Friday, 28 April 2017 16:47:20 Europe/London
This Sunday 30th April The Swarovski BTX Tour kicks off at the beautiful Cley Marshes, near Cley-Next-The-Sea in Norfolk. It is home to some of the largest areas of reedbed and bracken lagoon in England. They attract million of birds throughout the whole year and is a popular stop-off for migratory species in particular. The nature reserve is complete with a Norfolk Wildlife Trust centre and Cley Spy’s second optics store: the Cley Spy Marshes.
There will be plenty of BTX demonstration units for you to try, as well as Swarovski reps and Cley Spy staff who will answer any questions you may have about the BTX and ATX binocular/telescope hybrid.
Mike Dilger, wildlife reporter for The One Show and celebrity ecologist, will be attending as our guest all day, so this is your time to ask him anything you like about birdwatching, ecology, binoculars and wildlife.
There will be a limited selection of BTX modules for sale at the event, but you will have the opportunity to pre-order and receive the new BTX module when more are released.
The BTX Tour event is taking place on the coast road between Salthouse and Cley-Next-The-Sea. If you're driving, the address for your Sat Nav is:
NWT Visitors Centre,
If you're coming from the local area, you can follow these directions:
Directions from Blakeney (West) - Head east on the coast road (A149) for approximately two miles. When you reach CLey-Next-The-Sea, follow the road round to a sharp left. This will take you past Cley Windmill. Continue along the Coast Road and the NWT Cley Marshes Visitor Centre will appear on your right. Cley Spy is also sign posted here. You're more than welcome to park in the carpark for free. We look forward to seeing you.
Directions from Kelling (East) - Take the Coast Road (A149) for approximately 2.5 miles. You'll pass through Salthouse, keeping the pond on your right and the Dun Cow Pub on your left. Continue on until you see the NWT Cley Marshes Visitor Centre on your left. Cley Spy is also sign posted here. You're more than welcome to park in the carpark for free. We look forward to seeing you.
Directions from Cley Spy Glandford (South) - Turn left out of Manor Farm Barns and continue along this road for approximately one mile until you arrive at Wiveton. At the village green, turn right onto Bridgefoot Lane. Follow Bridgefoot Lane over the humped-back bridge and take the first left onto Glandford Road. Follow Glandford road past the Three Swallows Pub and along until you reach Cley-Next-The-Sea. At the junction take the right (straight over) and follow the coast road past Cley Windmill. Continue along the Coast Road and the NWT Cley Marshes Visitor Centre will appear on your right. Cley Spy is also sign posted here. You're more than welcome to park in the carpark for free. We look forward to seeing you.
At the moment, the weather at Cley Marshes is perfect for testing new equipment. A little bit of cloud cover will help to demonstrate the ability of the BTX module in not-so-perfect conditions, giving you a well-rounded first impression. If you want to keep an eye on the forecast, you can use our live update feed from the Met Office below:
Tim from Cley Spy was lucky enough to be invited to test the BTX at Swarovski headquarters in Austria. You can read his first impressions here. We're excited to see what you think of the new BTX module and would love if you'd leave us a review. You can write to the address listed above, tweet us @CleySpy or send us a message on Facebook by searching for CleySpy.
Tuesday, 14 March 2017 16:57:38 Europe/London
Monday, 13 March 2017 16:18:39 Europe/London
The Swarovski BTX was recently revealed to carefully chosen optics specialists, prominent birders and members of the press from around the world. Cley Spy's Tim Strivens was among those invited to spend the weekend with Swarovski in Austria, road-testing this innovative new product.
Swarovski Optik’s Innovation Centre in Tyrol was the first stop of the weekend and formed the setting for the grand unveiling of the BTX. The location couldn’t have been better. The Centre is flanked by high-reaching, snowy peaks and alpine forest, with beautiful views across the mountains. This formed a great backdrop for revealing the stunning and revolutionary BTX. The following two days were spent at the shores of breathtaking Lake Constance, where the team could test the BTX in different lighting and weather conditions to really get a feel for the way it works.
What’s so special about the BTX?
“Simply put, it's a revolutionary product. The BTX is essentially a new eyepiece module that is compatible with the ATX/STX telescope body. The ‘revolutionary’ part is that the BTX is made up of two eyepieces, giving you the front-end of a binocular attached to the single telescope objective lens- the first ever binocular-telescope hybrid. The BTX can be used with the 95mm, 85mm and 65mm ATX objective modules. It is fixed at 35x magnification when used with the 95mm, and at 30x magnification when used with the 85mm or 65mm lens, but you can easily attach a pocketsized 1.7x extender to boost up to 60x and 50x respectively. The binocular system enhances your natural vision, rather than forcing you to squint for hours on end. It’s a wholly more comfortable experiece and the world of optics has not seen anything like this before.”
What were your first impressions of the BTX?
“It is very Swarovski-esque. Anyone familiar with Swarovski optics will know exactly what I mean by that. It is exquisitely finished in a lightweight magnesium alloy with panels of hardwearing rubber armour along the barrel. The feel of this instrument is just superb and when you’re using it you really feel like you’ve got a high-quality piece of kit in your hands. The BTX feels strangely natural to use and is impressively comfortable when compared to a standard telescope. The eyepieces are exactly the same as on the 8x32 EL by Swarovski, so when you’re using them they feel very familiar and as comfortable to use as the binoculars themselves. The whole setup is easy to use and when you have the BTX mounted on your chosen tripod it is smooth to pan and tilt while holding it with both hands, like a binocular.”
“Other than the obvious binocular eyepiece, there were a few other outstanding features that made me think “Wow, that’s fantastic”. Firstly, the ‘star sight’ is a real innovation. Of course, most telescopes have some kind of site to help you align your view, but the ‘star sight’ goes a little further than most. The scale around the centre point acts as a complex sighting guide to help you aim the scope directly onto your target. Another spectacular feature is the integrated forehead rest. Yes, that’s right, the BTX has a built-in headrest to give you extra comfort when scanning the landscape for long periods of time. It can be adjusted to any height and removed if unwanted. For me, the ‘star sight’ and forehead rest represent fantastic design. They are both exceedingly simple answers to longstanding problems that could potentially reform the way you use your telescope.”
“The only downside for me is the price. It is quite expensive. Especially considering the BTX is a modular eyepiece which you fit into your ATX telescope body, so if you don’t have an ATX, you’ll need one of these too. But, to be honest, none of that matters to me, because I truly believe once you’ve invested in the BTX setup, you’ll be set for good. The ‘switch-in switch-out’ modular design marks a new generation of optics and as a whole bundle the BTX/ATX system gives you a total of nine different telescopes. The three objective modules and three eyepieces combine in nine different ways to suit almost every single viewing opportunity. As with all Swarovski products there is a sense of expert craftsmanship smelted into every element of the BTX’s construction. The concept is inspired and the ergonomics are superb.
What about the optics?
Swarovski products are always optically fantastic. Swarovision technology enhances the view and reproduces images with incomparable colour fidelity and clarity. The field flattener lenses give you outstanding sharpness from edge to edge, even in low visibility and poor light. The view through the BTX is fantastically bright and gives razor sharp detail. Contact us or call the shop on 01263 740088 to see for yourself.
Cley Spy will be hosting Swarovski on 30th April 2017 for the first leg of their European tour showcasing the BTX. If you’d like to be amongst the very first to try (and buy) this fantastic new product, click here for more details.
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