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Is 90s mm class spotting scope too big for general uses? (1 Viewer)


Well-known member
I am looking for a new scope to compliment the 50mm nikon that I have.
I am wondering if someone could share direct experience with the 90mm classes scopes (Swarovski 95mm, Kowa 99 mm etc) intern of portability/practicality in the field? Most of my activity will be wandering around (1-2 km walk at most) with a scope and tripod but probably not for a long hike. My concern is the size of the large scope. How bad is it to transport around compared to 80mm class scope? I can accept about 2kg weigh of the scope. I am not sure if it is worth all the hassle getting 90mm class instead of typical 80mm class scope.

For a one size fit all, does the 60mm class good enough to compromise with the 80-90mm class scope?

Thank you so much,

(1-2 km walk at most)

Buy the 95/ 99, and thus enjoy the stellar views in all weather and conditions. 2km is absolutely nothing to carry a scope this size, and no, a 60mm will not even get close to what you will get with the larger objective lens. I carry my 85mm or borrowed 99mm in a Mule Pack, and it is zero problems. If however I am doing 20, 25k and in really bad terrain? The 50mm is where I stay.
Not too big, in my humble opinion.
The Swarovski ATX95 is a wonderful ‘scope.

I regularly see a guy on my local reserve carrying his Swarovski ATX115 over his shoulder. He must cover over 3km during his wander around the tracks and trails.
I regularly carry my Swarovski ATS80 for 7 or 8 miles when birding on the Isles of Scilly in October and with a Mule Pack it isn’t difficult.
I used to have a Zeiss Diascope 85 which when attached to a Scopac barely seemed to weigh anything. I then went to a BTX 115mm (which I appreciate is probably the biggest and most ridiculous birding scope which exists) and although the view is phenomenal the weight is a drag. It is worth remembering that the bigger the scope the sturdier the tripod and head (and indeed the 115 really needs a gimbal). I only went for the 115 because I needed the light for the binoviewer. If you are using a single eyepiece I don’t think you lose anything at all by staying with an 80mm.
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