Kowa's lightweight, porro-prism style YF binocular provides you with the advantage of an exceptionally wide field of view. Add the fully multi-coated lenses and Bak4 prisms for bright views with waterproof and fogproof construction and you have a great economical binocular for beginners and beyond. Kowa provides a limited lifetime warranty for this binocular.
Fully Multi-coated Lenses
Increase light transmission with multiple anti-reflective coatings on all air-to-glass surfaces.
Optimize light transmission.
Generally offer a rich depth of field, wide field of view, and three-dimensional image.
Provides a secure, non-slip grip.
Twist up and down for comfortable viewing with or without eyeglasses.
Center Focus Wheel
Adjusts both binocular barrels at the same time.
Right Eye Diopter
Adjusts for differences in a user's eyes. Located by the right eyepiece.
Optics are sealed with O-rings to prevent moisture, dust, and debris from getting inside the binocular.
Barrels are filled with nitrogen gas to inhibit internal fogging.
Once you get out a few yards the focus is very fast and the depth of field is incredible. Centerfield sharpness is better than expected for the price. Optically, I feel they are a great value. The view is sweet. The whole low power, 3d porro thing is real.
The focus knob is not good. I am not bothered by the red but I hate the soft rubber cover over the red barrel; it is too flexible. The feeling of the rubber shifting on the focus knob when I adjust the focus drives me nuts. The objective lens caps are the pits and are in the instantly replace category.
I once had a pair of Vortex Raptors that I enjoyed and eventually gave to my brother. Months later, I decided to get these to replace the Raptors since I was surprised by how much I missed them. I don't recall that much difference between them optically. I do firmly recall thinking the feel and build of the Raptors was more to MY liking and that the accessories were better.
I was going to exchange them for the Raptors but my wife wanted to look at them first. She has declared them as hers! Her interest delights me; no way am I going to return something she likes and wants to use. She has already used them with me to spot gators in a local marsh/swamp.
I will probably still get the Raptors sometime later for myself.
Not my favorite but I do recommend them if you think you can live with a soft flexible spider web rubber thing over a smooth bright red focusing knob. All else is fairly typical.
Surprisingly good view
Tim from Wisconsin
My wife keeps my old pair of Bushnells in her glove compartment that she uses for random bird sightings. They weren't very good when I got them 30 years ago and they haven't gotten any better with time. I decided to look for a inexpensive pair of binoculars that could be left in the car and be used by my 9-year-old son when we went out birding.
I had read a lot of great things about the Leupold Yosemite 6x30 and it sounded like the perfect binocular for my needs -- inexpensive, good fit for small faces, and good image quality. When talking to Mike at Eagle Optics, I discovered that the Vortex, Eagle Optics, and Kowa all made similar models. So, I gave them all a try.
Out of the bunch (Raptor, Kingbird, Yosemite, and Kowa YF), the little Kowa was definitely the best. The Kowas were a tad sharper, had better color, and handled stray light better. I will admit that I prefer the Raptor/Kingbird focus knob, but the better image quality on the Kowas more that makes up for it.
We took them to Horicon Marsh and they did not disappoint. I finally understand what people are talking about when they say that porros have a 3D quality to the image. These are definitely keepers. I think you'd have to spend close to $250 to find a roof prism binocular that matches the image quality of these little porros. At $99, these are a steal.
Young birders first pair of binoculars
Sue F. from NY
These were purchased as a first pair of binoculars for young birders (age 9 and 11). Great design in many ways. Lightweight enough with a good padded strap, big knob for focus adjustments that the kids had an easy time using them. The only things I would change would be to add a strap to the case and to have the lens cap covers attached rather than lose because I anticipate that we may end up losing a cover or two.
More than I hoped for
James from United States
I wanted a 6X inexpensive knock-around bino mainly to leave in the boat, and intended to buy either the Leupold Yosemite 6x30 or possibly the Vortex 6.5x32 porro binos. When I saw that Kowa had introduced the YF 6x30, I decided to take a chance, as I've been impressed with whatever Kowa optics I've looked through before.
Well, I was so impressed that I decided these need to be used more than just in the boat. Recently I took them on a trip to Central Oregon, and spent quite a bit of time with them instead of my go-to Nikon LX's. I wish I was able to evaluate the Kowa's side by side with the comparable Leupold and Vortex, but suffice to say, I'm very happy with them. My wife also likes them, and used them a number of times instead of her own LX's. Then my brother showed up, and vowed that he was going to order a pair upon getting back home.
The image is very sharp, with the sweet spot surprisingly wide. Field of view is OK... about what I would expect. The eyecups are excellent, with two click-stops between all the way down and up. I'm a glasses wearer, and the generous (20 mm) eye relief is plenty. Focus is just a tad stiff, but not enough to be troublesome. There's nothing remarkable about the diopter adjustment, but it seems to work as expected. I do have to comment on the focus knob. The only thing I can think is that the Kowa engineers wanted something to distinguish these binos from other similar ones. Well, if that's the case, they certainly accomplished it with the bright red barrel. I believe it's metal, and is covered by a rubber shroud with oval cutouts. Focusing works best by using the tip of each index finger in an oval cutout. Yeah, it's bit weird, but certainly works, and is smooth and positive. There is no annoying play either. My brother, wife and I all agreed that the unusual focus knob didn't detract from these nice little binoculars at all.
I very much recommend them to anyone looking for an inexpensive pair of compact porros. They deserve 5 stars,especially given the price. For a hundred bucks, you cannot go wrong!