Usable Range for 15x binos vs Swaro BTX

Jbone62

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I have been coming to rokslide for quite a while and have to give props to the content... can't really find the same level of authenticity anywhere else on the web.

I know there has raged a debate between 15x binos and the swaro btx but I am curious to those who have used both or either what their opinion is? How would they impact your glassing system in tandem with 8x binos (what I currently use)? At what distances were they good for and did they prove more/less useful at specific game? All opinions are appreciated.

I know this has been talked about but I was hoping to condense all of the opinions here in one thread. Thank you for the input. Both expensive so ya know... buy once cry once ;)
 
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AkMtnRunner

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IMHO, it boils down to if one would want to own a large objective spotter AND large binoculars, the BTX is a no brainer better system.
 

fatrascal

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Sometimes the BTX is too much magnification. Sometimes the 15x won't be enough magnification. If you are looking for an all around system then I'd go with 8x or 10x binos and then 20x60 spotter. That way you ate covering all ranges of distance. The 15x56 and the BTX are not really comparable to each other. The BTX is 30 power or twice what the 15x is. Both are great but fill different niches. Fatrascal
 
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Jbone62

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Sometimes the BTX is too much magnification. Sometimes the 15x won't be enough magnification. If you are looking for an all around system then I'd go with 8x or 10x binos and then 20x60 spotter. That way you ate covering all ranges of distance. The 15x56 and the BTX are not really comparable to each other. The BTX is 30 power or twice what the 15x is. Both are great but fill different niches. Fatrascal
Right on... I kind of have my heart set on a high power setup where I can use both of my eyes. The stamina and speed of finding things is hard to beat IMO.
 

Scorpion

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I haven’t personally found a situation where 10’s or 12’s and the BTX system wouldn’t be a great combo. While Coues hunting in Sonora this past January I glassed up bucks 2:1 with the BTX over my buddy with Leica 15’s. I do like 15’s, especially on a tripod, but you’ll still need a spotter and I struggle with not also taking 8’s or 10’s for hand holding and glassing up close.
 

JakeSCH

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I personally don't want to carry the extra few lbs from the BTX system for the way I hunt. I am confident in my ability to find game (especially mule deer / elk) with 15x and do not feel that I am missing anything under 1 mile. I've even been able to spot elk at over 4 miles with 15x (just cannot see antlers at that distance).

However, if weight didn't matter, I would probably go with the BTX system.
 

Beendare

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I have 15x....and have used the BTX my guide buddy owns.

Its not a apples to apples comparison as Fatrascal mentioned.

I prefer the 15x for many reasons....outlined previously in other threads.
 
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Jbone62

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I haven’t personally found a situation where 10’s or 12’s and the BTX system wouldn’t be a great combo. While Coues hunting in Sonora this past January I glassed up bucks 2:1 with the BTX over my buddy with Leica 15’s. I do like 15’s, especially on a tripod, but you’ll still need a spotter and I struggle with not also taking 8’s or 10’s for hand holding and glassing up close.
At what ranges were you and your buddy looking if you had to guesstimate some numbers for me? That’s an awesome comparison tho.
 

shooterrdy

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If only BTX were Variable power say 15-40x
15s will be selling out soon as Swaro is dropping SLC line or at least that continues to be the rumor
 

Dd61999

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I find 15x binoculars “effective range” for game is about two miles. Give or take depending on conditions. I can see game 4-5 miles away but it’s a strain and I’m not sure what it is.

At the farther distances I need the top end range of a spotting scope and at that point it’s not worth it for me due to mirages and smaller exit pupils
 
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Jbone62

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If only BTX were Variable power say 15-40x
15s will be selling out soon as Swaro is dropping SLC line or at least that continues to be the rumor
Ya 15x-40x I would be a hell of a lot poorer cuz I would have bought them already haha
 

ntrlbrnhunter

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Imo it really depends on a few things, distance, vegetation and species all come into play. The BTX is a game changer for deer at long distances and in thicker cover. They really are unbelievable, the color, clarity is out of this world. They suck to pack, and they are the shits if it’s up close.

Depending on species and where you hunt would make my decision. If I was a Muley or Coues hunter, hunting open country glassing big distances, I’d go BTX. If I was more of an elk hunter, I don’t think a btx would be worth owning. Especially for yellow school busses, 15’s are more than enough 😂
 
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Jbone62

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Haha
Imo it really depends on a few things, distance, vegetation and species all come into play. The BTX is a game changer for deer at long distances and in thicker cover. They really are unbelievable, the color, clarity is out of this world. They suck to pack, and they are the shits if it’s up close.

