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Struggling with a decision (1 Viewer)

field of sheep

Well-known member
Hi,
I am about to purchase either the 85 or 95mm ATX but cannot for the life of me decide which one suits best. I know there is only a matter of around £250 between them both. Weight is not a problem as i am used to carrying an 800mm F5.6 with big Gitzo and Wimberley head so that's not an issue. I will be trying both out when i'm back from Wales but in the meantime did anyone else have this choice to make and what are your opinions regarding this choice. I do the normal hide viewing but quite enjoy looking out to sea so i'm thinking the 95.
Thanks,
Matt
 

pimpelmees

Well-known member
Hi,
I am about to purchase either the 85 or 95mm ATX but cannot for the life of me decide which one suits best. I know there is only a matter of around £250 between them both. Weight is not a problem as i am used to carrying an 800mm F5.6 with big Gitzo and Wimberley head so that's not an issue. I will be trying both out when i'm back from Wales but in the meantime did anyone else have this choice to make and what are your opinions regarding this choice. I do the normal hide viewing but quite enjoy looking out to sea so i'm thinking the 95.
Thanks,
Matt

i would take the 85 mm , as the 95 mm is a step to far , i have heard this from several people .
 

henry link

Well-known member
i would take the 85 mm , as the 95 mm is a step to far , i have heard this from several people .

I have to strongly disagree with this view. IMO the 95mm ATX has set a new optical standard for birding scopes. The 95mm objective is visibly more capable than the 85mm objective or any other 85mm scope. That's not only because of the extra aperture but also because of the extra available magnification. "Field of sheep" has said that the extra weight and cost are not objectionable. The only optical reason I can imagine for preferring the 85mm is if you are unwilling to give up the low magnifications between 25x and 30x.

I've long used 90mm+ scopes at magnifications up to 100x or more for birding. I can't tell you how many times a line of birders has formed behind my scope to get a better view of a distant bird than what could be seen through smaller scopes at 60x.
 
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RJM

Don't Worry, Be Happy!
Always remember there is another significant weight/bulk penalty of a more robust mount in ADDITION to the weight of a larger scope. But if you are experienced/comfortable with carrying an 800mm lens you know your limits. So by any measure expect the ATX95 to be better. And of course, the ATX65 lens module can be had when weight is an issue. And that's a beautiful thing :t:
 

C B Allen

Chris Allen
Hi Matt,

Would have to agree with Henry on this one. Having used the ATX95 daily for the last month - in just about all the situations I'd expect to use a scope - I've yet to at any point regret my choice. Personally I still haven't got over the thrill of wacking it up to 70x on a passerine at 20m just as much as going thru a wader roost or sea watching.

So, if weight/cost isn't an issue surely all you need to do is go to a dealer with viewing facilities and check 'em out side by side & know you're getting the best one for you.

Not very scientific, but over the last couple of weeks on Scilly I saw 6 birders with ATX's - 1 each with 65 & 85's, the other 4 with 95's!!

Chris A.

Out
 

field of sheep

Well-known member
Hi Chris,
I hope to go over to cley spy Monday after next and give them a trial. Funnily though on the phone to cley spy one of the guys there said he would go with the 85 but as you rightly said you can't go wrong by test driving them side by side.
Thanks,
Matt
 

bcskr

Well-known member
I bought the ATX 95 last winter, and the 65 tube this spring. Great combination. When dealing with summertime heat waves I use low power zoom and 65 tube, and in the fall I use the 95 tube, and zoom it up to 60-70.

When I first bought the 95 last winter I was amazed to look across the far side of a lake where I used to attempt identifying water birds, and see the songbirds in the trees and bushes beyond the lake. Amazing.
 

tigglestiger

Well-known member
I brought the 65mm to start with (mainly down to budget) with the option to add the 95mm at a later date.

