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Review of Kowa BD II 6.5x32 XD (1 Viewer)

MandoBear

Well-known member
I'm going to have to stop looking at this thread... I'm trying to save up for some woodturning equipment. |8)|
 

mwhogue

Well Known Member
Supporter
Mando,

Just this once I'll try to save a member some money, if only temporarily. Since you have and enjoy the Nikon ED II 8x30, based on my use and comparison, the two provide a *somewhat* similar viewing experience. The Nikon seems slightly brighter and sharper and of course more magnification. The 6.5 has a noticeably wider FOV and incredible DOF and image stability which produces a 3D/porro like image effect for me. So you could conceivably belay purchasing the 6.5 for the present. But you will NEEEEEEED the 6.5 eventually.

Mike
 

Torview

Registered User
Supporter
Very impressed with how long the Kowa remains usable around last light.

Today has been very dull and grey, last light at my location was 17.31 gmt, I found it still perfectly usable at 17.21 when I got back to my car after walking Ben.
 

mwhogue

Well Known Member
Supporter
Very impressed with how long the Kowa remains usable around last light.

Today has been very dull and grey, last light at my location was 17.31 gmt, I found it still perfectly usable at 17.21 when I got back to my car after walking Ben.

Torview,

To borrow an old phrase "You can say that again!"

Twilight here today was 6:01 pm CST. It was a dull completely overcast afternoon/early evening. At around 5:50 pm I spotted a big beautiful Barred Owl about 40 to 45 yards away sitting in a tree at eye level across the bayou giving a completely unobstructed view. I observed it until 6:13 - only then as the bird flew away did the rapidly fading light begin to compromise the image. The bird could still clearly be seen and easily identified but the image did begin at that time to gradually lose sharp detail and richly saturated colors.

I agree with your earlier post(s) as well. The 6.5 is a fantastic birding tool and a joy to use.

Mike
 

mwhogue

Well Known Member
Supporter
The close focus performance of the 6.5 is terrific as others mention. The listed spec of 4.25 feet may be conservative.

Mike
 

Gijs van Ginkel

Well-known member
Dear all,
In the most recent revieuw of the Leica Retrovid 7x35B I have also included a review of the Kowa 6,5x32. It can be found on the web site of House of Outdoor.
Gijs van Ginkel
 

lgguy

Well-known member
Impressive transmission for the Kowa, 90%. Surprising it really measures 6x. Is that based on measuring the exit pupil diameter?
 
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mwhogue

Well Known Member
Supporter
Thanks Gijs and Bob for the reference/link to the interesting review and nice pictures.

It's interesting that Kowa lists conservative specs for CF of 4.25' and ER of 17mm while Gijs' measurements find CF of 3.6' and ER of 20mm. Based on my experience with the 6.5, Gij's measurements are more accurate in both cases. On the other hand Gijs measures magnification at only 6.0 as opposed to 6.5 listed by Kowa. I have read several posts regarding various ways of measuring the "true" magnification of binoculars which can sometimes yield different results and/or different results at different distances (?) but am not technically savvy.
On a related note for example as I recall some BF members have remarked that the Kowa listed FOV for models of the BD II XD series other than the 6.5 may be overstated.
No real question here, again I just find it interesting or curious that Kowa listed some specs conservatively while listing others optimistically. Whatever the numbers on paper, the 6.5 is an excellent bin well worth considering.

Mike
 
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Canip

Well-known member
I like the new small wide field Kowa.

The only small „criticism“ I have with the 6.5x32 concerns its - for my eyes - less than ideal distortion curve („mustache“ type?) which leads for me to a slightly „uneven“ image with a less than ideal panning experience.

Gijs / anybody, have any of you noted something similar (I seem to remember that maybe Henry noted this too??)

Canip
 

Gijs van Ginkel

Well-known member
Canip, post 95,
I hope we speak about the same phenomenon, I will explain. Focus of the Kowa is on a curved plane, so when the center is sharp, the image at the edges is not, but that can be brought into focus by turning the focussing wheel. The effect of this is, that images in the center have a slightly different shape as the ones at the edge of the field.
Is that what you are referring to?
Gijs van Ginkel
 

Gijs van Ginkel

Well-known member
Henri, post 97,
I just checked, but I do not see (by eye, no picture) the distortion you describe in the reference you are referring to. Field curvature is fairly strong in the 6,5x32.
Gijs van Ginkel
 

dries1

Member
My opinion of the Kowa BD II line is that it affirms what I already know... You get what you pay for.

Andy W.
 

Canip

Well-known member
Gijs (post #96),
Henry is right, I did NOT mean field curvature (that‘s a completely different story...).
Canip
 

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