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Wolfgang Schwarz glassing in the vast Southern Alps of New Zealand.Wolfgang Schwarz glassing in the vast Southern Alps of New Zealand.Wolfgang Schwarz glassing in the vast Southern Alps of New Zealand.

How the Z8i 3.5-28x50 P rifle scope was invented

Inspired by the vastness

Reading time: 2 min.

Wolfgang Schwarz, Deputy Head of Product Management at SWAROVSKI OPTIK, finds that his love of nature and passion for hunting regularly push him to his limits. On his last trip, they took him practically to the end of the world. He set off to explore New Zealand’s South Island with its majestic Southern Alps. The landscapes take your breath away – quite literally at times, as this corner of the Earth can also be pretty exhausting.

Wolfgang and his team certainly spent some strenuous days in these mountains. Over eleven days they tackled more than 5,000 meters (16,400 feet) of ascent and descent. The keen climber and hunter returned home with lasting memories of an amazing expedition and gained some valuable insights to incorporate into the design of SWAROVSKI OPTIK rifle scopes.

Time for adventure

Leaving their everyday lives behind, they set off on an unforgettable adventure in the vast, isolated reaches of this mountainous region. Four full-blooded hunters share one ambitious goal – to bag a tahr. But some tough challenges lie ahead. The weather changes from one minute to the next, they push themselves to the limit, and suffer endless blisters on their feet – it’s not what most people call a vacation. Even trained athletes have to be in peak physical condition to tackle this kind of extreme expedition. 

Wolfgang Schwarz rafting in New Zealand 20171220_115401
Inspired by the vastness - New Zealand - Wolfgang Schwarz - steep wall - 20171214_193409
Wolfgang Schwarz:

"We were really pushed to our limits. Packrafting in a one-man dinghy, climbing down sheer slabs of rock, ice climbing with 25-kilo (55-pound) packs."

The key to success? Travel light

Hours of tough, rocky ascents mean you feel every pound on your back. Wolfgang Schwarz and his hunting buddies know this all too well. That’s why these kinds of hunting trips call for a rifle scope that is not only accurate and reliable, but also as light as possible. When you’re out in the wilds, you have to be prepared for anything and everything. When you’re stalking an animal through the forest, you may need to fire at very short range. You may also have to deal with poor light conditions and take long-range shots. For this, you need a versatile rifle scope.

A strenuous endeavor - reaching the Himalayan tahr's natural habitat on foot.

Wolfgang Schwarz and his roped party ascending Mount Burns. The path to reach the Himalayan tahr's natural habitat in New Zealand is very demanding.
Wolfgang Schwarz and his party reached the top of Mount Burns (2.746 m), New Zealand.
Wolfgang Schwarz and his party ascending Mount Burns. The path to reach the Himalayan tahr's natural habitat is hard.
Two hikers walking along a stream in New Zealand.
The terrain in the Southern Alps of New Zealand can be very demanding. Such as, when descending walls like these.
Swarovski Optik Riflescope Z8i 2,3-18x56
Z8i 2.3-18x56 PALL YOU NEED FOR HIDE HUNTING AND MORE

Approaching distance

Wolfgang Schwarz tries to integrate this versatility into his product development work. By drawing on his personal experience, he ensures the product provides the wide range of performance that hunters are looking for. An illuminated reticle is especially helpful at dawn and dusk. At short range, when everything happens very quickly, it is vital to have a large field of view. All these considerations were taken into account when designing the high-magnification Z8i 3.5-28x50 P. For Wolfgang Schwarz, these kinds of extreme expeditions require a large zoom range. The Z8i offers 3.5 to 28x magnification, so it provides a wide range of options for both stalking and long-range shooting. It is also very rugged – impact resistance is vital on expeditions large and small. At only 665 grams (23.5 oz), the beautifully designed Z8i 3.5-28x50 P delivers this outstanding versatility and performance while still being extremely light. 

Learn more about the different Z8i models
For long-range shooting, high-quality rifle scopes are key. Plus, diligent training, of course.
Distance in focusDownload
Sunrise in the Southern Alps of New Zealand while ascending Mount Burns.
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