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Old Sunday 27th August 2017, 20:49   #1
Mick50
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Kowa 88mm vs 77mm

I was thinking or purchasing a Kowa Spotting Scope in 88mm but noticed the 77mm at a savings of $800. Has anyone compared both size scopes to comment on the price difference and quality of what will be seen? I'm now thinking of the 77mm and putting that extra money to a new pair of binoculars.

My primary use is for hawk watching and shorebirds in mostly stationary birding.

Thanks
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Old Tuesday 29th August 2017, 09:57   #2
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Hi,

it used to be a non-issue since weight and price of the 77 and 88mm Kowas was not very far apart. With $800 difference that might be reason for a second thought - although, while reviews on the 88mm series are universally good, the 77mm gets more mixed reviews - bf reader Kimmo saw more CA than he liked...

I would probably still try to get the 88m version... maybe used...

Joachim
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Old Tuesday 29th August 2017, 18:56   #3
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Kowa TSN 880

The performance difference is clear. I would bit the bullet, pay the extra cost and have the best optical spotting scope money can buy. Otherwise you might regret it. KOWA Germany has a very good service too.
KOWA TSN 883 with 25 - 60x W eyepiece is perfect.
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Old Tuesday 29th August 2017, 19:12   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mick50 View Post
I was thinking or purchasing a Kowa Spotting Scope in 88mm but noticed the 77mm at a savings of $800. Has anyone compared both size scopes to comment on the price difference and quality of what will be seen? I'm now thinking of the 77mm and putting that extra money to a new pair of binoculars.

My primary use is for hawk watching and shorebirds in mostly stationary birding.

Thanks
Get the 88mm, the better CA control and extra resolution and brightness would be great for hawk watching and long distance shore birds.
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Old Tuesday 29th August 2017, 19:30   #5
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To be frank: I tried 4 of the 77mm whilst out and about, and the CA was worse than I'd ever expected. I put one down to being a lemon, 2, started to wonder. ..

Then I sat for a day behind the 88mm. It's incomparable. Pay the 800 extra and never regret it.
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Old Friday 1st September 2017, 13:09   #6
Albert P
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I thought I would put this here to mark how impressive Kowa 883 is :) Photo made with TSN-EX16 + Galaxy S6 + Novagrade adapter.
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Old Thursday 7th September 2017, 00:43   #7
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Originally Posted by Albert P View Post
I thought I would put this here to mark how impressive Kowa 883 is :) Photo made with TSN-EX16 + Galaxy S6 + Novagrade adapter.
Damn. I just ordered the 883 off EO with the 25-60x eyepiece. A bit of a splurge. Looking forward to it.
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Old Thursday 7th September 2017, 07:35   #8
Dynszis
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Photo made with TSN-EX16 + Galaxy S6 + Novagrade adapter.
Thank you! This is impressive indeed.

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Originally Posted by b3rd View Post
Damn. I just ordered the 883 off EO with the 25-60x eyepiece. A bit of a splurge. Looking forward to it.
Congrats :) You might want to verify that your new Kowa performs on a similar level, before your return window closes.
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Old Thursday 7th September 2017, 08:55   #9
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Hi Albert,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Albert P View Post
I thought I would put this here to mark how impressive Kowa 883 is :) Photo made with TSN-EX16 + Galaxy S6 + Novagrade adapter.
Amazing picture!

Could you please tell me a bit more about how you took this shot, including where you set up the scope, seeing conditions etc.? I would like to try and use my Kowa for some astro shots too ... :-)

Many thanks in advance!

Henning
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Old Thursday 7th September 2017, 18:41   #10
Albert P
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Hello Henning :)

The picture was made from a balcony on a Feisol tripod. Seeing conditions were very good. Saturn was above a small town so it could very well be even better taken in some very dark place.

I found out (probably nothing surprising) that lower ISO was better. This image was taken with ISO 100. Shutter speed was automatic with OpenCamera app. I always make a series of 3 photos with 3s delay and 1s delay between each other - it works pretty good. Focus on S6 was set to infinity.

Have fun with your scope!

Last edited by Albert P : Thursday 7th September 2017 at 18:52.
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Old Saturday 16th September 2017, 05:13   #11
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I used my 883 to show Saturn to my whole family last weekend at a bit of a reunion we had. It was great!

I also went through the "should I go with 773 or 883" concern. I was talked into the 883 by people on BirdForum haha. I never actually was able to try the 773, but I'll say the 883 is awesome. I love it. However, at the time the difference was more like $400, not $800.
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Old Sunday 17th September 2017, 08:04   #12
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The 883/4 and 553/4 are the only Kowa scopes with fluorite lens elements. The 770 and 660 series have to make do with ED "XD Prominar" instead, hence the lower performance.
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Old Sunday 17th September 2017, 15:12   #13
wachipilotes
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Hello,
Then, there is too much differences between the "XD" lens ( maybe a ED lens??? or fpl-51 lens ?? ) and the "fluorite" lens ?? in price so..
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Wachi
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Old Sunday 17th September 2017, 21:14   #14
Proterra
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mick50 View Post
I was thinking or purchasing a Kowa Spotting Scope in 88mm but noticed the 77mm at a savings of $800. Has anyone compared both size scopes to comment on the price difference and quality of what will be seen? I'm now thinking of the 77mm and putting that extra money to a new pair of binoculars.

My primary use is for hawk watching and shorebirds in mostly stationary birding.

