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Zeiss Terra 3 9×42 Review

Zeiss Terra 3 9x42 ReviewAs a long-time user of Zeiss optics, I have come to respect this brand for consistently producing high-quality products.

When I got the Zeiss Terra 3 9X42, I was not only impressed with the design, I was blown away by its performance especially in low light conditions.

The scope gives you a huge advantage when night hunting thanks to the anti-reflective coated lenses and the Rz6 reticle.

Besides these features which make aiming and shooting your target easy, the Terra 3 has a compact and robust built that is weather resistant.

Product Review

Zeiss Terra 3 9x42

  • RZ-6 Reticle
  • Second Focal Plane
  • 42 mm Objective Lens Diameter
  • MC Anti-Reflective Multicoated
  • 1/4 MOA Impact Point Correction
  • Parallax-Free from 100 yd to Infinity

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Have you ever shot a riflescope and got an excruciatingly painful kickback? If you have, I bet you can attest to what that felt like.

This is something that happens when your riflescope doesn’t have sufficient eye relief. And eye relief is the distance between your shooting eye and the ocular lens of your scope.

When you shoot a rifle, it recoils throwing the scope rearwards. And if the scope doesn’t have sufficient eye relief, you are going to get a good smack on your face. So to avoid this, you need to get a scope that has sufficient eye relief.

For a rifle with light recoil, a scope with an eye relief of 2 or 3 inches can help protect you from getting hit on the face. For rifles that have heavy recoil, you may need a scope that has 4 inches of eye relief or more to avoid getting hit.

The Zeiss Terra 3 9X42 is an ideal option for guns that have light or heavy recoil because it provides sufficient eye relief. However, if you have poor eyesight, you might want to get a scope that has an objective lens that’s 50mm in diameter or more.

Advantages and Disadvantages


  • Anti-reflective coatings for precision aiming, and bright and clear viewing of targets in low light conditions
  • Rapid-Z 600 reticle for precision holdover
  • Compact design that is lightweight and robust
  • Affordable compared to other similar scopes
  • 3X zoom for a better hunting
  • Hunting turrets with ¼ MOA adjustments
  • Sufficient eye relief for heavy recoil rifles
  • Limited lifetime warranty


  • The scope’s turret cannot be adjusted to zero and there are also no yardage numbers on it

Features and Benefits

Rz6 Reticle

The Terra 3 riflescope uses the Rapid-Z 600 reticle, which has a yardage of 600 yards. This reticle is designed for precision holdover and shot placement. The crosshairs on the reticle allow for close-range shooting particularly in low light conditions.

Zeiss Terra 3 9x42 has the Rapid-Z 600 reticle

This particular reticle is in the 2nd focal plane, and therefore its size doesn’t change when you change the magnification.

Solid Ergonomics

Zeiss designed this scope for superior optical clarity and strength. The Terra 3 scope has a compact rugged design and it designed to withstand and perform well in any weather condition.

I have used different tactical scopes in the past, and some did not do well in foggy conditions. But I was impressed by the Terra 3X because it doesn’t matter how bad the weather is, it still delivers high contrast, clear, and sharp viewing. And this is what you want in a scope.

You don’t want to be limited to go hunting only when the weather is good. You want a scope that gives the flexibility to hunt in any weather condition day or night.

In addition, the scope has hunting turrets with ¼ minute of angle (MOA) adjustments to help improve your accuracy.

Anti-Reflective Coatings

Scope lenses come coated with different kinds of coatings. Some like the Terra 3 are coated with anti-reflective coatings which reduce glare and reflection. And the result is brighter and clearer images.

The other advantage the coatings offer is the ability to see in low light conditions. This is extremely beneficial because you are not limited to hunting in daylight alone. And there is no better time of the day than nighttime to go hunting because this is when the wildlife is most active.

Alternative Products

1. Nikon ProStaff 3 9X40 Review

Nikon ProStaff 3 9X40

  • BDC Reticle for Holdover Out to 600 yards
  • Multicoated Optics for up to 90% Light Transmission
  • Anti-Reflective Multicoating
  • 1/4 MOA Reticle Adjustments
  • Nitrogen Filled & O-ring Sealed
  • 100% Waterproof/Fogproof
  • Lifetime Full Warranty

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The Nikon ProStaff 3 9×40 much like the Terra 3 is designed to deliver optimal performance in any weather condition. However, the two scopes have some differences.

Nikon ProStaff 3 9x40 has a BDC reticle

The ProStaff has fully-multicoated lenses for crisp images and a BDC reticle, which offers you a great advantage when shooting at long ranges. So for long-distance shooting, the ProStaff 3 would be a more ideal option.


  • Fully multi-coated lenses for clear crystal viewing
  • BDC reticles for accuracy when shooting at long distances
  • Sturdy, compact, and lightweight build
  • Fogproof and waterproof

2. Bushnell Banner Riflescope 3 9×40 Review

Bushnell Banner Riflescope 3 9x40

  • Multi-X Reticle, SFP
  • Dusk & Dawn Brightness (DDB) Coatings
  • Fully Multi Coated
  • 1″ One-Piece Main-Tube
  • 1/4 MOA Impact Point Correction
  • Fast-Focus Eyepiece
  • Nitrogen-Filled, Water & Fogproof

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The Bushnell Banner 3 9×40 like the Terra 3 has coated lenses. But unlike the Terra 3 which has anti-reflective coatings, the Banner has DBB (Dusk and Dawn) coatings.

Bushnell Banner Riflescope 3 9x40 has multi-x reticle

The DBB coatings allow for short and long-range shooting in any light condition. The scope also has a solid build that is waterproof, shockproof, and fog proof.


  • BDD multi-coatings for sharper and clearer images in low light conditions
  • Solid construct that is weather and shock-resistant
  • Multi X reticle for precision aiming

3. Sightmark Triple Duty 3 9X42 Riflescope Review

Sightmark Triple Duty 3 9X42 Riflescope

  • Precision Accuracy
  • Adjustment Lock
  • Mil-Dot Reticle
  • 1/4″ Locking MOA
  • Phase-corrected / Multicoated Optics
  • Front Diopter Adjustment

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While the Terra 3 has an Rz6 Reticle, which is great for close-range shooting, the Sightmark Triple Duty 3 9×42 comes with a mil-dot reticle for precision aiming at long ranges.

Sightmark Triple Duty 3 9X42 Riflescope comes with a mil-dot reticle

It also sports multi-coated optics for clear, crisp, and bright images that make shooting targets super easy.

Like the Terra 3, the scope has a solid construction that is that waterproof, shockproof, and fog proof.


  • Mil-dot for precision accuracy
  • Multi-coated lenses for bright and clear views
  • Made of durable materials
  • Designed for long-range shooting


The Zeiss Terra 3 9X42 is a multi-purpose scope that you can use for hunting during the day or night. With an eye relief of 9 inches, this scope can be mounted on any rifles that have heavy recoil.

The construct is compact, sturdy and durable, so you can take this bad boy out in any weather condition.

Zeiss Terra 3 9x42 Review

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