In this Kowa Genesis binoculars review we take a look at this exceptional pair of binoculars and go through all the pros and cons after testing them versus 25 others. We also put these Kowa Genesis 10.5×44 binoculars next to others in the same price category to see how they stacked up to the competition. Check out that review to see how they ranked in our testing!
In this price class, that is the next step up after the $1000 category, you really start splitting hairs in performance, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t significant differences. In fact, at this price point, our team was surprised to find more noticeable differences between binoculars than we saw in the $1000 category. Check out that huge binoculars review for all those details.
The Kowa Genesis series of binoculars come in a either a 10.5×44 and a 8.5×44 variations depending on your needs. The Kowa Genesis series of binoculars also comes in a Genesis 10×33 model and a Genesis 8×33 model.
Love optics? We certainly do here at Backwoods Pursuit, so make sure to check out our MONSTER 26 BINOCULAR REVIEW, as well as our massive 19 SPOTTING SCOPE REVIEW. For both of those reviews, we lined up the optics and tested them side by side!
If you are in the market for some top tier binoculars, make sure to check out our review comparing the Swarovski NL Pure vs Zeiss Victory SF vs Leica Noctivid binoculars. We dive deep into the performance differences of those three pairs of binoculars.
The Specs: Kowa Genesis 10.5×44 Review
The Kowa Genesis binoculars aren’t the most lightweight or compact binoculars in their class, so if that is something you are looking for, these may not be the best fit. They are significantly larger and heavier than most of your standard 10×42 binoculars, but they are incredibly well built and scream quality. Here are the specs for the Kowa 10.5×44 model we tested:
Eye cups: Kowa Genesis Binoculars
The eye cups on the Kowa Genesis binoculars offer adequate eye relief at 16 mm, but not quite as much as others in its class. Still, 16 mm is plenty for most folks. Unfortunately, I found the eye cups on the Kowa Genesis binoculars to be quite girthy and not terribly comfortable. They are on the bulky side and just didn’t fit any of our testers all that well. Most of us had to roll the eye cups nearly all the way down to get the full field of view. Some thinner eye cups would make these much more comfortable.
Each of the four click stops is defined to help keep the eye cups at your desired position, and they offer a lot of resistance so they won’t unintentionally move. This is great to keep the eye cups where you want them without having to continually re-adjust them in the field. The eye cups are robust and have almost no play in them when moving from position to position, which is a testament to the build quality of these binoculars.
Tripod Adaptability: Kowa Genesis Review
Unfortunately, the Kowa Genesis binoculars are not threaded for a bino tripod adapter, so you have to use some of the other options out there. There are some great bino adapters on the market like the Aziak Bino clamp to hold these binos. This little, ultralight bino clamp did a great job keeping these Kowa Genesis binoculars steady, especially given that it weighs in at 1/3 of an ounce! Another great option is the Really Right Stuff Cinch. This option makes it easier to take your binos on and off the tripod if you need that functionality, but it’s also more bulky.
Both of these options give you the ability to put these binoculars on a tripod to provide extra stability while glassing. I’m a huge fan of glassing from a tripod, but particularly with a larger pair of binoculars like these.
Check Our Video Review of these 4 Great Tripod Adapters
We tested a number of other tripod adapters as well, so take a look at our comprehensive binocular tripod adapter review for additional options!
Focus Mechanism: Kowa Genesis Binoculars Review
The focus mechanism of the Kowa Genesis 10.5×44 binoculars is silky smooth and doesn’t have any play whatsoever. It offers a very fast and efficient focus speed to help you quickly bring your image into focus. It’s certainly on the faster side of the binoculars we tested, but not as fast as the Sig Zulu9 binoculars. Once again, the focus wheel screams quality on these Kowa Genesis binoculars, and they give you just the right about of resistance so the focus wheel doesn’t move on you while in your bino harness. They just feel like a super high end piece of equipment. I can’t say enough about the quality of the focus wheel mechanism.
Diopter Adjustment: Kowa Genesis binoculars Review
The Kowa Genesis binoculars offer a fantastic locking diopter adjustment that features a nice defined cutout for your thumb to assist in quickly and easily adjusting the diopter. Once the diopter is unlocked, adjusting it is a breeze and is extremely smooth. The combination of the locking diopter and the smooth mechanism is a great combination.
During our extensive testing for our huge 26 binocular review we noted that most of the binoculars in the $1000-$1500 category have a locking diopter which is nearly an expectation at this price point.
See How The Kowa Genesis Binoculars Stacks Up!
Feel/Rubber Armor: Kowa Genesis Review
The Kowa Genesis binoculars are protected by a rubber armor that have a great, non-slip feel to them that have a fantastic grip. The rubber armor on these Genesis binoculars is one of my personal favorites as its low profile and tacky feel keep these binoculars firmly in your hand without slipping.
The Kowa Genesis binoculars‘ substantial size makes them feel very stable in hand, and they are extremely comfortable to hold. The hinge offers considerable resistance and doesn’t move unless you intentionally move them, making sure the interpupilary distance doesn’t change while in your bino harness. Everything about their feel says they are top-notch quality.