Thanks
I've just got the 88mm and have it to be amazing, here in the UK Kowa are offering the 1.6 extender foc at present as well.
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Old Monday 18th September 2017, 07:53   #15
jring
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Originally Posted by fazalmajid View Post
The 883/4 and 553/4 are the only Kowa scopes with fluorite lens elements. The 770 and 660 series have to make do with ED "XD Prominar" instead, hence the lower performance.
We need the word current here... the TSN823/4 and TSN-3/4 had fluorite elements in their objective lenses too, just like the current examples.

Actually using ED in the smaller scopes of the same focal length is a smart decision since the focal ratio of those is slower and thus ED glass can give an equally good image. In the 660 series this works fine. Not sure why the 770 tests went not so well.

Joachim
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Old Friday 22nd September 2017, 01:09   #16
b3rd
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Originally Posted by Dynszis View Post
You might want to verify that your new Kowa performs on a similar level, before your return window closes.
Yep. I don't really have a point of reference, but this thing is incredible. Too bad I can't fit my tripod in my carry on.
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Old Saturday 23rd September 2017, 02:38   #17
Steve O4B
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Other than the spelling, there is no difference between Extra-low Dispersion and eXtra-low Dispersion. The choice was made by the chairman of Kowa while he was visiting the US and saw a Viagra commercial with Bob Dole talking about having ED (Erectile Dysfunction). He wanted nothing to do with ED, hence XD. This is a true story told to me by the Kowa product manager at the time.
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Old Tuesday 7th November 2017, 11:02   #18
yves0071
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Hi,
I compared side to side a 883 and 773 with both a 25-60 zoom and honestly, i have to say that I have not seen any difference.
The only think is that tat the 883 is a bit more bright at 60x mag compared to the 773, but only during 15-20 minutes before nigth comes (for both scopes!)
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Old Wednesday 8th November 2017, 01:49   #19
Steve O4B
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Hi,
I compared side to side a 883 and 773 with both a 25-60 zoom and honestly, i have to say that I have not seen any difference.
The only think is that tat the 883 is a bit more bright at 60x mag compared to the 773, but only during 15-20 minutes before nigth comes (for both scopes!)
Regards
Yves
Yves,

Did you test resolution with a resolution chart? Did you do a test for chromatic aberration? These are where you should see differences during bright daylight.
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Old Wednesday 8th November 2017, 06:41   #20
yves0071
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Hi Steve,
No, I tested looking birds and some other details. The resolution test may help to find differences.
I would be surprised if many are visible as Kowa owns, for my point of view, the best techniques to avoid chromatism.
By experience, I have seen much more differences between HD/APO/Fluorite and non ones for Swarovski scopes. (Leica is not too visible), when looking birds.
Can you please indicate a link where I can download the resolution chart?.
Thanks in advance
Yves
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Old Wednesday 8th November 2017, 16:44   #21
Steve O4B
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Hi Steve,
No, I tested looking birds and some other details. The resolution test may help to find differences.
I would be surprised if many are visible as Kowa owns, for my point of view, the best techniques to avoid chromatism.
By experience, I have seen much more differences between HD/APO/Fluorite and non ones for Swarovski scopes. (Leica is not too visible), when looking birds.
Can you please indicate a link where I can download the resolution chart?.
Thanks in advance
Yves
Yves,

The resolution charts we have were given to us by Swarovski. I don't remember the link, but you should be able to find it in the discussion on the Kowa TSN-553/554 scopes.
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Old Wednesday 8th November 2017, 18:02   #22
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Not all ED glass is the same but the best ED glass is very close or equal to fluorite..The 773 is a slower scope than the 883, so maybe the use of ED glass is the right decission..Swaro,zeiss or leica do not use fluorite in the HD scopes that they make,and their top models compete with kowa's fluorite models in optical excellence..
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Old Tuesday 14th November 2017, 22:30   #23
Jay Gamble
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I own both the 773 and the 883, and also a Swarovski ATX 95 and the 85 module. I previously owned a 2010 Zeiss 85 that I thought might replace my 2002 Swaro AT80 HD, but I did not find it to be as good as my older AT80 and sold it.

IMHO, the Kowa 883 is the best VALUE in a high performance, alpha spotting scope today. It gives up very little, if any, to the ATX 95 in image quality, and is about 30% less expensive.

The Kowa 773 is a fine scope and it gets a lot of use as we are a family of three birders often using the three scopes together side by side. At low power, 20x - 40x, my 773 is a pleasure to use with a very fine image. Above 40x-45x, the 883 and ATX easily surpass it in image quality in both brightness and resolution. Both females prefer the Kowa focuser over the Swarovski focuser.

I've tested all my scopes with the 1951 USAF charts (and others), and the 773 cannot resolve what the 883 can, even if you use an aperture mask on the 883 to give it the same effective aperture. The 773 has more CA, but I rarely notice it and certainly do not find it objectionable although some people are more sensitive to CA than I am.

I enjoy using the 773 and consider it a keeper scope. Unless you outclass it with a very select few alpha scopes such the 883, I think you will find that it is a very fine scope that will serve you very well in real life usage.

Jay

Last edited by Jay Gamble : Tuesday 14th November 2017 at 23:11.
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Old Wednesday 15th November 2017, 13:06   #24
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An interesting compromise would be to get hold of a second-hand Kowa 823 (or preferably the reinforced body 823M). I have one and it's a wonderful piece of optics, sharing proper fluorite glass with its larger 883 cousin. Its one drawback, for fans of zoom eyepieces, is that the new wide-angle zoom for the 883/773 does not fit the 823. However, there are wonderful 32x fixed and 50x fixed eyepieces and a decent 20-60x zoom (and eyepieces from the 663 series and earlier TSN-3s can be used with it with the appropriate adaptor). Just a thought as there are some good deals to be had sometimes on these optically brilliant scopes.
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