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Meopta ZD 4-16×44 RD Scope Test Review

Overview
Testers

Doug Wall
Stephen Archer
Trioptics USA

Model Number

560830

Serial Numbers

R1606022

Source of Supply

Meopta Sports Optics

Condition

New

We Like

Outstanding optical quality
Perfect distance measurement
Mil-Spec durability

We Don't Like

Somewhat long
Reticle may be too fine for some
Side AO would be easier to use

HAM Rating
Value for Money
100%
Comparison to Makers Claims
95%
Buying and Owning
100%
Optical Specifications
80%
Mechanical Specifications
90%
Optical Performance - 1
95%
Optical Performance -2
95%
Mechanical Performance
100%
Ease Of Use
80%
Hard Air Magazine Test Conclusions

The Meopta ZD 4-16x44 RD scope is an outstanding optic for use with high end PCP air rifles.

It's HAM Gold Award-winning performance included 100% perfect distance indication. This is a very rare quality in HAM's experience, but vital for accurate air rifle shooting without the need for time-consuming individual calibration.

Overall optical quality was top-notch right across the field of view. Mechanical performance was exemplary and finish flawless. Performance was remarkably close to the manufacturer's claims.

This is an outstanding high-end riflescope if you can live without side AO!

94%
HAM Rating
You have rated this
Full Review

VALUE FOR MONEY

The Meopta ZD 4-16×44 RD scope is designed  – says the company – for use by special forces operators, Law Enforcement snipers and world-class professional target shooters for distances up to 800 meters. It also does an outstanding job when used on PCP air rifles, as this comprehensive HAM test review proves.

Because it was designed for firearms use, the Meopta ZD 4-16×44 RD scope is not braced for the reverse recoil of spring/piston or gas ram air rifles. So, it is emphatically for use with PCPs only.

Meopta Sports Optics is based in the USA and Czech Republic. It manufactures precision medical and scientific instruments, as well as riflescopes, binoculars and other sporting optics. Meopta is a name that is not well-known among airgunners. However this may change in future!

At a Street Price of around $1,300, this is clearly a high-end riflescope. However it offers outstanding quality and performance. It would be a great choice for long range airgun hunting or target shooting.

 

OPTICAL SPECIFICATIONS

Meopta ZD 4-16x44 RD Scope Test Review

Maximum Magnification16 X
Minimum Magnification4 X
Zoom Ratio4 times
Objective Diameter44 mm
Reticle Focal PlaneSecond
Field Of View25.5 Ft to 7.2 Ft at 100 Yards
6.4 F to 1.8 Ft at 25 Yards
Exit Pupil Diameter11 mm at 4 x
2.8 mm at 16 x
Eye Relief3.1 Inches at 4 x
3.9 inches at 16 x

 

MECHANICAL SPECIFICATIONS

Meopta ZD 4-16x44 RD Scope Test Review

Parallax CorrectionFront adjustable objective
Reticle Graduation11 points for both windage and elevation
Reticle TypeMil dot, etched glass
Magnification For Correct Reticle Graduation14 X
(Can also be used at 7 X with correction)
Maximum Ring Spacing6.0 Inches
Tube Diameter30 mm
Overall Length15.3 Inches
Weight Without Accessories28.2 Oz
Elevation Turret Clicks0.18 Inch at 100 Yards,
0.0045 Inch at 25 Yards.
Windage Turret Clicks0.18 Inch at 100 Yards,
0.0045 Inch at 25 Yards.
Closest Focus10 Yards
Airgun RatedNo. PCPs only, not for use on springers or gas ram rifles.

Both elevation and windage turrets are lockable using a 1.5 mm Allen (hex) key.

The Meopta ZD 4-16×44 RD scope has a mechanical structure that is designed to meet exacting military standards. These include MIL-STD 810 (resistance test methods), STANAG 2914 (mechanical resistance) and STANAG 2985 (extreme climatic conditions).

 

OPTICAL PERFORMANCE – 1

Thanks to the Trioptics ImageMaster system, We can exclusively see real “hard data” for the performance of this Meopta ZD 4-16×44 RD scope. These charts compare contrast on the Y (vertical) axis against resolution on the X (horizontal) axis.

The black line indicates theoretically perfect contrast. There’s also a solid red line and a dotted red line. These represent the actual performance in horizontal and vertical directions. The closer the red lines are to the black line, the higher the contrast at the corresponding resolution. The closer the red lines are together, the less blurring there is.

For the Meopta ZD 4-16×44 RD scope tested by HAM, the minimum actual magnification measured by the Trioptics system at a marked 4X.

At this magnification, we can see that both red lines very closely match the black line. This indicates strong contrast – confirming the testers’ subjective impressions of outstanding optical quality. Note how the solid and dotted red lines overlap each other. This is an indication of extremely uniform performance in both the horizontal and vertical planes. Excellent!

