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Kowa BD XD Prominar 8x56 Binoculars: Impression

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#1 fjnlsa11

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Posted 19 April 2016 - 10:12 PM

I recently purchased Kowa BD XD Prominar 8x56 Binoculars and I was going to wait a while to post my feedback, but after tonight I felt the impulse. I am really enjoying these binoculars and so far I am very happy that I decided to buy them. I would have considered the 10x56, but they were out of stock and I wanted to get something that day. 

I had tested quite a few other binoculars at the store before deciding on the Kowa's. Unfortunately, it was daytime viewing, as to be expected.   So I had to go with my gut feeling, based on the price, how the Kowa’s felt in my hands and the smoothness of the focuser.

If I had a much bigger budget I might have gone for the Zeiss Conquest based on reviews and also getting to try them out.

I also tested and seriously considered the Fujinon FMTR-SX 10x50 (FMT-SX was out of stock).   I can see why the Fujinon have such high reviews -  but I didn't like how they felt compared to the Kowa's and they were priced over $300 more (with tax).   I realized I could have ordered the Fujinon binoculars cheaper online, but if possible I purchase from a store where I can test something before I buy.   I also checked out the Nikon Monarch 5 8x56, but they were higher in price and after limited testing, I preferred the Kowa’s.



#2 samovu

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Posted 19 April 2016 - 10:28 PM

And what or how do you use them? Daytime or nighttime? What targets?

 

How do they work with those tasks?

 

Cheers,

John



#3 fjnlsa11

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Posted 19 April 2016 - 10:34 PM

I tested them during the day as I do bird watching and they were fantastic, but I mostly use 8 x 42 for daytime. I use them at night, I like to do star gazing but I am still new to astronomy so I don't know much on identifying everything yet. I saw what looked to be a 'wicked' low flying comet streaming by the other night.   What finally sold me was this evening I was viewing the clouds in front of the bright moon and the contrast was amazing - as compared to when I used other binoculars and telescopes.    



#4 Pinac

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Posted 20 April 2016 - 12:28 AM

I am glad you enjoy your Kowa and wish you lots of fun and happy observations with them !!

 

I own the 10x42 model of the BD Prominar series and like it for their extremely compact size and light weight (it's the smallest current 10x42 bino I know), but find that despite Kowa's famous Prominar lenses the chromatic aberration is not very well corrected (maybe that's the price for the very short build?).

The other point that annoys me somewhat is the very fast focussing mechanism which causes me to "overshoot" the point of sharpness each time I try to find focus.

 

How would you rate these two points in your 8x56?

Pinac



#5 fjnlsa11

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Posted 20 April 2016 - 04:50 PM

Just following up on the issues you mentioned:

Keep in mind this is the first binocular I ever owned in the intermediate price range and it is still a relatively new hobby to me --  so my perspective is is based on less knowledge and experience, such as yourself.

As for the performance of the focuser, it seems to work fine for me as compared to other binoculars I have used.  I haven’t noticed any issues related to what you mention as of yet.  As far as chromatic aberration (CA), it's possible that it is occurring, but compared to whatever else I used, this gives me great views.    Are there other options in this price range that might give me better views and less CA, more than likely.   But I went with the selection of binoculars that I picked out at the store and factored in as I mentioned:  the price,  how they felt in my hands and the smoothness of the focuser. 



#6 Pinac

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Posted 21 April 2016 - 12:05 AM

......   Are there other options in this price range that might give me better views and less CA, more than likely.   But I went with the selection of binoculars that I picked out at the store and factored in as I mentioned:  the price,  how they felt in my hands and the smoothness of the focuser. 

 

And I think that's exactly what is relevant: check out a selection of binos, try them out, see how they feel in YOUR hands, how they fit YOUR eyes, and there is a big chance you will be happy with your choice. Thanks for your impressions.

Pinac




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