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Old Friday 14th April 2017, 21:37   #1
CSG
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New TSN-883 on the way

After trying to convince myself to just use my Televue Pronto (70mm) as a spotter, I gave in to my desire for the 88mm Kowa. Will post photos and my thoughts upon arrival and testing. I almost went with a Swaro but $$ played a big part along with the outstanding reviews for the Prominar series of scopes. The pure fluorite front objective sealed the deal.
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Old Saturday 15th April 2017, 09:45   #2
jring
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Hi,

I'm sure you will like it - which EP did you get - the 25-60 wide zoom?

Joachim
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Old Saturday 15th April 2017, 14:59   #3
CSG
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Yes. I didn't want the fixed 25x LE and they quit offering the 30x WA.
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Old Thursday 20th April 2017, 11:44   #4
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Tracking says it will be here today. And me with meetings all morning...

I ordered a set of Manfrotto carbon fiber legs (055CX3Pro) rather than the more common 190 series. I don't plan to hike with it very far and the taller 055 mount is more versatile for my other needs (and less than half the weight of my 475B).
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Old Thursday 20th April 2017, 18:13   #5
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Just got home and the package was here. Very cold and windy today but I mounted the scope up and ran through the zoom range (25-60 ep) and, so far, we're off to a good start. Very clear and crisp views of sagebrush on a ridgeline about 2 miles away with no detectable CA.

As much as I love my Televue Pronto, the Kowa beats the hell out of it in every imaginable way for terrestrial use.
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Old Friday 21st April 2017, 03:08   #6
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Clear but hazy night with thick atmosphere. Regardless, I just took a look at Jupiter (harder to find with this than my TV-85 and red dot sight) and could easily distinguish the main cloud belts at 60x. Very nice, no detectable CA with this very limited look.
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Old Friday 21st April 2017, 07:28   #7
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CSG

Congrats on your new scope. Now that you have it, it would be nice if you could eventually do a good review of it compared to your TV-85. There are many 883 reviews, but not that many that compare it to an astro scope of like aperture and known quality, and you are in a good position to add one.

Here's a thread with a link to instructions on making an aiming device that works wonders on the 883. Making one takes less time than reading through the instructions. Skip straight to the illustrations at the end of the document, these may suffice, and if not, read the explanations.

http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=166747

Kimmo
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Old Friday 21st April 2017, 15:10   #8
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Hi Kimmo, I'm not much of a reviewer like a few here are. At some point, I might do a side by side but comparing an astro scope with it's 2" diagonal and individual eyepieces with varying apparent fields of view and the zoom of the Kowa would make my brain go mushy. The one immediate thing I noticed is that both scopes are remarkably color free. Other than being of similar aperture - 85mm vs. 88mm, they are different focal lengths and, obviously handle differently. That's sort of the reason I decided to add a spotting scope to my little collection of optics.

The cable tie sight is clever but I suspect I won't make one as I have the field case for the Kowa which will likely stay on the scope. There is a little groove on the shade that's supposed to act as a sighting device but I didn't try it last night when sighting down the tube looking to bring Jupiter into view.
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Old Friday 21st April 2017, 17:25   #9
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Chris

Just tell us like you see it and don't worry about reviewer-jargon.

Looking forward to it

Lee
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Old Saturday 22nd April 2017, 17:00   #10
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Now that I've used the scope a few times and remounted onto a Manfrotto 055CX3PRO (carbon fiber, 3 section, tall enough so that I don't need the column) I am ridiculously impressed. This scope is incredibly clear and sharp across the zoom range of 25-60 with no false color detected yet. I am so glad I bit the bullet and popped for an alpha scope, especially this one. I liked the Swaro scopes I looked through but I feel this scope is better suited to my wants and needs - the big fluorite objective being chief among them. Adequate close focus, a truly wide angle zoom ep, light weight, no false color, and decent for astro use.

I will continue to use my TV-85 as an astro scope which is its forte but a quick side by side daytime showed little difference optically depending on eyepieces used. With the TV-85's 2" diagonal and various TV eyepieces, it's hard for me to make detailed comparisons of things like FOV at X distance. Suffice it to say, that the Kowa is no better but certainly no worse and far easier to use for birding (ergonomically). I was a bit concerned about my old Manfrotto 501 head until I used it. There may be better heads out there these days but IMO, a head of this size and mass is better suited to a scope of the size of the 883 than a smaller, lighter one may be.

The best thing about this Kowa package (with the field case attached to the mounted scope, is how light it is (remember, I'm coming from my astro TV refractors (heavier by at least twice) on heavier mounts (the TV-85 is mounted on a Telepod head and Manfrotto 475B tripod, probably a good 20-25# with a tube that's 22" with the 2" diagonal vs. 13.5" for the Kowa). The 883 mounted up on the 055 tripod and 501 head is a little over 11#.
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Old Saturday 22nd April 2017, 23:15   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSG View Post
Now that I've used the scope a few times and remounted onto a Manfrotto 055CX3PRO (carbon fiber, 3 section, tall enough so that I don't need the column) I am ridiculously impressed. This scope is incredibly clear and sharp across the zoom range of 25-60 with no false color detected yet. I am so glad I bit the bullet and popped for an alpha scope, especially this one. I liked the Swaro scopes I looked through but I feel this scope is better suited to my wants and needs - the big fluorite objective being chief among them. Adequate close focus, a truly wide angle zoom ep, light weight, no false color, and decent for astro use.

I will continue to use my TV-85 as an astro scope which is its forte but a quick side by side daytime showed little difference optically depending on eyepieces used. With the TV-85's 2" diagonal and various TV eyepieces, it's hard for me to make detailed comparisons of things like FOV at X distance. Suffice it to say, that the Kowa is no better but certainly no worse and far easier to use for birding (ergonomically). I was a bit concerned about my old Manfrotto 501 head until I used it. There may be better heads out there these days but IMO, a head of this size and mass is better suited to a scope of the size of the 883 than a smaller, lighter one may be.

The best thing about this Kowa package (with the field case attached to the mounted scope, is how light it is (remember, I'm coming from my astro TV refractors (heavier by at least twice) on heavier mounts (the TV-85 is mounted on a Telepod head and Manfrotto 475B tripod, probably a good 20-25# with a tube that's 22" with the 2" diagonal vs. 13.5" for the Kowa). The 883 mounted up on the 055 tripod and 501 head is a little over 11#.
Enjoy!
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Old Sunday 23rd April 2017, 02:22   #12
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I am.
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Old Monday 24th April 2017, 04:48   #13
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Here's a quick photo of the scope mounted on the Manfrotto (Bogen) 501 head and Manfrotto 055CXPRO3 tripod. It's a terrific package and I continue to be quite pleased with the performance of the Kowa. I took the case off just so you guys could see the scopy goodness.
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