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TSN-550 durability (1 Viewer)

b-lilja

Well-known member
Curious about folks' thoughts about durability of these. I have broken two Nikon ED50s in too quick succession and just think they are too cheaply made for their own good - anyone have a sense of the Kowas? Obviously much more expensive than the ED50. This is for a second scope - Nikon ED82 is the biggie.
 

etudiant

Registered User
Supporter
Afaik, the Kowa has a polycarbonate body, much as the Nikon. I'd not expect a massive difference in durability.

A new ED50 body is available for about $300, a fifth the price of the Kowa with its non exchangeable lens. Perhaps just consider the Nikon body a disposable?
 

normjackson

Well-known member
Were the failures of the same component, I wonder? Failure of the helicoil was a well known problem early in its history. I think I've seen a photo of one which had come apart at the join. Ah, just found thread :
https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=159829

Expect you already know there are a few "likely more rugged than ED50" alternatives to the Kowa if you consider it a bit pricey for the intended use :
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/compare/Kowa_TSN-553_15-45x55_PROMINAR_Spotting_Scope_Angled_Viewing_vs_Nikon_Fieldscope_ED50_13-30x50_Spotting_Scope_Angled_Viewing_vs_Opticron_MM4_50_GA_ED_45_12-36x_Travelscope_Angled_Viewing_vs_Vortex_Razor_HD_11-33x50_Spotting_Scope_Angled_Viewing/BHitems/1349418-REG_426150-REG_1335798-REG_999169-REG

More details :
https://www.opticron.co.uk/our-products/fieldscopes/mm4-travelscopes/mm4-50-ga-ed45-travelscope
https://vortexoptics.com/vortex-razor-hd-11-33x50-spotting-scope-angled.html

Best of luck.
 

Tringa45

Well-known member
Europe
I've just checked a Kowa brochure on the TSN-550 series, but can find no mention of the housing material. Also drew a blank on the German website. Externally they are very similar to the 880 series, so I would expect magnesium alloy but there are anomalies. The Genesis 22 and 44 binoculars have alloy housings, whereas the Genesis 33 is composite.

I had a brief look through a 553 at Photokina a couple of years ago and, while it is optically excellent, it's very expensive for such a small scope. The permanently attached zoom eyepiece has a rather narrow FOV and is by no means comparable to the TE-11WZ 25-60x wide-angle on the 880 series. Personally, I would have preferred it with a fixed focal length wide angle eyepiece giving around 25x magnification.

John
 

etudiant

Registered User
Supporter
I've just checked a Kowa brochure on the TSN-550 series, but can find no mention of the housing material. Also drew a blank on the German website. Externally they are very similar to the 880 series, so I would expect magnesium alloy but there are anomalies. The Genesis 22 and 44 binoculars have alloy housings, whereas the Genesis 33 is composite.

I had a brief look through a 553 at Photokina a couple of years ago and, while it is optically excellent, it's very expensive for such a small scope. The permanently attached zoom eyepiece has a rather narrow FOV and is by no means comparable to the TE-11WZ 25-60x wide-angle on the 880 series. Personally, I would have preferred it with a fixed focal length wide angle eyepiece giving around 25x magnification.

John


The body material is polycarbonate according to Optics4birding.

https://www.optics4birding.com/kowa-tsn-553-15-45x55-prominar-angled-spotting-scope-body.html
 

b-lilja

Well-known member
Yep, the scope split right in half just like the one in that photo. It was a warranty replacement, only a couple months old. Not abused in any way.

Compared to my older Fieldscope IIs and IIIs, absolute POS. But it does work very well, when it works.
 

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