Spotting Scope Upgrade - Maven vs. Swarovski

FattyBinz

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2019
Messages
15
I was fortunate enough to draw a Utah Central Mountains Manti bull elk tag with five points this year. Super excited but I think I have to upgrade to a better spotting scope for this hunt. Started hunting in 2018 and I’ve been able to get away with just packing a little Maven CS.1. For this hunt though, if things go the way I hope, I’ll be looking at a lot of bulls and will have to be able to get a good look to be able to judge them. I’m keeping the CS.1s for future hunts when I want something lighter and I just have to be able to see whether something has antlers or not. For binos I have Maven B.2s 11x45 almost always on a tripod.

So I’m looking at both the Maven S.1A 25-50x80 and the Swarovski ATS 20-60x65 non-HD. I’ve seen both pop up used for about $1500-1600. I think if I’m patient I can probably find an ATS HD for $1700-$1800.

So is the Swarovski the obvious pick here? I know the Maven is bigger but I’m not too worried about weight. If I am backpacking somewhere I have a lighter option in the CS.1s I have. From what I can tell, this late season Manti tag I will be mostly glassing from a vehicle or on high points not far from the road. Also almost always in a group where we take one spotting scope and spread the weight around, so a heavier scope isn’t a deal breaker. Other question...is the ATS HD a no-brainer over the non-HD?

Alternatively, any other spotting scopes I should consider in that price range?
 

WI in the west

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Apr 4, 2019
Messages
522
Location
WI
I just got a kowa 774(straight) its commonly said to be equal or better then the ats 65 from reading forumns. It can also be found for 1700-1800 as well.
I had it side by side woth a maven cs1. Its quite a bit better in color, clarity, extra zoom, and its not near as bulky as youd expect a 77mm scope to be. Im not saying the cs1 is a bad scope but the kowa was a very noticable upgrade. Good luck on your tag.
 

IrkedCitizen

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
May 28, 2013
Messages
661
Location
Littleton, CO
This isn't even a question. If you have the money buy a Swarovski. If you don't have the money then save and buy a Swarovski. I doubt you'll be able to tell the difference between swaro hd and non-hd. I use an STS65 non-hd and have no reason to upgrade. So don't pass up a good deal on a non-hd model thinking an hd model might come available.

What tripod setup do you have?
 

sndmn11

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Mar 28, 2017
Messages
5,814
Location
Morrison, Colorado
I have a Maven S1a (NOT cs1) and a Kowa 884. The Swarovski ats65 stuck around for about a week before I was convinced it wasn't of any value to me.

As suggested above, I'd probably do the Kowa 77X if I were in your shoes. You would be able to sell the cs1 you have now.
 

Jacack

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Apr 27, 2018
Messages
558
Location
Florida
I have hunted that unit, if your talking a archery tag you don't need to have the best spotter unless you plan to do alot of scouting before season.

That said Maybe during the rifle tag it would be worth carrying
 
OP
F

FattyBinz

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2019
Messages
15
I have hunted that unit, if your talking a archery tag you don't need to have the best spotter unless you plan to do alot of scouting before season.

That said Maybe during the rifle tag it would be worth carrying

I have the late season rifle tag. It goes Nov 12th to the 20th
 

Mhopper5

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Dec 5, 2021
Messages
114
Location
California
This isn't even a question. If you have the money buy a Swarovski. If you don't have the money then save and buy a Swarovski. I doubt you'll be able to tell the difference between swaro hd and non-hd. I use an STS65 non-hd and have no reason to upgrade. So don't pass up a good deal on a non-hd model thinking an hd model might come available.

What tripod setup do you have?
What ☝️ said but I would say go HD as well. They cost more for a reason.
 

jsoronen234

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jul 22, 2018
Messages
128
Location
Colorado
I've tried both. I wanted the maven to stack up to swaro and it just didn't. I've also got maven binos and they're great.


I've also used a kowa spotter and it definitely does stack up to swaro. My next spotter purchase will be kowa for sure
 

OspreyZB

Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2018
Messages
78
Don't overlook the old Nikon fieldscopes. They beat the non-HD swaros, at way less than half the price. I have the 60mm, 78mm, 82mm, and multiple eyepeices, with less invested than what a used swaro ATS 80 would cost.
 

Alaskan89

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Oct 15, 2013
Messages
228
I just went through a similar search, needing a newer, better spotting scope and it was between the Swarovski or Kowa and after several months of researching I decided to go with the Kowa 774. I got a smoking deal on it, brand new with the scope, eye piece and stay on cover for $1975 shipped. Should get it this week. The Kowa 883/884 also comes very highly recommended by many ROKslide members as well.
 

BBob

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jun 29, 2020
Messages
2,023
Location
Southern AZ
If you go the Swaro 65 route I’d highly recommend the 25-50 over the 20-60. The wide angle, better clarity and brightness is worth the extra cost. I’ve owned both and have sold off the 20-60’s.

There’s a subtle difference in the HD to non HD. It’s not huge but it’s there. In most situations it probably doesn’t make much of a difference.
 
Top