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Stellarfire
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/10/11

Loc: Switzerland
Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline!
      #5398307 - 09/01/12 03:18 PM

As we know, Kowa offers to the users of the terrific Kowa Highlander 82mm binocular three eyepiece models:
21mm 21x/63°
14mm 32x/70°
9mm 50x/67°

Apparently, Kowa Japan - finally! - is understanding that a lot of astro-minded Highlander users worldwide are desperately awaiting some "high-power" eyepiece additions, yielding magnifications up to 100x, or even more. I too proposed the idea directly to Kowa Japan.
(Anyone who wants to forward Highlander-related ideas and wishes directly to Kowa, for example eyepiece focal lengths, aspherical lens design, eyecup design, etc.: Just use the Contact Form.)

Last week, I got good news directly from Kowa's Optical Systems Division, International Sales Department, in Tokyo, Japan: They informed me that actually, their optical designer was just travelling to Europe to research the astronomical market and discussing the needs with several dealers and distributors. He will be there again this month (September).

Kowa Japan confirmed me that also in Japan itself (a market with 127 million inhabitants), a lot of folks are enjoying astronomical observations with their Highlander giant binocular, and they are requesting Kowa the same eyepiece model addition. The demand reached the point to be heard and accepted by Kowa.

Kowa informed me that "new products may be expected" , without yet giving an exact timeframe. Anyway, things are rolling on now.

Thank you Kowa for hearing us!

Stephan


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The Ardent
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 10/24/08

Loc: Virginia
Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Stellarfire]
      #5398466 - 09/01/12 05:41 PM

Here is a piece of Kowa trivia: of the 40+ awards given, the Kowa is the largest binocular used to complete the Astronomical League Binocular Doubles observing program.

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Val'Easy
Vendor Val'Easy Cases


Reged: 12/27/10

Loc: France, Europe
Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: The Ardent]
      #5398511 - 09/01/12 06:26 PM

Good initiative Stephan!

I had a Kowa Prominar TSN-823 (spotting-scope) that has the same internal optical design than the Highlander : F = 450 mm D = 82 mm.
With a custom adapter I used Takahashi LE eyepieces on my Kowa Prominar :
Taka LE-5 => magnification 90x
Taka Hi-LE 3.6 => magnification 125 x
Taka Hi-LE 2.8 => magnification 160 x

They worked fine, with fine images of planets (but my current Swarovski apo 80 works even better with these Taka eyepieces).
I made a thread on a french birding forum, with pictures of my mounting, I can send you the link (but it's in french).

I tested a Kowa Highlander, if I well remember the size of eyepiece-holders is 1"1/4 but if I well remember too the Kowa Highlander
had less back-focus than the Kowa Prominar 82 spotting-scope.
Not sure these eyepieces would work on the Highlander.

Emmanuel


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Stellarfire
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/10/11

Loc: Switzerland
Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Val'Easy]
      #5399085 - 09/02/12 03:22 AM

Hi Emmanuel,

Yes, the Highlander accepts 1 1/4" eyepiece barrels. I just tested a Takahashi LE-5mm in it. Its barrel fits fairly close, but slight wobble remains. The fit is not close enough to hold by friction only, so the LE would fall out in near-zenith observing positions.
Furthermore, the original LE eyepiece barrel is too long for the original Highlander focuser: The eyepiece barrel touches the internal spring-loaded locking mechanism, keeping the eyepiece from being fully set in position. I measured about 5.5mm barrel overlength.

Your custom-made adapter for the Takahashi LE eyepieces sounds very interesting. Yes, please put your French thread link here into this thread. I think many Highlander folks will be interested in that link (Google Chrome's translator is sufficiently helpful to translate the French text into English).

BTW, the TAK TOA flight-case as delivered by you is outstanding. I still feel very impressed each time when I am looking at it, and in particularly by the quality and incredible precision of the cut-outs in the Plastazote case insert.



Stephan


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Val'Easy
Vendor Val'Easy Cases


Reged: 12/27/10

Loc: France, Europe
Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Stellarfire]
      #5399116 - 09/02/12 04:38 AM

Hi Stephan,

In fact I removed the barrels of the Tak eps for my Kowa Prominar TSN-823 mounting.
So the lenses of the internal negative doublet of the eyepieces were close behind the rear prism to allow focus to infinity.

I had to cut the barrels of the Tak eps (6 mm) for using them in my Swaro 80HD (they were to long too) otherwise I could not focus to infinity.

I have a Miyauchi BR-141 of a friend at home, he would like to have more magnification with it too, I'll see what I can do (maybe a similar mounting I made for my Miyauchi 100 to fit Pano 24).

The link about my custom-made adapter for Takahashi eps to fit in Kowa Prominar TSN-823 spotting-scope :
http://www.ornithomedia.com/pratique/equipemt/equipement_art62_1.htm

to read you're always happy with your flightcase and his Plastazote lining.

Emmanuel


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Stellarfire
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/10/11

Loc: Switzerland
Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Val'Easy]
      #5399148 - 09/02/12 05:35 AM

WOW! Amazing job, Emmanuel! The resulting magnifications 90x (LE-5mm), 125x (Hi-LE-3.6mm) and 160x (Hi-LE-2.8mm) are exactly what I am looking for in the Highlander.
I guess the fairly short eye relief of both Hi-LE's might cause some fogging problems on cool nights, so eyepiece heater straps (like Kendrick's) would be recommendable.

The dilemma with that adapter is, that the original focusers need to be removed, making the original Kowa eyepieces useless. For all those Highlander users out there who already encouraged themselves to spend a quite insane amount for three pairs of the original Kowa eyepieces, this might be a no-go situation.

Whilst I feel highly impressed by the quality and the results of your adapter solution, I think I too would prefer a solution which maintains the original focusers, so the original eyepieces may be used as well.

Anyway, your interesting report verifies the outstanding optical performance of the Fluorite optics of the Kowa Prominar TSN-823 spotting-scope (same optics as used in the Highlander binocular), capable to be pushed well over 150x


Stephan


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Binomania.it
super member


Reged: 05/20/10

Loc: North Italy
Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Stellarfire]
      #5399947 - 09/02/12 05:27 PM

Hi to all, I use often, on my Kowa 883, Televue Radian and some Chinese Planetary eyepieces. Luca Mazzoleni has built for me a specific adapter.
By the way, in my opinion it is much easier to modify and use third party eyepieces on a spottingscope.
If you will use no-standard eyepieces in a binoculars, you could have out of collimation problems.
The company, usually, collimated the binoculars for the enlargement allowed by their eyepieces (in the case of Kowa Highlander Prominar 32x82: 50X)
For this reason, the are only two remedies:
1) Use a binoscope, with a perfect collimation system, like, for example,the EMS of Matsumoto.
2) Wait that Kowa will produce the new eyepieces for their Highlander. In this way, they will inevitably guarantee you a perfect collimation of the binoculars.
If I you have a binoculars with 50X enlargements is quite impossible that these binoculars are perfectly collimated to 100X with ocular of third-party
Obviously this is only my humble opinion.
Best Regards from Italy
Piergiovanni

Edited by Binomania.it (09/02/12 05:30 PM)


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Stellarfire
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/10/11

Loc: Switzerland
Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Binomania.it]
      #5399967 - 09/02/12 05:45 PM

I like your "remedy no. 2": Wait for Kowa's new eyepieces...


