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Buying a Used Swarovski ATS65...

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Old Wednesday 3rd July 2019, 15:13   #1
Apodidae49
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Buying a Used Swarovski ATS65...

Ive just cut a deal for one of these, with a recently Swarovski-serviced 20-60 eyepiece and original neoprene SOC.

As its not the HD version (common sense should have told me, looking at the price) am I going to be disappointed or was/is it a good scope pre the HD version?

I will be trading in the Opticron MM3 60ED with SDLv2 eyepiece.

Opinions/advice please.
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Old Thursday 4th July 2019, 09:57   #2
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Is it "buying" if so what else did you pay? Or is it more a "trade/swap" as your description says?
Regardless, it's probably a trade up. Sure the HD version is better as is the 25x50 eyepiece, but you're comparing a scope at half the price (opticron) to the other (swaro).

Of course I'd never buy a scope before looking through it myself and touching it so I know for sure there's no defects before making a deal. So there's still that....
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Old Thursday 4th July 2019, 12:35   #3
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Originally Posted by lestat View Post
Is it "buying" if so what else did you pay? Or is it more a "trade/swap" as your description says?
Regardless, it's probably a trade up. Sure the HD version is better as is the 25x50 eyepiece, but you're comparing a scope at half the price (opticron) to the other (swaro).

Of course I'd never buy a scope before looking through it myself and touching it so I know for sure there's no defects before making a deal. So there's still that....
Well, I’d contend I’m buying it and putting my scope in part exchange, pretty straightforward I’d have thought? It’s from a reputable high street camera retailer who also goes birding and specialises in Swarovski optics. As far as inspection goes they have a no-quibble returns policy if you’re not satisfied. In this day and age, the right item at the right price may not be on your doorstep.

Last edited by Apodidae49 : Thursday 4th July 2019 at 13:56.
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Old Friday 5th July 2019, 09:58   #4
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Received the Swarovski this morning. Beautiful condition, original SOC, set up in the garden for an initial test. Absolutely knocked out by the image quality, brightness and the pin-sharp focus at 60x.

Delighted is an understatement!
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Old Friday 5th July 2019, 10:09   #5
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Well done. Sounds like you have a good example. Get out there and enjoy it.
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Old Friday 5th July 2019, 11:07   #6
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Well done. Sounds like you have a good example. Get out there and enjoy it.
Thanks, its great when the tumblers all click into place.
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Old Friday 5th July 2019, 12:24   #7
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Thanks, its great when the tumblers all click into place.
Good on you!

And set for life (if you like) with Swaro service and maintenance.
Id say you did all right by yourself.

Best,
Jerry
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Old Friday 5th July 2019, 13:15   #8
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Good on you!

And set for life (if you like) with Swaro service and maintenance.
Id say you did all right by yourself.

Best,
Jerry
Thanks, cant see me wanting to go any better than this Swaro. Its been a gradual progression through scopes from RSPB, Delta, Nikon & Opticron. Id recommend Steve Rogers at South West Optics in Truro for tailoring me a great deal and fast efficient service. Did deal over phone on Wed, posted my scope for part-ex and received the Swaro today (Friday)
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Old Friday 5th July 2019, 14:43   #9
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Hi,

congratulations to your new scope - seems you got a good example - which is unfortunately still an issue even with the top brands...

Enjoy!

Joachim
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Old Friday 5th July 2019, 15:31   #10
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Thanks, cant see me wanting to go any better than this Swaro. Its been a gradual progression through scopes from RSPB, Delta, Nikon & Opticron. Id recommend Steve Rogers at South West Optics in Truro for tailoring me a great deal and fast efficient service. Did deal over phone on Wed, posted my scope for part-ex and received the Swaro today (Friday)
I wholeheartedly recommend Steve at SWOptics, had many visits and purchases from his Truro store.
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Old Friday 5th July 2019, 15:32   #11
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Glad to hear it worked out. You can't go wrong with a swarovski (if you can afford it).
Perhaps the language barrier made me loose some info on translation, it wasn't straight forward for me (your explanation was though).
You're set for life now with this scope, maybe swap the 20x60 for 25x50 eyepiece somewhen in the future, but if you're happy with the 60x it may not be necessary
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Old Friday 5th July 2019, 17:55   #12
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Glad to hear it worked out. You can't go wrong with a swarovski (if you can afford it).
Perhaps the language barrier made me loose some info on translation, it wasn't straight forward for me (your explanation was though).
You're set for life now with this scope, maybe swap the 20x60 for 25x50 eyepiece somewhen in the future, but if you're happy with the 60x it may not be necessary
Every scope I’ve ever had that zoomed to 60x fell down on focus at that magnification. Just looking through the Swaro in the garden the focus at 60x is really sharp. I’ll be going to WWT Martin Mere next week to give it a good workout. There is a very long view from the United Utilities hide to the main scrape and, hopefully, not much heat haze to cope with and the Wood Sandpiper to find. Thanks for your good wishes.

Last edited by Apodidae49 : Saturday 6th July 2019 at 12:39.
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Old Saturday 6th July 2019, 10:48   #13
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Yeah circumstances play a big part in the view perception.
I've had hot days where my scope (atx 85) fails due to the heat haze and during the evening when things cooled down from the same spot you can count the feather sheets (sp?) on a gull 300 meters away.
Just keep in mind the 3 enemies of scoping: wind, heat haze and darkness
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Old Thursday 11th July 2019, 12:05   #14
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Is the difference in image quality vastly different between the Swaro ATS65 and the ATS65HD or is marginal enough to not make economic sense to upgrade? I’ve just got the ATS65 with the 20-60x and am really delighted with it but I am impulsive enough to trade up if an HD body became available. But would it be worth it? A Swarovski dealer reckons not. What do Swaro owners think?
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Old Thursday 11th July 2019, 12:13   #15
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I worked for 10 years selling sports optics in an independant retailers. Hardly sold many non HD 65s and most customers could see the difference. For me the HD is crisper ( sharper, better resolution, less colour fringing ) and coupled with a x 30 ww eyepiece I used one for over twenty years. The introduction of the newer wider angle zoom eyepiece, 25 - 50, completed the kit. Okay you got a very good piece of kit but perhaps you need to do a comparison. If you dont see any difference after testing then save your money.
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Old Thursday 11th July 2019, 12:17   #16
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Addendum ref. zoom eyepieces.

