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BTX / ATX on 65mm (1 Viewer)

Brummie

Well-known member
It is nice to have the compact 65 though it looks a bit awkward on the BTX.
The 65 may look more unbalanced, but the 85 is not going to be any better balanced physically. In fact, it’ll probably be worse. If you’re only using the BTX at 30x, I’m not sure you’ll notice that much difference between the 65 and 85, except perhaps for a couple of minutes at dusk.

Also, I don’t understand switching the balance rail for the gimbal. They do different things. Once you have the scope well balanced, the gimbal will keep it there regardless of the orientation. But you still need the rail to get the balance right in the first place (at least you do with the BTX).
 

Hermann

Well-known member
The STX could be the perfect complement to the BTX, better than an ATX! Not only do you gain a higher magnification and a smaller package but moreover the straight view - very useful e.g. on a chair, in a hide or in a car. 👍
Also on a monopod. There are some situations where a straight scope just works better than an angled one. Not many, but in a hide or a car and on a monopod straight scopes just work better. I normally only use angled scopes, but when I came across a Nikon Fieldscope III at a ridiculously low price a few years ago, I got it for just those occasions. Nice.

To come back to the original question: If someone can get an STX module for a decent price in addition to the BTW, I'd get it. And keep it.

Hermann
 

HenRun

Well-known member
Sweden
The 65 may look more unbalanced, but the 85 is not going to be any better balanced physically. In fact, it’ll probably be worse. If you’re only using the BTX at 30x, I’m not sure you’ll notice that much difference between the 65 and 85, except perhaps for a couple of minutes at dusk.

Also, I don’t understand switching the balance rail for the gimbal. They do different things. Once you have the scope well balanced, the gimbal will keep it there regardless of the orientation. But you still need the rail to get the balance right in the first place (at least you do with the BTX).
The Gimbal came with a balancing plate/rail but it was not long enough to balance the BTX. Need to get the Swaro rail.
 

HenRun

Well-known member
Sweden
Personally I would get too little mileage out of the straight scope, or any zoom ocular, but you have a good point.
 

Brummie

Well-known member
The Gimbal came with a balancing plate/rail but it was not long enough to balance the BTX. Need to get the Swaro rail.
Even if the plate were long enough, I would definitely get the rail for the BTX because the two points of contact will make it much more stable. Or for a cheaper (and lighter) option, use a plate, but improvise your own butt-rest for the BTX.
 

HenRun

Well-known member
Sweden
Yes, I think you are right. I have a Manfrotto head which works great so the balancing rail will end up being ”cheaper” than the Gimbal I returned. They have the balancing rail in stock and I am certain I will keep the BTX for quite some time so might as well get it now and not wait.
 

HenRun

Well-known member
Sweden
The btx is to bulky..

Yes, it is bulky! But, I find it is worth it and it actually fits perfectly in a Tenba Solstice 12L bag - a very slim and comfortable backpack. I have a Mammut skiing backpack that fits the BTX/65 and more in a small format so I didn't get the Tenba but for a light outfit the Tenba would fit any reasonably sized birding tube and a tripod.
 

HenRun

Well-known member
Sweden
UPDATE:

For me the STX was atrocious. It didn't mesh well with me or my eyes at all on the 65 module. Compared to the Meopta S2 everything felt dull and less engaging. Eye strain was imminent and persistent and I decided that I am done with one eyed viewing from now on!

After returning it I went out to get the balance rail today and on the way in I realized I might look into trading in the 65 towards the 85 since I didn't keep the STX, so I had some $ to spare and the BTX loses some light compared to the other ocular modules.

Went in, got a fair trade for my 65 and case towards the 85 and Balance Rail and headed home.

I was in for a nice surprise, I was pretty happy with the BTX and the 65 but imaging was a bit grey-ish/dull in the afternoon shade.
With the 85 I find that the whole image sparked up a notch. Spent a good hour outside (until fingers went numb from the cold) and the imaging from the BTX / 85 was very rewarding. Checked out the local deer herd, looked at some birds nibbling at the spring blossoms. The image is noticeably brighter and very crisp, the bird viewing was the best I have had so far with any spotting scope - with incredibly crisp detail and a remarkably calm image.

I think in my case, going from the 65 to the 85 was THE significant upgrade. With the 65 it felt nice, but, a little compromised with the BTX.
That is why I looked at the STX, to get more versatility out of the kit. Now I feel I don't mind the absence of a zoom and perhaps I will even try the extender once the refund for the STX balances up the expense account.

