Binoculars of Note
Kowa Genesis XD
High-end Binocular Review, 2008
by Michael and Diane Porter
A closer look
The Kowa Genesis XD was the closest-focusing (5.5 feet) of any full-sized binocular in our September, 2008, survey, "High-end Binocular Round-up" for Bird Watcher's Digest. Thus it would be a good candidate for watching butterflies or for watching birds at a feeder right outside the window.
Optical quality is good. The binocular has Kowa's version of extra-low dispersion glass, called "Prominar XD," which minimizes chromatic aberration. The brightness of the binocular is very good. That is the advantage of the larger-than usual, 44mm objective lenses.
A weighty matter
One caveat is that some of our judges found the Genesis less comfortable to carry and use than other top binoculars, because of its weight. With 44mm objective lenses, the Genesis is one of the heaviest binoculars in our survey (33 to 34 ounces).
We found a considerable variation in the focus knobs between the two models we looked at. The 10.5x42 model had a rather stiff focus knob, which pulled down the binocular's fit-and-feel score. (See Ratings Chart.) On the other hand, on the 8.5x44 the focus knob was smooth and pleasant to turn. It is possible that the 10.5x44 example we studied was not typical of the Genesis XD.
The Kowa Genesis XD is available in 8x5x44 and 10.5x44.
Copyright 2008 by Michael and Diane Porter.
This article appears as part of the High-end Binoculars Round Up in the September, 2008, issue of Bird Watcher's Digest.
Photo of magazine copyright 2008 Bird Watcher's Digest. Image of Kowa binocular is courtesy of Kowa.