Swarovski SLC 15x56 or New BTX .... Decisions decisions

brocksw

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Feb 27, 2015
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North Dakota
Well here's my conundrum for 2017. Came into the year, pretty set on picking up a set of SLC 15's to round out my arsenal and then the BTX comes out. I already have 10's and an 85 mm spotter and I've used the 15's enough to know they are, in my opinion, a fantastic, if not the best, overall optical experience. I tend to run 10x binos for elk, and not use high power optics like a spotting scope, so it's much more mule deer oriented use when it comes to debating this topic. In my neck of the woods this means badlands type topography, with most hiking being under 4 miles per day, 6 miles if I end up pulling a stalk. Even if I hike back to one of my more secluded areas, it's still pretty easy going.

Right now it's 10's on the chest, with an 85 mm spotter on the back. This is 97 oz of optics on my body not counting my rangefinder and digiscoping gear (TLS APO adapter and DSLR).

The idea was that 15's were a niche optic that afforded me the ability to either replace the 10's on my chest or carry an extra optic depending on my glassing geography. In my opinion, 15's are great for glassing but can't replace a spotter, and if I'm trophy judging mule deer a spotter is required. 15's add an extra 42.3 oz for a total of 139.3 oz, assuming I carry 3 optics being the 10's, the 15's and an ATX 85.

The BTX offers a nice boost in magnification (from SLC 15x to 30x), and would allow me to carry 10's on the chest with a fixed 30x BTX at 50 oz and the regular ATX for up to 60X on my back. This 3 optic setup has a total weight of 147 oz and also assumes I carry the ATX for digiscoping and eliminates the need for for 1.7X extender. Obviously, I would also have the option of purchasing the 1.7x extender and using the BTX as a complete system, leaving the ATX and Camera gear at home.

On paper the BTX seems worth it, it's a weight penalty of about 7.7 oz with the benefit of the 30x over the 15x for the "niche" optic. It also seems like it has the potential to be more versatile. Offering options with or without the 1.7x extender and leaving me with powerful magnification with or without the ATX. The only caveat being light transmission with the 1.7x extender is presumably lower, and using that with the BTX means I probably left the camera gear at home.

10 X 42 EL - 29.6 oz
15 x 56 SLC - 42.3 oz
85 mm Objective - 38.8
ATX mod - 28.6
BTX mod - 50 oz

My concern is over twilight factor, light transmission, and overall efficiency. Can the BTX keep up with the 15's in the light transmission department? I'm inclined to believe that with the 30x of the BTX, the twilight factor will be better, even if the light transmission is slightly worse than the 15's. What about plain old usability? I'll admit, the idea of switching ocular mods back and forth between the BTX and ATX sounds like a pain, but I bet in reality it isn't that bad, as it doesn't even require me to remove my objective from the tripod. I also need the ATX for digiscoping with my DSLR and am always trying to get myself to carry the camera gear more.

Get to my glassing point, troll with the 10's then with BTX 30x, if I find something, swap the BTX for the ATX ofr a closer look or photo. Sounds simple right? The only difference is instead of using 10's and the BTX as a layering method of glassing, I could just use the 15's then go straight to the ATX if I find something worth investigating further snapping a photo.

Ultimately, I'll probably own both, but might only be able to pull one this year.

Which route would you go? Is there anything I've said above that you see that needs correcting? Any alternative ideas or something I'm not thinking of?

As always, thanks in advance!
 
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WRO

Senior Member
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Nov 6, 2013
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1,345
I run the 12x50 els, solves the 15 SLC HD delimna. The 15s are hard to hand hold effectively and the 10's still feel like they need something.

As for the BTX question, i think if you had the doubler adapter as well as the eyepiece, I can't see a reason to carry the ATX eyepiece at all..
 

1signguy

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Oct 6, 2016
Messages
342
Location
Prescott, AZ
I have the ATX, 15x56, and have the BTX on order. My current plan is to get rid of the ATX eye piece all together. I just don't see any reason to have it. Not sure yet if I will keep the SLC's or not yet.
 
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brocksw

Senior Member
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Feb 27, 2015
Messages
767
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North Dakota
I have now revised my original post, but I failed to mention that I do some digiscoping with the ATX. So selling the ATX isn't really in the cards...however, leaving it at home if I am choosing not to digiscope is an option.
 

dashj7

Junior Member
Joined
May 20, 2015
Messages
25
Location
Southwest Texas
Brocksw,
Im with you, looking at some 15's this year for a high country mule deer trip and swaro drops the BTX bomb! My set up has been 8 on the neck and a 65 atx. I dont mind the extra wait scouting of the 15s but would hate to carry all three. My main question is will the 30x be to much power, small field of view, and run out of light sooner than the 15s. I would have a weight savings by only having 8s on the neck and btx in the pack. What to do???
 
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brocksw

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2015
Messages
767
Location
North Dakota
Yeah field of view with the BTX is less than half as much at 1000 yards than the SLC 15s, 122 to 234 feet respectively.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
 

primitive

Junior Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2014
Messages
47
I second the 12x50 EL's. I just bought the ATX 95mm and am exchanging the ATX for the BTX and 1.7x adapter. This spring I've been using the 12x50's on an Outdoorsmans monopod for sheds and its amazing. Cant wait to use that set up for the fall. I already use a trekking pole so its no added weight for me. You can hand hold the 12's or slide them onto your monopod.
 
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