View Full Version : Swarovski HD Series Spotting Scope

05-14-2011, 04:44 PM
Looking for some advice. I'm thinking about purchasing a Swarovski STM-65 HD 25-50X65 spotter. Price tag is $2,549.99 and I have $1,900 in Cabelas cash to throw at it. Should I go for it or shoot for something a little cheaper to leave some cash for some other toys?

Bitterroot Bulls
05-14-2011, 07:06 PM
What are your intended uses?

05-15-2011, 10:42 AM
High Country spotting mainly. Will pack w/me into the backcountry.

Bitterroot Bulls
05-15-2011, 10:18 PM
I would recommend the Nikon ED50, if it is for high-country backpacking. It is truly light and compact, and optically excellent. The Swaro 65HD is almost as long, and almost as heavy (the difference is 9 ounces) as it's 80mm big brother. If you are set on the Swarovski, I think there are more advantages to the larger aperture of the 80mm version. The extra 9 ounces would be worth it to me for the better low-light performance.

the Nikon ED50 is half the weight of the Swaro 65HD. If you go for the Nikon, you can use the money you save for some other high-country tools.

05-16-2011, 05:28 PM
Appreciate the input! I've had my eye on the 65mm Swarovski a long time but your 80mm comment has me thinking. Again, thanks for your help on this.

Bitterroot Bulls
05-16-2011, 09:19 PM
The Swaro 80HD is an excellent instrument in every way. It is also the lightest of the "Big" spotters. Before you buy, however, take a look at the Vortex Razor 85HD. It is the optical equal of the Swaro 80HD, and quite a bit less expensive, although a bit heavier.

05-17-2011, 10:55 AM
Will do and again, thanks for the advice!

07-05-2011, 11:23 PM
I've used the 80mm swaro for the last 7 years and just sold it the other day. I'm getting the Swaro ATM 25x50x65 HD. I do a lot of backcountry hiking, hunting and camping and the smaller size will be easier to carry and fit into my pack. Swaro has a great warranty with excellent customer service and accesories to go with thier products including digiscope equipment. My optics of choice is Swarovski. Everybody compares thier optics with Swaro because it is simply one of the best as is Zeiss and Leica and some other namebrands. I cannot comment on the Vortex Razor spotter but I am very impressed with Vortex as a company. Thier warranty is unmatched and they too have put forth great effort to supply the customer with accessories. I'm a Swaro man but I think you would be just fine with Vortex if you choose that route. fatrooster.

07-06-2011, 07:32 AM
talk to Mike at *CaptivateMoutdoors.com* he will get you a great deal on a Swaro spotter !

08-27-2011, 04:33 PM
Well, I ended up driving to Hamburg, PA this morning and bought the Swarovski STM-65 (non-HD) 20-60X65 spotter - $1779 at Cabela's but FREE with my Cabela's Club points! Looking forward to this fall!!!

08-27-2011, 05:43 PM
Did the $1779 include the eyepiece? If so, thn you got a hell of a deal. Goodluck and enjoy, you've got a great scope. fatrooster.

08-28-2011, 01:09 PM
Thanks!!! Yup...$1779 bought the kit. 20x60 eyepiece and STM 65mm scope - nice deal for sure!

08-29-2011, 08:25 PM
The HD will serve you better in bright sunlight, substantially reducing glare that can prevent you getting a good view at your potential target. Same goes for rifle scopes. Worth the extra $$$.

Bitterroot Bulls
08-29-2011, 09:17 PM
The HD will serve you better in bright sunlight, substantially reducing glare that can prevent you getting a good view at your potential target. Same goes for rifle scopes. Worth the extra $$$.

What HD (or ED, APO, FL, or whatever the company wants to market it as) glass does is minimize Chromatic Aberration (CA). CA is visible as color fringing around high contrast objects in the field of view. Low levels of CA increase apparent resolution and contrast, which does help you get the best view of your target. Glare (usually veiling glare) is controlled by the physical design of the optic, usually by the placement of baffles behind the objective. Other types of "glare" include internal reflections caused by prism edges, and imperfect interior blackening.

HD glass certainly helps in bright sunlight, as bright scenes often have a lot of contrast, which increases CA. The non-HD spotters from Swarovski are excellent instruments with top-notch glare control. Their only (minor) weakness is they do show some CA.

IT sounds like a fair price, crbarg, and i think you will like the spotter. I look forward to a field review with trophy pics!

09-01-2011, 08:08 PM
Thanks, BB. Hey, out of curiosity, do you prefer angled or straight. I chose the STM but almost went with the ATM model. I can see pros and cons to each but wanted your opinion on the subject.

Bitterroot Bulls
09-01-2011, 11:20 PM
I'm one of those angled guys. It is definitely a personal preference, but I will say angled designs hold a camera better for digiscoping.

05-18-2013, 07:47 AM
Great review. Swarovski Spotting scopes are excellent and well known optics for their optical luminosity and clear images. These long-range and precision optics are specifically designed to meet field requirements of nature lovers and perfect for hunting and nature observation. There are some other good scopes like swarovski binoculars , swarovski optik etc in the market. You can go and chose any of them.

05-18-2013, 08:18 AM
Cameralandny has that spotter and eyepiece on their demo list...IIRC, total cost was around $1400