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The Scopes Advisor

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Swarovski Discontinues ATS HD Scopes

80mm and 65mm

Swarovski ATS80 HD

We would be sorry to see Swarovski discontinue this wonderful scope, but we feel better knowing thatt its optica quality lives on in the new ATM versions released in 2009. The new ATM versions are optically identical to the ATS versions. The differences are the housing, which in the new versions is magnesium and weighs two ounces less and in a subtle color change in the outer appearance.

A few of the old ATS models are still available in the pipeline, and we still have a very limited number in stock at Birdwatching Dot Com. Considering that they cost hundreds of dollars less than the new versions, we consider outstanding bargains in a top spotting scope.

The ATS HD scopes are among the most elegantly designed scopes in the world, and in our opinion no one has surpassed them optically or ergonomically.

A beautifully designed scope

Smooth and slender, with rounded lines, the Swarovski ATS80 body is shaped like a stuffed green sock, just over 13 inches long and weighing only 3 lb., 10.3 oz. There are no edges to snag or hang up on anything. With superb balance, it's an easy scope to grab around its wasp waist, easy to carry (even for small hands), easy to put on and off a tripod.

In fact, we found that at 20x we could comfortably hand hold it, supporting the body from below while turning the ribbed, rubberized focus band that circles the barrel. In that position, the grip feels nice and solid, as if the scope were designed to be held in the hands. With pleasant, non-slip, hand-friendly covering like that on Swarovski's EL binoculars, the scope is more pleasant to the touch in cold weather than are the metallic surfaces of some other scopes.

Normally you might not wish to hand hold a scope, but in a birding emergency you could brace this one on a car window or the steering wheel for a quick identification that you might otherwise miss. And because of the ding-resistant armoring, you won't mar the scope's finish.

A removable "peashooter" sight near the base of the eyepiece serves as a finder.

Eyepieces of superb quality

The 20-60x zoom eyepiece (sold separately) is a pleasure to use. Even at maximum magnification, the 17mm of eye relief allowed us to see the whole picture easily, wearing glasses. Turn the eyecup to adjust the eye relief, and your setting remains until you deliberately change it again. By the way, you'll never lose the Swarovski lens cap, as it's tethered to the eyepiece. We also appreciate the latch that prevents a user from accidentally unscrewing the eyepiece while attempting to change the magnification or the eye relief.

Cold is cool in making scopes

Swarovski says they went back to the laboratory to create this family of scopes. Working with new computer technology in a vacuum at temperatures close to absolute zero, they applied more than 30 coatings to every glass surface. They matched glass of slightly differing optical characteristics to bring light rays together with great precision, producing true colors and eliminating the need for filters to compensate for light shifts. The result is the brightest optical instruments Swarovski has produced.

No one — not even Swarovski itself — has been able to surpass it.

Click below to see price information on the few ATS HD angled scopes left in stock:

Price info Price info



Birdwatching Dot Com

Please call us toll free
for advice on choosing binoculars or other birding products.
FAX 641-472-7256
Birdwatching Dot Com Store
2197 236th Blvd.
Fairfield, IA 52556

Copyright 2009 Michael and Diane Porter.