New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - Kowa 66 vs Razor 65
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

Check GunBroker.com for SWFA's No Reserve and No Minimum bid firearm auctions.

Kowa 66 vs Razor 65

 Post Reply Post Reply   Topic Search Topic Search  Topic Options Topic Options
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/25/2014 at 15:25
catorres1 View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper


Joined: November/16/2013
Location: Austin, Tx
Status: Offline
Points: 24
I am starting to do research on spotting scopes.  I plan to hunt with it, including packing it, so I think a 65mm is probably the way to go.  I'd like an 85ish for it's low light performance, but the weight is probably just too much.

Also, I wear glasses, but I want more power than the Long Eye Relief eye pieces out there, so will be going with the zooms.

Budget wise, I am not in the Swarovski tax bracket.  So I am looking at the Razor 65 and the Kowa 664 Prominar (I want a straight eye piece).  But no one near me has either of these scopes, so it's going to be sight unseen for me.

I know that the Vortex warranty is the best, and that's a huge bonus, no doubt.  I have also been told by one source that has both scopes that the Kowa is absolutely the best between these two, and that it is even brighter and clearer than the Razor 85.  The only concern on his part was the eye relief on the Kowa.  Its 2-3mm or so less than then Razor.  But otherwise, he strongly recommended the Kowa as the best choice.

Anyone have any thoughts on this?  The Kowa has 16.5 mm of eye relief according to the manufacturer, is this generally enough?

How about the comparison between these two scopes for resolution, brightness and low light performance? 

And then there is durability/warranty.  I am confident the the Vortex will be tough, or atleast be fixed if it is not.  How does the Kowa stand up, and how do they treat folks with repair issues?

There are lots of reviews on the bigger scopes from both manufacturers, but not so many on the smaller, so anyone with experience with these, I'd love to hear it.

Thanks!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/25/2014 at 16:56
RifleDude View Drop Down
MODERATOR
MODERATOR
Avatar

Joined: October/13/2006
Location: Texas
Status: Offline
Points: 14313
I haven's ever used the Razor 65 or the 66mm Prominar Kowas. However, I've spent quite a bit of time with the Razor 85 and a little time behind the Kowa 884 Prominar. The Kowa 884 probably had the finest image quality of any spotter I've ever looked through, but the Razor 85 is no slouch, and ranks very close to the Swaro, Zeiss, Leica spotters in terms of image quality. I would expect there's a very good chance the same relative qualities/comparisons would probably apply in the 65mm class as well.

This is likely one of those decisions where there really isn't a wrong decision. I don't think the 66mm Prominars use the expensive "pure FL" objective lenses that Kowa claims on their 88mm spotter, so I don't know if their 66mm spotter would rank as highly in the mid size spotter class as the 88mm does in the large spotter class. From what I've seen of Kowa optics in general, I would expect the Prominar 66 to stack up well against any mid-size spotter available.

I would also have very high expectations of the Razor 65. I've been very impressed with every optic Vortex has attached the "Razor" label to.

I think I would choose based on a combination of size, weight, FOV, eye relief, and available eyepieces, as well as how important Vortex's excellent warranty is to you. I'd bet you'd be very happy with either.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/25/2014 at 17:32
Peddler View Drop Down
Optics Jedi Master
Optics Jedi Master
Avatar

Joined: July/04/2012
Location: Oswego,NY
Status: Offline
Points: 9040
Ted, the 66 Prominar is Fluorite. Same as the 88 mm. Prominar means Fluorite.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/25/2014 at 19:00
koshkin View Drop Down
MODERATOR
MODERATOR
Avatar
Dark Lord of Optics

Joined: June/15/2004
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 10961
Originally posted by Peddler Peddler wrote:

Ted, the 66 Prominar is Fluorite. Same as the 88 mm. Prominar means Fluorite.

That is incorrect.

The 880 has a pure fluorite optical element.

The 660 has an element with fluorite dopes glass.  They are not the same and Prominar is a brand name.  Kowa can put a Prominar logo onto a roll of toilet paper if they so chose and it would be as much a Prominar as anything else.

With Kowa spotter, the 880 and 770 share some design similarities, although the 770 doe snot have a pure fluorite lens.

As far as 66mm Kowa with the XD optical element and the 65mm Razor go, both are excellent spotters.  Personally, I would go with the Razor HD between these two since it is a little cheaper and the zoom eyepiece has a more useful range of 16-48x, vs the 20-60x for the Kowa.

