Kowa Prominar 663 660 series Spotting Scope Review

Editor: Mike

Basic Description of Item:
Kowa 663 Spotting Scope with angle eye access. 20-60 zoom eyepiece.
Light Weight top of the line spotting scope made in Japan. ED Glass, with a 66mm Exit objective.

Just the Facts:
• The 66mm diameter objective lens has more than 120% light gathering power of the 60mm objective lens.
• Compact and Light Weight – Kowa 66 main body length of about 30cm and weight of only 1 kg.
• Fully Water Proof Body is completely sealed and fully water-proof. Nitrogen gas purged to prevent the lens of the Spotting Scope from fogging.
• PROMINAR XD objective lenses (extra-low Dispersion, previously the Prominar ED Glass line) provide even higher optical performance
• Light Weight ideal for back packing, or any spotting situation
• High-performance 66mm spotting scope with a rugged construction, high-end specifications
• Constructed of strong, lightweight polycarbonate materials, with a rigid structure that can endure hard usage

Kowa 663 spotting scope
Kowa 663 spotting scope



My Story:
I have become somewhat of an Optic Snob over the last several years. This snobbery is partially the fault of Kowa! I am spoiled by their outstanding products, that are high functioning, durable, and just work!
I took possession of the Kowa 663 Spotting Scope in July 0f 2016, and immediately put it into use. I used it on several back packing trips, and on several early fall hunting trips.
I would summarize my use in the following groupings:
Summer Scouting Trips glassing in high heat.
Early fall hunting Trips Early morning and Late evenings
Looking at targets 100 yards and 200 yards during gun sight in.

Let me talk about each event separately and how the Kowa 663 Prominar Spotting Scope performed:

Summer Scouting Trips glassing in high heat.

I hiked, glassed, hiked and glassed some more during the months of July and August. I always carried a back pack and kept the Kowa 663 in my back pack, just for ease of carrying. I love the Kowa for this type of outing. It is so light weight! It is ideal for back packing. I usually, on each outing spent about 1 hour behind the Kowa. I noticed immediately the great eye relief and the outstanding usability. What do I mean my usability? I can spend hours looking through the spotting scope and have no eye strain. It is if you are looking through your own eyes, with just more power.
I appreciated the weight, the durability, and the ease of use during the summer!

Early fall hunting Trips Early morning and Late evenings

After my summer scouting was over I transitioned into the Fall hunting season. The fall found me first in Idaho hunting Antelope. As most people know, when hunting Antelope good optics are a must. Looking at the horns of the Pronghorn for hours helps judge the age and trophy class of the animal. I found the Kowa to be outstanding for light gathering, as I spent most of the early morning and late evenings glassing for animals.
You can see in the picture below, taken at 1385 yard with a phone skope and a nexus 6 phone through my Kowa 663, that the optics are fantastic.

Idaho pronghorn kowa 663 prominar
Idaho pronghorn kowa 663 prominar

Light gathering was not an issue with the Kowa, I could easily spend the twilight hours looking through the scope. I found it absolutely perfect for my early fall hunting season. It was durable, gathered great light, was easy to focus, and just performed perfectly.

Looking at targets 100 yards and 200 yards during gun sight in.

I spend a fair amount of time sighting in my rifles and preparing different loads for different guns. A good spotting scope is a nice tool to help see where you are hitting out to 300 yards. On each trip I would set up the scope and view my shots that could not be seen through the rifle scope. Again the Kowa was perfect for this application. The clarity around the edges, the ability to zoom up to 50 times magnification and still see well was a great plus. It again exceeded my expectations in this purpose.

I have spent many many hours using spotting scopes in a variety of situations. I have used Swarovski, Leica, Zeiss, Nikon, Vortex, and Leupold spotting scopes. I can say based on all of this experience that the Kowa certainly matches up well against the completion.
It is a high end spotting scope, that you will love. The light weight, clarity, edge clarity, and easiness on the eye have made me a believer.
Well done Kowa, considers this a buy for about any spotting situation. It excels in back packing situations.

What they could do better:
They nailed it, well done.

  • Functionality
  • Value
  • Ergonomics
  • Durability