[Tweeters] Scope recommendation

BRAD Liljequist bradliljequist at msn.com
Sun Feb 21 22:35:18 PST 2021

Regarding the request for scope recommendations - I do recommend the birdforum website if you want to do the deepest of dives into optics -

I have just finished going through my own process of updating scopes and bought a Kowa 884. They are really incredible. I was also considering the Swarovski ATS and the Kowa was definitely a step up. The ATX is more expensive and I did not look at that, but understand it is at a similar level to the Kowa.

A really terrific, tough 2nd hand scope is the Nikon Fieldscope III 82ED with the DS eyepiece, which can be had with patience on ebay for less than $750. Folks also rave about the current Nikon Monarch ED 82.

Beware in optics there is a fair amount of sample variation between units. If you are going to splurge it is worth looking through a couple of units of the same thing. However Swarovski has a very good reputation for QC, I would not worry there, but all other manufacturers have some degree of it. For example I considered two different Kowa 884s - one was clearly better, confirmed by three different birders viewing through them - we did not share our impressions til we were done, but all agree on which had the best view.

Brad Liljequist
Phinney Ridge
Seattle, WA
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