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Kowa Prominar TD-1

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Old Friday 2nd July 2004, 08:38   #1
trealawboy
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Kowa Prominar TD-1

Hmmm ... another toy for us to consider in the future ...

http://www.dpreview.com/news/0406/04...rominartd1.asp
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Old Friday 2nd July 2004, 09:26   #2
Andy Bright
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There are various threads on this fabled item... announced years ago. New rumours that it really will be released are circulating, though I won't hold my breath. 60mm objective looks to be inadequate but the whole concept is definitely the shape of things to come.
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Old Saturday 3rd July 2004, 19:01   #3
Jay Turberville
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Bright
There are various threads on this fabled item... announced years ago. New rumours that it really will be released are circulating, though I won't hold my breath. 60mm objective looks to be inadequate but the whole concept is definitely the shape of things to come.
The fabled item is due to be released in July in Japan according to a news release on the Kowa Prominar web site. The scope has a 55 mm ED objective.

As with most combination items, the TD-1 has shortcomings in bothe of its areas of specialization. A 10-30x 55mm ED scope certainly won't do what a 10-60x 80mm birding scope will. And the FOV is also pretty narrow from what I recall. OTOH, it was wise for them to limit the power to 30x and it seems that a lot of bird viewing occurse between 10x and 30x, so a smallish scope like this could certainly be very useful. Though it is probably less useful in areas that are often overcast.

The camera is only a 3Mp, but that isn't too bad by digiscoping standards. But its limited to ISO 200 and does use a smallish sensor. It also only reaches to a 1350mm equivalent that is pretty much where most digiscopers begin. OTOH, it has an optical path that should (or could) be much better optimized for imaging. There is no prism in the camera path. No eyepiece and no unnecessary additional camera lens. The Japanese PDF file shows what appears to be an 11 element zoom with one ED element in the front objective. There is every reason to believe that this could perform better than an excellent digiscoping rig.

The big question is whether the advantage of an integrated system outweighs the fact that you can get a better scope and a more powerful digiscoping rig if you are willing to assemble the bits and pieces. I think only trying to sell it will answer that question. But personally, I think there will be a market for an f2.8-f4 450-1350mm camera/scope combo. There are a lot of people that find it difficult and/or not worth the trouble to assemble a digiscoping rig. This could be just the "in-between" solution that suits them. Or it could be so "in-between" that it suits nobody. <shrug>

BTW, the diagrams show that this is essentially an SLR that uses a flipping mirror. I see no prism in the diagrams, only two mirrors (one flips). So I assume that the image is erected with lenses prior to reaching the first mirror.
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