Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Need Adapter for my iPhone 6s and Swarovski ATS scope

Dear EO,
I have a Swarovski ATS 80 HD scope with the 20-60 Zoom Eyepiece (purchased from you in May 2015).

I would like to consider adding a Phone Skope digiscoping adapter to work with my iPhone 6s.

What piece(s) might you suggest?

Many thanks!



Dear Tad,
Thanks for your inquiry! You would need these two pieces to adapt your iPhone 6s for digiscoping with your Swaro ATS:

I've seen some great results with the photo quality of the 6s for digiscoping--and with your wonderful Swarovski scope, you're in for a fun and challenging new hobby!  If you have any other questions, I'll be happy to help.


Eagle Optics

Monday, May 9, 2016

What head for a monopod?

Hello there!
I would like to order the Gitzo GM2561T Traveler Carbon Fiber Monopod I think I need a head and a quick release for ease of use with my spotting scope.  Will the Manfrotto 200PL-38 3/8-Inch Quick Release Adapter Plate work?




Dear Diane,
Thanks for your inquiry.

We had a discussion about this among the staff. Our recommendation is to get the Manfrotto Monopod 234RC Tilt Top-Swivel Tripod Head.

With the 200PL plate only, you wouldn’t have a tilt feature, and you’d have to lean the monopod to look up or down. That wouldn’t be ideal.

If you still have questions, please call the store to get a better understanding, 800-289-1132.

All the best,

Eagle Optics

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Tripod head and car window mount questions

I am looking for assistance with selecting a tripod head.  I recently purchased a Manfrotto carbon fiber tripod locally (MT190CXPRO3) and intend to use it and whatever new tripod head your recommend for birding and photography.

I have looked over your selection of Manfrotto heads, viewed your instructive videos on Choosing the Right Tripod Head, and have narrowed my on-line search to the Manfrotto 700RC2 Tripod Head and Manfrotto 128RC Micro Fluid Tripod Head.

First, are either manufactured in Italy?  Second, which would you recommend for my use(s)?  In addition to holding my binoculars, cameras, and spotting scope, I plan on ordering the Manfrotto Car Window Mount.  Which of these two tripod heads will work best with the car window mount? 

Thanks, in advance, for your help with my questions and for making so much information available on your website.

Patricia W.


Dear Patricia,
Thanks for your interest in Eagle Optics.
Both these tripods are manufactured in Italy and distributed in the US.

I would recommend the 128 RC as the best of the 2.
It’s more fluid in its movement, heavier duty depending on which size scope and gear you use, and I think build quality and overall use is a bit better yet than the 700 RC2.

These heads take the same tripod plate, and they share that same plate with that on the little 391 RC2 head of the Manfrotto Car Window Mount, but the position that the plate will sit on the 128 RC head is the same as on the 391CWM head, whereas the position you have to use the plate on the 700RC2 is different.

This means that it is also more convenient to move between using the 128RC head and car window mount head than it would be to move between the 700RC2 and 391 Car window mount heads because in the latter example, you will have to switch the position of the plate each time you move back and forth between the two.

I hope this makes sense, helps you distinguish which route you might want to go, and if you have any other questions, I’m happy to help.


Eagle Optics

Looking for a travel tripod

Hi Eagle Optics,
I am looking for a lightweight carbon tripod kit for an upcoming birding trip. I'd like to fit it in my carry-on luggage, so it needs to fold down to a length under 20".  Do you have recommendations?




Hi Bob,
Thanks for your inquiry. Here are a few suggestions. Remember, you can save some inches by removing the center column (with the tripod head attached) and laying it next to the leg set in your luggage.

Manfrotto 190Go Carbon Fiber Tripod Leg  17.7" folded 3 lbs. (Leg set only, head not included)

Vortex Summit Carbon Tripod 18.5" folded length (includes head) 

Opticron XFS-C Traveller Carbon Tripod Leg 18.9" folded length (Leg set only, head not included)

A good lightweight and compact tripod head is the Manfrotto 700RC2 Tripod Head.

If you have further questions, let us know. Happy travels!

All the best,

Eagle Optics

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Need advice for an older Kowa scope

Recently, I was given a Kowa TSN-1 spotting scope with a 20X Wide Angle eyepiece, which I will use for birding.  I have an old Bogen #3021 tripod that I would like to mount it on and need some advice on the following:

1.  Which tripod head would you recommend for this tripod?
2.  Can I get a mounting plate for the base of the scope to connect with the tripod head that you recommend?

