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Kowa YF series porro prism binoculars

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Old Wednesday 26th June 2019, 15:36   #1
42za
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Kowa YF series porro prism binoculars

Greetings and salutations to all , this is my first post on these forums.

I see that there is very little posted about the Kowa YF series so here are my thoughts on these binoculars.

I have the YF 8 x 30 bino , I actually wanted the 6 x 30 , but sadly these are not available where I live.
The 8 x 30 has however proven to be a very fine binocular indeed , and I am impressed with the overall view , clarity and resolution of these binoculars , they are well worth having.

Do the Kowas compare to my Swarowski 8 x 25 CL or my Leica 10 x 32 UVHD+ , NO OF COURSE NOT , but the Kowa continues to impress me , the more I use the Kowas , the more I like them .

As I cannot be the only owner of the YF , let us hear any other opinions , good or bad , from other owners.

Cheers.

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Old Saturday 29th June 2019, 16:26   #2
yarrellii
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Welcome to the forum from a fellow fan of the Kowa YF series.
However, I do think that the YF have gathered some interest and spurred debate around here. You can find many threads and references talking about them on this forum. Here are a few:

https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=278017 (vs Nikon AE 7x35)
https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=298150 (vs Steiner Military 8x30)
https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=218833 (vs Leupold Yosemite)
https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=264749 (YF 6x30 and Yosemite)
https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=280106 (Yosemite, Raptor and other siblings)
https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=223032 (looking for a WP 8x30 porro)

When I discovered that a 700+ gram 8x42 simply could not be my main birding binocular I decided to try the inexpensive 8x30 YF while I decided which way to go (more than a dozen binoculars later -some of them pretty good-, I'm still deciding ). What can I say; I was simply blown away by the value. As you say, these are not the best binoculars out there (nor are they meant to be), but for little more than 100 $/€ they are simply outstanding, to my not-so-experienced eyes. So much so, that these are the binoculars I recommend whenever anyone asks me (and I've already given a few as a present!). My mum has the 6x30, also great. Actually, now that I have some nice 8x30/32, maybe I wouldn't buy the 8x30 again and stick to the 6x30 instead, because the 8x30 is a bit redundant (it's my glovebox unit at the moment, and whenever I use it... it simply puts a smile on my face; the view, the tactile quality and feeling). Perfect.
I just wish Kowa could make a YF+ series, at twice (even three times the price) with better optics and especially beter focus wheel (the weakest point of the device for me). Imagine a 300 €/$ YF+ with a little wider FOV, better focus and same weight and shape. A dream that would make the Nikon E2 pale in comparisson (until now, the E2 is my most used binocular).
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Old Sunday 30th June 2019, 11:31   #3
42za
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Hello Yarrellii , thanks for the links , I missed most of them.

Yes it would be nice if Kowa would make an improved YF series using less plastic , imagine a porro made by them that could compete with the Swarowski Habicht and the Nikon Eii (neither of these is available in my country) , particularly if the price could be kept at approximately 500 US Dollars , that would be something.

Kowa is fully capable of making such a binocular , but this will probably never happen.

Then there is the question of the 7 x 35 porro format LOL.

Well we can dream can't we.

Cheers.
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Old Sunday 30th June 2019, 11:57   #4
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Ohhhhh, a 7x35 Kowa YF-Plus, now that would be a dream. Mind you I don't mind the plastic body of the YF, it it helps keeping the weight down (there are terrific "plastic" binoculars out there, like the Zeiss FL). :)
Daydreaming... so nice.
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Old Wednesday 18th December 2019, 16:58   #5
42za
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Hello All,

An update.

I spent a few hours today using my Kowa 8 x 30 YF Porro in the field.
The day was dull and overcast , but this little binocular took everything in its stride and performed admirably despite the 8 x 30 format , I am still very pleased with this binocular.

I will be keeping these as they supplement my other binoculars well.

The only small niggle that I have is that the binocular is on the light side and is sometimes hard to hold steady , other than that they are good , and their price make them a very good buy in my opinion.

It is not a Leica , Swarovski , or Zeiss-------------BUT THEN HEY---------one does not expect them to be.

Cheers.
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