September 7th, 2022
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Zeiss Introduces New LRP S3 FFP Scopes — First Look
There’s a new premium First Focal Plane option for PRS/NRL competitors and long-range hunters. ZEISS has just introduced the all-new LRP S3 scope series, with 4-25X and 6-36X models, in both MRAD and MOA versions. These new scopes are impressive, with superb glass and best-in-class vertical elevation. And the prices are attractive, starting at $2199.99. You could pay a lot more for a top-tier FFP scope.
The new ZEISS LRP S3 optics for precision shooting and hunting boast impressive total elevation travel, advanced optics, daytime visible illuminated reticle, ballistic stop, and external locking windage turret. The product family consists of two models: ZEISS LRP S3 425-50 and LRP S3 636-56. Both are available in either Milliradian (MRAD) or minute-of-angle (MOA) configurations.
“With the LRP S3 we have expanded our successful long-range precision scope portfolio to provide more options for highly reliable and precise optics that are ready for competition”, stated Kyle Brown, Director of Marketing and Products for ZEISS Consumer Products USA. ZEISS LRP S3 first focal plane riflescopes are purpose-built for success in the world of long-range shooting and hunting.
New ZEISS LRP S3 636-56 Scopes MRAD and MOA
First Look Report by Keith Glasscock, Winning in the Wind
While the concept of “buy once, cry once” is a long-held tradition in the competition optics market, ZEISS is trying to break that mold. PRS/NRL competitors and long-range hunters favor first focal plane scopes with large magnification ratios and crystal clear optics. Most of the “alpha” scopes in this arena have price-tags of $4000 or more, but ZEISS is wading in with a more budget-friendly option — the ZEISS LRP S3 series. These new FFP 4-25X and 6-36X scopes have an ample 6x zoom ratio with MOA or MIL reticles (and corresponding click values). MSRPs are reasonable: $2499.99 for the 6-36X and $2199.99 for the 4-25X.
These new first focal plane LRP S3 optics feature the highest quality Schott glass from Germany, making them contenders for the brightest, clearest sight picture available. ZEISS promises “90% light transmission for a noticeably brighter image.”
I chose to review the LRP S3 6-36X models in both MOA and MIL formats. Like any top quality scope, the ZEISS offering is well packaged and properly protected for shipment. Upon opening the package, one is immediately struck with the diameter of the turrets. They are large and easy to grasp, unlike many of the competitor’s designs. A truly shooter-friendly feature for PRS shooters and hunters alike is the repositioning of the index marks for both the windage and parallax adjustments to the upper side of the scope body. This is a welcome feature, making pre-stage windage setting much easier.
The turrets are 10 MIL or 25 MOA per rotation, making it unlikely that the shooter will get lost while adjusting. If more than one rotation is needed, a nicely visible micrometer scale rests below the turret, to keep things oriented. The elevation knob features a zero stop to get you back to the starting point reliably, and the windage knob features a lock to prevent accidental adjustment. The turrets themselves have large, unmistakable markings that are easy to read, even without one’s reading glasses.
The scopes were mounted in ZEISS ultralight rings and placed on a double mount side-by-side on a tripod with one of the best pieces of glass the author owns — a Nightforce Competition 15-55x52mm. Looking across the river at the adjacent city 3 miles away told the tale. The Schott glass in the ZEISS was nearly identical in resolution and color to Nightforce’s Japanese glass. Moreover, the ZEISS collected more light, thanks to the larger 56mm objective and 34mm main tube. Through tough conditions on a hazy afternoon, the ZEISS had slightly better clarity than the Nightforce. A day later, looking into the evening sunset as a backdrop, they were identical to the author’s eye at both 36x and 15x respectively. Even the heavy mirage present didn’t seem to differentiate between the scopes.
With excellent HD quality glass, and good magnification options (4-25X and 6-36X), what is missing? Two things got my attention. The first was the lack of a sunshade as part of the scope. ZEISS offers sunshades separately at a reasonable cost, but they really should be offered as part of the scope package in my opinion. The second is the lack of range markings on the parallax knob. Setting parallax with range markings is not ideal, but can be quite helpful in shooting situations on the clock.
Impressive So Far, with More Testing to Come
The LRP S3 636-56 is an option-rich scope at a reasonable price for both PRS/NRL and hunting applications. Will it prove to rival the $4000 “alpha” scopes at a much lower and more affordable cost? We plan to answer that question with a detailed field test in the weeks ahead. Stay tuned. – Keith Glasscock
ZEISS LRP S3 Optics Key Features
Best-in-Class Total Elevation Travel
4-25x50mm: 46.5 MRAD / 160 MOA
6-36x56mm: 32.0 MRAD / 110 MOA
Advanced Optical Design — for a highly detailed and precise image
Ballistic Stop and External Locking Windage Turret for precise shot placement
Daylight Visible Illuminated Smart Reticle – quick and precise to read, with minimum target coverage and red or green illumination settings
Relatively Compact and Tested to Be Tough in Extreme Conditions
With its 34mm aluminum main tube mono-bloc housing, shock tested up to 1,500g-force, waterproofness up to 400 mbar, the LRP S3 is not only compact but also very robust. It is engineered for extreme usage in rough terrain. “The LRP S3 meets all requirements not only for long-range competitions but also for particularly demanding hunting situations over long distances”, notes Kyle Brown of ZEISS. And these scopes are cover the ZEISS’s Limited Lifetime Warranty and 5-Year No-Fault Policy.
USA Retail Pricing (for ZEISS Authorized USA Retailers):
LRP S3 425-50 [522675-9916-090] 4-25x50mm – ZF-MRi Reticle (#16) 0.1 MRAD clicks: $2,199.99
LRP S3 425-50 [522665-9917-090] 4-25x50mm – ZF-MOAi Reticle (#17) 0.25 MOA clicks: $2,199.99
LRP S3 636-56 [522695-9916-090] 6-36x56mm – ZF-MRi Reticle (#16) 0.1 MRAD clicks: $2,499.99
LRP S3 636-56 [522685-9917-090] 6-36x56mm – ZF-MOAi Reticle (#17) 0.25 MOA clicks: $2,499.99
Availability: All ZEISS LRP S3 models — LRP S3 425-50 and 636-56 both MRAD and MOA versions — will be available at authorized ZEISS retailers beginning early October 2022 for the North American markets. For more information about the ZEISS LRP S3 scopes, visit www.zeiss.com/lrp-s3.
Tags: Carl Zeiss Sport Optics, Keith Glasscock, LRP S3 Zeiss, LRP S5 Zeiss, Winning in the Wind, Zeiss, Zeiss Scope test