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Old Monday 23rd November 2015, 19:50   #1
CliveP
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Love my SV 8x32 so what of this XD?

I was out yesterday -lovely late autumn sunny day- with my Kowa SV 8x32 and it was brilliant.

Something about how it makes you feel almost like you've just put on a virtual reality headset. The fov and dof and pretty flat sharp to edge view worked wonderfully and the glare resistance is brilliant and no CA at all just a very sharp and clear big view from a pretty light and fairly compact bin. I really do like this binocular as I've said many times. It's actually almost perfect for me and my local terrain. I still can't quite believe it works for me so well but it shows me that it does time and time again. I just felt yesterday that I could easily happily look around with it all day and that's pretty much what I did, cycling or walking along with it always around my neck and stopping every so often for a look around and it really does provide a great very scenic view and pretty great for birding also. I have found that I get the best result while using the eyecups folded right down and then I feel the eyerelief pushing my eyes back ever so slightly but I soon adjust and then just marvel at how good everything looks.

A woman passer by asked to try them while I was checking out some Whooper Swans on a lake and next thing I heard was the Oh Wow exclamation and I have to agree. She used them while wearing her glasses. Didn't need to focus them or adjust the ipd from I handed them to her? but said all was sharp and wonderful. They do have good dof.

So I like this binocular very much and I think I've had it for around 6 months or so now. It can depend on light tone how well colours show up compared to my other bins but in general it's just very good all-round and can be very nice indeed as yesterday.

It makes me wonder therefore if I like this SV so much then what is this XD model like and it would be great to hear from anyone who has compared the two or can comment on either of their experiences.

Has anyone tried the 10x32 SV as I've thought about getting one of those possibly also.

I see the Prominar 8x33 is on sale for just under 500 these days and if I had the money I think I'd be snapping up one of those just based on how good this SV is.

So if anyone can shed any light on this subject it would be good to know.

Meantime I really am quite happy to have this SV 8x32 as my grab and go. My sapphire 8x43 and M7 10x30 normally get left behind but they are both great also and will get their turn but the SV has become my default bring along.

I assume that somehow the XD is better but I do actually wonder if it is and in what way. I'd certainly be interested if it would be a good upgrade to this SV. I imagine Kowa would have this intention so surely the XD must be clearly better or else I have some kind of freak SV which I think may have been a demo model or trade in as I bought it used from Clifton but I think it's just a normal surprisingly good binocular.

Last edited by CliveP : Monday 23rd November 2015 at 19:55.
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Old Tuesday 24th November 2015, 06:28   #2
peatmoss
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Hello Clive. I don't have the SV 8x32, but I do have the Carson version of that bin, the XM-HD 8x32. Compared to the new BD-XD, I don't really feel like the XD is a substantial upgrade. The XD is a bit more compact (shorter tubes), a bit brighter in coatings, a bit flatter in field, and a bit less pincushioning. But, surprisingly, I can hardly detect any meaningful difference in on-axis sharpness between the two, even though the XD often retails for nearly twice the price. I actually like the Carson SV clone's glare control and smooth focuser better. These observations are just one set of eyes and one pair of binoculars, so someone else's experiences will differ. If you're seriously considering the XD, I'd strongly recommend trying them before buying.
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Old Tuesday 24th November 2015, 07:50   #3
CliveP
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thanks PM

I am really happy with these SV. Maybe it's just the plastic body of the SV that is the main difference but it seems very solid and I've had no issues whatsoever with it in fact it seems very durable also.

The SV does have a wider fov than the XD also and possibly even more so as Albinos say the XD is narrower than spec'd but this SV is certainly wide.

Just had to laugh.

Was reading the 8x33 Genesis albinos review and saw this:

"The binoculars feature a huge field of view, even a bit wider than those officially declared 8 degrees – in fact it is a record-breaker in this class, among contemporary produced roof prism instruments. Once again, though, too much emphasis was put on the big field of view and with small dimensions and vignetting prisms, we get the edge not as sharp as we would expect as a result. The Kowa would be probably better off with the field of view of about 7.8 degrees. Nobody could criticize it for it being too narrow but its edge would look definitely better."

Strangely enough this is exactly the SV 8x32 fov 7.8deg and the edges are good

Kowa sure know how to make a great base model bin. I think I definitely have to contemplate getting the 10x32SV although I think it wouldn't be as good as my 8x32.

I think I have a great set of bins with my Sapphire and M7 along with this Kowa but the Kowa was a sort of accidental discovery in that I returned an 8x25 Hawke Sapphire in exchange for it and it has been a very useful and pleasing addition to my collection ever since -to my surprise- but I do now cherish it. It doesn't do anything extraordinarily well but it does do everything really very well. Composed is always how I think of the view. Unfussy, just delivers a great view and I like that a lot but it can do great colour, see through murk and show great contrast at times and is pretty sharp too. It never provides a bad view except in the lower lights when my Sapphire 8x43 shows it's the boss there but obviously that is larger for a start and a very high transmission bin also.

