SWAROVSKI BTX

$5,365 • swarovskiop­tik.com

Field and Stream - - FIELD TEST - —John B. Snow

No one was sur­prised that an op­tic with the Swarovski name took top honors for spot­ting scopes in our an­nual op­tics test. But our testers didn’t ex­pect this one, with its binoc­u­lar eye­piece, to dom­i­nate the field the way it did. Swarovski’s flag­ship spot­ter is built on a mod­u­lar sys­tem that al­lows easy swap­ping of ob­jec­tive and ocu­lar el­e­ments. This BTX con­fig­u­ra­tion, with the dual eye­piece and 95mm ob­jec­tive, is new for 2018.

With the eye­piece in place, the spot­ter be­comes a fixed 35X op­tic, and be­cause of that we as­sumed it wouldn’t score as well as tra­di­tional spot­ters with gen­er­ous zoom ra­tios. What we found, how­ever, is that the ex­tra vis­ual data that comes from the dual eye­piece al­lowed us to re­solve im­ages bet­ter than did any of the sin­gle-eye­piece spot­ters we tested. We ob­served this while watch­ing game on dis­tant hills through heavy mi­rage at mid­day, while look­ing at stars and other ob­jects in the night sky, and while run­ning this spot­ter side by side against the rest of the field in crisp, clear con­di­tions.

The other fac­tor that tipped our eval­u­a­tion in the BTX’s fa­vor was viewer com­fort. Min­i­miz­ing eye fa­tigue is the name of the game for long glass­ing ses­sions, and we’ve never used a spot­ter as easy on the eyes as this one. Plus, the BTX eye­piece fea­tures a fore­head rest that you can set for per­fect eye re­lief.

I re­cently took the BTX on a two-week self-guided moose hunt in Alaska, where it with­stood the rig­ors of non­stop rain and rough use, prov­ing that the sys­tem, with its lat­est com­po­nents, is a full-fledged hunt­ing op­tic that you can take any­where.

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