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Bushnell vs kowa

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Bushnell vs kowa

Postby Guest on Wed Mar 22, 2006 12:04 pm

HI. kowa http://www.opticsplanet.com/kowa-60mm-h ... copes.html with either the 20x60 zoom eyepiece or the 30x fixed

Second scope is the bushnell elite 20x60x80 ed

Good optics are a MUST as is build quality What one would you suggest?

I know the bushnell will be heavier and bulkier but that dosen't matter so there is no need to mention that

What scope has better optics. The scope will be used for long range terrestrial observation and birding. Thank you for your advise. :D
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Postby opticsplanet.com on Wed Mar 22, 2006 1:01 pm

Hi

If you are looking at the 60mm Kowa, in either the standard or ED version with the 20-60x, Z9B eyepiece, I would rate it as every bit as good as the Elite, despite the Elite's larger objective. In my tests, the standard Kowa 60mm, 601, scored higher than any standard 60mm spotting scope yet tested and tied the Elite. I recommend the Kowa highly.
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Postby Guest on Wed Mar 22, 2006 1:21 pm

Boy, this is a tough decession. I am leaning toward's the Kowa but here is the deal. I would like to also use the scope for some casual astronomy in my backyard. also I am wondering how much of a difference the extra 20mm of apeture on the bushnell would make under lowlight birding conditions. My experience with binoculars tells me that 20mm is alot when it comes to low light situations, but for the anwser i will leave that up to you Jonie. :D
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Postby Guest on Wed Mar 22, 2006 1:26 pm

BTW forgot to mention that this is indeed the non-ed version oif this scope
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Postby opticsplanet.com on Wed Mar 22, 2006 4:16 pm

HI

Either can be used for some limited astronomy. I often use a Kowa 663 (66mm) spotting scope for a grab and go astronomy scope and love the crisp, high contrast images it produces. I've also had fun with the Elite. Make your choice, though, on the basis of your primary use.
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Postby Guest on Wed Mar 22, 2006 5:22 pm

how much of a difference does the extra 20mm of apeture make for low light birding and astronomy?
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Postby opticsplanet.com on Thu Mar 23, 2006 9:35 am

Hi

You are most likely to notice the extra 20mm at higher magnifications under very low light conditions for birding. For astronomy, you may detect some fainter nebulae with the larger scope and perhaps resolve a few more stars at the edge of some clusters.

Personally, I regard the weight issue to be more significant. You not only have the scope weight to consider, you also need to consider the added weight of the heavier tripod needed to steady a larger scope. Overall, you can cut your weight nearly in half by staying with a smaller scope and tripod combination. If you will be throwing scope and tripod over your shoulder and moving around a lot, you will quickly appreciate the lighter weight of the Kowa. Remember, a scope left in the trunk of the car because you got tired of carrying it, is too much scope.
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Postby Guest on Fri Mar 24, 2006 10:19 am

Thanks Jonie for all your great anwers :) I apperciate it. Now, I only have a few more question's for you and then I will be on my way. I do understand that, in a spotting scope of this price, as the magnification goes up, the image quality. I have had a b&l elite 15x45x60 spotting scope in the past and what i have learned is this. There were days when I could crank the power all the way out to 45x and still get a good image, but then there were also days were the wind and atsmopheric turbelence wouldn't let me get past 15x. So yes, I am quite aware how the atsmophere plays a very signifigant role in viewing through a spotting scope. I was wondering, with both scope's side by side on the same day, which one of these scopes loses image quality faster as the zoom increases? I would love to have the kowa, but my knee jerk is telling me that the 80mm objective of the elite is going to be an advantage, but I could be wrong. Maybe the great optics in the Kowa non-ed would be able to compesate for this?

Regarding the weight issue, I assure you that I am not the type of birder that throws a tripod and scope over my sholder and goes out hiking. Most of my birding occurs in my backyard (15 acres of woodlands) and I also have a view in my backyard similar to this here http://www.murdoch.edu.au/ciee/pages/Fa ... 20View.JPG so most of this scope's viewing of going to be for long range terrestrial observation. Besides, being 6'0 250lbs has it's advanteges, like being able to carry large scope's :) Anyway your professional opinion's are greatly apperciated. I have very sure that these 2 scope's are my best choices in this price range, and after eating beans for 2 months saving for this scope, I can't afford to make a big mistake. And it's getting really frustrating trying to decide, so I am open to all suggestion's you have Jonie.
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Postby opticsplanet.com on Sat Mar 25, 2006 2:48 pm

Hi

Glad to help.

Not going to be a huge difference bewtween these two as to image quality, but I'd give a slight edge to the Elite for overall image brightness. I'd give the Kowa an edge in the accessories department, though. You have a greater selection of eyepieces and camera adapters with the Kowa, should you want to do some photography.

To be honest, you'll do fine with either scope, but try to add some lettuce to your all bean diet, though.
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Postby Guest on Sun Mar 26, 2006 5:24 pm

Ok I am going with the bushnell. There is just one last thing that i don't understand. How is it possable for the little kowa to look equally as good as the bushnell? Reason being is that the bushnell has ED-glass AND a bigger objective (80mm), so how can the little kowa keep up? Aren't ed glass and bigger objectives always advantges?
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Postby opticsplanet.com on Mon Mar 27, 2006 1:39 pm

Hi

Yes, increasing objective size and/or adding special glass does improve performance, assuming equal lens and optical quality. You can never assume equal optical quality though, when dealing with different brands or even different models within a brand. If you could, I would probably be out of a job and everything would be much simpler.

The larger Elite is certainly a good performer for its price and I am not afraid to recommend it, but I would not rate its optical quality to be quite as good as the Kowa or, for that matter, a standard glass version of a small Swarovski, Leica, Zeiss and so on. Optical quality is one reason why the zoom eyepieces used on these scopes cost nearly half the price or more of the Elite, scope, eyepiece, case and all.
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Your personal optics expert
Joanie (Jne) K
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Phone: (888) 263-0356
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Postby Guest on Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:18 am

I personally own the Kowa TSN 661 (66mm), angled, nonED and love it. The image through the scope is super crisp and the focus wheel velvety smooth. I am very happy with my Kowa, just my 2 cents.

Jeff
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