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Kahles Helia 2-10x50i Riflescope Review | Optics Trade Reviews

  • Maja 

In this article I will be discussing the features of the Kahles Helia 2-10x50i hunting riflescope. Although this scope was released in 2017, it is still one of the best scopes on the market.

Kahles Helia 2-10x50i
Kahles Helia 2-10x50i riflescope

Looking for a Kahles Helia riflescope?

About the Kahles company

Kahles is the oldest riflescope manufacturer in the world, having started production way back in 1898. It's now owned by Swarovski, but in its 120+ year history, it has racked up a lot of patents.

They have been renowned for their innovation in the field of rifle scopes, such as the invention of the hunting ballistic compensation turret called multi-zero. They were also credited with making the first waterproof rifle scope. And they continue to create new and innovative products.

Though Kahles was acquired by Swarovski in 1970, the Helia 5 scopes never quite fit into the Swarovski product line. This is the reason they renamed these scopes to Helia and changed pricing position. To cut the cost they also simplified the illumination system.

Introduction of Kahles Helia series

The Kahles Helia is the newest addition to the Helia 5 riflescope series. In this article, I will provide a brief summary of how this product came to be as well as give you an overview of its market competition.

Kahles released the Helia 5 riflescope series in or around 2015 as a replacement for their previous four-time zoom models, the Helia CBX and CSX. The Helia 5 was positioned at around 2000 euros, between Swarovski's Z4i and Z6i scopes.

Swarovski came to their senses when confronted with a choice between the Swarovski Z4i or Helia 5 scope. Instead of permitting such cannibalization within their ranks, they chose to reposition the Helia and discontinue production of the less popular Z4 series.

So, the Helia 5 became the Helia, and they're a lot cheaper than their predecessor.

Kahles Helia 2-10x50i
Kahles Helia riflescope series

The Kahles Helia 5 is different than the Helia in several ways:

The Helia scope, at 1,650 euros, is 400 euros cheaper than the preceding model. The main distinction between the two models is their illumination system; Kahles managed to bring down the price by using a different illumination system.

They created an entirely new class for the Swarovski group. So now, you have Kahles Helia scopes that cost around 1,500 euros at the lower end of the spectrum, and then you have the Z6i scope which costs 2000 euros. And finally, you have the Z8i scope which is priced at 3000 Euros. So overall, the whole product portfolio of the group is much more sensible—and makes a lot more sense from a broader perspective.

General information about the Helia series

The Kahles Helia scopes offer the same high-quality glass, one-piece housing ,larger field of view, and more reliable mechanics as the Helia 5 series rifle scopes; however, the illumination system is different. The same illumination system that is used in the CSX series of rifle scopes from Kahles is used on Helia scope; this explains why the price point for these models falls a bit lower.

The Kahles Helia riflescopes come with day and nighttime illumination, an automatic shut-off function, and 180-degree turn capability for easy magnification changes. The two models Helia 1-5x24i and Helia 2.4-12x56i can be ordered with the Swarovski SR rail mounting solution, while all models can also be ordered with a BDC elevation turret.

The scopes available in the Helia series are:

You can watch the entire Video Review below

Physical properties of Kahles 2-10x50i

The Helia 2-10x50i rifle scope features a design that is characteristic of Kahles. It has sharp edges and metallic rings that were popular 10 or 20 years ago. When you are holding this scope, there is no doubt in your mind that it is a Kahles.

The scope is 34 centimeters long with a 30-millimeter central tube. The model with the mounting rail is unavailable. That's also one of the reasons they were able to lower the price so much.

At only 500 grams, this riflescope is one of the lighter ones on the market.

Kahles Helia 2-10x50i
Kahles Helia 2-10x50i side view

Reticle

Let's explore the reticle properties. The reticle on the Helia 2-10x50i is located in the second focal plane and is a hunting-style reticle. Unfortunately, there is only one option available right now: a 4-Dot reticle

4-dot reticle
4-Dot reticle

Leica and Zeiss, two companies based in Germany that are known for their expensive but high-quality products, have both come out with a similar solution: they offer Leica Fortis and Conquest V6 riflescopes with only one reticle. This is a much more affordable solution than producing multiple versions of the same scope. Reticle is an important feature for many users, so these companies came up with a creative way that allows them to keep their costs down while still offering a quality product.

