Meopta Optika5 review

Review: Meopta Optika5 2-10×42 rifle scope


Meopta’s Optika5 line of riflescopes is built to appeal to the serious hunter and provide quality at a reasonable price.

Since visiting the Meopta factory in Austria several decades ago, I’ve been using their optics regularly.

The quality is so good that some of the big-name European optics makers have found it economical to not only use Meopta lenses, but have products made by Meopta and sold under their own name. That should tell you how good Meopta is!

Aussie hunters took to Meopta riflescopes like ducks to water, recognising quality of workmanship, design innovation, optical performance and overall value for money. 

The 2-10×42 Z-Plex I evaluated has a lightweight one-piece, aircraft-grade, one-inch main tube anodised matte black. This scope avoids a common pitfall associated with many high-range variables — an oversize objective lens. 

In my opinion, Meopta’s Optika5 range realistically offers a nice balance of size and power. The 2-10x has a 42mm objective, the 3-15x is 44mm and the 4-20x is complemented by a 50mm objective which is as large as you need on a hunting scope.

Meopta Optika5 review
The Optika5 in 2-10×42 is just the right blend of size and power for a hunting rifle

When light is directed through glass, some of its is lost to reflection. All things being equal, however, a scope’s brightness is largely dependent on the size of its exit pupil, which is derived from its objective lens diameter being divided by its magnification. 

The human eye is capable of only dilating to 5-7mm, so any exit pupil greater than that is wasted light. Due to its 42mm objective, the Optika5 has an exit pupil of 10.3mm at 2x and 4.2 at 10x, still a usable amount of light in most hunting conditions.

The body is completely sealed, nitrogen purged and the finish is non-glare and scratch-resistant — ready for hard field use in varying climatic conditions. 

Meopta Optika5 review
The Meotpa Optika5 is finished in a strong, matte black coating

Better still, exterior lens surfaces have a hydrophobic coating which sheds water, dirt and grease. Essentially, it forces moisture into forming round droplets instead of flat ones, and these spheres of water slide right off the lens.

Hunters demand the highest level of light transmission along with accurate colour rendition and fine resolution. The Optika5 delivers excellent resolution, and very neutral colour rendition. 

What gives this line its superior optical performance, however, is Meopta’s proprietary lens coating, called MB-550. 

Meopta Optika5 review
Nick has been using Meopta optics on a regular basis and is impressed by them

This is an ion-assisted multi-layer lens coating that promotes a denser anti-reflective coating on all lens surfaces, providing increased light transmission and a brighter image. 

This exclusive coating reduces reflection on all air-to-glass surfaces, which translates to an overall light transmission rating of 91 percent from objective lens to eyepiece.

Optika5 riflescopes feature four popular glass-etched reticle configurations, an enlarged power-change ring and turret knobs, and ¼-MOA windage and elevation adjustments.

The 2-10x42mm is a good specification for a scope to be used for hunting big game at a variety of distances. Field of view runs from 18.6 to 3.8 metres at 100 metres. Overall length is 300mm, weight is 590 grams, and eye relief is a long 90mm. 

The scope has a decent amount of mountable tube length — 132mm out of its total length of 226mm.

Meopta Optika5 review
The Z-Plex reticle (left) is simple and good. This Optika5 is also available with the Z-Plus (right)

The reticle in this one is the universally popular duplex-type, which Meopta calls Z-Plex. The crosswires start out quite thick at the edge of the field of view and then become a lot thinner in the centre. 

This design is versatile since the thick part of the crosswires is easy to see in dim light and the centre section is thin enough for precise aiming at long range.

The clicks are crisp and audible, the best I’ve encountered in a long time. 

The power ring moves smoothly and has a quick-zoom lever as well as a thumb rest. The fast-focus ring on the eyepiece also moves smoothly but not so easily you’re going to change it by accident. 

I’m glad to see that the Meopta is fitted with an easy return-to-zero elevation turret which has useful white-line reference numbers subdivided into increments of ¼ MOA. 

