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Old Saturday 23rd September 2017, 01:09   #1
Stephen Mark
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Darn!!!! I just saved $3000.00

Both my sister and I moved to North Carolina in the last two months, she to Durham and I to New Bern. Six weeks ago she bought a new (black ) pair of Zeiss SF's. Today my wife and I drove to Durham to spend the day and of course try the new bins. I had wanted a pair of SF's since they were announced but could never justify the money. I knew my Kowa Genesis 8.5X44 were good binoculars but not "alphas".After two hours going from one to the other I reached a few conclusions. The Zeiss are lighter Duh they have a larger field of view and they may be brighter by a very small margin. The Kowas are better built in fact part of their weight is they are overbuilt you can drive nails when your not birding. Now for the important part the resolution admitting that I am 65 and recent eye tests confirm I am 20/25 at distances over five feet I could not pick up greater detail with the Zeiss. I went back and fourth from one to the other and couldn't find a difference. Now I was actually looking at birds and not resolution charts but could pick up as much detail with my Kowas as the Zeiss. I will keep the money and move on to other things.
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Old Saturday 23rd September 2017, 02:30   #2
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Ha! I literally lol'd reading your thread title.

Good for you ... nice to discover what you already have is great :)
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Old Saturday 23rd September 2017, 04:55   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Mark View Post
Now I was actually looking at birds and not resolution charts but could pick up as much detail with my Kowas as the Zeiss. I will keep the money and move on to other things.
Steve
I think there's a bit of irony in the fact that by the time we can possibly afford certain luxury items, (high end audio and optics) we may no longer be able to fully experience what they have to offer. At the same time the love of music and the joys of nature, exist independent of those devices.

You are liberated in some sense. ;-)

Bill
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Old Saturday 23rd September 2017, 06:11   #4
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Always nice to find out how you feel about gear... before you spend your money is always better!!!

Great stuff,

CG
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Old Saturday 23rd September 2017, 09:02   #5
Egrets Ivadafew
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Speaking as a man with 58 year old eyes, I had the same experience when checking 'alphas' against bins a third of the price. Mediocre eyesight, the last great compensation for growing old.
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Old Saturday 23rd September 2017, 21:20   #6
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Hi,

not at all surprised by the result - it would most probably been the same using a resolution chart, tripod and magnifier.

The selling point of the Zeiss is the super wide field (and maybe field flattening). The view is very good as with the other alphas.

Kowa Genesis are known for superb quality optics - great resolution, contrast and color correction. Build quality is fine, FoV, sweet spot and weight are so so.

Joachim
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Old Saturday 23rd September 2017, 22:59   #7
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Don`t forget that extra 6.25% magnification will help the Kowa against any 8x, however I`m not sure the resolution of the Kowa has ever been questioned.
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Old Sunday 24th September 2017, 01:49   #8
David in NC
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Hi from western NC...

I admit that I love me some German or Austrian glass but as a former owner of a set of Kowa Genesis 10.5 x 44s, I know what you mean. I doubt I could have detected any practical difference in real world resolution (my current main pair are a pair of 8x42 Ultravids). I first tried the Kowas in 2014 and said in a post then that I considered them "Alpha" level. I did sell mine but even the new owner told me he had the same opinion.
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Old Sunday 24th September 2017, 04:55   #9
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(I delayed posting and in the meantime others have pretty much conveyed this.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Mark View Post
...I am 65...20/25...could pick up as much detail with my Kowas as the Zeiss...
I have not used either model but, from what I have gathered: the Genesis 8.5x should show as much or more detail than the SF 8x42 in any conditions except the lowest light, when Zeiss's acclaimed transmission might make the difference, but with 8.5x vs 8x even that is uncertain; this should apply to any user, for example 20 years and 20/10 acuity.

There was a comparison by Binomania of the Victory FL 8x32 and Genesis 8x33 (with a few other models as I recall). In the dimmest light the Zeiss vaguely showed more detail but the Kowa showed what it could convey more sharply.

