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Kowa with/without ED glass -how much difference?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/19/2008 at 16:34
BWeber View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper


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Can anyone give me a sense of just how important it is to get ED glass with a good spotting scope like a Kowa (or similar)?
 
I want to get a good spotting scope, mostly for use while shooting long range.  But I'm balking at the cost of some of the higher end Kowas with the ED glass.  I notice that the same models without ED glass tend to run about $400 cheaper, which puts them more squarely within my target price range.
 
So I'm wondering if ED is really such a must have?  Can anyone give me a sense of just what the difference is?
 
Thanks,
 
Ben
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/19/2008 at 17:07
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Optics Master
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The differences between ED and non-ED spotting scopes are there and they are, in fact, visible.  However, in most "normal" circumstances those differences are really rather small. Whether they are worth the extra cost is strictly up to the individual.  Generally speaking, high-quality, non-ED spotters are perfectly fine for most hunting/field work and/or for anyone who does not spend a lot of time behind their spotting scope.    
 
ED spotters really come into their own if/when you get into digi-scoping - where the differences in photo quality are quite obvious. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/19/2008 at 17:39
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A general rule of thumb is the further away, the better glasss you need.  You get a clearer and truer picture with ED glass.  The colors are much more accurate.  Stuff is less hazy as you get further away and is sharper and better defined. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/19/2008 at 18:02
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Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper


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Thanks guys,
 
That helps.
 
But here's a question for clarification's sake.  I guess my budget seems to be around $700-$800 total.  In that range the Vortex Skyline and the Pentax PF-65 II ED's are otions with ED lenses.  Or something like the Kowa TSN-661 would be in the same price range, but without the ED glass.  My sense is that the Kowa probably has better glass overall, despite being non-ED.  In that case would one be better off going with the Kowa?  Or would the ED Pentax or Vortex likely be the better scope?
 
Thanks,
 
Ben
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/19/2008 at 18:23
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Optics Master
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I'd go with the Pentax.  No body around here has a Vortex.  They are a young outfit and in a couple of years I'd give them more thought.  Some people rave over Kowa, it has been a long time since I used one, but was not impressed at the time compared to my Nikon.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/19/2008 at 18:57
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Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper


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Yeah, I've heard good things about the Pentax.  And they seem like one of the better deals out there.  I've found the pf-65eda II with a 20-60x eyepiece for about $750 shipped.  Not sure I'm going to find anything better than that.
 
I have a pair of Pentax 10x DCF SP binoculars.  I've been pretty impressed with those.
 
Ben
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/20/2008 at 01:01
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Optics GrassHopper
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BWeber,
 
I compared a Pentax PF65ED directly to a Vortex Skyline ED a few days ago and can tell you there is a very significant difference in optical quality between the two. The Pentax easily outperformed the Vortex at all distances and magnification ranges. I looked at an optical target (resolution lines) at about 35-40 yards, a bus stop sign 200-250 yards away, and a tree line at about 500 yards. 
 
I was very surprised at the differences between the two... not even close!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/20/2008 at 07:19
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Pentax ED, no question...
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/24/2008 at 19:33
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Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper


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So here's a question.  What about the Pentax PF65EDA II (which is ED glass) vs. the Kowa 661 (which is not)?
 
I would tend to think that the Kowa would have superior glass to the Pentax, but would the ED of the Pentax outclass the Kowa without it?  I'm thinking of just saying to hell with it and going with the 663, but that extra $300 is making me cringe.
 
 
Ben
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