Ingenious perfectly describes the cutting-edge innovations of Swarovski's modular-designed spotting scope. With the ATX 30-70x95 spotting scope you have a 75.8 ounce, slim and ergonomically designed, high-powered scope package that takes you right into the field. Zoom and focusing features arranged next to each other speed your ability to change the zoom and focus on subjects. An incredible advantage of the ATX is the option to expand your 30-70x95 scope's performance by purchasing either a 65mm or 85mm objective lens that easily attaches to the modular ocular for 25-60x magnification. The easy-to-change modular components make transporting the scope simple since you can store the objective and ocular parts separately.
Inside the ATX spotting scope, Swarovski implements the finest optical technology to provide virtually even images with razor-sharp clarity and outlines. Improved coating technology and HD lenses set new standards for brilliance and image definition and guarantee optimum contrast in low light situations. Field Flattener lenses create a virtually flat image with razor-sharp details from edge to edge. Optical excellence, user-friendly features, and unsurpassed versatility make the Swarovki ATX modular scope a perfect choice for all your needs.
High-density (HD) Glass
Enhances resolution, color, and contrast.
Fully Multi-coated Lenses
Increase light transmission with multiple anti-reflective coatings on all air-to-glass surfaces.Swarotop coatings.
Helical Focus Ring
Allows for quick adjustments.
Is sturdy and resistant to corrosion.
Provides a secure, non-slip grip.
Reduces glare and shields the objective lens from raindrops.
Rotating Tripod Ring
Allows greater flexibility when positioning the spotting scope.
Optics are sealed with O-rings to prevent moisture, dust, and debris from getting inside the spotting scope.
Barrel is filled with nitrogen gas to inhibit internal fogging.
I have the STX 30-70X95 and as others have said it is fantastic. In fact the optics are so good that on cold clear days I could use even more power. I previously used a Questar which I could push to about 114 power. I wish there was a piece of glass that could be added to the lens for those ideal conditions. A 1.5 magnifier would make it 105 power. Wouldn't that be great?!
Martin M. from Seattle, WA
This is my third scope. The second one lasted me 21 years and 3 months. When I bought it it was top of the line and it has served me well. Upgrading from 65mm front lens and 25 power fixed eye piece to the 95 mm lens and 30-70 power has been eye opening! I'm hoping this one will also last me 20 years or more. The design is well thought out. Travel will be easier due to the fact you can take it apart. Assembled it would be a challenge for my carry-on bag. I do need to get a more rugged, sturdier tripod to eliminate vibration. Right now the slightest wind makes viewing nauseating. Bought the TLS/APO adapter with it and have been getting spectacular stills. Focusing is critical and the lack of a separate fine focusing mechanism while shooting video takes some getting used to. I prefer a camera with an electronic viewfinder so I can exclude light from other sources (attempts with a camera with only an electronic screen were unsatisfactory). But none of these issues take away from the scope being all I expected it to be. And then some. Highly recommended.
David from Virginia
Outstanding optics with huge field of view. With one hand on the focus ring, and one hand on the tripod head pan bar, I can view birds clearly all the way out to the edge of the viewing perimeter.
I also like the integrated camera adapters for digiscoping.
This scope is long (about 18 inches), and heavy (76 ounces). I would say it is at the upper size/weight limit for birding, but I am still pleased that I selected it. It is suitable for carrying on a long walk, but it does get a little heavy. A nice option is the smaller 65mm objective which I may later purchase for use on longer walks.
The Manfrotto 055CXPRO3 carbon fiber legs and 701HDV fluid head is a good combination for this scope, but the head is a little heavy (1.83 pounds). If I had the 65mm or 85mm objective, I might select the 190 carbon fiber legs and a lighter fluid head.
If you demand the best ...
David from Arlington, VA
I have been using a Bushnell Spacemaster with 22x lens for over 20 years. At 22x magnification, it is acceptable, but at higher magnification it would be mostly unusable because the optics and light transmission are poor.
I could repeat the reviews on this scope but it is more concise to just explain that every positive thing that has been said about it is true. It is a remarkable scope, and if you demand the very best optics then this is the one that is better than all the rest.
