Optic Review: Zeiss Conquest DL Scopes

Timothy G. Yan
by Timothy G. Yan

The Zeiss Conquest DL series is an update of the Zeiss Duralyt series that was released a few years ago. Scopes of both series are made for the hunting and sporting market.

The optical design remained largely unchanged other than the addition of newer lens coatings on the updated models. The Zeiss Duralyt models were placed in between Zeiss’ top-end Victory series and the mid-end Conquest line. However, in the USA, it was marketed as the Conquest Duralyt since the Conquest name is better known in the American market.

The Zeiss Conquest DL series consist of three models: 1.2-5x36mm, 2-8x42mm and 3-12x50mm. Each of those three models are available in the illuminated or the slightly cheaper non-illuminated version. I see no point in getting the non-illuminated version. The illumination system is one of the best features of the Zeiss Conquest DL scopes.

All three illuminated Zeiss Conquest DL models feature digital illumination control. The system is powered by a single common CR2032 lithium battery with a battery life over 100 hours. Press either button to turn it on and hold both for a few seconds to turn it off. I found the battery storage on the top easy to access and the cap is very secure.

The Zeiss Conquest DL 2-8x42mm model is the general all around model in the line up. At low magnification, the eyebox is large and the field of view at high magnification is generous. The bright illumination makes it very usable even with a busy rocky or bushy background.

The Zeiss Conquest DL’s daylight visible illumination in action. The center dot has roughly the size of 1/3 MOA and it’s great for extreme precision shots. Zeiss used their patented micro fiber-optic technology in the reticle. The fiber-optic is so small that it’s laminated inside of the reticle’s vertical line of the crosshair.

Illumination is off with no big dot in the middle. Like I mentioned above the micro fiber-optic Zeiss used for illumination is smaller than the crosshair lines. The reticle is a Zeiss 60 and this style of reticle is very popular with hunters in Europe. The Zeiss Conquest DL should be good for dangerous-game hunt. I found the combination of its large field of view and a daylignt illuminated fine reticle is great for tracking a fast moving target.

Optically, I would say the Conquest DL is almost as good as the top-end Victory series. While, the Zeiss Victory line has more models and better lens coating it’s also near doubling the price. Zeiss limited Conquest DL model to non-BDC reticles on SFP only and with small low-profile plastic adjustment turrets. There is the optional ASV targeting turret upgrade available for the Conquest DL but I found the adjustment range is rather limiting compared to the more expensive Zeiss Victory models.

Zeiss Conquest DL 3-12x50mm scope mounted on Remington 700 in 300 Win Mag. I prefer the mid-size 2-8x42mm model on this rifle. I had no problem hitting 1000 yard steel plate torso size target with either models. However, the lack of the hashmarks on its reticle wouldn’t make the Zeiss Conquest DL a good targeting rifle optic without the ASV target turret upgrade. The smaller 1.2-5x36mm model actually makes a decent tactical scope on a modern semi-automatic sporting rifle.

Zeiss Conquest DL Specification:
Magnification: 1.2-5x, 2-8x and 3-12x
Objective: 36mm, 42mm and 50mm
Tube size: 30mm
Parallax: Fixed 100 m/yd
Eye relief: 3.54 inch/90mm
Exit Pupil: 1.2-5x36mm: 16-7.7mm, 2-8x42mm: 16.3-5.3mm, 3-12x50mm: 16.3-4.2mm
Adjustment: 1/3 MOA/10mm per click
Length: 11.89-in for the 1.2-5x36mm and 2-8x42mm models, 13.66-in for the 3-12x50mm model
Weight: 1.2-5x36mm: 18.16 oz, 2-8x42mm: 18.34 oz, 3-12x50mm: 20.46 oz.
Price: $1200-$1300

Zeiss Website

Timothy G. Yan
Timothy G. Yan

Writer and gear editor with articles published in major gun publications. A five year combat veteran of the US Marine Corps, Tim is also part of Point & Shoot Media Works, a producer of photography, video and web media for the firearms and shooting sport industry. Tim's direct contact: Tyan.TFB -at- gmail.com

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  • Oldtrader3 Oldtrader3 on Feb 18, 2016

    The DL Model Zeiss is a more mechanically robust scope than the Duralyte scopes were. Many of the early Duralyte's had mechanical issues and were only 4x zoom. Personally, I own and use Zeiss Diavari, HD5 (3-12x42) and Conquest scopes. I own and prefer the Diavari Victory's and HD5 Conquest's because they have the *T (Tessar) lens coatings for high contrast and resolution. These models also have the Lotutec coatings which make the lenses waterproof and hydroscopic. I also use and am very fond of Leica HD5 scopes and have two of the 2.5-10x42 scopes. I do not use the Zeiss lighted reticle #60 or Leica I(lluminated) models because in the US, we seldom can hunt legally after 1/2 hour after sunset for big game and they extra $500 cost does not make sense for me.

  • Timo Timo on Feb 19, 2016

    These are going to be hugely popular in Finland because they offer the best low light capabilities (optically and reticlewise) in this price range. Reticle #60 is terrific when hunting small game like fox and raccoon dog at dusk.

    • Iksnilol Iksnilol on Feb 19, 2016

      @Timo I like Zeiss but wish they'd make something with a chevron and hash marks.