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Kowa vs. Zeiss

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/05/2008 at 13:46
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Well it may finally be time for me to buy a new spotter. I have an old Weatherby branded 15-45x??. I don't know who made it but it's a pile. by the time you get to about 35x, you can't even see through it anymore. I was going to use it to see bullet holes at 400 yds. If you are lucky, you could see them at 250, or maybe 300. I am torn between the Kowa TSN 660 ED and the Zeiss Diascope 65. Anybody compare these side by side? I will not be able to look at either of these around here. Without driving several hours, I have to take somebody's advise.
 
 
 
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Both are superb, so you won't go wrong either way!  I haven't compared them side by side, but FWIW, I've heard multiple reviewers say the Kowa Prominar series scopes are the current reigning king of spotters.  After looking through one, I don't doubt it.  One thing worth noting is that you will have higher magnification on the top end with the Kowa, if that's important to you.  The variable eyepiece for the Kowa is 20 - 60X vs. 15 - 45X for the Zeiss, and you can also get a fixed 50X for the Kowa as well. 

If it were me, I'd get the Kowa, unless you got a spectacularly good deal on a Diascope.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/05/2008 at 17:48
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Originally posted by RifleDude RifleDude wrote:

I've heard multiple reviewers say the Kowa Prominar series scopes are the current reigning king of spotters.
  I'm pretty sure those reviews will all be in reference to Kowa's 88mm and possibly their 77mm scopes HD scopes.  I don't think Kowa holds the same title in the smaller 60mm (or less) sizes.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/05/2008 at 19:48
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Originally posted by lucznik lucznik wrote:

Originally posted by RifleDude RifleDude wrote:

I've heard multiple reviewers say the Kowa Prominar series scopes are the current reigning king of spotters.
  I'm pretty sure those reviews will all be in reference to Kowa's 88mm and possibly their 77mm scopes HD scopes.  I don't think Kowa holds the same title in the smaller 60mm (or less) sizes.


I think your right. I believe the 66mm series come with the ED Lens, not the Prominar Pure Fluorite Lens that's getting all the attention. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/05/2008 at 19:53
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Trigger, below is a real good post Lucznik made awhile ago.

http://www.opticstalk.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=9916 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/05/2008 at 21:31
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Originally posted by mike650 mike650 wrote:

Originally posted by lucznik lucznik wrote:

Originally posted by RifleDude RifleDude wrote:

I've heard multiple reviewers say the Kowa Prominar series scopes are the current reigning king of spotters.
  I'm pretty sure those reviews will all be in reference to Kowa's 88mm and possibly their 77mm scopes HD scopes.  I don't think Kowa holds the same title in the smaller 60mm (or less) sizes.


I think your right. I believe the 66mm series come with the ED Lens, not the Prominar Pure Fluorite Lens that's getting all the attention. 
 
From what I get, they call the 66mm model E D coating. The Zeiss has FL T* coated glass. For $899 it seems a nice scope.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/06/2008 at 09:31
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Originally posted by trigger29 trigger29 wrote:

Originally posted by mike650 mike650 wrote:

Originally posted by lucznik lucznik wrote:

Originally posted by RifleDude RifleDude wrote:

I've heard multiple reviewers say the Kowa Prominar series scopes are the current reigning king of spotters.
  I'm pretty sure those reviews will all be in reference to Kowa's 88mm and possibly their 77mm scopes HD scopes.  I don't think Kowa holds the same title in the smaller 60mm (or less) sizes.


I think your right. I believe the 66mm series come with the ED Lens, not the Prominar Pure Fluorite Lens that's getting all the attention. 
 
From what I get, they call the 66mm model E D coating. The Zeiss has FL T* coated glass. For $899 it seems a nice scope.
  There definitely is a difference between Kowa's Flourite Prominar lens and their regular ED lens.  It would take someone more knowledgeable than I to explain those differences.

However, I will point out that there is no such thing as an ED "coating."  ED, HD, XD, Flourite, or whatever the term being used is the type of glass used to make the (usually) objective lens. It is not a coating that can be applied.


Edited by lucznik - December/06/2008 at 09:31
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/06/2008 at 12:34
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I don't know about the ED coating. Thats just how they have it listed. I'll have to look into it.
 