Also, together with the Pure NL 8x32 the imaging is more similar than different and the pairing is great. The ONE drawback is that the BTX just barely fits my backpack with the balancing rail. Still, having gone this far, looking at a slightly larger backpack is not a dealbreaker.
:)
 

horukuru

Here I Come !
Malaysia
UPDATE:

For me the STX was atrocious. It didn't mesh well with me or my eyes at all on the 65 module. Compared to the Meopta S2 everything felt dull and less engaging. Eye strain was imminent and persistent and I decided that I am done with one eyed viewing from now on!

After returning it I went out to get the balance rail today and on the way in I realized I might look into trading in the 65 towards the 85 since I didn't keep the STX, so I had some $ to spare and the BTX loses some light compared to the other ocular modules.

Went in, got a fair trade for my 65 and case towards the 85 and Balance Rail and headed home.

I was in for a nice surprise, I was pretty happy with the BTX and the 65 but imaging was a bit grey-ish/dull in the afternoon shade.
With the 85 I find that the whole image sparked up a notch. Spent a good hour outside (until fingers went numb from the cold) and the imaging from the BTX / 85 was very rewarding. Checked out the local deer herd, looked at some birds nibbling at the spring blossoms. The image is noticeably brighter and very crisp, the bird viewing was the best I have had so far with any spotting scope - with incredibly crisp detail and a remarkably calm image.

I think in my case, going from the 65 to the 85 was THE significant upgrade. With the 65 it felt nice, but, a little compromised with the BTX.
That is why I looked at the STX, to get more versatility out of the kit. Now I feel I don't mind the absence of a zoom and perhaps I will even try the extender once the refund for the STX balances up the expense account.

Also, together with the Pure NL 8x32 the imaging is more similar than different and the pairing is great. The ONE drawback is that the BTX just barely fits my backpack with the balancing rail. Still, having gone this far, looking at a slightly larger backpack is not a dealbreaker.
:)

Glad you like the BTX combo.
 

HenRun

Well-known member
Sweden
Thank you for swift reply. I will try out the extender, I think it will work fine on the 85, it is probably past the threshold for size/light gathering under fair viewing conditions.
 

HenRun

Well-known member
Sweden
Thank you all for your help, visdom and suggestions. I got the extender today and it performs remarkably well. It is a little bit grey/dull in open shade in the afternoon compared to without, but not to the point it is bothersome. The 85 I feel makes the difference, with or without the extender! Balance rail works great and has helped out a lot today.

Got a good day out in the field looking at things near and far, some things I found with the extender I could not have spotted with the naked eye, a hare burrowed down in the grass quite far away, just popped into view at 50X magnification. We made "eye contact" and the hare was definitely aware of me despite the distance. Very crisp back lit viewing. There is some very slight CA in the outer edges, seen on barns and window trim on houses around the fields. Not once was I distracted by it, very natural contrast and viewing when looking at feathers and fur.

Two buzzards were roaming the fields in the late afternoon light. I could not find them with the extender on, I tried at least two minutes but did not even get a glimpse of them. It was just to hard acquiring them at 50X - at least for me.

Took off the extender and found them soon after and had a good fifteen minutes tracking them in flight. It was the best spotting scope experience I have ever had; very crisp and very easy to follow them in flight with the basic Manfrotto RC 128 pano head, just holding the BTX like a regular bino. Did not get seasick, zero fatigue and incredible detail. "Live streaming" at its best; straight to the brain through the optics... Seeing them prepare for a dive and then commit to the dive by folding the wings up and literally curling up to gain speed before spreading the wings back out was fantastic.

A "wow" experience which is a rare thing for me these days. I wasn't planning on a long walk so I left home without a jacket but didn't mind the cold breeze.

I was literally glued to the BTX for that fifteen minutes until my fingers started feeling a bit cold so I headed back home.

Will try to find me some eagles this weekend, I live a km and a half from a good spot on the coast line where word has it there are plenty of eagles around.
 

bcskr

Well-known member
I have the ATX that I mainly use with the 65 tube, and the BTX that I use only with the 85. Very content with both Setups. I also have the 1.7 extender that I rarely use. I originally purchased the 95, but found it too cumbersome so happily replaced it with the 85.
 

