Just spent time with leupold and Swaro spotter

Deadfall

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Oct 18, 2019
Messages
1,242
The fine folks at Scheels let me look through a Leupold SX5 spotter and a swarovski STS spotter (outside). I don't know why there is not much on the Leupold through the innerweb. Everyone puts the Leupold just barely ahead of the Vortex razor which made me skeptical of Leupold. Even-though, I love all other leupold optics. I've owned the razor now for 4 years. The first and last 30 minutes of daylight is where spotting scopes earn the cost. Razor sucks in lowlight. Leupold beat the razor hands down. Swarovski hands down beat Leupold. I have not spent any time looking through a KOWA, meostar, or other spotters everyone is wound up on. Outfitter I work for runs a 95mm Swaro which is impressive. However, virtually not packable on your back. 80mm ATS is liveable. 80mm Leupold does hang with 65mm Swaro. I spend a lot of months every year looking through spotting scopes. Swarovski 80mm spotting scope is worth the money hands down.

I have been trying to retire form guiding for a few years now. Hunters get to pulling at my insides and I end up guiding again. this is public land OTC guiding. Most of hunters are older and not in very good shape. So, I spend a ton of time sitting behind glass watching, waiting for game to be in a huntable spot. During rifle season these are long cold sits. During the daylight vortex does ok. Come prime time the vortex is not very good, even with 85mm objective. Have to say, I did make it work for a few years now. Been a pain. I have run other spotters of different sizes and quality over the years. The vortex does beat every other spotter I have owned except one.

While other guides are out hiking around trying to get closer to look stuff over. I am sitting out of wind with my hunters, looking through glass. Sipping on hot coffee and snacks until we find something worth chasing. Over the course of a week the glass saves the body of these hunters. Anyone who has guided much is steep country know when hunters get tired and sore it is tough to keep spirits up when hunting is slow.

What I really wish is for American engineered, made and manufactured that equals the German engineering. Pipe dream I recon. Really trying to not spend money on anything from Asia. Another pipe dream.

At any rate I am going with the Swaro 80mm STS. Have not been able to personally spend time with other spotters. Scheels is only place relatively close to me I could finally look through a Swaro and Leupold in low light situations. That 80mm swaro is impressive!

2 cents worth of rambling from a moron. merry christmas
 

tdhanses

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Sep 26, 2018
Messages
5,113
Enjoy it, it is a great spotter for sure, I had a ATS HD 80mm with the 25-50wa eyepiece, definitely a big step up from the Razor as that is one of the spotters I also had before going up in glass.
 
Joined
Feb 25, 2021
Messages
77
Great write up. Feel free to ramble on some more about the Leupold SX5. I really enjoy my leupold products, but do not hear much about their spotters. Especially with the military discount, the SX5 seems very enticing - so long as the glass is good.
 
OP
Deadfall

Deadfall

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Oct 18, 2019
Messages
1,242
Only reason I am not buying Leupold is because their glass comes from Asia. Which, is extremely disappointing. I try real hard to not buy anything from Asia if at all avoidable. A self imposed standard that is nauseating at times. This being one of those times.

If I had no issues with Asia, I would already own the SX 5 spotter.
 

Hawkeyes

Junior Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2022
Messages
24
I'm eyeing the Tract UHT 27-55x80 ED with German Schott HT glass for under $1500.
I owned a Swarovski ST 80 with fantastic glass then bought a pair of Japanese Bushnell Elites on sale for $699 and $499 and sold the Swarovski due to size and weight and the Elites were good enough for my needs at that time. Suggest buying spotters made in Japan when you can find a good deal. I paid less than half off retail for both of my Elites.
 

Hawkeyes

Junior Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2022
Messages
24
If you don't mind made in China here's a good deal with free shipping and the they normally have an excellent customer satisfaction return policy within 90 days with free return shipping if you aren't happy with what you buy from them and have within 90 days to play with it to make your decision whether or not to keep it.

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/102082576?pid=823186
 

sneaky

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Feb 1, 2014
Messages
9,063
Location
ID
You owe it to yourself to spend some time behind a Kowa. 77,88,99, even the 55s.

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
 

Spiral Horn

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Oct 19, 2019
Messages
704
To my eyes the ATX, Kowa 883, and Meostar S2 all perform above the ATS; and with Meopta Military Discount the MeoStar is by far the best $/performance - costs less than the ATS as well. I don’t find the Leupolds, Vortex, Maven or any of the mid-grades in the same league, especially for serious glassing at high magnification under varying and less than ideal light conditions normally encountered while hunting.
 
Top