Kowa 883/4 10 year old ok or worth it get newer?

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Hi All,

Does anyone know if there any reason NOT to get a 10 year old 883/4 if it’s a good price ($2k)?

How much of a difference are the 9, 10, 11 eyepieces other than the zoom changing from 20-60 to 25-65 when it went from TE10Z to 11?

How much value does a newer model offer if both in very good shape?

I’ve got a great stable of Binos but pulling the trigger on my first scope so want to make the best investment I can. Most likely the 554 will be in my future to complement the 88, but going for the 88 first.

Budget is a concern, so what have you experienced in value difference between these?
$2000 10 year old 883/4
$1800 new 773/4

Thanks,
S
 
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Utpikahtr

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My understanding is that the new Kowa 88 isn’t any different than the older model the only difference is that the eye piece has laser etching for magnification range on the 99. Glass is identical.
 

blkqi

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The scope bodies are the same. The eye pieces are interchangeable.

The TE-11WZ has a relatively wider FOV, but also higher minimum power. I believe the 11 has better glass, but never had a chance to compare them.

The older 30x fixed WA eyepiece (TE-17W) is also very good.
 
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You'd want the TE-11WZ eye piece for sure. After kowa made that update, I don't think there's been any update to the 88 model besides to the body. I think the 88 w/the '11' eyepiece would be the best bang for the buck scope by far in its class for $2k.
 
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OP
Where are you finding new 774 or 773 for $1800?
These models have been discontinued for a while now.

The 884 is a fantastic spotter. At 2k purchase price it is king.
Condition of scope and glass is the biggest factor in price on the 884.
 
OP
L
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OP
Where are you finding new 774 or 773 for $1800?
These models have been discontinued for a while now.

The 884 is a fantastic spotter. At 2k purchase price it is king.
Condition of scope and glass is the biggest factor in price on the 884.
There are 774 bodies only for sale on eBay which they say are new. Shipping from Japan for something like $69.

The seller of the 884 agreed to sell it body only for $1500 with the fitted cover, so I pulled the trigger on that and will get a new eyepiece. Body/glass seems to have no defects. Feel good about it, now just need to see how well I like it with my Slik 634 and outdoorsman micro pan head. Expect I’ll want bigger.
 
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@lifeisgoodsteve

$2,000 bucks sounds to me like a good price for a TSN-883/884, provided it has the TE-11WZll eyepiece. The age would be a bit of a concern to me. I was going to suggest you shop a bit longer, but I see that you made the deal. I think you'll be quite pleased with the scope, and the 553/554, should you eventually go that way. I have both and I'm done shopping for spotters.

I few months ago I bought a store demo TSN-884 with TE-11WZll, like brand NIB, for $1,750. I couldn't pass it up at that price, but I must say that the 554 rode in my pack everyday while the 884 stayed at the truck.
 
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There are 774 bodies only for sale on eBay which they say are new. Shipping from Japan for something like $69.

The seller of the 884 agreed to sell it body only for $1500 with the fitted cover, so I pulled the trigger on that and will get a new eyepiece. Body/glass seems to have no defects. Feel good about it, now just need to see how well I like it with my Slik 634 and outdoorsman micro pan head. Expect I’ll want bigger.
The 884 with 25-60x eyepiece is awesome.

The 634 works at seated height with center column down. The micro pan was too light for me.

As always, heavier tripod and good fluid head panheads really make a good spotter much better.
 

jb_358

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@lifeisgoodsteve

$2,000 bucks sounds to me like a good price for a TSN-883/884, provided it has the TE-11WZll eyepiece. The age would be a bit of a concern to me. I was going to suggest you shop a bit longer, but I see that you made the deal. I think you'll be quite pleased with the scope, and the 553/554, should you eventually go that way. I have both and I'm done shopping for spotters.

I few months ago I bought a store demo TSN-884 with TE-11WZll, like brand NIB, for $1,750. I couldn't pass it up at that price, but I must say that the 554 rode in my pack everyday while the 884 stayed at the truck.
Man, that's a great deal... An 884 for the price of a 774. Was that a local store, or a chain?
 
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Man, that's a great deal... An 884 for the price of a 774. Was that a local store, or a chain?
eBay seller from Japan. 🤞that he’s legit but had hundreds of all good ratings so felt worth the risk.

DHL tracking says it arrived from Japan to Cincinnati and en route to me, so fingers crossed.

Pretty excited to use it for summer scouting adventures.
 
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Had a 553 prior and felt it wasn't worth using over 12x binos.
Really? There are a couple times each season where I wish I had something stronger than even my 15x binos, to confirm if that log is really an elk. Usually when it’s only part of the “animal”.

I don’t plan to hike far with the 884 so ideally thought of the 554 for that purpose in the future. I’m in decent shape, but far from a mtn stud, so prefer as light as possible when on foot.

I’d really like to compare the 554 directly, side by side, with my 12x and 15x Binos.

A 60mm range would be nice but there is a big jump in weight and cost.
 
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Really? There are a couple times each season where I wish I had something stronger than even my 15x binos, to confirm if that log is really an elk. Usually when it’s only part of the “animal”.

