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Scope Help: Vortex Razor or Swarovski ATX?

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Old Thursday 26th July 2018, 19:19   #1
wokka
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Scope Help: Vortex Razor or Swarovski ATX?

Evening all,

I'm after some advice regarding upgrading my current scope.This is my first post so please be gentle :)

I've currently got a Hawke Nature trek 20-60x80 and i'm looking to upgrade.

I've done a lot of internet research and I think i've narrowed it down to a Vortex Razor HD 85 or Swarovski ATX 85.

I can afford the Vortex scope now, but would have to wait a year or so for the Swarovski.

Question is, is the wait for the Swarovski worth it, or is the performance difference vs cost not sufficient to warrant the extra expenditure? I'll mostly be using it for looking at waders on the Ythan estuary in Scotland, range out to 800m or so.

The problem is i can't try the Vortex out where I live in NE Scotland.
If anyone has any real world advice it would be gratefully received.

Cheers :)

Pete
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Old Friday 27th July 2018, 10:17   #2
jring
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Hi,

welcome to BF, first of all!

In your situation I would wait and keep an eye on the classifieds (local and in here) if a good used example gets available some place you can get it in person. And maybe expand your search pattern from ATX to Kowa 883 and Meopta S2...

Also if you didn't find a nice used deal in the next year, the Zeiss Harpia will hopefully be available which might be another interesting option...

Joachim
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Old Friday 27th July 2018, 22:28   #3
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At 800m, the extender on the ATX is very useful...
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Old Saturday 28th July 2018, 07:37   #4
wokka
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Thanks for the advise. I'd not really considered the Kowa 883, but after doing a bit of research it looks a very fine scope, with a good few deals around at the moment.

I think on reflection waiting and saving up for a high end scope like the Kowa or the Swarovski will be a "cheaper" investment in the end!

Thanks

Pete
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Old Saturday 6th October 2018, 11:32   #5
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I would suggest you take a peek at the Kowa TSN-883
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Old Saturday 6th October 2018, 16:37   #6
Fishinak
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I would call Doug at Cameraland NY 516-217-100.
VERY knowledgeable guy, seemed happy to talk, and the BEST prices I could find.
...well worth a call
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Old Sunday 7th October 2018, 11:19   #7
Paul E
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I would recommend the Vortex, in a blind (as it were) test anyone will struggle to see any difference. I am a photographer with high end camera optics, and in terms of optical quality I am certain that there is very little between a Vortex Razor and their Swarovski/Leica counterparts. The Vortex lifetime VIP warranty is also a great bonus, but each to their own, just don't be swayed by brand snobbery though.

I am sure you will be happy with whatever you buy, just depends whether you want your wallet to be too.

Paul

Last edited by Paul E : Sunday 7th October 2018 at 11:27.
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Old Sunday 7th October 2018, 17:08   #8
Steve Babbs
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There is no easy answer to how much to spend on optics. As Paul said the difference between the very good (Vortex) and the best (Kowa and Swarvoski) is actually very small indeed. The price difference is about 1500. Now I presume you don't have unlimited money due to your original post and the fact that most of us don't. If, like me, you have a finite amount you can spend on birding in anyone year then something has to give. I have the very good: a Zeiss 65 Diascope. It's about 12 years old, which is well over twice the age any other scope I've had has got to(apart from my Nikon ED50 which I only occasionally use) so I could justify replacing it and I could afford a top of the range Swarvoski or Kowa but the price difference would mean that I would have to sacrifice a foreign birding trip. I do a couple a year but I have a finite number of years left and a finite amount of money so I would never get that life experience back. So I'll stick with the Zeiss until it really needs replacing and then will get a Vortex (or possibly a second hand top model). I also agree with Paul that the Vortex warrenty is a huge plus. So my tip is buy the Vortex and book a trip to somewhere with a shed load of birds with the money that you have saved.
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Old Sunday 7th October 2018, 21:40   #9
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As has already been mentioned, don't discount secondhand; in fact, there is currently a Leica APOTelevid 62 with all the trimmings offered for sale at a reasonable price on this very forum. I think it comes with the zoom and what looks to be the 26x eyepiece. This is a stunning scope, particularly with the latter eyepiece and would be well worth considering. I've had mine for 14 years now and it's performance still amazes. Try negotiating with the seller, you may even settle on a better deal.

RB

Last edited by Rotherbirder : Sunday 7th October 2018 at 21:43.
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Old Thursday 11th October 2018, 07:38   #10
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Well..since You guys are already mentioning 65 mm scope,Is worth to mention that the atx comes in a handy,less expensive ,65mm module,and It is an incredibly scope ..Image quality is amazing,and goes up to 60x wide angle.I dont know the retail on the Cortez,but a demo unit of the atx65 I think still for sale in a digiscoping spanish forum ,for about 2000 euro...
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Old Thursday 11th October 2018, 16:15   #11
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How is the ATX vs the ATS/STS/ATM? The ATX has always seemed remarkably expensive to me.

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Old Friday 12th October 2018, 08:39   #12
wokka
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Morning all,

Thanks for all the advice. In the end i managed to pick up a Kowa 773 20-60x in really good condition for under a 1000. I think that it'll do 95% of what i need, without breaking the bank. I've used it quite a lot later and the improvement over my old scope is remarkable. I think i will probably end up getting a Kowa 883 in a few years, but for now i'm more than happy, and the Kowa iPhone attachment has made getting photos for IDs much much easier.

Cheers

Pete
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Old Friday 12th October 2018, 11:06   #13
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Great news Pete.

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Old Friday 12th October 2018, 12:03   #14
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That is a great scope for a great price. Personally, I don't think you could do much better for 1k.
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