Spotting Scope - Zeiss / Swarovski / ?

Discussion in 'Backpack Hunting' started by StanB, Jul 25, 2012.

  1. StanB

    StanB Member

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    Jul 22, 2011
    Hi folks, I'm getting ready to pull the trigger on a new spotting scope primarily intended for mule deer at not so close ranges; it will be used a lot for back pack hunting. I've narrowed down the field to the following angled scopes:
    = Swarovski ATM HD 20-60 x 65 (or 25-50W x 65)
    = Zeiss FL Diascope T*FL 15-56 x 65
    = ??

    These are the cream of the crop and I'm sure they are both superb. I haven't seen anyone comparing them directly, and would like to get some input on either side of the fence before I plunk the $$$ down.

    I had looked at the 80 & 85mm scopes, and the Vortex Razor had great reviews for the price, but like all of the 80/85's I think they are too heavy. I know they'll have a better image, but I figure moving up from the my current spotter (none!) to a 65, especially for backpacking, will be an eyeopener.

    I currently have a set of Swaro's 15x56. On a tripod these are supreme out to about the 1/2 mile mark, but beyond that accurately (!) juding a rack is tough. I've also used the Nikon Field ED 15-30 x 50. That is a great scope for the size and price, but beyond about a mile you back in the same boat.

    Any input would be appreciated, and any new ideas as well for the above list. Also, any feedback on the Swaro 20-60 lense vs. the newer 25-50w would be great. In that regard, I really like the Zeiss 15-56 (on paper anyway).

    Thanks in advance!

    Stan

    gun)
     
  2. .284

    .284 Well-Known Member

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    I use the swarovski 20-60 for sheep hunting. I have no regrets in buying this, it is a bit heavy for solo back pack hunts but the extra weight probably cuts down extra walking. I never have compared it to a ziess but if it was any better I'd be surprised. My comparison to a leupold gold ring compact model is that the color was much clearer and as long as the heat waves are not out you can use it right up to 60 power. I'd buy it again.
     

  3. StanB

    StanB Member

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    Jul 22, 2011
    Thanks .284. Is that with the 65mm or 80mm objective?
     
  4. StanB

    StanB Member

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    Jul 22, 2011
    Ordered the Swaro HD ATM 25-50 x 65 today, can't wait to get it!!!
     
  5. .284

    .284 Well-Known Member

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    I went with the 65 just for a little less weight
     
  6. KurtB

    KurtB Well-Known Member

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    Feb 11, 2004
    I went with the Zeiss but can't go wrong either way. I was seeing 7mm bullet holes at 600 plus yards the other day on a white target. You will love the swaro.
     
  7. marioq

    marioq Well-Known Member

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    Not trying to Highjack, but I have the same thoughts... Was also looking at one of the Leica angled scopes. I have a set of Leica 10x42 I think and they are AWESOME!!!!!!

    I have a burris spotting scope and at 1400 yards, it is horrible!!!! of course, this is compared to a Swarovski that my buddy had. I liked the Swavo, just more experience with the Leica brand..
    Thanks
    Mario
     
  8. StanB

    StanB Member

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    Jul 22, 2011
    Update.....

    Finally got the 65mm ATM HD. Took it to the top of our local ski resort here in PA, Elk Mt. I could use a variety of expletives to describe the image quality but let's leave at this: the white neck bands on the Canadian geese on the pond about 2 miles away were clearly visible at 1 hour before dark. Unbelievable. I don't know how much brighter the 80mm would be, but I doubt it's worth the extra weight for a "hiking" scope.

    I did decide to send the ATM back though to get the STM. After loading the ATM in the pack, I didn't care for the amount of space it took up.
     
  9. Strider

    Strider Active Member

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    Jul 3, 2010
    I have the Swaro 20-60 x 80mm and us it with Swaru 8x32 binos for mulies in the high country. You can't go wrong with Swaro optics, but I decided on the 80mm due to the exit pupil and brightness. I use it out to 2-miles and am thankful for the extra brightness. It is heavy and big, but worth the weight for me.
     
  10. ed99

    ed99 New Member

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    Aug 19, 2009
    I just picked up the ATM 65 with the 25-50 eyepiece. I very impressed with the optics, but I'm not surprised as I've had a pair of Swarvoski 7x30 SLC and found them to be excellent. Getting used to the angled eyepiece, very sharp glass!
    With the lifetime warranty, you can't go wrong.
    Ed