I don’t plan to hike far with the 884 so ideally thought of the 554 for that purpose in the future. I’m in decent shape, but far from a mtn stud, so prefer as light as possible when on foot.

I’d really like to compare the 554 directly, side by side, with my 12x and 15x Binos.

A 60mm range would be nice but there is a big jump in weight and cost.
I have owned just about every alpha optic made in the past 15 years. IMO any single tube spotter up to 65mm gave me no better resolution than my swaro 15x56 hds. The list I tried included leica televid 62 apo, swaro sts 65 and kowa 664. As much as I liked the spotters, the higher magnification eyepieces just did not have the resolution of the 15s. The 15s are so comfortable on a tripod I used them way more than a spotter.

When I jumped up to the kowa 774 and 884 with 25-60x eyepiece I see much more resolution than the 15s. I am currently in the process of building twin kowa 774s on an adams adapters mount. 2 eye viewing is king in the glassing game.
 

Mulyhuntr

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Really? There are a couple times each season where I wish I had something stronger than even my 15x binos, to confirm if that log is really an elk. Usually when it’s only part of the “animal”.

I don’t plan to hike far with the 884 so ideally thought of the 554 for that purpose in the future. I’m in decent shape, but far from a mtn stud, so prefer as light as possible when on foot.

I’d really like to compare the 554 directly, side by side, with my 12x and 15x Binos.

A 60mm range would be nice but there is a big jump in weight and cost.
The 553 just wasn't enough of an advantage. It still left me questioning things at long distance. The 883 leaves no questions.
 
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Really? There are a couple times each season where I wish I had something stronger than even my 15x binos, to confirm if that log is really an elk. Usually when it’s only part of the “animal”.

I don’t plan to hike far with the 884 so ideally thought of the 554 for that purpose in the future. I’m in decent shape, but far from a mtn stud, so prefer as light as possible when on foot.

I’d really like to compare the 554 directly, side by side, with my 12x and 15x Binos.

A 60mm range would be nice but there is a big jump in weight and cost.
I hunt antelope, deer and elk in Wyoming. In addition to scanning with my binos, I keep a TSN-554 in my pack for the times I need a better look at a buck/bull before putting in the time and boot leather on a long stalk. That scope might only get used a 1/2 hour all season. In that scenario, in the six years that I've had it, I have never found myself wanting or needing bigger glass...unless somebody else was willing to hump it.
Like I stated earlier, the 884 will be used from the truck for long range scouting.
 
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Man, that's a great deal... An 884 for the price of a 774. Was that a local store, or a chain?
FYI - the 884 body came in today from the Seller in Japan. It arrived really fast and is in MINT condition as he described it. My mounting plates arrive tomorrow after which I'll be able to test it out, but as of now the condition looks amazing.

Honestly, I was a little nervous about buying from someone so far, but the reviews were all very good, his communication excellent and thankfully it worked out.

It actually seems smaller than I expected, though that's looking at it from the comfort of my home. I certainly will test extending the range I carry it from my mules, to see how my legs and lungs handle it.
 

Felton

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Did it come with an eyepiece?

I’m curious curious if you’ve compared the 10 to 11 eyepiece?
 
OP
L
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Did it come with an eyepiece?

I’m curious curious if you’ve compared the 10 to 11 eyepiece?
I was able to buy just the older body without the 20-60 eyepiece, so haven’t seen through that one.

I imagine he’s selling it separate in case someone is interested.

The scope arrived yesterday and looks awesome with the new eyepiece I got from S and S Archery. Wow, so nice to see so clearly so far away. Already spotting small mule deer doe groups on the melted sections of the mountains some miles away from my house. Looking forward to following the snowmelt and seeing what turns up.
 

jb_358

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FYI - the 884 body came in today from the Seller in Japan. It arrived really fast and is in MINT condition as he described it. My mounting plates arrive tomorrow after which I'll be able to test it out, but as of now the condition looks amazing.

Honestly, I was a little nervous about buying from someone so far, but the reviews were all very good, his communication excellent and thankfully it worked out.

It actually seems smaller than I expected, though that's looking at it from the comfort of my home. I certainly will test extending the range I carry it from my mules, to see how my legs and lungs handle it.
Glad to hear and thanks for the update. I've been prowling on eBay as well and have generally been skeptical of anything outside of the country, so this feedback helps.
 

Felton

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Sounds like you got a smoking deal! I just picked up an 883 at a great price too. Mine came with the 10 eyepiece. I bought the 11 thinking it was going to be a big upgrade but my 10 seems to revolve better than the 11. I was hoping you had the 10 too and had compared them. I’m trying to decide to keep the 10 or the 11?

The 11 isn’t that far behind and is still really good. With the 10 I was able to read the right side…. 6 was just starting to get a little blurry, I could make out 2 and kinda 3 in the middle. With the 11, on the right side 4 started getting a little blurry and could still read 5 and 6 but lost it when I tried going to the middle.

Picture is at 400 yards and obviously resolution is better with the eye than my phone.
BDF92499-2120-49C0-A39C-5BCDC3FF2EE7.jpeg
 
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