If you are a hunter who often travels by plane and 1) wants to participate in glassing on your hunt 2) is willing to pay for quality optics, and 3) would prefer to bring your expensive gear on the plane...this is for you. I bought the Kowa 880 series first after doing a lot of research, and was still surprised by its size—it is a small telescope. I returned it for this model and am much happier. Very little lost in optical clarity and usable magnification, but much more portable.
S&S had this scope delivered to my house days before I expected so that was a great start, I also got the case and glad I did. This scope delivers great clarity and magnification for the weight and I consider it a significant upgrade to my prior Vortex 50mm Razor scope. In-fact it's so tiny you can almost lose it in your pack and I know the ounces are worth it. However the eye piece/relief is so small I can't say it is a pleasure to glass with- I probably glass 95% with EL10x42 on Tripod then just get the scope out to verify a bucks size, etc. If you like using your scope to glass up animals you may consider going bigger.
If you are a backpack hunter this is the scope for you. Weighing in at 29 ounces it will no get left behind. I speak from experience and have left the spotter behind because of the extra weight. This little scope zooms to 45x and the great thing is the sharpness and edge to edge is still impressive at that power setting. I will have this in my pack even if the load is heavy. Most binoculars weigh more than this. I have a ATX Swarovski and it is the one most are judged by these days. I will say in good light the Kowa gives up very little to the ATX given the power selected is the same. If you want the best scope on the market while counting ounces, this is the scope for you.
Excellent build quality,super packable, quality picture. Small field of view and less forgiving eye relief, but worth the trade off for size and weight if backpacking are your intentions
SandS was one of the first resellers of this new scope. While Kowaâ€™s price tag made me gulp a little, I knew that if I liked this scope it would be my last. This little guy is incredible for a 55mm scope. I carried it for miles on a camping trip in Ontario. Zoomed out to its max still provides a crystal clear image, though eyeglass wearers might find the eye relief at max zoom a bit tedious. I donâ€™t wear glasses and eye relief was no problem.
I highly recommend this scope.