3.  Should I also consider upgrading the eyepiece, and if so, what would you recommend?




Dear Victor,
Thanks for your inquiry!

I would suggest the Manfrotto 128RC Micro Fluid Tripod Head, which comes with a quick-release plate. It is a nice quality, heavy-duty, fluid-moving tripod head. We sell a lot of them and also use this head for demo purposes here in the store.

Unfortunately, there is no new Kowa eyepiece that will fit your older Kowa scope. However, you may be able to find one on eBay.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

All the best,

Eagle Optics

Friday, March 25, 2016

Small scope for astronomy

Can the   be used for light astronomy like the moon or stars?




Hi Casey,
Thanks so much for your inquiry.
You could certainly use the scope for light astronomy and to view the moon and larger planets. It wouldn't be satisfactory for viewing stars or objects in deep space.

If you have any further questions, please let me know.

All the best,

Eagle Optics

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

STM and STS Swarovski scope differences

Regarding the Swarovski 80 mm STS HD Spotting Scope: what is the  difference between the STS and the STM  scopes?

Thank you!


Hi Delphi,
Thanks so much for your inquiry.
The now discontinued STM and ATM bodies were made of magnesium. The current ATS and STS scope bodies are made of aluminum. The color of the focus wheel on the ATM/STM is green; they changed that to black in the newer ATS/STS models.

If you have any further questions, please let me know!

All the best,

Eagle Optics

Monday, March 21, 2016

Does the Swarovski ATX have HD lenses?

Do all ATX or STX Swarovski spotting scopes have HD lenses? They do not say HD on them that I can see like my HD ATS 80.




Hi Lindsay,
Thanks for your inquiry. The term HD (High Definition) is a marketing term rather than a technical term referring to a specific type of glass.   All the ATX and  STX scopes use Swarovski's Swarovision optical system which is noticeably improved over the optics in the ATS/STS HD scopes.  

Anyone using one of the new ATX/STX scopes would certainly say that they are "high definition" and regarding performance, one could safely say there is nothing better currently being made by any manufacturer.

If you have any other questions or I can help out any further, just let me know.

Best regards,

Eagle Optics

Friday, March 4, 2016

Is there a compact binocular for eyeglass wearers?

Hi there,

Looking for a 10x compact to stuff in my waist pack. I use a 7x42 and would use the 10x25 only when needed for more reach just on static birds (not moving) like perched raptor or duck on water in the distance. I know I can't follow moving birds with a compact. I wear glasses and the  looks the best for eye glasses.

But I'm worried about the tiny exit pupil and folding barrels. How frustrating is it to align with glasses or is it a bit easier than the other compacts? No IPD lock I would assume? Do the barrels get knocked out of IPD easily since both move independently?  Wondering if I shouldn't bother at all since compacts can be frustrating with glasses.

Thanks in advance,


Dear Beth,
Thanks for your inquiry! I understand your hesitation to try a compact as an eyeglass wearer--especially a 10x.

Having said that, I think the Swarovski is the one of the best compacts on the market for brightness, resolution, and ergonomics. It has more than adequate eye relief for eyeglass wearers. The hinge has good tension so barrels will, for the most part, hold their place while in hand. I don't know of any binocular that has a built-in IPD lock, but there is the Vortex Binoc-Loc for Roof Prism BinocularsHowever, that would make your compact binocular not quite as compact while stored in your waist pack.

You will have a significantly smaller exit pupil than what you're used to with your 7x42! Probably the best way to find out if you like it is simply order it. We ship fast and free (Fed Ex Ground) and you will have 30 days to field-test it.

If you have further questions, don't hesitate to write or call.

All the best,

Eagle Optics

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Questions from an eyeglass wearer

I wear eyeglasses. Does that affect what kind of binoculars I would buy? How do I know whether it's best to keep my glasses on or take them off? Any guidance appreciated. Thanks!




Dear Ruth,

Thanks for your great question.
Check the specifications for any binocular you're considering. You'll want to make sure that the binocular you choose has at least 15mm of eye relief. Some people need more, and some people can get away with a little less. I wear glasses, and I need at least 14 mm.
Some people, if their eyeglass lenses are thicker, or if their glasses are farther away from their face, may need a little more, like 16 mm or 17mm. For most people though, 15 mm is adequate.
The point is to leave your eyeglasses on. Simply twist the eyecups down, to their lowest position.
If you have further questions, please ask. We're always happy to help!
Eagle Optics