Stephan


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Andresin150
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 08/14/07

Loc: Bogotá - La Calera / Colombia
Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Stellarfire]
      #5400752 - 09/03/12 09:35 AM

In an 82mm binocular I wouldn't like to go beyond 40x.. 50x is pushing the limits... for me.
The idea of using other eps is just to try to get better images according to these eps specifications... but to get higher magnifications, I don't think so, I would just get a telescope.
So if Kowa is working in new eyepieces, I just hope they make a wider AFOV, the possibility of using filters and sharp to the edge sets with similar magnifications that what they already have... well, and at least a set of very high magnification eps for you magnification junkies!


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Val'Easy
Vendor Val'Easy Cases


Reged: 12/27/10

Loc: France, Europe
Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Andresin150]
      #5400888 - 09/03/12 11:13 AM

Hello,

Stephan, yes binoculars like yours are first for wide deep-sky observations.
For planetary you have a big weapon : Tak TOA-150 with a binoviewer.
Possibly the Taka LE-7.5 (60x magnification in your Highlander if they work) but vs the Kowa 50x Wide I think there will be not a great difference, and the Kowa eps have more FOV.
The custom-made adapter I had made for my Kowa TSN-823 was for a spotting-scope use and planets observations.
Andresin150 is right, for my Miyauchi 100 I made customized adapters for using interferential filters and Panoptic 24 to enhance images not for increase magnifications.
With the Miyauchi BR-141 of my friend this is precisely that I will also favor too.

Stephan, you wrote : Kowa informed me that "new products may be expected" , without yet giving an exact timeframe. Anyway, things are rolling on now.
=> Do you know what would be the focal length?

I guess the interest you have for these short focal eyepieces is the transportability, but be careful to the resulting optical quality.
In high magnifications, binoculars with short ratio, even apo, don't work like a refractor...

Emmanuel


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Stellarfire
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/10/11

Loc: Switzerland
Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Andresin150]
      #5401490 - 09/03/12 05:14 PM

Quote:

In an 82mm binocular I wouldn't like to go beyond 40x.. 50x is pushing the limits...





One of the advantages of the Kowa Highlander is that the eyepieces may be easily changed. So why restricting the magnification range of that tack sharp 82mm Fluorite optics? Let that Highlander gallop to its real limits...

Stephan


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The Ardent
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 10/24/08

Loc: Virginia
Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Stellarfire]
      #5401511 - 09/03/12 05:25 PM

Ok, at 90x how will you mount them to keep the target in view? How will you track? Again at 90x we are in telescope territory.

I want two 82mm UHC filters in 95mm threads. Give me that.


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Val'Easy
Vendor Val'Easy Cases


Reged: 12/27/10

Loc: France, Europe
Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: The Ardent]
      #5401555 - 09/03/12 05:55 PM

Stephan, I'm sure Highlander can gallop beyond their initial limits. Push the limits, great temptation

When I say : be careful to the resulting optical quality, that is to say be careful with the resulting collimation through high magnifications. Kowa Highlander are binoculars...
It's the same with binoviewers and short focal eyepieces, it's better to have an upstream magnification and use eyepieces with middle focal length.

Emmanuel


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Tamiji Homma
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 02/24/07

Loc: California, USA
Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Val'Easy]
      #5401622 - 09/03/12 06:32 PM

Hi Emmanuel,

I've tested Kowa Highlander with Pentax XO 2.58, yielding about 178x.
Unfortunately, it does not come to focus to infinity so I only tested with
close distance terrestrial target and artificial star. So it isn't real deal.

Surprisingly, collimation is good enough to see merged image. It isn't designed for it but it did work. If it were coming to focus to infinity, I am not sure I would use the magnification

If Kowa is going to make a new eyepiece for Highlander, I would like them to make something as good as Docter UWA (11mm-ish, yielding 40x) optically but does not weight as much as Docter UWA 12.5 does.

Tammy


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Val'Easy
Vendor Val'Easy Cases


Reged: 12/27/10

Loc: France, Europe
Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Tamiji Homma]
      #5401738 - 09/03/12 07:49 PM

Hi Tammy,

Be careful collimation can be different between a short distance vs infinity.
Yes Pentax XO are back-focus hungry, I tested mine 5 and 2.5 on my ex-Kowa TSN-823 and on my Swaro ATS-80HD : they don't work.
On the other hand the four Takahashi LE short focal length eyepieces work.
But as I said Kowa Highlander has less back-focus than Kowa spotting-scope Prominar 82 so I think they don't work for infinity focus.
I don't know Docter UWA eps (they are rare here in Europe) but they seem indeed heavy when I look at their pictures.

Emmanuel


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Stellarfire
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/10/11

Loc: Switzerland
Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: The Ardent]
      #5402263 - 09/04/12 02:00 AM

Quote:

Ok, at 90x how will you mount them to keep the target in view? How will you track?




Tracking problems? I had them 35 years ago with my small Tasco 60/700mm refractor on that shockingly shaky alt-az mount. My object-finding and hand-tracking efforts on that sad chunk of metal called alt/az mount resulted in fairly questionable results ...

But seriously - I use the Highlander on Kowa's BL8J-MT center mount, a heavy and outstandingly rigid alt/az mount, allowing precise and smooth movements in both axes. I can not complain about any tracking issues when observing at 50x, so I am confident to do it as well at 90x.

Stephan


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Val'Easy
Vendor Val'Easy Cases


Reged: 12/27/10

Loc: France, Europe
Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Stellarfire]
      #5405191 - 09/05/12 04:12 PM

Hello Tammy,

Youd said : "If Kowa is going to make a new eyepiece for Highlander, I would like them to make something as good as Docter UWA (11mm-ish, yielding 40x) optically but does not weight as much as Docter UWA 12.5 does.

=> Did you reach infinity focus with Docter UWA-12.5 eps and Highlander binoculars?
I did not well understand, do you have a Kowa Highlander?

Emmanuel



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Tamiji Homma
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 02/24/07

Loc: California, USA
Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Val'Easy]
      #5405427 - 09/05/12 06:49 PM

Hi Emmanuel,

No, Docter UWA 12.5 does not come to focus to infinity with Kowa Highlander. I don't think that it comes to focus to infinity even after removing filter thread. If it worked, it would be wonderful...

If I place Docter UWA 12.5 on Kowa Highlander, it looks like this:



Tammy


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Val'Easy
Vendor Val'Easy Cases


Reged: 12/27/10

Loc: France, Europe
Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Tamiji Homma]
      #5405516 - 09/05/12 07:46 PM

Thank you Tammy!

