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Leica Fortis 6 2-12x50i Riflescope Review | Optics Trade Reviews

Today we'll talk about a Leica Fortis 6 2-12x50 rifle scope. Leica is a well-known German brand. They're best known for creating cameras. More than 100 years ago, Leica was the inventor of the 35-millimeter film format. Leica has long been a manufacturer of sports optics. In recent years, it has dominated the market for range finding binoculars and pocket range finders. Leica also entered the market in 2010 with its riflescopes. Leica previously produced riflescopes for the American market in the 2000s. Bur since the introduction of Magnus, they've been very prominent on the European market.

The introduction of the Leica Fortis 6 series of scopes

The Leica Fortis series was launched in 2019 at IVA Nuremberg. The Fortis 6 series is made up of three scopes:

You can check our video from IWA

We weren't paying enough attention to Fortis 6 at first, because we didn't understand why Leica was making a scope that was so similar to Magnus. The scope has a smaller zoom, Magnus is 1.8-12x50, but the difference isn't substantial. Now that we've looked at the scopes more carefully, a lot of things make sense.

Leica Fortis 6 2-12x50i Riflescope Review
Leica Fortis 6 2-12x50i Riflescope Review

What is the basic reason for producing Fortis 6?

The answer is straightforward. When Leica debuted Magnus, they competed with the Swarovski Z6i. Zeiss only offered four-power zoom Victory HT scopes at the time, while Swarovski was their major rival. When Magnus came out, Swarovski and Leica got into a major legal dispute. If we skip ahead a few years, Swarovski released the Z8i and cut prices on all of its Z6i scopes.

The question was what will Leica do with their Magnus scopes? They introduced the second generation of Magnus scope. This scope may compete against the Zeiss V8 and the Z8 in terms of quality. Leica left the pricing of Magnus scopes at the same level or a little lower to allow them to be compared with Swarovski Z8i and Zeiss Victory V8. I also feel that whereas on paper, Magnus has less zoom than Swarovski and Zeiss (7x vs. 8x), it may compete with them in terms of optical performance.

But Leica needed something to compete with the Swarovski Z6i. The Zeiss V6 Conquest series was created to compete with the Z6i, but they are less expensive and not as good. So Leica came out with the Fortis 6 scope to compete with Swarovski Z6i. What they also did is they lowered the price even more by at least 10 to 15%.

Leica Fortis 6 2-12x50i

The crucial issue now is: what did Leica do to be able to offer a lower price for Fortis 6?

  1. The first thing to be honest, the zoom on this scope is somewhat smaller than it is on Magnus. This 2-12x50 scope has a 6x zoom. 2-12x50 Swarovski Z6i has a 6x zoom, whereas Magnus 1.8-12 has a 6.7x zoom. There you have it: they save money by reducing the zoom
  2. The second thing is that the illumination is far simpler than it is on the Magnus. There are only 9 intensity levels, but it is daytime bright and it is also finely tunable so that it can be used in any light conditions.
  3. The third thing they did was limit the number of reticles available. As a result, no multiple choices of reticles, merely one, which reduces production expenses.
  4. And the fourth thing was that the Fortis 6 scope is made in Leica's factory in Portugal. Leica produces all the Geovids and all the rangefinders there. And years ago, it was always a big debate if Leica can achieve similar quality in Portugal as in Germany. Well, now we see that it can. So honestly speaking, the quality can compare with any German and Austrian scope. Because Leica owns the factory in Portugal, they can control the quality to achieve their standards.
Leica Fortis 6 2-12x50i Riflescope Review
Leica Fortis 6 2-12x50i Riflescope Review

I believe that this was about it, what they did to reduce the cost: single reticle choice, a little bit smaller zoom, simpler illumination, and made in Portugal where the workforce is a little bit cheaper.

Physical Properties of Fortis 6 2-12x50i

Let's go through the physical appearance. The 2-12x50 scope is very modern, and very well build, and it has a nice black finish and unmistakable Leica design. It's filled with nitrogen, it's waterproof, and it can withstand any kind of caliber.

The primary tube is 30 millimeters in diameter, and it can also be purchased with a standard rail for mounting. Leica uses a Zeiss VM/ZM rail standard.

Need a mount for your scope?

Leica Fortis 6 2-12x50i Riflescope Review
Leica Fortis 6 2-12x50i with Zeis VM/ZM rail

The parallax is fixed at 100 meters, which is normal. The whole 2-12x50 scope weighs approximately 700 grams. So it's a little bit heavier than Swarovski but not much. The illumination is powered by a normal CR 2032 battery.

The scope is well-made, with a nice finish and all-metal construction, including the magnification ring, which I believe is rather more modern than on Magnus scopes. Magnus scopes from roughly five to six years ago had rubber magnification rings. We know that the rubber fades with time and that the quality degrades. Metal, on the other hand, stays the same.

You can check entire Leica Fortis 6 2-12x50i Review below

The reticle

Fortis 6 2-12x50i scope features only one reticle which is located in the second focal plane. It's a typical hunting reticle, which is rather slender and has a tiny dot inside. I believe that taking into account the specifications, it is roughly as tiny as the dot at Swarovski or even smaller. So the only smaller dot on the market is probably from Zeiss, which uses optical fiber inside of the reticle.

L4A Dot reticle

The illumination

The illumination has 9 intensity levels. Even numbers are not written on the knob, there are only dots. The illumination can be controlled to a significant extent, from extremely low-intensity settings for low-light usage and bright daytime operation, with levels ranging from the 7th level onwards.

Leica Fortis 6 2-12x50i Riflescope Review
Leica Fortis 6 2-12x50i Riflescope Review

Overall, a very simple, efficient, and straightforward illumination mechanism as well as an improved dot that doesn't cover too much area.