Meopta ZD 4-16x44 RD Scope Test Review

Next, Trioptics tested the scope at an indicated 9X magnification. Again, contrast was very high, just marginally less than for the 4X setting. The solid and dotted red lines match very closely at this magnification, too. This is outstanding performance!

Meopta ZD 4-16x44 RD Scope Test Review

Finally we have results at the marked 16X magnification. Now the Trioptics chart showed a slightly larger divergence between the black and red lines. This indicates lower contrast than at the two lower magnifications, although we need to stress that this is still excellent performance.

Subjectively, the HAM Testers were unable to see any reduction in contrast with our human eyes.

Meopta ZD 4-16x44 RD Scope Test Review

This scope features MeoBright, Meopta’s proprietary ion-assisted lens multi-coating applied to all air-to-glass optical surfaces. Developed by Meopta, MeoBright ion- assisted multi-coatings are said to eliminate glare and reflections. The company claims it delivers an industry leading 99.8% light transmission per lens surface.

HAM does not have a way to measure this claim. However it undoubtedly contributes to the outstanding MTF figures and the stellar subjective brightness and overall optical quality experienced by the HAM testers.

Overall, this “hard” MTF data confirms Meopta’s reputation for manufacturing outstanding riflescopes!

 

OPTICAL PERFORMANCE – 2

Subjective testing of the Meopta ZD 4-16×44 RD scope validated the MTF data. The scope images appeared bright and sharp edge-to-edge at all magnifications and distances.

In HAM testing, we measured the diameter of the Exit Pupil at 12 mm at 4X magnification. As expected, this shrunk to 6 mm diameter at 9X and 3.5 mm at 16 X magnification. These are large Exit Pupil diameters. They make the scope easier to use, as eye position is less critical than with a small Exit Pupil.

Eye relief was also good for both HAM Testers Stephen Archer and Doug Wall.We recorded 3.75 Inch eye relief at 4 X magnification, declining slowly to 3 .25 Inches at 9x and 3.125 Inches at maximum magnification.

However we know that individual eyesight – with glasses if worn – translate into different settings of the eyepiece lens in the scope. This effects actual eye relief measurements, meaning these test values should be regarded as a guide rather than absolute values.

“Twighlight Factor” is a measure of image brightness. It’s a calculation based on the square root of the actual magnification x the actual objective diameter. HAM will use this to compare image brightness at different magnifications. Lower is better.

The Twighlight Factor for the Meopta ZD 4-16×44 RD scope scope tested by HAM was 13.39 at a marked 4X. It was 26.41 at maximum magnification.

We found no change of image focus changed when the scope was zoomed.

 

MECHANICAL PERFORMANCE

A key mechanical feature for any airgun scope is how well it can be used to measure range using parallax adjustment.

The Meopta ZD 4-16×44 RD scope tested by HAM gave perfect accuracy in when comparing the distance to the target with the markings on the AO (Adjustable Objective) bell of the scope.

SpecificationTest ResultDifference
10 Yards10 Yards0%
20 Yards20 Yards0%
30 Yards30 Yards0%
40 Yards40 Yards0%
50 yards50 Yards0%

Meopta ZD 4-16x44 RD Scope Test Review

There are four dots on each quadrant of the reticle center point – up, down, left and right. These provide 16 additional points of aim across for both windage and elevation. By including the inner edges of the reticle’s thicker outer stadia, a total of 20 points of aim are available for both elevation and windage, in addition to the center cross, of course.

This Meopta ZD 4-16×44 RD scope uses the company’s “Mil Dot Special” reticle.

The HAM Team measured these Mil Dots as being exactly the correct distance apart. The distance between each dot is 1 mrad while the diameter of each dot is 0.2 mrad.

This means that the Meopta ZD 4-16×44 RD scope can be used with precision for range estimation and holdover correction when set to the intended 14 x magnification. (This would is of benefit to Field Target shooters).

Zero backlash was found in operation of the AO focusing ring or the zoom ring. Again, excellent performance!

Meopta ZD 4-16x44 RD Scope Test Review

 

STANDARD PERFORMANCE

It’s very difficult to compare the optical performance of scopes with different magnifications. The vast majority of riflescopes used for airgun shooting include 9X magnification in their zoom range. So, HAM has set a “standard magnification” of 9X to measure a set of meaningful parameters.

 SpecificationTest Result
Marked 9x Magnification9 X8.97 X
Exit Pupil DiameterN/a6 mm
Field of ViewN/a14 1/4 in at 10 yards
Twilight FactorN/a20.00

 

COMPARISON TO MAKERS CLAIMS

The Meopta ZD 4-16×44 RD scope tested by HAM performed extremely closely to the manufacturer’s specifications.

