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

Troubador

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I kinda got to terms with that carrying angle today. Everything else indeed compensates for it. Used it on dragonflies and crickets today, they are really fantastic for that!

Crickets like this Ephippiger?

Lee
 

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Ries

Well-known member
Nice! I actually meant grasshoppers...couldn't find the right English, sorry...is locust American?
 

Troubador

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Nice! I actually meant grasshoppers...couldn't find the right English, sorry...is locust American?

Actually in the UK we would call Eppiphiger a Bush Cricket. They have very long antennae, much longer than the small species that we call grasshoppers.

Locusts are a group of grasshoppers whose populations grow and shrink in cycles and when a population of them grows enough they migrate in swarms to find another place with sufficient food. Hence the phrase 'a swarm of locusts'.

The pic was taken in the Languedoc in the south of France and our first sighting of this species, which we had tried to find for several years, was of one that walked across a path right in front of us. Three years later we went back to the same place and another one did the same thing. That was the year we found the dragonfly Macromia splendens too!!

Lee
 

Ries

Well-known member
Pfff, I'll stick to Dutch in this animal category first, thank you, hard enough as it is! :p I'm starting to love these little critters, same for dragonflies...and spiders...and and and... :D
 

Troubador

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Pfff, I'll stick to Dutch in this animal category first, thank you, hard enough as it is! :p I'm starting to love these little critters, same for dragonflies...and spiders...and and and... :D

and, and fish! See pic of fish photo'd in France, we call Chubb in UK and snakes (the one in the pic has just swallowed a fish)!

Lee
 

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pbjosh

missing the neotropics
Switzerland
Lee, what snake is that? I don't know European snakes at all but it looks a bit physically similar to, and quite ecologically similar to, North American Nerodia, a genus of aquatic fish eaters.
 

Troubador

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Lee, what snake is that? I don't know European snakes at all but it looks a bit physically similar to, and quite ecologically similar to, North American Nerodia, a genus of aquatic fish eaters.

I am no snake expert but I believe this is Natrix maura, Cobra-de-√°gua-viperina, Viperine Water Snake.

Lee
 

pbjosh

missing the neotropics
Switzerland
I'm far from a snake expert but a bit of Wikipedia reading leaves me with the impression that Natrix do look superficially really similar to Nerodia with that striped lower jaw, the kind of big, friendly, frequently pale eye, and frequently aquatic habits.
 

Ries

Well-known member
I felt lucky yesterday to catch a grass snake (Natrix natrix) slithering from a path into the bushes! Awesome!
 

perdu

Member
BDii 6.5 x 32

I have a pair of Kowa BDii-XD 6.5x32 and love them but have a question. Look down the barrel and you will see the metal ring that protrudes into the barrel, I think its the prism frame. It's not blackened or finished in any way. Any one noticed this and does it effect the image adversely?

I don't like the short strap so I replaced it - no big deal.

About the snake above. It has round pupils. To my knowledge vipers have cats eyes pupils. As least they do in North America.

Best wishes to all.

Gary L
 
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Troubador

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About the snake above. It has round pupils. To my knowledge vipers have cats eyes pupils. As least they do in North America.

Best wishes to all.

Gary L

I think you are right Gary but the term 'Viperine' means it looks like a viper, not that it is one.


Lee
 

pbjosh

missing the neotropics
Switzerland
About the snake above. It has round pupils. To my knowledge vipers have cats eyes pupils. As least they do in North America.

While this is largely true for pit vipers in the new world, it's not a good idea to rely solely on one field mark, as many pit vipers can relax their pupil and it can appear quite round, and many nonvenomous snakes can constrict their pupil and appear cat eyed. I've seen a good number of photos of Agkistrodon (Cottonmouths and Copperheads) with round pupils - and these snakes are readily confused with nonvenomous Nerodia (Watersnakes). As well many boas (and I think anaconda as well) have slit eyes. Not venomous, but nasty bites all the same!
 

pbjosh

missing the neotropics
Switzerland
I have a pair of Kowa BDii-XD 6.5x32 and love them but have a question. Look down the barrel and you will see the metal ring that protrudes into the barrel, I think its the prism frame. It's not blackened or finished in any way. Any one noticed this and does it effect the image adversely?

