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KOWA Highlander Prominar versus APM 100-45 ED

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#1 Allardk

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 12:45 PM

My KOWA Highlander Prominar arrived  :)

Of course it rains !!

 

First impression. It is much smaller than the APM 100-45 ED. Perfect as that's the reason why I bought them. Perfect to take on board an airline. Builld quality seems very good.

 

Further testing will follow.....

 

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Edited by Allardk, 03 February 2016 - 05:12 PM.


#2 Allardk

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 01:12 PM

Here on a Manfrotto 475 B and 501 HDV head.

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Edited by Allardk, 03 February 2016 - 05:11 PM.


#3 Mr. Bill

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 03:04 PM

My KOWA Highlander Prominar arrived  :)

Of course it rains !!

 

First impression. It is much smaller than the APM 100-45 ED. Perfect as that's the reason I bought them. Perfect to take on board an airline. Builld quality seems very good.

 

Further testing will follow.....

 

The APMs may not be internally reverse engineered from the Kowas, but there is no question as to the styling copied right down to the trim rings on the dew shields.



#4 The Ardent

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 03:14 PM

AllardK

In a place where smooth talk is currency, you are a man of action. I salute you!

#5 Mark9473

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 03:46 PM

The APMs may not be internally reverse engineered from the Kowas, but there is no question as to the styling copied right down to the trim rings on the dew shields.

 

 

Didn't you mean "only the trim rings", Mr. Bill, honestly? ;)



#6 tropical

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 03:58 PM

I don't have that much money to own either let alone both. ;)



#7 Mad Matt

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 04:06 PM

Well you cant take it with you and the kids will only squander it on useless stuff  :grin:



#8 Mr. Bill

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 04:15 PM

Well you cant take it with you and the kids will only squander it on useless stuff  :grin:

 

Who says you can't take it with you.....you should see my tomb.

 

:grin:



#9 hallelujah

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 04:20 PM

Who says you can't take it with you.....you should see my tomb.

 

:grin:

Mr. Bill from his tomb.....

 

http://cache4.asset-...Jr2nzx+U8MwpxCG

 

Stan



#10 Allardk

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 04:28 PM

I am very curious how the Kowa will perform. Price wise the APM and the Kowa are about the same now, as you get good eyepieces with the Highlander. 

 

Maybe tomorrow night I do a first observation.....



#11 Mr. Bill

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 04:46 PM

Adding the eyepieces in as part of the total cost is a good point....if they gave both the 21x

and 32x eps as part of the package at the current price point, I would be severely tempted to buy the Kowa Prominar.

Certainly for airline traveling, the Kowa are preferable IMO.


Edited by Mr. Bill, 03 February 2016 - 05:03 PM.


#12 Allardk

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 04:56 PM

Yes. The eyepieces that came with the APM went straight in the bin :-)

Just ordered a Pelican 1520. Together it will weigh just 10 kg, so no issue to take it on board. 

:D


Edited by Allardk, 03 February 2016 - 05:08 PM.


#13 Rich V.

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 05:11 PM

For me, I'd want all three sets of eyepieces if I had the Kowa; they make a good range of mags.

 

The 1520 is a nice, solid case I trust; I use one for my eyepieces.  I'm sure it will protect the BT well.        :waytogo:

 

Enjoy those new Kowas!  They make a nice BT package and the size difference between them and a 100mm BT is striking even if the weights are similar.

 

Rich



#14 Allardk

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 05:17 PM

The Kowa without eyepieces weighs about a kilogramm less. It's a midget compared to my beloved APM :-)

In a while I might buy the 50x eyepieces. It seems most Kowa owners use the 32x most of the time.


Edited by Allardk, 03 February 2016 - 05:18 PM.


#15 tropical

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 05:19 PM

I'd only consider buying the Kowa (if I have enough $$)  because the advantages in birding, hunting, astronomy where the APM is only good in astronomy.  It is hard for me to justify spending $4000 to just look up the sky..



#16 Allardk

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 05:25 PM

The APM is good in daylight as well with the right eyepieces. I have the Pentax and they are excellent. The Delos 17.3 on the other hand shows too much yellow around the edge.

