There appears to be a general consensus that the Kowa 883/4 is the best in its class and having looked through one, I cannot argue.
This makes me wonder about Kowa binoculars, both the BD and the Genesis, about which I have not seen any reviews (Have I simply missed them?). How do these models compare to other models in their respective price ranges such as the Pentax DCF and Swarovski SLC?
As alway, appreciate your comments and Happy New Year!
Kowa's biggest influence on the market has always been in spotting scopes, as you have correctly observed, but Kowa has never scored a home run in the binocular field. This is NOT a matter of performance or quality, as I have examined and tested many a fine Kowa binocular. I suspect it is more a matter of marketing on Kowa's part and also a matter of timing.
Kowa spotting scopes hit the market at a time when there was not a good selection of high end spotting scopes on the market. By the time that market got very competitive, Kowa already had a good toehold. There were no Zeiss or Leica spotting scopes and Swarovski and Nikon were just beginning to hit the market. Competition target shooters discovered Kowa spotting scopes, first, followed quickly by birders. In the sports optics arena, you have to make a splash with the hunting/shooting crowd and birders for an optic to really be successful and Kowa has been right there from the beginning.
The binocular market, though, is much more competitive than the spotting scope market and it is a much tougher market to penetrate. Kowa has donea bit better in the birding binocular market than the hunting binocular market, but they have a long way to go to catch up with the better known brands. As I said, though, they make a fine binocular and they do deserve more attention.
Kowa used to make a fairly affordable porro prism bino and, if you find a used one, it would be a good buy. The BD-32 and BD-42s are solid, Japanese made binos. Optics are good, but I do not rate them quite as sharp as a Pentax DCF SP. Still a very good bino and one I have recommended over the years, especially for their great handling. Hard binos to put down. The Genesis has superb optics, but sales have been hurt by the weight. I would like to see Kowa get the Genesis under 30 oz to be competitive with the other high end binos in its size range, but Kowa gets credit for going to a magnesium body to get the weight down to 33 oz. That is a considerable improvement over the first Genesis model. That one was a real tank. Optics, though, are right up there with anything made.
Thank you and Happy New Year Joannie.
As always, your comments are very much appreciated.
Yes, Kowa just needs to get more marketing, done. The Genesis is an excellent binocular and deserves more attention.
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We may add that brand at some point, but until we do, all info you can post is greatly appreciated