Swarovski 20-60x, or 25-50x eye piece?

Discussion in 'Long Range Scopes and Other Optics' started by brianla, Oct 23, 2011.

  1. brianla

    brianla Active Member

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    Hi all,

    Not being an optics guy, I'm hoping others (Trickymissfit perhaps?) can educate me, and help me decide on an eyepiece.
    I've just about settled on buying a Swaro spotting scope. From reading other threads, I think I want the STM-80 but could be persuaded to go with the STM-65 if the -80 is "overkill". I want to count elk eyelashes at 1000 yards of course, but will take what I can get. I digress....

    Looking at eyepieces, the 25-50x W commands a significantly higher price that the 20-60x, and I'm not sure why. Is it just the wide-angle aspect? If so, my naive thinking says it's a trade-off between wide-angle viewing over much of the same magnification range, and the ability to zoom in 10x more. Is that it? Or are there nuances I'm missing? Why the significant price difference? Is a wide-angle eyepiece that much harder to build?

    Thanks in advance for help and/or pointers to other posts and articles.

    Brian
     
  2. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    the 25x-50x eye piece is new to me, but will assume that it is a wide angle piece of equipment. I've used the 20x-60x, and it's a good one for sure. At 1000 yards the image will be smaller than the 50x one; even if it wasn't a wide angle eyepiece. What I understand is that it's harder to remove distortion with a wide angle lense than with the narrower field of view. I will take a look at Swarovskis website in a few minutes to see what they have to say.
    gary
     
  3. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    here's what I came up with, and I think you'll understand the price difference.

    *25x-50x
    viewing angle is 2.4 to 1.55 degrees deending on power used
    42meters to 27meters @ 1000 meters
    eye relief 17mm

    *30x
    2.4 degree viewing angle
    42meter field of view @ 1000 meters
    20mm eye relief

    *20x-60x
    2.1 to 1.1 degres viewing angle
    36meters to 20meters flield of view
    eye relief is 17mm

    I think I'd rather have the 30x eyepiece and maybe later opt for the 20x - 60x eyepiece. You'd be surprised how well that eyepiece will work for you, and maybe all you'll ever need. I would go with the 80mm body and a very ridgid tripod.
    gary
     
  4. brianla

    brianla Active Member

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    Thank you for your response!

    Why go with 30x though, when a guy could go with the 25x-50x, and get the best of both worlds? Just the cheaper entry?

    (Did I mention I don't know much about optics? :) )
     
  5. ZSteinle

    ZSteinle Well-Known Member

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    i went with the 25-50 on my 80HD. I love that eyepiece so much! A buddy has the vortex razor HD with a 20-60 eyepiece and to my eye (that is used to looking through the wide angle zoom) its like looking through a key hole. now that i have one i wouldnt even consider a 20-60 unless i already had the 30x fixed wide angle. If ur gunna buy a top dollar scope, just as well get the top dollar eyepiece.
     
  6. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    this goes back to something I learned with photographry. A prime lense (one that is fixed and of finest quality) will always project a better image than the samething in a zoom lense. The real differences I've seen are in distortion (barreling and pin cushion), and basic resolution. Also they seem to always be a little brighter. Now the basic concept will apply to your chosen eyepiece as well (it's basicly a telephoto lense). But just as important is the light comming thru the scope on dull over case days. The light factor for the 50X lense is about 1.6, and the 30x lense will be about 2.6. That's close to 40% brighter.
    I use a 27X prime eyepiece, and planned on buying a 20x-60x eyepiece later in an 82mm scope body. The light factor is 3.0, and the scope is very bright. Resolution at 400 yards is so good that I can easilly pick out the pull pin on a pop rivit in a down spout (all painted dark brown by the way). Another way to look at this is that at 1200 yards and using a 30x eyepiece your looking at something at way less that 100 feet with your eyes. Plus you have better resolution and a brighter picture.

    When you buy the scope, ask the dealer if he'll allow you to trade in the 30x eyepiece in the 50x eyepiece if it dosn't work out for you (most all will allow a seven to fourteen day return anyway). I honestly think you'll like that 30x eyepiece (especially if you wear glasses!!). I had the chance to buy the Swarovski I tested a few weeks after I bought my Kowa, and trust me you'll like it! Not a lot of difference between the Kowa with ED lenses and the Swarovski, but a lot of difference between them and the others. Be sure to get yourself a good tripod (extra heavyduty with a good ball head mounted atop it)
    gary
     
  7. brianla

    brianla Active Member

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    Thank you for the insight and pointers. I understand much more than I did previously, to be sure.
     
  8. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    there is (or was) an old guy that often tested optical eqipment in Precision Shooting magazine, and this guy was a light year better than anybody else I've ran across over the last forty years. He did somethings that I kinda thought were a little biased, but you learn to take apart what he had to say, and it all fits right in place. Add to this a couple semesters of physics, and a little common sense.

