After years spent trying to get Zeiss Sport Optics to make a more tactical or competition focused optic for the Black Rifle market, they have finally answered my call – allow me to introduce the new Zeiss Conquest V6 1-6×24. The target model features both a reticle with 4-MOA hashmarks and a target turret that has 1/2 MOA adjustments. The Zeiss Conquest V6 series will be available in the U.S. market in July with the initial three models: 1-6x24mm, 3-18x50mm and 5-30x50mm. I had an opportunity to use all three last week at the 2-day FTW Ranch course organized by Zeiss for a group of 20 writers and editors in Western Texas.
So, what’s so special about this new Zeiss Conquest V6 1-6×24? First, it’s probably the only 1-6x on the market that features the FL or fluorite crystal lens. It’s made in Germany with a 30mm tube size. The digital micro fiber optic illumination system that it uses is superior to the rest of the projection illumination systems on the market. All of that combined with the typical top-notch Zeiss optical performance but at a very reasonable $1400 est. street price. That’s $800 cheaper than the Swarovski Z6i 1-6×24 and its about the same price as the Japanese-made Vortex Razor HD 1-6×24 and Trijcon Accupoint 1-6×24.
The Zeiss Conquest V6 1-6×24 features a micro fiber-optic illumination, which is unlike the illumination systems typically used by everyone else, (which rely on projecting a red or green light beam emitted by a tiny LED diode inside of the scope on to the reticle, and the reticle is painted with a special reflective coating on the inside, the light reflection from that shows up as an illuminated reticle). There are a number of problems with that method, such as it’s very hard to make them daylight visible while controlling the internal reflections. When projecting a high volume of light at the reticle, a lot of it would bounce back between the lens surface which could causes odd colors, hot spots and unwanted reflections. Also, to out put that high amount of light for the daylight bright illumination, it takes a lot of energy which also leads to short battery life. Some scope companies use the cheaper method of making a very thick reticle that offers a lot of reflection surfaces. But it has the downside of the reticle blocking a lot of the target and it reflects too much lights back.
The unique micro fiber-optic illumination system from Zeiss eliminated all of those issues above as it doesn’t rely on light reflection. It uses a fiber-optic that’s so small it’s laminated to the etched vertical line in the reticle. It offers a bright and sharp dot that doesn’t block much of the target, and barely uses any power. There’s absolutely no unwanted light reflection inside of the Zeiss scope. When I max out the brightness, all it does was getting some sunburst effect on that tiny center dot. The center dot on the Zeiss remained sharp and its color doesn’t fade or change to orangish when I moved my eye off the center point of view. The limitation of the Zeiss micro fiber-optics illumination is that it only works as a single dot and for 2nd focal plane reticle only.
The Zeiss ZMOA-4 target reticle. Each hashmark has a 4-MOA hold-over at 6x. The illumination is the super bright single red-dot at the center. By using the laminated micro fiber-optic technology, this dot is daylight bright and very visible, yet it’s smaller than the dot projected by all the typical red-dot sights. My estimation is that the Zeiss micro fiber-optic dot has the size of 1/3 MOA, comparing that to the smallest dot size from a red-dot sight or reflex sight is 1.5 MOA with a 2-MOA size as the average.
There are two other optic makers that also have fiber-optic illumination, Trijicon and Leupold, but neither of them could make a dot as sharp as Zeiss’ system. The fiber optics that they both use are too big to hide inside of the small reticle line, and the center dot that they have are a couple times bigger that the Zeiss’.
The Zeiss Conquest V6 1-6×24 model that I used at the 2nd day of the FTW Ranch training course was actually the hunting model with the Zeiss #60 reticle, which is basically a German #4 reticle with the same micro fiber optic illuminated center dot. It also has the capped top turret instead of the target turret found on the other model. Under that heavy duty polymer cap, the small turret is quick finger adjustable and has a zero-stop feature built-in.
The eyebox of new Zeiss V6 1-6×24 is probably the best I have used among the 1-6x scopes. That likely has to do with the huge ocular eye piece, about the size of 40mm, that Zeiss uses comparing to the typical 34mm or smaller on other 1-6x scope. The big eyebox together with its bright and sharp dot illumination at 1x, the Zeiss V6 1-6×24 is nearly as fast to use as a red-dot sight. Remember that most of the red-dot sights only have 30mm size eye-piece, with the Aimpoint Micro and its clones have even smaller 20-24mm size viewable eye-piece. Although, the red-dot sights do have the advantage of having unlimited eye-relief and typically parallax-free at half the distance.
The FL or fluorite crystal lens is another special feature that the new Zeiss V6 series has. Previously, it was only used on some of the top-end Zeiss Victory models. The optical grade fluorite crystal element are not glass, and it has to be grown synthetically in a lab. Not only that’s a slower and expansive process, but fluorite crystal are harder to grind into lens, it requires specialized treatments to make it as strong as optical glass in order to withstand the recoil and to waterproofing it. That’s why so few optic manufacturers are capable of producing optic grade fluorite lenses and it’s only reserved for the premium optics.
So, is using the FL lens worth it for the Zeiss Conquest V6? Absolutely, if is the best optical performance that you are looking for. It can produce sharper contrast and higher resolution than using glass lens. Most of it has to do with the fluorite crystal lens which has the uncanny property that eliminates chromatic aberration or color fringing. In addition to that, all the lenses are coated with the top-end Zeiss T* high-contrast multi-coating and both exterior lens surfaces have the Zeiss LotuTec water-repelling/protective lens coatings. I am looking forward to doing a full review of the Zeiss Conquest V6 1-6×24 when it’s available in July, 2017.
Zeiss Conquest V6 1-6×24 Specification:
Tube size: 30mm
Objective size: 24mm
Lens coating: Zeiss T* and LotuTec
Field of View at 100 yds: 102.6 ft @ 1x, 16.8 ft @ 6.5x
Eye relief: 3.5 inch
Exit pupil: 9.6mm-3.7mm
Parallax: fixed 100 yards
Adjustment per click: 1/2 MOA
Adjustment range: 103 MOA total
Reticle: ZMOA-4 and #60
Power: single CR2032 lithium battery
Length: 11.2 inch
Weight: 17.8 ounces
Warranty: 5-years no-fault and lifetime limited transferable
Price: $1599 MSRP, $1400 street