Rifle Scopes Schmidt & Bender Polar/Ultra Bright

Pronghunter

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Anyone have experience between the two? Looking for the best low light optic I can get that has the build quality, turrets, etc as these two.
Not sure if there is something better….but I can get an Ultra Bright for about $2600 right now, but the Polar is still at that $4k.
 

tsu45

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I have the ultra 3-12. First season with it and I’ve only hunted it a couple times.

You can definitely notice a difference at dawn and dusk. I have Minox and Kahles that I’ve hunted a considerable amount with. Even with those scopes, at the very edges of legal shooting time I’m thinking “how the hell do they let people hunt when it’s this dark.” Can hunt straight through those times with good target ID with the ultra.
 

tsu45

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I snagged the only one on Eurooptics. Plus, it’s MOA and I know I’m the only one on the planet it seems that still uses MOA.
I bought a MIL from them for 2699, but haven’t seen many since
 

Pronghunter

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The SB Ultra bright in 16x and the Z8i in 18x will both be here tomorrow. Beyond excited to finally find out for myself which of these two are brighter in low light. I know which is a better build/feature rich optic, but Ive been wanting to figure the low light thing out for sometime. I thought it was strange that Jerry from S&B talked me into the Ultra Bright over the Polar T96. He mentioned the human eye couldn’t discern the difference between the two in light transmission. It will be interesting to compare these two to all my other top tier or close
To top tier optics.
 

tsu45

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The SB Ultra bright in 16x and the Z8i in 18x will both be here tomorrow. Beyond excited to finally find out for myself which of these two are brighter in low light. I know which is a better build/feature rich optic, but Ive been wanting to figure the low light thing out for sometime. I thought it was strange that Jerry from S&B talked me into the Ultra Bright over the Polar T96. He mentioned the human eye couldn’t discern the difference between the two in light transmission. It will be interesting to compare these two to all my other top tier or close
To top tier optics.

Interesting they mentioned a difference between the UB and Polar. I was under the impression they were the exact same glass/coatings/internals with the body and turrets being different.
 

Langford

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The SB Ultra bright in 16x and the Z8i in 18x will both be here tomorrow. Beyond excited to finally find out for myself which of these two are brighter in low light. I know which is a better build/feature rich optic, but Ive been wanting to figure the low light thing out for sometime. I thought it was strange that Jerry from S&B talked me into the Ultra Bright over the Polar T96. He mentioned the human eye couldn’t discern the difference between the two in light transmission. It will be interesting to compare these two to all my other top tier or close
To top tier optics.

Good luck discerning which is “better” in low light 😂. They look different, different color hue, different eye box, but both are excellent when the sun begins to set.

Edited to clarify, I have the Polar 4-16, not the UB.

Did you order the Ballistic turret for the z8i? Well worth the cost in my opinion. Takes any guess work or thought out of different range shots in a quick hunting situation. I have my 6.5 cm zeroed at 100, and have the turret set for 200, 300, 400 & 500…perfect for a hunting rifle.
 

Pronghunter

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Good luck discerning which is “better” in low light 😂. They look different, different color hue, different eye box, but both are excellent when the sun begins to set.

Edited to clarify, I have the Polar 4-16, not the UB.

Did you order the Ballistic turret for the z8i? Well worth the cost in my opinion. Takes any guess work or thought out of different range shots in a quick hunting situation. I have my 6.5 cm zeroed at 100, and have the turret set for 200, 300, 400 & 500…perfect for a hunting rifle.
Thanks. Pretty excited to see how they compare.

I have a set of turrets from customscopeturrets coming for the Z8i
 
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Langford

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Thanks. Pretty excited to see how they compare.

I have a set of turrets from customscopeturrets coming for the Z8i

So they send an etched turret based off of your provided dope? Any reason you went that route vs swaro’s turret that you can set yourself?
My z8i started on a 6.5 Grendel and moved to a 6.5 creed, so I loved the fact that it only took a handful of shots and a few minutes to setup the turret for the new round.