Optically, you would have a hard time telling the difference between the two.  Without seeing them side-by-side I can not tell you which one is better, but the eyepiece on the Vortex is definitely more user friendly in terms of eye position flexibility and eye relief.

Both companies stand behind their customer, so I would not worry about that too much.

All that having been said, if you were OK with an angled eyepiece I would suggest you take a look at the 82mm Zen-Ray Prime HD for similar money.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/25/2014 at 19:01
catorres1 View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper


Joined: November/16/2013
Location: Austin, Tx
Status: Offline
Points: 24
Thanks for the responses!

 I was wondering about whether it was the same glass as on the 88.  Looking at their site, it appears it is the same, but then I heard it was different in other places as well.  I did notice that there were some early references to a 664 ED that did not use the word "Prominar" in the name.  Maybe those were before they rolled the pure flourite glass down?  I don't know.

As to the performance of the Razor 65....I suspect, based on what I have read, that the Kowa will outperform it, but by how much?  As I mentioned, one vendor, who had both in stock, said the Kowa was much better, and even edged out the 85mm version of the Razor. 

I really think that person was being honest, he was really helpful etc.  However, it would be great to hear other opinions on this. 

Putting that aside, though, you are right.  That Vortex warranty is pretty special, especially for something as expensive and fragile as a spotting scope. 

Plus it has the better eye relief, from what I read.

As far as range goes....the Razor is probably better there as well...in that it goes down to 16, so the exit pupil at the bottom is 4mm, where as the Kowa only goes down to a 3.

I have not read a test on the razor 65, oddly enough.  All the reviews I have found were for the 85.  On the Kowa, I read only 1, I think.  Verses a couple Swaro's.  It was it's equal, better in some ways, less in some others.  High praise indeed, but only one review.

But, I think you are right, there will be no wrong decision.  And I am some months off from purchasing at this point.  (I have a sick rifle that may need major surgery first...waiting for the 'doctor's' diagnosis).  But will be interested to see if any others have tried these two or maybe the Kowa 66 vs the Razor 85 to shed some light on the question.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/25/2014 at 19:08
catorres1 View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper


Joined: November/16/2013
Location: Austin, Tx
Status: Offline
Points: 24
Koshkin,

I was hoping you would show up.  You posted while I was writing my other response.  Thanks for the clarification on the flourite elements.   That's unfortunate that they don't use the same glass as on the 88.  That would be helpful in making an assessment.

But it sounds like your position is they are probably optically equal (enough).  Which then would probably tip the balance towards the Vortex.  At least on paper, it has the better eye-relief, is cheaper and comes with a case, and then there's that warranty...

And I do think the range would be more useful for me.  The 16 power would probably really help during the last moments of the day...
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/25/2014 at 19:13
RifleDude View Drop Down
MODERATOR
MODERATOR
Avatar

Joined: October/13/2006
Location: Texas
Status: Offline
Points: 14313
That's incorrect, Skip.

"Prominar" is just a made-up trade name Kowa uses to denote their premium optics lines; it doesn't mean anything, because it isn't an actual word.

The 66mm spotters DO NOT use their "pure fluorite" lenses, according to Kowa. 


The 66mm Prominars have their "XD" objective lenses (their marketing term for "extra low dispersion"). If they used fluorite lenses, they would say so in their specs, as they do for the 880 series, as that's a huge selling point. Also, the absence of a "pure fluorite" lens is reflected in the price, as the 880 series costs twice as much as the 660 series. Despite the size difference between the 88mm and 66mm scopes, there wouldn't ordinarily be this much price difference on that fact alone.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/25/2014 at 19:13
Peddler View Drop Down
Optics Jedi Master
Optics Jedi Master
Avatar

Joined: July/04/2012
Location: Oswego,NY
Status: Offline
Points: 9040
Originally posted by koshkin koshkin wrote:

Originally posted by Peddler Peddler wrote:

Ted, the 66 Prominar is Fluorite. Same as the 88 mm. Prominar means Fluorite.


That is incorrect.

The 880 has a pure fluorite optical element.

The 660 has an element with fluorite dopes glass.  They are not the same and Prominar is a brand name.  Kowa can put a Prominar logo onto a roll of toilet paper if they so chose and it would be as much a Prominar as anything else.

