Birding FAQ

Birding Tips








Swarovski Scopes
Personally Reviewed

by Michael and Diane Porter

The Swarovski scope described below has been discontinued and is no longer available.

Swarovski AT80-HD High Definition Scope 80mm
60x resolution score: 18

Swarovski AT80 Scope

Superbly sharp from center to edge, this 80mm scope was the favorite of several of our judges. We could detect no color fringing, even looking with high magnifications at thin black branches against a bright sky, a situation that caused most of the scopes in our trials to demonstrate halos of varying colors.

Although this is a full-sized scope, with an objective lens slightly larger than the Leica Televid-77, the Swarovski is relatively lightweight. Excellent engineering and ergonomic design make it feel nimble and graceful in the hand.

The high-quality 20-60x zoom eyepiece offers excellent eye relief for glasses wearers. The zoom and other bayonet-mount eyepieces attach easily and neatly with a twist. The scope is well sealed and waterproof.

With no other scope we tested was it faster to find a bird and bring it into focus. Sights on top of the sunshade make aiming easy. Lay your hand on top of the scope, and your palm falls on the focus mechanism, a ribbed band that extends all the way around the barrel. Focusing is smooth and silky. The same hand that's swinging the scope into position is already focusing, and you could focus even wearing heavy gloves.

Swarovski ST80 Scope

It comes in a straight-through model as well, the AT80, shown above.

The Scopes at a Glance - A Chart
Here we tabulate the essential specs on all the scopes we tested and their closely-related models.

Optics Return Policy | Basic optics page | The Binocular Advisor | Binoculars Glossary | Gifts for birders

Home FAQ Tips Stories Videos Software Optics Bookstore Orders