options, but not as many as the VX-6.
The VX-6 (see full specs) gives you a magnification as low as 1-6X to 4-24X, and in total, you get four settings. The main difference between the Zeiss HD5 and the VX-6 is the difference between the lowest and highest magnification ratings. The VX-6 does give you a Low Powered Variable Optic choice for tactical rifles like the AR 15.
Zeiss HD5 vs Leupold VX6 Round Five: Design and Use
Magnification is often a good indicator of what the optic is used for. The Zeiss HD5 is mostly designed for hunting, as are most Zeiss optics. The Zeiss HD5 is also an excellent long-range target shooting optic. The HD-5 can be used for any type of hunting. This includes deer, big game, and varmint.
The Leupold VX-6 series could be used for hunting for sure, and the Twilight coating system is a big reason why its such an effective hunting optic. The VX-6 can also be used for long-range shooting, and even on tactical rifles. The 1-6x LPVO VX-6 is similar to optics currently being field by America’s Special Operation commandos across the military.
Zeiss HD5 vs Leupold VX6 Round Six: Warranty
Before we send off, I would like to say both the Zeiss HD5 and VX-6 are covered by lifetime warranties. These optics are built to last, so I doubt you’ll need it, but it’s nice to have insurance. Both companies are known for their awesome customer service as well.
Leupold VX6 vs Zeiss HD5 Conclusion: Zoomed in, Scoped Out
The Zeiss HD5 and Leupold VX-6 are both excellent optics. They are, without a doubt, some of the best hunting optics on the market, and both offer a lot of optic for the money. There are subtle differences you have to recognize and plan for, and those differences give you different results. Whichever you choose, be prepared to get out there and lay lead down. Good luck!