In the past, you were able to choose between two reticles, the normal 4-Dot and the Ballistic reticle which had a couple of lines under the center dot.

The 4-Dot reticle is illuminated, and it is daytime bright on the lower level of what could be considered daytime bright.

Looking for more information about 4-Dot reticle?

Illumination System

The illumination control on the Helia 2-10x50i is on the left side turret. It has a function with a position sensor that turns off automatically if you don't move the scope for a few hours, or if you tilt it to any side.

The reticle illumination is continuously operational on the side turret at any intensity level, so you have many options for refinement. Additionally, it's useful in lowlight because you can adjust it to your specific needs.

The illumination system in the Helia 2-10x50i scope is classic in design, which means it's not as modern as on some scopes where the optical fiber is inside of the reticle. The Kahles scope's LED reticle is bigger than what you'll find on most high-end riflescopes, but it still works great for its price.

The illumination is powered by a CR2032 battery, which can be found inside the illumination turret.

  • Kahles Helia 2-10x50i
  • Kahles Helia 2-10x50i

Turrets

The Kahles Helia 2-10x50i scope has capped turrets that are multi-turn, and have a hunting design with a good grip. The clicks are both audible and very easy to feel. You usually don't need to worry about adjusting the clicks on a hunting scope since you won't be doing it often. The turrets on this scope do not feature zero stop or a turn indicator either.

Kahles Helia 2-10x50i with capped turretsKahles Helia 2-10x50i without capped turrets
Kahles Helia 2-10x50i with and without capped turrets

The elevation range is 16 MILs and the click value is one centimeter on 100 meters.

  • Kahles Helia 2-10x50i
  • Kahles Helia 2-10x50i
  • Kahles Helia 2-10x50i
  • Kahles Helia 2-10x50i

The new Kahles Helia Ballistic Turret (BT)

I have to mention that Kahles is also producing a BDC turret with a vintage look. This BDC turret had a unique design, similar to flip-up lens covers. In the past, you could even buy it in gold color, but now it is only available in black color. I don't like this model particularly because I think Kahles products are usually of a higher level of quality.

In 2022, Kahles produced the new Ballistic Turret (BT) to solve this issue. The BT turret is easy to use and install/remove, with precise markings. It can be fitted onto the scope by the user without a gunsmith's help.

The Kahles ballistic drop turret is easy to use and can be customized to the hunter's preferences. The new Kahles BT is also about €60 cheaper than the previous BDC. The turret comes with weather-resistant stickers to mark your preferred distances on the clicks calculated by the app, making it one of the most budget-friendly options for a BDC turret on the market.

Parallax

Helia 2-10x50i riflescope features a fixed parallax. Parallax is fixed at 100 meters.

Optical Performance of Kahles Helia 2-10x50i

Now, we come to the most important part - the optical properties. The Helia 2-10x50i riflescope features a 2-10 magnification range, which is perfect for hunting in all types of terrain and weather conditions in the European area.

The riflescope features a 50-millimeter objective lens and an exceptional field of view. With an amazing 21 meters of field of view, this riflescope is unrivaled by the competition--better than Zeiss, better than any competitors with 5x or 4x zoom. For just 1,800 Euros, Kahles provides optic capabilities that surpass its competitors.

The scope has no tunnel effect, a light transmission rate of above 90%, and an eye relief of 95 millimeters. Also, the scope is suitable for all hard-kicking calibers, even African magnums. Overall, the optics appear great.

Kahles Helia 2-10x50i
Kahles Helia 2-10x50i eyepiece

Mounting Solution

The scope is currently only available with a 30-millimeter tube, and there is no option to order the scope with the mounting rail. You will need 30-millimeter scope mounts rings in order to mount the riflescope on your rifle.

Kahles Helia 2-10x50i Price and Warranty

The Kahles Helia 2-10x50i scope is produced in Austria with 10 years warranty. Both Kahles and Swarovski take pride in their local production. The price for the riflescope is 1800 euros.