TSN663 Kowa 66mm Spotter                                                                                                       Kowa 66mm Spotter
  • ED Lens Coating
  • Angled Body Only
SWFA: $879.95
More Info... Buy Now
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/06/2008 at 12:44
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This copied from Kowa's site. They list the 88mm as being Prominar XD glass, now I'm more confused yet.
< id=Product_Qty = value=1 name=Product_Qty>
Product Number: TSN-664
Product Name: TSN-664 Prominar ED Lens, Straight (Body Only)
Color: Green
Price: Call for Price
< = value=TSN-664 name=Product_No> < = value=10000309 name=Category_No> < = value="TSN-664 Prominar ED Lens, Straight Only" name=product_name_eng> < = name=product_logo_picture> < = value="Call for Price" name=Product_Price> < = name=Promote_Price> < = value=2.25 name=Product_Weight> < = value=Green name=Product_Color> < = name=Product_Size> < = value=Kowa_TSN664EDGE.gif name=Product_Picture> < = name=discount> < = name=discountway> < = value=1 name=minorder> < = value="Add To Cart" name=Flag>
< =btn_100 ="='email01.asp';submit;" =submit value="Tell a Friend" name=Submit2>
Note :
Specifications are subject to change without any prior notice.

Product Highlights
These high-performance models have been created by taking the superior qualities of the TSN-820M Series and putting them into a smaller, more compact scope. These sophisticated scopes satisfy the needs of users in all fields, from beginning bird watchers to scientific researchers.

Features
Prominar Fluorite Lens
For the highest optical performance and optimum color fidelity.

Highest Level of Optical Performance
The 66mm diameter objective lens has more than 120% light gathering power of the 60mm objective lens. All optics are fully multi-coated for brighter, clearer and sharper viewing. Prominar ED models are also available for even better optical performance with optimum color definition.
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/06/2008 at 12:56
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"Highest Level of Optical Performance
The 66mm diameter objective lens has more than 120% light gathering power of the 60mm objective lens"
 
 
Could be wrong here but I thought when comparing light gathering ability we just square the radius of the two lens.  In this case 33mm Vs 30mm or 1089 Vs 900.
 
I get a difference of 21% not 120%
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/06/2008 at 13:25
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Dogger,

You are just getting confused with a choice of wording.  You are calling it a 20% difference - which it is.   They are just wording this different.  If you have a scope with 100% the light gathering power as another, then they are equal.  Saying the 66mm scope has 120% the light gathering power is therefore representative of the same 20% difference you noted. (120% - 100% = 20%) 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/06/2008 at 13:29
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Understand!
 
Thanks lucznik, didn't think their math skills could be off so much.  To get to a 120% increase would have meant a comparison to about a 45mm objectrive.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/06/2008 at 13:32
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Originally posted by trigger29 trigger29 wrote:

They list the 88mm as being Prominar XD glass, now I'm more confused yet...


Kowa's "XD" glass is just another type of extra low dispersion glass.  They also make lenses with "traditional" glass.  Other companies use terms such as ED, HD, etc.  Their Prominar Flourite lenses are, for lack of a better terminology, a higher-end version of extra-low dispersion material that utilizes Flourite crystal. 

There is a difinitive, visible difference in image quality between each of these three "levels." However, what it is that physically creates the difference between the upper two materials, I am not knowledgeable enough to describe.


Edited by lucznik - December/06/2008 at 13:33
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/06/2008 at 19:51
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Well, they are calling the 66 MM a Prominar lens, so I assume it is good. I am leaning towards the Kowa now. I wasn't sure about the warranty, but the Kowa has a lifetime also. I really need to find somewhere to look through these things.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/07/2008 at 09:46
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Originally posted by lucznik lucznik wrote:

Originally posted by RifleDude RifleDude wrote:

I've heard multiple reviewers say the Kowa Prominar series scopes are the current reigning king of spotters.
  I'm pretty sure those reviews will all be in reference to Kowa's 88mm and possibly their 77mm scopes HD scopes.  I don't think Kowa holds the same title in the smaller 60mm (or less) sizes.
 
True. The Prominar 88 is king, but the 60 mm are just very good scopes, not in the same league with the Diascope 65. However, i believe that Pentax 65 ED is neck to neck with the Diascope.
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/11/2008 at 10:18
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I believe the swaro 65 ED to be king of 60mm class spotters, according to the Cornell lab tests.   
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/11/2008 at 11:01
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Originally posted by JGRaider JGRaider wrote:

I believe the swaro 65 ED to be king of 60mm class spotters, according to the Cornell lab tests.   


ED or HD?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/11/2008 at 11:04
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Originally posted by mike650 mike650 wrote:

Originally posted by JGRaider JGRaider wrote:

I believe the swaro 65 ED to be king of 60mm class spotters, according to the Cornell lab tests.   


ED or HD?
 
ED.....HD......XD....FL I can't keep all this straight. Why can't the all use the same terms?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/11/2008 at 13:29
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Originally posted by trigger29 trigger29 wrote:

Originally posted by mike650 mike650 wrote:

Originally posted by JGRaider JGRaider wrote:

I believe the swaro 65 ED to be king of 60mm class spotters, according to the Cornell lab tests.   


ED or HD?
 
