Expected vs. Perceived
We have all had an experience in our lives where reality didn’t meet our expectation, from online dating to online shopping there is a chance what you encounter is far from what you had expected. Some times these difference are subtle and you accept them as a part of the experience and other times they are so drastic they make you question everything in life. That may be a little overdramatic when we are discussing optics, like we are today, but when your hard earned money is on the line you expect to get what you paid for.
In order to educate ourselves and also you, our customers we set out to test the Field of View (FOV) of the long range glassing setups currently available on the market today. FOV is always measured at 1000 yards and the measurement is given in feet. Was our test the most scientific, no. Our test was recorded in real world conditions and was designed to look at true perceived FOV of the optics we had available. Are our eyes different than yours, they are, but even with that factored into the equation we honestly believe this test was a true representation of perceived vs. reality.
In an undisclosed location in central Arizona we mapped out a vantage point that would allow us to look in a straight line out to 1000 yards, the typical distance FOV is measured at. With the optics set up on a good vantage point, Cody drove across the valley to the one thousand yard mark to set up our target. Using a vehicle as our constant and a 2x4 with orange marking tape as our moving sightline we effectively measured the true usable FOV of the optics we had for the test. Placing the right edge of the optic with the bumper of the truck in my far right view through the optic, I instructed Cody to walk away from the the truck until I could no longer see him in my sight picture, once there he would take short steps back toward the truck until he was barely visible on the far left of my sight picture. In doing the test in this manor we were able to accurately determine the perceived FOV and compare it to the claimed FOV from the manufacturer.
In this test we set out to compare all of the big glass offerings on the market today, and with the help of some of our friends that is exactly what we did! We had the newest Docter ED 40x80, the Kowa Highlander 32x82 Fluorite model, the Swarovski BTX 65, 85, and 95, the Twin Swarovski STS 25-50x65 HD spotters, and as a bonus the Swarovski STX 95. Having all this big glass in one spot at the same time allowed for us to accurately test them on an equal field.
At last what you have all been waiting for, the numbers!
FOV Claimed FOV Measured FOV Diff.
Docter ED 40x80 SWA- 126 ft. 87 ft. 39 ft.
Kowa Highlander 32x82- 116 ft. 108 ft . 8 ft
BTX 95 35x95- 96 ft. 87 ft. 9 ft.
BTX 85 30x85- 112 ft. 102 ft. 10 ft.
BTX 65 30x65- 112 ft. 102 ft. 10 ft.
Twin STS 65 25-50x65— 126 ft. 117 ft. 9 ft.
STX 95 30-70x95— 104 ft. 90 ft. 14 ft.
(We tested all of these optics at their lowest magnification.)
If you spend a lot of time behind big optics glassing the west you understand how important glassing at extended ranges is a normal part of the hunt, and being able to cover ground efficiently is a must! We weren’t surprised with our findings because after spending hours in the field behind all of this glass, we were expecting to see a difference in the claimed FOV vs reality. Stay tuned for further comparisons and we will go further in depth on all of these offerings in reference to clarity, light transmission, and ease of use in the field in later comparisons.