Swarovski BTX vs Kowa 883 + 15s or 18s?

truehaun

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I’m getting ready to buy a BTX and the 65mm. Eventually I would like to possibly add the atx and a 95. I know I’d give up light in the 65mm but I like the weight savings. I’m also second guessing and thinking maybe I should just buy the Kowa 883 and maybe some uhd 18s or a nice pair of 15s down the line. Which would you rather have the BTX or a Kowa spotter and some 15s or 18s?
The 883 + uhd= $4500. BTX and 65mm =$4100. Eventually adding the ATX and 95 puts the Swaro setup around $8500 total. My wallet says go kowa + binos but my heart says get the btx.
Main uses will be used for hunting elk, deer and shed hunting out west.
 

gr8fuldoug

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BluMtn

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Well I have the KOWA 884 and swaro 12x50's and find them to be a good balance between finding them and then giving them a good look. Nothing wrong with what you are looking at.
 
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truehaun

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Buy the 95 to start, the 65 will be disappointing.

Which binoculars are you running?
Currently I’ve got viper 12x50s and a diamondback 20-60x80 scope. I’ve heard some say the 65 isn’t worth it and others say it’s not that much worse than the 95 as you would think. Will I be disappointed during the daytime or really only at dawn and dusk?
 

Brian Fahs

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Well I have the KOWA 884 and swaro 12x50's and find them to be a good balance between finding them and then giving them a good look. Nothing wrong with what you are looking at.
Same combination for me currently. Run some 8x32 els on my chest for timber hunting.
The 884 is amazing goodl
 

Where's Bruce?

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If you are into weight lifting then get the Kowas...if you are into seeing what's way the **** out there, get the 95. I did after using one my outfitter brought along on an elk hunt, It is amazing!


Put a Manfrotto 410JR under it (Cameraland was a big help to me here) and you can scan vertically and horizontally with minute adjustments that hold you on target even in high wind.

MONFROTTO410JR.JPG

BTW...I have the 65mm too and still prefer the BTX for longer periods of glassing, so much more comfortable with the headrest and I can see more with two eyes.
 

JakeSCH

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Good options. I have 15 SLC's and 883...but I also have NL Pure 12x. I personally feel that 12x + 883's cover most of what I need.

I like the idea of the BTX system, just heavy
If you are into weight lifting then get the Kowas...if you are into seeing what's way the **** out there, get the 95. I did after using one my outfitter brought along on an elk hunt, It is amazing!


Put a Manfrotto 410JR under it (Cameraland was a big help to me here) and you can scan vertically and horizontally with minute adjustments that hold you on target even in high wind.

View attachment 326019

BTW...I have the 65mm too and still prefer the BTX for longer periods of glassing, so much more comfortable with the headrest and I can see more with two eyes.

Confused...doesn't the BTX + objective weight more than an 883 & 15's??
 

Where's Bruce?

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One guy i hunted with had the Kowa Bigeyes and they felt like more than double the weight of my Swaros.
 
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I originally bought the ATX with the 65 objective and later added the BTX eyepiece. Now that I have the BTX, I would always opt for it over the ATX. If you ever expect to be spending much time glassing through the spotter the BTX is the way to go. There is a FOV disadvantage to the BTX if comparing against a 15x or 18x set of binos, so perhaps it depends on the distances you expect to be glassing. If closer stuff, the BTX can be a bit too much magnification to be very effective.
 
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truehaun

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I originally bought the ATX with the 65 objective and later added the BTX eyepiece. Now that I have the BTX, I would always opt for it over the ATX. If you ever expect to be spending much time glassing through the spotter the BTX is the way to go. There is a FOV disadvantage to the BTX if comparing against a 15x or 18x set of binos, so perhaps it depends on the distances you expect to be glassing. If closer stuff, the BTX can be a bit too much magnification to be very effective.
Have you used the 85 or 95? I def want the btx over the atx first but if I go that route I’m just wondering if the btx with 65mm is fine or if I need to get the 95 instead. Some people say the 65 isn’t worth it and to go for the 95, and other people say the 65 is not that much worse than the 95. I def like the cost and weight savings of the 65 but I’d be willing to carry the 95 if it’s so much better than the 65.
 

Where's Bruce?

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The 95mm is a must for those glassing miles off. Especially if you are trying to size up the game. I only switch to the 65mm when glassing areas limited to 1-2 miles. Don't get the 1.7 extender for the 95, doesn't improve the image quality.
 
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Have you used the 85 or 95? I def want the btx over the atx first but if I go that route I’m just wondering if the btx with 65mm is fine or if I need to get the 95 instead. Some people say the 65 isn’t worth it and to go for the 95, and other people say the 65 is not that much worse than the 95. I def like the cost and weight savings of the 65 but I’d be willing to carry the 95 if it’s so much better than the 65.
I haven't used the 85 or 95. I originally wanted the lightest package possible hence the ATX + 65 to start. Now that I've dipped my toes into the BTX waters I'm also curious about how much better the 95 would be. It's a dangerous place for my wallet.
 

MtnMuley

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I wouldn't personally ever recommend a btx with a 65. In my opinion the btx needs more light gathering capabilities. The btx/95 combo is what I'd recommend unless you really want the best option and that's the 115, which is only slightly beneficial with the btx and too bulky to ever leave the truck for me.
 
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SomeJackassOnAForum

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I wouldn't personally ever recommend a btx with a 65. In my opinion the btx needs more light gathering capabilities. The btx/95 combo is what I'd recommend unless you really want the best option and that's the 115, which is only slightly beneficial with the btx and too bulky to ever leave the truck for me.

I've seen a number of videos now of guys using a BTX 65 for sheep hunting. Since it's never "low light", seems like it would make sense.
 

Hornpout

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I haven't spent any time looking through the BTX , although I hope to purchase one soon, but I am always puzzled as to why the 95mm is thought to have substantially better low light performance than the 65mm. So much so that people dismiss the 65mm BTX altogether as not being worth it. Because the 95mm BTX is a 35 power the exit pupil is 2.71. In contrast the exit pupil on the 65mm BTX is 2.16. That is an exit pupil difference of .55. The better low light performer should be the 85mm with an exit pupil of 2.83. The 65mm and 85mm BTX also have a slightly bigger FOV. So the question is really can your eyes tell the difference in a .55 exit pupil and does a .55 exit pupil make enough of a difference to offset the weight and space in your pack that is taken up by a 95mm BTX objective. If .55 exit pupil mattered all that much, 10x50 binos would be the standard western chest glass, not 10x42, which have a .8 exit pupil difference.
 
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