• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

Advice on choice of ATX 85/95 vs Kowa 883 vs Harpia 85/95 (1 Viewer)

I've never had any luck with Osprey (or Marsh Harrier) there, although I have seen them migrating thru the Test Valley. Some people get amazing photos of them at Fishlake, that's for sure.
I just went through the same decision as the OP and ended up with the Kowa paired with a 500AH. I just don't see myself using the modular system of the Swaro and I hate chromatic aberration which the Kowa handles beautifully. The fact that I could buy the scope plus the 1.6x extender, plus case and tripod head and still come out less than the Swaro didn't hurt either! The 883/500AH is an almost perfect combo. The 500AH is a big head in volume, but doesn't way a ton and the pre-set drag is just about perfect. It was very easy to balance the scope using the spring balance and supplied manfrotto plate. On a recent day on the water, looking west into the sun (birds were backlit) there was zero and I mean zero purple or green fringing--just incredible!

My only complaints (and they're minor) is that it is not compatible with Arca-Swiss plates...I have lots of Kirk plates and none of them work. Second, the lack of rubbe armor is noticeable--the scope feels delicate and would certainly take on damage from even a small drop onto a hard surface. A Kowa canvas or neoprene case is a must (I have the canvas which is functional, albeit ugly).
...My only complaints (and they're minor) is that it is not compatible with Arca-Swiss plates...I have lots of Kirk plates and none of them work...
I have used short adapters like this one to use Arca plates with Manfrotto/Gitzo/Sirui heads with great success for many years. They are solid and super convenient.

I see that they now make full-length adapters which might be nice for some applications but in my experience not necessary as the actual clamping area of Manfrotto heads is usually short. Still, I think I will get one or two of these for future use.

Warning! This thread is more than 3 years ago old.
It's likely that no further discussion is required, in which case we recommend starting a new thread. If however you feel your response is required you can still do so.

Users who are viewing this thread