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1.6x extender coming! (1 Viewer)

DRodrigues

Well-known member
Nice!!!:t:
I hope it will be not expensive...
Kowa 88 models regained interest!
It's one more reason for Swarosvki produce a similar product for the Xline. The X95 has light enough to also go over 115x...o:D
 

Ratal

Well-known member
Nice!!!:t:
I hope it will be not expensive...
Kowa 88 models regained interest!
It's one more reason for Swarosvki produce a similar product for the Xline. The X95 has light enough to also go over 115x...o:D

It would have to go at the join mid body, and really would be a feat of engineering to take that strain. I'm looking forward to the first test results of the Kowa extender. This if results are favourable will be my set up.for.sea watching. Tried the Leica and it blew me away, just don't like the half buried focus wheels.
 

henry link

Well-known member
I suppose I shouldn't complain since these extenders from Kowa and Leica are better than nothing, but they would be so much more useful if they were built into the scope bodies. They could easily be designed to switch in and out of the optical train at the turn of a knob, with no need to change parts on the scope backs. Questar scopes have had internal switchable 1.6x Barlows built into the scope bodies for 60 years.

Also I'm afraid this announcement means that no new Kowa scopes can be expected anytime soon. I'd much rather see a new 95-100mm scope. It's been almost 10 years since the introduction of the current scopes.
 
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Vespobuteo

Well-known member
new 25-60 zoom with XD lenses last year, new TC this year,
kowa is working hard,

with Kowas fluorite lenses this one could work pretty good,
under good air conditions,

+ I love the music they use in their promo videos

:t:

but still missing KR-koatings on the 88/77 series,
strange that the cheaper scopes got it, but not the top scopes
 

DRodrigues

Well-known member
It would have to go at the join mid body, and really would be a feat of engineering to take that strain.
Nothing special. The problem is the optical design since in the X case, the extender is before the prism. Also it has to be thin since other wise the focus and zoom wheels will be too distant - I'm loving the X focus/zoom system...:t:

I'm looking forward to the first test results of the Kowa extender. This if results are favourable will be my set up.for.sea watching. Tried the Leica and it blew me away, just don't like the half buried focus wheels.
For high magnifications optics have a look at cr-telescopes at www.pt-ducks.com

Henry,
I'm with you, but if it will help Swarovski to produce something similar to the X line, you will have a 95mm with high magnifications...o:D
 

DRodrigues

Well-known member
Costs

Saw selling in USA at 385$ and in UE at 325€ - similar to Leica price...
Not cheap but better than nothing i.e. purchasing an top astro-eyepiece isn't cheaper and not so easy to adapt, besides you keep the zoom function!
Any one have / tested one?
I'm waiting for the Swarovsky reply...o:D
 

Vespobuteo

Well-known member
Saw selling in USA at 385$ and in UE at 325€ - similar to Leica price...
Not cheap but better than nothing i.e. purchasing an top astro-eyepiece isn't cheaper and not so easy to adapt, besides you keep the zoom function!
Any one have / tested one?
I'm waiting for the Swarovsky reply...o:D

the price is reasonable, for 40-96x,
but just wonder if it will work well for
more general use,
thinking about ER, FOV, DOF etc,
 

kabsetz

Well-known member
Vespo,

ER should remain the same. FOV for comparable magnification will be somewhat reduced, since at 40x it will have the same AFOV as without the extender at 25x, and zooms typically have an AFOV that increases with magnification. DOF will, as always, be directly related to magnification, so should be the same at 40x whether with or without the extender, but of course the depths of field attainable at under 40x mags will be unavailable when the extender is on.

But the main point with these kinds of extenders is not that they would be slapped on the scope and left there forever. Rather, you use it or not depending on what kind of situation you are in and what are your needs. Therefore, it expands your range of more general use, rather than limiting it. The magnification range of 25-96x available with this combo is nearly everything one could hope for for an 88mm high-quality scope. Only the sub-25x range is missing, as higher than 96x is unlikely to give any additional benefits in daytime use. For astro use, being able to reach 200x or thereabouts would be nice, but for birding 96x is fine. And it will show smaller detail further away than 60x, easily.

Kimmo
 

kabsetz

Well-known member
I had a first encounter with the Kowa 1.6x Extender on a Kowa 883 & 25-60x wide zoom today.

Briefly, it is excellent and just as good as could be hoped for.

- Very little additional light loss. When viewing through just the extender alone, against a brightly lit white glass shelf very much like a light table, there is barely perceptible darkening through the lens, almost none. So little that if the alternative would be a dedicated eyepiece with a 40-96 range, I doubt I could see a difference to the zoom-extender combo. Coatings look very good.

- Image quality looks just the same as with the eyepiece without extender at corresponding magnifications. I had limited time so did not check fields of view.

- Sharpness, contrast and illumination is limited by the scope, not the eyepiece-extender combo. And the scope is very good indeed and can easily take magnifications up to the 154x I tried (will get to that in a minute).

- Just as without the extender, the image is sharp from edge to edge, with exceptionally low levels of lateral CA. Of course, as magnification goes up, the later CA there is becomes easier to see, but there is so little that it does not become objectionable.

- The extender is very compact, and adds less than an inch to the overall length of the eyepiece. It mounts very solidly and inspires confidence. It threads onto the male thread at the base of the eyepiece bayonet, the same thread that Kowa's digiscoping adapter threads to. In order to facilitate the digiscoping adapter, there's another identical male thread on the extender, under a plastic cover ring that screws off. The eyepiece bayonets on the extender, and there's a small metal safety pin/latch to prevent accidental eyepiece removal. For intentional eyepiece removal, the knobby needs to be pushed towards the scope body, not pressed down, while turning the eyepiece. There's a white arrow on the extender body to indicate the direction of movement, but for those who do not read instruction or look for these kinds of things, there's a risk of breaking the pin by incorrect operation and excessive force.

