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My test & review of the Swarovski ATX 30-70x95 (1 Viewer)

dipped

Well-known member
Kimmo

Thanks for the very thorough review and for posting the link.

Keep up the good work. Looking forward to your review of the Zeiss HT range and Swaro SLC (HD/New) binoculars.

I've yet to see an ATX in the field but I know Minsmere have sold a few.

Currently Kowa are finally getting there act together and promoting their scope with a great package eg at Viking Optical http://www.vikingopticalcentres.co.uk/sale/kowa-tsn-880-series-25-50x-eyepiece-case and offering bigger margins to dealers.
 

Hermann

Well-known member
My rather lengthy test and review of the ATX scopes is now posted on the Lintuvaruste website. Here's a link to the index page of the reviews. The ATX story is the last one on the list. Sorry, no pictures.

Thanks for that fantastic review, Kimmo. Looks as though I'll have to start saving for an ATX now.

Mind you, for the time being I'll have to stick to my combo of a Nikon EDIIIA and a Nikon ED82A, I'm afraid ...

Hermann
 

C B Allen

Chris Allen
Kimmo

I've yet to see an ATX in the field but I know Minsmere have sold a few.

Currently Kowa are finally getting there act together and promoting their scope with a great package eg at Viking Optical http://www.vikingopticalcentres.co.uk/sale/kowa-tsn-880-series-25-50x-eyepiece-case and offering bigger margins to dealers.

What bizarre statements (unless you work for Viking or Kowa ...)!! Quite a few ATX's out in the field now (I know they are expensive but then the best always are). But why on earth should I care what the dealer margins are ???? ... surely if you're a birder you buy the best scope you can afford & can't imagine why you would ask the dealer what makes him the most profit!?!?! Weird ...

Chris A.
 

etudiant

Registered User
Supporter
What bizarre statements (unless you work for Viking or Kowa ...)!! Quite a few ATX's out in the field now (I know they are expensive but then the best always are). But why on earth should I care what the dealer margins are ???? ... surely if you're a birder you buy the best scope you can afford & can't imagine why you would ask the dealer what makes him the most profit!?!?! Weird ...

Chris A.

Not at all bizarre, simply noting that the competition is feeling the impact of this new scope and is reacting, by increasing the dealer incentives as well as by improving the packages offered with existing models.
In effect, the ATX has devalued the other leading scopes and these adjustments are tangible proof of that.
Kudos to Swaro and hearty thanks to Kimmo.
 

henry link

Well-known member
Excellent work. Kimmo!

This has to be the clearest demonstration yet of the real advantages of a high quality scope with both larger aperture and higher magnification than typically offered by birding scopes. I wonder how long before we reach what seems to me to be the practical limit for a field worthy scope of about 100mm and 100x?

Henry
 

kabsetz

Well-known member
Horukuru,

Henry sort of answered your question, but let me try also. The practical limit for daytime viewing for a scope that is very well made and has very low aberrations is around 1x/mm of aperture, so 60x for a 60 mm scope and 95x for a 95 mm scope. But there are diminishing returns already well before that magnification is reached, and some marginal extra resolution available above that, so it is a rule of thumb. In practice, having used a very high-quality 82 mm scope with 75x maximum magnification, I think it was very seldom that I would have benefited from more magnification in that scope for daytime views. But, there were lots of times I did use that 75x and would have been sorry not to be able to. A magnification corresponding to that in a 95 mm scope is about 87x, and for the ATX which is a bit brighter than the Nikon I used before, I would round that number up to 90x. If and when you use the scope also for enjoying the night sky, much higher magnifications would be good to have, but that is a secondary consideration with these scopes.

But really, it is a matter of compromise, especially if and when you only offer one eyepiece, like Swaro has done. For the 2.4x zoom ratio the ATX prism module has, the 30-72x range is a sensible compromise. 2.4x is doable if one requires not unreasonable size, very wide fields throughout the zoom range and a field that is sharp to the edge. If the scope instead had a zoom like the Meopta 20-70x zoom, which is not a wide-angle but has good eye-relief and is also sharp to the edge at all magnifications, one could have a range of 25-87.5x, which would cover almost all needs.

Kimmo
 

Hermann

Well-known member
In an ideal world I'd aim at a minimum exit pupil of 1mm, provided the scope is well-made and has no manufacturing defects. That would be 95x for the ATX 95.

Unfortunately the ATX doesn't quite get there, but at least it didn't follow the trend of offering only a maximum magnification of 60x we had a few years ago.

Hermann

Edit: Saw Kimmo's much more comprehensive reply too late. Sorry.
 

henry link

Well-known member
But really, it is a matter of compromise, especially if and when you only offer one eyepiece, like Swaro has done. For the 2.4x zoom ratio the ATX prism module has, the 30-72x range is a sensible compromise. 2.4x is doable if one requires not unreasonable size, very wide fields throughout the zoom range and a field that is sharp to the edge. If the scope instead had a zoom like the Meopta 20-70x zoom, which is not a wide-angle but has good eye-relief and is also sharp to the edge at all magnifications, one could have a range of 25-87.5x, which would cover almost all needs.

Kimmo

One way around the FOV vs magnification limits of zoom designs would be to adopt the old Questar trick of employing an internal Barlow that can be flipped in and out of the light path. A 25-60x zoom combined with a 1.7X Barlow would take the magnification up to 102x with no sacrifice of FOV at the low end.
 
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horukuru

Here I Come !
Malaysia
One way around the FOV vs magnification limits of zoom designs would be to adopt the old Questar trick of employing an internal Barlow that can be flipped in and out of the light path. A 25-60x zoom combined with a 1.7X Barlow would take the magnification up to 102x with no sacrifice of FOV at the low end.

And the edge FOV still sharp too?
 

henry link

Well-known member
Well, of course there would no effect at all when the Barlow is flipped out of the light path, probably a little improvement in edge sharpness when it's flipped into the optical train.
 

DRodrigues

Well-known member
Nice review Kimmo...:t:

Henry,
Probably it would be easier to Swarovski to produce a sort of Teleconverter to put between the lens module and the prism/eyepiece module. Magnification of 1.4 to 1.6x would be ok - I would prefer a 1.6x version - the X95 would result on a zoom 48-115x...o:D
If I will have one of these scopes, I will try to adapt a teleconverter from a teleobjective...
 

kabsetz

Well-known member
A small addition to the ATX review. I obtained a low-rimmed eyeglass-friendly eyecup for trial, and measured the eye-reliefs with it fully turned in. It has the same 8mm twist in-out travel as the normal eyecup. Eye-reliefs were 17mm @ 30x, 14.5mm @ 40x, 14mm @ 50x, 15mm @ 60x and 15mm @ 70x. So, effectively the eye-relief increases only about a millimeter or a little more. But, this can be important for some glasses users, so if you find the eye-relief a little tight, it is worthwhile to get the eyecup.

Kimmo
 

field of sheep

Well-known member
Kimmo

Thanks for the very thorough review and for posting the link.

Keep up the good work. Looking forward to your review of the Zeiss HT range and Swaro SLC (HD/New) binoculars.

I've yet to see an ATX in the field but I know Minsmere have sold a few.

Been using my ATX 95 for a good couple of months now, come down to Mins and i'll let you have a try of it. Have seen a couple of others there as well.
 
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