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Old Monday 22nd September 2014, 12:05   #1
alexbino
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Kowa BD 8x42 with XD real compared Zeiss Conquest HD and Nikon Monarch 7

Who has tested and used binos Kowa BD 8x42 with XD in comparison with Zeiss Conquest HD and Nikon Monarch 7 ?
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Old Monday 22nd September 2014, 18:43   #2
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While I liked the relatively small size and low weight I personally thought the levels of CA were high compared to similarly priced models including the Nikon M7 and Zeiss Conquest HD.

David

Last edited by typo : Monday 22nd September 2014 at 18:51.
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Old Monday 22nd September 2014, 22:35   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by typo View Post
While I liked the relatively small size and low weight I personally thought the levels of CA were high compared to similarly priced models including the Nikon M7 and Zeiss Conquest HD.

David
David
Do you remember the serial number or the first two digits of the serial number?
I have information that the latest models have improved control CA.
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Old Tuesday 23rd September 2014, 06:55   #4
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Alex,

Sorry I don't know but I first tried them about a year ago when they were launched in the UK. I tried them again at the UK BirdFair last month together with the new 8x32 and 8x56 models. They didn't seem as bad as I recalled the first time but the conditions were different so hard to judge. The CA was still higher than the mid-priced pairs I was trying in the same marquee with the same conditions which included the Conquest HD and M7 amongst others. Of course the level of CA does vary with the pupil's position in the exit pupil and perhaps it would be fairer to say they were more intolerant of imperfect eye positioning when it comes to CA.

David

Last edited by typo : Tuesday 23rd September 2014 at 21:13.
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Old Tuesday 23rd September 2014, 13:30   #5
alexbino
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Kowa BD 8x42 with XD are in my opinion the very best birding and nature binoculars. It is exceptionally bright, and can easily be used for owl watching. It is also very sharp (micro contrast) and excellent contrast (macro contrast), has a excellent close focus 1.2 m, neutral colors (very little cold color) and saturated colors, a wide field of view 7.5 degree, and a superb feel in hand. Weight 671 gram magnesium body. Eye Relief exelent 19mm. Eyepieces lens 24 mm.

Armoring and Waterproofing excellent, real synthetic Rubber coating is great in cold weather, and will also protect against dings, and drops. Quality roof prism, excellent quality fully multicoated coating binos. Binos have real rain guard (the manufacturer has not stated).

Chromatic aberration low in the centre, noticeable lower than medium at the edge, Astigmatism very low, Coma very low, Distortion the distance between the first curved line and the field centre compared to the field of view radius of 70-75%, Blurring at the edge of the FOV of 85-90% from the field of view centre.

Darkening at the edge the FOV Negligible, Whiteness of the image the not loss of purple and blue light - it not visible warming up of the image, Collimation Perfect, Internal reflections Quite dark, Quality of the interior of the barrels tubes are dark and matt, tubes become ribbed, no glue and deeper on you see gray matt metal and microscopic flecks of dust.

Antireflection coatings
Pink-emerald-greenish (reflex emerald-greenish) on objectives, orange-green-pink-lilac (reflex green-lilac) on the eyepieces and greenish on the prisms. Medium intensity.

Focusing, Big and very comfortable central metal wheel with fine ribbing, moves smoothly and precisely 550 degrees, ring on the right eyepiece for individual focusing, made of plastic and have ratchet mechanism.

Compared to Swarovski SLC HD (very little warm color between the colors of kiwi and pistachio-green) it has more very little cold color and very saturated colors. I also like the feel in hand, and the big wheel is perfect for focusing also with gloves on. In Short, the best of the best and the best binocular in the 500-1000 USD range. If you do not want to pay a fortune for a pair of good binos then this half price (of the high end binos, series ALFA) glass could just be the thing for you.

Last edited by alexbino : Tuesday 23rd September 2014 at 22:25.
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Old Tuesday 23rd September 2014, 16:27   #6
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Hi praise indeed, Alex. I'll have to try to see one of these.

Here's something I can't figure. I have attached a photo of the 8x42 to the left of the 10x42. Look at the difference in the eyepieces! And the 10x42 has LESS eye relief than the 8x42. I can't imagine the 10x42 would work with glasses, so why did Kowa do it? Or have they revised it?

Anybody know?
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Old Tuesday 23rd September 2014, 22:13   #7
alexbino
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kammerdiner View Post
Hi praise indeed, Alex. I'll have to try to see one of these.

Here's something I can't figure. I have attached a photo of the 8x42 to the left of the 10x42. Look at the difference in the eyepieces! And the 10x42 has LESS eye relief than the 8x42. I can't imagine the 10x42 would work with glasses, so why did Kowa do it? Or have they revised it?

