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The Kowa Eyepiece Compatabiliy Thread

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Old Monday 8th February 2010, 16:34   #1
Jaff
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The Kowa Eyepiece Compatabiliy Thread

I'm putting this on as a definitive guide to what fits on what with Kowa scopes and eyepieces, if anything has been missed or I've got something wrong feel free to post corrections. Hopefully this can serve as a one stop solution to a recurring question.

Kowa TS 502 - I'm fairly sure this will only take 502 ep's, NO adapter. All two of them BTW!

Kowa TS610 series - Any TS610 series, TSN 1/2/3/4 series and TSN 600 series, NO adapter. Opticron HDF 20-60x zoom, screws directly onto screw thread (needs washers for optimum performance).

Kowa TSN 1/2/3/4 - Any TS610 series, TSN 1/2/3/4 series and TSN 600 series, NO adapter. Opticron HDF and SDL 20-60x zoom, screws directly onto screw thread (needs washers for optimum performance).

Kowa TSN 600 series - Any TS610 series, TSN 1/2/3/4 series and TSN 600 series, NO adapter.

Kowa TSN 660 series - Any TS610 series, TSN 1/2/3/4 series and TSN 600 series, NO adapter.

Kowa TSN 820 series - Only accepts 820 series eyepieces without adapter. Adapter required for fitting any TS610 series, TSN 1/2/3/4 series and TSN 600 series, but hard to find.

TSN 82SV - Uses TSN600 eyepieces so in theory should accept any TS610 series, TSN 1/2/3/4 series with no adapter.

TSN 770 series - Only accepts the new 770/880 series eyepieces without adapter. I think adapter's can be bought to accept any TS610 series, TSN 1/2/3/4 series and TSN600 series. Not sure about TSN820 EP's but probs not.

TSN 880 series - Only accepts the new 770/880 series eyepieces without adapter. I think adapter's can be bought to accept any TS610 series, TSN 1/2/3/4 series and TSN600 series. Not sure about TSN820 EP's but probs not.

Think that's everything I can think of.
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Old Friday 12th February 2010, 15:34   #2
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Jaff, good idea to compile all this information. Just to complement, there is indeed an adapter that allows scopes in the TSN 770/880 series to accept eyepieces for the TSN600, TS610 and TSN 1/2/3/4 series. I have one and it works as advertised. I deploy it in order to be able to use an old but very good TSN 1/2/3/4 series 25x LER eyepiece with my TSN 883. The adapter part code is Kowa TSN-EC3 UPC. It attaches to the old eyepiece and provides a match to the newer scopes.

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Old Friday 12th February 2010, 16:22   #3
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Something to keep in mind when mixing and matching Kowa eyepieces and scopes is that the scopes have different focal lengths, so the magnifications usually change when an eyepiece is adapted to another scope. For instance, the old 25x LER eyepiece made for the TSN 1/2/3/4 (420mm FL) becomes about 30x on the TSN 88/77 scopes (about 500mm FL) and 27x on the TSN-82 scopes (about 450mm FL). The fixed magnification eyepieces helpfully have the effective eyepiece focal length (to the nearest millimeter) imbedded in the model numbers, so for instance the current 25x LER for the 88/77mm scopes is TE-20H (20mm EFL), while the 60/66mm 25x LER eyepiece is TSE-17HD (17mm EFL).
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Old Saturday 24th April 2010, 03:31   #4
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For about a year I've been using my 883 with a 21WE mostly for digiscoping. A while ago there was some rumors that Kowa was going to provide a digiscoping zoom like Swaro did. Is this wishful thinking or should I be looking at alternatives?
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Old Monday 26th July 2010, 20:31   #5
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Sorry to add to a recurring question but if I have the old TS601 scope does that mean I can use a TE-9WD 45x eyepiece (fits TSN600 series)?
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Old Saturday 27th November 2010, 03:29   #6
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Just to simplify this for future reference, I know TS610, TSN 1/2/3/4, TSN600/600 and the 82SV all share the exact same size bayonet fitting so all eyepieces made for each of these scopes are completely interchangeable but as Henry pointed out the magnifiactions will vary.

Nowadays there are only two lines of eyepieces currently in production by Kowa. The ones for the TSN 770/880 series scopes and the ones made for the TSN 600/660 scopes which incl. the TSN 82SV. You can mount the 600/660 series eyepieces on the 770/880 series scopes with the aid of an adapter (sold seperately) and so by extension all the older eyepieces for the above models will also fit. The same also goes for anyone owning any TSN 820 series scopes (different to the 82SV) but it is a different adapter to the one sold for the 770/880 scopes and as stated, being discontinued is as rare as an honest politician.

