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Is it worth the risk of getting the new untested/unreturnable Swarovski ATS-80? (1 Viewer)

Passakorn

Well-known member
Hello all,

I have the unusual opportunity to get the brand new Swarovski ATS-80 spotting scope. The catch is that I cannot test it before getting it and it is not returnable for the optics quality reason such as a bad star test (it has a full factory warranty for other defects). I have heard from reading in the group the stories about many subpar optics qualities of the alpha scope (Swarovski, Kowa, Zeiss etc.) but I am not really sure about this particular model. The other option is to get the Nikon Monarch 20-60x82 ED Spotting Scope which has a very good reputation for being a good copy. As I can get either of them, I think that Swarovski ATS-80, may hold its value for a longer time.
Has anyone really had a so bad copy of the Swarovski ATS-80 from the star test or real field uses that has to return it?

I would appreciate it if the owner of the Swarovski ATS-80 could share their good/bad experiences with this scope. Also, is the image quality of the Swarovski ATS-80 the same as the ATX85?

Thank you very much,

Passakorn
 

lmans66

Out Birding....
Supporter
United States
Great scope....you shouldn't have an issue with the ATS 80mm.... Just make sure you get the 25-50 eye-piece...as it is better than Swaro's 20-60.
 

forent

Well-known member
I won't dispute neither the benefit of a proper star test and other measures to check optical performance nor the existence of bad copies of even the most expensive "alpha" scopes.

But I would modestly guess that beyond the distinguished circles of this forum or the astro community the vast majority (90%? 95%?) of scope adopters - birder, biologists, hunter, shooter etc. - is not even aware of something like a star test. These people buy and use their scopes happily and usually to their complete satisfaction. Maybe erroneously because their copy is indeed a lemon, maybe not.

I know that because all my fellow birders act that way. And as all ordinary users known to me in person are satisfied with their devices (Zeiss, Leica, Swarovski, Nikon) maybe the incidence of lemons might be slightly lower as you would expect after studying this forum. Just a thought. Hence: Cheer up!

Nobody knows whether the ATS 80 in mention is a cherry or a lemon or an average copy. If I was you I would settle on the ATS if I would clearly favour this model. If I knew that I could not live with the sheer suspicion of a possibly sub-par copy I would choose the also highly-regarded Nikon and compare two or three bodies.
 
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Tim S

New member
I won't dispute neither the benefit of a proper star test and other measures to check optical performance nor the existence of bad copies of even the most expensive "alpha" scopes.

But would I modestly guess that beyond the distinguished circles of this forum or the astro community the vast majority (90%? 95%?) of scope adopters - birder, biologists, hunter, shooter etc. - is not even aware of something like a star test. These people buy and use their scopes happily and usually to their complete satisfaction. Maybe erroneously because their copy is indeed a lemon, maybe not.

I know because all my fellow birders act that way. But as all ordinary users known to me in person are satisfied with their devices (Zeiss, Leica, Swarovski, Nikon) maybe the incidence of lemons might be slinghtly lower as you would expect after studying this forum. Just a thought. Hence: Cheer up!

Nobody knows whether the ATS 80 in mention is a cherry or a lemon or an average copy. If I was you I would settle on the ATS if I would clearly favour this model. If I knew that I could not live with the sheer suspicion of a possibly sub-par copy I would choose the also highly-regarded Nikon.
I had three different ATS 80's about four years ago, kept fogging up on me. Not sure why but Swarovski were very good in repairing then giving me a new one as a replacement. Might have been something I was doing but have had a Leica scope since without problems. However, to get back to your original question, all three were excellent optically in normal birding use. I couldn't/didn't differentiate between them.
 

Ratal

Well-known member
Make sure it is an ATS80HD ie with ED glass, and NOT a pre ED glass version. That said, the Monarch is a stellar, absolutely stellar spotting scope and would be my choice between the 2.
 

Mike Crawley

Emeritus President at Burnage Rugby Club
Supporter
England
I have an ATS80 and happy to report that it has never been a problem. The two guys I bird with have the same ’scope and report no problems. We all have the 25 - 50 eyepiece. Of course, backed up by Swarovski’s marvellous after sales service
As mentioned above none of us have ever done a star test.
 

jring

Well-known member
Hi,

I would get the Nikon. If you insist on the ATS, the designations are a bit muddy, there used to be a non HD version and an HD version. Then Swaro improved it with a magnesium body in the form of the ATM (iirc with unchanged optics in HD and plain glass variants). Later when the ATX line came out, the ATS was revived as a second line model - now only available in HD despite the name without it. It still says HD on the top of the body...

Make sure you get an HD model!

Joachim
 

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