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Swarovski ATM or ATS HD? (1 Viewer)

trealawboy

Well-known member
I'm interested in learning the optical quality differences, if there are any, in the outgoing ATM/STM HD magnesium bodied scopes and the new aluminium bodied ATS/STS HD scopes due September.

Can we expect some modest improvements? Can anyone recall if there was any change when the old ATS/STS models were replaced by the ATM/STM models a few years ago?
 

proudpapa56

Where'd you go, stay put!
Supporter
United States
The "new" ATS/STS scopes will have the same HD lenses as the current models. So, if you like the magnesium bodies of the current models, including the standard glass models, get 'em while they last.
 

dogfish

Well-known member
I'm curious about this too, and can't find anything on the Swaro website. So is the aluminium body the only change from the M series?

Sean
 

Swissboy

Sempach, Switzerland
Supporter
Switzerland
I'm curious about this too, and can't find anything on the Swaro website. So is the aluminium body the only change from the M series?

Sean

I think that is true. Also, I am really put off by the Swaro website. There is lots of hype but little real info. Except for what they want to promote at all costs, of course. But no info that would allow to make an educated decision on your own.
 

Gijs van Ginkel

Well-known member
Swissboy,
The new aluminium ATS 80HD telescope will be slightly heavier than the magnesium ATM 80HD, the weight difference will be approx. 60-100 grams. More important perhaps is the optical performance. Although I did not test the new ATS telescopes, I have investigated the quality of the old ATS 80HD in comparison with the then new ATM 80HD. The main difference was that the colour reproduction of the ATM was better then that of the ATS telescopes and the image was brighter (light transmissions of the ATS: 77% and 79% at 500nm and 550 nm and 81% and 82% of the ATM telescopes at 500 nm and 550 nm respectively). One can expect that the new aluminium 80 mm telescopes will have the same optical performance as the ATM telescopes, but there will be a slight increase in weight.
 

dogfish

Well-known member
One wonders why Swarovski is doing this; 'new' scopes optically the same as those they replace but a tad heavier. Not as if the ATMs have been around for very long.

Sean
 

Gijs van Ginkel

Well-known member
Dogfish,
Although I am not an expert in reading the mind of Swarovski designers, I can come up with some arguments to keep the ATS in production. First of all there is a lot of competition in the somewhat lower price range (Made in Japan and in China) and Swarovski can compete with this model by lowerig the prices a bit and at the same time offering excellent quality. This model may also be a good competitor for the Kowa, Leica, Nikon and Zeiss models on the market. I am sure that the Swaroki policy makers have thought about it carefully, as they always do as I learned when I studied the historical quality developments of Swarovski optical instruments of the past 70 years.
 

dogfish

Well-known member
Dogfish,
Although I am not an expert in reading the mind of Swarovski designers, I can come up with some arguments to keep the ATS in production. First of all there is a lot of competition in the somewhat lower price range (Made in Japan and in China) and Swarovski can compete with this model by lowerig the prices a bit and at the same time offering excellent quality. This model may also be a good competitor for the Kowa, Leica, Nikon and Zeiss models on the market. I am sure that the Swaroki policy makers have thought about it carefully, as they always do as I learned when I studied the historical quality developments of Swarovski optical instruments of the past 70 years.

Gijs,
I've no doubt keeping this lower-priced range in production makes sense, but why not just keep the M series going? Unless the new scopes have a (new) selling point we don't yet know about.

Sean
 

kabsetz

Well-known member
Two reasons for re-introducing the S-series instead of keeping the M come to mind.

Firstly, the aluminum housing is probably less expensive to make, so it allows Swaro to keep the price gap between the -TS and -TX series wider so they don't compete against each other.

Secondly, the weight difference between the two series is reduced, which will help sell more of the X:s.

And thirdly (tongue in cheek), the color scheme of S-series is more attractive than that of the M-series.

- Kimmo
 

trealawboy

Well-known member
I was told by a Swarovski rep that magnesium is now expensive, which is why the ATS/STS has returned to replace the ATM/STM. Optically, the models are the same. Fixed magnification eyepieces are no longer in production.

