Swarovski Spotting Scope - question?

Discussion in 'Long Range Scopes and Other Optics' started by B23, Sep 15, 2009.

  1. B23

    B23 Well-Known Member

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    Today I spent some time with my new Swaro 80mm spotter w/20-60 eye piece.

    All I can say is I am hugely UNIMPRESSED!!!!

    I have a 5yr old Nikon (non ED, the $700.00 version) Fieldscope 60mm 20-45 eye piece that is a decent piece but certainly not what I would call top notch glass.

    First look thru the Swaro and I wasn't very impressed but I gave it the benefit of the doubt so I spent the next 2 hrs in a variety of different light conditions and power settings. My swaro binos are awesome so I was expecting this spotter to be atleast noticably than my $700 nikon. It wasn't!

    I set both up side by side looking at the same objects and I could tell no noticable difference between the two. In fact I struggled to notice any difference between the two. Hmmm $700 glass compared to $2000 glass and I can't tell any difference, not good.

    Does anyone have any ideas? Did I get a bad swaro spotter or are they just a big price and really nothing special??? At this point I'm really glad I haven't sold my Nikon because unless I'm missing something this one is going back.

    What are the opinions on the Leica. Is the Leica worth the money????
     
  2. Len Backus

    Len Backus Administrator Staff Member

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    I have never looked through the Nikon model you mention but I do have a brand new Swarovski 65mm. Recently I had a chance to compare it to my 8 yr old Leupold 12-40x60 scope.

    The difference is VERY significant. Much sharper all the way out the the edge. More contrast, too. I love the Leupold, too, especially the long eye relief.
     

  3. jmason

    jmason Well-Known Member

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    You could have the same issue I have with rifle scopes. For the most part I can't see any difference in any of them once I reach a certain quality level. I looked through a SIII, a Mark 4, and a nightforce NXS, and I couldn't tell any difference between the 3 of them. I could when I compared them to a VXII though. I can tell somewhat with spotting scopes but I think it's due to the lager objectives on them.
     
  4. B23

    B23 Well-Known Member

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    You may be right but I would hope I or almost anyone could see the difference between a $700 spotter and a $2000+ spotter. My Swaro binos are significantly better than almost anything I compare them to.

    As I mentioned I gave this spotter the benefit of the doubt and honestly tried to see differences between the two and trust me I tried to give the advantage to the Swaro but it just wasn't there.

    Having them set up side by side sure made it easy to compare back to back. Maybe I got a bad one. I highly doubt it but if that is a reasonable thought I would be willing to send it back for another but at this point it's going back and I'm going a different direction.

    Leica's spotter anyone have any opinions on theirs????
     
  5. jmason

    jmason Well-Known Member

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    You could try a PM to Joel Russo. I know he has some Leicas.
     
  6. esshup

    esshup Well-Known Member

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    Print out a couple of eye charts (the type that are used to check your eyes). Set them out at varying distances, and look at them thru both spotting scopes, paying attention to how small the letters are that you can read.

    I'd bet that you'll be able to see the difference between the 2 scopes then.
     
  7. buckbrush

    buckbrush Well-Known Member

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    I am not overly impressed with my Leica. My hunting partner's Zeiss blows it away.
     
  8. B23

    B23 Well-Known Member

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    When I bought my Nikon about 5yrs ago the salesman at what was then Sportsman Warehouse let me take multiple scopes out side for some side by side comparisons. I took 3 or 4 spotters in the $700-$1000 range outside and spent a far amount of time looking at different objects. At the time the Nikon performed as good or better than most in that range and $1k was my max limit. Like I mentioned I have some Swaro EL 8.5x42 binos that are outstanding in all aspects. I spent some time behind the other top end binos and for me the EL's came out on top. So naturally I assumed the Swaro spotter would be equally excellent. So far, very sub par!!!

    Today I went against my better judgement and let the salesman talk me into stepping up to the HD version with the 25-50 wide angle eye piece this time. He was convinced it would be noticably better. I'll know in a few days but I have a gut feeling this was mistake number two. Only time will tell.
     