 

Most report though the Kowas are perfect for birding etc. A bit easier to take with you as well.

 

Price of the Kowa is going down. I bought mine from APM.....


Edited by Allardk, 03 February 2016 - 05:30 PM.


#17 edwincjones

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 05:39 PM

 

Who says you can't take it with you.....you should see my tomb.

 

:grin:

Mr. Bill from his tomb.....

 

http://cache4.asset-...Jr2nzx+U8MwpxCG

 

Stan

 

 

 

the tomb will be the big white dome in the darker corner

 

edj



#18 edwincjones

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 05:48 PM

........... It is hard ................. to justify spending $4000 to just look up the sky..

 

 

:bigshock:  :bigshock:



#19 Mr. Bill

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 06:11 PM

 

........... It is hard ................. to justify spending $4000 to just look up the sky..

 

 

:bigshock:  :bigshock:

 

 

Actually, it's priceless.



#20 range88

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 08:46 PM

18mm diffrence in objective, the 1.25' ep holder, above 2 is enough for a night watcher to make the choice.
For daytime users, that's another story. Bothhave advantages and disadvantages.

#21 Richard Low

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 11:00 PM

18mm diffrence in objective, the 1.25' ep holder, above 2 is enough for a night watcher to make the choice.
For daytime users, that's another story. Bothhave advantages and disadvantages.

 

It isn't just difference of 18mm in objective lens, it is a difference of almost 49% more light collected and higher resolution by the APM 100mm bino over the Kowa 82mm bino. Makes a significant difference for viewing deep sky objects.



#22 Mike Harvey

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Posted 04 February 2016 - 12:00 AM

Having travelled (by air) with the APM 100 APOs, I can truly appreciate the convenience of the KOWAs smaller dimensions!

 

I've compared the two binoculars, side by side, and they are very similar in deep sky performance. The only real difference (of course) being that the 100's go a little deeper and are somewhat brighter. Noticeable...but so close that, if you had the KOWA, you probably would not feel compelled to switch.

 

As for daytime birding and terrestrial...the eyepieces make the difference. With the 12.5mm

Docters, I would actually give the edge to the APM!



#23 Mad Matt

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Posted 04 February 2016 - 01:58 AM

All this waiting for good weather is killing me!  :p



#24 Allardk

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Posted 04 February 2016 - 02:27 AM

Both have their advantages.....and disadvantages.

 

I was quite surprised to read on CN how close the Kowa came to the Borg 100 ED. Closer than one would expect. Mike Harvey in a post above mine confirms that as well.

 

So the performance, size, weight, ease of inserting the eyepieces and being nitrogen purged made me buy the Kowa Highalnder. I will use them for travelling and take them to darker places outside Budapest.  I often stay North of lake Balaton at a very dark site between the hils. That will compensate the smaller aperture.

In the daytime I will use them for birding.

 

At home from the upstairs balcony I will use the APM. There it is also easier to change eyepieces, deal with humidity, deal with the size and weight. Realise the APM 100 ED is relatively light, only a kilogramm more than the Kowa but much bigger. 

 

For most people I thnk the APM 100 ED is the best choice. You can use a huge range of eyepieces, play with magnification and exit pupil as much as you want. The edge performace with eyepieces like the Docter 12.5 is amazing. The build quality is good as well. There's the 90'and 45 degree option. Size and weight are very manageable. Setup takes minutes.

 

I will take a few months to compare them and make notes. 


Edited by Allardk, 04 February 2016 - 04:48 AM.


#25 Richard Low

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Posted 04 February 2016 - 06:10 AM

Having travelled (by air) with the APM 100 APOs, I can truly appreciate the convenience of the KOWAs smaller dimensions!
 
I've compared the two binoculars, side by side, and they are very similar in deep sky performance. The only real difference (of course) being that the 100's go a little deeper and are somewhat brighter. Noticeable...but so close that, if you had the KOWA, you probably would not feel compelled to switch.
 
As for daytime birding and terrestrial...the eyepieces make the difference. With the 12.5mm
Docters, I would actually give the edge to the APM!


That is great performance for Kowa 82mm bino to give a similar deep sky performance as APM 100mm bino. I look forward to read Allardk's review of both binos side by side.


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