Schmidt vs NF vs Tangent Theta, what to buy

Aug 28, 2013
175
1
18
Dublin, OH
#1
I have a Tac Ops coming soon and debating between Schmidt 5-25 with gen 2xr, Tangent Theta 5-25 or a NF ATACR 5-25 with mil R. I have the money saved up for any of them. Any experience with all of these and am I nuts considering the Tangent?
 
Feb 13, 2017
31
11
8
Canada
#2
I have the ATACR ( though I recommend Mil-C over Mil -R ) and the SB and I’ve reviewed the TT. In my view the TT is overpriced and comes with limited reticle choices. I’d take SB for pure glass over ATACR but the NF has other features that you might consider more important. I’d also recommend Minox ZP5 - glass like SB, modern turrets like NF and a design like the original TT ( Premier / Optronika ).
 
Feb 7, 2013
2,249
591
113
The West
#3
I have the ATACR ( though I recommend Mil-C over Mil -R ) and the SB and I’ve reviewed the TT. In my view the TT is overpriced and comes with limited reticle choices. I’d take SB for pure glass over ATACR but the NF has other features that you might consider more important. I’d also recommend Minox ZP5 - glass like SB, modern turrets like NF and a design like the original TT ( Premier / Optronika ).
I sold my SBs - wish I had not. Honestly, they have it figured out.

My ATACR was mil R, too thick for me. Parallax was finicky Glass not any better than my old ER25.
 

longshot2000

Sniper's Hide Dealer: CHARLIE'S
Feb 19, 2017
1,230
110
63
Northern VA
charliescustomclones.com
#4
lots of tough choices. My vote, similar to @Tomokochan : save a few dolllars. S&B, Minox, Steiner and NF are all great options. I deal in tactical weapons and scopes, and FWIW, the USMC snipers are moving to NF on their .300 WM bolt guns, away from S&B. It is probably a cost thing, as I think they are both fantastic.

For you, alot depends on how you want to use your scope. S&B is probably my go-to favorite. It is tough and great glass. NF is tougher, and glass is almost as good, or just as good. Steiner Military is right up there. Minox is better glass, but not the durability. Hard to pick.
 

TheGerman

Oberleutnant
Jan 25, 2010
3,987
1,342
113
Out West
#6
Diminishing returns. I've had basically everything, and what I didn't own, I've been able to use in the field.

I'm past the point of using a weapon and worrying if its a Vortex, or a Leupold or a S&B or whatever; as long as they track and I know what needs to happen for the round to get there, whatever. You're not going to magically make a hit when you missed by 8 inches because you spent more money on another optic unless it had to do with tracking; and you should have known that already.

At some point, the extra cost doesn't do you any better once you hit a certain line. If its a specific feature or reticle or whatever you're after that's one thing, but overall once you hit that line its all relative.
 
Jan 23, 2008
106
7
18
Northern Calif. USA
#7
The German nailed it! I own all those the USO ER25, Mil C NF, and the Schmidt! They all track and that is the key for me and I've never had to send them back! Knock on wood :). If you can look through one that appeals to you the most. A lot of great vendors and threads about each. Oh yeah, you're not nuts, you just got a TacOps! Good luck
 
Feb 19, 2017
182
46
28
#8
I have the ATACR ( though I recommend Mil-C over Mil -R ) and the SB and I’ve reviewed the TT. In my view the TT is overpriced and comes with limited reticle choices. I’d take SB for pure glass over ATACR but the NF has other features that you might consider more important. I’d also recommend Minox ZP5 - glass like SB, modern turrets like NF and a design like the original TT ( Premier / Optronika ).
Would a SKMR3 reticle in TT change your mind? I would be very , very interested to know. Thanks!
 

