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Old Saturday 26th January 2008, 18:03   #1
clschmalz
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Asahi Pentax Marine Binoculars

I've recently had some questions regarding Asahi Pentax BIF Marine Binoculars. As a partial answer I'm posting the attached advertising sheet that accompanied the NOS pair I bought last year.

As I understand it the BIF models are descended from Asahi's Japanese military models. Mechanically they appear to be built like the proverbial tank. Optically they are as good as or better than Swaroviski or Nikon glasses I own.

Trust this information will be of interest to at least some on the forum.

Charlie
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Old Saturday 26th January 2008, 23:29   #2
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Hello Charile, This is very interesting information.Thanks for posting this. I notice it lists fully coated optics on the nice picture of the 7x50BIF with the sailing boat in the background. I also noticed the prism housing looks the same in the 6x30 through 7x35 BIF and the weight is close 22.5 oz. through 24.4 oz. The 7x50 BIF prism housing looks a lot bigger as well as the wt. 45.8 oz.
Regards,Steve
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Old Tuesday 29th January 2008, 15:24   #3
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Actually there are small differences in size of prism housings of various models as can be seen from table listing dimensions of various models. I did handle the 6x30 model ( and deeply regret not buying them too!). The were slightly smaller.

The 7x35 model's prism housing is similar in size and shape to comparable 7x35 one piece (B body) glasses of the same vintage. The major differentiation is in the top flange. The Ashahi Marine's flange is somewhat larger and held in place by six screws. See the attached comparison with a pair of Bushnell Featherlight 7x35 IF glasses. The Bushnell's prism housing is almost identical to the Asahi's but the top flange is fastened with only two screws and the eyepiece itself.

Charlie
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Old Tuesday 2nd December 2008, 03:17   #4
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My brother has a pair of Pentax Marine 7x35. He loves them.
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Old Wednesday 3rd December 2008, 06:05   #5
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Charlie,
Thank you for this cool old ad, and your opinions. However undainty top class IF porros may be, yep, they are optically, if you are into alpha glass, sort of like, not something you really want to know about. But open your eyes, and there it is.

How do the PIFs figure in to this picture?
Ron
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Old Thursday 4th December 2008, 00:40   #6
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The Pentax Marines are not as good as the Fujinon stuff or the E series and later Nikon porros. They are better than the Nikon A series and prior. And generally better than the older Fuji stuff. About on par with the older classic style B&L Porros...though I favor the B&L porros....even the Japanese made Zephyrs and Discoveries over the Pentax Marine.

Pentax Marines are very good binoculars.
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Old Tuesday 7th November 2017, 18:47   #7
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Thanks to your posts 9 years ago, I managed to get a Pentax Mariner 7x50 BIF on ebay Germany. It is very rare in Germany, Pentax had no market share here in the 70ies, the market was dominated by Zeiss and Steiner...

I will tell what it is like when I have it in hands.

Another link about this glass, which is produced not by Pentax itself (JB6), but by JB 2 = The Katsuma Kogaku Kikai Co.Ltd. according to this source. I will check if a JB number ist on my glass...

http://tedbrink.webs.com/japan21.htm
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Old Friday 10th November 2017, 04:42   #8
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"The Pentax Marines are not as good as the Fujinon stuff..."

Methinks you might be surprised!

Bill
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Old Friday 10th November 2017, 17:31   #9
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Does anyone know what the BIF notation means. PIF is Porro, individual? focus..., what is the B?
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Old Friday 10th November 2017, 20:42   #10
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Originally Posted by Kowaist View Post
Does anyone know what the BIF notation means. PIF is Porro, individual? focus..., what is the B?
In some literature the B stands for Porro (while a D stands for roof), in other for Brille (spectacles) iow extended eyerelief.

Jan
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Old Saturday 11th November 2017, 22:49   #11
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Glass has arrived, optics perpect, body some sign of use and needed some cleaning, but no dents and leatherette is still perfect. Might have been on a boats in its first life in the 70ies, as the front ring looks like it often stood on the front rings...

