Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Kowa Scopes and Eyepieces

Hello Eagle Optics!

I am interested in buying the TSN-883 spotting scope, an eye piece and a tripod for birding purposes.

1. Would you recommend the 30x wide angle eye piece or the 20-60x zoom eye piece?

2. I do have a TSE 14WB eyepiece. Is this eyepiece compatible with any of the new scopes that Kowa now sells, like the TSN-883?

3. Which tripod would you suggest – fit-for-purpose rather than top of the line?

4. Finally, is it really worth the extra cash over the Vortex Razor HD?

Thanks,
Chris




Hi Chris,

I’m glad to hear that you are interested in the TSN-883 spotting scope. In my opinion this is one of the best scope on the market today. Here are some answers to your questions, and please let us know if you have any more questions:

1. Would you recommend the 30x wide angle eye piece or the 20-60x zoom eye piece?

As far as eyepieces are concerned it really comes down to preference. The majority of people, myself included, prefer the 20-60 Zoom because it offers the most versatility, and when on the 20x power allows in the most light possible which is really useful for digiscoping or using the scope in lowlight conditions. However a lot of people like the 30x wide angle because of the larger field of view and the ease-of-use of not having to adjust the magnification.

2. I do have a TSE 14WB eyepiece. Is this eyepiece compatible with any of the new scopes that Kowa now sells, like the TSN-883?

Unfortunately, this eyepiece is made for the older 82mm scopes, which are discontinued. It is not compatible with any of the newer Kowa scopes because they have a different bayonet to attach the eyepiece.

3. Which tripod would you suggest – fit-for-purpose rather than top of the line?

For tripods I would recommend the Manfrotto 128rc/190xb tripod kit. I really like the micro-fluid head for swiveling a scope and find this tripod to be the most affordable of the premier micro-fluid tripod set-ups.

4. Finally, is it really worth the extra cash over the Vortex Razor HD?

When comparing these two items there are a lot of similarities. As far as mechanical features and build construction these two scopes are virtually identical. They also weigh about the same and have very similar dimensions. There is however a noticeable difference in the optics quality. The Kowa scope is a little bit brighter and has slightly better color contrast. The Kowa is a little bit warm in the color scale and the Vortex is a little bit cool. The Kowa also has better edge-to-edge sharpness and overall clarity. In the end both scopes are very high end and offer exceptional viewing experiences, and I don’t think you would be unhappy with the Vortex Razor HD, but the Kowa is a superior scope.

Thanks,
Eagle Optics
2120 W. Greenview Dr.
Middleton, WI 53562
(800) 289-1132
www.eagleoptics.com

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