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Zeiss Harpia 95 - Swarovski ATX 95 - Subjective comparison

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Old Monday 27th May 2019, 22:52   #26
OhWeh
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Hello Buff1ehead,

* significantly better eye relief (important to me with eyeglasses)
* better options (attachments) for digiscoping


No question about these advantages of the Swaro.

* better resolution at high power
* brighter in the shadows


I can not confirm these points.

But anyway: both are great scopes. We used them yesterday to look after breeding lapwings and, after that, to search and find "our" European stonechat pairs (one pair feeding their already fully fledged hatchlings, one searching for food for their nestlings).

We use Zeiss binos (8x32 FL and 10x32 FL), but I could live with Swarovski without any problem ;-)

8,5x42 EL or 10x42 EL are great Swaro binos, 8x42 SF and 10x42 SF are great Zeiss binos.

Enjoy your equipment! I wish you terrific observations!
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Old Wednesday 29th May 2019, 13:22   #27
Blue Bottle
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Fantastic Review

Thank you for a really informative review.

I hope that this isn't a silly question (first post) but I have been looking at lots of reviews as trying to determine whether a binocular BTX style eyepiece would be more sensible than a monocular.

I am approaching retirement, don't have a scope and have approval to buy one (but this will definitely be the only one for a very long time), so need to get it right! There are other threads on the use of BTX, but this thread is interesting in that the participants seem particularly expert and very experienced, so interesting that none of the particpants are using BTX or equivalent, which raises the question... why not?

Thanks
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Old Wednesday 29th May 2019, 15:38   #28
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Blue Bottle

One answer is that while BTX is brilliant at a static site overlooking somewhere within range of its magnification that you want to watch continuously for long periods:
It is heavy if you want to move from place to place on foot.
It has a fixed magnification and swapping to a zoom is therefore a fuss, takes time during which your subject may be long gone and swapping in the rain can't be done.

Lee
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Old Wednesday 29th May 2019, 15:45   #29
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Agree with Lee on BTX, also if more than one person is sharing the BTX you may constantly need to alter the IPD between users which could mean missing Birds.
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Old Wednesday 29th May 2019, 16:50   #30
lestat
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Not only do you have to change the IPD between users, but if you're different heights you'll have to adjust the tripod as well on the BTX since turning (rotating) the eyepieces doesn't work as well when you want to use both eyes. You could tilt your head but it's not convenient.

So yeah I was in the same boat comparing the swarovski atx 85 to the zeiss harpia 85. For us the swarovski performed better and we ended up going with that. Initially we also considered the BTX but that one fell through after we discovered the 'disadvantages' of size and usage between two people that are different height and have different spaces between their eyes.
So then it was a matter of putting the zeiss versus the swarovski.
Compared to Buff1ehead's points:

The most significant advantages of the Zeiss scope were:
* better field of view
* greater zoom range from 22x to 65x (as opposed to the 25x to 60x at the swarovski 85)
* lower price (by around 200€)

The most significant advantages of the Swarovski scope were:
* significantly better eye relief (important to me with eyeglasses)
* brighter in the shadows
* better options (attachments) for digiscoping
* better color rendition (i hope this is the proper word for it)
* the way the zoom is displayed on the scope
* more options to change if needed, 65 / 95, the BTX or an 1,7 extender as possibilities.

Draw:
* focusing system
* resolution at high power
* arguably the zoom range

Since we both liked the optics of the swarovski a lot better especially the way we saw colors in darker areas (shade) where it would 'pop' when the zeiss felt 'flat' it was a simple choice in the end for us.
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Old Sunday 2nd June 2019, 09:04   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OhWeh View Post
………….
Obviously the Swarowski ATX 30-70x95 and the Zeiss Harpia 23-70x95 are the current top models of both competitors. ……………...
Hello OhWeh, I only just discovered this thread as I'm presently occupied with getting a new x32 binocular model. Nevertheless, I'd like to tell you how much I appreciate your review (post #1). It is very well done, covering so many aspects! Thanks a lot.
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Old Sunday 23rd June 2019, 21:28   #32
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"I do not always see sharp"

Hello

I need your knowledge
I tested separately the two spotting scopes in two different shops: after long hesitations, I chose the Swarovshi ATX 92.
I received it early in the week

I have been trying it Since, and I have a dilemma; I do not always see clearly / sharp.
When I start to look, I sometimes need a certain amount of time to adapt to see sharp - as if my eye had to work.
Sometimes the accuracy falters - becomes a little blurry and then sharp again. As if I had a light veil on the eye.
I wear glasses, and I like to see the whole field of vision and for that I have to touch the rubber eyepiece with the glasses.