Yes I think these eyepieces doesn't come to focus to infinity because of their internal negative doublet (I think they have one).
I have a pair of Swarovski 15.4 Wide (1"1/4 astro model) that are awsome in my binoviewer but does not come to focus to infinity when I fit them into my Miya Galaxy 100, even with shortened barrels or by removing eyepiece-holders (it's almost good).

Yes if Docter UWA 12.5 worked, it would be wonderful, and the general look of your Highlander with these eyepieces is very good.

Emmanuel


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CosmicEclipse
member


Reged: 06/10/11

Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Stellarfire]
      #5405922 - 09/06/12 01:19 AM

This is wonderful news! I've contacted Kowa multiple times within the last year complaining they need higher power eye pieces for the Highlander! Glad this is getting their attention.

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Stellarfire
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/10/11

Loc: Switzerland
Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Tamiji Homma]
      #5412762 - 09/10/12 03:54 AM

Quote:

If Kowa is going to make a new eyepiece for Highlander, I would like them to make something as good as Docter UWA (11mm-ish, yielding 40x) optically but does not weight as much as Docter UWA 12.5 does.

Tammy




Tammy, I fully second that idea.

Apart from that, what would you like to see as new "high-power" eyepieces for the Highlander? (Personally, I would be happy to see at least one Kowa h-p eyepiece yielding about 80-100x.)

Stephan


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CosmicEclipse
member


Reged: 06/10/11

Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Stellarfire]
      #5416611 - 09/12/12 02:53 AM

Quote:

As we know, Kowa offers to the users of the terrific Kowa Highlander 82mm binocular three eyepiece models:
21mm 21x/63°
14mm 32x/70°
9mm 50x/67°

Apparently, Kowa Japan - finally! - is understanding that a lot of astro-minded Highlander users worldwide are desperately awaiting some "high-power" eyepiece additions, yielding magnifications up to 100x, or even more. I too proposed the idea directly to Kowa Japan.
(Anyone who wants to forward Highlander-related ideas and wishes directly to Kowa, for example eyepiece focal lengths, aspherical lens design, eyecup design, etc.: Just use the Contact Form.)

Last week, I got good news directly from Kowa's Optical Systems Division, International Sales Department, in Tokyo, Japan: They informed me that actually, their optical designer was just travelling to Europe to research the astronomical market and discussing the needs with several dealers and distributors. He will be there again this month (September).

Kowa Japan confirmed me that also in Japan itself (a market with 127 million inhabitants), a lot of folks are enjoying astronomical observations with their Highlander giant binocular, and they are requesting Kowa the same eyepiece model addition. The demand reached the point to be heard and accepted by Kowa.

Kowa informed me that "new products may be expected" , without yet giving an exact timeframe. Anyway, things are rolling on now.

Thank you Kowa for hearing us!

Stephan





I am a little confused now because the person who responded to you said one thing, and now the person who contacted me said the following:


I'm Jim Danzenbaker, Sales Manager for the Americas at Kowa Sporting Optics.
I received your communication where you stated that you need more
magnification than 50x for the High Lander binocular. I do not foresee us
manufacturing eyepieces that go beyond the current maximum of 50x. However,
I have a solution that may meet your needs. I have a dealer in Arizona who
has created a digiscoping adapter that fits onto the Kowa High Lander
eyepieces. With that said, when you attach your camera to the adapter, you
can use any zoom feature on your camera which would magnify the image
through the High Landers. Benefits to this method are that you could see
the image through the LCD screen of your camera. However, it is only fitted
onto one eyepiece so you lose the "binocular" view. I don’t remember if
the adapter is for a point and shoot camera or an SLR. The contact
information for that account is:

Gila Valley Archery/Gila Outdoors
3660 W. Main Street
Thatcher, AZ, 85552
928-348-0710
www.gilaoutdoor.com
derek@gilaoutdoor.com


I still think it's great that there are additional toys to get for the Highlander, but that's not what I'm looking for personally.
Guess we'll have to wait for Kowa Japan for more info.


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Stellarfire
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/10/11

Loc: Switzerland
Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: CosmicEclipse]
      #5416645 - 09/12/12 04:07 AM

Quote:

I still think it's great that there are additional toys to get for the Highlander, but that's not what I'm looking for personally.




The same applies to me, no need for that digiscoping adapter toy.



Quote:

Guess we'll have to wait for Kowa Japan for more info.




Yes. My information in the OP came directly from Kowa Japan. For updated news, let us wait what Japan says.


Stephan


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Mark9473
Postmaster
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Reged: 07/21/05

Loc: 51°N 4°E
Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: CosmicEclipse]
      #5416676 - 09/12/12 05:24 AM

Quote:

I have a solution that may meet your needs. I have a dealer in Arizona who has created a digiscoping adapter that fits onto the Kowa High Lander eyepieces. With that said, when you attach your camera to the adapter, you can use any zoom feature on your camera which would magnify the image through the High Landers. Benefits to this method are that you could see the image through the LCD screen of your camera.




I wonder if that person has ever looked through binoculars.


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mark8888
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 09/24/10

Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Mark9473]
      #5416697 - 09/12/12 06:02 AM

Quote:

Quote:

I have a solution that may meet your needs. I have a dealer in Arizona who has created a digiscoping adapter that fits onto the Kowa High Lander eyepieces. With that said, when you attach your camera to the adapter, you can use any zoom feature on your camera which would magnify the image through the High Landers. Benefits to this method are that you could see the image through the LCD screen of your camera.




I wonder if that person has ever looked through binoculars.




Ya that solution isnt gonna meet toooo many needs.

The pictures of the Docters on the Kowa are awesome, too bad they don't work!! They look like they are made for it


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The Ardent
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 10/24/08

Loc: Virginia
Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: mark8888]
      #5417475 - 09/12/12 03:04 PM

Here's what the standard 32x eyepieces can do:

Burnham 1 in NGC 281: AB-C seen as elongated, D seen distinctly. Skytools gives AB-C as 3"

Eta Cas easy split

Zeta Cas: distinctive crispy metallic silvery color

Alpha Cas: a prime double for binos

Gamma And challenging but resolved

Nu-1 Lyrae: C component seen

Vega companion obvious

STT 391 resolved easily, mag 7.9 and 10.2, 16"
STT 393 resolved easy, 8.1 and 9.3, 16"
Both in field with AX Cyg

IC 4996: easy triple in rich field.

NGC 7027: tiny green disc

Blue Snowball in And: large blue disc

Eastern Veil Neb seen but not easy. Arm, hand, and fingers.

RW Cyg: redder than most carbon stars but just an M star.

Jupiter with 2 bands and 4 moons. Io easily as the smallest, Gany easy as the largest. Europa and Callisto guessed correctly based on distance.

All this done last night in the city red-zone skies, excellent seeing and transparency. Milky Way only visible in Cygnus as vague glow. Streetlight glare. Observations checked with Skytools 3.


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Tamiji Homma
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 02/24/07

Loc: California, USA
Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Stellarfire]
      #5418071 - 09/12/12 08:47 PM

Quote:

Apart from that, what would you like to see as new "high-power" eyepieces for the Highlander? (Personally, I would be happy to see at least one Kowa h-p eyepiece yielding about 80-100x.)




Hi Stephan,

Yes, high power eyepiece is welcome addition for sure. For planets/the Moon, I still go with refractor + binoviewer

I probably can enjoy more planetary nebula and globular instead.
I don't know you enjoy bright globulars like M13, M22 etc with Kowa.

They are surprisingly good even at 32x, 50x for 82mm aperture. Sure, it isn't 20"+ Dob view but considering the size, the view is impressive.

That is one thing I was surprised after I started observing with Kowa Highlander.

Tammy


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Val'Easy
Vendor Val'Easy Cases


Reged: 12/27/10

Loc: France, Europe
Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Tamiji Homma]
      #5418536 - 09/13/12 03:21 AM

Hello,

A little question:

Did someone already tried Kowa eyepieces with a Miyauchi?
Did they come to focus to infinity?

Emmanuel


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Binomania.it
super member


Reged: 05/20/10

Loc: North Italy
Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Val'Easy]
      #5418933 - 09/13/12 10:54 AM Attachment (78 downloads)

Hi to all. I am aware that these two astronomical eyepieces do not have a high quality. But I'm doing some tests with my old eyepieces and the Kowa Highlander. I saw that the old Celestron Ploss and the Silver series fit perfectly
Here are the photos!
Pier


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Binomania.it
super member


Reged: 05/20/10

Loc: North Italy
Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Binomania.it]
      #5418934 - 09/13/12 10:55 AM Attachment (80 downloads)

Second image

Edited by Binomania.it (09/13/12 10:55 AM)


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Binomania.it
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Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Binomania.it]
      #5487094 - 10/24/12 02:23 PM

Thanks the Photokina fair an engineer Japanese of Kowa gave me, by the Italian distributor, an adapter to use "some) astronomical eyepieces with the Kowa 883. It is a demo. You can see some pictures in my recent review.
http://www.binomania.it/spottingscope/Kowa_TSN_883_Prominar/Kowa_TSN_883.php
Today the Kowa Europe manager told me that I can discuss about this "demo"adapter with my friends on the web. So I think that Kowa will put it (improved)into production I think this is a first step from Kowa about the demands of their customers. I hope that sooner they will satisfy also Highlander owners


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Andresin150
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Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Binomania.it]
      #5505626 - 11/05/12 03:54 PM

Pier, with that adapter you think that maybe the Docter 12.5 UWA will come to focus?....

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edwincjones
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Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Andresin150]
      #5505952 - 11/05/12 08:50 PM

Quote:

In an 82mm binocular I wouldn't like to go beyond 40x.. 50x is pushing the limits... ............. but to get higher magnifications, I don't think so, I would just get a telescope.
..........................................




I agree
-binoculars are for lower power, wider FOV,
-telescopes are for higher power
at least for me

edj


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Stellarfire
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Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: edwincjones]
      #5506278 - 11/06/12 02:08 AM

The Kowa Highlander is my grab-n-go solution for all those nights when there is not enough time for a full set-up of the 6" APO refractor, or when just a short observing session is intended.

With this is mind, it would be nice to have extended magnification options in the Highlander, up to about 100x, or even somewhat more. The Highlander's 82mm f/5.5 Fluorite optics is perfectly capable to go well over 50x. So why limiting on the eyepiece side the full potential of that outstanding and expensive binocular?

Stephan


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Andresin150
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Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Stellarfire]
      #5506488 - 11/06/12 08:44 AM

Quote:

So why limiting on the eyepiece side the full potential of that outstanding and expensive binocular?



Maybe because you don't have tracking or Goto, and if you have, then you sacrifice their biggest appeal: their portability and ease of setup. (that's why I don't like changing eps, I preffer one "optimal" magnification and stick to it)
There is simply not an instrument that does it all. The Kowas and the Docters are among the very few that I think that are close to that; I feel like I don't need another pair of binoculars (with the Docters). Then for High magnification (detail, planetary, astrophotography...) a telescope is needed to do the job right, there you have lots of options, lots more than with binoculars. I'll personally go with no less than a 4" Tak, and 3 or 4 high end EPs, and I'm being conservative, after the Docters I don't like to haul and setup too many heavy things for observing. Big equipment belong to semipermanent or permanent setup in observatories, at least for me.


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Stellarfire
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Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Binomania.it]
      #5506929 - 11/06/12 01:42 PM

Today, the general manager of Kowa Europe informed me, that in all likelihood there will be NO new eyepiece from Kowa within the next 12 months.

But he confirmed again - as previously mentioned by Piergiovanni earlier in this thread - that Kowa is preparing astro adapters, allowing the use of non-Kowa astro eyepieces in the Highlander. Sounds interesting.


Stephan


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Andresin150
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Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Stellarfire]
      #5507158 - 11/06/12 04:17 PM

If they can make the Docter 12.5 UWA work with the adpaters, then there is no need of new eyepieces... but, after Tamiyis experiment, probably those wont work..

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Stellarfire
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Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Andresin150]
      #5507217 - 11/06/12 04:44 PM

I like the Docter UWA 12.5mm too (have a pair of them for my Baader Mk V in the refractor). One of my best eyepiece purchases ever.

But keep in mind that these heavy eyepieces will cause serious balancing problems in the compact Highlander. Personally, I would prefer something lighter.

Stephan


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Andresin150
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Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Stellarfire]
      #5507335 - 11/06/12 06:13 PM

The Docters are lighter than the Kowas... with a good head like the 501 or 503, I dont think there is going to be any problem at all...

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Stellarfire
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Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Andresin150]
      #5507818 - 11/07/12 01:23 AM

Quote:

The Docters are lighter than the Kowas





Hmmm...

Docter 12.5mm UWA = 525g
Kowa 14mm (standard in the Highlander, yielding 32x) = 205g

Andresin, are you refering to another Kowa eyepiece model?

Stephan


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Andresin150
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Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Stellarfire]
      #5508024 - 11/07/12 08:22 AM

No Stephan, I was refering to the whole binocular system with the eps, with a good head like the 501 or 503, I doubt 320g may unbalance it...
The Kowas, I don't know if with the eps or not weights 6.150g, the Docters with the 40x UWA eps (non removable, slightly diferent than the astro eps version that I would like to use in a Kowa) weight 4.850g.


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Andresin150
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Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Andresin150]
      #5508039 - 11/07/12 08:40 AM

And it is of great appeal to me, since at 40x in the Docters I have the same TFOV that at 32X in the Kowas, and sharp to the edge, and because their long eye relief I can take the whole Fov at once...

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Stellarfire
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Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Andresin150]
      #5508340 - 11/07/12 01:08 PM

The Docter Aspectem and its optical performance is da bomb, no doubt about it.

