Swarovski Optik has existed for decades, producing various optical gadgets, including spotting scope. The company first released Swarovski 115mm objective module spotting scope in 2020. However, before its release, Swarovski had launched an ATX/STX telescope system that separates a scope into two parts which help portability and packing.
Before the release of the Swarovski 115mm objective module, the maximum available was 95, which was wide but may still be lacking for some use cases. Enter the Swarovski 115mm with a wide objective lens and resolution that makes birding and wildlife viewing enjoyable. The spotting scope shares some similarities with the previous Swarovski 95mm objective module, especially in magnification and field of view. Nevertheless, there are still so many differences to evoke excitement.
Swarovski’s spotting scopes are so versatile that the brand has become synonymous with versatility. While Swarovski sports different ocular and objective modules you can interchange with each other, in this guide, we’ll be focusing on the 115mm spotting scope with the capacity to entertain ATX/STX/BTX objective modules.
Features of Swarovski 115 mm Spotting Scope
Aside from the obvious wide objective lens, this Swarovski spotting scope has many other features that stand out and are essential to your scoping. This section will delve deep into all these features and how they affect results.
The power of this Swarovski scope is the same as that of the 95 mm variant at 30-70x. However, such high magnification ranges offer much more viewing distance and quality. At 70x, this is the highest power level for any Swarovski spotting scope and for most other brands, too, so most of your long-distance viewing needs, like bird watching, are covered.
Swarovski understands the need for a befitting magnification for this scope and gave the scope an impressive range. However, its 30x minimum power may make it difficult to capture close distances. However, this is expected as the scope is for long-distance viewers.
You can also use a magnification extender with the Swarovski scope to extend the power by 1.7x. With the magnification extender, you can zoom in a lot better than the normal power would allow. You can even stack to magnification extenders to further increase the power since they use the same amount. However, it would help if you remembered that magnification extenders trade power for light and should only be used when there is enough light.
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Objective Lens Size
The objective lens size is the most significant feature of this Swarovski scope, considering it gets mentioned everywhere. Being the most recent among the Swarovski line of spotting scopes, there were bound to be improvements, and the most significant was on the objective lens size, which was increased to a whopping 115 mm. When you think about it carefully, trying to improve upon a 95 mm objective module was bound to take you well into the holy grail of 100 mm levels.
This 115 mm objective lens lets in 45% more light than the 95 mm objective module, showing massive improvement in clarity, especially during dawn and dusk hours with low light. This Swarovski 115 mm objective modular is perfect for viewing in low light conditions as it can take in more light than most and ensure the images have clear and precise details.
With a combination of the extremely high magnification level and the large objective lens diameter, the scope already produces much more optical clarity no matter the prevalent light. This scope has more to it that ensures an impressive resolution and image quality which allows you to enjoy your viewing hobbies. The Swarovision Technology in the scope ensures optical quality is at its best with extreme detail recognition.
Resolution, color, and sharpness are precise and clear with the Swarovski 115 mm spotting scope, regardless of your chosen magnification range. With such assurances, you can go on to target with confidence. One of the best ways to test the optical quality of a scope is by the type of pictures it produces, which would be more evident when discussing digiscoping.
Looking over the sea from a height and its panoramic view tests the capacity of any scope, with the Swarovski 115 mm scope showing a crisp view. The fluoride in the HD lenses reduces color fringes, while the field flattener lenses provide an impressive peripheral definition. For maximum color fidelity, the scope utilizes optimized coatings.
The Swarotop coating on all its lenses and prisms helps to minimize glare and improve the quality of light entering the scope. In addition, you can attach a binocular viewer (BTX), straight (STX), or angled (ATX) eyepieces to the scope, depending on your needs. Such versatility makes the scope even more interesting.
Build and Durability
With such an enormous objective lens size, it’s no surprise that this scope is bulky and heavy; however, as an objective modular, you can split the eyepiece and the objective lens and pack them differently. At 7.7 lb, the weight of this scope is heavy, which gets even heavier when you consider you’ll require a large tripod stand to carry the scope.
It is 14.25 inches long, which can be pretty stressful to pack; luckily, you can separate the eyepiece for better packing. The scope is filled with nitrogen and sealed properly so moisture, including fog, does not damage or impede clarity. You can use this scope in wet conditions and still get good images. An extended lens hood provides extra protection for the lens. In contrast, its fully multi-coated lens protects against scratches and dust.