- The big surprise for me is that these extenders can be stacked. Since there's that digiscoping adapter mounting thread, on it, you can mount a second adapter onto the first just the same as the first to the scope body, and can keep adding if you wish. I tried it with two, which gives a range of 64-154x magnifications, and the results were just as good as could be expected with a high-quality 88mm scope at those magnifications. It will take much more rigorous testing to evaluate how much useful resolving power one gets in daylight viewing with the 100x + magnifications, but for birders who wish to use their spotter for astro use the 883 with a double extender at 154x would be an excellent planetary viewing scope.

I'll do a detailed review later, with comparisons to my ATX 95, but I think I can already say that for those who have a good 883/4 and do serious birding, the extender is a no-brainer. I would personally also choose this combo over the Swaro ATX 85. Compared to the ATX 95, these two have slightly different strengths, so if I could afford it I may wish to have both. As it is, I will most likely stick to my superb ATX, but if I were coming into premium scopes from something less spectacular, I might have to think about the choice a bit.

Kimmo
 

DRodrigues

Well-known member
Thanks Kimmo. You are giving me ideas... :t:
I (we) need to have the Swaro reply to decide about the future options...o:D
I think that are members of CloudyNights that will be interested in your report!
 

Vespobuteo

Well-known member
Seems like Kowa did a good job!
And good news for Kowa-owners.
I have only tried the Leica-converter and it seemed surprisingly bright.

A 1.6x converter would give a light loss of approx. 1.3 stops (in photographic terms).
In daylight probably not that easy to detect by eye.
 
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JerryLogan

Well-known member
I had a first encounter with the Kowa 1.6x Extender on a Kowa 883 & 25-60x wide zoom today.

Briefly, it is excellent and just as good as could be hoped for.

- Very little additional light loss. When viewing through just the extender alone, against a brightly lit white glass shelf very much like a light table, there is barely perceptible darkening through the lens, almost none. So little that if the alternative would be a dedicated eyepiece with a 40-96 range, I doubt I could see a difference to the zoom-extender combo. Coatings look very good.

- Image quality looks just the same as with the eyepiece without extender at corresponding magnifications. I had limited time so did not check fields of view.

- Sharpness, contrast and illumination is limited by the scope, not the eyepiece-extender combo. And the scope is very good indeed and can easily take magnifications up to the 154x I tried (will get to that in a minute).

- Just as without the extender, the image is sharp from edge to edge, with exceptionally low levels of lateral CA. Of course, as magnification goes up, the later CA there is becomes easier to see, but there is so little that it does not become objectionable.

- The extender is very compact, and adds less than an inch to the overall length of the eyepiece. It mounts very solidly and inspires confidence. It threads onto the male thread at the base of the eyepiece bayonet, the same thread that Kowa's digiscoping adapter threads to. In order to facilitate the digiscoping adapter, there's another identical male thread on the extender, under a plastic cover ring that screws off. The eyepiece bayonets on the extender, and there's a small metal safety pin/latch to prevent accidental eyepiece removal. For intentional eyepiece removal, the knobby needs to be pushed towards the scope body, not pressed down, while turning the eyepiece. There's a white arrow on the extender body to indicate the direction of movement, but for those who do not read instruction or look for these kinds of things, there's a risk of breaking the pin by incorrect operation and excessive force.

- The big surprise for me is that these extenders can be stacked. Since there's that digiscoping adapter mounting thread, on it, you can mount a second adapter onto the first just the same as the first to the scope body, and can keep adding if you wish. I tried it with two, which gives a range of 64-154x magnifications, and the results were just as good as could be expected with a high-quality 88mm scope at those magnifications. It will take much more rigorous testing to evaluate how much useful resolving power one gets in daylight viewing with the 100x + magnifications, but for birders who wish to use their spotter for astro use the 883 with a double extender at 154x would be an excellent planetary viewing scope.

I'll do a detailed review later, with comparisons to my ATX 95, but I think I can already say that for those who have a good 883/4 and do serious birding, the extender is a no-brainer. I would personally also choose this combo over the Swaro ATX 85. Compared to the ATX 95, these two have slightly different strengths, so if I could afford it I may wish to have both. As it is, I will most likely stick to my superb ATX, but if I were coming into premium scopes from something less spectacular, I might have to think about the choice a bit.

Kimmo

Thanks Kimmo, that's a great report and good news!

Also, as a follow up to your stacked extender thought, it's now likely that a t2 adapter can be fitted to the extender which would allow for mounting an eyepiece holder and the use of any standard astronomical eyepiece, not just the Kowa.

Best,
Jerry
 

Boy Wonder

Warden - RSPB Lincolnshire Wash Reserves
So this is now out and in the field.... Think this would be a better investment than upgrading to the new zoom but wondered if anyone has tried it with the 30x? Would give a 48x and if it retains the clarity and qualities or at least has minimal drop off then this combo would blow any other fixed lenses out of the water. Ideal for seawatching and scanning the flat Lincolnshire expanses. Any reviews or digiscoped photos (especially with smartphones) would be much appreciated. Thank you
T
 

israel

Well-known member
So this is now out and in the field.... Think this would be a better investment than upgrading to the new zoom but wondered if anyone has tried it with the 30x? Would give a 48x and if it retains the clarity and qualities or at least has minimal drop off then this combo would blow any other fixed lenses out of the water. Ideal for seawatching and scanning the flat Lincolnshire expanses. Any reviews or digiscoped photos (especially with smartphones) would be much appreciated. Thank you
T

I have had mine two weeks and am very impressed.Coupled with the 883 and the older 20-60 zoom i don't see the need for the newer 25-60.:t:

Chris.T.
 

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