The clear objective lens diameter measured 44.6 mm. This is is slightly greater than the claim. However, that slight difference gives 2.5% more clear lens area which translates to higher brightness than the spec – which HAM measures as the “Actual Twighlight Factor”.

The maximum tested magnification was actually 15.64X – as tested by the Trioptics ImageMaster system. This is just 2.75% less than the claimed maximum magnification. That’s very close.

The marked 9X magnification delivered an actual 8.97X magnification, just 0.03% low. That’s spot-on!

The minimum magnification measured by the Tripotics system was 4.02X. Again, that’s almost identical to the marked 4X – actually just 0.5% higher.

Working from these actual magnifications, the magnification range of the Meopta ZD 4-16×44 RD scope tested by HAM was actually 3.89 times (that’s 15.64 divided by 4.02). That compares to the 4 times (16 divided by 4) of the specifications.

 SpecificationTest ResultDifference
Objective Diameter44 mm44.6 mm+1.4%
Maximum Magnification16 X15.64 X-2.8%
Minimum Magnification4 X4.02 X -0.3%
Exit Pupil Diameter11 mm at 4 X
2.8 mm at 16 X
12 mm at 4 X
3.5 mm at 16 X
+9.1%
+25.0%
Field of View26 Ft at 4 X at 100 Yds
Equals 31.2 Inches at 10 yards at 4 X
7.0 Ft at 16X at 100 Yds
Equals 8.4 In at 16X at 10 Yds
29.0 In at 4 X at 10 Yds

8.5 In at 16 X at 10 Yds
-7.1%

+1.2%

 

EASE OF USE

The Meopta ZD 4-16×44 RD scope has an etched glass reticle with clear Mil dots. Together with the extremely accurate range markings on the AO bell, it makes this scope ideal for use with PCP air rifles for long range precision shooting.

It should be noted that the reticle is extremely fine. This will probably be regarded favorably by long range target shooters. However, these thin stadia tend to become lost in a complex background typically found in hunting.

In this case, it’s necessary to turn on the red illuminated reticle. This provides red illumination for the center cross just out as far as the first Mil Dots. There’s 7 different brightness levels available using the left “turret” on the scope. Conveniently, there’s an intermediate “off” position between every brightness settings.

This turret also contains the common CR2354 battery that provides the illumination power.

Meopta ZD 4-16x44 RD Scope Test Review

Meopta ZD 4-16x44 RD Scope Test Review

The Mil dot reticle is designed for holdover/holdunder use at 14X magnification. However, it can also be used at 7X if desired, by doubling the number of dots used (to compensate for the 50% less magnification).

Being at the front of the scope, the Adjustable Objective/focus ring is likely to be a long reach forward for many shooters. It has to be said that most air rifle shooters will find a scope with side AO easier to use. However, this ring is easy to find and use due to its molded rubber surface.

Rotation requires a definite effort. However this makes for an AO ring which is tight enough to remain where it’s set and not be changed accidentally.

The same applies to the zoom ring. This is smaller but has a short lever built-in, making rotation quite convenient when a change of magnification is required.

With an overall length of just over 15.2 Inches, this is a long scope which may cause problems if mounted on some short bullpups. However, it is not overly long for a riflescope of 16X magnification.

 

BUYING AND OWNING

The Meopta ZD 4-16×44 RD scope is not currently available – so far as the HAM team knows – through traditional airgun dealers. But it’s easy to find online from optics specialist dealers, or from Amazon.

Finish is flawless with an uniform overall matt black hard-anodized finish on metal parts. Black rubber gripping surfaces are added to the front and rear objective bells for comfortable use.

Long-tern optical quality is provided by MeoShield ion-assisted coating. Meopta says that this protects external lens surfaces and delivers enhanced resistance to scratching or abrasion in extreme conditions. MeoShield meets military specifications for durability and surface hardness: that has to be a great recommendation.

Another way to protect the front lens element is to use a filter. The Meopta ZD 4-16×44 RD scope has an M52 x 0.75 thread, allowing the use of suitable photographic filers for lens protection if required. Alternatively, Neutral Density filters could be used to reduce glare in extremely bright conditions.

The Meopta ZD 4-16×44 RD scope is supplied with a bikini cover for objective and eyepiece lenses.

North American purchasers benefit from a lifetime transferable warranty backed by the manufacturer.

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Meopta ZD 4-16×44 RD scope

Our Trioptics graphs are unique, real hard data on this scope’s performance! It’s generated by TRIOPTICS’ comprehensive, dedicated, ImageMaster Afocal riflescope test system. It’s a combination of extremely sophisticated hardware test bench and software.

TRIOPTICS own experts used this system to generate data for this HAM riflescope test reviews. So you know it’s the best there is!

For more information about how to read these graphs, check out this post. It’s easy!