With Kowa spotter, the 880 and 770 share some design similarities, although the 770 doe snot have a pure fluorite lens.

As far as 66mm Kowa with the XD optical element and the 65mm Razor go, both are excellent spotters.  Personally, I would go with the Razor HD between these two since it is a little cheaper and the zoom eyepiece has a more useful range of 16-48x, vs the 20-60x for the Kowa.

Optically, you would have a hard time telling the difference between the two.  Without seeing them side-by-side I can not tell you which one is better, but the eyepiece on the Vortex is definitely more user friendly in terms of eye position flexibility and eye relief.

Both companies stand behind their customer, so I would not worry about that too much.

All that having been said, if you were OK with an angled eyepiece I would suggest you take a look at the 82mm Zen-Ray Prime HD for similar money.

ILya



Ilya, I would never question your expertise which is light years ahead of me. I only know what Kowa told us as reps. I would defer to your knowledge. Thanks for clearing that up.

Skip
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/25/2014 at 19:14
RifleDude View Drop Down
MODERATOR
MODERATOR
Avatar

Joined: October/13/2006
Location: Texas
Status: Offline
Points: 14313
Sorry to repeat what you said, Ilya. I was typing while you posted, and walked out of the room for a spell before I clicked "post reply."
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/25/2014 at 19:19
RifleDude View Drop Down
MODERATOR
MODERATOR
Avatar

Joined: October/13/2006
Location: Texas
Status: Offline
Points: 14313
Originally posted by koshkin koshkin wrote:


...although the 770 doe snot...

...and doe snot is hard to acquire (those suckers run pretty fast), which undoubtedly drives the price up!Wink
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/25/2014 at 19:23
Peddler View Drop Down
Optics Jedi Master
Optics Jedi Master
Avatar

Joined: July/04/2012
Location: Oswego,NY
Status: Offline
Points: 9040
Ilya & Ted, that's marketing and what they don't fully explain to non experts who are trying to sell a product. When a rep group reps 20 or 25 product lines it's difficult to know all inside out.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/25/2014 at 19:25
RifleDude View Drop Down
MODERATOR
MODERATOR
Avatar

Joined: October/13/2006
Location: Texas
Status: Offline
Points: 14313
Originally posted by catorres1 catorres1 wrote:

  As I mentioned, one vendor, who had both in stock, said the Kowa was much better, and even edged out the 85mm version of the Razor. 

Maybe it is better, but I highly doubt it's "much better;" notwithstanding "much" being a pretty subjective word.

Not saying the person you talked to is incorrect; I don't know. However, I've found that the vast majority of people who work in retail stores selling sports optics, guns, etc. are totally full of crap, so unless you know him personally, I would take those comments with a dump truck load of salt.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/25/2014 at 19:27
Peddler View Drop Down
Optics Jedi Master
Optics Jedi Master
Avatar

Joined: July/04/2012
Location: Oswego,NY
Status: Offline
Points: 9040
Yep!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/25/2014 at 20:15
catorres1 View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper


Joined: November/16/2013
Location: Austin, Tx
Status: Offline
Points: 24
Yeah, I actually have never met the guy.  I just found his name on a few posts mentioned by people asking optics questions and folks suggested others talk to him.  And I say 'much', at first he mentioned how much better the Kowa was, even besting the 85,  but at another point he said it was better but I would not be giving up that much.  So maybe it's enthusiasm and a little subjective.  Really nice guy, though.  Definitely feel he was trying to be fair and honest.  But it really is hard to quantify a lot of this for most of us.  What one sees as an amazing difference, others may not even notice or maybe even see it the other way.

Still trying to locate a dealer that has either of these anywhere close to me.  I am not in a hurry, though...might try and call Kowa and get some names.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/25/2014 at 20:44
Rancid Coolaid View Drop Down
Optics Jedi Master
Optics Jedi Master
Avatar

Joined: January/19/2005
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 7694

Law of diminishing returns.


If you can afford the Kowa, you won't regret it. I too agree the 16-48X is a better range for field use.