I don't like the short strap so I replaced it - no big deal.

I don't see any bare metal in my 6,5x32, though I do see plenty of black surfaces that appear semi-matte finish, not as dark and non-reflective as in better binoculars. I'll post some photos from my cel phone looking into the objective end of mine.

As an aside, I also found the strap far too short to be useful and replaced it immediately.
 

pbjosh

missing the neotropics
Switzerland
Here are three photos from the objective end of mine. Both tubes of mine appear fairly equal.
 

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perdu

Member
Here are mine. In my Monarch 7 and pocket Zeiss Terra they are completely blackened. If this doesn't effect the image I'm not concerned but for 2 pennies worth of paint I'm not sure why Iowa chose to do this? I've never posted an image before so I hope this is correct

IMG_0911.jpg
 

perdu

Member
Does the above look okay for binoculars of this price? I have an M7 8x42. Tried them together yesterday and optical from my short comparison I thought they were very similar. I also have a Zeiss Terra 8x25. They were maybe just a fraction less sharp but the light was poor so not a fair comparison.
 

mwhogue

Registered User
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perdu,

I'm not an expert but your pics and those posted by pbjosh look just like my Kowa 6.5x32. So, If I understand your question, there does not seem to be any "defect" in your sample of the Kowa, it's just the way they are made and the level of attention given to blackening the interior.

I have several bins in the $400 price range and IMO the Kowa 6.5 x32 is good quality at that price level. However, not everyone who has tried them can tolerate the compromises to achieve the close focus and very wide FoV design which apparently result in glare and somewhat odd distortion.

Hope this helps.

Mike
 

perdu

Member
perdu,

I'm not an expert but your pics and those posted by pbjosh look just like my Kowa 6.5x32. So, If I understand your question, there does not seem to be any "defect" in your sample of the Kowa, it's just the way they are made and the level of attention given to blackening the interior.

I have several bins in the $400 price range and IMO the Kowa 6.5 x32 is good quality at that price level. However, not everyone who has tried them can tolerate the compromises to achieve the close focus and very wide FoV design which apparently result in glare and somewhat odd distortion.

Hope this helps.

Mike

Yes, thank you Mike, that makes perfect sense. I'm very happy with my Kowas. Started with the 8x32 but I did see they had quite a bit of flair, however I don't see much flair in the 6.5x32. I think they are much better made than the M7 8x42 but Nikon did blacken the tubes better and I can't think that costs more than a few cents. I agree with you, other than that they really are incredibly well made for the price. Also, the coatings must be extremely good because the 32 mm objective seems to collect about as much light as the 42 mm. If anybody is interested, I think Kowa have them on sale at the moment for $50 off in the US
 

fotbg

Member
Perdu,
my sample of the 6.5 looks the same. When I look at a bright light outdoors, I see glare in an "x" pattern radiating from the light. It may coincide with the unblackened metal rings that protrude into the barrel.

Other than the glare, I agree with the other comments that it is a great binocular to use!
 
I'm bothered by the idea that Kowa's magnification spec is off. I have not looked through these binoculars yet, but they do interest me. I had a thought which might explain this discrepancy: If Gijs's magnification measurement is based on objective diameter and exit pupil diameter, is it possible that prism size could somehow distort this measurement (and falsely suggest a different magnification than specified by Kowa). I realize that a truncated pupil would falsely suggest greater magnification not lesser... not sure where I'm going here, It's just hard for me to believe that either 1) Kowa is oblivious to the fact that they actually have a 6x instrument here, or 2) Kowa knows it's a 6x instrument and is tarnishing an otherwise good reputation by willfully misleading customers. Both of these possibilities seem unlikely, so I'm looking for a third explanation. Has anyone asked Kowa about this? If I'm way off, please school me.

Thanks,
~Stefan
 

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