Spotting Scope Review: Swarovski HD-STS 80

A leader in birding optics, Swarovski brings hunters, golfers, and serious birding enthusiasts the HD-STS 80. Sleek and stylish, the HD-STS 80 offers a 20-60x zoom eyepiece and gives a precise, clear viewing experience for distant details. At 13.9 inches and 42 ounces, the HD-STS 80 is light and portable.

What’s Included

Swarovski HD-STS 80The HD-STS 80 comes in two options: straight barrel or angled barrel. Both options provide the same image quality. The straight barrel makes it easy to find game with a camera attached to the scope, and the camera is easily removed from the HD-STS 80. On the other hand, the angled barrel is best for group viewing. For users leading a birding group, the angled barrel makes adjustments for the height of viewers unnecessary. Also, the angled barrel makes it easy to scope birds at different altitudes.


The 80mm aperture of the HD-STS 80 affords maximum light to enter the scope. With maximum light comes optimum clarity and brightness. The HD-STS 80 gives birders the kind of high contrast viewing that makes colors pop. With sharp outlines, birds are scoped easily and with good visibility. The zoom lens offers clear imaging, and the attached lens cap is an attractive feature. The focus wheel of the zoom lens is large and easy to use, yet not intrusive to the overall design of the lens. The lens offers clean lines and an overall professional look.


The price of the Swarovski HD-STS 80 is steep. Priced upwards of $2000, the cost may intimidate novice or casual birders. However, for experienced or serious birders, the quality of the HD-STS 80 is makes it a great purchase. The durability of the scope more than justifies the investment.

What’s Great

The angled barrel is great for viewing birds at a variety of altitudes. Once the barrel is set, viewers of all heights will be able to experience scoped birds without making adjustments. Swarovski provides a Swaroclean coating on the scope, adding to the durability to the HD-STS 80’s optic parts and keeps the scope clean. The coating is waterproof and dust-proof. It generally resists sap and other debris results from using the scope in a wide range of outdoor settings. On the optic parts, there is also a coating that reduces blur while still maintaining great image quality.


The price of the Swarovski HD-STS 80 is itsonly downfall. Because Swarovski does not deal in “low-end” scopes, opting to buy a scope will necessarily be an investment. However, the quality of Swarovski products is enough to justify the cost of the HD-STS 80.

Fun and Surprising Feature

The HD-STS 80 has a sight tube. This feature allows users to spot even the quickest-moving game or birds. In the field, this responsiveness is essential to the birding experience. Catching birds in flight is breath taking, and Swarovski makes sure that bird enthusiasts are able to experience the spectacle of flight. The scope comes with a carrying case that is soft and portable but durable enough to protect the valuable scope and lens components.


Serious birders will want the image clarity of the Swarovski HD-STS 80. The HD lens offers consistently clear, sharp images. The durability of the scope makes it a wise investment. With the angled and straight barrel options, the HD-STS 80 offers birders flexibility. Both options provide Swarovski quality, and each barrel has much to recommend it to birders. The Swarovski Spotting Scope HD-STS 80 provides outstanding technology that yields fantastic results. It is a must for serious birders.