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Swarovski ATX 65 or Leupold Mark IV 12-40x 60mm

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Old Monday 6th February 2017, 23:46   #1
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Swarovski ATX 65 or Leupold Mark IV 12-40x 60mm

Forgetting for a second the $1K plus price difference, I am looking at the Leupold due to it's very compact size in my overseas travel needs. If I packed the ATX broken down, they would be very close in size, but not when underway in Rwanda this April.

How much am I giving up in image quality to the Swaro with the scope the U.S. Army equips it's sniper teams with?

Pictures obviously not to scale.

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Old Tuesday 7th February 2017, 00:28   #2
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The scope is less bulky than the tripod and head that you will also need.
A monopod would be a lot more compact, but much less capable for longer observations or photography.
A stabilized set of binoculars such as the Canon 15 or 18x50s would be simpler, cheaper and more flexible, but without quite the reach of the scopes.

As for the scopes, the Swaro offers interchangeable eye pieces, some with really comfortable views and has superb backup, while the Leupold is now an orphan.
You might consider the smaller 50mm scopes as an alternative. Nikon still offers their superb little ED50, which is readily hand held at low power. The 13-40x zoom included it sells for $616.53 on Amazon
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Old Friday 10th February 2017, 16:05   #3
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How often do you go to Rwanda? 3 or 4 times a year? or is it a one off trip? Do you plan to spot Rwandans or wildlife? If it is a once in a lifetime and you plan to spot wildlife and not people get the Swaro. If you can do more stuff in Rwanda with the money you save on the scope (say 5 more days gorilla watching) it makes sense saving on the scope, but only because a better experience is worth more than a better scope.

As Etudiant pointed out the tripod you will need make the issue of portability quite moot already, but let me add, snipers look for people and military gear (which might be camouflaged but can be surprisingly big). If you plan to look at stuff that is smaller get the right tool for the job.
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Old Saturday 11th February 2017, 15:05   #4
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Swarovski ATX 65 or Leupold Mark IV 12x40x 60mm

I had the Leupold before I got my Swarovski, it was dark (I had the military model which did not have the ED lens).
Note that most military sniper units now use scopes with better optical quality since ISIS has been equipped with better glass.
The Leupold has a first focal plane reticle(?) for range finding that the military thought they needed until they found the teams were using laser rangefinders, which proved much more accurate.
Some Designated Marksman teams may still be using the Mark IV scopes but not the tier 1 units.
The ED Leupold is not cheap, you may find better glass that is less expensive such as the Kowa 663 or a like quality scope from other venders.
Although a little heavier look at the Kowa and comparable Vortex, et al.
The little Nikon 50mm works well in good light, gets you to 16 or 20+ power with a good fixed power eyepiece.
Factor in a really good quality tripod and head, you will discover that to make the higher powers available with the better 65/66 mm scopes to work you will need it.
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Old Monday 13th February 2017, 12:08   #5
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in my opinion in comparison to the Leupold a Nikon 50 ED or Opticron MM3 (or soon MM4) 50mm is going to be smaller, lower in weight, cheaper and will probably give a better view, especially since they don't have a reticle...

The ATX 65 is going to win against all of these but is neither very small nor especially light, unfortunately... Otoh 65mm is a size which might be big enough for all situations, unlike the 50mm scopes. But there's others you might want to have a look at in this class, Kowa 663 is also very nice for example.

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Old Sunday 12th March 2017, 01:06   #6
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No question about it. The swaro atx line is the best piece of equipment on the market.
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