Field of View: Kowa Genesis Binoculars Review
During this Kowa Genesis review we noted that the field of view is a bit on the smaller side at 323 feet at 1000 yards. Normally this might be a real downside, but given that you get extra magnification in a 10.5x binocular, it’s expected to have a smaller field of view than a standard 10x binocular. In fact, some 10×42 binoculars we tested in our huge 26 binocular side by side comparison had a similar field of view without the benefit of extra magnification.
Color and Clarity: Kowa Genesis 10.5×44 Review
If you are familiar with Kowa optics, you probably know that Kowa has a reputation for exceptional color and clarity in their optics. These Genesis binoculars are no exception providing vibrant color and excellent contrast to the image. While the Genesis excels in color contrast and brilliant image, their overall clarity is a touch behind others in this price category. That said, they are on the lower end of the price range, so that makes perfect sense.
We did notice a little bit of chromatic aberration with these Kowa Genesis binoculars, but we had to look pretty hard to see it. Again, we noted a little bit more chromatic aberration than others in this price category, but they were one of the least expensive at this price point, so this is no surprise.
Edge-to-Edge Clarity: Kowa Genesis 10.5×44 Review
One of the features of a really good pair of binoculars is how they perform in the edge-to-edge clarity department, and the Kowa Genesis binoculars are as good as any in their respective category. Again, another impressive performance from the Genesis binoculars!
The center of the image offers a nice crisp, well-contrasted image and the Kowa Genesis maintain that sharp image until the outer 15-20% of the image. They are nearly identical in the edge-to-edge clarity department as the Sig Zulu9 binoculars, which tied for the best in class in edge-to-edge clarity. While neither were perfect, they were as good as or better than any others in this category, including the Swarovski SLCs (which I’m a huge fan of). Amazingly, these Kowa Genesis binoculars outperformed the SLCs in the edge-to-edge clarity department.
Low Light Performance: Kowa Genesis 10.5×44 Review
During our testing for this Kowa Genesis review, we had the opportunity to put them to the test in low light situations and monitor how they performed as light faded into the evening. This was an area that the Kowa Genesis binoculars didn’t quite fare as well as the others in this group. They are still very impressive and perform exceptionally well into the late evening hours past sunset, but they do lose clarity and brightness a little bit before the competition. Image resolution became more difficult, and they were the first to drop off in this group, however, they are the least expensive for this category that we tested, so not a huge surprise there.
Check out the full review of that 26 binocular comparison here!
Eye Strain: Kowa Genesis binoculars Review
Another big factor in our testing during this Kowa Genesis review was looking for any eye strain. Our group noted just a little bit of eye strain which can make longer glassing sessions harder on your eyes. With that being said, we were picking out even the smallest details here, so don’t think these are bad by any stretch when it comes to eye strain. We simply had the privilege of putting them next to a handful of others at a similar price point.
What I liked: Kowa Genesis Binoculars Review
There was so much to love about these Kowa Genesis 10.5×44 binoculars. Incredible build quality, great in-hand feel, fantastic edge-to-edge clarity, and a great price point to get into binoculars a step above the $1000 price point.
- Image clarity
- Smooth focus mechanism
- Edge-to-edge clarity
- Good color contrast
- Great rubber armor and housing
- Robust eye cups
- Exceptional value
The Kowa Genesis 10.5×44 binoculars are huge performers and an exceptional value!
What i didn’t like: Kowa Genesis Binoculas Review
The Kowa Genesis binoculars have a few things that could be better as well. The eye cups are on the big/bulky side, as well as the body. Their weight is on the heavy side, too, coming in at 33.9 oz, and their low light performance didn’t quite keep up with the competition in this price point.
- Weight (33.9 oz)
- Lesser low light performance
- A bit bulky
- Not threaded for a tripod adapter
- Uncomfortable eye cups
Kowa Optics Lifetime Warranty
Kowa Optics covers their optics with their Lifetime Guarantee, as long as the product was purchased from an authorized dealer. It is nice to have a lifetime guarantee backing your optics in the event something happens. While you likely won’t need to use it, my one experience with the Kowa warranty/repair department has been good. I sent an optic in to have a repair done on a spotting scope and their turn around time was roughly 3 weeks. Not too bad at all.
Kowa Genesis Review Conclusion
Not everyone can afford to drop thousands of dollars on a high end pair of binoculars, but that doesn’t mean you need to settle for poor performance. These Kowa Genesis binoculars are built like a much more expensive pair of binoculars with a crisp focusing mechanism, high quality magnesium chassis, excellent optical performance, and great value.
While they don’t have quite the edge-to-edge clarity or low light performance as the Swarovski NL Pure, Zeiss Victory SF, or Leica Noctivid binoculars (check out that comparison review here), you know you’ll get fantastic color contrast and a brilliantly clear image with these Genesis binoculars.
During our huge comparison review, we all saw first hand the difference between a $300 pair of binoculars and some of the highest priced pairs of binoculars (as much as $3000), and the difference is absolutely undeniable. With that being said, it certainly doesn’t take high end binoculars to be successful in the field or effectively glass a basin thousands of yards away. If top tier binoculars are not quite in the budget for you, but you still need top quality glass, give the Kowa Genesis binoculars a good hard look. You will likely be surprised at how well they perform! They’ll do almost everything most of us need and more when on a hunt or pursuing the backwoods.
Subscribe to Backwoods Pursuit to get Your FREE Backcountry Gear Worksheet!!!
Dial in your gear list, calculate your pack weight, and lighten up your pack with this handy tool!