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Old Tuesday 17th October 2017, 14:08   #1
dwatsonbirder
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Nikon 82ED v Swarovski AT80HD

As per the title, I am wondering if anyone has compared these two scopes side by side? These are rather old now, but I've seen great examples of both. I'm currently very happy with the Nikon and 30xds lens, but I can't get on with the zoom. I'm toying with replacing it with the old AT80HD (grey body) and the latest 25-50x zoom to cover all bases. Would this represent a significant upgrade to the Nikon or shall I just be happy with what I have 99% of the time? I've found that when I am pushing the scope at 75x it is difficult to get a sharp image, and the fov with glasses renders it difficult to use. I'm predominantly interested in sharpness, fov, brightness and ease of use. I should also state that I mainly use an ED50 for much of my observation, but the big scope is useful at waterbodies, estuaries and on the coast.
I am not interested in the latest scopes as I'd rather spend the extra cash on foreign trips, and switching to the Swarovski shouldn't mean a significant financial input if I sell the Nikon.
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Old Tuesday 17th October 2017, 15:01   #2
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Don't have any experience with the Old AT80 but I do have a ED82.
Since you plan on using a 25-50x zoom on the Swaro, have you considered simply trying the 50x wide angle eyepiece on the ED82? I have used this in the past and found it worked wonderful although slightly darker image than the 30x.

Also lately I have been using the 38x wide on my ED82 and so far I like it better than the 30x as the image seems damn near as wide but the extra 8x really make a difference to me.

Either the 38x or 50x wide might be worth a try to you instead of switching all together.

One more thing Forget about the 75x wide eyepiece, I find it to dark, hard to get along with, and super touchy in focusing. IMO 75x on the zoom is much better than the fixed eyepiece.
Hope this helps.
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Old Tuesday 17th October 2017, 20:50   #3
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Thanks bigwok - I use the 38x on the ED50, I'll have to give it a go on the bigger scope. I suppose getting the 50x may be a good option too, I really like the Nikon and despite its age I think the view is comparable with the current top tier scopes, particularly with the 30x wide.
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Old Wednesday 18th October 2017, 13:05   #4
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Hi,

the one example of AT80HD I have looked through was not so great... which does not say a lot about other examples.

The Nikon Fieldscopes I have used were all great except for the huge focus wheel on the larger ones which I don't like.

I would also recommend a higher mag fixed EP for your 82ED - either Nikon or an adapted astro EP - see teh following thread...

http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=322702

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Old Wednesday 18th October 2017, 16:56   #5
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Good idea Joachim, I would love to get an adaptor so I could try the Baader Hyperion zoom, but I have no idea if such a thing exists, nor would I have a clue about how to construct an adaptor. What a shame that Nikon have not produced such an adaptor for the eyepieces for the Monarch scopes - the 30-60x WA zoom would be a popular addition I suspect.
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Old Thursday 19th October 2017, 00:16   #6
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Hi,

yes, the Baader would sure be nice - if you have one at hand, you can start by unscrewing the 2 and 1.25" barrels and just hold it to your ED82 to check if you come to focus. Try at night at infinity too to be sure. The Mk4 gains a few mm of infocus as compared to the Mk3 which might help.

If yes, you can start to gather info - the thread sizes for the Baader should be well documented on the Baader pages and for the Nikon thread (or bayonet?) you might find info in the thread mentioned above.

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Old Thursday 19th October 2017, 09:42   #7
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The problem with nikon scopes,and i suspect the reason for the nikon to be in the narrow side(small field stop ?)is the very narrow and long passage from the eyepiece mount to the prism ..no zoom would fit that passage.Even without the astronomy barrel,down to the bare optics,the baader zoom cant fit the nikon scope ,not even close to sit near the mount or to reach focus at all,..and same with most other zoom eyepieces..
I did own the AT80HD for a while,I bought it with the old 20x60x . I think i had the 30SW as well..pretty sure..it was very sharp and resolved very very fine detail..i still have some digiscoped test ,and I think i got the best results in terms of final resolution .I think it was not super bright ,perhaps due to a very warm color rendition,if i remember well,almost yellowish.the coatings were beautiful amber-green..It would make a wonderful combo with the 25-50x,but that is a very expensive eyepiece,and even if you find a used unit of the at80hd ,the price is usually from 500 to 700 pounds for the HD ,so you are looking at 1000 -1200 pounds for the combo..maybe worth to get a good doubler and boost your fixed power eyepieces..

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Old Thursday 19th October 2017, 15:17   #8
dipped
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwatsonbirder View Post
As per the title, I am wondering if anyone has compared these two scopes side by side? These are rather old now, but I've seen great examples of both. I'm currently very happy with the Nikon and 30xds lens, but I can't get on with the zoom. I'm toying with replacing it with the old AT80HD (grey body) and the latest 25-50x zoom to cover all bases. Would this represent a significant upgrade to the Nikon or shall I just be happy with what I have 99% of the time? I've found that when I am pushing the scope at 75x it is difficult to get a sharp image, and the fov with glasses renders it difficult to use. I'm predominantly interested in sharpness, fov, brightness and ease of use. I should also state that I mainly use an ED50 for much of my observation, but the big scope is useful at waterbodies, estuaries and on the coast.
I am not interested in the latest scopes as I'd rather spend the extra cash on foreign trips, and switching to the Swarovski shouldn't mean a significant financial input if I sell the Nikon.
Hi dwatsonbirder

I used to have an ED82 and a friend has the AT80 with the 25-50x zoom.

Looking at what you are most interested in the Nikon is brighter than the old swaro but doesn't have the option of a wide zoom. Both scopes can have good resolution with good samples.

In the used price range you're considering I would also look at the Pentax PF80ed scope which which might just have all you want when fitted with the MkIV Baader zoom which now hopefully focuses at infinity. It's a great price at Microglobe (providing it's in stock).

I used to have a straight Pentax which was great apart from really bad flare in low sunlight conditions which may not bother everyone and may have been fixed. I returned mine eventually to the retailer.

The scope itself had good contrast and brightness, better than the old swaro? I don't know but probably. The sample I had with the huge Pentax zoom was certainly pin sharp at 60x.
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