I spent some time with the new ATX range and found the view was not a big leap forward over the ATS. More challenging viewing conditions than mid-afternoon sunshine may have revealed more differences. I did however, note the more 'comfortable' view for me afforded by the ATX. I suffered none of the kidney-beaning that I did with the ATS. Perhaps, an opportunity to spend more time would have resolved this issue for the ATS eyepiece for me.

Focussing was smooth on both models, though zooming on the ATX was not as smooth or quick as I would have liked.

A little time spent with the 8.5x42, 8x32 and 10x32 Swarovision ELs was worthwhile, all providing excellent views for my eyes and I experienced none of the rolling-ball effect suffered by others. The x32s are extremely light and comfortable to hold. A difficult choice for anyone wishing to choose between them.
 
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Dixie07

Member
If you are getting an HD ATM, it will be exactly the same as a HD ATS. The ATS's are cheaper than the ATM's though. Either way, you will be very pleased with the optically quality.
 

Gijs van Ginkel

Well-known member
Dear all,
In a previous reaction about the new aluminium ATS80HD telescopes I suggested that the optical quality would be similar to the now abandoned ATM80HD. However that is not true, as I learned by studying the data given by Swarovski. The light transmission has increased by about 5% (with the 25-50 zoom eyepiece), so the new ATS80HD should perform better than the ATM80HD. It will have a brighter image.
 

John Russell

Well-known member
In a previous reaction about the new aluminium ATS80HD telescopes I suggested that the optical quality would be similar to the now abandoned ATM80HD. However that is not true, as I learned by studying the data given by Swarovski. The light transmission has increased by about 5% (with the 25-50 zoom eyepiece), so the new ATS80HD should perform better than the ATM80HD. It will have a brighter image.

Gijs,

I am very sceptical about the figures published by Swarovski. In a recent catalogue the transmission figures of the 25-50x W, 20-60x and 30x W eyepieces ON THE ATM/STM SCOPES are quoted as 86, 82 and 82% respectively.

There is no differentiation between angled/straight, 65 mm/80 mm or HD/non HD and if the 25-50x W achieves 4% better transmission, it would appear that they have been doing something very wrong on the other two. Are they now claiming 91% transmission for the ATS/STS scopes? A somewhat implausible figure.

In the same catalogue incidentally all three Habicht Porro bins allegedly have the same 96% (!!!) transmission despite different complexity of eyepiece designs between 7x42 and 8x30 W/10x40 W.
This is all marketing mumbo-jumbo. A 20 m @ 1000 m FOV is even converted to 66 ft @ 1000 yds!

John
 
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Gijs van Ginkel

Well-known member
John Russell,
Your suspicion about the transmission figures of Swarovski is wrong. We controlled it: we measured the very same instruments with our spectrometer, Swarovski had measured those same instruments also and so did a German optical calibration institute and all data were perfectly similar. I think that you forget that the optical construction of the 25-50x zoom eyepiece, the 20-60x zoom eyepiece and the 30x fixed power eyepiece have different optical constructions and a different amount op optical componensts, which directly affects the overall light transmission. If you consult an optical textbook you will see that light transmission is governed by the amount of optical surfaces and the quality of the coatings applied on it. So that can make quite a bit of difference for different lens systems.
Your accusation of advertisement jumbo jumbo by Swarovski is in my opinion therefore very wrong. All instruments we have measured and which were also measured by Swarovski had the same results. That is, by the way, also the case for instruments made by Zeiss or Leica, since we did similar control experiments for instruments of these companies.
 

Gijs van Ginkel

Well-known member
John Russell,
In the Swarovski catalogue transmission figures for the ATS 80HD are given as:
86% with the 25-50x zoom eyepiece
82% with the 20-60x eyepiece
So nowhere a value of 91 or 92% s mentioned by Swarovski or any other telescope producer. You must have read somethin wrong somewhere.
Gijs
 

John Russell

Well-known member
Gijs,

I am not criticizing Swarovski's excellent products, three of which I own, but the dubious figures published in their advertising literature, which you apparently unconditionally accepted in your post #14.

