Two newbies buy two scopes...
We had the fortunate opportunity to purchase two scopes: a Swaro ATS 65mm and the Alpen 788 80mm. Both were in perfect condition and very reasonable, considering the current, individual retail price for similar models. (we always buy cars that come off lease)
The weight difference is about 1lb. (45kg) .. 'size difference is apparent. The only major consideration that arose immediately, was the bulk of the Alpen vs the Swaro. We expect the Swaro to be easier to handle, generally.
Given we have 'newbie's eyes' and do not know the technical jargon, I can only say (without prompting) my wife, at first look, quickly said the view thru Swaro was more clear. (both scopes on the same target across the creek) I am more skeptical generally but am reasonably sure the image was crisper. How much - I am not sure. Somehow I thought the Alpen would have an advantage with 80mm vs 65. Yesterday was the first sunny day in a while, perhaps the Alpen would be better on a heavily clouded day?
They are both easy to focus. It seems the Alpen is easier, for a newbie, as it is slower. I easily overshot with the Swaro. I anticipated I would prefer the barrel adjustment of the Swaro but found the Alpen easy and smooth. Thinking ahead, having to grab the barrel vs turning a small knob may have me losing the frame...?
20X - 40X - 60X. Our target was an annual Osprey roost across the creek - about 800ft (200m) I found I prefer 20X. Perhaps it's simply because I am new at this... I can say –for sure– I do not expect to use a scope for the very long ranges you hear from hunters in the Rockies. Even in winter, there is so much humidity locally we see 'heat ripples' in distance views at 45f (7c).
We have a variety of binocs. My wife's favorites are the Nikon Monarch 8x42. We got exposed to Swaro with the 10x25 CLs. They are remarkable for such a small package but are a little small for my adult male hands ..she has no problem. Having these is one reason we looked around for a Swaro scope. Confirmational bias? Does the fact the Swaro cost multiples of the Alpen mean it must be better? ...did those little binocs increase our anticipation of the image? ...'can't say.
My wife is concerned about the 'Gucci purse' effect; the increased prospect that the Swaro may be stolen. She may be reluctant to carry it alone.
Anyway, that's a 'day one' impression.
...please ignore the tripods - these are my old camera pods. We'll need at least one new -with a secure QR- for my wife.