Sorry for dragging this off topic
 

ALShooter

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I have the 4-16x56 ultra bright..
Eye box is super tight compared to my other scopes. Though the razor gen ii’s probably spoiled me. I noticed on my last AM hunt that near and at 16x the image washes out pretty bad in indirect sunlight. Ordered a S&B sunshade from Europe to see if it helps.

Also noticed that when I get the parallax out looking at say a squirrel at 50yd the center portion is in focus, however, the right side is a little out of focus. Been messing with fine tuning the ocular to see if it helps. Could just be my cheek weld. If I move around a little I can get it clear but that would mean there is zero error for eye placement. Just expected edge to edge clarity for the most part…

Interested in your comparison to the Z8i!
 
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Pronghunter

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I have the 4-16x56 ultra bright..
Eye box is super tight compared to my other scopes. Though the razor gen ii’s probably spoiled me. I noticed on my last AM hunt that near and at 16x the image washes out pretty bad in indirect sunlight. Ordered a S&B sunshade from Europe to see if it helps.

Also noticed that when I get the parallax out looking at say a squirrel at 50yd the center portion is in focus, however, the right side is a little out of focus. Been messing with fine tuning the ocular to see if it helps. Could just be my cheek weld. If I move around a little I can get it clear but that would mean there is zero error for eye placement. Just expected edge to edge clarity for the most part…

Interested in your comparison to the Z8i!
So this is crazy that you posted this. Identical to what I found!

The Swaro Z8 is delayed a day so I’ll have to wait. But here we go…..

The S&B Ultra Bright is the most disappointing optic (top tier) that I’ve looked through without question. Absolutely going back to Eurooptic. I just spent 3 hours with the Kahles 318/525’s, March, ATACR, Mark 5HD, NX8 and Minox ZP5. All starting at 2 hours before sunset to hour after dark. The FOV was terribly small it felt. A lot smaller than the Kahles which says something. The eye box was tighter than my NX8 and March….which says something. No matter how I set up the diopter and parallax (as instructed by S&B) I never could get the best image. With a high light transmission, it was considerably behind the Kahles and ZP5 after sunset. I honestly think every other optic in my group was brighter.

But, the most disappointing with the SB was the washout. As the sun was going down it was just not a usable. Anything over 8x was horrible. Just a white/haze glare. To the point you wouldn’t be able to use the scope. No exaggeration , worst glare control I’ve seen in an optic. Anything from directly into the suns to 90 degrees off was bad. Like bad bad. I’m a little taken back here honestly. I’m not sure how that optic made it to market.

The time when animals are active and light gathering matters the most is when that scope was the worst. Makes sense.
 
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ALShooter

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So this is crazy that you posted this. Identical to what I found!

The Swaro Z8 is delayed a day so I’ll have to wait. But here we go…..

The S&B Ultra Bright is the most disappointing optic (top tier) that I’ve looked through without question. Absolutely going back to Eurooptic. I just spent 3 hours with the Kahles 318/525’s, March, ATACR, Mark 5HD, NX8 and Minox ZP5. All starting at 2 hours before sunset to hour after dark. The FOV was terribly small it felt. A lot smaller than the Kahles which says something. The eye box was tighter than my NX8 and March….which says something. No matter how I set up the diopter and parallax (as instructed by S&B) I never could get the best image. With a high light transmission, it was considerably behind the Kahles and ZP5 after sunset. I honestly think every other optic in my group was brighter.

But, the most disappointing with the SB was the washout. As the sun was going down it was just not a usable. Anything over 8x was horrible. Just a white/haze glare. To the point you wouldn’t be able to use the scope. No exaggeration , worst glare control I’ve seen in an optic. Anything from directly into the suns to 90 degrees off was bad. Like bad bad. I’m a little taken back here honestly. I’m not sure how that optic made it to market.

The time when animals are active and light gathering matters the most is when that scope was the worst. Makes sense.
Glad to know it’s not just me! I thought I was just expecting too much. Luckily where I hunt the sun goes down behind the trees so I don’t get the glare in the final 30min. I am able to see past legal light so for that part it works fine. I was messing around with the ocular tuning when a young 8 point came out 40yds from me. Thankfully he was a couple years too young or I’d have been mad!
 

