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Kowa Spotters

mtmuley

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I've been looking at spotting scopes for a long while. I know the big three are considered the holy grail of optics. 3K for a spotter ain't going to happen for me. I have been looking really hard at Kowa. Speciffically the 66mm. Anybody here have one? Used one? Borrowed one? Any info would be appreciated. And no, Vortex will not be considered. Thanks guys, mtmuley
 

hank4elk

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I kick myself for not getting one when I could.Cheap.
I looked thru one once and was very impressed. Same model. Great size and all for my kind of hunting.
And if you looked thru the big 3,you know instantly what good glass is.It doesn't take several minutes of fussing and getting set,it's instantly clear vision.
....my Alpen is closer to the Kowa than any whortex....
 

mtmuley

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Thanks Hank. Just the info I'm looking for. The Kowa is still seeming like a great spotter for the money. REAL close to pulling the trigger. mtmuley
 

Kaitum

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I've been borrowing a different Kowa model (TSN 884) the past couple weeks to watch Dall sheep and bears on the mountain outside my living room window. I own a Swaro 65 ATS that's in storage, thus the Kowa borrow. Having used a Swaro for years, I can tell a difference between the two. A big difference? No. Quite small, actually. But I haven't actually carried the Kowa in the field, so I can't say much more about it than that. I am impressed with the clarity of the glass. For the price, I don't think you'll regret buying a Kowa.
 

mtmuley

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Thanks Kaitum. I am not finding much negative info on Kowas. Now I need to decide on the ED glass or not. mtmuley
 

WyOpitz

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I was looking at the Kowa tonight. Only negative I could find was that they were meant more for birding rather than hunting. Not sure if there would be a durability issue.
I keep going back and forth between Nikon, vortex, kowa, minox in the 60mm variety. I'm going to dig a little more in the Kowa.
 

Bambistew

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what about a used big 3? For the price of a new so so scope you can have a great scope. The Liecas are a lot of scope for the money.
 

mtmuley

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A good used scopoe is an option. Bout have to have your fingers on the keyboard when good buys appear. Stubaby, I'd like to stay in the 60 to 65 mm range so it won't be so bad to pack if I need to. Thanks though. WyOpitz, so far I cannot find any bad reports on the durability. The fact that a lot of birders use the scope is a testament to it's viewing quality. Them birders are picky ya know. mtmuley
 

Kaitum

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The fact that a lot of birders use the scope is a testament to it's viewing quality. Them birders are picky ya know. mtmuley


I'll second this. My brother-in-law is an absolute birding nut. To the point that he will travel 1,000 miles to some far off location just to check one rare bird off his list. He spends far more time looking through his optics than I ever will hunting. He's the first person who turned me on to Kowa scopes. Though his primary scope is a Leica, his back up scope is an Eagle Optics scope body with a Kowa eye piece. For the $300 he has invested in it the scope is amazing.

Try this site for some reviews: http://www.optics4birding.com/
 

danr55

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I have a pair of 20X Kowa binoculars a bought several years ago for spotting sheep. They are crystal clear and have no distortion anywhere in the field of view. An excellent purchase given the price. I wouldn't hesitate to buy one of their spotters if I needed one.
 
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I'm a Swaro guy and I ordered mine from a dealer on Archery Talk just last month that has prices low enough to make it more then worth your time. If your interested I can get you his info. My spotter came in a week, I registered it immediately (I was nervous about getting ripped off) and Swarovski contacted me to update my profile and the glass they had on file for me. It was seriously a great deal and brand new. He carries other brands too. Again let me know if tor interested.
 

WRO

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Dec 24, 2014
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Thanks Kaitum. I am not finding much negative info on Kowas. Now I need to decide on the ED glass or not. mtmuley

ED is the way to go..

I'd also reccomend getting the 88 vs the 66, its worth the extra weight.
 

Washington Hunter

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I like my Kowa 60mm scope. I got it with a 25x long eye relief eyepiece. I just looked at that combination on Eagle Optics and it's about $640. I've had mine for about 10 years and I'm happy with it. I did borrow a Swarovski scope last year for my bighorn sheep hunt, and it was nice, but I didn't have my Kowa along to compare. I will most likely never spend the money on a Swarovski, Leica, or Zeiss spotting scope. To do that would mean I'd have to give up at least a couple of years of hunting. Well, I'd rather hunt than have the best spotter made. If I ever decide to buy another spotting scope it will probably be a Leupold 12-40x60.
 

WyOpitz

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Ever feel like the 60mm isn't enough light gathering for glassing or wish you had the 66mm with ED glass? I'm really torn between the 60mm and the 66mm.
 

havgunwilltravel

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what about a used big 3? For the price of a new so so scope you can have a great scope. The Liecas are a lot of scope for the money.

I tend to agree with bambi here, maybe put a couple wanted adds on classified sections or keep your eyes open and save up a bit extra for a used spotting scope from one of the big 3. I have heard good things from guys who use the kowa big eye binos, but in my optics bin is a lot of optics from all of the big three companies and most of it was brought secondhand for extremely good prices and its there for when my sons grow up and when mates come hunting from overseas to use.

A lot of birders use spotting scopes and they are normally pretty fastidious with gear and often updating.

The older Leica Televids are pretty solid glass in a spotting scope and they can be brought quite reasonably priced second hand, often a lot cheaper then anything comparable that comes up from swarovski.

Good luck with your purchase whatever way you run with it.
 

WyOpitz

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I'm really hijacking mtmuley thread, but if you had a mediocre pair of binos (leupold Acadia 10x42). Would you buy a spotter or a pair of Swarovski SLC HD binos? Saw the swaros and I'm in love. But maybe a spotter would be more beneficial for now?
 

mtmuley

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Hijack away. Optics info is always good. Used is an option, but the Kowa allows me to buy new. I will also have some extra funds for a quality tripod. I noticed those aren't cheap either. mtmuley
 

TimeOnTarget

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I'm really hijacking mtmuley thread, but if you had a mediocre pair of binos (leupold Acadia 10x42). Would you buy a spotter or a pair of Swarovski SLC HD binos? Saw the swaros and I'm in love. But maybe a spotter would be more beneficial for now?

IMHO, A cheap spotter is about useless. I'll take a decent pair of Bino's over a cheap spotter any day.
 

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