But when I had to decide between Docter's straight through and Kowa's 45 degree design, I decided for the second. Never regretted it. Even if the Docter delivers a slightly better edge sharpness, the 45° Kowa is more versatile.

Stephan


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Andresin150
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Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Stellarfire]
      #5510322 - 11/08/12 05:42 PM

Indeed, observing preferences will always come into play. For me, the 45 deg eps are the clear advantage of the Kowas for astro use, but the huge AFOV, and overall image quality of the Docters added to the fact that I observe a lot in daytime too made me prefer them. (And also because I was able to try them before buying, that was a big plus )

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Binomania.it
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Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Andresin150]
      #5628236 - 01/17/13 02:54 PM Attachment (32 downloads)

Hi to All. Kowa has send to me his new zoom wide eyepiece: KOWA TE-11WZ. This eyepiece is born for the spottingscopes and has a bayonet clamp

It has an apparent field very good. Almost 80 °AFOV at 60X. It has a great flat field.. I asked to Kowa Italy to know me if it's possible to change the attack of this zoom for kowa highlander.
You can find some images here http://www.binomania.it/spottingscope/Kowa_TSN_883_Prominar/new_kowa_TE11WZ.php
Best Regards!
Pier


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Stellarfire
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Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Binomania.it]
      #5628335 - 01/17/13 03:38 PM

Thank you, Piergiovanni, for the update!

According Kowa's Japanese webpage, the new TE-11WZ consists of two low-dispersion glass elements (use Google Translator to read the Japanese text).
It will be interesting to read more about this new zoom eyepiece in the Kowa Highlander (if the adaption becomes possible). And a comparo report between the new zoom eyepiece and the three fixed mag eyepieces would be nice.

Stephan


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Binomania.it
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Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Stellarfire]
      #5628416 - 01/17/13 04:27 PM

Hi Stephan, okay. I'll start to do all the tests tomorrow

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Sgt
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Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Binomania.it]
      #5628491 - 01/17/13 05:13 PM

I wonder how this compares to the Leica ASP zoom?

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Mark9473
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Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Sgt]
      #5628573 - 01/17/13 06:02 PM

Interesting eyepiece: 60-80° AFOV and 2.4x zoom range; 17mm eye relief.

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KennyJ
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Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Mark9473]
      #5628586 - 01/17/13 06:07 PM

Zoom eyepieces in a scope are one thing.

Binoculars could prove a little more taxing!

Kenny


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Binomania.it
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Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: KennyJ]
      #5629295 - 01/18/13 02:57 AM

Hello Kenny, you're right. The binoculars have a big problem with the zoom eyepieces : the collimation.
Anyway I'm pretty calm for two reasons. My exemplar of Kowa Highlander is perfectly collimated
We controlled it with a Zeiss collimator 4X. At 200X has a perfect collimation !
Luca Mazzoleni has not collimated my instrument. The Docter Aspectem 20-50X of my friend Konrad was well collimated. If Kowa would, could, use this zoom on the Highlander series I do not think that they would have problems to collimate the instrument at maximum magnification. Usually there are problems with eyepieces and economic binoculars.
In any way I want to specify that this is an eyepiece created for their series of spottingscopes. I asked kowa Italy if is possible a modification for the highlander series. I am waiting for a response


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Mark9473
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Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Binomania.it]
      #5629306 - 01/18/13 03:19 AM

Pier, do they have a 2" adapter to put this eyepiece in a telescope? I'm really looking forward to hear more about this one.

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Binomania.it
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Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Mark9473]
      #5629316 - 01/18/13 03:33 AM

Hi Mark. at the moment There is no serial adapter. I just wrote to the manager of Kowa Germany with my first impressions. I collect often the demands of amateurs and i send to companies. I will do this thing also.
As soon as I have a response I will alert you
Kind Regards from Italy and Have a nice week end!
Piergiovanni


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Stellarfire
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Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Binomania.it]
      #5629321 - 01/18/13 03:43 AM

Having already purchased all three Kowa fixed mag eyepieces for the Highlander, personally, I would prefer to see from Kowa another fixed mag eyepiece in the 70-100x mag range.

Stephan


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Rich V.
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Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Stellarfire]
      #5629672 - 01/18/13 10:49 AM

Quote:

Having already purchased all three Kowa fixed mag eyepieces for the Highlander, personally, I would prefer to see from Kowa another fixed mag eyepiece in the 70-100x mag range.




I think that's a reasonable maximum for an 82mm binocular; perhaps unreasonalbe to some...

82x would give a 1mm exit pupil. Less than that just seems to be pushing too hard, IMO.

Those of us with the 100mm Miyauchi Saturns wondered why the factory Miya eyepieces came in 33x, 39x, 55x and then jumped all the way up to 150x! A .66mm exit pupil is pushing these binoculars past their practical limits. The concensus was that 75x and maybe 100x eyepieces at maximum would have been a more useful limit. That range of mag. was never produced except as aftermarket eyepieces by Harry Siebert.

Even in a binocular with "perfect" optics, when you go over 100x, collimation has to be exceedingly precise and eyepiece axial alignment must be spot on as well. I'd expect the user would need individual collimation skills to insure the usefulness of the binocular at that point.

Rich


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KennyJ
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Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Rich V.]
      #5629835 - 01/18/13 12:07 PM

Thanks for the extra info,Pier.

Hope you enjoy the weekend!

Kenny


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Andresin150
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Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: KennyJ]
      #5629988 - 01/18/13 01:54 PM

Thanks Pier

I would like to have an ep similar to the Docter UWA 12,5mm,
something that would give 36x and more than 2.5 TFOV. Sharp to the edge. I'm not really interested in higher magnifications, just more quality..., althoug a good high magnification ep, say 75-80x seems appealing for terrestrial use...


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Anonymous
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Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Rich V.]
      #5632714 - 01/20/13 07:48 AM

........
Those of us with the 100mm Miyauchi Saturns wondered why the factory Miya eyepieces came in 33x, 39x, 55x and then jumped all the way up to 150x! A .66mm exit pupil is pushing these binoculars past their practical limits. The concensus was that 75x and maybe 100x eyepieces at maximum would have been a more useful limit. That range of mag. was never produced except as aftermarket eyepieces by Harry Siebert.

Even in a binocular with "perfect" optics, when you go over 100x, collimation has to be exceedingly precise and eyepiece axial alignment must be spot on as well. I'd expect the user would need individual collimation skills to insure the usefulness of the binocular at that point.

Rich




Sorry for the out of subject

On my Saturn III I've done same esperience about magnification:
Tv pl 40mm with some bend of electrical tape on the barrel, give me a marvellous 19x.

Tv pl 32mm after turning the eypices until the green writings, (2/2.5mm) some turns of tape on the non machined parts give me a good 23.5x.

Their own 19.2mm give 39x, the other Miyauchi 25.3 give 30x, the 14mm, gives nice 54x and the 5mm gives good 150x.

