Kowa, is it the best on the market?

Discussion in 'Scopes, Optics, LRFs, Spotters, BoreScopes' started by 300 RUM, Sep 10, 2019.

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  1. 300 RUM

    300 RUM Gene Nowaczyk

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  2. Pres100

    Pres100

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    Without quantifiably compared metrics, “best” will always be disputed. I have owned and used the Kowa brand for over 10 years and I can say without a doubt that it is one of the best brads I have looked through. Additionally, it is extremely durable - it’s been in my trunk for the past 6-9 months in the southern summer heat, spent 8+ years through Minnesota winters (stored in the garage) and still looks and functions as new. Never have had an issue with it.

    I’ve compared it to numerous scopes on the firing line and it is with the best. I know someone with a Nightforce spotter and it is also a GREAT looking and functioning scope ... it might even edge it out with a larger ED objective, but it’s 10 years newer. The one in the link would be the comparable and I would say it’s definitely one of the BEST.
     
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  3. 300 RUM

    300 RUM Gene Nowaczyk

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    You just dont see the Pure Flourite Lens on to many spotters
     
  4. F Class John

    F Class John NRA Life Member Gold $$ Contributor

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    I’ll keep it simple. For what we do, yes, it’s the best. It’ll pick up mirage that no other spotter will.

    They being said your eyes may or may not think it’s the best and like another one better. It happens and that’s ok.
     
  5. CT10ring

    CT10ring Gold $$ Contributor

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  6. 300 RUM

    300 RUM Gene Nowaczyk

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  7. Esoteric Junkie

    Esoteric Junkie

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    300Rum,
    If you already have a Swaro BTX and are looking for more you need to get a Kowa Prominar Highlander. The Kowa Prominars are the best big eyes out there for reasonable money. I have a pair and we often compare them to the BTX. The BTX gets left in the dust.....

    Here is the link.

    https://www.kowaproducts.com/Kowa-Highlander-Binoculars/Kowa-High-Lander-Binoculars/

    Another option would be the Fujinon 25x125's, however they are much larger and not as portable. These are also at the top of the range.

    Get the extra set of 21x eye pieces and you will be set for all conditions.

    EJ
     
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  8. Turbulent Turtle

    Turbulent Turtle F-TR competitor

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    It's fluorite, not flourite. I know, even Bear Basin spells it wrong on their site.

    That is one great spotting scope and highly prized in birding circles where color fidelity and rendition are critical; you really want to see the lovely plumage on that Norwegian Blue.

    You did not specify what use you have in mind for the spotting scope, so it's difficult to say what the "best" is without that tidbit of information.

    I read where Pres100 subjected his Kowa to an extended torture test. I would not recommend doing that to a Prominar with fluorite glass. It might not like it. At all.

    At any rate, if you use a spotting scope to read conditions while shooting, I find that ED glass or fluorite glass, is not what I would want for discerning mirage. I find that ED glass has a tendency to tame the mirage and thus present a better sight picture to the eye, which I think is great for a riflescope. Conversely, regular, albeit quality glass, in a spotter is more conducive to seeing the mirage and its manifestations. Of course, that's just my observations.

    I have a Kowa, but the much more pedestrian TSN-82SV with which I paired the 27X LER eyepiece for use while in position. I also have the 20-60 zoom eyepiece which works very well for my digiscoping endeavors.
     
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  9. Fred Bohl

    Fred Bohl Gold $$ Contributor

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    ?? - TT - What would ED glass in the scope do to "tame" 100+ yards of mirage effects between the scope objective and your target? Please educate me.
     
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  10. garandman

    garandman Bolt Gun Bodacious Gold $$ Contributor

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    I sold my Kowa spotter and got a 60x Russian jobber that had just as clear glass, to my eye. I'd need to check and see what manufacture it was, cuz its been a long time since I got out of CMP / DCM "Highpower" competition.

    Come to think of it...I should prolly sell it...along with a nice tripod I got, and carry bag, complete.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019
  11. Turbulent Turtle

    Turbulent Turtle F-TR competitor

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    We've been through this before. And I specifically stated that it was my observation, in other words, empirical data through my eyes. I have no scientific explanation for that, but I sort of think that because the ED glass provides a crisper image with better contrast and less color fringing, my observations may be emanating from those effects.

    To obtain better data would require a battery of spotters all aimed at the same distance at the same time, with multiple users. All I compare is what I see in my ED-equiped riflescope compared to my non-ED spotting scope. And they are set at different magnification and sometimes not even focused for the same distance.

    That is why I always mention that it has been through my observations or my experience.
     
  12. LarryDScott

    LarryDScott Site $$ Sponsor

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    When I was PD hunting I had the 82MM vertical eyepiece w/a 27 power LER wide angle eyepiece. Clarity was great. I tried the 20-60 zoom. Eye relief was to critical, and the field of view even at 20 pwr was very small. LDS
     
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  13. 300 RUM

    300 RUM Gene Nowaczyk

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    I am going to use it to spot impacts out to 2 miles, I looked through one this past weekend and it clearly cuts mirage down to a minimum. At 3300 yards one could tell a huge difference between the dark green grass and dirt, you also can see very good contrast at that range which makes it even better. Blow the Swaro out of the water IMO.
     
  14. Fred Bohl

    Fred Bohl Gold $$ Contributor

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    TT - My little test group working on a scope comparison protocol has noted that a smaller blur circle (lower aberrations such as color fringing) is reported as better image quality. Under controlled target lighting we also noted generally better resolution test results at lower contrast for ED scopes. Our large sample observation results appear to be consistent with your observations. We may not be doing testing that gives sufficient weight to perceived effects of contrast. Thank you for your insight on the potential significance of perceived contrast.
     
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  15. Turbulent Turtle

    Turbulent Turtle F-TR competitor

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    Let me be clear here. I am not claiming that ED glass eliminates mirage. This misnamed atmospheric phenomenon is very real and it does affect the image in a riflescope. What I have observed, and again, this is all personal observations with a limited number of riflescopes and spotting scopes, is that ED glass is not as affected by mirage as non-ED glass. By extension, I would think that fluorite crystal glass is even better in that respect (or less bad if you want to look at it that way.)

    For the purposes outlined by the OP for a spotting scope, I would agree that the qualities of fluorite crystal glass will be useful. I just would not subject that superb Prominar spotting scope to the torture regimen outlined earlier.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019
  16. waltkrafft

    waltkrafft

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    I am left handed. The offset eye piece of the Kowa was a major pita. Went with a Ziess a number of years ago and think it is a better scope in all ways except the price.
     
  17. Nature Boy

    Nature Boy Gold $$ Contributor

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    But will it be able to discern if it’s pining for the fiords?

     
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  18. Turbulent Turtle

    Turbulent Turtle F-TR competitor

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    About time someone caught on. I was starting to despair.
     
  19. Daveinjax

    Daveinjax Silver $$ Contributor

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    I’ve used the 884 and now own a ATX 95. My personal experience was the 884 was a huge disappointment. When using the Kowa I had it next to the Meopta S2 I owned at the time. There were tough veiling haze conditions looking towards a setting sun. The Kowa plain sucked in those conditions. The Meopta S2 was far superior. My ATX is better than my old S2. In good conditions the Kowa may be great but under various tough field conditions I trust my Swarovski ATX.
     
  20. Macropod

    Macropod

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    I've looked through a lot of spotting scopes over the years and the Kowa 883 I have is right up there with the best. Regardless of price.
    The larger objective Pentax spotters are good value when fitted with a decent eyepiece.
     

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