Basher

Sergeant
Dec 13, 2004
935
367
63
32
Mesa AZ, USA
#9
Of the three that you list, I'd go with the Schmidt. I have that exact one, and so far I like it a lot (though I have very limited time behind it thus far). The TT is too rich for my blood, and what features it offers above the S&B don't offset the cost, IMO. I'm sure the glass is mind blowing, but I'm more interested in tracking, reliability, and robustness, and pretty much any "Tier 1" scope will possess those traits, so it's not worth the premium in my mind.

As for NF, I've been hearing stellar things about them since the days when the NXS was the hottest thing since sliced bread, but I've never owned one. I've fondled many, and the rotating ocular has always been a turn off for me. Perhaps if I actually had a chance to run one for a bit, I'd learn it wasn't an issue like I think it is, but time will tell. I can also state that the Mil-R is one of my least favorite reticles currently on the market. I can't exactly pin down why, but I could list a dozen other reticles I'd rather have over a Mil-R. The Mil-C is much better, IMO. Not that the Mil-R doesn't work, as many have proven it works quite well, but the reticle is what you interface with most in a scope. Better pick one that you like!
 

hypno02

Not Politically Correct
Jul 23, 2006
935
91
28
South Dakota
#11
I really cant figure out why guys hate the rotating NF ocular. It's FASTER than a PTL and easier to find under stress. I honestly hope they never switch this design.

PS If your shitty butler creeks don't work with the ocular, then get some tenabrex's that rotate. You'll break the butlers anyways.

OP--I've spend a bunch of time behind the NF. As have a ton of close friends. A small amount behind a TT. And hardly any time behind a SB. The NF track record for unwavering durability would make it hard for me to pick another at a premium over the NF. And yes the Mil-R sucks. Go mil-C or H59.
 
Likes: Basher

scott_gresham

Online Training Member
Jan 1, 2018
113
59
28
42
Argyle, Texas
thesuicidebunny.net
#12
I have all three of those optics currently, and, in my opinion, they all have their pluses and minuses. The glass on both the TT and the SB is out of this world. All three scopes track well. The only negative to me of any of the scopes is that, to my eyes, the eye relief on the ATACR is very finicky. In addition, the glass is the worst of those three, which does not mean it is bad. The TT is my newest scope, so I'm using it the most. I love the eye relief on it, and the parallax is amazing, as is the glass. In my opinion though, you cannot go wrong with any of your choices. Choose the reticle you like.
 

Basher

Sergeant
Dec 13, 2004
935
367
63
32
Mesa AZ, USA
#13
I really cant figure out why guys hate the rotating NF ocular. It's FASTER than a PTL and easier to find under stress. I honestly hope they never switch this design.

PS If your shitty butler creeks don't work with the ocular, then get some tenabrex's that rotate. You'll break the butlers anyways.

OP--I've spend a bunch of time behind the NF. As have a ton of close friends. A small amount behind a TT. And hardly any time behind a SB. The NF track record for unwavering durability would make it hard for me to pick another at a premium over the NF. And yes the Mil-R sucks. Go mil-C or H59.
And there's my problem, up until I got my S&B, I was using BC flipups. :ROFLMAO: Like I said, I'm certain it's just me. It's also been a good, long while since I've had the chance to use an NF, so my feelings on it likely have changed. If anything, the Mil-R has been the deal breaker, but the Mil-C removes that as well. And while I generally prefer a tree-type reticle, non-tree types run just fine. Dang, maybe I need to get an NF sometime soon!
 

hypno02

Not Politically Correct
Jul 23, 2006
935
91
28
South Dakota
#14
And there's my problem, up until I got my S&B, I was using BC flipups. :ROFLMAO: Like I said, I'm certain it's just me. It's also been a good, long while since I've had the chance to use an NF, so my feelings on it likely have changed. If anything, the Mil-R has been the deal breaker, but the Mil-C removes that as well. And while I generally prefer a tree-type reticle, non-tree types run just fine. Dang, maybe I need to get an NF sometime soon!
Haha right! There's nothing better than being in the middle of a high stress stage/multiple target situation and being able to adjust your magnification by twisting your ocular like a lonely freshman night in the dorms.
 
