Swarovski BTX vs ATX/STX, and 85 vs 95mm?

Adapt

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Have previously had ATX 65mm but sold it wanting a bigger objective lens. Now I am thinking about the BTX. I have a really good deal on a new pair 3500 for BTX + 95mm +1.7mag.

Alternatively I am considering a ATX or STX 95mm. I have read the BTX gives less eye strain which is important. The image is not really stereoscopic however (only one objective) so I am curious if the viewing experience resembles binocular vision as some seem to suggest. I was hoping for a similar experience I got using 15x56 slc where I felt like they were 30x.

With my 65mm ATX i was struggling to see bullet holes past 500 yards. Not sure if a 95mm objective will give me more clarity at max magnification? How well does the 1.7 extender (up to 120x) work in favorable conditions? And what kind of resulution I can expect from the BTX With extender at 60x magnification?


Now that the BTX has been out a couple years and the initial hype has calmed, what do you guys think?
 
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simpy16

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I don't own it but I have an STR. I know a guy who went sheep hunting for a couple months on and off and swears by the BTX, said he would gladly pack it up and down mountains for the advantage of using two eyes and not one for hours on end. If I was going to do a serious hunt and would have to hike up and down mountains looking for a particular animal I would probably invest in the BTX.
 
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Adapt

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Sounds good. But do you think the BTX will be better at resolving details at the same magnification?
 

DetroitRearView

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Sounds good. But do you think the BTX will be better at resolving details at the same magnification?
Yes and yes. It is something that when you spend time with the BTX you will never want to go back. I was using the mag extender yesterday on my BTX85MM setup. You lose nothing in image quality.
 
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goosed

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Sounds good. But do you think the BTX will be better at resolving details at the same magnification?
Yes and no... depends on what you mean by details as I'm not entirely sure of your intended use or desired goals.

There is a very strong correlation between light gathered and observable contrast. Such as being able to differentiate between different shades of the same color or even pick out different colors within shadows. The single eye piece of the ATX will have more light available than a BTX where the light is split between eye pieces; thus better contrast.

The BTX is hands down better for spotting movement even within shadows despite having less contrast. There is also no comparison for comfort and eye strain reduction during long viewing sessions.
 

DetroitRearView

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Having owned all and comparing them side by side at the same object with the same objective I find the BTX superior in contrast, comfort and color. This is of course without scientific instruments, simply my personal opinion, looking at hundreds of animals, structures, moon phases ever since the atx/stx/and then the later btx systems have been available.

My mentor for the last ten years has been Jaret Owens of Alaska Guide Creations. Give him a call and ask what he utilizes today. (BTX85MM, 8.5x42EL and 12x50EL outdoorsmans tripod for all). He is a Swarovski, Zeiss, Leica dealer and formerAlaskan guide outfitter for Spring Brown Bear and trophy moose for over 20 years. The Swarovski family were some of his clients.

When I came to know Jaret and began to employ his glassing equipment and techniques, my success rate of finding and judging animals has increased exponentially.

Although the light is split to two instead of one ocular it is being interpreted by the brain via both eyes with which we as humans were designed to have. The BTX grants you a dimensional differential that exceeds numbers based upon supposed loss by a mirrored system to transmit the single objective’s available light.

The single most common expression I get from fellow hunters and outfitters using the atx/stx vs the btx is “wow! I need to save for that, what a difference...”

You won’t lose much if any $$ - buy both used and then you decide what is best for your own purposes.

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Adapt

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Yes and no... depends on what you mean by details as I'm not entirely sure of your intended use or desired goals.

There is a very strong correlation between light gathered and observable contrast. Such as being able to differentiate between different shades of the same color or even pick out different colors within shadows. The single eye piece of the ATX will have more light available than a BTX where the light is split between eye pieces; thus better contrast.

The BTX is hands down better for spotting movement even within shadows despite having less contrast. There is also no comparison for comfort and eye strain reduction during long viewing sessions.
I am mostly going to be spotting myself and friends at long range shooting/ F- class/ PRS. My old ATX65 struggled a bi t resolving 308/338 holes at 500 yards. Was thinking a bigger objective would help. I also do a bit of hunting ( Moose, deer), as well as general nature observation. Zooming in past 60x or 70x i understand in normal atmospheric conditions does not increase resolution (just the image size) also due to exit pupil limitation? Therefor btx95 with magnifier giving 60x should be optimal (and otherwise much better)? If not the Atx95 with magnifier giving 120x max would be a consideration. I am no optics expert... am I getting this wrong?
 

ToddM

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There's a lot at play here, as you get older your eyes get worse and light gathering becomes more and more important. There's also the fact that the human brain is designed since we have existed to take in and process input through both eyes. Eye strain is bad over long term viewing for most through a spotter. One of the best tips i've been given on this is to carry a $3 eye patch, put it over the non-spotter eye. It allows you to relax with the eye open and helps a LOT, but it's still not on par with a binocular based view.

Also no matter what the marketing/reviews etc. says, anytime you put more lenses into the system, you've hurt resolution and lost brightness, period, it's physics. If you stack a multiplier you've done some level of damage to the purity of the optical path and light transfer, the big factor is if the increased magnification provides more detail than is lost. The same is true for fixed power compared to a zoom. Given the same quality components you will never get the same light gathering and resolution optically with a zoom system because it requires more lenses in the optical path.

I think the BTX is a step in the right direction, it's so comfy to view through and I think the human brain functions better with it and that yields the better results most see more than the optical quality/light gathering itself does. What I don't like about it, is being forced into only two magnification levels, if it had a normal zoom range I'd own one. The downside is putting a zoom into the BTX system is probably going to be very expensive/bulky.
 
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gr8fuldoug

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It would be my pleasure to go over this with you. As pointed out above, there are huge benefits to using both eyes. The optical quality of the BTX is amazing as are the 65/85/95mm tubes it works with. The Swarovski 1.7x magnifier is also top notch.
I am back in the store first thing tomorrow if you'd like to give a call, 516-217-1000, to discuss it. Have a great day
Doug
 
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HayStax

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We had a bit of a Swaro demo day during last year’s elk season. We mixed and matched and all favored the ATX + magnifier + 95mm + phoneskope for super long range stuff. BTX + 95mm was best for scanning thick country and long hours of glassing as you would expect. The BTX and doubler is hard to focus and is blurry. STX is best for glassing from truck with window mount.

I’m sure you would be happy with BTX for target spotting, I’m not really a fan of it in long range hunting. It’s just too bulky and heavy, really need an additional ARCA balance rail to use it on the tripod.
 
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Adapt

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It seems people have varying experiences using the 1.7 magnifier in the btx 95mm. Blurry does not sound good.. why is it blurry in the btx but not the atx?
 

HayStax

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It seems people have varying experiences using the 1.7 magnifier in the btx 95mm. Blurry does not sound good.. why is it blurry in the btx but not the atx?
Not sure. It is basically worthless on the BTX in my opinion. The BTX has its place but I’m not sure it’s right for what I’m doing
 
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Adapt

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Dealer is sending me atx and btx with 95mm obj. I can send back the one I like the least :)
 

Adapt

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Side by side comparison. No contest!! BTX rocks! With magnifier @60, crystal!! I felt like I was as close as at over 100 mag with the atx. Just insane! The BTX is a monster, the ATX is going back. The difference was just immediate and huge!

Previous poster having trouble focusing the BTX with mag... must be a lemon... not a hint of trouble here. Super bright also.
 
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