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Langford

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The eye box & FOV on the S&B is definitely less than stellar, on the Polar as well. That’s my only issue with the scope. I haven’t experienced the washout on mine, but that may be due to where I hunt & shoot, or an issue that’s more prominent on the UB. Sucks to hear how disappointed you were, I know that feeling well though…my 624i was a huge let down.

You’ll find the eye box on the z8i much more forgiving, it’s super easy to get behind.
 
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Pronghunter

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You’ll find the eye box on the z8i much more forgiving, it’s super easy to get behind.

Here’s a pic. Sun is down but not even close to dark out. If an animal were over behind the store in the picture, you’d never have been able to see it over 7-8 magnification.


Thanks. I’m excited for it.
Only reason I’ve been so hesitant over years on purchasing the Z6 and Z8 is they just never seemed all that stout or robust. But I’ll find out soon.
 

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ALShooter

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Here’s a pic. Sun is down but not even close to dark out. If an animal were over behind the store in the picture, you’d never have been able to see it over 7-8 magnification.


Thanks. I’m excited for it.
Only reason I’ve been so hesitant over years on purchasing the Z6 and Z8 is they just never seemed all that stout or robust. But I’ll find out soon.
Oh wow! Mine isn’t that bad… at least I don’t think it is. Mine only had white out near 16x and morning sun peeking through trees. Interesting!

I’m going to keep testing mine, can’t send it back lol. This is my first hunting season with it. Will be chasing quackers more this season so hopefully I’ll get some chances!
 

Langford

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Here’s a pic. Sun is down but not even close to dark out. If an animal were over behind the store in the picture, you’d never have been able to see it over 7-8 magnification.


Thanks. I’m excited for it.
Only reason I’ve been so hesitant over years on purchasing the Z6 and Z8 is they just never seemed all that stout or robust. But I’ll find out soon.
That’s wild, I’ve never seen a scope washout in conditions like that. Now I’m curious, I’ll get mine out one day this week and play around before/during the sunset to see what it does at 16x. I’ll try to snag some photos while I’m at it.
 

Langford

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you get your hands on the Swaro yet? Curious to hear what you think, don’t see many of these in the wild or hear many other opinions on them.
 

ALShooter

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you get your hands on the Swaro yet? Curious to hear what you think, don’t see many of these in the wild or hear many other opinions on them.
Hopefully is just ok lol. Wife may snuff me out in my sleep if I drop over $3k on another scope.
 
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Langford

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Hopefully is just ok lol. Wife may snuff me out in my sleep if I drop over $3k on another scope.
I’d almost rather have that at home 😂…my wife is fully supportive. “Go ahead and get it, you deserve it, I’m sure it’s awesome!”
(That way she doesn’t feel guilty for buying all of the shoes, coats, purses, and dozens of packages from Amazon that show up on a weekly basis).
 
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cjs88

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    you get your hands on the Swaro yet? Curious to hear what you think, don’t see many of these in the wild or hear many other opinions on them.
    I had a Z8i 2.3-18 and it was a fantastic, bright scope even at dusk/creeping in to full night. I only sold it to get a TT315M to have better turrets and FFP. Glass between all the high ends I've had, in my eyes have all been great with no discernible difference to me but I never had extended time behind them.
     
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    Langford

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    Good to know, the 2.3-18 z8i is still my favorite hunting scope, but I’ve been looking to add a tt315 to the collection also. Haven’t had the chance to get behind one yet.

    It’s sad/funny, I need to buy another rifle just to have a place to put a new scope that I want to try out 😂
     

    Xycod

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    So this is crazy that you posted this. Identical to what I found!

    The Swaro Z8 is delayed a day so I’ll have to wait. But here we go…..

    The S&B Ultra Bright is the most disappointing optic (top tier) that I’ve looked through without question. Absolutely going back to Eurooptic. I just spent 3 hours with the Kahles 318/525’s, March, ATACR, Mark 5HD, NX8 and Minox ZP5. All starting at 2 hours before sunset to hour after dark. The FOV was terribly small it felt. A lot smaller than the Kahles which says something. The eye box was tighter than my NX8 and March….which says something. No matter how I set up the diopter and parallax (as instructed by S&B) I never could get the best image. With a high light transmission, it was considerably behind the Kahles and ZP5 after sunset. I honestly think every other optic in my group was brighter.