If i was only going for one then the 85mm would be perfect.
 

bcskr

Well-known member
My thinking is that the 65 is inexpensive enough compared to the ocular module and the 85 or 95 that there is no reason not to buy it. So then if you are going to end up with two objective tubes, might as well go for the big boy, the 95. There will be times, especially on a hot summer day that there is nothing to be gained by lugging around a big scope, so that's when the 65 will be perfect.
 

kabsetz

Well-known member
Matt,

You are used to carrying weighty camera stuff, and have the solid tripods that come with that. You also say you will be looking out to sea, which means viewing as far as ever possible, and in Britain, often enough in weather where heat haze is not a problem. So, like RJM and couple of other posters in this thread have suggested, the 95 is the way to go.

I got myself an ATX 95 earlier this year. In ideal seeing conditions, where atmospheric disturbance does not limit resolvable detail, the 95 resolves about 15% better than either the ATX 85 or the Kowa 883. Of this difference, about half comes from the aperture difference and half from the difference in maximum magnification. (This is for my eyes, with a visus of ca 1.5) Add to this the brightness and contrast benefits given by a larger exit pupil for comparable magnifications, and the ability to discern colors down to lower light levels, and you have an obviously superior image under a wide range of viewing conditions. If you later come to wish greater portability, the optional 65mm objective module is not that huge of an additional expense. But, when I had the chance to buy a virtually unused 65mm objective for 600 €, I passed because I reckoned that I would never use it knowing how much better the 95's view would be.

I know that Swarovski claims the design is optimized for the 85mm objective module, but having tested a number of 95's, a couple of 85's and one 65, I can't say I have been able to see any evidence of this in the views they provide.

Kimmo
 

field of sheep

Well-known member
Thanks Kimmo, yes the majority seem to go with the 95. I will be testing and looking to buy on Monday but will have both objectives together side by side for comparison. Looking forward to the experience which ever one I go for.
Thanks,
Matt
 

field of sheep

Well-known member
Thanks for all the advice to those who posted on this thread. I went to Cleyspy today and after spending nearly an hour with the two side by side i finally went for the 95mm though it was a very tough decision as they were both superb. Even had a friendly Chaffinch pose for around half an hour for me while i did some side by side comparisons. What an amazing scope the ATX is though, just superb.

Matt
 

horukuru

Here I Come !
Excellent choice!

I have the STX 95 and just got the ATX 65 for testing purposes. I will use more of the ATX 65 for my next birding tour and see how it perform in the rainforest and STX 95 as a backup :king:
 

bcskr

Well-known member
Great combination having both 65 and 95. I have different tripods for each, just change the ocular module.
 

AlanFrench

Well-known member
Matt,

I have been using a 92mm triplet apochromat astronomical telescope for a lot of birding. I usually set it up on a beach or on my back deck, and generally don't carry it around, but the views of distant birds at 86x can be quite marvelous.

Since you don't mind carrying some heavy gear, I think you made the right choice.

Clear skies, Alan
 

OSOK

Well-known member
IMHO , The 95mm is the only way to go if weight is not an issue as i'm struggling to understand why there's an 85mm at all , A 65mm & 95mm perfect combo .
 

horukuru

Here I Come !
IMHO , The 95mm is the only way to go if weight is not an issue as i'm struggling to understand why there's an 85mm at all , A 65mm & 95mm perfect combo .

The 85mm is a good all rounder scope especially for those who cannot afford to buy 65mm to compliment the 85mm or 95mm. This will also appeal for woman birdwatchers because of the weight less than the 95mm plus also good for Digiscoping ;)

So 65, 85 and 95mm considered an excellent lineup offered by Swarovski now.
 

OSOK

Well-known member
Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm ......... Still makes no sense to me i'm afraid perhaps taking one less Lipstick and that will save enough weight to take the 95mm ?
To buy an 85mm as a comprimise or a ' good all rounder ' for those who cant afford the 65mm & 95mm seems to defeat what this system is all about , IMHO .
 

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