For such a big scope, falling can pose an even bigger problem. Still, with the measures Swarovski put in place for this scope, the effect of a fall is significantly reduced. Its whole body is made from aluminum aside from the focusing ring, which we’ll see shortly. The aluminum body is wrapped in a special Swarovski green rubber armor. With this extra layer of security, Swarovski features a durable scope that is fog proof and Waterproof.
The outside lens features a non-stick coating known as Swaroclean that prevents dirt and oils from sticking to the lens, so you can easily wipe them off.
This scope uses a smooth-turning helical focus ring on the objective module, which differs from the dual or single focus knob seen in most low-end spotting scopes. It is easy to turn the focus ring as you can get from zero to infinity in under three complete ring turns. Easy to operate does not mean loose, as the ring is firm with tactile feedback at every turn.
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Considering the size and weight, a tripod of considerable strength is required to hold this scope in place. It uses a standard ¼”-20 socket on the bottom shoe with the tripod shoe compatible with Manfrotto. Manfrotto-compatible shows do not need quick-release plates when using most tripod models. You can also use an Arca-style tripod head and a sliding quick-release plate to balance the weight. With its rotating tripod mount, you can precisely place the eyepiece.
If you love viewing through a camera or smartphone, the Swarovski 115 mm spotting scope will blow your mind with improved adaptors for point-and-shoot and DSLR cameras. This scope arguably has the best digiscoping adaptors out there, but there’s more; in moving with the trend, Swarovski has included phone adaptors instead of the PAS adaptors.
There are three focal lengths and two mounting systems for DSLR adaptors with TLS APO as the chosen adapter. For smartphones, Swarovski utilizes a variable phone adapter (VPA) to fit all phones and new adapter rings depending on the eyepiece. With so many adjustments available, you can get the precise height, width, and camera location for the VPA to fit almost all smartphones.
Eye Relief and Close Focus Distance
Eye relief of 20 mm at all power levels is quite good and gives the eye enough room to see through the lens without straining. This way, you can use the scope for longer. The close focus distance for this scope is 4.8m which shows you cannot focus on extremely close targets, which is understandable considering the ideal viewing distance of the scope.
Swarovski is a high-end scope that has reached the peak of spotting scope objective lens size with impressive optical quality. Unfortunately, this scope is extremely expensive, maybe even out of reach for many. However, it gets slightly better if you already have the ATX and STX eyepieces and don’t have to buy them. The BTX eyepiece comes with the scope at a premium but fair price.
Pros and Cons of Swarovski 115 mm Spotting Scope
Every scope has arguments for and against them, but if a scope can stand out despite any argument against it, it will show the scope’s quality. Let’s see if this Swarovski scope is in this category.
- High magnification range of 30-70x
- Extremely wide objective lens size of 115 mm, which is difficult to find in other brands
- Extra-low dispersion fluoride HD glass
- Field flattener lens
- Fully multi-coated lens
- Durable build
- Nitrogen-purged and O-ring sealed to ensure it is waterproof and fog proof
- Rotating tripod collar for precise eyepiece location
- The extremely expensive scope is out of reach for the majority
- Extremely bulky design and heavy scope, although slightly remedied with the objective modular, which allows for the separation of the scope
Before you go ahead to buy this scope, it’ll be ideal to run through some of these factors to ensure you’re making the right decision.
You need to figure out all the possible ways you’ll use your spotting scope. Whether you want to watch the birds or wildlife, getting a list of everything will help guide you in selecting the right spotting scope. This Swarovski scope is great for extremely long distances like birdwatching and wildlife where proximity is difficult.
Consider your budget carefully before going for this scope, as it is extremely expensive to get. However, its features make it worth the price. The cost may even go higher if you do not have a compatible ATX or STX eyepiece.
This scope is large and will typically need a lot of packing space even though its objective modular system makes packing easier. You have to make arrangements for extra packing bags if you don’t have enough in your previous bag.
Here are some common questions about the Swarovski 115 mm scope and their answers:
No, there is no night vision in this spotting scope. However, its impressive light-gathering ability makes viewing in low-light conditions easy.
It weighs just under 3kg. The weight can be a major stumbling block for many.
No, you do not need a heavy-duty tripod for Swarovski 115 mm.
Swarovski is known for versatile spotting scopes, but they outside themselves with the introduction of the 115 mm version with the capacity to accommodate ATX, STX, or BTX eyepieces while producing some of the best resolutions you can get. In addition, the image quality in this scope shines in low light conditions as its light-gathering ability is one of the best.