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Old Friday 6th March 2020, 16:11   #1
Daveycrockettt
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Thumbs up hello everyone

myname is david ,birding in USA,wanting to buy spotting scope for long distance birding, but on a budget have a older kowa tsn 882 20x60 but really not good after 30x was wondering about mini mak 90 celestron or opinions
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Old Friday 6th March 2020, 16:15   #2
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Hi Davey and a warm welcome to you from all the Staff and Moderators.

I've moved your post to the Telescope Forum, as they will be better placed to help you in there. I also subscribed you to the thread so that you will be able to find it easily; you will receive and email and can click on the link.

I'm sure you will enjoy it here and I look forward to hearing your news.
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Old Friday 6th March 2020, 16:48   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daveycrockettt View Post
myname is david ,birding in USA,wanting to buy spotting scope for long distance birding, but on a budget have a older kowa tsn 882 20x60 but really not good after 30x was wondering about mini mak 90 celestron or opinions
Hello David and welcome!

Can you tell us a little about how you plan to use the new scope? One reason good spotting scopes cost more than comparable astronomical telescopes is waterproofing and durability. Checking traffic at your feeder from the living room? Sloughing through Pisgah in spring rains?
A lot depends on what you want to do.
Best,
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Old Friday 6th March 2020, 16:56   #4
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Hi Davey and welcome to BirdForum.

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Old Friday 6th March 2020, 20:07   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daveycrockettt View Post
myname is david ,birding in USA,wanting to buy spotting scope for long distance birding, but on a budget have a older kowa tsn 882 20x60 but really not good after 30x was wondering about mini mak 90 celestron or opinions
Maybe you could try and find a good example of a Kowa 824 and use your existing eyepiece. A good specimen should be able to easily handle 60x power and with the fluorite lens of the 824 you should notice a distinct improvement over the 822.
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Old Saturday 7th March 2020, 00:45   #6
Daveycrockettt
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Hello David and welcome!

Can you tell us a little about how you plan to use the new scope? One reason good spotting scopes cost more than comparable astronomical telescopes is waterproofing and durability. Checking traffic at your feeder from the living room? Sloughing through Pisgah in spring rains?
A lot depends on what you want to do.
Best,
Jerry
Jerry thank you for responding, 1st correction kowa 821,not what i said earlier, so main use long distance birding like 1/4 to 1/2 mile,loons ducks grebes, will not be carrying long disan,thanks for inputtsnce,i believe c90 mak waterproof,
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Old Saturday 7th March 2020, 00:49   #7
Daveycrockettt
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Maybe you could try and find a good example of a Kowa 824 and use your existing eyepiece. A good specimen should be able to easily handle 60x power and with the fluorite lens of the 824 you should notice a distinct improvement over the 822.
Thank you sir for input, so i stand to be corrected as my scope 821,with zoom 20x60,so your saying look for newer kowa and use my eyepiece, sounds good, if i could find 1 at reasonable price
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Old Saturday 7th March 2020, 03:01   #8
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Originally Posted by Daveycrockettt View Post
Jerry thank you for responding, 1st correction kowa 821,not what i said earlier, so main use long distance birding like 1/4 to 1/2 mile,loons ducks grebes, will not be carrying long disan,thanks for inputtsnce,i believe c90 mak waterproof,
Hello David,

I think it’s likely that you won’t like the Mak 90 very much. In thirty years of birding I’ve only seen one scope of this design in actual use compared to hundreds of refractors such as your 821.

The Maksutov-Cassegrain design gives a narrow field of view, essentially 1/2 that of a comparable refractor at similar distance and magnification. The Celestron is “water resistant”, not water proof and rather dim compared to a refractor at similar distance and magnification. Finally, you’d most likely be confined to using single length eyepieces as the usual zoom lenses would offer a 50 to 156x magnification range which is not very practical for birding.

More on refractors if you’re interested. How much do you want to spend?

Best,
Jerry
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Old Saturday 7th March 2020, 11:10   #9
Daveycrockettt
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thank you Jerry, sounds like fieldof view is not too good, would be hard to find birds,my budget is small $ to answer that question,someone suggested a hyperion zoom mark 4 for my 821 and i do have a older still tsn-2 kowa with 30x eyepiece thank you for suggestions i cant say i have seen any mak 90s but trying to comeupwith budget performance
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Old Saturday 7th March 2020, 15:22   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daveycrockettt View Post
thank you Jerry, sounds like fieldof view is not too good, would be hard to find birds,my budget is small $ to answer that question,someone suggested a hyperion zoom mark 4 for my 821 and i do have a older still tsn-2 kowa with 30x eyepiece thank you for suggestions i cant say i have seen any mak 90s but trying to comeupwith budget performance
What is your budget for scope and eyepiece? Are you set as far as tripod and head are concerned?
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Old Saturday 7th March 2020, 16:00   #11
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Hi David.