Too much space, so I tried some other solutions:
Tv pl 11mm, machined until neally oll the green writins dispare, the barrel must be 3mm longer, after some bend of tape on the unmachined barrel, give good 68x. Unfortunely the narrow field of the plossel after have use the precedings Er66° are quite bit unsatisfaid.

In the opposit so much good are the Naglers 7mm
Machined to have a barrel 5mm longher.
I though easy to do, looking at the long part chromium-plated, but was'nt, durin the turn machining, half of the eypice fall down .
The turner call me very afraid, luckely he did not knew the price of the eypice, I run tu him, and lukely enytings was irreparably, some other turnings, then glue to reconnect the parts
107.5x all the moon in the eypice, the best, that made a Saturn III far long away from every other.
Clear sky
Sergio

PS I tried also to take awey the thread for filter at the Nagler 3/6mm, but it das'nt make the barrel short inaf to reach focus. I'm not temerary inaf to kut more


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Rich V.
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Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: ]
      #5632980 - 01/20/13 11:04 AM

Hi, Sergio, welcome to CN!

Yes, there is always the option to modify existing eyepieces to fit these binocular telescopes that use proprietary eyepieces. Like you have done for your Miyauchis, others have modified Naglers in a similar fashion to fit the Kowa. You seem to be much more adventurous than most of us!

Thanks for sharing your experience with the Saturns! Here's the work of a gentleman in France who has had good success modifying his Miyauchis to accept other eyepieces. You may find it interesting.

http://www.valeasy.fr/accueil/fiche_technique.php?page=104

http://www.valeasy.fr/accueil/fiche_technique.php?page=91

I'm sure someone could work over a Kowa in similar fashion if they had the machine shop and experience to do such work. It's not for the faint of heart, though.

Rich


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Andresin150
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Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Rich V.]
      #5633340 - 01/20/13 02:33 PM

Tamiyi, you think that the Docter eyepieces are machineable to make them work with the Kowas?

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Anonymous
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Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Rich V.]
      #5633471 - 01/20/13 04:00 PM Attachment (47 downloads)

Quote:

Hi, Sergio, welcome to CN!

...... Here's the work of a gentleman in France who has had good success modifying his Miyauchis to accept other eyepieces. You may find it interesting.......
Rich




Hi, Rich, and everybody, it's not my first time on CN, since 2006 I come in, unlukely I'm unable to reach my old username Sergio E, so i've made a new one.

Europe is a so smoll land, so nearly evrithing about big binoculars, is quite easy to knew.
I lived for many years in France, and Miyauchis were for long time my fixsed idea.
Lukely the Saturn III solved the problem.
Good sky
Sergio


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Tamiji Homma
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Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Andresin150]
      #5633576 - 01/20/13 05:09 PM

Hi Andres,

No, I don't think you can use Docter UWA 12.5 on Kowa Highlander.
Docter UWA 12.5 needs 8.2mm inward focus distance than Kowa 14mm eyepiece. You would need to modify Kowa's visual back (more likely replace with something different).

As I mentioned before, TMB 92SS f/5.5 + Baader Amici Diagonal + Baader MarkV binoviewer + Docter UWA 12.5 gives you 40x, 2.2 degree TFOV, 2.27mm exit pupil.

Yes, it has lesser light gathering capability than Kowa but it gives you wonderful wide view by the Docter UWA 12.5 and it comes with better color correction and going higher power with Barlow lens in case you want to view the Moon, planets...



Tammy


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Andresin150
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Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Tamiji Homma]
      #5634481 - 01/21/13 08:26 AM

Thanks Tammy

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Binomania.it
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Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Andresin150]
      #5656116 - 02/01/13 10:55 AM

Dear Friends, yesterday i've received an update to Mr Reisner, the German Manager of Kowa Europe. Unfortunately he confirmed that is not possible to modify this eye-piece for usage on the Highlander. I am so sorry. Have a nice week end.Piergiovanni

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Stellarfire
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Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Binomania.it]
      #5656330 - 02/01/13 01:04 PM

Thanks for the update, Piergiovanni.

I am still hoping that Kowa will bring at least one additional eyepiece model (somewhere between 70-100x) for the Highlander.

Stephan


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Tamiji Homma
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Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Stellarfire]
      #5659889 - 02/03/13 12:25 PM

Hi Stephan,

It looks like Harry @ Siebert Optics started making eyepieces for Kowa Highlander.

You can pick 4.5, 5.0, 5.5, 6.0, 6.5, 7, 8.5, 9, 10, 14, 18, 19, 20, 26mm.

http://www.siebertoptics.com/Kowa%20eyepieces.html

Tammy


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Stellarfire
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Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Tamiji Homma]
      #5660064 - 02/03/13 02:12 PM

Hi Tammy,

Very interesting news, thank you for bringing this to the attention of us Highlander users!
Looking at the enlarged picture of the Highlander-compatible eyepiece on the webpage of Siebert Optics, it seems that the eyepiece barrel will not be locked by Kowa's proprietary spring-loaded locking mechanism. I will have to check with Harry Siebert about that point and how both eyepieces will be safely retained in the Highlander, when pointed to the zenith.

Stephan


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CosmicEclipse
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Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Stellarfire]
      #5667107 - 02/07/13 01:36 PM

I just talked to him and I was told the locking mechanism consists of an O-Ring on the eye piece cylinder which kinda adds grip/friction when inserted in the binocular.

Also he can manufacture the eye piece body from either Aluminum or Delrin AKA (Polyoxymethylene).
The glass is made by a 3rd party company.

I'm very tempted to buy the 4.5mm pair....

Maybe Kowa will wake up to this competition and hurry to make their own?


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Rich V.
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Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: CosmicEclipse]
      #5667145 - 02/07/13 01:58 PM

I have 10mm and 15mm Siebert pairs for my Miyauchis. The 10mm has a clever spring loaded delrin ball that holds it in place while the 15mm uses the more conventional O ring. The O ring makes a very tight fit and it's a bit hard to remove the eypiece from the focuser. A little lube would likely help but I don't like the idea of anything oily near the optics.

While the Sieberts don't have a fancy locking mechanism or slick finish like the Kowas or Miyauchis, they do seem to do a good job at a reasonable price. With the Kowas in particular, due to the very high price of their factory eyepieces, the Sieberts will save you a bunch of money; enough for multiple pairs if you like.

Rich


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Stellarfire
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Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Rich V.]
      #5667177 - 02/07/13 02:16 PM

Quote:

A little lube would likely help but I don't like the idea of anything oily near the optics.




I know one thing for sure: My Highlander will never be feeded with e.p's with oily or greasy o-rings and rubber particles from the o-rings itself. Will wait for the real thing from Kowa Japan.

Stephan


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Rich V.
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Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Stellarfire]
      #5667253 - 02/07/13 02:59 PM

Quote:

Quote:

A little lube would likely help but I don't like the idea of anything oily near the optics.




I know one thing for sure: My Highlander will never be feeded with e.p's with oily or greasy o-rings and rubber particles from the o-rings itself. Will wait for the real thing from Kowa Japan.