My adage remains......better to see an object well at x 50 rather than poorly at x 60 or above
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Old Thursday 11th July 2019, 12:25   #17
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Thanks for the input PYRTLE. The Swaro HD is undoubtedly an outstanding scope but the non-HD is still a Swaro and thus far optically great. The dealer I bought it from has an STSHD and it was his opinion that the difference (with my 20-60x) would be marginal, and this from a man who could make money out of me by enthusing about the upgrade.
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Old Thursday 11th July 2019, 13:12   #18
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Hi,

I cannot really speak about the ATS - I have only seen a few ATS/ATM80 models - all HD. Also I don't know a lot about the objective design of the ATS - Kimmo stated that the ATS80 HD uses a triplet with an ED element in some review - not sure what this means for the non HD version - could be regular glass doublet, ED doublet or regular glass triplet.

When I met some fellow birder who had the plain glass variant of my fluorite doublet TSN-3 (which is a very nice example), we did swap eyepieces around and compare the view and the result was that sharpness beyond 40x was visibly degraded in the TSN-1 using a plain glass doublet.

Since you say that the image is pin sharp at 60x, I would rule out a plain glass doublet. Also sample variation is present even in alpha brand spotters - a so-so example of the HD might be not as good as a cherry non-HD...

If you get the chance to buy an HD version in person, take your non-HD example and compare side by side at 60x... If you see an improvement which is great enough to make you spend $$$, make sure you get exactly the device you tested - not a different example.

Joachim
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Old Thursday 11th July 2019, 13:35   #19
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Hi,

I cannot really speak about the ATS - I have only seen a few ATS/ATM80 models - all HD. Also I don't know a lot about the objective design of the ATS - Kimmo stated that the ATS80 HD uses a triplet with an ED element in some review - not sure what this means for the non HD version - could be regular glass doublet, ED doublet or regular glass triplet.

When I met some fellow birder who had the plain glass variant of my fluorite doublet TSN-3 (which is a very nice example), we did swap eyepieces around and compare the view and the result was that sharpness beyond 40x was visibly degraded in the TSN-1 using a plain glass doublet.

Since you say that the image is pin sharp at 60x, I would rule out a plain glass doublet. Also sample variation is present even in alpha brand spotters - a so-so example of the HD might be not as good as a cherry non-HD...

If you get the chance to buy an HD version in person, take your non-HD example and compare side by side at 60x... If you see an improvement which is great enough to make you spend $$$, make sure you get exactly the device you tested - not a different example.

Joachim
It was “pin sharp” at 60x under ideal conditions (bright day, short range in a garden) at 60x on a dull, misty drizzly day at 400m+ it was less so, but I could still get a hard focus on a moving avocet. Better than any scope I’ve ever had including cherished MM3 60ED at 45x.
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Old Thursday 11th July 2019, 21:30   #20
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There's only one answer that helps you: a direct compare side by side between your model and your potential upgrade.
I'm more than happy to push you to the HD with good stories on how great it is, but it comes down if you can tell a difference and if so how much the difference is worth to you.

There's always something better, bigger, more expensive on the horizon. You'll give the ATX a consideration once you've upgraded to the HD, and once you have the ATX 65 or ATX 85 you'll eye the ATX 95. And when you get the ATX 95 you'll eye the BTX, and once you have the BTX you'll want the 1.7 extender and who knows what the future will bring.
I think you should enjoy the setup you have, maybe look for an opportunity to compare if such a moment comes by. It sounds a bit like you want us to give you an excuse to upgrade again, well: if you can afford it: why not ? :)
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Old Thursday 11th July 2019, 22:10   #21
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It was pin sharp at 60x under ideal conditions (bright day, short range in a garden) at 60x on a dull, misty drizzly day at 400m+ it was less so, but I could still get a hard focus on a moving avocet. Better than any scope Ive ever had including cherished MM3 60ED at 45x.
Well, bad seeing or heat haze is not sth ED glass is known to work against... so the HD version will be affected in the same way.

Joachim, who has not yet found a scope he wants to upgrade to from his old but nice TSN-3...
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Old Friday 12th July 2019, 09:37   #22
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A couple of comments from my corner of the woods.

The Swaro 65 mm ATS/ATM is a slower focal ratio optical design than their 80 mm scopes. Therefore the non-HD variant performs somewhat better relatively speaking, with the increase in CA not being as severe as in faster scopes. I don't have much experience with the ATS 65, but recall having had one for testing long ago, and thinking that it was surprisingly good for a non-HD scope.

As has been said, sample variation plays a role, and if one has a sharp non-HD, "upgrade" to an HD should not be made without comparing the specific scopes first.

Thirdly, any performance upgrade from a non-HD 65 to an HD 65 will be marginal compared with benefits available from going bigger. So my advice would be to happily bird with the ATS 65 until you cannot resist the temptation of a top-tier 80-95 mm scope. Especially at shorter birding distances, the ATS 65 should be fine, and will be a great backup/lightweight alternative once/if you get a big one later.

Kimmo
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