HenRun

Well-known member
Sweden
bcskr_ that makes perfect sense for a versatile combination. I am sorry it did not work out for me with the STX (or ATX). If it had I would have done the same thing. I did briefly look at the 95 but found it too large too, not worth the extra cost for me. Very happy with the 85.

I did get a Gitzo head (instead of the verrrrrry expensive Swarovski, made by Gitzo...) which balances up the BTX nicely on the tripod.
I don't see myself using the extender all too often but it is good to have and takes up little space in the backpack.

I am hard at work - literally - building a solid deck on the hillside and have completed the first half yesterday. Our old deck was from 1994 and held on for dear life. Turned out the center beam was rotten to the point I literally fell through it with the sabersaw. No wonder we felt a little sea sick walking around on it...

New deck is solid and I will make sure to take a long break today and set up the BTX for a good look at the birds of prey roaming the fields in front of us. Waiting for the next batch of decking boards, due to arrive any minute now. First batch they sent out was old stock and too many warped boards, I could only complete half the deck with it. At least they agreed to replace it for free. And the left overs will make for a nice shed somewhere on the property. :)
 

horukuru

Here I Come !
Malaysia
bcskr_ that makes perfect sense for a versatile combination. I am sorry it did not work out for me with the STX (or ATX). If it had I would have done the same thing. I did briefly look at the 95 but found it too large too, not worth the extra cost for me. Very happy with the 85.

I did get a Gitzo head (instead of the verrrrrry expensive Swarovski, made by Gitzo...) which balances up the BTX nicely on the tripod.
I don't see myself using the extender all too often but it is good to have and takes up little space in the backpack.

I am hard at work - literally - building a solid deck on the hillside and have completed the first half yesterday. Our old deck was from 1994 and held on for dear life. Turned out the center beam was rotten to the point I literally fell through it with the sabersaw. No wonder we felt a little sea sick walking around on it...

New deck is solid and I will make sure to take a long break today and set up the BTX for a good look at the birds of prey roaming the fields in front of us. Waiting for the next batch of decking boards, due to arrive any minute now. First batch they sent out was old stock and too many warped boards, I could only complete half the deck with it. At least they agreed to replace it for free. And the left overs will make for a nice shed somewhere on the property. :)

Sounds like a good for place birding!
 

BertL

Member
Hi Gang, I happened upon a second hand 65mm ATX in very good condition. I was primarily set on the ATX 25-60 zoom but I am much more comfortable using both eyes for extended viewing so I left the shop with a BTX module giving me a fixed 30X magnification.

I know the 65mm isn't the "best" companion for the BTX but so far I really like it. I am mostly a day time / fine weather observer. I did briefly try the ATX zoom in shop and thought the eye relief was great but I did feel like the BTX was more comfortable once set up, not to mention the experience of bino viewing which is very immersive with the BTX.

I would like some input from anyone who has used (or have) both and input on whether I should get the ATX further down the road - instead of returning the BTX for an ATX during the return period.

My line of reasoning is:

I like the BTX. I would not mind a zoom option though it is not the top priority.

The BTX makes for a more bulky package considering the 65mm module itself is pretty small. Weight is no concern for me. The bulk is manageable. But, compared to the ATX module the BTX is quite a bit larger. If I dedicate a bag/insert for it I think I will not think about it too much.

Getting an ATX eyepiece would get me considerably smaller package though. I could probably easily fit the ATX eyepiece in the field kit or choose to go lightweight and bring a smaller bino and the ATX/65mm on outings to keep size to a minimum.

Open question is:

For those of you that have the BTX - what are your thoughts on getting an ATX? Worthwhile?
If anyone has both - do you change between them frequently, bring them both on field excursions or do you not bother to bring both?

I know usage and preferences are highly subjective but I welcome any input.
For sure, I know I would like to add the ATX zoom but at the moment I can't neither afford it nor justify it.

I have a Meopta S2 / 82mm with the 20-70 eye piece as a loaner and the optics are superb but I find the eyepiece on the small side for my eyes and glasses compared to the recent offerings from Swarovski. Comparing the two side by side there are advantages to both and quite frankly I think the Meopta is a little bit better optically though I prefer the BTX viewing overall.
I use a BTX/65 already for a long time. Very comfortabele. Focussing is a lot easier than with a 95. I like the little darker image, particular at very sunny days. Contrast and color is super.
I sold the 95, never used it. 30x with two eyes is sufficient. You can multiple with 1.4 for detail percepties.
 

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