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Old Thursday 20th April 2017, 19:10   #1
emily2205
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Kowa Prominar TSN-3 : Value/ Info?

I have inherited one of these angled spotting scopes with a 30x optical zoom, in great condition - but I can't seem to find any information anywhere for the TSN-3 model...

Does anyone know more about this, or have an idea of its resale value?



Any thoughts or advice is appreciated, thankyou!
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Old Saturday 22nd April 2017, 00:50   #2
johnf3f
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Sorry but I don't know the value of your scope, however it is the up market version of the TSN1 so should be still worth £2/300 or so - others may have a better idea.

I have the straight tube (non angled version) TSN4 and it is still a great scope even by today's standards, though they can benefit from more modern eyepieces.
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Old Saturday 22nd April 2017, 21:37   #3
emily2205
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Ah great, thank you for your help - is the model fairly old then? I can only seem to find TSN4 models being sold, so what is the difference between the TSN3 and TSN4 models then?

I've tried out the scope and it is pretty stunning!

Thanks again :)
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Old Saturday 22nd April 2017, 21:55   #4
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The odd numbered ones are angled and the evens are straight.

TSN1 and 3 - angled, TSN2 and 4 - straight, pretty much identical otherwise.

For some reason that I don't understand the angled scopes are much more popular in the UK - might help with your sale?

Just had a look on FleaBay and one sold for £250 in January - so my price guess wasn't too bad!
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Old Saturday 22nd April 2017, 23:56   #5
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TSN3 was one of the market - leading scopes in the late 1980s and into mid 1990s.
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Old Sunday 23rd April 2017, 19:53   #6
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Emily,

The Kowa TSN 3 and 4 were, arguably, the best scopes available before the introduction of the Leica Apo-Televid 77, the Swarovski AT/ST 80 HD and the Nikon Fieldscope ED78 in the mid 1990s. These Kowas were the first to offer fluorite objectives and truly good color correction.

Units in good condition give a really nice view and, although not really waterproof by modern standards, are very field-worthy. Due to their age, they do not fetch that much on second hand markets. With these, best would be to start using them oneself, or then find a worthy friend or relative in need of a superb first scope.

My advice to you is to take up birdwatching as a hobby and happily use your inheritance in the way its original buyer intended.

Kimmo
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Old Sunday 23rd April 2017, 23:19   #7
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Hi,

while I concur with the advice to the o.p. to start birdwatching and the price estimate, my TSN-3 with the Opticron SDLv2 EP (recommended by John) has been used side by side with an APO Televid 77, an AT 80 HD and an ATS 80 HD watching a pair of peregrine falcons and chicks on a power plant chimney from the ground and I had a queue behind my scope all afternoon... the other TSN-3 example I have seen was also very good.

Joachim
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Old Monday 24th April 2017, 06:50   #8
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Joachim,

Back in the nineties, there was no good zoom alternative available for the TSN 3. That was the main reason it fell behind the three I mentioned. The AT Swaro was the first scope to offer a zoom that did not give up on image quality to fixed eyepieces. Kowa never made a good zoom for the TSN, their first competitive zoom was for the 823/4.

Kimmo
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Old Monday 24th April 2017, 07:11   #9
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Hi Kimmo,

ok, that makes sense, I have the abominable old zoom too and it's like looking through a straw plus it's not even sharp at 60x.

Joachim
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Old Monday 24th April 2017, 21:35   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jring View Post
Hi,

while I concur with the advice to the o.p. to start birdwatching and the price estimate, my TSN-3 with the Opticron SDLv2 EP (recommended by John) has been used side by side with an APO Televid 77, an AT 80 HD and an ATS 80 HD watching a pair of peregrine falcons and chicks on a power plant chimney from the ground and I had a queue behind my scope all afternoon... the other TSN-3 example I have seen was also very good.

Joachim
Yup that SDL V2 eyepiece does work well on the TSN's! I also have an Opticron HR2 (part No 40931) which, when wrapped in a little insulating tape, can be shoved in the back of my TSN4. Crude - certainly (even Heath Robinson would be ashamed!) but it stays put and works very well!
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Old Tuesday 25th April 2017, 10:06   #11
Vámibimbero
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emily2205 View Post
I have inherited one of these angled spotting scopes with a 30x optical zoom, in great condition - but I can't seem to find any information anywhere for the TSN-3 model...

Does anyone know more about this, or have an idea of its resale value?



Any thoughts or advice is appreciated, thankyou!
Dear Emily,

Recently I bought a KOWA TSN-3 with fix 20x and 60x eyepieces, original green transport bag, Kite ever-ready transport bag (black), in original box, excellent conditions for 500 EUR. For me it was a good deal, as the telescope has excellent, clear, crisp image, and thanks to new Kowa eyepieces, upgradeable easily to gain an excellent scope, comparable to the newest ones as well. As you can discover informations about its image qualities on this forum, seems that these scopes have excellent and durable mechanical and optical performances.
TSN-1 was sold actually in Belgium with original zoom around 300 EUR.
Hope I helped you with those informations, cheers
Vámi
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Old Saturday 23rd September 2017, 02:52   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kabsetz View Post
Joachim,

Back in the nineties, there was no good zoom alternative available for the TSN 3. That was the main reason it fell behind the three I mentioned. The AT Swaro was the first scope to offer a zoom that did not give up on image quality to fixed eyepieces. Kowa never made a good zoom for the TSN, their first competitive zoom was for the 823/4.

Kimmo
Kimmo,

I wouldn't say "Never". The TE-9Z works on the TSN-1, -2, -3, and -4 much better than the original zoom. When they came out in 2005, I would go birding with a friend who had a TSN-4 with the TE-9Z. I'd see someone with a scope in that series and tell them to go put their scope next to Jim's and do a comparison. I sold quite a few eyepieces that way.
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Old Tuesday 7th November 2017, 19:42   #13
Kowaist
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A TSN-3 or 4 is a good deal for up to 400/500 Euro.

I had the TSN-1 (non Flourit) new since student days, then a new 773.
Then I got a TSN-4 as new old stock, and with the actual 30w ocular it is really fantastic, optically close to my 773 with the the 30x.

So I often let the 773 at home and take the good old TSN-4 with me when I prefer straight view, for example for planes...

only the old 20x60 zoom of the TSN is rubbish, you shoud avoid this and try to find a 30x (the old ones are also not bad, I you have no Glasses..
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Old Wednesday 8th November 2017, 01:56   #14
Steve O4B
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kowaist View Post
A TSN-3 or 4 is a good deal for up to 400/500 Euro.

I had the TSN-1 (non Flourit) new since student days, then a new 773.
Then I got a TSN-4 as new old stock, and with the actual 30w ocular it is really fantastic, optically close to my 773 with the the 30x.

So I often let the 773 at home and take the good old TSN-4 with me when I prefer straight view, for example for planes...

only the old 20x60 zoom of the TSN is rubbish, you shoud avoid this and try to find a 30x (the old ones are also not bad, I you have no Glasses..
The TE-9Z is a big improvement over the old 20-60x zoom with the TSN-1, -2, -3, or -4. With it you can get a good image even at 60x.
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Old Saturday 18th November 2017, 14:25   #15
Kowaist
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in my old days with tSN-2 and 20x60 old Imonly used the eyepiece at 40x... There it had the best view, going to 20x only made it more towards looking htrough a small hole, tward 60x the picture got bad. I switched to the 30x (nowadays on my NOS TSN-4) and buried the rotten 20x60 in the deepest drawer...
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