I have a fair bit of experience with the razor HD 85 and the Kowa 884, both are great, I bought the vortex and spent the rest on other cool stuff. Since then, I have never missed something that the guy beside me with an 884 saw.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/25/2014 at 21:25
koshkin View Drop Down
MODERATOR
MODERATOR
Avatar
Dark Lord of Optics

Joined: June/15/2004
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 10961
Something I did not address: for a Kowa 660 to be better than the 85mm Razor, you would have to have a particularly cherry sample of the 660 and compare it to a particularly iffy sample of the 85mm Razor.  These two I have seen side by side.

Peddler, I did not mean to be harsh (it may have some off that way, now that I re-read my post).

Ted, I defer to your knowledge of doe snot.  I have never run into it up close....

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/25/2014 at 22:36
RifleDude View Drop Down
MODERATOR
MODERATOR
Avatar

Joined: October/13/2006
Location: Texas
Status: Offline
Points: 14313
Originally posted by Rancid Coolaid Rancid Coolaid wrote:

If you can afford the Kowa, you won't regret it. I too agree the 16-48X is a better range for field use.


Actually, in this particular comparison, the Razor HD 65 is the more expensive optic by about $180.00.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/26/2014 at 00:06
koshkin View Drop Down
MODERATOR
MODERATOR
Avatar
Dark Lord of Optics

Joined: June/15/2004
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 10961
Originally posted by RifleDude RifleDude wrote:

Originally posted by Rancid Coolaid Rancid Coolaid wrote:

If you can afford the Kowa, you won't regret it. I too agree the 16-48X is a better range for field use.


Actually, in this particular comparison, the Razor HD 65 is the more expensive optic by about $180.00.

Are you sure you are looking at the right Kowa? There are two 660 bodies with and without XD elements.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/26/2014 at 04:34
Peddler View Drop Down
Optics Jedi Master
Optics Jedi Master
Avatar

Joined: July/04/2012
Location: Oswego,NY
Status: Offline
Points: 9040
Originally posted by koshkin koshkin wrote:

Something I did not address: for a Kowa 660 to be better than the 85mm Razor, you would have to have a particularly cherry sample of the 660 and compare it to a particularly iffy sample of the 85mm Razor.  These two I have seen side by side.

Peddler, I did not mean to be harsh (it may have some off that way, now that I re-read my post).

Ted, I defer to your knowledge of doe snot.  I have never run into it up close....

ILya


No problem Ilya, I did not take it that way.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/26/2014 at 07:20
RifleDude View Drop Down
MODERATOR
MODERATOR
Avatar

Joined: October/13/2006
Location: Texas
Status: Offline
Points: 14313
Originally posted by koshkin koshkin wrote:

Are you sure you are looking at the right Kowa? There are two 660 bodies with and without XD elements.



Yes, I'm sure. The XD version costs $1020.00 and the non-XD version is $520 - $580 (depending on whether you get straight or angled).

The Razor 65 HD costs $1200.00.

However, what I failed to take into account is the Razor comes with the 16-48X eyepiece at that price, whereas the Kowa doesn't.

The Kowa 20-60 eyepiece is $385, so the Kowa 66 XD w/ variable eyepiece costs about $200 more than the Razor 65HD.

Regardless, not a huge difference in scopes of this class.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/26/2014 at 11:07
koshkin View Drop Down
MODERATOR
MODERATOR
Avatar
Dark Lord of Optics

Joined: June/15/2004
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 10961

That makes sense, Ted.



 Post Reply Post Reply
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Similar Threads: "Kowa 66 vs Razor 65"
Subject Author Forum Replies Last Post
VORTEX RAZOR VS. KOWA, ZEISS, SWAROVSKI 338LAPUASLAP Spotting Scopes 23
Zeiss Diavari #66 Illum Rail Mount Lotutec +BDC opticsmike Optics For Sale 3
Remington Nylon 66 Mike McDonald Firearms For Sale 2 2/23/2007 6:25:00 PM
2 nylon 66's ( both sold) Bigdaddy0381 Firearms For Sale 1
60 - 66 mm Kowa or 85 mm Vortex? FireEMT5 Spotting Scopes 15
base for a mauser model 66 GSP072 Rings and bases 1
Pentax 65 edII or viper hd catt_tracker Spotting Scopes 8
Help-need vintage scope for nylon 66 rawdeal Rimfire / Airgun 4
Nikon Omega 1.65-5x36 Riflescope BDC Dirtyoldsix Rifle Scopes 1
Swarovski spotting scope optics 65 vs 80 dan385 Spotting Scopes 9


This page was generated in 0.406 seconds.