In the end to really get to see clear I need to move back a little my eye of the lens.

I wonder if I made the right choice?

Thanx for your help - sorry if my english is not clear

Claude
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Old Sunday 23rd June 2019, 21:57   #33
OhWeh
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Strange: if the air is not blurry, I never have such or similar problems with the Swarovski 95.

Can you try a second specimen?
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Old Sunday 23rd June 2019, 23:23   #34
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Claude,

Did you had a spotting scope before or the X95 is your first?

By your description, it seems to be a problem with you and not the scope...
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Old Monday 24th June 2019, 06:46   #35
Claude_
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OhWeh View Post
...Can you try a second specimen?
not for the moment

Quote:
Originally Posted by DRodrigues View Post
Claude,
Did you had a spotting scope before or the X95 is your first?
yess , an old one - a kowa TS-1 bougth in ....1978 !
a good one (25x50) but out of date

Quote:
By your description, it seems to be a problem with you and not the scope...
possible , I agree.

Thank you for your answers
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Old Monday 24th June 2019, 17:06   #36
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Hi Claude,

first of all, at what magnifications do you see those problems with your Swaro ATX95? At the minimal 30x or at 70x? What what the weather like?

Did you test an example of that type in the shop and did you have similar problems? Was it the same example that you got now?

Sorry for asking a lot of questions, but that information would really help us understand the situation.

Joachim
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Old Monday 24th June 2019, 21:04   #37
Claude_
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Hi Joachim

magnifications : 40 to 70
good weather
I tested another same scope in a store : I didn't have obvious problems
But possible that the conditions had an importance : it was in town, in the street, in front of the store.
I tested a Leica apo televid 82 and I had also some similar problems.
I also test the BTX version : a real pleasure, perfect like a good binoculars. But after reflexion we choice the ATX because of the zoom.

It's possible the problem is from me, my glasses ? : I have myopia, astigmatism and presbyopia.
Or from the rubber cups which are large on the ATX
The seller will send me special rubber cups for people who need glasses -
rubber cup like thoses who are on the binoculars (and the BTX) ....???

Thanx
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Old Monday 24th June 2019, 22:27   #38
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Hi Claude,

if you didn't have problems with another example of the same model at the store, it could be either the scope, or the seeing (aka heat haze). Good weather is unfortunately not always good for using telescopes. And bad seeing will be most visible at higer magnifications.

Your myopia will not be a problem, you can correct that with the focus drive even if you don't wear your glasses. But astigmatism can be visible if it is not corrected by glasses or contacts. So getting the optional eyecup for more eye relief is a good idea if you plan to use it with glasses.

I would recommend to try to do a star test as this is a very sensitive test for optical problems which can be done without further equipment.

Take your scope out during a clear (and preferably cool) night and point it at a bright star - polaris is the usual suspect on the northern sky for this among amateur astronomers as it won't move... but it might be a bit uncomfortable with a 45 degree spotter since it's close to zenit. Any bright star will do, just try not to use Jupiter or Saturn ;-)

You should be able to see pinpoint stars at best focus and the highest magnification (the 70x max magnification is not enough to see Airy discs at best focus). You also want to defocus a tiny bit in each direction and observe what you see. Ideally you should see identical images of concentric circles like in this link in the images for "Diffraction of aberration free aperture - Unobstructed"

https://www.telescope-optics.net/sta..._telescope.htm

Further down in this link are examples of common defects of optical systems for comparison. You could also try to take an image of the defocused diffraction patterns and post here.