Scope of Delivery

Kahles Helia 2-10x50i comes with:

  • neoprene scope cover
  • user manual
  • warranty certification
  • lens cloth
  • CR2032 battery
Kahles Helia 2-10x50i
Kahles Helia 2-10x50i scope of delivery

You may also purchase the following accessories for this riflescope:

  1. Kahles Sunshield
  2. Kahles Neoprene Scope Cover
  3. Kahles Ballistic drop compensation
  4. Kahles Helia Ballistic Turret (BT)
  5. Kahles BDC Mounting Set
  6. Kahles Tenebraex Killflash ARD
  7. Kahles Tenebraex Flip up Cover
  8. Kahles Tenebraex Eyepiece
  9. Kahles Throw Lever for Helia

Pros

Let's talk about the good and bad aspects of Kahles Helia 2-10x50i riflescope. This product's optics are above average for its 1,800 Euro price tag. In addition, the design is classical and will appeal to those who like sharp edges and a more traditional look. If you put it on a wooden stock rifle, it will look even nicer.

The scope has a 2-10 magnification range, which is perfect for hunting in all types of terrain and weather conditions. The riflescope also features a 50-millimeter objective lens and an impressive field of view. The optics on the scope appear to be great, and it is suitable for all hard-kicking calibers.

Personally, I believe that Kahles' long history is a big selling point-- they've been making riflescopes for over 120 years. Even if the rifle scope wasn't optically excellent, that would be enough for me to consider it.

Not only is the build quality exceptional, but their warranties are solid, and their customer service is unmatched. In this respect, they're easily one of the best brands out there.

Pros summary:

  1. great optical performance for the price
  2. great FOV
  3. classical design
  4. suitable for all calibers
  5. long history
  6. good warranty and service
Kahles Helia 2-10x50i
Kahles Helia 2-10x50i riflescope

Cons

What could have been done better? I believe that the illuminated dot could have been a bit smaller, like on the predecessor Helia 5. Also, it would have been useful if it were brighter in daytime settings.

The second improvement this scope needs is a better BDC turret. The current Kahles BDC turret solution just doesn't match the general quality of the scope, and it also has a very vintage look.

The good thing is that Kahles started to produce the new BT turret which is a huge improvement.

I also miss being able to order this scope with the Swarovski SR rail. If this were still an option, the scope would be perfect.

Cons summary:

  1. illuminated dot could have been smaller
  2. no mounting rail option

Final Thoughts on Kahles Helia 2-10x50i

In the 1,500-1,800-euro price range, you have options such as Kahles Helia 2-10x50i, Noblex N6 2-12x50, and Zeiss Conquest V6 2-12x50 scope. You also have the five-time zoom Leupold option. There are a couple of Japanese manufacturers with similar riflescopes models, but they don't compare in quality. A new Steiner riflescope with six times the zoom is also available at a similar price point but has a 56-milimeter lens.

People often wonder why they should buy the Helia 2-10x50i scope when it only has five times zoom, especially when competitors like Zeiss and Noblex offer six times zoom.

To be frank, this scope will perform better than most of its competition in regard of the field of view, optical performance in low light, and resolution during the daytime.

Although some competitors' riflescopes have a higher zoom factor, Helia makes up for it with its wider field of view and enhanced optical experience. In particular, the Zeiss Conquest V6 has the advantage of a better-illuminated dot in the reticle (due to the optical fiber inside) but overall I believe that no competitor can match Helia when considering just optics themselves.

Helia 2-10x50i definitely needs to be on your list of options if you're looking for a hunting riflescope within the 1,800 Euros price range. It has great optics and compares favorably with scope models from Noblex and Zeiss. You really can't go wrong if you purchase it. For this price, it'll be difficult to find better optics anywhere else.

Kahles Helia 2-10x50i
Kahles Helia 2-10x50i

Kahles Helia 2-10x50i Relevant Comparisons

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Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Kahles Helia 2-10x50i Riflescope
Author Rating
41star1star1star1stargray
Product Name
Kahles Helia 2-10x50i
Price
EUR 1800
Product Availability
Available in Stock

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