So is the Zeiss FL $600 better than this Kowa?
This is a personal decision about how much to spend JG.
I haven't seen transmission figures for the Kowa 33 but the 44 is about 6-7% behind the Zeiss Conquest, so if the 33 is similar then an FL might be worth the extra if transmission is really important to you.
But there is more than transmission to choosing bin and the Kowa (and Meopta 8x32 that I have also tested) make convincing cases for themselves.
If I was to say what could be improved on the Kowa it would be that the focus wheel could turn a bit more freely and could be a bit larger in diameter for better control, and yes, a bit more brightness wouldn't go amiss.
But Kowa, Meopta and the Zeisses are all worth every cent: you pays your money and makes your choice :t: