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Scope upgrade

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Old Friday 14th February 2020, 15:16   #1
welsh_kite
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Scope upgrade

I currently use an old 1990's kowa tsn 821 scope.
And atm looking to upgrade, I have around 2000 and been looking at the Swarovski and zeiss.
Will this budget be a lot better than my old kowa.
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Old Friday 14th February 2020, 16:56   #2
henry link
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I'd definitely add the 82mm Nikon Monarch ED to your list. I reviewed both it and the Zeiss Gavia here.

https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=377440

https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=341423

The Monarch unit I reviewed was much better than the Gavia or any other 2000 scope I've seen. It performed more like a cherry 4000 scope.

Last edited by henry link : Saturday 15th February 2020 at 00:39.
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Old Friday 14th February 2020, 17:03   #3
jring
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Hi,

since your old Kowa uses an achromatic objective lens, a good example of ED or fluorite scope should be quite a bit better at magnifications above 40x or so. If you are only using lower magnifications, an upgrade is probably not very helpful.

If you want sth new with a budget of 2k quid, a Swaro ATS 80 with 25-50 wide angle zoom or a Kowa 883 with 25-60x wide angle zoom will be a tad over the budget but you might get lucky with a sale... Zeiss currently has the new Harpia moodels which are all well above budget or the Gavia models which are well under and probably not quite up there quality wise...
Then there is Nikon - with the classic fieldscope series and the EDG spotters discontinued they only have the Monarch line (and some cheap options) left - the 82mm model with zoom EP should easily fit inside the budget. One example of the 82mm version was tested by Henry Link and he found it to be one of the few almost perfect telescopes. That is of course just one data point and does not necessarily mean that all examples are like this.

Used you could look for all of the ones mentioned above plus a Kowa 823 fluorite body (and use your existing EP). Also good and budget friendly options are the classic Nikon Fieldscope ED series (make sure you buy one with an eyepiece you like, eyepieces are getting rarer - not quite as rare as for the Kowa 820 series yet though).

In general sample variation does exist even with alpha brands and bad examples have been observed for all, I think. So please make sure that you can test the scope before buying it or have a no questions asked return policy.
For an ED or fluorite scope you should at least be able to get a nice and sharp image at maximum magnification of 50 or 60x - learning about star testing and bringing a diy artificial star would also be a good idea...

Joachim
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Old Friday 14th February 2020, 18:56   #4
AlanFrench
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If you wear glasses while using your scope, I highly recommend trying one in person to insure you can see the whole field with your glasses on. I've found expectations based on the published specifications are not reliable.

Clear skies, Alan
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Old Friday 14th February 2020, 19:48   #5
Hermann
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jring View Post
Then there is Nikon - with the classic fieldscope series and the EDG spotters discontinued they only have the Monarch line (and some cheap options) left - the 82mm model with zoom EP should easily fit inside the budget. One example of the 82mm version was tested by Henry Link and he found it to be one of the few almost perfect telescopes. That is of course just one data point and does not necessarily mean that all examples are like this.
I had a chance to look through one 82mm Monarch recently. It beat my cherry Fieldscope ED82. So that's two data points.

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Old Sunday 16th February 2020, 11:54   #6
Steve Babbs
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I have recently bought a Monarch ED80. It is extremely good and - in comparison to some other scopes - relatively reasonably priced. It is annoying that I could not find anywhere to look through it to compare it with other scopes when I bought it though. I've still to compare it with Swarvoski and Kowa scopes of the same size but it was about 1000 cheaper than the Kowa. It is a big leap from my 65mm Zeiss but also a big leap in weight.
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Old Sunday 16th February 2020, 19:41   #7
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Which eyepiece did you go for Steve and what is your assessment of it?
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Old Monday 17th February 2020, 14:45   #8
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I went for the 30x - 60x WA. I am very pleased with it.
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