Older Kowa models I don't know about. Hope that makes it easier to understand. If anyone has any queries regarding how to fit the Opticron eyepieces feel free to PM me.
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Last edited by Jaff : Saturday 27th November 2010 at 03:41.
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Old Monday 6th December 2010, 14:42   #7
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Does anyone know anywhere online where I can find screw in eyepieces to fit an old Kowa TS model scope (I think it's a TS6). Has a 20x fixed at the moment, could do with something with a bit more reach. Can't seem to find much on Google.
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Old Tuesday 7th December 2010, 10:06   #8
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theres some screw in ones on ebay. SOme bloke in israel has stockpiled kowa eps, and selling em off at exorbatant prices
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Old Tuesday 7th December 2010, 12:39   #9
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Originally Posted by WriterCJ View Post
Does anyone know anywhere online where I can find screw in eyepieces to fit an old Kowa TS model scope (I think it's a TS6). Has a 20x fixed at the moment, could do with something with a bit more reach. Can't seem to find much on Google.
Check for old Bushnell screw type eyepieces as well. Those and Mirador, Celestron and probably some other Japanese made brands used the same thread as the old Kowas. Nikon screw-in eyepieces don't fit.
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Old Wednesday 8th December 2010, 18:49   #10
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Thanks guys... I'll look around, but probably time to look for a new scope / eyepiece combo. Funds a bit sparse at the mo' though, after buying new bins. May have to wait a while :-(
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Old Saturday 19th May 2012, 11:38   #11
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Help please!
I've got a TS 614 with a 30xW eyepiece which I'm pleased with.

I'd like some more magnification for seawatching - would a Kowa TSE-9W 50XW be compatible with my scope? Any views or experience of this eyepiece?

Thanks
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Old Saturday 19th May 2012, 13:08   #12
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For true wide angle at 45x the TSE-9WD would fit the bill. Excellent reputation but very pricey.
If you can forgo the wideangle, the top Opticron zooms might be a good choice at maybe half the price.
My only experience above 30x with the TS-613 was with the old non wide angle, fixed focal length Kowa 60x. Nice views of bright objects in the night sky but on a dull day at the local reservoir definitely a bit on the dim side.
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Old Thursday 8th October 2015, 19:02   #13
Yann E.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaff View Post
Just to simplify this for future reference, I know TS610, TSN 1/2/3/4, TSN600/600 and the 82SV all share the exact same size bayonet fitting so all eyepieces made for each of these scopes are completely interchangeable but as Henry pointed out the magnifiactions will vary.
Hi all,

First of all sorry to revive a long-dead thread for my first post but I was looking for some info on Kowa EPs interchangeability and it seemed the best place to do so...

Although all these EPs share the same bayonet there's at least one incompatibility : the 20x-60x EP for 60 scopes I got with my TS-602 will not fit my TSN-3. The bayonet is actually the same but the 20-60 goes too deep and will hit the sealing glass of the TSN-3 before the bayonet reaches the locking plane.

On the other hand, my TSN-3 EPs (20xW, 30xW, 60x) fit the TS-602 perfectly.

Aside from this and to come back to what initially brought me here, if I understood correctly those EPs will also fit a TS-612, correct ?
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Old Friday 9th October 2015, 16:22   #14
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Hi,

that is quite strange as I have tested a TE-9Z (the current 20x-60x) on my TSN-3 body... it fit quite fine - as promised on the kowa web pages.

What type is your new zoom eyepiece? Also what type is your old 60x EP - didn't know there was one...only a rare 70x - or do you mean the old zoom?

Joachim
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Old Saturday 10th October 2015, 07:39   #15
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There are different versions of the TSN3...some older scopes are not sealed,and will not have a glass window in the mount,but newer versions,do have a glass window.The lettering in newer models include the word "prominar",written in red..maybe this fact explains the difference you guys found in the use of the zoom...
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Old Saturday 10th October 2015, 09:07   #16
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Hi,

thanks for the enlightenment - that would explain the difference. Mine is an old model with the Prominar lettering in white. Also what I see when looking into it w/o EP it looks a lot like the 45deg prism... not protective glass...

Joachim
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Old Saturday 10th October 2015, 15:24   #17
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Hi,

Mine (bought secondhand 6 years ago) has the red lettering, and the protective glass. I think this is the problem (if having a newer, sealed version can be called a problem ).