The turrets

You can order the 2-12x50i scope with normal-low profile capped hunting turrets. The clicks are similar to one on Magnus's scope. The clicks are very nice, they produce a crisp sound and you're not able to reset them to zero. Fortis 6 2-12x50i features multiturn turrets. There is no turn indicator because this is a hunting scope.

Leica Fortis 6 2-12x50i Riflescope Review
Leica Fortis 6 2-12x50i Riflescope Review

The BDC turrets

Leica Fortis 6 2-12x50i can also be ordered with BDC turrets. The first scope with Leica BDC turrets was Magnus, followed by Visus and ER scopes, among others. I believe that Leica's BDC turrets are among the best because they're entirely composed of metal. These turrets come with 12 different ballistic rings. They're identical on all Leica scopes.

The locking mechanism on 2-12x50i works the same way as on all other Leica BDC turrets. If you're using the BDC rings you will always have a small error because BDC rings are not custom-made. There are only 12 profiles, and you have to find the closest one to your actual ballistics. This small error that can occur can be neglected in all hunting situations since it is usually smaller than the rifles accuracy.

Want to change your ordinary turret into BDC turret?

Leica BDC Direct dial set cta

Windage and elevation

The clicks are 1 centimeter at 100m, and the elevation range is 14 MIL. Windage is 15 MIL. This is more than enough for a hunting rifle scopes, even if you want to shoot farther distances; it's still fine. One full turn on this BDC turret has about 9.5 miles of elevation, which is almost one meter at 100 meters.

The scope does have a locking function. It does not need a turn indicator because when you have a BDC turret there is only a single turn. It has a zero stop.

Leica Fortis 6 2-12x50i Riflescope Review
Leica Fortis 6 2-12x50i Riflescope Review

Optical Properties

Fortis 6 2-12x50i features the 50 mm objective lens and 2-12 magnification range. But now we come to the most interesting part. The field of view is nearly 21 meters, which is comparable to that of the Swarovski Z6. But the light transmission rate is 92%. When you compare Fortis 6 to its competitors, you'll notice that it has a brighter image. I believe that the quality is at least on par, if not better than, the other six times zoom scopes on the market. This was a major surprise, to be honest.

I had previous experience with Leica Visus and with ER scopes. The build quality was superb and everything else as well was great. But the optical performance was average. It was nothing really special. Even the field of view was always lacking a bit. Not that they were bad scopes, but when you compare them with Fortis 6, they failed in comparison.

Fortis 6 2-12x50i scope excels in optical performance, especially when you look at the price range. The regular price of this scope is 2000 €. So it cost less than scopes from the competitors.

The eye relief is 9 centimeters, the scope also features fast focus. But the real point is that when you compare the scope with scopes of top-class Z8, V8, Magnus and so on Fortis 6 is close in terms of optical performance.

Leica Fortis 6 2-12x50i


With the 2-12x50i scope, you will receive these rifle scopes accessories:

  • instruction manual
  • manual for a BDC turret
  • catalog for the accessories
  • lens cleaning cloth
  • bikini covers
Leica Fortis 6 2-12x50i Riflescope Review
Leica Fortis 6 2-12x50i Riflescope Review

Need a spare battery container?

Leica Spare Battery Container


Okay, let's go through the sweet and sour. I'm enjoying the clarity and resolution of this scope. What I find particularly endearing about it is the optical performance; edge-to-edge clarity and sharpness are just fantastic.

Maybe I was just taken aback when I looked at the scope optically and side-by-side with the competition. To be honest, I didn't think it would perform that well. The fit and finish are also very nice.

The Leica BDC turret is one of the most advanced in the industry. To be honest, I liked the Swarovski BTF more. Even with BTF, there are benefits and drawbacks. The BTF is convenient since you may set your own ballistic curve. However, the Leica BDC turret is made of metal and has a much premium feel to it. The Swarovski BTF is made of plastic.

The eye box is also good on the 2-12 Fortis 6 model. The scope has a wide field of view, and it also has outstanding edge sharpness. When you look at the datasheet, which merely says 20.5 meters, you assume that it's comparable to Zeiss and Swarovski's scopes. However, when you look through it, the edge clarity is considerably greater than those from Zeiss or Swarovski. You get the sense that it has a larger field of view than what is stated on the data sheet.

I also like the dot inside. It's small and fine. And it can be nicely tuned even though it has only 9 intensity levels.

PROS summary:

  • great edge-to edge sharpness and resolution
  • advanced Leica BDC turret
  • wide FOV
  • small and fine dot
Leica Fortis 6 2-12x50i Riflescope Review
Leica Fortis 6 2-12x50i Riflescope Review


Okay, what could have been improved? I think that there should be 15 intensity levels. It still wouldn't compare to the Magnus, but 15 levels would be better than 9. Perhaps more reticle options. But let's face it: that would just increase the cost of the scope.

CONS summary:

  • only 6 intesity levels
  • not enough reticle options

Final thoughts on Leica Fortis 6 2-12x50i

All things considered, it's a great value. The Leica Fortis 6 2-12x50i riflescope could be the benchmark for all 6x zoom riflescopes for hunting. When I first read this statement, I was concerned since many businesses simply throw anything in their advertising materials. However, at the moment, Leica Fortis 6 is a benchmark in 6x zoom riflescopes.

Leica Fortis 6 2-12x50i

Leica Fortis 6 2-12x50i Relevant Comparisons

Do you want to know how this product compares to others in its class? Check out the following relevant comparisons:

Review Date
Reviewed Item
Leica Fortis 6 2-12x50i
Author Rating
Product Name
Leica Fortis 6 212x50i
EUR 1995
Product Availability
Available in Stock



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