Jan 5, 2014
1,106
159
63
Wabaunsee, KS
#16
One thing I didn't see anyone mention is that the TT can remove parallax from 250yds and out without having to be reset. The TT was designed with that goal and the goal was achieved.

My recent scope choice was NF 7-35x T3 though the Kahles 6-24x SKMR3 amd TT g2xr were close seconds. The decision was made based on reticle. I wanted to try the wind dots and I'm glad I did. And I updated another scope to a T3 so I would have two.

But I looked at the g2xr reticle again and I think it would work for no dial shooting up to a point and now that I know about the parallax thing, I'm adding it back to the list for the next scope.

As to the Tenabrex, I have to take the front one off before I go to the field. I need the front one to open in a specific direction (3 o'clock) to support NV/thermal clipons and it is loose at 3. Maybe I can figure out how to adjust it? But considering looking for something lower tech ... though I hope not BC, they were bad ... with the new material they are worse.

So for dial style shooting, I would definitely go with the TT. For no dial actually these days, I'm looking at the DTR scopes.
 
Likes: scott_gresham
Nov 24, 2013
1,065
135
63
Dallas
#17
Honestly, at the level you're talking about, it's a Ford/Chevy/Dodge decision... all of them will get the job done, and it's just a question of which features appeal to you most as far as reticle selection (a notorious weak point of the TT; kinda like the old saying about the Model T, you can get a TT with any reticle you want as long as it's a Gen II XR), turrets, etc... Out of the optics you have listed, the only one with which I have any experience is the TT, and I don't have anything bad to say about it; I have found other reticles that I prefer to the Gen II XR, but it's certainly not a show-stopper for me.

One thought that I have in regard to toughness, etc... is that you have to be honest with yourself regarding your likely use of the rifle. Are you going to be dragging your $7500+ rifle/optic through the mud, hiking the back country with it, etc..., or are you going to primarily carry it in a case to and from your truck (or four-wheeler or whatever)? While no one wants gear that is likely to let him down, I have come to realize that for my uses, I can compromise on bulletproof durability for glass quality/reticle selection/control features. I'm honestly very gentle with my rifles, and while accidents can/do happen, they're the exception rather than the rule for me. Just my $.02.
 

Nik H

Constantly Learning
Jan 22, 2014
3,944
1,795
113
Rhode Island
#18
I’ve owned the NF and the Bender (Still do)

I would look at the 7-35 NF MIL-C versus the 5-25 with Gen II XR. This is what I use on my AI AT. I think on a whole it is better than the S&B. Both are better than the 5-25 ATACR which I also owned for a bit but then sold. Optically, I find the 7-35 and S&B 5-25 close. It is personal preference what you find better. They both track incredibly well. However the MIL-C reticle and the NF zero stop mechanism along with the turret legibility and extra magnification caused me to move the S&B from the AT to my AR10.

I have no experience with the TT but I can’t reconcile spending an extra thousand over the NF and $1,500 over the Bender for the TT. All I see that you get is no tunnel effect below 7X, tooless zero and ???? I still always consider it whenever I look at new glass. Now that they will be offering new reticles, I may change my mind
 

scott_gresham

Online Training Member
Jan 1, 2018
113
59
28
42
Argyle, Texas
thesuicidebunny.net
#19
One thing I didn't see anyone mention is that the TT can remove parallax from 250yds and out without having to be reset. The TT was designed with that goal and the goal was achieved.

My recent scope choice was NF 7-35x T3 though the Kahles 6-24x SKMR3 amd TT g2xr were close seconds. The decision was made based on reticle. I wanted to try the wind dots and I'm glad I did. And I updated another scope to a T3 so I would have two.

