Swarovski New ATC Scope Review

Small, pocket binoculars have become very popular. So easy to take them along. You never know when a great bird sighting opportunity will arise.

Now comes the new tiny Swarovski ATC 17-40x56 zoom scope. ATC means "Angled Telescope Compact."

Swarovski ATC Spotting Scopes

With a 56 millimeter objective lens, this is Swarovski's smallest spotting scope. This diminutive scope offers a major new choice for a person who is looking for a pocket scope with uncompromising optical quality.

A Swarovski pocket scope?

Swarovski ATC Scope

At 34.2 ounces (just over 2 lbs.) and only 10.2 inches long it easily fits in a photography vest’s cargo pocket. It will certainly fit in the smallest backpack.

Take it along with a small table tripod, and you can always have a scope handy.

Hand holdable?

Rest your elbows on a table and you can get by without a tripod at all.

When you support the scope on a car window, a rock, or the palm of your other hand, the focus ring still turns without obstruction, because of the "half shell" accessory, described below.

Swarovski ATC Scope

It’s not only the size and weight that makes this scope work great in your hands. It’s also the clean, streamlined shape and beautifully engineered design. 

Focus and Zoom Ergonomics

The focus knob around the middle of the barrel is positioned exactly where we want it. And the wide, knurled ring helps you build kinesthetic mastery over the focusing from the first time you use it. 

You control the degree of zoom by another band near the eyepiece that is generous, easy-to-find, and as smooth and responsive as you could wish for.

ATC Half shelf

What Swarovski calls the “half shell” is a piece that attaches to the bottom of the scope and allows the focus ring to turn freely even if you're hand holding. The half shell is held on by a tripod thread. You can remove it if you prefer. We like it in place. It comes in the box when you buy the scope.


The eyepiece is built into the scope and is not removable. It is the same full-size, user-friendly eyepiece that Swarovski uses in its top-line ATX spotting scopes. Same great ergonomics. Same long eye relief — 20 millimeters — as Swarovski’s ATX 65 scope.

ATC Eyepiece

That means it will work with Phoneskope adapters that are sold for the larger Swarovski scopes. (See Phoneskope.) When combined with your smartphone and a Phoneskope adapter, your ATC scope gives you a highly portable telephoto camera.

Swarovision optics

Just like its big siblings, this scope has Swarovision optics. (Indeed, it is a miniature ATX scope, made to the same quality standards as the esteemed ATX/STX line of scopes.)

This is an amazing scope with uncompromising Swarovski quality. It's the same extraordinary glass, coatings and engineering we have found in all of Swarovski’s top optics. The image is sharp, bright, flat from edge to edge, and utterly free from chromatic aberration. It is a joy to look through.

Swarovski ATC Scope

Shoulder strap

Included with the scope is a handy shoulder strap. It's long enough to hold the scope comfortably over one shoulder, bandolera style.

The scope is then carried at the level of your waist, where it is out of the way but in easy hand reach.

The shoulder strap attaches to the scope on the opposite side from the eyepiece tether, so the two straps don't interfere. The shoulder strap is adjustable and can be custom fit.

Lens caps

Swarovski always has meticulous attention to details. The objective lens cover made us smile. It’s the best lens cover we’ve ever used. It's both secure and easy to use.

At the center of the objective cap, there are two finger tabs. You pinch them together to put the cap on or off the scope. Even a person with old fingers can do it. And when it's on the scope, it will not fall off! As veterans of the lost-cap wars, we really appreciate that!

ATC lens caps ATC lens caps

But then, even better, you can keep that lens cap from getting lost. It fits and stores securely inside the eyepiece lens cover, which is tethered to the scope. Both covers will be ready for you to find when you want to put away or protect the scope.

Magnification  17 - 40x 
Objective lenses diameter  56 mm 
Field of view at 17x 186 feet at 1000 yards
Field of view at 40x 102 feet at 1000 yards
Eye relief 20 mm 
Minimum focus distance 11.2 feet 
Exit pupil at 17x mm 3.4 mm
Exit pupil at 40x mm 1.4 mm
Weight  34.2 ounces 
Length  10.2 inches
 Width  2.6 inches
 Height  5.6 inches
 Color  Green or Orange
 Weatherproofing  Waterproof


Swarovski expects to start shipping this new product about October 2, 2022. You can see prices and pre-order here.