Friday, February 18, 2011
Kowa Prominar TSN-884 Spotting Scope
OK. This is all crazy.
Last summer we were at a friends house, and having a discussion over dinner about how tough it is to do field work properly, when one's field equipment gets destroyed (some natives in Nanaimo took exception to the bird surveys we were doing, and shot my scope with a 12 gauge) and the jobs aren't paying enough to replace gear. I realized during this discussion that I have been working with a scope for the past 5 years, that barely even functioned any longer, but, I really could not afford to replace it. And spending 8-12 hours a day trying to read leg bands on Brant, or monitoring migrant raptors for wind farm proposals, can have really negative effects on the eyes. Even in the few days I've done Brant surveys this year, my scope has been killing my eyes.
I never would have put 2 + 2 together.......
A few weeks back, our friend Lyndia contacted me because she was looking for a new spotting scope, and wanted some advice as to which one to buy. We went through the pros and cons of various models, and the e-mails went back and forth for weeks. At some point, Lyndia asked me, "If you were buying a scope, and price wasn't a factor, which one would you buy"? That's an interesting question, because that isn't usually how I think about these things. I thought about it for awhile, and decided that the best scope I had looked through in the past few years, was the Kowa Prominar TSN-884, but I felt I had to warn her that it was a really expensive scope. She said, she understood that, but just wondered what the best one really was.
And now I know why.......
Flash ahead to today. I got to unwrap two brand new Kowas, fresh out of the mail from Pelee Wings Nature Store. One angled model for Lyndia to use. And one straight model for my own use. Lyndia decided that the work I was doing demanded proper tools, and she performed an act of incredible generosity. A brand new Kowa 88mm scope, for me to use, for as long as I continue to do this type of work. I am still in shock. Absolutely floored.
And the scope is nothing short of spectacular.
I started the day looking through a beat to hell Pentax with bullet holes in it, and ended the day looking through some of the best optics I have ever seen. The metallic green sheen on a pelagic Cormorant off the Englishman Estuary, just about brought me to tears.
Lyndia, just when I was about to give up on humans......