Stephan




Well, I hope you don't have to wait too long. Good luck!

You don't have to grease the O rings and I don't think rubber particles are an issue. I use a bulb blower to keep the face of the rhomb under the focuser free of dust or other junk. They're just binoculars, you know! Having eyepiece options just makes them more useful... Getting out and using them is the point!

Rich


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kcolter
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Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Rich V.]
      #5667401 - 02/07/13 04:16 PM

Are the prices for the Siebert eyepieces the price for a single eyepiece, or the price for a pair? Thanks

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Rich V.
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Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: kcolter]
      #5667544 - 02/07/13 05:37 PM

They are sold individually.

Rich


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Tamiji Homma
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Reged: 02/24/07

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Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Stellarfire]
      #5797712 - 04/14/13 12:07 AM

Hi Stephan,

I decided to try the shortest focal length eyepiece, 4.5mm Harry offers for Kowa.
I'll let you know how it goes.

Tammy


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Stellarfire
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Reged: 07/10/11

Loc: Switzerland
Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Tamiji Homma]
      #5797804 - 04/14/13 02:26 AM

Hi Tammy,

Nice to hear from you. I will be very interested in your findings on the 4.5mm Sieberts.

Stephan


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Rich Brady
journeyman


Reged: 04/11/13

Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Stellarfire]
      #5797957 - 04/14/13 08:37 AM

Piergiovanni.

Zeis Colliminator? How does that work? Cant find much information about it online.


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Ryuno
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Reged: 05/09/13

Loc: Tokyo
Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Rich Brady]
      #5869009 - 05/18/13 09:16 AM

Are there any news with respect to the announced Highlander-adapter for astronomical eyepieces?
I am expecting a Highlander Prominar at the end of May and have three pairs of Takahashi eyepieces, which I would love to try with my new binoculars.


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Tamiji Homma
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Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Stellarfire]
      #5895982 - 06/01/13 12:34 PM

Quote:


Nice to hear from you. I will be very interested in your findings on the 4.5mm Sieberts.




Hi Stephan,

They arrived yesterday. Unfortunately, I have to send them back to Harry today. It lacks of inward focus distance a few millimeters with Kowa Highlander.

Harry called me last night and we discussed about it. I'll send them back to him along with Kowa 9mm eyepiece so that he can confirm it works.

He said that he can turn it around quick. I hope I can report how it performs with Kowa Highlander in a few weeks.

PS: I did quick test them against Ethos SX 4.7, closest focal length eyepiece that I have with Pentax 100 SDUF II f/4. It did perform nicely.

Tammy


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Stellarfire
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/10/11

Loc: Switzerland
Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Tamiji Homma]
      #5896022 - 06/01/13 01:05 PM

Thanks Tammy, for the follow-up!

Stephan


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Ryuno
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Loc: Tokyo
Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Tamiji Homma]
      #5898157 - 06/02/13 04:40 PM

Quote:

Quote:


Nice to hear from you. I will be very interested in your findings on the 4.5mm Sieberts.




Hi Stephan,

They arrived yesterday. Unfortunately, I have to send them back to Harry today. It lacks of inward focus distance a few millimeters with Kowa Highlander.

Tammy




Hi Tammy
I just called Harry Siebert and talked with him about the Kowa eyepieces. I am curious to try his 6mm (75x) as a step up in magnification from the 9mm Kowas, and maybe later on the 4.5mm. Harry was talking about a spring loaded delrin ball that holds the eyepieces in place. Sounds interesting. Did your 4.5mm ones have this? How did it work? Do you have some pictures of the eyepieces and the locking mechanism you could possibly post?
Also, I am very much looking forward to your first observation report after getting the 4.5mm back.

Heinz

Edited by Ryuno (06/02/13 04:43 PM)


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Tamiji Homma
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Reged: 02/24/07

Loc: California, USA
Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Ryuno]
      #5898325 - 06/02/13 06:36 PM

Hi Heinz,

No, I didn't take photos of Kowa45 before I sent them back to Harry. When I get them back, I'll post photos.

Spring loaded ring is inside focuser. The O-ring is on eyepiece nosepiece. When you push the eyepiece into focuser, the O-ring goes in the spring loaded ring to hold the eyepiece securely in center.

You need quite bit of force to remove the eyepiece from focuser just as Kowa original eyepieces.

I couldn't come to focus to infinity but I tried closer target, a few hundred feet away. Image merged perfectly

Tammy


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Tamiji Homma
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Reged: 02/24/07

Loc: California, USA
Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Ryuno]
      #5929592 - 06/19/13 04:06 PM

Hi Heinz,

A pair of Kowa45s are back from Harry. Now it does come to focus to infinity

Here is photo, from left to right:
Kowa 21mm, Kowa 14mm, Kowa 9mm, Harry's Kowa45 field lens up, Kowa45 eye lens up with field lens cap on:



Closeup of Kowa45:


I'll try them later tonight.

Tammy


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Ryuno
sage


Reged: 05/09/13

Loc: Tokyo
Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Tamiji Homma]
      #5931038 - 06/20/13 10:41 AM

Hi Tammy

Thank you for the pictures. That's exciting. I am very curious to hear about your first experiences with them, especially for the night sky.

Did you have a chance to use them yesterday evening?

Heinz

Edited by Ryuno (06/20/13 10:42 AM)


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Tamiji Homma
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Reged: 02/24/07

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Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Ryuno]
      #5931161 - 06/20/13 11:55 AM

Hi Heinz,

Yes, I did first light with Harry's Kowa 45. Just half an hour early evening.
Seeing was lousy so I can't really say much from the observation beyond I can spot Cassini Division

I also did indoor test as I always do when I get a chance to try a new eyepiece. I compared the closest focal length eyepiece, Ethos SX 4.7 with Kowa 4.5.

Code:

Kowa 45 field stop 4.88mm, pseudo AFOV 62 degree
Ethos SX 4.7 field stop 8.93mm, pseudo AFOV 109 degree

pseudo AFOV = 57.3 * (field_stop/focal_length) degree



From indoor resolution test, I can't see much difference between two across the field but I do notice that Ethos SX 4.7 gives impression of higher contrast.

I will try to compare TSA102S+Amici Prism Diagonal + binoviewer against Kowa Highlander with Kowa 4.5.

To match power, I can choose:

Kowa 9mm gives 108x (with 1.19x GPC)
Delos 10, XW 10 give 97x

By the way, if you cut off filter thread cleanly, I think Ethos SX 4.7 comes to focus to infinity with Kowa Highlander. I am not planning to do it but wide AFOV is good for binoculars.

Tammy


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Ryuno
sage


Reged: 05/09/13

Loc: Tokyo
Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Tamiji Homma]
      #5932713 - 06/21/13 09:47 AM

Hi Tammy

Thanks for the report. Sounds interesting. What is the practical significance of pseudo AFOV? And what is GPC?

