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ATS65 vs ATS 80

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Old Wednesday 18th December 2019, 20:49   #1
Taxboy
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ATS65 vs ATS 80

I'm still at that difficult stage of trying to set a budget to upgrade my old Kowa TS-602. I can't run to a new higher end scope but wondered what the primary difference is between these two scopes are. Given I'm looking at pre-owned, getting a side by side comparison may be difficult so any input appreciated

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Old Thursday 19th December 2019, 00:46   #2
jring
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Hi,

good examples of both will be sharp up to the maximum magnification (the same for both bodies, either 60x or 50x with the wide angle zoom). The 80mm body will of course be brighter in bad light or at the high magnification end.

From a Kowa 602 there are lots of good options for upgrading - I would certainly look also at Nikon Fieldscopes or the new Monarch spotters if available, Opticron ED bodies (especially with the quite nice SDLv2 zoom) or Kowa ED or fluorite bodies (the ones ending in 3 for angled or 4 for straight). Used Leica, Zeiss and Swaro glass is often priced quite a bit higher due to the name alone...

With spotting scopes sample variation does exist even with alpha brands - I would strongly recommend to buy used instruments in person or from a dealer with a no questions asked return policy.

Joachim
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Old Thursday 19th December 2019, 11:47   #3
Taxboy
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Joachim

Many thanks for your sound advice. It is very much appreciated. My initial research had suggested to include Nikon Monarchs but unfortunately they are not generally sold by the UK birding optics retailers.

I will do some research on the Opticron.For some reason they had passed me by as a brand. Perhaps their marketing budget isn't as large as some ...

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Old Thursday 19th December 2019, 15:49   #4
dmcharg
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Key question is what are u looking to achieve in upgrading ? what's wrong with the scope you have ? The only reason I could see for upgrading would be more aperture to increase low light capabilities. Between the ATS 65 and 80 the only real difference is the aperture. In my experience the difference between 65 and 80 is not as much as people make out and will only be relevant if your using the scope in low light or want to push the magnification up. 65 is by far more portable/compact but the difference between ATS65 and your current scope will be small. At 25-40x in normal/reasonable light the difference between 65 and 80 is minimal and even above this the difference is still small.

Last edited by dmcharg : Thursday 19th December 2019 at 15:59.
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Old Thursday 19th December 2019, 17:50   #5
Boogieshrew
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmcharg View Post
In my experience the difference between 65 and 80 is not as much as people make out and will only be relevant if your using the scope in low light or want to push the magnification up. QUOTE

I quite agree with the above but I don’t agree that

[QUOTE the difference between ATS65 and your current scope will be small.
I think you will see a big difference between the two. The ATS65 will be a big improvement on what you have now.
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Old Thursday 19th December 2019, 22:38   #6
Tringa45
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Just a comment: both scopes have the same 460 mm focal length. That is a focal ratio of f/5,75 for the 80 and f/7 for the 65. It's easier to achieve a good correction of aberrations with the "slower" focal ratio of the 65 and I doubt you will find a better 65 mm scope. Even the old non-HD version was allegedly pretty good.

I have an ATM 65HD (the magnesium-bodied version) and it is diffraction limited with 1,78" resolution. As has been pointed out though it does have its limitations in low light. If you want more aperture the Meopta S2 is worth considering.

John
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Old Thursday 19th December 2019, 23:15   #7
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I agree with John for the same reasons. I've tested a number of ATM/S-65s owned by friends. All of those are better corrected than any of the few 80s I've tested. If you want an 80-82mm scope I'd recommend putting out some effort to find a Nikon Monarch ED to try. The one I tested was the best 82mm spotting scope I've seen regardless of price.

Henry
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Old Friday 20th December 2019, 00:39   #8
litebeam
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To my eyes the scopes view virtually the same in daylight.
I was just testing an ATS 65mm (25-50), ATX 85mm, and ATX 95mm this week in my den. All scopes were set up side by side.
In broad daylight all three viewed very comparably.
As light waned, the larger objectives really shined. The viewing clarity increased exponentially as I ended up with the largest 95mm. The image that was 'fuzzy' in low light with the 65mm was still quite viewable with the 85 and 95. That scenario continued with the 85 to the 95 as well as light further decreased.
If one does much 'low light' viewing go with the 'big eye,' if not, save some money and opt for the smaller objective.
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Old Friday 20th December 2019, 01:21   #9
Tringa45
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That scenario continued with the 85 to the 95 as well as light further decreased.
If one does much 'low light' viewing go with the 'big eye,' if not, save some money and opt for the smaller objective.
Well, at the same magnification the ATX 95 would be brighter than the ATX 85 but at minimum magnifications (30x and 25x respectively) they should be essentially the same.

There seem to be some slight inconsistencies in Swarovski's specifications, as they quote 3,4 mm maximum exit pupil for the ATX 85 and 3,2 mm for the ATX 95!

John
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Old Friday 20th December 2019, 03:37   #10
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The specs are fine: 85/25=3.4 and 95/30=3.17.
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Old Friday 20th December 2019, 15:33   #11
Tringa45
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The specs are fine: 85/25=3.4 and 95/30=3.17.
Not really. This may just be a simple calculation by the marketing people, who have been known to do silly things like converting a FOV in metres directly into feet (Swarovski too).

All ATX share the same prism/eyepiece module and 25-60x is not the same range as 30-70x. We don't know the focal lengths of the eyepieces and the respective objectives, so if the ATX 85 magnification is really 25-60x, is the ATX 95 30-72x or perhaps 29-70x ?

John
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Old Friday 20th December 2019, 18:54   #12
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A good Kowa 773 can be had for less than the ats65 costs used, I picked up a mint example with 20-60x and 30xw for £850 from a UK dealer. A vastly underrated scope on these pages generally I think because it does`nt cost much less than the 883 new, but used its a bargain, I really am happy with mine and I doubt I can better it for what I paid.
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Old Sunday 22nd December 2019, 08:48   #13
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When i first bought my scope, the choice came down to ATS 65 and ATS 80. Although in those days, i didn't know what i know now, but remember clearly that - in decent daylight - there wasn't sufficient difference to pay more for the 80, or to ship the extra weight (which of course would be increased by more substantial head/tripod).
When i bought a Kowa 883 about 8 years later, i meant to sell the ATS65 - but couldn't.
This was a decision i've never regretted and i still use it regularly.
Yup, it will drop away as the light fades, but it will depend what you're priorities are.
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