  9. jmason

    jmason Well-Known Member

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    Keep us posted as normally when people spend this sort of loot on optics the report is normally about how great they are. I think sometimes it's just because they want to feel good about the financial commitment they made to the product and they don't scrutinize the product like you.
     
  10. eddybo

    eddybo Well-Known Member

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    My buddy has that same scope and I prefer it to my Kowa (I think it is a TSN 88 but can not swear to that modal number)

    Either you have a bad one or lucked up and got a really exceptional Nikon.
     
  11. Timberbeast7

    Timberbeast7 Well-Known Member

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    Why not give the Nikon with the ED glass a try. I have the Fieldscope III with the ED glass and I (and many reviewers) consider it very top notch glass.
     
  12. yobuck

    yobuck Well-Known Member

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    alot depends upon the conditions at the time you make the comparision to other scopes.
    on a good day, its harder to tell much difference between good scopes.
    as conditions deteriate, the better ones usually outperform.

    here in pa. about everybody uses twin spotters in brackets as binnoculars.
    over the last 10 years or so, quite a few have been going to the larger scopes like kowa and swarovski.
    i personally know at least a dozen guys who have done so.
    so were talking on average about $4500 per set currently.
    i know of no one who is sorry they did it.
    i would reccomend you try a straight fixed power eyepiece of say 30x. you will find it to be sharper than the zoom.
     
  13. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

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    1st off, you cant compare a swaro spotting scope to their EL binos. The EL's are in a leaque all in their own. VERY few binos will compare to EL's (albiet there are some) but I dont know of any spotters up to par with EL binos including the swarovski.

    2nd, It could be an issue with the scope but unlikely.

    3rd, As is often the case, a given set of eyes doesnt see well with certain brands or models. Eyes are very complex and unique. I get along with my Swaro spotter very well. Better than anything I have used or compared against (this isnt due to convincing myself its better due to what I paid for it as I own what works best for me regardless of price or hype). I have friends that look through mine and do better with theirs where as I cannot stand theirs. It really in some cases boils down to a persons unique set of eyes. If you find a spotter that works better for you than the Swaro, you should use that one regardless of price or hype. Try the Lieca and Zeiss first, then try the other brands. You will most likely find one that looks right to you.

    4th, I know you stated that you looked through it during different lighting conditions. That could meen alot of things. Have you compared them in early morning light and or late evening light on a good clear day? Often times with one session even at different times of the day it can be very hard to judge accurately how good a scope really is. There could be a mild or light haze that day, polution, mirage, or many other factors. Make sure you set up several side by side at the same time. Look for color contrast, overall brightness and definition. In bad conditions, most scopes will look an awefull lot alike. In the average to the best conditions, a good scope is easy to identify. Again, it is really hard to accurately judge how good a scope is looking through it in one day. The most fool proof test is to comapre multiple scopes side by side in good conditions. Most hunters feel that they need to shop around and compare during bad conditions since they will be hunting in more bad conditions than good conditions, when in reality during bad conditions scopes look pretty much the same. Distorted. A good scope CANNOT fix mirage or haze, only magnify it. The conundrum is that your added resolution from a premium scope affects everything including haze and mirage and you are using premium optics to bring out these issues even more. During good to excellent conditions found first thing in the morning and last thing in the evening, which is when most productive hunting takes place is when you will see the biggest differences between a Lupy, Nikon, Bushnell, and the European optics.

    Not trying to say the Nikon isnt a good scope, just that there could be more to this comparison than most hunters give attention or thought to. At the end of the day, choose the one that looks best to YOUR eyes and try and do the comparing side by side in GOOD conditions and not bad since this is where you will see the true colors so to speak of various brands and models.

    Hope that helps some!
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2009
  14. ejones338

    ejones338 Well-Known Member

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    I think I have mentioned this on the forums in the past, but I'll repeat myself.

    Where I work several of the guys brought in spotting scopes of numerous brands and price ranges and compared them all side by side. Not just one persons eyes, but numerous sets of eyes liked the Nikon overall.