Meopta Optika5 review
Diopter adjustment, power ring and aiming adjustments are well designed, both for feel and visibility

For many years, technology limited scopes to about a three-times zoom, typified by the long-popular (and extremely versatile) 3-9×40 variable. This has changed in the past decade. Four-times zoom (as in 2-8x or 4-16x) is hardly new, but today six-times zoom is fairly common — as in 2-12x, 3-18x, 4-24x and some brands even offer eight-times zoom.

The Optika5 zoom system achieves its five-times power range through the use of a three-cam zooming system, which provides the extra magnification range within the scope’s erector system. 

As a result, these Meopta scopes exhibit ultra-high performance with no point-of-aim shift occurring across the full range of magnification. 

The versatility and potential applications for these Optika5s is extensive. Everything is possible, from hunting dangerous game up close to long-range predator shooting. Combined with a modern flat-shooting cartridge and rifle, the 2-10×42 is capable of allowing a clear shot at game at any ethical range without the hunter trying to find it by peering through a thicket of stadia lines.

For testing I mounted the Optika5 on my Ruger M77 Mk II in .257 Roberts. The rifle is a proven performer and I thought its accuracy would provide a good test for the 2-10x’s durability. 

Meopta Optika5 review
Shooting the square showed the Meopta’s adjustments are accurate and repeatable

First, I zeroed the scope at 100yd and then shot the square, shifting the windage and elevation adjustments to hit the square aiming mark on each corner of my sighting-in target before returning to centre. The clicks proved to be positive, tactile and, more importantly, accurate and repeatable. One bullet hole that strayed off a little was my fault, due to pulling a lousy shot. 

After adjusting the scope to be shooting 2½” high at 100yd I shot five lots of five-shot groups, all of which were inside one MOA.

Six Optika5 offerings include this 2-10×42, a 3-15×44, 4-20×44, 4-20×50 and 4-20×50 RD with illuminated reticle. There’s also a specialised 2-10×42 rimfire scope. 

On models 3-15×44 and up, Optika5 riflescopes have parallax correction from 10 yards to infinity. The full range offer a choice of four reticle types: Z-Plex, Z-Plus, Z-Plus RD or BDC3.

I love good optics and I detest bad ones. Meopta makes great optics by maintaining better quality control while offering cutting-edge technology at reasonable prices. Its top-of-the-line scopes are among the best available. 

Realistically, Meopta has always catered for the majority of hunters who really just want a good scope without all the bells and whistles and other refinements, although they do offer the 4-20×50 with an illuminated reticle for those who hunt in timber and near dark conditions. 

Though the Optika5 may look traditional, it’s ruggedly-built, using the best modern components and its design and construction leave little to be desired. 

Given its $645 price tag, the Meopta Optika5 2-10×42 is within the budget of most shooters.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Maker: Meopta-Optika, Czech Republic
  • Reticle: second focal plane; Z-Plex
  • Lens Coating: MB-550 fully multi-coated; hydrophobic outer layer
  • Windage and elevation adjustments: 1/4-MOA clicks
  • Main tube diameter: one-inch
  • Field of view: 18.6 to 3.8 metres @ 100 metres
  • Exit pupil diameter: 10.3 to 4.2mm
  • Weight: 590 grams
  • Length: 232mm
  • Eye relief: 90mm
  • Light transmission: 91%
  • Suggested retail price: $645 (2022)
  • Distributor: Winchester Australia

 

 

 


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Nick Harvey

The late Nick Harvey (1931-2024) was one of the world's most experienced and knowledgeable gun writers, a true legend of the business. He wrote about firearms and hunting for about 70 years, published many books and uncounted articles, and travelled the world to hunt and shoot. His reloading manuals are highly sought after, and his knowledge of the subject was unmatched. He was Sporting Shooter's Technical Editor for almost 50 years. His work lives on here as part of his legacy to us all.

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