Kowa spotting scope, what size?

Discussion in 'Long Range Scopes and Other Optics' started by rcdinaz, Mar 28, 2011.

  1. rcdinaz

    rcdinaz Well-Known Member

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    looking for feedback on the Kowa Prominar 88 vs the 77. How much difference and is the 88 worth the extra weight & money?

    any other feedback is appreciated!
     
  2. joseph

    joseph Well-Known Member

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    What do you plan on using it for and at what distances?

    joseph
     

  3. rcdinaz

    rcdinaz Well-Known Member

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    In the field I use my Swarovski 15x56 binos most of the time so this would be for distances past what I can see with them. I also have a minox spotter in 62 ED but it doesn't have much more range than the binos using the adjustable eye piece.

    I am in AZ and after about 600-800 yds for Coues deer, javalina, prairie dogs, and antelope (if I ever get drawn) it is hard to pick up a lot of details with what I currently have. That doesn't sound that far but we have a lot of days where mirage is an issue due to how much our temperatures swing and being in the desert or plains areas.

    I also want to spend a lot more time shooting past 500yds and need to see targets/hits.
     
  4. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    I have an 82mm strait eyepiced one, and it's really nice. Down side is that it's a little heavy and long. I use the 27X eyepiece, and just love it. Does the 88 have the flourite coated lenses? Mine does not, and really can't see all that much difference
    gary
     
  5. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    I can pick out the head of a pop rivit at about 375 yards on a bright and sunny day. Very little if any mirage in the noon time sun light. Probably going to pick up a 45X eyepiece or at least a 20x-60x this year.
    gary
     
  6. rcdinaz

    rcdinaz Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the feebdack!

    The reference on seeing a pop-rivet is a good one i dont beleive my Minox could do that. it was a good scope 8 years ago when I bought it but doesnt compare to what I have looked at now.

    I was looking at the TSN-773 and TSN-883 which are the XD with the flourite. I am not sure how much the flourite makes a difference there seem to be as many opinions on it being better as those that say it doesnt matter much. The price is a big difference so I need to look at them.

    Testing optics at a store is pretty tough, sportsmans is better than most since they have resolving charts in the building but there is not enough range for spotting scopes to test so I usually find as many reviews as I can from here and the bird watching sites. In my area I am still shocked everytime I go to Bass Pro or Cabela's and most of them do not know what a resolving chart is and still want me to buy from them. You would think they would hire one of the kids from one of the camera stores and let him run the department, the camera guys always seem to know this stuff really well.

    Sorry to get off topic, recent experience has again caused frustration. :D
     
  7. mountainman

    mountainman Active Member

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    From my understanding the Kowa model 884 and 883 ( same scope, one model is angled the other is straight)is the best on the market right now.
     
  8. rcdinaz

    rcdinaz Well-Known Member

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    Thanks! That is what I have read as well. I am really leaning towards that model, still looking at the Swarovski as well due to my brand bias.
     
  9. mountainman

    mountainman Active Member

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    The last I read in Dec. the Kowa 883 and 884 is the best followed by the zeiss 85 t fl then the pentex 100mm forget the model number then the swarovski 80mm. I bought the zeiss 20-75x85 T FL last january and I really like it and got it new for a steal. If it wasn't for that I would of bought the Kowa. Your not going to go wrong with any of these scopes and the differences are very small in brightness quality but more so in eye relief. I wear tri focals and I have no problems using the zeiss with a full field of view. Going from 20 to 75 power requires a very small focus adjustment and I can see clearly at 4 to5 miles on a cold day, no haze or heat waves.
     
  10. ZSteinle

    ZSteinle Well-Known Member

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    I was looking at the kowa 884 prominar, but the only reason why i decided to go with a swaro 80HD was the 25-50x wide angle eyepiece. That thing is just awesome. I look through a 20-60x regular eyepiece now and know what i went with what i did. Check out the bird forums, they have a ton of information!
     
  11. rcdinaz

    rcdinaz Well-Known Member

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    Mountainman thanks for the break down!

    Z, thanks that is very useful feedback I went to Outdoorsman's today and looked through the wide angle lens on the smaller swaro scope and it was great. I didn't test the 80 since I wanted to wait until they get the Kowa back in stock to look through them both. It was nice to finally find a place where they take the scope outside and there are mountains all around and you can really see what kind of detail you can pick out. I do have to say the focus on the Swaro is a great design as well.
     
  12. ZSteinle

    ZSteinle Well-Known Member

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    yes it is! Cold=Gloves Gloves=big focus ring! Big focus ring=swaro!
     
  13. Sako7STW

    Sako7STW Well-Known Member

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    I have a Kowa Prominar 884. This year alone I used it to field judge bull elk over 5 miles away (as a crow flies, measured on Google Earth) and used it to help my Dad get one of those bulls that scored 341 5/8"! Two weeks later I was out helping my Father In Law get his elk. I spotted a nice bull laying under a cedar tree at 3.75 miles (again as a crow flies, measured on Google Earth). After watching him for about 20 minutes my FIL decided he wanted him. We put the plan together and he ended up getting him a really nice 5x6 bull that is very unique. You could not even see the bull with binoc's even when we knew where he was. We would have never seen nor got either of these bulls without the use of my spotter.

    From what I see, I would recommend getting you the best, the 883 or 884 (depends on what style you prefer). It is worth the extra money to get the Florite, it allows you to resolve things that lessor lenses just dont have the ability to. At first you may not be able to see the difference, but when you start looking farther away and want to see those fine details and you can't, you will be sorry that you didn't spend the money if you go with a lessor scope. Generally with the Prominar you will think your focused but then you really fine tune it with the slow dial and you find out that you were not focused, it is that good!

    With the Bino's you already have, I wouldnt worry about wide angle as the spotter isn't going to give you more than the Bino's. When you want to see details at long distance, that's when you break out the spotter. As for what you want, the Kowa's will easily do everything you listed. It is the best money I have ever spent for hunting besides my gun. Ohh, and yes, the larger size is worth it!
     
  14. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

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    I have a 5 year old Kowa 82 without Flourite and I would agree with what Sako7STW says about performance. At the extreme ranges the higher quality image of better color helps with the ability to judge small details. Without Flourite. I can judge elk antlers to about 3 miles but only under certain conditions. I use single power eyepieces as the quality of the zoom eyepieces degrades the image.


    Of course a lot depends upon your natural initial vision and mine is corrected moderately well but certainly not really well. So, as I said before and irritated one optics expert, if you are as blind as a bat then a good quality optic is lost on you anyway.