    You'll be very happy with that new spotting scope, no matter which eyepiece you select. It's a big investment that I doubt you'll outgrow in this lifetime!
    gary
     
  9. NZ Longranger

    NZ Longranger Well-Known Member

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    I have used both the 65mm and the 80mm Swaros extensively with the 30x, 20-60-x and 20-50x wide angle eyepieces. I have also reviewed the latest Leica and Zeiss versions. I have a Swaro 80mm HD myself, but just recently reviewed the latest 65mm HD Swaro. I was really impressed, and felt unless that last 5 minutes of light is really important to you, I'd be buying a 65mm for its better portability. Its one impressive spotter, and definitely better than the Leica and Zeiss 65mm spotters I've also tested. We use mainly the 20-60x eyepiece because we film our long range hunting thru the spotter, and this eyepiece has more eye relief than the wide angle 25-50x, despite what Swaro's specs say, and we get less vignetting with the video camera hooked up. For trophy hunting where you are trying to ascertain just how good that head is at long range, I'd still choose one of the zoom eyepieces. As Gary says, the resolution and light gathering of the fixed lens is superior at the same magnification, and if the zoom only went to 40x, then you'd be better off with the fixed 30x. But once you get to 50 or 60x if there's enough light, you will resolve more because of the extra magnification. I have proved this to myself many times. The field of view of both the 30x and the 25-50x are great, if you're going to be glassing for game rather than just trying to evaluate trophies thru the spotter. But for just resolving power, the 20-60x is just as good. Its also lighter and cheaper than the 25-50x.
    That's my 5 cents for what is worth. And Gary, Jacob Gotfriedson was the optics guy at Precision shooting mag. I used to correspond with him a bit in years gone by. He helped me a lot with my optical reviews.
    Greg
     
  10. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    one thing in life that really bugs me is when I spell a person's name incorrectly. That's why I didn't attempt to write his name. Jacob is a sharp cookie and without question the best at writing reviews. The only realy complaint I've had with Jacob is his binocular reviews, and there'snothing wrong with them. They're just a little too technical for my understanding every bit of information he throws at you.

    I, in my old age have now joined the bi-focal and tri-focal generation! Eye relief is now a super important piece of data for me. Although I'm think laser sugury is in my future.

    I've never seen the 65mm Swarovski around here, and on paper it looks like 30x will give you a 2.16 light factor on a near perfect day. I use that number because is kind of a number I use all the time anyway. What I would be more interested in, is how the scope performs on a heavy overcast day at 30x. Years back I had the chance to use a 77 mm Kowa scope with the Flourite glass, with several eyepieces in the dead of winter. Lots of snow and very heavy overcast. I found the scope to be fair at best with anything above 40X. Yet by dropping down to about 30x; it was like going to a completely different scope!

    Now I gotta agree with you in the idea that the 80mm Swarovski scope is a tad big and heavy, but also way over built and engineered. I have similar thoughts about the 82mm Kowa. But lets face it these two are the class of the field. But do keep your eyes open, because I may have found a new beast.
    gary
     
  11. NZ Longranger

    NZ Longranger Well-Known Member

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    Gary,
    Oops, sorry Jacob if you're reading this. Its Gottfredson, not Gotfriedson.
    Yes, I love the 80mm HD Swaro, and it does allow us to film through it and use plenty of magnification with either spotter or camera even in low light. And I've carried it on my back on climbs of around 8000' along with 2 weeks worth of food, camping gear and all our other camera gear, as well as trying to fit a rifle and ammo etc in somewhere! For this application in the Fiordland mountains, I think I'll be getting a 65mm HD.
    On a really dull day you're quite right that the 30x will be superior to the zoom eyepieces, because you'll have to back them off to no more than 40x, and at that, the 30x fixed will give you more resolution. But my point was, there is plenty of occasions trophy hunting where the light is good enough to allow you to use the extra resolving power of the 50 and 60x zoom eyepieces.
    If I was wanting a spotter mainly for back packing trophy hunting, I would get the 65mm HD with the 20-60x or 25-50x eyepiece.
    If I thought the best low light performance was the most important, and I didn't think I was going to be trying to evaluate trophies at long range or carrying it too far, and wanted the most eyerelief, then I'd get the 80mm with the 30x fixed, especially if digiscoping was also a priority (taking still photos through the spotter).
    As I do all of the above, I'm going to add a 65mm to my optics cupboard for the real wilderness trips, with either the 25-50x or the 30x fixed eyepieces, as I already have the 20-60x.:):):)
    Greg
     
  12. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

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    I, in my old age have now joined the bi-focal and tri-focal generation! Eye relief is now a super important piece of data for me. Although I'm think laser sugury is in my future.

    I know less than nothing on the technical side, but I have the 20-69x, 80mm, angled Swarovski. It's far above anything these old eyes have looked through.
    Folks in my group of friends that said they bought cheaper (good names) spotters as there
    was no apparent difference , retracted that after side by sides in the field. Everything from rings on sheep horns to features on the moon. We're all plus 50 y/o if that makes a difference.
    I will say the weight puts it in the class of team type shooting, a shooter, and spotter. We draw tags individually, and someone goes along, so this isn't a big issue for us.
     
  13. Villreinjeger

    Villreinjeger Well-Known Member

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    Not trying to hi-jack your thread here, although I have a few questions about swaro too.

    I bought a secondhand Mint Swaro Ats 65mm HD, with 30x and 45x eyepieces.
    I was planning to get the 25-50x, so advertised the two... In the end I sold the 30x rather fast, and got stuck with the 45x...

    Now, I'll be taking that spotter to NZ in june/july 2012 - to hunt Thar and probably champis. Any real need for a different eyepiece? I also ser that they don't sell that eyepiece anymore..?

    I reckon a fixed wide angle 45 will be as good as the variable one as long as I find my target? Cheaper too.

    As to 25-50 or 20-60: i suppose a 2x zoom is brighter than a 3x zoom, giving the 25-50 an edge?
     
  14. NZ Longranger

    NZ Longranger Well-Known Member

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    Villreinjeger,
    I would still want a zoom eyepiece, a fixed 45X is going to be pretty hard to find an animal in a hurry in.
    There's little difference in low light performance on the same magnification between the 2 zoom eyepieces according to my tests, and no difference in resolution. The 25-50x has a more critical eye relief but more field of view, and the 20-60x is the other way round. The 20-60x is cheaper and lighter.
    What outfitter are you hunting tahr and chamois with do you know?
    Greg