But I looked at the g2xr reticle again and I think it would work for no dial shooting up to a point and now that I know about the parallax thing, I'm adding it back to the list for the next scope.

As to the Tenabrex, I have to take the front one off before I go to the field. I need the front one to open in a specific direction (3 o'clock) to support NV/thermal clipons and it is loose at 3. Maybe I can figure out how to adjust it? But considering looking for something lower tech ... though I hope not BC, they were bad ... with the new material they are worse.

So for dial style shooting, I would definitely go with the TT. For no dial actually these days, I'm looking at the DTR scopes.
You are exactly right about the parallax on the Theta, and that is what I was referring to when I said the parallax adjustment was amazing. If you generally shoot over 250 yards, it’s just one leas thing to worry about, and I also think it is something that people don’t give alot of thought about until they try it. I think it’s my favorite aspect of the optic.
 

CSTactical

Sniper's Hide Vendor
Nov 18, 2009
5,896
300
83
Elk Grove, CA
www.CSTACTICAL.com
#21
I have a Tac Ops coming soon and debating between Schmidt 5-25 with gen 2xr, Tangent Theta 5-25 or a NF ATACR 5-25 with mil R. I have the money saved up for any of them. Any experience with all of these and am I nuts considering the Tangent?

All three are great options with Pros and Cons to each, we'd be happy to discuss them over the phone and help you decide from there. :cool:
 

wjm308

Send it!
Nov 30, 2012
1,997
775
113
Black Forest, CO
#22
Many have already mentioned that at this level they're all going to be really good. TT pretty much represents the best of the best but if you still want that amazing glass but want to save about $1500 then take a look at the Minox ZP5 5-25 (only the ZP5 line has the optical formula like the TT/Premier), next up in glass quality would be Schmidt & Bender and then the NF after that; however, they're all going to be amazing.

This is my recommendation, find the reticle that you think you'll benefit the most from and choose that scope. One other thing to keep in mind is that Kahles is very soon to ship their K525i which may prove to be a phenomenal scope and then hopefully within a few months we'll see the ZCO ZC527 which also promises to be amazing, that being said neither of these scopes have made it into anyone's hands so at this point we're just postulating on how good they'll be, the proof will come when they finally get into shooters hands.
 

koshkin

Dark Lord Of Optics
Feb 22, 2006
1,490
761
113
Los Angeles
www.opticsthoughts.com
#25
Many have already mentioned that at this level they're all going to be really good. TT pretty much represents the best of the best but if you still want that amazing glass but want to save about $1500 then take a look at the Minox ZP5 5-25 (only the ZP5 line has the optical formula like the TT/Premier), next up in glass quality would be Schmidt & Bender and then the NF after that; however, they're all going to be amazing.

This is my recommendation, find the reticle that you think you'll benefit the most from and choose that scope. One other thing to keep in mind is that Kahles is very soon to ship their K525i which may prove to be a phenomenal scope and then hopefully within a few months we'll see the ZCO ZC527 which also promises to be amazing, that being said neither of these scopes have made it into anyone's hands so at this point we're just postulating on how good they'll be, the proof will come when they finally get into shooters hands.
To be clear: TT and Minox are not the same optics. Both are excellent, TT is a little better. I think TT turrets are notably better than everything else out there right now. Kahles might be the closest. You definitely pay a premium for the Tangent Theta, and whether it is worth it is a personal choice.

With scopes in this price range, you pay a lot more money for small differences. In terms of bang for the buck, I have seen 5-25x56 S&Bs go for $2500 or so recently and that is a very good deal. That having been said, my Tangent Theta is not going off my rifle until the new reticle comes out later this year at which point I will upgrade to a new Tangent Theta with the new reticle.

Now, once I get my hands onto the new TT, I will try to do a comparison against the ZCO and K525i, so if the new scopes are better I will be the first one to admit it. For now, from what I have seen, optomechanically, Tangent Theta is the best scope on the market right now.