I am very pleased with the optics in may first indoor light test. Sharp to the edges and good color rendition. heavy (1300g) but a pleasant shape to hold. But I have not high end 7x50 here for comparison. Close focus is about 8/9 meters.

I had to pay 140 Euros, maybe a little high (due to obe other bidder, otherwise I would have got it for 90 Euros. But it is ultra rare here in germany, the next chance for it might be in years...

I am very pleased with it for collection as well as the intended use, e.g. owl watching and use (car based) whe my Kowa Prominar 8x33 will get low light problems. Or when travelling onboard a ship, sorry no own yacht...
I have a SUP, and therefore onboard I will get a as new used Fujinon WP-XL 7x50 Mariner which can swim, which is very important onboard a SUP...

Manufacturer JB 2 is confirmed, it is noted inside and can be seen through the front lens.
Glass has fix plastic eyecups, not suited for eyeglasses, which is luckily no problem for me. Maybe it gave special spectacle seyecups, the eyecups are screwed and easy to remove or change.

What do you think if such a vintage glass is still as waterproof as 40 years ago? Are the save ways to test this without ruining it when it is not waterproof any more?

Last edited by Kowaist : Saturday 11th November 2017 at 23:22.
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Old Sunday 12th November 2017, 20:59   #12
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today I found that at least from the outer body design, the US WWII binoculars M15 Westinghouse or Bausch and Lomb or BL Mk28 look very similar! Typlical BL round shapes...

Maybe the US guys know more about this US Army glasses? Could the JB 2 producer habe any postwar licence of Bausch and Lomb or was the BL design only fancy?

Collimation test today of the Pentax mariner was perfect, and with some foggy weather today outside the vision was in transmission, clarity an sharpness on par with my Kowa Prominar 33. But weather did not give harsh contrasts for CA testings. My Kowa is a good benchmark for CA-free...
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Old Sunday 12th November 2017, 21:25   #13
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Does anyone know what the BIF notation means. PIF is Porro, individual? focus..., what is the B?
"B" Bausch & Lomb design/one-piece body
"IF" Individual Focus

Bill
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Old Sunday 12th November 2017, 22:40   #14
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"B" Bausch & Lomb design/one-piece body
"IF" Individual Focus

Bill
Thank you. You think the design is reminiscent to a good design of Bausch and Lomb? As the japanese (Nikon) also did with the Contax cameras...

Unfortunately in Germany we know merely nothing about US binoculars...

BTW today I could get a M15 Westinghouse on ebay Germany (rare find, was not expensive, hope it is in aceptable shape, we will see...)
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Old Monday 13th November 2017, 19:39   #15
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Thank you. You think the design is reminiscent to a good design of Bausch and Lomb? As the japanese (Nikon) also did with the Contax cameras...

Unfortunately in Germany we know merely nothing about US binoculars...

BTW today I could get a M15 Westinghouse on ebay Germany (rare find, was not expensive, hope it is in aceptable shape, we will see...)
We have seen that basic 7x50 carry the Nikon, Pentax, Swift, and Tamaya name along with dozens of others. The Japanese were great at reverse engineering.

Bill
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Old Tuesday 14th November 2017, 15:35   #16
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The Swift Storm King I/II is/was the identical glass. Came with or without rubber armoring. For sure this is more common then in USA, but in Germany Swift ist absolutely unknown (except for Caravans)

https://www.flickr.com/photos/binocu...in/dateposted/

Last edited by Kowaist : Tuesday 14th November 2017 at 15:58.
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Old Tuesday 14th November 2017, 18:04   #17
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The Swift Storm King I/II is/was the identical glass. Came with or without rubber armoring. For sure this is more common then in USA, but in Germany Swift ist absolutely unknown (except for Caravans)

https://www.flickr.com/photos/binocu...in/dateposted/
Not to worry. Since Humphrey died and Allison sold the company it's getting to be that way over here.

