When it comes to optics, Swarovski is always on top of manufacturing companies, especially in the field of spotting scopes and binoculars. In fact, Swarovski has brought birding to a new level and proved that the innovations in spotting scopes are limitless.
With the new technologies, Swarovski has made different types of spotting scopes based on a classic modular objective lens separated from the eyepiece module which is available in three categories: ATX, BTX and STX (presumably where A stands for Angled, B stands for Binocular and S stands for straight). Wow! Other than the fantastic optics, the really important bit is the separation; actually you can use different eyepiece modules on one modular objective lens and vice-versa.
In this article, I will try to discuss every detail related to this amazing spotting scope system as well as providing you with useful reviews to help you get a better idea about it.
Reviews of objective modules
The first modular objective lens I will discuss with you is the ATX/STX 65 mm. It is one of the greatest spotting scopes’ objective lenses since it provides the user with clear optical performance and gives them the opportunity to witness a very large field of view and an awesome close-range focus.
This device is very practical outdoors since it was constructed using high quality material such as magnesium coatings allowing it to be weather and fog proof.
It weighs around 775 grams and is 207 mm long which means it is suitable for a backpack and a long walk in the wild.
With this objective lens, you will find an integrated tripod collar for quick attachment and detachment.
This one here is similar to the first but it provides a much wider diameter of the front lens with 85mm which means more light coming inside the objective lens – more brightness and better quality. It is suitable for dim light conditions, especially at dusk or dawn, since it provides brighter images and also makes it easy to get better quality photographs while digiscoping.
For professional use, the Swarovski ATX/STX 85mm is the best and it is recommended by many photographers and wildlife experts.
The high-density glass used for the construction of this item provides excellent resolution and enhanced contrast.
The strong rubber armouring used on this objective lens module makes it durable for a very long time and protects it from harmful shock. The sealing makes it water and fog proof.
The Swarovski ATX/STX 85 mm is 240 mm long and weighs 1100 grams which makes it bigger than the 65 mm but it is still portable especially if you purchase its special case.
This objective lens is also delivered with a tripod collar to make it attachable to a tripod.
The Swarovski ATX/STX 95mm is literally top-notch. It is the best of the best with its very wide lens measuring 95 mm in diameter. Very practical for professional photographers, ornithologists and other seekers of the smallest details.
This objective lens provides the best quality ever with an significant field of view and an amazing close-range focusing.
The magnification on this device is unbelievable, reaching 70X and, with little decrease in quality, you can change it from 30X to 70X.
It is compatible with angled and straight eyepieces and the adjustment ring is very flexible and well-sealed.
Just like the others, the 95 mm is also water and fog proof.
The elements used for this objective lens are made of fluoride glass and it is precisely built to deliver a clear and bright image with zero deviation.
This item weighs 1340 grams and is 294 mm long which makes it bigger than the other models but it is worth the size if it provides this stunning performance. It is recommended for professional use with a tripod which can be purchased from the company.
What to be aware of about these objective lenses
The ATX/STX objective lens modules are really stunning and provide great quality for users but it is always mandatory to tell you about the cons of these units which are, unfortunately, common with Swarovski objective lens units:
- Swarovski objective lenses are extremely expensive.
- These objective lenses are not useful when purchased without the other necessary units which cost a lot of money such as eyepieces, tripods, cases, digiscoping adapter.
- Focusing is manual, even when used with a digiscoping adaptor for a phone or a DSLR camera.
If you want a good Swarovski spotting scope then you have to spend several thousand purchasing separate items but the quality you will get is worth the money.
Reviews of eyepiece modules
After talking about modular objective lenses and discussing their pros and cons, it is time to discover the eyepiece modules: angled, straight and binocular.
This eyepiece provides the user with a comfortable angled viewing with long and pleasant eye relief.
It is equipped with multi-coated lenses that enhance light transmission and blocks reflective light for best clarity and brightness.
The body of this eyepiece is made of magnesium and rubber armouring that are extremely effective when it comes to security and protection, so don’t worry about its durability.
The eye relief of this unit is adjustable for eyeglasses wearers; it twists up and down for more comfort.
It is 142 mm long and weighs 810 grams, so it’s not too heavy for long walks and portable in its special case.
It is most recommended if you don’t want to re-adjust your tripod every time you change the angle of view. A short tripod is enough to get what you’re looking for.
This one here is similar to a classic straight eyepiece of a regular spotting scopes but it is not classic neither regular, it is marvellous.
The straight Swarovski eyepiece offers the user the best experience while birding at a straight angle, it can be held by hands for moving animals.
The image quality provided by the eyepiece’s lenses is mesmerizing; clarity and brightness are always maintained.
The eyepiece is nitrogen purged, making it waterproof / fog proof, and magnesium provides lightness and rubber armour is for protection.
It is 170 mm long and weighs 865 grams, a little bit bigger than the angled one but the straight shape makes it more portable with other gear.
It is most recommended for observing moving targets, on a car or when standing, or in a prone position.
I have been saving the best for last, and now I want to present this one-of-a-kind eyepiece, the Swarovski BTX module eyepiece, the binocular eyepiece.
This binocular eyepiece is compatible with all of the above Swarovski Optik objective lenses. And it provides literally two eyepieces.
With the crystal clear glass used on its optics, you can experience your most ultimate wildlife watching.
Despite it being a high-end eyepiece module, the quality for both eyes viewing is absolutely worth it.
It is provided with a forehead rest for more comfort and adjustable eye relief for eyeglass wearers. In other terms, you can spend hours birding on this device and you will enjoy every moment of it.
The body of this eyepiece is also protected with rubber armouring as well as magnesium to make it light and durable.
Only available in angled version, along with its size (174 mm of length and 1420 grams of weight) make it a little hard to pack it in a backpack with other gear so it is best to purchase its special case which makes it comfortably portable and protected.
Many users describe their experience with this particular eyepiece as stunning and that is exactly what I think so it is recommended to use it with a 95 mm objective lens so you can get a experience quality at a level you’ve never known.
To complete your experience, you may need a digiscoping adapter so you can capture the image forever with your phone or professional DSLR.
The Swarovski TLS APO Digiscoping Adapter makes linking your DSLR with the Swarovski spotting scope very easy and flexible.
Despite its quite expensive price, this adapter provides the best quality for your DSLR and helps you catch the best moments of your safari trips, birding outings etc.
It is professionally manufactured to fit a wide range of professional DSLRs and the glass used on it helps with eliminating the vignetting.
The TLS APO digiscoping adapter is also compatible with all types of Swarovski ATX/STX/BTX spotting scopes.
In the end, it is a must to say that Swarovski did a great job on these modern spotting scopes ranging from small digiscoping adapters to eyepiece modules and objective lenses, this company takes all the credit for the innovations used to satisfy wildlife observers.