ILya
 

wjm308

Send it!
Nov 30, 2012
1,997
775
113
Black Forest, CO
#26
To be clear: TT and Minox are not the same optics.
I apologize if I made it sound like the ZP5 and TT were the same optic, you are correct ILya, they are not the same; however, they share very similar characteristics as they both come from the lineage of Premier or more precisely Optronika whom Minox acquired specifically for the ZP5 line. What I was trying to point out is the fact that only the ZP5 line shares the Optronika touch and only the ZP5 is optically close to Tangent Theta, none of the other scopes within Minox's arsenal can make this claim as they were not designed by the Optronika group. Reticles, tubes and turrets are going to be different but since the specs have no variation between the parent scope (Premier) and the TT and ZP5 5-25's I would assume the same optical formula was used for all 3, glass and multicoating differences aside of course. Am I wrong to make this assumption?
 

SLG

Gunny Sergeant
Sep 2, 2009
931
322
63
#27
If you're willing to spend TT money, for whatever reason, maybe wait a little longer and look at the Zero compromise?

I'm a NF man myself, but that's because I value ruggedness and tracking over anything else, and NF comes in at a good price in my book. Nice glass is nice too.
 

koshkin

Dark Lord Of Optics
Feb 22, 2006
1,490
761
113
Los Angeles
www.opticsthoughts.com
#28
I apologize if I made it sound like the ZP5 and TT were the same optic, you are correct ILya, they are not the same; however, they share very similar characteristics as they both come from the lineage of Premier or more precisely Optronika whom Minox acquired specifically for the ZP5 line. What I was trying to point out is the fact that only the ZP5 line shares the Optronika touch and only the ZP5 is optically close to Tangent Theta, none of the other scopes within Minox's arsenal can make this claim as they were not designed by the Optronika group. Reticles, tubes and turrets are going to be different but since the specs have no variation between the parent scope (Premier) and the TT and ZP5 5-25's I would assume the same optical formula was used for all 3, glass and multicoating differences aside of course. Am I wrong to make this assumption?
Not the same optical formula. Related, though.

ILya
 

wjm308

Send it!
Nov 30, 2012
1,997
775
113
Black Forest, CO
#33
Truth, one of the huge benefits is the eye-relief.
The Vortex AMG, the Kahles K624i/K525i, the Minox ZP5, the new ZCO ZC527 and the Schmidt & Benders also list a constant eye relief throughout the zoom range, now, whether or not it truly is constant may be debatable, but this is what their specs list.

Also, FourT, help educate me because I am unfamiliar with the term "non-translating turrets"?
 

B-P-UU

Full Member
Feb 13, 2017
642
86
28
#37
The Vortex AMG, the Kahles K624i/K525i, the Minox ZP5, the new ZCO ZC527 and the Schmidt & Benders also list a constant eye relief throughout the zoom range, now, whether or not it truly is constant may be debatable, but this is what their specs list.

Also, FourT, help educate me because I am unfamiliar with the term "non-translating turrets"?
The elevation turret moves upwards with respect to turret housing as its dialed UP.. think nut on a bolt as its unscrewed.

This isn't really and issue as there is still a index mark to reference.. just different from TT or Minox
 

wjm308

Send it!
Nov 30, 2012
1,997
775
113
Black Forest, CO
#41
The elevation turret moves upwards with respect to turret housing as its dialed UP.. think nut on a bolt as its unscrewed.

This isn't really and issue as there is still a index mark to reference.. just different from TT or Minox
Thanks B-P, so you're saying that "non-translating turrets" means the turret will stay in the same place regardless of how much it is spun up or down, vs. other scopes where the turret will actually rise or fall based on number of revolutions?
 

B-P-UU

Full Member
Feb 13, 2017
642
86
28
#42
Thanks B-P, so you're saying that "non-translating turrets" means the turret will stay in the same place regardless of how much it is spun up or down, vs. other scopes where the turret will actually rise or fall based on number of revolutions?
Correct.
 
