Zeiss surprised us all last year by launching their Duralyt scopes, with three in the range; 1.2-5x36m, 2-8x42 and 3-12x50 and I have to say they are awesome! I’m not sure what they have done to reduce the cost but optical quality does not seem to be on that list. Conversely the most expensive – the 3-12x50 is only £679. Last year I got the chance to go to the Zeiss factory where they showed us the new illuminated Duralyts – the same quality but with an illuminated reticule; what I have here is the 1.2-5x36.
The build remains identical with the 30mm, one-piece, bronze body tube and fast focus eyepiece. The magnifi cation ring is plain rubber with a raised fi n to aid operation. Click values are 1cm @ 100-metres and .3 MOA @ 100-yards. With 72-clicks per turn and 3 ½ drum rotations adjustment offers around 100” which is generous enough!
New and notable is the illumination package. Integral to the eyepiece bell it shows as a raised hump with the battery cover on top. On the left are the controls, with twin rubber buttons marked – ON + on top and – OFF – underneath. The reticule which is in the 2nd focal plane is their # 60 and there are no other options on all models. It’s a simple #4-type with thin inner cross, the intersection of which is the only that that lights up, so still offering a crisp and fine aim point in all conditions.
Press the button
Operation is simple; press the + button for one second and the dot comes on. Brightness is adjusted by the pressing + or - as required. To switch off press and hold both buttons for two seconds. It remembers your last setting and returns to it when switched on again. Most practical is the fact that the dot, which is easily seen, even in bright light, does not affect the aim point picture.
The spec of 1.2-5x36 is more aimed at driven hunts where the low mag and good field of view is just what’s required. But I found it equally useful on a hunting rifle for deer out to 200 yards and a beauty in woodlands. However, it also makes a cracking rabbit scope for a rimfi re and at x1.2 the power is low enough to keep both eyes open when shooting runners. However, for the UK the more sensible choices will be the 2-8x42 and 3-12x50, the latter doubtless being the most popular.
Optical quality is excellent as is low light ability; overall I would have to say the Duralyt range is most impressive for the money. Naturally the price is more for the illuminated models but when compared to other top European makes it still very good.
Zeiss Duralyt 1.2-5x36 illuminated has a length of 11.8” and weighs 1lb. Price is £840 (SRP).
All Prices Are Guides Due to the Changes in US & European Exchange Rates