Joachim

Last edited by jring : Tuesday 25th June 2019 at 07:10. Reason: speling
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Old Tuesday 25th June 2019, 06:04   #39
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Thumbs up

Hi Joachim
Thanx a lot ! .....Viele Danke ... :-)
I'll look that this evening.
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Old Saturday 7th December 2019, 18:47   #40
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Hello

I'm coming back after a while to report some informations about the problem I describe in the post #32.

The conclusion is : "it really seems to be a problem with me ...and not the scope..."

Friends of me tested my Atx 92 and didn't see any problems.

I was at the festival of animal photography of Montier-en-Der in France.
There was ALL the material of ALL thes marks for the observation and photography of wild animals.
It is possible to test and compare them.

I try others Atx 92 and I saw every time the same problem.
I spoke with an Austrian salesman from Swarovski :
he explained me : the problem is that I have the miopie + presbitie + astimatie and the glasses with progressive lenses.

I had the opportunity to test a BTX - and I really like that - a real pleasur.
I think I'll change the ATX for the BTX.

By
Claude
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Old Saturday 7th December 2019, 20:16   #41
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Binocular views are certainly easier for prolonged viewing, adjusting IPD and focus isn’t a big issue and can be done fairly quickly. I would have thought with an angled view if you set the height a bit low then taller people just bend down a bit more and so you don’t need to adjust the tripod height much.

Could people list fields of view in degrees of apparent field rather than meters/feet…. I like wide fields and find anything less than about 65degrees is claustrophobic. Fixed eyepiece can give wider and sharper results as they are not a compromise. I tend to keep to one power unless I need to push into the distance or reduce power due to low light.

Peter
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Old Saturday 7th December 2019, 21:19   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Claude_ View Post
Hello

I'm coming back after a while to report some informations about the problem I describe in the post #32.

The conclusion is : "it really seems to be a problem with me ...and not the scope..."

Friends of me tested my Atx 92 and didn't see any problems.

I was at the festival of animal photography of Montier-en-Der in France.
There was ALL the material of ALL thes marks for the observation and photography of wild animals.
It is possible to test and compare them.

I try others Atx 92 and I saw every time the same problem.
I spoke with an Austrian salesman from Swarovski :
he explained me : the problem is that I have the miopie + presbitie + astimatie and the glasses with progressive lenses.

I had the opportunity to test a BTX - and I really like that - a real pleasur.
I think I'll change the ATX for the BTX.

By
Claude
The BTX is considerably heavier, but without ever having had the chance to look through one, I'm sure the view must be much more pleasing. I guess Swarovski had a good salesperson there as the BTX is also much more expensive.

How thoroughly have you ever tested the STX, the one with a straight view? I find that angled views through any scopes are very uncomfortable and bothering with my glasses, as I always end up looking through the close-focus part (I need to keep my glasses on as you do). With a straight view scope, I can always use the upper part of my glasses that is corrected for the distance view. I use triple-focus glasses instead of the progressive ones you do, but the basic problem is the same. Only, with your progressive ones you have even less control through which focus section you are actually looking. So as you use the scope, you easily move around a bit, the reason for getting out of focus intermittently. The forehead rest on the BTX stabilizes your head and thus the view becomes more controlled. But the STX allows such a control as well for me.
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--PS: That's a Sooty Falcon on the avatar, photo taken near Sharm el Sheik, Egypt. My highest priority raptor at the time.
What's your species on the avatar? I often have no clue
!

Last edited by Swissboy : Saturday 7th December 2019 at 21:33.
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Old Saturday 7th December 2019, 22:05   #43
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Another option is to get some single vision glasses for birding.
I never use anything else with optics.
Progressive lenses for most uses but never for birding.
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Old Sunday 8th December 2019, 16:39   #44
Claude_
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swissboy View Post
How thoroughly have you ever tested the STX, the one with a straight view?
I have unfortunately not tested the BTX

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boogieshrew View Post
Another option is to get some single vision glasses for birding.
It is an option

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert
--PS: What's your species on the avatar? I often have no clue!
It's a pelican of Chile (Antofagasta) - I really like it
he observe me .... as we observe them.
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Old Monday 9th December 2019, 06:02   #45
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Literally „les yeux dans les yeux“ - nice!!
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