Swarovski HD ATS-65 Spotting Scope Review
Welcome to my review of the Swarovski HD ATS–65 Spotting Scope. I love Swarovski Optik’s products, but I have to admit I sometimes choke a bit at their prices. This spotting scope is no different, so let’s see if it’s worth the money.
This model features a 65mmobjective lens, and utilizes an angled eyepiece design for comfortable viewing of objects in the sky. If you wear eyeglasses, though, you might find the eye relief a bit too short for you at 17mm.
It’s important to note that Swarovski Optik sells this model separately from its eyepiece. The model I’m reviewing is using their 20–60X eyepiece.
The overall length of the scope is 12.79 inches, and it weighs in at 2.25 pounds.
What Comes Along With It?
When you purchase this model, here’s what you get in the box:
- The Swarovski HD ATS–65 Spotting Scope itself, without an eyepiece
- A lens cleaning cloth
- A soft carrying case
The carrying case is quite nice, but it’s unfortunate that the eyepiece is sold separately. You might find a kit on Amazon including both, but you’ll pay a premium price either way. No tripod comes with it, unfortunately.
How Powerful Is This Spotting Scope?
You’ve got your choice, here, depending on which eyepiece you choose. You can go with the 20–50 eyepiece, which offers magnification from 20X to 50X. Or, as I did, you might choose the 20–60 eyepiece that zoomes from 20X all the way to 60X. Whichever option you go with, you’ll enjoy an image that is free from chromatic aberration across all powers.
The field of view with the 20–60 eyepiece ranges from 60 feet to 108 feet from 1,000 yards. If you opt for the 20–50 eyepiece, you’ll be able to see 81 feet to 126 feet of terrain, from 1,000 yards.
How Easy Is It to Use?
You’ll find this spotting scope very easy to use, with intuitive controls. Magnification is adjusted using a wheel on the eyepiece, and you focus with a sliding wheel between the tripod mounting ring and the scope’s “shoulder.” Both controls move smoothly, but with just enough friction to keep you from accidentally bumping them. They’re knurled and offer plenty of texture, so you won’t have a problem adjusting your spotting scope with slippery or gloved hands.
What’s the Light Gathering Capability Like On This Model?
Boasting 86 percent light transmission and fully multicoated optics, transmittance is best-in-class on this scope. I’ve used it in extremely dark conditions with great success, and have even checked out Jupiter’s moons through it.
How Are the Optics and Focus?
You’ll find the optics to be outstanding, utilizing BaK–4 prism glass and fluoride-containing HD lenses. There isn’t a hint of phase shift, thanks to Swarovski Optik’s outstanding use of phase correction coating. This model even includes a SwaroClean coating, a non-stick application on the lenses to make them easier to clean.
Focus is easy to achieve, and you’ll get razor sharp images across all magnifications. This truly is a world-class spotting scope.
What’s the Housing Like?
The housing is aluminum, but coated with rubber armor to make it easier to grip. The tripod ring rotates, so you can adjust the viewing angle for maximum comfort when you’re observing things in the sky or on the ground. Overall, it’s well built and feels solid in your hands.
How Durable is the Scope?
This spotting scope is shockproof, fogproof, and waterproof. The lenses are O-ring sealed, and the optics chamber is nitrogen-purged. On top of that, the ATS–65 is covered by the best lifetime warranty in the industry.