I am preparing to purchase a spotting scope and tripod as a gift for my birder wife to upgrade to from her previous scope. I want a lightweight scope so I can carry it easily.
I am considering the Swarovski 65mm ATM HD Angled, with a Manfrotto 700RC2/190CXV3 Carbon Fiber Tripod Kit.
Is this an appropriate Tripod in terms of weight and stability?
Is the HD worth the extra money (500) compared to the non HD?
My wife was frustrated with previous adjustable zoom eyepieces because of the small field of view but I noticed Swarovski has new adjustable, slightly lower power but wide angle eyepieces. Any experience with it?
Finally, if she doesn't like the eyepiece can she exchange it?
Thanks for your interest in Eagle Optics. You have a full 30 days return policy on anything you purchase from us, from the time you give it as a gift. No worries on an exchange if she’s unhappy.
That tripod will work as far as supporting the scope. How tall are you and your wife (if you’re sharing the setup with her)?
The 190 leg is great for a lightweight setup, but if you are over six feet tall you may want to consider the 055CXV3.
The 700RC2 head will work, but I’d suggest using the 128 RC2 head even though it’s not quite a pound heavier. The foot of the Swarovski attaches better (without need of a plate) to the 128RC and the head is far more smooth panning and microfluid.
You could put it on the 190CXV3 legs by purchasing the pieces separately.
In regards to the scope the HD makes a big difference in the optics. I think you would be hard pressed not to see it. Whether it’s worth it to you or not is a different story, but I’d argue it is very worth it. The HD glass will have significantly sharper, brighter images to the edge.
The 25-50 eyepiece is very nice, with a wider field of view and more brightness than the 20-60. She will still lose field of view when zooming up (there’s no way to avoid that) and when panning, you will want to stay closer to the low end of the zoom.
Hope this information helps.