January 16th, 2013, 09:20 AM
New wide angle zoom eyepiece for Kowa 883
Just picked up on the forthcoming WA eyepiece for the Kowa Prominar 883 series. Hope it is good, though I note it starts at 25x (like the Leica and Swarovski), though it may not be quite as wide as some of the competitors.
Any news of when it might be available in 'the west', Paul?
http://www.kowa-prominar.ne.jp/news/te_11wz.htm - in Japanese, but a bit of tech info.
January 30th, 2013, 07:58 PM
more photos of eyepiece from Italy - it's getting closer to UK...
http://www.binomania.it/spottingscop...owa_TE11WZ.php - and from BF ' At the moment my first impressions are positive. Flat field to the edge, very bright and contrasted. Excellent apparent field of view! Thanks kowa!
March 7th, 2013, 04:58 PM
A new eyepiece is on its way to me from Kowa for review, so watch this space.......
March 17th, 2013, 01:35 AM
Will be interesting to see what you think about this Brian, looking forward to your review
Originally Posted by Brian S
March 25th, 2013, 11:18 AM
Have you got it yet Brian?
March 28th, 2013, 09:40 PM
I have been using the eyepiece as much as possible since I received it, comparing it directly with the new Swarovski 25-60x eyepiece on the 85mm module and with my old 20-60x eyepiece. Below are my observations based on this direct comparison in a variety of conditions.
Firstly, the quality of the image is fantastic! Alongside the Swarovski I have been sent it is subtly but distinctly sharper, with crisp colours and a slightly more contrasty image - my son who has better eyesight than me said that the Kowa was much better than the Swaro, but I thought it was a close call, yet the Kowa came off better in all conditions. There does not appear to be any colour cast (the two 'scopes are pretty much the same), and when panning whilst seawatching the image is natural with no odd artefacts; the edge-to-edge sharpness is perfect; and the angle of view is greater than the old Kowa 20-60x eyepiece (when this is set to 25x), but very slightly narrower than the Kowa - at 10m I measured the difference as being 6mm narrower in field of view compared with the Swaro. It is a fractionally longer eyepiece than the old, but with a larger eye-relief.
When zooming up the optical quality is excellent, if anything I felt it was better than the Swarovski at higher magnifications than at lower, and this evening whilst watching gulls and waders on the Blyth estuary, zooming up to 60x to watch very distant Knots and Bar-tailed Godwits (something I rarely do, as the image falls off too much for my liking) was a bit of a revelation. I still like the 20x lower end of the old eyepiece (see below), but the new is, in my opinion better - though my 20-60 eyepiece is obviously older..
As an owner of a Kowa anyway, I am set up for digiscoping, but I am not sure if the old digiscoping converter (TSN-DA10) works on it as the thread for the piece that screws on to the eyepiece seems different. However, as I don't use this and simply slip my converter over the eyepiece it worked fine. I still like a lower mag for digiscoping and found the the 25x low end of the zoom a bit inhibiting (I am like a bit of a scratched record on this...remember vinyl), but was able to take some shots that seemed to be pretty good - oddly, I got some fair shots simply holding my Canon 60D with 14-40 zoom straight to the eyepiece - see below.
In summary, Kowa have come up with a fantastic eyepiece and I can recommend it fully. To my eyes, it is better than the new Swarovski, with the 85mm module; I still like the fact that you zoom with the eyepiece as it seems to be very light and smooth and doesn't move the scope as much; I still prefer the focus on the Kowa being the two small wheels. Anybody owning a Kowa 883 should seriously think about trading up and anyone attracted to the Swarovski by the angle of view should now fully consider this as a great alternative.
Three images below: the eyepiece in situ; a shot with an adaptor and Panasonic Lumix; a shot with the 14-40 simply held to the eyepiece.