Depending on species and where you hunt would make my decision. If I was a Muley or Coues hunter, hunting open country glassing big distances, I’d go BTX. If I was more of an elk hunter, I don’t think a btx would be worth owning. Especially for yellow school busses, 15’s are more than enough 😂
haha Blacktail in thick brush from 1000 yards - 2 miles seems to be my main quarry. After I finish graduate school here in December I am hoping to expand that to antelope, mule deer, and elk but that will depend on where I can find a job (I’m a farm boy in computer science... bit of a conundrum there).
 

MtnMuley

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I own them both and use both a lot. I find myself using the 15s in a chest harness for every single hunt and scouting trip except archery elk or spring turkey. I will keep the spotter set up with 20-60 eyepiece instead of the BTX because I use the 15s so much. With that said, I will switch to the BTX in big country where I can glass for miles.
 
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Jbone62

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I own them both and use both a lot. I find myself using the 15s in a chest harness for every single hunt and scouting trip except archery elk or spring turkey. I will keep the spotter set up with 20-60 eyepiece instead of the BTX because I use the 15s so much. With that said, I will switch to the BTX in big country where I can glass for miles.
Right now I’m picking apart brush from 1000 yards to 1.5 miles... if you had to recommend one and only one for that scenario what would it be?
 

TheGDog

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For that distance range? 15's are fine. Unless you've just got vast expanses of fairly open country... I'd highly suggest rollin' with 15's for awhile first before you decide if a Spotter is even necessary for you and your area. I'll either roll with some compact 8's in hand and 15's for when you sit with Tripod. OR I'll go with just 15's. But hand holding them, you can't look thru them for very long. And forget trying to quick-check something across a ridge by hand when your heart rate is all pumping during the hike-in.

With 15's and the Outdoorsman's Micro Pan Head, you can grid-apart a ridge nice and fast! And yeah... at 1000yd to 1.5mi ... You'll be able to detect deers with 15's (even a bit longer actually). But like... if you're trying to be some kinda picky Hunter... and they're at the edge of that distance... the detail on the antlers may be tough to make out if heat waves at the fringe of that distance are like mid-day strong. But you can see targets of even like duck and shorebird size at those distances. I do so regularly in a nearby wetlands reserve, just to keep in practice.
 
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Jbone62

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For that distance range? 15's are fine. Unless you've just got vast expanses of fairly open country... I'd highly suggest rollin' with 15's for awhile first before you decide if a Spotter is even necessary for you and your area. I'll either roll with some compact 8's in hand and 15's for when you sit with Tripod. OR I'll go with just 15's. But hand holding them, you can't look thru them for very long. And forget trying to quick-check something across a ridge by hand when your heart rate is all pumping during the hike-in.

With 15's and the Outdoorsman's Micro Pan Head, you can grid-apart a ridge nice and fast! And yeah... at 1000yd to 1.5mi ... You'll be able to detect deers with 15's (even a bit longer actually). But like... if you're trying to be some kinda picky Hunter... and they're at the edge of that distance... the detail on the antlers may be tough to make out if heat waves at the fringe of that distance are like mid-day strong. But you can see targets of even like duck and shorebird size at those distances. I do so regularly in a nearby wetlands reserve, just to keep in practice.
Hah for my area if I can see three points on one side then that is all I need to know. Normally I pack 8x but there have def been times when a bit more power is necessary... It seemingly falls between 15x and 25x... only reason I would even consider the btx is because Blacktail can appear and disappear in the brush all at once without an antler or ear to catch my eye...
 

TheGDog

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Yeah Ok, since you're not one of those picky dudes... I'd definitely say 15s on a tripod then. And I mean, ask around, you can probably get somebody to let you look thru their similar setup if you offer them a token of appreciation for their time. Like a 6-pack of their fav or Starbucks card or something like that. Under the right conditions you can see a long dang ways with 15's. And when that ear-flick or tail-flick happens.... it's like "Gotcha B*tch!" Hehe.
 

Scorpion

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At what ranges were you and your buddy looking if you had to guesstimate some numbers for me? That’s an awesome comparison tho.
On the ranch that we hunt glassing distances ranged from 200-1200 yards, only a few scenarios where we would’ve been glassing beyond that. It is very thick in many areas that hold deer and I will typically use the BTX for anything 350-400 and beyond in order to really pick it apart.

The BTX paid for itself one day when my buddy with the 15x Leica’s and the Mexicans with Vortex Vulture 15’s were convinced they found a big buck at 1250-1300 yards. Turned out to be a deer sized rock with some little ocotillo. Without the BTX we would’ve wasted at least a half a day making a stalk. Even the older Swarovski spotter couldn’t pick it out for what it was.
 

MtnMuley

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Right now I’m picking apart brush from 1000 yards to 1.5 miles... if you had to recommend one and only one for that scenario what would it be?
Sorry for the delay. I'd recommend the BTX mainly because you mentioned the 1.5 miles. 1000yds is perfect 15 range.
 
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