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Started by George Page, 10/31/2002 04:09PM
Posted 10/31/2002 04:09PM Opening Post
I just took the plunge and ordered the Kowa Highlander Prominar Binos. I was particularly swayed by the review Markus Ludes posted and appreciate his comments considering his broad exposure to high end equipment. Markus's comments about a third set of eyepieces also made me aware that they were an option eventhough they are not listed on the Anacortes site.

I noted several comments concerning the 1/4 inch instability on the Kowa mount and am considering a manfroto/bogen tripod and video head. I would appreciate any recomendations. Presently I am leaning toward a head with a handle to allow aiming the binos without putting torque on the binos which are attached with the single 1/4 inch bolt. Once again I wouild appreciate comments.

What filters are available and from whom may they be ordered?

Thanks for any help..

George Page

Posted 11/01/2002 05:41AM #1
Regards the mount you have to find your best solution. Maybe your dealer loan you the Kowa mount for testing, than you can make better decision.

The filters can be ordered by Sirius optics, who just finishing my own large 82 mm UHC and O III Filters. I mashine my own filtercell, but I am shure Sirius can make you also the cell for the filters

glad to see another one using the worldbest bino in future. let me know how you like it

clear skies


clear skies

Markus Ludes
Posted 11/01/2002 10:13AM #2
Hi George,

Congratulations! I know exactly what you went through because I am going through the same process. Like Erik, I am also considering the Vixen 125mm f/6.1 Achro for about the same price. Based on Markus' experience, I think your Kowa 82mm f/5.5 Apo will have superior image quality to the Vixen, but I am still having trouble getting past the 3.9mm to 2.6mm exit pupil disparity at 32x! But then the Kowa's will have easier setup and transportability... sigh.

Regarding the mount, have you considered the Universal Astronomics UniStar? It weighs about the same as the Bogen 405 geared head, but raises the binoculars further above the tripod, has adjustable tension and provides the handle that you are interested in. Note that I have zero experience with this mount myself, but maybe others do.

Please let us know when the Highlanders arrive and you have had a chance to enjoy them.

Clear Skies, Milt
Posted 11/01/2002 09:14PM #3

I use the Bogen 501 Fluid Head and the 3246 tripod with my 20X80mm and 25X100mm(8.5lbs) Super Giant binos. I like it very much. The 501 head is rated for 13.2lbs and the tripod 26 lbs. I am not sure if the tube weight of the twin 82mm Highlander exceed 13 lbs so you should check. I like heavy Bogen tripods with geared center column instead of fixed height tripods because I can adjust the height instantly. All Bogen tripods with geared center column have a non-rollback feature so you won't have to worry about your expensive optics crashing down when you release the center column lock. I selected the Bogen 3046/3246 tripod instead of the popular 3036(475) tripod because the 3246 have almost 19 in of center colummn adjustment. You can make large change in elevation without adjusting all three legs of the tripod. Both models will reach 7 ft when fully elevated.

The 501 fluid head has seperate teflon friction knobs and locking levers. You can increase the drag to match the weight of your Giant binos without locking it. It's like a smooth Dob mount that permits you the change the tension to match to weight of heavier eyepieces. Excellent design. There is a newer 503 fluid head which looks very similar the the 501 head but costs almost twice as much. I check out the 503 at a trade show about six month ago but I did think it perform that mcuh better. I paid just over $300 for the 3246 tripod and 501 head last year but I think price are somewhat higher now because the Euro exchange rate has gained ground vs.US$. Log on to the Bogenphoto web site and you can review all the models.

UA Unistar mounts are very nice too but I prefer the extra height adjustment of Bogen tripod. Invest in a good tripod because you can always use it for other scopes. Get an extra quick release plate and you will be able to change optics in 10 sec and save wear on the 1/4"-20 thread.

Good Luck and looking forward to your review on the Kowa.

Erik D