Jan 26, 2014
370
121
43
Colorado
#44
The elevation turret moves upwards with respect to turret housing as its dialed UP.. think nut on a bolt as its unscrewed.

This isn't really and issue as there is still a index mark to reference.. just different from TT or Minox
S&B DT knobs do not move up and down as they are dialed. I can't tell if that was being implied or not.
 

Long Range 338

Professional Ammo Waster
Jul 10, 2012
396
49
28
Out West
#45
Having had both S&B and TT I can tell you I currently own 1 TT and no S&Bs. I've got the older NXS models but haven't even had hands on the new ATACR or BEAST. Of course all are awesome optics. I put the TT on a multi caliber rifle for ease of rezero (and because I think the Gen 2 XR is a great reticle). Dollar for dollar the S&Bs are a great option but all around the TT was a better fit for me based on my preferences:
-Tracking (both are proven)
-Turrets (TT is awesome and the tool less rezero sealed the deal for me)
-Glass (TT seemed better to me, of course this is subjective)
-Reticle (SB has more choices but I like the Gen 2XR so not a problem)
 
Feb 13, 2017
347
51
28
#46
The Vortex AMG, the Kahles K624i/K525i, the Minox ZP5, the new ZCO ZC527 and the Schmidt & Benders also list a constant eye relief throughout the zoom range, now, whether or not it truly is constant may be debatable, but this is what their specs list.

Also, FourT, help educate me because I am unfamiliar with the term "non-translating turrets"?
"Listing" only one eye-relief distance on the spec sheet isn't the same thing as actually having a constant eye relief. I've used plenty of scopes that list eye relief as one number, but in practice the eye relief changes as you zoom in/out. Not commenting on NF or Minox or Kahles or S&B specifically. One just needs to do the research on whatever scopes one considers.

But I will say it can be more than a little intrusive when going from 15x to 25x and all of a sudden you need to change your cheek weld because your sight picture disappears.
 
Last edited:
Likes: rockwind1

bwahl

Sergeant of the Hide
Jan 22, 2018
104
13
18
Bismarck, ND
#49
I really cant figure out why guys hate the rotating NF ocular. It's FASTER than a PTL and easier to find under stress. I honestly hope they never switch this design.

PS If your shitty butler creeks don't work with the ocular, then get some tenabrex's that rotate. You'll break the butlers anyways.

OP--I've spend a bunch of time behind the NF. As have a ton of close friends. A small amount behind a TT. And hardly any time behind a SB. The NF track record for unwavering durability would make it hard for me to pick another at a premium over the NF. And yes the Mil-R sucks. Go mil-C or H59.

I actually kind of like the rotating ocular as well and agree it's faster. All my rifles primary purpose is hunting and it's nice to just grab anywhere on the ocular and twist to adjust mag. Gloves, not looking, whatever, just grab and twist.
 

918v

Manipulated by Variables
Jul 15, 2007
1,815
119
63
Miserable CA
#50
To be clear: TT and Minox are not the same optics. Both are excellent, TT is a little better. I think TT turrets are notably better than everything else out there right now. Kahles might be the closest. You definitely pay a premium for the Tangent Theta, and whether it is worth it is a personal choice.

With scopes in this price range, you pay a lot more money for small differences. In terms of bang for the buck, I have seen 5-25x56 S&Bs go for $2500 or so recently and that is a very good deal. That having been said, my Tangent Theta is not going off my rifle until the new reticle comes out later this year at which point I will upgrade to a new Tangent Theta with the new reticle.

Now, once I get my hands onto the new TT, I will try to do a comparison against the ZCO and K525i, so if the new scopes are better I will be the first one to admit it. For now, from what I have seen, optomechanically, Tangent Theta is the best scope on the market right now.

ILya
In what way is the TT better than Minox optically?
 
Top Bottom