ED.....HD......XD....FL I can't keep all this straight. Why can't the all use the same terms?
Because then their advertising departments wouldn't be able to claim that they had anything unique or special to make us willing to spend more $$$$
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/11/2008 at 17:18
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Originally posted by lucznik lucznik wrote:

[QUOTE=RifleDude]I'm pretty sure those reviews will all be in reference to Kowa's 88mm and possibly their 77mm scopes HD scopes.  I don't think Kowa holds the same title in the smaller 60mm (or less) sizes.
 
The 88mm is definitely the model all the buzz centers around, being their flagship spotter, but the smaller objective Prominar models are still among the very best in their respective classes.  The TSN880's are the only Kowa spotter that uses fluorite lenses; the smaller scopes use their so-called "XD" (non-fluorite, but still extra low dispersion) glass, which is highly regarded.  The 66mm and 60mm Kowa Prominar scopes are comparable to the Zeiss Diascope 65.  For each of the 88, 77, 66, and 60mm scopes, they have both a standard and HD version, the HD versions in each objective size given the Prominar designation.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/11/2008 at 18:07
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Thank you Ted. Thats the answer I was looking for. I still don't have the luxury of looking through them, but at least I know they somewhat compare.

Edited by trigger29 - December/11/2008 at 18:10
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/11/2008 at 19:27
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Originally posted by RifleDude RifleDude wrote:

Originally posted by lucznik lucznik wrote:

[QUOTE=RifleDude]I'm pretty sure those reviews will all be in reference to Kowa's 88mm and possibly their 77mm scopes HD scopes.  I don't think Kowa holds the same title in the smaller 60mm (or less) sizes.
 
The 88mm is definitely the model all the buzz centers around, being their flagship spotter, but the smaller objective Prominar models are still among the very best in their respective classes.  The TSN880's are the only Kowa spotter that uses fluorite lenses; the smaller scopes use their so-called "XD" (non-fluorite, but still extra low dispersion) glass, which is highly regarded.  The 66mm and 60mm Kowa Prominar scopes are comparable to the Zeiss Diascope 65.  For each of the 88, 77, 66, and 60mm scopes, they have both a standard and HD version, the HD versions in each objective size given the Prominar designation.
 
They acutally claim it to be flourite glass. Maybe they are the same now.
 
Features
Prominar Fluorite Lens

For the highest optical performance and optimum color fidelity.

Highest Level of Optical Performance
The 66mm diameter objective lens has more than 120% light gathering power of the 60mm objective lens. All optics are fully multi-coated for brighter, clearer and sharper viewing. Prominar ED models are also available for even better optical performance with optimum color definition.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/11/2008 at 22:35
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Originally posted by trigger29 trigger29 wrote:

Originally posted by RifleDude RifleDude wrote:

Originally posted by lucznik lucznik wrote:

[QUOTE=RifleDude]I'm pretty sure those reviews will all be in reference to Kowa's 88mm and possibly their 77mm scopes HD scopes.  I don't think Kowa holds the same title in the smaller 60mm (or less) sizes.
 
The 88mm is definitely the model all the buzz centers around, being their flagship spotter, but the smaller objective Prominar models are still among the very best in their respective classes.  The TSN880's are the only Kowa spotter that uses fluorite lenses; the smaller scopes use their so-called "XD" (non-fluorite, but still extra low dispersion) glass, which is highly regarded.  The 66mm and 60mm Kowa Prominar scopes are comparable to the Zeiss Diascope 65.  For each of the 88, 77, 66, and 60mm scopes, they have both a standard and HD version, the HD versions in each objective size given the Prominar designation.
 
They acutally claim it to be flourite glass. Maybe they are the same now.
 
Features
Prominar Fluorite Lens

For the highest optical performance and optimum color fidelity.

Highest Level of Optical Performance
The 66mm diameter objective lens has more than 120% light gathering power of the 60mm objective lens. All optics are fully multi-coated for brighter, clearer and sharper viewing. Prominar ED models are also available for even better optical performance with optimum color definition.

 
The difference is Kowa claims the 88mm Prominar has an objective lens of pure fluorite crystal, whereas the XD lenses of the remaining Prominar series has "glass containing fluorite." 
 
Here is Kowa's explanation:
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/12/2008 at 14:05
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Gotcha. Called Kowa today, and they confirmed your findings. Now, I still got to figure out which is going to be the nicer scope. Even the sales manager at Kowa said he would have a hard time choosing, and he should be biased.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/12/2008 at 14:15
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Originally posted by trigger29 trigger29 wrote:

Gotcha. Called Kowa today, and they confirmed your findings. Now, I still got to figure out which is going to be the nicer scope. Even the sales manager at Kowa said he would have a hard time choosing, and he should be biased.


Too bad the Swaro 65 HD wasn't so expensive, it would've made your choice a lot easier. Smile


Edited by mike650 - December/12/2008 at 17:02
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