I have a C70 Mini Mak.
It isn't very good.

I didn't know that there is a C90 Mini Mak, but I have a Skywatcher 90mm Maksutov. It is good in bright sunshine, but otherwise rather dim. My best magnification at 120m is 125x.
The problem with small mirror scopes is the large central obstruction and low contrast.
They are not waterproof and are rather fragile compared with a good refractor.

I used a 150mm Maksutov extensively for terrestrial observation and it was very good.

For distance work a 100mm ED Skywatcher astro refractor scope or possibly 80mm ED would give good results but not waterproof.

I would think that a 100x astro eyepiece might work well on your existing scopes.

The atmospheric conditions are all important.
Here I have no trouble using 100x or 120x but in many locations this isn't possible.
Usually mornings, late afternoon and Spring or Autumn are best.

Regards,
B.
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Old Saturday 7th March 2020, 17:23   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daveycrockettt View Post
thank you Jerry, sounds like fieldof view is not too good, would be hard to find birds,my budget is small $ to answer that question,someone suggested a hyperion zoom mark 4 for my 821 and i do have a older still tsn-2 kowa with 30x eyepiece thank you for suggestions i cant say i have seen any mak 90s but trying to comeupwith budget performance
David, if you want to stay under $300 or so then the best thing in my opinion would be to work on better eyepieces for the scopes you have. The 821 and tsn 2 are still very usable and can be used with more modern eyepieces for a nice performance boost.

If you watch auctions and sales you can also snag one of the used Nikon ED fieldscopes for $3 to $500. For the 1/4 to 1/2 miles you mentioned it’s probably wise to go with 78mm and above scopes, but the Pentax 65 can be also be purchased in the $500 range and they’re surprisingly good for the money.

It also pays to look over local ads like craigslist. I recently learned of an absolutely crashing deal on a Leica spotter from an estate. In general, used quality or used quality with a problem (scratched eyepiece for example) will be more useful and satisfying than something cheap from the start.

Best,
Jerry
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Old Sunday 8th March 2020, 10:07   #13
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Hi David,

first of all, welcome to BF.

Good advice has already been given - small and cheap Maks tend to be a disappointing experience, if you really want to go astro, a used ED80 is probably a good idea and will give good views at high distance. But it is neither light nor waterproof (same as with the Maks).

A good but not easy to find upgrade would be a Kowa 823 body (which is the angled fluorite version of your 821). You could continue to use your zoom and a good example of the 823 will be able to give sharp images at 60x.

My TSN-3 which is the angled fluorite version of your TSN-2 is quite nice at 60x and even beyond with the extender for the small body series (the extender will not work on the 820 series).

Or grab a cheap Nikon Fieldscope ED 78 with a higher mag fixed or the zoom.

Joachim
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Old Sunday 8th March 2020, 12:11   #14
Daveycrockettt
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I want to thank everyone for there input, the advice has been very good,and much appreciated,i will decide shortly,and yes $300 would be my limit,to answer Mr Attwoods question earlier i have 2 good tripods for each scope both bogen 3011 with threaded mounts, i want to thank everyone for advice, the flourite 823, 824, with my eyepiece, the doubler magnification on the tsn-2, the telescope recommendations ect thank you all i will respond more later but time to go Holy mass
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Old Sunday 8th March 2020, 13:44   #15
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Originally Posted by Daveycrockettt View Post
I want to thank everyone for there input, the advice has been very good,and much appreciated,i will decide shortly,and yes $300 would be my limit,to answer Mr Attwoods question earlier i have 2 good tripods for each scope both bogen 3011 with threaded mounts, i want to thank everyone for advice, the flourite 823, 824, with my eyepiece, the doubler magnification on the tsn-2, the telescope recommendations ect thank you all i will respond more later but time to go Holy mass
Hi,

the TSN-2 is, like your TSN-821, a plain glass scope and thus will have problems at magnifications beyond 30-40x. Please don't bother to get an expensive extender for that.
The fluorite versions of the single digit series were 3 (angled) and 4 (straight).

As with all Kowa scopes - last digit 1 = plain glass angled, 2 = plain glass straight, 3 = fluorite or ED glass angled, 4 fluorite or ED glass straight.
Fluorite was used in the single digit, 820 and 880 series. Others have ED glass.

Joachim

Last edited by jring : Sunday 8th March 2020 at 21:50.
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Old Sunday 8th March 2020, 17:37   #16
Daveycrockettt
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thank you Joachim i understand advice will not do[extender for tsn-2]but i do appreciate everyone,s input
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