I have compared it with the Kowa 883, but unfortunately it is not a side-by-side comparison. The comparison was two days apart in calm conditions. Both the Kowa and Swarovski are superb scopes, clearly outperforming less expensive scopes. The feature that persuaded me to choose the Swarovski is the integrated system of camera adapters for digiscoping. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6W2qGvIErMM
I have a pair of Swarovision EL 10x50 binoculars, and like the binoculars the scope has incredibly fine focus resolution. This really helps get the best image for a far away subject while scoping.
A scope this size is not light, but this is not a complaint -- just something to be aware of. You will need some sturdy legs and I like a fluid head for scoping. I chose the Manfrotto 055CXPRO3 legs with 701HDV head. They are the right strength for this scope, but I think the 190 series would also suffice. I chose this tripod and head kit because I will also use it with a DSLR camera for HD video recording.
A new standard in spotting scopes!
Victor L. from Waynesboro, VA
I’ve been an avid birder for the past 35 years and have become more serious over the past 10 years, so much so that I am willing to pay top dollar for high-end optics to enhance my viewing experience. I have been using Swarovski 10x42 binoculars for 5 years now and absolutely love the Swarovski brand and what it stands for! I have been using a Kowa spotting scope for the past 10 years and have often tried out the Swarovski ATS scopes with great envy! It was time for a new scope but I was hesitant to spend so much for the new ATX scope. After doing much reading and talking/consultation with many professionals, birders and experts that have used the ATX scopes, I ordered both the 85mm and 95mm sizes. After using and comparing the two for two weeks, it was an easy decision to go with the 95mm (I returned the 85mm for full refund. Thank you Eagle Optics!)
I absolutely love this scope! There’s nothing else like it out there. This scope is totally redesigned with significantly improved lenses, lens coatings, light capturing ability, field-of-view and functionality … and it all stands out when you use this baby! The ATX scope is not just an improvement of the ATS model, it’s a whole new scope with a whole new standard! The ergonomics is incredibly smooth and natural, with the zoom wheel right beside the focus wheel, allowing fast and easy zooming/focusing, and the 95mm zooms from 30-70x! What’s incredible is that when you zoom in on a bird, the image stays sharply focused and bright, and you don’t feel like your looking through a long narrow tube. The new design of the ocular component allows for a terrific field-of-view. The only thing that Swarovski could do to improve this scope is to improve the sighting mechanism, which consists only of a groove on the outer part of the objective lens (the sun shade). However, the sun shade rotates, and I have found a way to rotate it so that I can line up the groove with a specific point on the eyepiece, which aims it right on target every time! This works great, but if your sun shade is moved, you’ll need to do a quick re-calibration of your aim.
The 85mm ATX scope I tried was also incredible, but the reason I chose the 95mm was: 1) the extra light-gathering ability and zoom capability was just awesome and 2) the cost difference was only $350! Now the size of this scope is big, but only in objective lens diameter. The overall length is comparable to other scopes. It also weighs a bit more than the 85mm. I don’t do a lot of long distance trekking with this scope, but I can easily carry it around on my tripod (Manfrotto 055XB tripod &128RC head) for a mile or so if need be. If I decide that I need a smaller, lighter scope for longer distance trekking, I won’t need to buy a whole new scope … I would only need to buy the 65mm ATX objective. The modular design is ingenious and allows you to switch between different objective lenses. I don’t take mine apart though because I only use the 95mm objective. I bought a great foam-padded travel case (Nanuk 940 Case) to protect this expensive baby while traveling. In summary, I think this 95mm ATX scope is worth every penny and ounce! Read the reviews … this scope lives up to all the hype! I believe in buying the best optics possible or you’ll likely regret it later. This scope will serve me well for decades!
...Improving What was Already Excellent
Donner from Oakland, CA
Quite impressed after briefly using the "X" line of Swarovski spotting scopes at an optics fair before their general release, As a previous customer, I purchased an ATX eyepiece and 95mm objective from Eagle Optics (along with a 65mm and TLS APO adapter). Their 30-day return policy ensured that a comprehensive evaluation could be made for products with no previous track record. In addition, EO staff were very helpful answering my many questions and even took the time to do a comprehensive "mini" optical evaluation of the scope to further assure me of its superb quality.