As for the 60x EP, I own 3 EPs dedicated to my TSN-3, all in old style golden box with "Kowa" all over, all with "TSN eyepiece" on the box, all of them marked "77" on the EP body. Those will fit both the TSN-3 and the TS601 (sorry, I wrote "602" previously but it's a 45 601). They are 20xW, 30xW, and the third is clearly a 60x.

I have seen a few TSN-1,2,3,4 on fleabay that were sold with this 60x EP so I assumed it was the standard high-mag EP of the time. I never saw a 70x.

The faulty (as far as interchangeability goes) 20x-60x EP was on the TS-601 when I bought it and has "60" on the body. No reference number, so I can't tell which model it is . If there are TSN-1,2,3,4 models without protective glass it will certainly fit those, but it is clearly some 6mm too long for mine.

BTW, what is the part number of the best, most recent Kowa zoom EP that will fit a 77 TSN-3 with protective glass ?
Considering that they seem to protrude rather deeply into the scope bodies, am I right in assuming that all the TSN-600 and TSN-660 EPs will not fit my glass-protected TSN-3 ?

I must admit I'm utterly lost in that sea of Kowa EP reference numbers and semi-compatibilities...

.
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Old Saturday 10th October 2015, 18:26   #18
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Hi Yann,

that's difficult to say. The Kowa webpage lists all current EPs for the 60, 66 and 82mm bodies as compatible to the TSN-3 and the TE-9Z I tried in a shop worked with my old style TSN-3 body, but I didn't buy it since I already had the opticron which I found nicer.

So either the Kowa site needs a correction or the zoom you own is not the TE-9Z.

Anyways I did some quick measurements of the distance between the flange of my eyepieces and the front element.

current Kowa 30x wide (TE-14WD): 19.5mm
legacy Kowa 20-60 zoom: 21mm
Opticron SDL v2 (from front element to rubber o-ring used as spacer): 18.2 plus maybe 0.5mm due to compressing the o-ring for a tight fit

The clearance between the flange on the body and the tallest part of the 45deg prism is more than 25mm.

Maybe you can measure the offending EP and the distance from the flange to the protection glass on your body and maybe somebody with a TE-9Z can measure that.

PS: I didn't know an old 60x EP but I once saw a closed ebay listing for a 70x... how is it - usable or more like the infamous legacy 20-60x?

Joachim

Last edited by jring : Saturday 10th October 2015 at 18:29. Reason: speling
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Old Saturday 10th October 2015, 19:52   #19
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I've got the old 60x eyepiece. It's perfectly usable, but not a patch on the new-style 45x. There is also a 77x astronomical eyepiece, which I think is the 70x you're thinking of. Never used that.
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Old Saturday 10th October 2015, 20:32   #20
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Thanks for the hint with the 77x - that's probably been it. And yes, the 45x wide - as unavailable as the 60x and the 77x...

Joachim
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Old Monday 12th October 2015, 16:02   #21
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I might have been unclear there : I was commenting on the compatibility list only because although the TS-601/602 scopes also share the same bayonet as the TS610 , TSN-1/2/3/4, TSN600 and 82SV series the EPs interchangeability is not complete and trying to use a TS-600 series EP (which is also marked "60") on the other "60" series listed (and the old "77" series) may lead to either a waste of money or worse a scope damage.

I do not own the TE-9Z, I own what appears to be a version of the old 20x-60x specially designed for the TS-601/602 and marked "60" (with a longer barrel than the typical old 20x-60x for TSN-1/2/3/4 wich is marked "77").
I do not own the original TSN-1-4 20x-60x "77" EP model but from all the pictures I have seen so far the 2 are identical save for one detail : the barrel of the "60" model is a few mm longer after the flange, making it unsuitable for TSN scopes with a protective glass.

This extra length is "dead length" as it serves absolutely no purpose (except maybe for baffling), just a longer tube than what is strictly needed to house and guide the optical groups. I suspect all this may have been either :

1) a move by Kowa to reuse old stock of the 20x-60x designed before the TSN-1-4 models incorporated a protective glass by simply rebadging them "60" to restrict their use to the non-sealed, buget scopes of the TS600 series. The shorter, "77" marked 20x-60x with the lenses flush with the mount would then be a newer, modified mount design adopted to accomodate the sealed versions of the TSN-1-4 series

2) or a deliberate move to have owners of TS-600 series scopes purchase a new 20x-60x ocular if they upgraded to TSN-1-4 scopes, but this would mean that the (non-sealed) TS-600 series and their "dedicated" 20x-60x were launched exactly at the time when TSN-1-4 scopes became sealed.

