So what is the "plus" in the new Z8i+ riflescopes from Swarovski Optik? And what does the little "i" stand for? Mathias Haack from all4hunters.com looked into the matter directly on site, traveling to Absam in Tyrol, Austria, and asking Matthew Hicks, the product manager. In the conversation, there was a lot of practical advice – what an "optimized eyepiece" is, for example, and why a negative magnification (i.e. below 1.0x, such as 0.75x) can be something positive for hunting. First, let's talk numbers and data.
Swarovski Optik Z8i+ 1-8x24 and Z8i+ 0.75-6x20 in detail
all4hunters.com had already presented the latest products of the Austrian optics specialist in June. The 0.75 version of the Z8i+ comes with a 64.6-meter field of view at 100 meters, while the 1x version here offers a wide image of 50 meters at 100 meters. The eyepiece has also been redesigned, which should improve target acquisition on the one hand and visual comfort when looking through the lenses on the other. The 8x zoom allows the game to be identified even at correspondingly greater distances.
The zoom rotation has also been shortened to 160 degrees on the Z8i+ models. The ergonomic TL throw lever should provide faster and easier adjusting of the zoom ring. Available in black or orange, both levers are now included. The Swarovski Optik ClickOne function signals that 1x magnification has been reached on the 0.75 model with a tangible click. This is intended to ensure more intuitive operation. For example, if you quickly zoom down from the six-fold magnification under time pressure, you don't accidentally enter the negative range, but only after overcoming the detent. Incidentally, Swarovski Optik calls this area below the single magnification "VIEWPLUS".
Image gallery: Swarovski Optik Z8i+ 1-8x24 riflescope...
...and here is the smaller Swarovski Optik Z8i+ 0.75-6x20:
From our point of view, the biggest advantage of the new Plus models is the optimized eyepiece, which is even larger than in the previous series. The practical benefit for the user is that you can immediately acquire the reticle and have no problems finding your position behind the scope. This also applies, as Matthew Hicks explains in the video, if you quickly acquire the reticle with clothing of varying thicknesses in the shoulder area, for example. Changing eye relief normally leads to deceptive black edges in the field of view. Here, on the other hand, you always have the full and also greatly expanded field of view. Both scopes from the Z8i+ series play out their strengths especially at close range, because you can aim very quickly. Our conclusion: the market will have to measure itself against this series...
Prices: how much do the Swarovski Optik riflescopes in the new Z8i+ series cost?
The Swarovski Optik Z8i+ 0.75-6x20 comes with a current recommended retail price starting at 3,270 euros, while the slightly larger Z8i+ 1-8x24 starts at 2,980 euros (variations due to mount type and reticle option). You can find out more about the new Z8i+ driven hunt riflescopes and other products from Swarovski Optik on the manufacturer's website.