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HR80 ED vs Kowa 823 (1 Viewer)

KBHC73

Well-known member
England
Hi, Just wondering if anybody has compared the above scopes? Would be very interested in hearing if so.

Thanks
 
I own an HRGAED80 and one of my birding pals owns an 823. Once I looked through it, I decided to upgrade and got an 88. Wider and more immersive fov, softer focus, etc. The HRGAED80 is still really good, the main difference was in relation to the fov.
 
Hi,

if you can get a good example of either used, they will be nice. The Opticron is huge and heavy due to the 5 element APO objective but there are lots of nice EPs... will be great with an SDLv3 or v4 up to 72x...

The Kowa is a bit lighter and has the famous fluorite doublet view that some optics nerds prefer... especially in astro circles... The eypiece situation is difficult, there was a 20-60 zoom, a 30x wide and a 20x LER for shooters iirc for the 820 series but all are rare, so getting a usable eyepiece along the body is important.
There is a (quite expensive at $100 or so) adapter from Kowa which allows using the small body EPs (which are readily available) but together with the adapter get expensive.

Joachim
 
Hi,

if you can get a good example of either used, they will be nice. The Opticron is huge and heavy due to the 5 element APO objective but there are lots of nice EPs... will be great with an SDLv3 or v4 up to 72x...

The Kowa is a bit lighter and has the famous fluorite doublet view that some optics nerds prefer... especially in astro circles... The eypiece situation is difficult, there was a 20-60 zoom, a 30x wide and a 20x LER for shooters iirc for the 820 series but all are rare, so getting a usable eyepiece along the body is important.
There is a (quite expensive at $100 or so) adapter from Kowa which allows using the small body EPs (which are readily available) but together with the adapter get expensive.

Joachim
The Baader zoom directly fits the Kowa 820 series and is readily available. I've been testing/using one on my Kowa 824 and it's a fine quite wide eyepiece. There is some pincushion distortion which I only noticed when I started phone scoping and it's not parfocal. The eyecup also rotates whilst zooming so not ideal for use with smartphone adapters. Still I'm really liking it so much I'll probably leave it on my 824 permanently.
 
Thanks for the info! I seem to be a bit torn between keeping my HR80ED & SDL v1, 27x, 38x HDF eyepieces. It's not that i'm unhappy with the scope at all, just that i'm wondering what is a lot better for not much money. I even thought sbout a Nikon ED82 with the 20-75x zoom & 30x MC II wide eyepiece but unsure if it's much of a step up from the HR80ED?

Thanks again.
 
Thanks for the info! I seem to be a bit torn between keeping my HR80ED & SDL v1, 27x, 38x HDF eyepieces. It's not that i'm unhappy with the scope at all, just that i'm wondering what is a lot better for not much money. I even thought sbout a Nikon ED82 with the 20-75x zoom & 30x MC II wide eyepiece but unsure if it's much of a step up from the HR80ED?

Thanks again.
Your choice of eyepieces sounds like a great set up to me. 27x is a good allrounder fixed mag. I used that ep on an MM4 and previously on an ES80ED. It's a nice wide bright view.
And the zoom is good for distant stuff.
How aboutj just upgrading to SDL V4?
 
I keep being swayed by the reviews i read of the Nikon ED82 & i know it's 25-75x has FOV issues but apparently makes up for it in image quality. My dilemma is how much better would the image quality be over the HR80ED & if it turns out to be minimal i'd be mad at myself! Is the latest SDL that much different to the 1st version? I'm sure i read the v2/v3 were optically the same but better FOV.

Thanks
 
Hi,

if you have a good example of the HR80ED, an equally good 823 or ED82 will be a sidegrade at a high price.. both are a tad lighter but nothing to fret about.
So maybe do a star test and/or compare with fellow birders scopes to get an idea if you current scope is ok, good or better and then decide.

If it is good or better, I would keep it and maybe point the urge for a new toy toward a high mag EP, a smaller body that can use the same EP lineup for longer hikes or sth entirely different - maybe a nice trip with lots of interesting birds to see abroad?

Joachim
 
Hi,

if you have a good example of the HR80ED, an equally good 823 or ED82 will be a sidegrade at a high price.. both are a tad lighter but nothing to fret about.
So maybe do a star test and/or compare with fellow birders scopes to get an idea if you current scope is ok, good or better and then decide.

If it is good or better, I would keep it and maybe point the urge for a new toy toward a high mag EP, a smaller body that can use the same EP lineup for longer hikes or sth entirely different - maybe a nice trip with lots of interesting birds to see abroad?

Joachim
Thanks a lot for the info/advice chap. In all honesty i think i will just stick with my HR80ED. I think i'm telling myself the other scopes will surpass it by miles when in reality it likely won't be the case.

Thanks again 😉
 
If it is good or better, I would keep it and maybe point the urge for a new toy toward a high mag EP, a smaller body that can use the same EP lineup for longer hikes or sth entirely different - maybe a nice trip with lots of interesting birds to see abroad.
Now that's a good idea. An MM4 50 or 60 for portability.
 
Now that's a good idea. An MM4 50 or 60 for portability.
This would also make you lower mags available to you. 17x fixed and 15-45x zoom. Low mag is great for better depth and also when viewing is hazy.
The 17x on my MM4 is wonderful.

Actually I am quoting figures for the MM60. Mag would be even lower on the MM4 50.
 
Thanks for the info! I seem to be a bit torn between keeping my HR80ED & SDL v1, 27x, 38x HDF eyepieces. It's not that i'm unhappy with the scope at all, just that i'm wondering what is a lot better for not much money. I even thought sbout a Nikon ED82 with the 20-75x zoom & 30x MC II wide eyepiece but unsure if it's much of a step up from the HR80ED?

Thanks again.
Believe me, the Nikon ED82 blows the HR80 out of the water in terms of image quality. And I'm not just saying that cos as you know I'm selling one 😊.
 

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