Any more observations? And how about the brightness of the eyepieces?
I think I'll wait for your results before taking a decision to purchase a set myself. I am vacillating between the 6mm (because of better eye relief) and the 4.5mm (because of higher magnification).
By the way, do you think, Harry's eyepieces can be fitted with standard 1.25 inch filters?

Hopefully soon you have better seeing.

Have a good star-filled weekend. Here in Japan it's still the rainy season and I am mostly confined to my skyscrapers. ( sigh!)

Heinz


Edited by Ryuno (06/21/13 10:29 AM)


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Tamiji Homma
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Reged: 02/24/07

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Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Ryuno]
      #5932866 - 06/21/13 11:48 AM

Hi Heinz,

The pseudo AFOV is calculated approximation of AFOV with zero rectangular distortion.
Well, zero RD is impossible. The P-AFOV is close enough most cases to represent AFOV, specially not too wide AFOV eyepiece.

GPC is Glasspath Corrector, Baader's Barlow lens. I usually use 1.25x GPC (measured 1.19x for most eyepieces) along with Baader MarkV binoviewer.

Yes, I observed Saturn last night. Seeing was much better. Saturn wasn't wobbling. When seeing was stable, it rendered quite nice image of Saturn. Cassini Division was well defined and I was able to spot 6 moons. It was bit hard since sky was brightened up by the Moon.

Regarding eye relief, spec says 10mm but I feel bit shorter than that. Takahashi LE 5 is more comfortable than Kowa45, maybe due to wider flat eyepiece top.

The Kowa eyepiece does not have filter thread. Due to eyepiece holder/locking design, I don't think you can use the standard filter with Kowa Highlander. I hope they design new binoculars with standard eyepiece use in mind, maybe with 88mm objective lens from their spotting scope, and flattener builtin eyepiece for the objective lens

I think Markus@APM had (has?) expensive filters fitted in objective lens thread (90mm?). I remember they cost over $1K U.S and are custom build.

About 6mm instead of 4.5mm, I think it is a good idea. Even though Kowa Highlander could go even higher power, I don't think that it is smart thing to do. I would prefer wider/brighter view with binoculars.

Tammy


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The Ardent
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 10/24/08

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Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Tamiji Homma]
      #5933416 - 06/21/13 05:54 PM Attachment (29 downloads)

The Highlander can use 95mm filters over the objectives. B&H has a large selection of 95mm polarizing/ UV/ Haze filters for cameras that will fit. Good for daytime use.
Pictured here are 95mm astronomical custom made Nebula Filters. Used in the city, bright nebulae like M42 are seen with a dark background instead of a milky grey background. Only 3 stars or the Trapezium are visible with filters. All 4 are easily visible at 32x without.
Bright but small nebs like 7027 don't benefit much, its a bright tiny green pea with or without filters at 32x.
In darker, semirural skies bright nebulae like M57 or 27 become larger with improved definition. NGC 7000 is seen with detail. One night when the Helix was invisible due to haze and low altitude, it became easily visible with the filters.
The filters are good on a handful of targets and in certain situations. Not a substitute for larger aperture or dark skies. I had the filters less than a year now, have not tested extensively. When the Milky Way comes back in fall-winter thats bino time.


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Ryuno
sage


Reged: 05/09/13

Loc: Tokyo
Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: The Ardent]
      #5935542 - 06/22/13 11:08 PM

Thank you, Ray, for the detailed info about the filters. Which one do you think would be best for me in the middle of Tokyo, where only the very brightest stars can be seen?

Best regards
Heinz

Edited by Ryuno (06/22/13 11:23 PM)


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Ryuno
sage


Reged: 05/09/13

Loc: Tokyo
Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Ryuno]
      #5935558 - 06/22/13 11:21 PM

Today during the day I tried to use the Highlander eyepieces on the Sky 90 Apo refractor. There was no problem with reaching focus.
Has anyone used these eyepieces at night for astronomical observations with a telescope?
How do they perform?
Heinz


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Tamiji Homma
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Reged: 02/24/07

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Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Ryuno]
      #5935734 - 06/23/13 01:44 AM

Hi Heinz,

Kowa eyepieces (9mm, 14mm, 21mm) for Kowa Highlander are very decent. They might not be the top notch but they are very good. I tried them with various scopes (f/4-f/11.5).

I observed Saturn using Takahashi TSA-102S + GPC 1.25x + MarkV + Kowa 9mm. I didn't do direct side-by-side tonight. I'd try when I get a chance.

However, I don't think Kowa Highlander + Kowa45 (100x) has any chance to beat TSA-102S + MarkV. When I did at 50x-ish power, it was the same. TSA-102S+MarkV won.

I think that it is good idea to stick with 50x or lower. Binoculars excel at lower/wider view

Tammy


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Ryuno
sage


Reged: 05/09/13

Loc: Tokyo
Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Tamiji Homma]
      #5984347 - 07/22/13 11:42 AM

A few days ago I jumped into the unknown and ordered a pair of the Siebert Kowa60 6.0mm eyepieces for the Highlander. Has anyone ever used these before?

Heinz


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Ryuno
sage


Reged: 05/09/13

Loc: Tokyo
Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Ryuno]
      #6003638 - 08/02/13 05:56 PM

Tammy,
Just look, what I found about using astronomical eyepiecess with the Highlander! Isn't this website a beauty. Just paste it into Google-Translate. Nothing short of sensational, in spite of the lousy translation.

http://www.geocities.jp/pureione/Hightlander.html

Heinz


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Ryuno
sage


Reged: 05/09/13

Loc: Tokyo
Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Ryuno]
      #6061100 - 09/03/13 01:57 PM Attachment (13 downloads)

Finally, the Siebert Optics Kowa60 6mm eyepieces for the Highlander arrived. I was very suprised about the low weight of the package, when it arrived and thought there must have been a mistake... until I opened it and found that the eyepieces are made of plastic. This is the first time I have seen plastic eyepieces. Is this the new standard?
Anyway the first impression was not favorable in comparison to the Kowa eyepieced, which are extremely solid and of a high bulid quality.
Later on the phone, Harry Siebert explained to me that he machines his eyepieces out of a special synthetic material which is light weight, yet more rigid, stronger and especially more stable than aluminium eyepieces.
They are held in the socket of the focuser by rubber o-rings. In the beginning I was hardly able to push the eyepieces in, but after I got used to it and found a few tricks given to me by Harry, things are running pretty moothly by now.
SO, how would they perform optically? I put them into use immediately, first on the night skyline of Tokyo. The picture is very sharp. Nothing to be desired here. It is rathe dark at the same time, but this might be expected considering the high magnification.
In the beginning it was impossible for me to merge the image. Butt then I found that they eyepieces were just tilted a little in their sockets. Pulling on them to both sides solved the collimation problem.

Next time I will test with real stars.
Until then best regards
Heinz


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Ryuno
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Reged: 05/09/13

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Re: Kowa Highlander: New Eyepieces in the Pipeline! new [Re: Ryuno]
      #6061102 - 09/03/13 01:59 PM Attachment (25 downloads)

Next image.

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