Bill
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Old Wednesday 15th November 2017, 08:30   #18
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Not to worry. Since Humphrey died and Allison sold the company it's getting to be that way over here.

Bill
Down here the brand Swift is very, very well known and the demands for used Audubon 8.5x44s are still great.

Jan
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Old Wednesday 15th November 2017, 10:30   #19
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Down here the brand Swift is very, very well known and the demands for used Audubon 8.5x44s are still great.

Jan
Jan, what do you mean with "down here"?

And what Audubon 8.5x44 do you mean. The old ones or the newer ones with a kind of rubber armoring?
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Old Wednesday 15th November 2017, 15:56   #20
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Jan, what do you mean with "down here"?

And what Audubon 8.5x44 do you mean. The old ones or the newer ones with a kind of rubber armoring?
Hi Elmer,

Down here is just that BIG country between the North Sea and Germany.

What I mean is the Porro model which comes in the "old" model without and the latest model with rubber armoring. Especially the latest model with the orange ED label is favorit, but all three are popular.

Jan
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Old Wednesday 15th November 2017, 16:59   #21
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Down here the brand Swift is very, very well known and the demands for used Audubon 8.5x44s are still great.

Jan
Oh, Jan, we still see them here. But, for my money they've just become another "me, too" optical brand. Before the sale, they seemed to have their own identity.

The 8.5x44 Audubon was my birding glass before I got my SE. I still have the Audubon ... and will until the end of time.
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Old Wednesday 15th November 2017, 17:05   #22
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Elmer:

All 3 of these are 8.5x44 Audubons ... with the SAME model number. I'm sure Jan means the one in the middle.

Bill
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Old Wednesday 15th November 2017, 18:13   #23
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I used to have a mint Pentax 7x50 BIF since sold on Ebay.

Pros: Well made and sharp

Cons: slightly narrower FOV than other similar designs, blue single coated elements, distinct green cast (was this deliberate to cut through marine haze or night use ?)

The more expensive and still in production (around £450 GBP in Japan) Nikon 7x50 IF SP, shown in section bellow, is a way better performer with field flattener doublet making the edges as sharp as the centre and modern coatings. Still no ED (extra low desperation glass) so there is some CA off axis)
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Old Wednesday 15th November 2017, 19:27   #24
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I used to have a mint Pentax 7x50 BIF since sold on Ebay.

Pros: Well made and sharp

Cons: slightly narrower FOV than other similar designs, blue single coated elements, distinct green cast (was this deliberate to cut through marine haze or night use ?)

The more expensive and still in production (around £450 GBP in Japan) Nikon 7x50 IF SP, shown in section bellow, is a way better performer with field flattener doublet making the edges as sharp as the centre and modern coatings. Still no ED (extra low desperation glass) so there is some CA off axis)

A Prostar without the stripe on the objective beauty ring or cost?

Bill
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Old Wednesday 15th November 2017, 20:02   #25
Kowaist
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Quote:
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I used to have a mint Pentax 7x50 BIF since sold on Ebay.

Pros: Well made and sharp

Cons: slightly narrower FOV than other similar designs, blue single coated elements, distinct green cast (was this deliberate to cut through marine haze or night use ?)

The more expensive and still in production (around £450 GBP in Japan) Nikon 7x50 IF SP, shown in section bellow, is a way better performer with field flattener doublet making the edges as sharp as the centre and modern coatings. Still no ED (extra low desperation glass) so there is some CA off axis)
certainly, the 500 Euro+ modern Nikon is a better performer, but the old Pentax ist only 140 Euro... as a additional glass to a "perfect" modern 8x33 roof ED good enough.

Mine (slightly older, nr 76......) has definitely no green cast, it is perfectly neutral in the colors, as well as the Kowa Prominar...

How much did you get for the Pentax?

Last edited by Kowaist : Wednesday 15th November 2017 at 20:07.
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