Riflescopes | Spotting Scopes

Field & Stream Online Editors

Schmidt & Bender | Zenith 3-12x50

The Schmidt & Bender Zenith-manufactured by a German company that's been turning out high-end scopes for military marksmen and hunters for decades-offers outstanding optical strength. This state-of-the-art scope combines superb brightness and extremely high resolution with a compact profile and power range that makes it the go-to glass for big-game hunters. With its finely calibrated windage and elevation adjustments, shot placement borders on laser accuracy. Just over 13 inches long, the Zenith weighs a hefty 22 ounces-not light by any standard. But the quality of the optics is worth the extra weight, and if you absolutely must have the best 30mm scope money can buy, this is it. $1,600; 800-468-3450; www.schmidt-bender.de

Why it wins: Pinpoint adjustability for dead-on shot placement

Zeiss | Diascope 85 T* FL

An antelope can seem like a ghost at a distance of 3 miles across open country if you don't have a spotting scope that's up to the task. So Western hunters out for pronghorns, elk, or muleys-and anyone looking for game at long ranges-should pack some serious glass. The Diascope's objective lenses have the Carl Zeiss proprietary T* coating, which lets in more light for ultrabright viewing and razor-sharp resolution, and they contain fluorine ions that provide exceptional color rendition (so you can tell the difference between a buck and a bush). The dual-focusing system has two wheels for fast adjustment when you're following a moving target. $1,798; 800-441-3005; www.zeiss.com

** Why it wins:** Bright color and detail rendered at extreme distances