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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

KOWA TSN-99 PROMINAR and KOWA TE-80 XW- Binomania preview! (1 Viewer)

rpg51

Well-known member
Supporter
I see it for sale at a US internet dealer for $3,999 US. The 883 is $2,950 $2,850 US at the same site, which is what I just paid. So, its a grand $1,150 to go from 88 to 99.

I think I'll suffer through with my 883 and use the $1,150 toward another optic I've been coveting. I don't use a scope enough to justify the $2,850 I spent, let alone $4,000. Especially when the 883 is so darn good.

Edit to correct some numbers.
 
Last edited:

JerryLogan

Well-known member
$3250 at NY Camera Land without eyepiece, $4K including the new zoom. Not such a bad price if you already have an eyepiece. Also, you can get really, really nice astronomical eyepieces for a lot less than $750.
 

Jaykay5

Member
With the 1,6x extender, the 99 will result on a 48-112x zoom. You can use also 2 extenders but probably better would be to use a Baader Hyperion 2.25x barlow - would be needed an extra adapter to connect to the Kowa zoom. Barlow lens cells can also be used with the astro eyepieces mentioned by BoldenEagle and help to reach focus i.e. more eps can reach focus but magnifications will be higher.
Two eyes see more than just one and Kowa still didn't reply to the BTX - although having the Highlander - the BTX is more birding friendly than the Highlander since you focus both eyes at the same time and isn't so heavy. Probably is already possible to use a binoviewer with a Kowa 77/88/99 but the resulting magnifications would be too high for birding.
Your last version of the question is better made and the answer depends on your type of birding i.e. image quality will be better but only you can decide if it's significant enough to justify the cost difference!

David, I have a Pentax PF100 and find that with both the Baader 2.25x and Nikon 1.6x barlows I cannot focus further away... a shame, as they both give very 'sharp' viewing on closer objects. Not sure what solution there may be.
 

DRodrigues

Well-known member
David, I have a Pentax PF100 and find that with both the Baader 2.25x and Nikon 1.6x barlows I cannot focus further away... a shame, as they both give very 'sharp' viewing on closer objects. Not sure what solution there may be.
For using the Baader Hyperion barlow with 1,25" astro-eyepieces on a spotting scope you probably will need a Baader 1,25" extension tube (e.g. Baader extension tube 18mm) to reach focus - the 1,25" adapter that come with the barlow is larger than 1,25", eventually to prevent the barlow to reach the diagonal mirror and do damages, but should prevent reaching focus on most spotting scopes since it doesn't go inside of the scope as much it should...
The Nikon barlow cell isn't removable so nothing is possible to do to improve focusing on spotting scopes and it's the reason why I don't have one!
 

Steve O4B

Optics4Birding.com
The Optics4Birding review of the TSN-99 series is in progress and expected to publish next week.

I've seen several pricing questions in this thread. Kowa will begin shipping the 99X kits only on September 10, which means we will be receiving our first shipment on Monday 9/13. Separate parts will start shipping in October.

The only difference between the TE-11WZ and the TE-11WZ II is the magnification markings will have both 25-60 and 30-70 scales. The optics will be the same.

As others have noted, there are more improvements from the 880s than size and glass. I posted the following in the

Kowa TSN-99X satisfies my favorite kink...​

thread started by Bill Atwood:

The TSN-99 scopes kit with TE-11WZ II eyepiece is going to start shipping at $3999, so only $1 less. Release date from Kowa is Friday, September 10.

Other improvements also show that they've been listening. On the TSN-880s, the filter threads are on the end of the lens hood, so the filter, if used, is susceptible to lens flare. On the TSN-99, the filter threads are on the objective mount so the lens hood can still do its job.

The sighting groove on the lens hood has had a vertical bump added, making it easier to use.

I took side-by-side photos through an 883 and a 99A with my Panasonic Lumix G-9 and 20mm pancake lens set on the same manual exposure which shows the extra light throughput of the 99. The subject of the photos is a Kodak Gray Scale and a Kodak Color Control Patches card. The photos will appear in our review. We'll announce the review when it's posted.
 

Steve O4B

Optics4Birding.com
I just read binomania's review using Google Translate. There is one error that appears to be taken straight from FOV specs listed in the the Kowa literature: 37m @ 1000m = 37 yds @ 1000 yds -> 3*37' = 111' @ 1000 yds, not 117'.
 

Steve O4B

Optics4Birding.com
For those of you in Southern California who want to see the TSN-99A, you are welcome to stop by Optics4Birding during business hours. See hours and directions on our website.
 

kwikstaart

Well-known member
I couldn't find it but will my 20-60x and 30x eyepieces also fit on the 99? ( TE-10Z and TE-17W) And what will the magnification be?
 

Steve O4B

Optics4Birding.com
I couldn't find it but will my 20-60x and 30x eyepieces also fit on the 99? ( TE-10Z and TE-17W) And what will the magnification be?
Yes, they will all fit as they have the same mount. The 20-60x will be 24-70 and the 30x will be 35x. These are approximations, but are close enough.
 
Hello! I have lots of stupid questions because I am new to spotting scopes. I recently had a family member and avid birder bring a Leica APO Televid 77 to my house. I was absolutely enthralled by what I could see. I immediately said that I would go get one. I come to find that they haven't made that for some decades. I learned that after a hiatus, Leica made the Televid APO 82. I set out to get one of those. After stumbling across a few forums, I found people raving about Kowa scopes. The 883 was the most mentioned, but then I noticed that they had a new TSN-99. Bigger is better? Bumping from the Leica 77 to the Leica 82, and now wanting the very best I am looking at the Kowa. Is the TSN-99 better than the 883? Anybody compare? I am somebody who wants the best thing regardless of the price.
 
I have to ask another stupid question-- about specimens. People keep talking about specimens on the forums. Does that mean that one identical model scope coming from the factory is not as good as another? One was "made on a Monday" and one was "made on a Friday"? Is that what you are all talking about? For example... As if I bought a 2019 Chevy truck that was unreliable, and my brother bought the same model and year, but his was? I have no experience, and am just getting into birding so forgive my stupid questions.
 

Bill Atwood

Registered User
Supporter
United States
I have to ask another stupid question-- about specimens. People keep talking about specimens on the forums. Does that mean that one identical model scope coming from the factory is not as good as another? One was "made on a Monday" and one was "made on a Friday"? Is that what you are all talking about? For example... As if I bought a 2019 Chevy truck that was unreliable, and my brother bought the same model and year, but his was? I have no experience, and am just getting into birding so forgive my stupid questions.
Yes
 

Bill Atwood

Registered User
Supporter
United States
Hello! I have lots of stupid questions because I am new to spotting scopes. I recently had a family member and avid birder bring a Leica APO Televid 77 to my house. I was absolutely enthralled by what I could see. I immediately said that I would go get one. I come to find that they haven't made that for some decades. I learned that after a hiatus, Leica made the Televid APO 82. I set out to get one of those. After stumbling across a few forums, I found people raving about Kowa scopes. The 883 was the most mentioned, but then I noticed that they had a new TSN-99. Bigger is better? Bumping from the Leica 77 to the Leica 82, and now wanting the very best I am looking at the Kowa. Is the TSN-99 better than the 883? Anybody compare? I am somebody who wants the best thing regardless of the price.
Best is Swarovski ATX/STX 95mm. Kowa Prominar 99 is not yet available.
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia

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