SVBony, the Hong Kong based maker of budget astronomical telescopes, sent me a their mid-range SV46 spotting scope to test and evaluate. I reviewed the SVBony SV28 a few months ago and found it to be good value in the sub-$100 price tier. The SV46 is a big step in features and a moderate step up in price.
This is 80mm scope is heavier and has a more robust and detailed build. It is IPX waterproof rated and its front lens cap was so well fitted that I seriously had a hard time pulling it off. It has the stacked coarse and fine focus knobs found in pricier high end spotting scopes. Its eyepiece was large, removable, and featured an independently turning magnification ring.
But for a sub-$500 scope there has to be a trade-off and in the SV46’s case, its in the optics. Looking through the glass I found softness around the other edges. At x60 there was noticeable purple fringe. In the USAF-51 resolution test, I was able to resolve down to Element 4 in Group 0 which is quite good for a scope under $500 but this sharpness only applied to the center of the image as the focus got significantly softer about a 1/3 out from center.
The It’s optics, while underwhelming, are on-par with similar scopes in this price tier and magnification range. The Athlon Talos has better glass but has less features and looks and feels cheaper in comparison. The SV46 has a well built tube, adjustments, and controls normally found on spotters twice its price. As evidenced by very tight seal on the lens cover, is extremely water tight.
- Built in Sun Shade
- Water tight seals
- Built in eye-cup
- Fine and Course focus knobs
- Indexed mounting ring
- Shallow eye-relief
- Not sharp from edge-to-edge
- Chromatic aberrations
Group: 0 / Element: 4
Available on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3wgo1bf