In her case, she didn’t need all the bells and whistles that you’ll find on the Diarange, but her partner, who ended up taking a bull while hunting in sleet sure did.
I just had an opportunity to play around with a Diarange last week while moose hunting in Canada. Sadly, the scope was not on my rifle, but I had more than enough hands-on time with it to come away with the following impressions:
Weight: The engineers at Zeiss were able to get the weight of the scope (pictured) down to 32 oz. That’s not super light, but it isn’t prohibitively heavy either for a sporting rifle.
Range finder: I don’t know exactly what electronics are being used for the internal range finder, but I do know this: they are very good. Target acquisition is very precise, very quick and worked just great out to 800 yards and beyond during my evaluation. To range you depress a stud that sits along side the scope housing. Impressive performance.
Moisture: The hydrophobic coating used on the Victory and Classic lines of Zeiss optics works very well. It is a thin (one molecule thick) layer of proprietary material that bonds to the anti-reflective coating on the lens surface. The hydrophobic coating makes the lens surface so smooth that water, fog and other forms of water vapor are unable to get a grip. The result is that moisture beads up and rolls off.
Reticle: In general, I’m not a big fan of scopes with ballistic compensating reticles. I think they’re more likely to confuse a shooter in the heat of the moment than help. That said, the Rapid Z reticle has a major advantage over other systems out there—namely that it is paired with the super accurate internal laser range finder. This lets the shooter range an animal and quickly adjust the hold without needing to lift an eye off the scope.
Illumination: Reticles that light up are rarely necessary in a scope. But that’s not to say they’re never useful. Shooting a black bear in low light against a background of dark timber would be one such occasion. The same goes for hunting in sleet on the tundra in low light. Caribou, anyone?