My results? With their new "X" (i.e., ATX) line of spotting scopes, Swarovski has spectacularly delivered on their slogan of "Constantly improving what is good." The company's claims about their latest offerings are not hyperbole. OPTICALLY, views through the 95mm are breathtaking! Having used scopes, dating back to the Questars, Balscopes and Spacemasters of the 1970s to most of the latest high-end products (I own a Swarovski 80 HD w/25-50x and 20x eyepieces), the image through the ATX has no peer. A friend and former birding guide of many years, who has looked through every model of scope, pronounced the view through the ATX as the best he has ever experienced. Resolution is the highest of any scope at the same power (i.e., 60x compared to 60x). Detail is consistent across the field from edge-to-edge and there is no drop off in performance when zooming from 30 to 70x. Contrast and brightness are outstanding and allows faster focus and little readjustment (pretty much parfocal) as the eyepiece is zoomed. The color is true with no discernible color casts. Details in shadow and dark areas, always a plus in the Swarovski scopes when compared to other brands, are even more easily discernible, especially with the 95mm objective. Owners of Swarovision binoculars will find that the colors are consistent when switching between the two optics. The field of view at 30x is excellent, especially when compared with most scopes in which magnification starts at 20x/25x. Eye relief with sunglasses appears to be adequate to see virtually all of the FOV. No annoying "kidney beaning" (i.e., blackout of part of the view through the eyepiece if the eye is not properly aligned) has occurred with the design of the new eyepiece module. There is still a bit of chromatic aberration when observing backlit or very bright areas, particular at the very edges of the image. However, the amount seems to be consistent with other high-end models and is probably due to the number of optical surfaces in a spotting scope and the current limitations of coating technology.
ERGONOMICALLY, the design has been significantly enhanced so that the operation of the scope is more intuitive, faster, and easier. Coming from a long-time photographic background (and still using medium format manual focus lenses and large telephotos), changing the zoom setting of a spotting scope at the eyepiece was not always "automatic." No transition was needed with the ATX since the zoom ring and the focus ring are next to each other. Although many spotting scope users don't like the large focus band of the Swarovski, my preference has always been the large-diameter collar (akin to a photo lens) which is fast and better with gloves on. Retaining the buttery smoothness of the helical movement, absence of any backlash and excellent balance of the scope, focus acquisition has been made easier and quicker by the improved contrast and resolution (see optical comments above) that minimizes hunting for proper focus. Like the Swarovision binoculars, the amount of focus ring travel needed for the ATX 95mm to reach useful distances has been minimized. For my eye, it takes one full revolution to go from about 40 feet to infinity. The remaining two plus turns gets you down to less than 16 feet.
The modular and flexible design of the scope has made it easier to transport. Unlike my older 80HD, the two components of the ATX can easily be separated and put into a greater number of my various packs. And the interchangeable option with the 65mm has indeed come in handy for travel. However, despite its additional weight (about eight to ten ounces heavier than the current 82 to 88mm scopes), viewing through the 95mm and having the capability to go to 70x to see even greater detail has become so addictive and satisfying that any inconvenience or slight discomfort are easily bearable.
OTHER COMMENTS/USEFUL TIPS. The fit and finish of the scope is impeccable and the scope is very aesthetically pleasing, which makes using the scope even more satisfying. Although my preference has leaned toward straight-through scopes for easier aiming, the ATX has proven to be a better choice when birding with people of varying heights. When trying to find a workable means to aim the ATX, I found that aligning the two raised notches on the hood with the embossed "SWAROVSKI" name on the side of the objective and then aiming toward the object to be acquired worked quite well. To provide a "reference point" for focusing, a piece of "tasteful tape" can be placed on the focusing collar. And to make it easier to see the zoom setting in low-light, a light-colored adhesive dot can be placed on the indicator arrow for the zoom ring.
Other reasons for considering Swarovski is their warranty and the company's willingness to consider comments from users to improve their optical products.