They are suggesting that the transmission is identical for four different objectives and two different prism systems, but that if one substitutes a 30x W or 20-60x eyepiece for a 25-50x W there is a sudden drop in transmission of 4%!

Swarovski multicoats all air/glass surfaces, in some cases tailored to the individual refractive indices, so the losses per surface are probably less than 0,5% and I have been unable to find an optical glass in the Schott catalogue with transmisiion less than 99% at 546 nm for the considerable thickness of 25 mm. So where does the 4% difference come from? We are not comparing monocentric and zoom eyepieces here.

The accuracy of transmission measurements on optical devices is not very high anyway. RonE (Surveyor) estimated it on another thread as +/-3% at 95% confidence or +/-1,5% at 68% confidence.

The technical knowledge at the optics manufacturers does not always filter through to sales and marketing personnnel. At Photokina a Swarovski sales rep. asserted that the zoom function of the ATX/STX scopes was in front of the prisms, but on removing a prism unit it was obvious that they have a conventional zoom eyepiece rather than a zoom objective similar to a Zeiss Photoscope.

This is not the first time, Gijs, that the tone of your posts has been conspicuously patronizing and it ill becomes you. If you have test results to support your assertions on ATS/STS vs. ATM/STM or 25-50x vs. 20-60x then please post them quoting tolerances and wavelength(s).

John
 

Gijs van Ginkel

Well-known member
Dear John,
We have measured many binoculars and telescopes and a number of my test reports are published on the WEB-site of House of Outdoors in The Netherlands or in Dutch magazines of photography and outdoors and a few in English on Peter Abrahams WEB-site. I am sorry that you take my criticism on your remarks about jumbo jumbo data from Swarovski as patronizing. But how should I phrase it otherwise if I am of the opinion that these remarks are not based on facts but on your assumptions. And a fact is that objectives or lens systems with a smaller number of lenses have a higher light transmission than lenssystems with a higher number of components (provided they all have similar coatings of course). That is not something I make up, but it is part of the stuff we have to teach our students and which can be found in optical textbooks. As I wrote before, we have investigated for example instruments with our spectrometer, with the Swarovski spectrometer and with the spectrometer of an optical calibration institute in Germany. That showed that our spectrometer gave the same data as the ones from both institutes mentioned. We have next to that performed a thourough investigation into the accuracy of our spectrometer, which is mainly used for scientific measurements in the Physics Laboratory of Utrecht University and as a sidetrack for measurements on binoculars and telescopes. For the credibility of our measurements we had to investigate of course its precision and error margin, otherwise our data would have a lot of criticism from reviewers of our scientific publications. To do so we measured for example one type of binocular a number of times and we looked into the spreading of the data. We also looked into the spreading of the data by using a number of binoculars of the same type, but that gives only information on the construction margins of the producer together with the uncertainty margin of our measurements.
On the basis of our measurements our error margin is generally in the order of +/- o,5%. If your colleague found larger error margins, then that could be due to the spectrometer used. This is not meant to patronize you in any way, but it is meant to show how we work and how the larger binocular producers work as I noticed when visiting their plants (not only Swarovski but also Zeiss and Leica for example). I have seen a number of instruments used by different binocular producers and they are more accurate then mentioned in your post, I can not help it.
With kind regards,
Gijs
 

John Russell

Well-known member
John Russell,
In the Swarovski catalogue transmission figures for the ATS 80HD are given as:
86% with the 25-50x zoom eyepiece
82% with the 20-60x eyepiece
So nowhere a value of 91 or 92% s mentioned by Swarovski or any other telescope producer. You must have read somethin wrong somewhere.
Gijs

Gijs,

Those are exacly the same figures quoted for the ATM/STM scopes so there has been NO improvement with the advent of the new ATS/STS scopes as suggested in your post #14.

John

PS: If you had read my post #15 exactly we might have avoided this discussion. I am still concvinced that some of Swaro's catalogue specifications are BS.
 
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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
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