Optics Review

Swarovski ATX/STX Modular Spotting Scope

Unparalleled optics, intuitive controls, and innovative modular design. This Swarovski Spotting Scope is what you have come to expect from Austrian optics manufacturers.
ATX 85 mm

Technical Data:
Magnification: 25-60XATX 85
Effective objective lens diameter: 85 mm
Exit pupil diameter: 3.4-1.4 mm
Eye relief: 20 mm
Field of view: 124-68 ft
Field of view: 2.37-1.30°
Field of view, apparent: 57-71°
Shortest focusing distance: 11.8 ft
Diopter correction at ∞: >5
Light transmission total product: 86%
Objective filter thread: M 87 X 0.75
Length: 14.6 in
Weight: 67.4 oz
Focal length with TLS APO: 750-1800
Functional temperature: -13 °F to +131 °F
Storage Temperature: -22 °F to +158 °F
Submersion tightness: 13ft water depth

Mechanics and Design:
The Swarovski ATX/STX spotting scope line has a unique modular design allowing the user to effectively carry 6 different scopes with minimal bulk and weight by allowing the exchange of either the angled or straight eyepiece for the other quickly and simply. With the push of a button the eyepiece twists off of the scope body without moving the scope and losing your sight picture. This also allows for the exchange of the objective to a 65mm, 85 mm, or 95 mm, again with minimal time and effort. For hiking the 65 mm offers reduced weight, or if you are digiscoping in low light situations you can load up the 95 mm objective for increased light gathering. For any backpacking or hiking I find this system nests very well, especially the 65 mm at 13.3 in. The ATX/STX uses a center mounted helical ring focus, but a new feature is that the magnification ring is located directly behind the focus ring where the body and eyepiece meet. This allows for single handed manipulation of both adjustments. The magnification and focus rings have different textures, and the magnification ring is wider and requires less pressure to differentiate between the adjustments. I find this very comfortable and easy to operate as all adjustments are smooth, steady and natural. I have not yet used this with gloves, but I do not believe this operation would be hindered due to the large size of the adjustments and the difference in pressure needed to manipulate the rings. The scope rotates 360 degrees on the long axis by loosening a set screw on the tripod collar. Once loosened the scope smoothly transitions to any position with audible and tactile clicks every 45 degrees. The ATX/STX is nitrogen purged and has a solid lightweight construction using a magnesium alloy with a textured rubber armor coating. The rubber armor gives the scope a sure grip even when wet. The twist in/twist out eye cup is easily adjustable and has pliable comfortable rubber. The objective has a built in sunshade with a simple but effective aiming device.

In my opinion the ATX-STX have the finest optical quality of any spotting scopes I’ve used. The clarity, contrast, and color are unmatched with edge to edge crispness and no chromatic aberration or vignetting. A wide field of view through the entire magnification range eliminates the need for a designated wide angle lens. To me, eye placement was not critical. Even with the 65mm objective at high magnification finding that perfect picture was very natural. With 20 mm of eye relief most eye glass and sunglass wearers should fully experience the great view this scope provides. This also allows for easy viewing if you are in a situation where you do not want to touch or disturb the scope. For those who enjoy getting up close, the 65 mm body offers a 6.9 ft close focus, and for digiscoping you cannot beat the 95 mm scope body, which captures vast amounts of light and provides an increased magnification of 70X.

Packaging and Accessories:
The Swarovski modular spotting scope comes in a nice decorative box with decent presentation and their signature, ”See the Unseen” sleeve. For anyone purchasing the angled eyepiece, it will also come with an adjustable aiming device that attaches to the objective, which with only a small nod of the head allows you to aim almost simultaneously while looking through the scope.

Optional Accessories:
Of course Swarovski has a cordura stay on case. They also offer a flat/shallower eyecup to provide better eye relief for those with very large glasses. Swarovski has adapters for your DSLR camera and an iPhone 5 adapter for digiscoping, but any of the Meopix 57 mm adapters will also work if you have a different phone.

Easy, natural viewing and superior image quality.

Potential to smear lenses where modules meet if not covered.

I really cannot tell you how easy and natural it is for me to use this scope. To me, this scope is the best of all worlds in one package and is the best spotter on the market. Outstanding optical quality, precise/durable construction, modular versatility and quality accessories for viewing, carrying, and digiscoping make this Swarovski spotting scope perfect for shooting, hunting, birding and just about any application.

About author View all posts

Ben Baham

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *