You get what you pay for mostly. When were getting ready for 1st out west hunt i bought a redfield and thought i was good to go . [not] . When i was looking at antelope and trying to judge between 14" and 14 1/2 or 13 3/4 at 500-600 yards it was tough. As luck would have it the rancher let us use his leupold goldring. 15x48 [i think it was]
anyway it made a big difference and i am saving my $ for a quality piece of glass.
I cannot say I have done extensive spotter tests, but I did do a very big bino test.
for me, I found that there was a significant difference using a bino in the terrain I was going to hunt compared to looking around at my house, down the street, at signs etc.
so, I would suggest doing what BB suggested, but doing it in a type of terrain similar to what you will be hunting, or at least in the outdoors somewhere away from the city, lights, buildings etc.
I've been looking at getting a new 60-65mm scope and have been comparing them in the store. I know that it is not kosher to say testing optics in the store is okay; however, I think it is fine. I have looked through the Leice, Zeiss, and Swarovski (ATS) and I found the Swarovski worked best for me. I liked having the focus ring on the body, and the eye relief worked well for how I like to use the optic. I felt the Zeiss was nicer to look through in regard to color but I didn't like the eye relief. I actually have compared the scopes twice and the first time I looked through the Zeiss I didn't like the edge but the second time I had no problem with it. I guess the point is I think our eyes can get a little funky on us when looking through optics so you might need to look and then take a break and look again and see if your first choice stays there. If it is good twice in a row it probably is the right choice. When I went back to look the second time I wasn't trying to make the Zeiss look better, rather, I was trying to see if the Swaro was the right choice. Good Luck.
One word " VORTEX" I have the new 50mm spotter, great optics, very clear and light enough for the back pack!
Ok guys. After a weekend of staring through swarovski atx, the swarovski high definition, leupold gold ring, vortex razor, zeiss victory fl, cabelas euro hd, and the Nikon edg I've narrowed my list down a little. I'm still looking at the vortex, both swarovski's, zeiss and the cabelas.
Can someone tell me the difference between the swarovski atx and the swarovski high definition besides price and the modular ability of the atx. I haven't been able to tell a difference in low light, clouds, sun, close distance or medium distance (<1000yds). I need to go to a different spot to do some viewing in the 1 mile to 2 mile ranges.
The modular design is the biggest difference.
So it sounds like you are saying the 80HD and ATX85 resolve about the same amount of detail. This isn't surprising. I tested these two scopes side by side myself. I was able to resolve one element finer detail on a resolution chart with the ATX. The chart helped here, as the difference was not very noticeable when simply looking at different objects.
however, resolution isn't everything. The ATX also had a little more vibrant color providing a more saturated image. A really big difference was in FOV the ATX is very wide for a zoom and provides a full 60x magnifcation while if you want a wide angle zoom on the ATS, you have to get the 25-50 WA, and are limited to 50x.
The ATX also has a field flattener, providing a very low distortion image sharp to the edge, while the ATS shows noticeable pincushion distortion.
The ATS does have the advantage of being lighter.
Work2hunt, Bitterroot Bulls has probably forgotten more about optics than I will ever know. But the one thing that I would add is that the flattener on the ATX is very beneficial to help the flat sensor on your camera if you intend to digiscope heavily.
Here is the mechanical difference in the two Swarovski's from my research... this might save you some time. I was comparing the ATX 85 to the ATM 80HD with the 25-50 WA lens (the lens I would recommend for hunting). The ATX weights 11.8 ounces more (67.4 - 55.6 ounces) and is 1.4" longer (14.6 - 13.2 inches). These were important numbers to me since I am an "ounce-counter". The FOV is 124-68 @ 1,000 yards with the ATX. It is 126-81 @ 1,000 yards with the ATM (but the magnification is lower on the ATM).
I found a demo unit of the ATM on Cameraland for 2439 (including eyepiece) so bought that. It drop-shipped straight from Swaro to my door... totally unused. I couldn't be happier. Some of my buddies bought the ATX... they couldn't be happier. You can't go wrong either way.
Originally Posted by grizzly
Thanks for the vote of confidence.
One note, while the ATM80HD is lighter as you noted, the ATX85 is actually shorter than the ATM80HD. The specs you listed was without eyepiece for the ATM.
Originally Posted by Bitterroot Bulls
You are correct in that I believe the 80hd and the 85atx resolve the same amount of detail. After printing off and posting the resolution chart you recommend at 100 and 500 yds I couldn't descerne any difference. I did think I noticed a little more brightness with the atx, but I would like to stare through both some more. As for any distortion at the edges I didn't pick up on it but I want to spend some more time with both of these along with the cabelas and the vortex.
The distortion will be easy to see.
Put a straight line (like a power pole) in the center of the field and move it toward the edge by panning the scope. You will see it appear to bend as you move the scope.
Warning***** When you start looking for these things, you will end up seeing them all the time!!!!