Anyway, at the end of the day it boils down to this : the old 20x-60x EP with "60" engraving and the lenses recessed into the mount (scope-side) at all magnifications is fully incompatible with late TSN-1/2/3/4 scopes with a protective glass and all later sealed models with the same flange to glass distance, whatever the Kowa site may say. Attempting to mount one could only result in breaking the protective glass and ruining the sealing of the scope...

As for the performance of the 60x eyepiece, it is quite usable and on the TS-601 it is much better than the 20x-60x at 60. Still, I would not describe it as stellar... From what I read about the TE-9Z and what you and others wrote about the performance of the 20x-60x Opticron EP at 60, I think trying to get hold of an old 60x may be a waste of time and money for Opticron and TE-9Z owners.
On the other hand, getting a secondhand sample around 60€ could be a wise move for owners of vintage scopes who need 60x but are on a limited budget and can't afford the Opticron or TE-9Z (I currently fit in this category, having just upgraded my microscopy equipment which as you probably know costs an arm, a leg + an eye !).

Last edited by Yann E. : Monday 12th October 2015 at 16:32.
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Old Monday 12th October 2015, 19:05   #22
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Originally Posted by mayoayo View Post
There are different versions of the TSN3...some older scopes are not sealed,and will not have a glass window in the mount,but newer versions,do have a glass window.The lettering in newer models include the word "prominar",written in red..maybe this fact explains the difference you guys found in the use of the zoom...
Hi,
Have been tying to date my recent purchase of a mint TSN 4 I know they were made from 86 to 96. So the earlier ones had all white lettering and the later ones some red lettering i.e. the name Kowa in red along with fluorite lens in red. Also at one point the name Kowa (in red) sat above the rest of the lettering while others had the name Kowa (also in red) along side the rest of the lettering. Any idea which came first the former or the latter!!
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Old Monday 12th October 2015, 19:39   #23
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Hi Yann,

thanks for the explanation - now things get clearer... and the Kowa site is most probably correct as they just state that the current EP lineup for the 60x, 66x and 82SV scopes is compatible to the TSN-1234 and TS-61x series.

Not sure what your mystery EP is - as for the tube being longer than necessary - on my legacy 20-60x zoom the front element slides back and forth inside the tube when zooming... if the tube on yours is still longer than necessary at all magnifications, carefully grinding down a few millimeters might be an option.

While we talk of my legacy EP - it's gathering dust since I have the Opticron (which gives 18-53x magnification on the TSN-3). If you can use it and want it, send me a PM with your snail mail address and I'll send it to you when I'm back from vacation. It's not great - especially past 45x - but sure better than no zoom.

Joachim
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Old Monday 12th October 2015, 20:16   #24
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Hi suppressor,

I think there's only two different versions of TSN-3/4 - an older and a newer one. The other differences are due to the fact that the two sides of the scope are labelled quite differently...

The older version (my example has serial nr. 120781) looks like this:
right side (from EP):
KOWA (logo centered in italics & red)
PROMINAR (in white large letters)
FLUORITE LENS TSN-3 (in small letters matching the width of last row)
left side (from EP):
PROMINAR tsn-3 (white large letters)
FLUORITE LENS (white small letters right aligned)

The new version looks like this:
right side (from EP):
KOWA (logo left aligned in italics & red)
PROMINAR (in white large letters)
MULTICOATED (white small letters) FLUORITE LENS (red small letters)
TSN-3 (small letters right aligned)
left side (from EP):
looks just like the right side except for the KOWA logo being to the left of the PROMINAR lettering instead of above

Joachim
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Old Monday 12th October 2015, 20:25   #25
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Hi suppressor,

I think there's only two different versions of TSN-3/4 - an older and a newer one. The other differences are due to the fact that the two sides of the scope are labelled quite differently...

The older version (my example has serial nr. 120781) looks like this:
right side (from EP):
KOWA (logo centered in italics & red)
PROMINAR (in white large letters)
FLUORITE LENS TSN-3 (in small letters matching the width of last row)
left side (from EP):
PROMINAR tsn-3 (white large letters)
FLUORITE LENS (white small letters right aligned)

The new version looks like this:
right side (from EP):
KOWA (logo left aligned in italics & red)
PROMINAR (in white large letters)
MULTICOATED (white small letters) FLUORITE LENS (red small letters)
TSN-3 (small letters right aligned)
left side (from EP):
looks just like the right side except for the KOWA logo being to the left of the PROMINAR lettering instead of above

Joachim
Many thanks Joachim its what I was looking for. My unit must be quite a late one ,serial number 164798.
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