Last edited by adhoc : Sunday 24th September 2017 at 10:35.
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Old Sunday 24th September 2017, 21:26   #10
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adhoc
You wouldn't have a link to the binomana comparison of the 8X33's would you? Even an approximate date would help. I tried the site but as you keep going back pages the google translator starts having issues.
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Old Monday 25th September 2017, 00:53   #11
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Steve,
Link: http://www.binomania.it/kowa-xd-genesis-8x33/ (Googling for "binomania kowa genesis 8x33" immediately brought it up.)
Sorry, the article seems to praise the Zeiss FL 8x32 more than I had remembered! I was surprised now to find this: "If I had to quantify...I would say..the Kowa Genesis model tested was less bright [than] the Zeiss [by] about 5-6%." Though it is a guess, that is a big difference!
Adhoc
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Old Monday 25th September 2017, 01:29   #12
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Could someone please explain: Why are the two Genesis 44 mm models so heavy? (This has kept me from them, for a long time.) The clarity of the Genesis series seems to be achieved by the extra XD lenses. But the two 33 mm models are the same weight as the competition, while the 8.5x44 and 10.5x44 are much heavier than other "alpha" 8x42s and 10x42s. The extra 2 mm of the objectives makes a difference but surely not that much?
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Old Monday 25th September 2017, 20:14   #13
Stephen Mark
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I think my problem was that since I didn't pay Alpha money they couldn't be alpha glass. When they test alphas against one another they use tripods and put doublers on the eyepieces in a brightly lit room and most times can't tell a difference. I think my Kowas are as alpha as my eyes can take advantage of and since I'm no where close to needing Lasic surgery I'l stop worrying about it and worry about camera lenses. Some of the threads on DP review are flame wars next to he gentle tone of Bird Forum.
Thanks all
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Old Wednesday 27th September 2017, 17:29   #14
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Stephen

Don't spend that $3,000!! You may need it for the chiropractor's fees due to carrying that Olympic weight around hanging from your neck!

Glad you still love your Kowas, they are super binos. I love the 8x33 to bits and by golly it weighs so much less.

Lee
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Old Wednesday 27th September 2017, 18:09   #15
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Lee
A harness at all times! It not only takes the weight off my neck and they don't swing around as much and finally the slight resistance of the elastic in the harness holds the bins more still. Kid of like a rifle sling if you know how to use one Off to chase a Red-Coccaded Woodpecker tis weekend.
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Old Wednesday 27th September 2017, 21:06   #16
David in NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Mark View Post
Lee
Off to chase a Red-Coccaded Woodpecker tis weekend.
Steve
That red cockaded woodpecker is some little bird-he shut down a third of Ft. Bragg's training areas for several years.
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Old Thursday 28th September 2017, 11:52   #17
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Quote:
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Lee
A harness at all times! It not only takes the weight off my neck and they don't swing around as much and finally the slight resistance of the elastic in the harness holds the bins more still. Kid of like a rifle sling if you know how to use one Off to chase a Red-Coccaded Woodpecker tis weekend.
Steve
Have fun Steve and wear boots with steel toe-caps in case you drop the Kowas on your foot. OK, thats enough joking from me, you have got a brilliant pair of binos there.

Lee
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Old Thursday 28th September 2017, 17:35   #18
Stephen Mark
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David
I would say that has been one of the better stories of conservation that I am aware of. Funny I had never herd of it til I moved down to North Carolina. I primarily studied birds of the midwest with cramming for birds when we went on vacation.
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Old Thursday 28th September 2017, 19:02   #19
David in NC
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David
I would say that has been one of the better stories of conservation that I am aware of. Funny I had never herd of it til I moved down to North Carolina. I primarily studied birds of the midwest with cramming for birds when we went on vacation.
Steve
Yeah-I was just out of the military (NC National Guard) and my friends and contacts still in began telling me that a third of the post was "shut down from training or entry" over a small rare woodpecker...I was first in disbelief. It seemed like some joke that soldiers might concoct. Once I found out it was true-THEN (at that time) I like many others in military circles thought it was the biggest load of Federal bureaucratic environmentalist overreach in world history. In hindsight-and being MUCH MORE environmentally minded-I am glad that happened and the Army came up with workarounds (although not easy in some cases, with the loss of that much training area).

Having been out of the Guard by then (although I still made period visits for law enforcement training, visiting friends stationed there, etc.) I have never seen one there, but did see one a few years ago at Orton Pond near Southport.
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Old Friday 29th September 2017, 19:40   #20
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David there is a nature trail at the very south end of the Croatan Forest that has an active and I have been told fairly large colony. I understand its a fair hike though. Its the Patsey Pond Trail and it's right across from the North Carolina Coastal Federation.
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Old Friday 29th September 2017, 23:07   #21
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Red-cockaded woodpecker

1991
https://www.newscientist.com/article...lts-the-tanks/

2012
http://livebettermagazine.com/articl...cker-recovery/
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Old Saturday 30th September 2017, 02:21   #22
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Good reading.
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