Anybody know?
I know about the differences in eyepieces between models 8 and 10-x.
To my mind there are 4 lenses in the eyepiece 8x and there are 5 lenses in the eyepiece 10x. I am going to make X-ray my 8x Kowa and confirm my minds.
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Old Tuesday 23rd September 2014, 22:42   #8
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Typo --- David ------- Having seen the new 8x32 model, how does it compare in size to the 8x42 BD XM model ?

Last edited by hawken 12 : Wednesday 24th September 2014 at 01:08. Reason: typing error
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Old Wednesday 24th September 2014, 06:43   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hawken 12 View Post
Typo --- David ------- Having seen the new 8x32 model, how does it compare in size to the 8x42 BD XM model ?
The 8x32 is 122.5mm (4.8") long and weigh 560g (19.8oz). The 8x42 is 132mm (5.2") and 650g (22.9oz). Compared to the Genesis they look like toys, but they felt pretty solid and well put together.

David
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Old Wednesday 24th September 2014, 09:20   #10
alexbino
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Quote:
Originally Posted by typo View Post
The 8x32 is 122.5mm (4.8") long and weigh 560g (19.8oz). The 8x42 is 132mm (5.2") and 650g (22.9oz). Compared to the Genesis they look like toys, but they felt pretty solid and well put together.

David
Kowa BD 8x42 XD, real data
Long body 132 mm
Long with caps 136 mm
Weight 671 gram without caps and strap.
30 mm focusing knob diameter
41.85 mm objectives lens diameter
23.95 mm eyepieces lens diameter

Update information Antireflection coatings
Pink-emerald-greenish-turquoise (reflex emerald-greenish) on objectives, orange-green-pink-lilac-turquoise (reflex green-lilac) on the eyepieces and greenish on the prisms. Medium intensity.

Real observation
Close focus is an impressive 1.1-1.2 m.
Eye relief, at 19 mm is very excellent for those who wear glasses.
The field of view is nothing special at 131m at 1000m although completely missing the tunnel effect.
I estimate the sweet spot is around 85-90%, after which the sharpness deteriorates slowly.
I found the low light performance of the Kowa BD 8x42 XD real fantastic. I used them in early evening, late evening and night. I could easily get a sharp image even night. I would say this is a real strength and fantastic.
Stray light management is a real strength. Kowa BD 8x42 XD is one of the best I have seen in this regard, absolutely no flare.
Distortion parameter 'k'- k = 0.8.

used links
http://www.egpetersen.com/blog/wp-co...ortion-1in.jpg
http://www.egpetersen.com/blog/wp-co...ortion-2in.jpg
http://www.color-blindness.com/ishih...t/#prettyPhoto
http://enchroma.com/test/instructions/#test

Result
Killer Zeiss - Swarovski - Leica

Last edited by alexbino : Wednesday 24th September 2014 at 22:13.
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Old Sunday 5th October 2014, 00:07   #11
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What's the price in Europe for 8x42?
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Old Sunday 5th October 2014, 22:26   #12
alexbino
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Quote:
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What's the price in Europe for 8x42?
In Europe 459-529 Euro
In Ukraine 450-460 Euro
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Old Monday 13th October 2014, 00:57   #13
alexbino
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сontinued ...
Resistance to the backlight, fringing, ghosting and flare great.
I used sun from 2-3 degrees to 80-85 degrees from the axis of observation, not having received not a single flare or ghost without a fall of sharpness, сontrast between dark-light and CA.
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Old Thursday 16th October 2014, 02:59   #14
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Alex (and/or others who own or have access to the Kowa BD-XD),
I just received the Kowa BD-XD 8x42 and a Vortex Viper and I plan to keep one or the two. I like everything about BD-XD except that the focus turns very stiffly on mine (i.e., not easily turned with one finger). It might be difficult to focus rapidly while birding.
Is your Kowa similar, or is the focus stiffness in mine simply due to sample variation?
Thank you.
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Old Thursday 16th October 2014, 14:02   #15
alexbino
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cder View Post
Alex (and/or others who own or have access to the Kowa BD-XD),
I just received the Kowa BD-XD 8x42 and a Vortex Viper and I plan to keep one or the two. I like everything about BD-XD except that the focus turns very stiffly on mine (i.e., not easily turned with one finger). It might be difficult to focus rapidly while birding.
Is your Kowa similar, or is the focus stiffness in mine simply due to sample variation?
Thank you.
Hi,
Vortex Viper or Vortex Viper HD?
The focus knob on my Kowa BD-XD 8x42 not very stiff on mine (i.e.,
enough secondary effort, but not oily, turned with one finger)
I have absolutely no worries.
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Old Friday 24th October 2014, 23:34   #16
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Anybody from u.s.a who test this bins?
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Old Monday 16th March 2015, 21:39   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexbino View Post
Kowa BD 8x42 XD, real data

