15x Binos and Lows 553..?

pjohnson8168

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2012
Messages
1,462
Have seen a handful of posts saying the smaller 50 mm spotters don't offer enough gains to carry them and 15's but the Kowa 550 series are a step above most others in this size. Looking for any insight whether there is enough difference between the two of these to own and carry both in the field. I rarely find myself looking over 1.5 miles for animals, just not that kind of big country where I hunt.
 

Brian Fahs

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2014
Messages
1,371
Location
Pennsylvania
I owned 2 lecia televid 62 spotters with the 16-48x eye pieces. These were the apo models which I feel are on par with the swarovski sts65.
I sold one because I did not feel I was getting better resolution at distance than with my slc HD 15x56 binos. I bought another because I thought I messed up. Nope same opinion one year later. Sold second leica and bought the kowa 884.
Now I'm set.
 

Brian Fahs

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2014
Messages
1,371
Location
Pennsylvania
The pure comfort of looking through the 15x56 slc HD binos would be enough for me to leave the little kowa at home. The resolution of the slc HD is unreal. The way you can tear apart a distant ridge with 15x on a good tripod is amazing.
As far as distance in open country several miles would be very doable to find game with 15x. At that range anything less than my 884 would be redundant to the 15x.
 

AkMtnRunner

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2016
Messages
366
With good light and if field of view isn't important, my 553 is as good as my 883.
 

coues32

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2016
Messages
356
Are you talking about locating animals with one or the other or carrying both for judging animals?
Hard to compete glassing animals with single eye imo
 
OP
P

pjohnson8168

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2012
Messages
1,462
I was thinking, looking with the 15x binos and judging with the 55mm spotter. From what I gather the kowa is usable right up to 45x so it seem it could be 2orthwhile to carry both
 

willfrye027

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2018
Messages
924
I had the kowa 601 20-60x. Compared to my Leica duovids at 15x50 I could absolutely see more detail when field judging with the 601. Not even a close call there.Some will knock the duovids 15s but they are phenomenal and just as good as all the 15x56s I’ve looked through. For what it’s worth. I would definitely consider the little Kowa. Right now I use the 773 and it’s getting tiresome to pack especially considering how little it gets used.
 

aaronk

Junior Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2018
Messages
40
Location
NW WA
Do you already own a set of 15's? Or you running something like 10's now and are debating spotter or 15's?

I have a pair of 10x SLC's and I recently picked up a Kowa 553. For me it boiled down to 1) I'm not willing to carry 15's on my chest 2) I want a pair of binos on my chest to glass in a hurry and 3) I want something that I don't need to run on a tripod (although I always pack one). I guess I could have picked up a pair of 15's instead of the 553 and packed those in the pack along with the 10's on the chest, but given the size and weight of a good pair of 15's, I'd just as soon pack a small spotter with even more magnification available, plus phonescoping is easier on the spotter.

As an aside, I think the 553 is overrated. Glad I got in on the anniversary special, because if I had paid $1800 for it, I'd be very disappointed to be quite honest.
 

Turkeygetpwnd38

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2017
Messages
616
Location
Florida
I have the 553 and 15x SLCs. I can’t think of a situation I’d really be carrying both. I scan with my 10x and then if there is something I want to judge or look close at throw the little Kowa up (backpack hunts being weight conscious). I think it’s a pretty good system. I can confirm the Kowa is plenty useable at maximum power.
I use the 15x for more specialized hunts (Coues), when weight isn’t a concern, or really big glassable country. Generally if I’m carrying the 15s and a spotter, it’s the 883. Without knowing your specific hunting style/areas, I’d say for the average elk/deer backpack hunter, they’d be better served with 10s and the small spotter.
 

coues32

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2016
Messages
356
I should have clarified, these would be used from a tripod only for glassing big open terrain and spotting at matches. I love the field of view and the resolution clarity of the binos over a spotter. Just don’t have SLC money and I am looking for other viable options.
I haven't looked thru a pair but supposedly pretty good Zeiss 15x56 in classifieds .
Used slc, or meopta 15hd would be choices, leica 12x would be another great choice used.
 

Q child

Member
Joined
Nov 8, 2018
Messages
56
Kind of a tough one. You could totally use them in the way you are describing (searching with the binos, judging with the scope).
They are kind of overlapping though. Especially since its one eye vs two. Like the 553 is just as sharp as the best 15s, and in good light is as good as anything I've ever used, but its a monocular. I feel like in order to get more information to your brain with the 553 over a pair of 15s then you gotta crank it up to 25x. I don't know if this makes any sense, even to me, but that is how I think about it anyway. All things being equal - you need more magnification to learn as much about a subject when using one eye than you do when using two eyes.
I've got both and I never carry them together. I prefer a little bit more distinction if I'm going to be carrying two pieces of glass.
 
OP
P

pjohnson8168

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2012
Messages
1,462
Thanks guys for all the input, I fell into a good deal on a pair of Swaro EL 12x50's yesterday...I am hoping they will take the place of the 10x and 15x that I already own. Havent had a chance to use them outside the neighborhood yet but I think they may be the answer for me and then just add a 65mm spotter.
 

coues32

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2016
Messages
356
Thanks guys for all the input, I fell into a good deal on a pair of Swaro EL 12x50's yesterday...I am hoping they will take the place of the 10x and 15x that I already own. Havent had a chance to use them outside the neighborhood yet but I think they may be the answer for me and then just add a 65mm spotter.
U ain't missing nothing with those 12els, my swaro 15hd don't leave the safe unless the wife or kids go..
 
Top