    But, the most disappointing with the SB was the washout. As the sun was going down it was just not a usable. Anything over 8x was horrible. Just a white/haze glare. To the point you wouldn’t be able to use the scope. No exaggeration , worst glare control I’ve seen in an optic. Anything from directly into the suns to 90 degrees off was bad. Like bad bad. I’m a little taken back here honestly. I’m not sure how that optic made it to market.

    The time when animals are active and light gathering matters the most is when that scope was the worst. Makes sense.
    As to SB and the glare at power at or near dusk, most I’ve owned have had this problem, going all the way back to the mid 2000’s, anytime looking near the west at dusk, even indirectly, they have terrible glare at power, as in almost being unusable. This for me only happens on clear evenings and not usually on overcast evenings. Wonderful glass other that that, I don’t know if it’s in the baffling or what but it’s not new. For me personally as a hunter it’s a no go, especially for the coin they demand.
     
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    Pronghunter

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    As to SB and the glare at power at or near dusk, most I’ve owned have had this problem, going all the way back to the mid 2000’s, anytime looking near the west at dusk, even indirectly, they have terrible glare at power, as in almost being unusable. This for me only happens on clear evenings and not usually on overcast evenings. Wonderful glass other that that, I don’t know if it’s in the baffling or what but it’s not new. For me personally as a hunter it’s a no go, especially for the coin they demand.
    Me as a hunter, that’s exactly how I feel. I actually had mentioned this to a few others as well as S&B themselves. Everyones response was typical. “ show me a scope doesn’t do it.”

    My March, NX8, X5i, Mark5HD, ATACR, ZP5 and so on didn’t do it this particular evening. I was so intrigued by it, that I went in the house and grabbed several other objects just to compare. None of them did it.

    I’ll say I did have a conversation with Mr Huber on light transmission the week prior and he made perfect sense of scope manufactures light transmission and why such optics would have this issue.
     

    Xycod

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    Me as a hunter, that’s exactly how I feel. I actually had mentioned this to a few others as well as S&B themselves. Everyones response was typical. “ show me a scope doesn’t do it.”

    My March, NX8, X5i, Mark5HD, ATACR, ZP5 and so on didn’t do it this particular evening. I was so intrigued by it, that I went in the house and grabbed several other objects just to compare. None of them did it.

    I’ll say I did have a conversation with Mr Huber on light transmission the week prior and he made perfect sense of scope manufactures light transmission and why such optics would have this issue.
    I would think as many that use them that more would notice this, it’s been in most all the ones I’ve had over the years from classics, pm2’s, and zenith’s. As stated even many sub $500 scopes handle this better. I’m the ones I’ve had I t’s usually around 8x/10x and up to where the glare is so bad it’s not useable in that specific situation. Other than that they’re as stated by others, awesome glass. Best ting to do is avoid that particular situation if possible I guess if you’re going that route.
     
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    tsu45

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    If any of y’all unhappy with your 4-16 UBs want to trade for a Minox ZP5, hit me up.
     

    Graywolf.260

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    Me as a hunter, that’s exactly how I feel. I actually had mentioned this to a few others as well as S&B themselves. Everyones response was typical. “ show me a scope doesn’t do it.”

    My March, NX8, X5i, Mark5HD, ATACR, ZP5 and so on didn’t do it this particular evening. I was so intrigued by it, that I went in the house and grabbed several other objects just to compare. None of them did it.

    I’ll say I did have a conversation with Mr Huber on light transmission the week prior and he made perfect sense of scope manufactures light transmission and why such optics would have this issue.
    I have a couple of high transmission scopes, Zeiss Victory HT 2.5-10x50 and HT 3-12x56, and they don't have a glare issue. Hensoldt 4-16x56 is pretty good at handling glare also. The eyebox of the 3-12x56 is probably the best of any scope I've seen.