Think I'll stick with this SV. I've gone through a fair few bins over the years and this SV is just one of the best for me that I have found and I've owned El's, Leica HD and Zeiss FL all in 32 size. I'm not saying this SV is better but that I am satisfied with it and enjoy it very much for the views it gives me I think says all I need to say about it.
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Old Tuesday 24th November 2015, 15:12   #4
Gilmore Girl
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It was well over 2 years ago when I tried out the SV 8x32 and also the
10x42. I sent both back to the dealer, as I was a little disappointed with the
optics. I found both bins not sharp enough for me. I remember fiddling with the
diopter making sure I had it set right, but still I found the center resolution
not quite good enough (for me).

I wonder now , after reading the comments here, if I may have had poor samples.
The SV was released not too long before I tried them, so perhaps they have been
updated and/or bugs worked out since then.

I have to disagree that the 8x32 is compact. It's a large 32mm.
It's about as long as my current 8x42 which is a relatively small 42mm.
Compared to some other 32mm bins the SV is pretty big.

I really wanted to like the SV. The positives are the nice
low weight and really nice ergonomic feel. I also liked the texture
of the focus wheel. It's an attractive bin as well and , if I ever come across
it again at a store, I'll be sure to have another look. Personally, I would
recommend the YF 8x30 over the SV 8x32 based on my experiences
with both. The close focus distance on the YF is pretty bad though.

Last edited by Gilmore Girl : Tuesday 24th November 2015 at 15:18.
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Old Tuesday 24th November 2015, 17:59   #5
CliveP
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thanks for the info GG

I can assure you that the 8x32 SV now seem to have none of the issues you mention and if you get to try them again I'm sure you will find them an almost different binocular. I heard a similar type of horror story from Typo about trying the early models when apparently the Kowa rep was painting on the red part or touching it up or something. Well I've had mine about 6 months and used them almost daily and they still look pretty new.

Agree they are not the most minute 8x32 but they are pretty small when not extending the eyecups. I actually carry mine in the pouch that came with my Bresser 8x28 and my 8x43 Sapphire in the Kowa pouch which fits it perfectly so they could do a bit better with that. Put it this way, it doesn't frighten the unnatured locals and cause them to glare at you suspiciously well I mean more suspiciously but I suspect a lot of them are on some kind of medication.

I also like the little red touch making them unusual and I also love that they are so easy to use with my winter gloves while any smaller would be less easy but the objective housing is padded out and you could probably almost squeeze a 42mm lens in there but I have the Sapphire 43mm so I'm not bothered about it. I also have the M7 I if want more compact and for longer cycle trips and more expansive distance viewing I would take that as it's 10x.

Last edited by CliveP : Tuesday 24th November 2015 at 18:05.
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Old Tuesday 24th November 2015, 18:16   #6
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omg...I remember that story from David about painting right on the bin. I'm sure you're right
about them being better/updated now. If you're regularly grabbing the SV over the Sapphire (which I've heard
great things about) on your way out then that says a lot right there. I do remember them being very comfortable to
hold and I agree they are interesting in design (I like the black/red). I'll def try them out if they ever get them in at
the nature store I visit occasionally.

Anyone know if Kowa makes any of their top binos ? Do they have their own manufacturing plant ?
I've also wondered this about Nikon as well. I know their inexpensive bins are produced by
outside optics manufacturers, but what about the top bins from both companies ?
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Old Tuesday 24th November 2015, 19:00   #7
CliveP
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That extract I got from the Genesis 8x33 review almost sounds like it was talking about the Sapphire in that it has this little bit of outer edge blur while the SV does not but it's mostly that the SV is quite a bit smaller than the Sapphire that I take it and my M7 is 10x but I normally prefer the 8x.

If I needed max brightness then I would have to use the Sapphire and I love it for the colours in summer also. At present it's my to hand bin at home.

The SV is perfectly fine for brightness but the Sapphire is a step up though at the same time I don't think the Sapphire is as well sorted as this SV in so far as the composed view feeling I get with the SV.

If I was going on some kind of serious birding trip which I don't much do nowadays (except by book and imagination) then it would have to be the Sapphire but I could still get by with the SV or M7.

I think it brings up an interesting point about new binocular releases and maybe it has taken a year or two to sort the SV manufacture much like the M7 and I know that the Sapphire I have now is a lot different in terms of coating to my original from a few years back so it could pay to wait a while after new bins appear before they are at their full potential and I think manufacturers are always enhancing things were possible without great announcements.

This could also be the case with the XD being still relatively new and yet to reach it's full potential.

Last edited by CliveP : Tuesday 24th November 2015 at 19:04.
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