The field of view is nothing special at 131m at 1000m
If I did the math right, that's 393 ft at 1000 yards. What do you consider the threshold for "special"?
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Old Tuesday 17th March 2015, 11:43   #18
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Quote:
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Anybody from u.s.a who test this bins?
Yes. Do you have any questions in particular about the 8x42?
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Old Tuesday 17th March 2015, 12:14   #19
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I have the BD XD 8x42 and it is a very nice bin. My only dislike is that the focus knob surface is entirely too slick. The focus tension is fine like most Kowa binoculars but the material is too slippery. I cut the finger of a glove and stretched it over the knob to make it grippier. This works for me. Jim
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Old Tuesday 17th March 2015, 14:00   #20
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Are the Kowa BD XD 8x42 and Kowa 8x42 BD the same or different? (Does the XD have significance?)

Kowa BD XD 8x42:
http://www.eagleoptics.com/binocular...8x42-binocular list the price at $479, and says the FOV (1000 ft) is 393.

On the other hand,

Kowa 8x42 BD $550
http://www.bestbinocularsreviews.com/Kowa8x42BD-64.htm says FOV is 330


So the XD has a significantly better field of view, while the price would indicate that it is inferior to the non XD.

Can someone clear this up for me please!
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Old Tuesday 17th March 2015, 15:03   #21
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The BD and the BD XD are different with the BD being the older model. It is however made in Japan and in my opinion of much better build quality. The BD XD is the newer model and is made in China. It does have ED glass and is really pretty good optically except for the slick focus knob problem which I have mentioned above. The older BD model is pretty good also but except for the 8x32 model with 393 ft. field of view, all other models have a pretty narrow fov. Jim
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Old Tuesday 17th March 2015, 15:16   #22
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I personally felt that the old BD was a rather disappointing binocular. To be honest I didn't spend much time with it, but I recall the colour, contrast and sharpness were not what I might have expected for the price.

The BD XD appears to be a totally different design. The XD refers to a low dispersion element (ED). I first tried it at the UK launch 18 months ago and found the CA bad. Not a little bit bad, but a lot bad, and the representatives on the stand I think were more than a little embarrassed. Apart from that, the whole colour, contrast and sharpness I thought was much improved. Last summer I checked out those BD XDs again together with and the new additions to the range. The CA was improved considerably from the previous year but definitely not class leading even then. I think it's potentially a very nice binocular if you are not particularly CA sensitive.

David
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Old Tuesday 17th March 2015, 18:31   #23
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Personally I don't find the focus wheel to be overly slick. In the rain, maybe it would be an issue.

Is the term "CA insensitive" a construct of bird forum members? Or is their academic research to support the condition in humans? I assume anyone can see CA (assuming their visual acuity is sufficient and conditions are conducive to it).

As with most binoculars, with the Kowa BD 8x42 XD, the CA is noticeable when viewing vertical lines under high-contrast conditions when you go left/right of center (or even out-of-focus on-center). The purple with the Kowa is a brilliant purple, so it is more visible than with some binoculars. In the center, in-focus, it's not an issue.

Compared to modern alpha-class glass, the off-center CA is definitely very prominent. I can't say whether it's better or worse than competitors in the same price range though. Which binoculars in the $500 range have class-leading control of CA?

If you are observing groups of birds against the sky, then well-controlled CA might be very important to you. If you tend to observe single birds under lower contrast conditions, then it probably wouldn't be a significant factor for you.

Overall, I feel the view provided by the Kowa BD 8x42 XD is excellent (and in a relatively lightweight package).

Last edited by ads : Tuesday 17th March 2015 at 18:35.
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Old Tuesday 17th March 2015, 19:17   #24
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Ads, I agree that the view is excellent in the BD XD and I have no problem with CA at all. I really have to be looking for it to see it at all and only when my eyes are positioned indirectly in the eyecups.
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Old Tuesday 17th March 2015, 19:52   #25
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Is the term "CA insensitive" a construct of bird forum members? Or is their academic research to support the condition in humans? I assume anyone can see CA (assuming their visual acuity is sufficient and conditions are conducive to it).
Well I'm pretty sure I've never seen it, so maybe I'm CA insensitive. But then, I've had three eye surgeries in the past eight years, so maybe CA isn't an important factor for me.
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