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Old Tuesday 16th June 2015, 04:47   #26
LPT
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Folks - My understanding of the B&L info I started is that it pertains only to the Zephyrs made in the US, not the B&Ls made in Japan nor the thousands of B&Ls made in the Second World War.
I believe the table applies to some if not all B&L marked binoculars made during WW II beginning in 1941. I have several B&L military binoculars from this period all of which have a letter prefixed serial number stamped on the hinge end cap which corresponds to the probable date of manufacture. For example, there is a Mark 28 in the collection having a V prefixed number indicating 1944 manufacture. Interestingly, the binocular is marked 1943 and although the year markings on US WW II binos are usually assumed to be the years of manufacture, I think they are the year of contract for a batch of binoculars which may not have been completely filled until the next year. The 1944 V marking supports this idea.

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Old Friday 30th October 2015, 15:48   #27
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Alert! Old thread revival post. :-)
I recently picked up a set of Rangemasters made in Japan.
This set came with the original warranty card so I believe this information may be useful to those wishing to help establish an approximate date theirs.
Serial number 0416091 was sold January 14, 1979 so likely manufactured in 1978.
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Old Monday 2nd November 2015, 04:10   #28
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It is always interesting to pick up used binoculars in their original cases including the sales slips. One Bushnell Rangemaster 7x35 in my collection (the Fuji made silver ring one which Fan Tao prefers), which I have found the best of any 7x35 wide angle I have looked through was sold in Denver, Colorado in 1963 for $153.90. That was 52 years ago, and I think it is a reasonable inference to make that it may have been made in the late 1950s or a few years later. The serial # is 315066

Using the annual inflation indicator at 4.01 %, that would cost close to $1,200 today new. Nothing in that price range today comes even close to its wide FOV(525 feet), huge sweet spot, quality mechanics, and comfortable viewing, Its view is as natural a one that could be expected.

If the reader believes I am exaggerating, find someone who has one and try to buy it from him, A few collectors buy everyone they can find. One fellow I am told has over 30 pairs, which makes little sense to me since he may some day have a heart attack and the Rangemasters will find themselves in pawn shops collecting dust, or worse being used by "knuckle draggers" who don't understand what they have and use their shirt tails to grind away the coatings.

I am surprised that the alpha manufacturers have not resurrected this model, since no patents are still around to hinder production. Remember, you optical snobs, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, even with binoculars.
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Old Monday 2nd November 2015, 04:44   #29
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It is always interesting to pick up used binoculars in their original cases including the sales slips. One Bushnell Rangemaster 7x35 in my collection (the Fuji made silver ring one which Fan Tao prefers), which I have found the best of any 7x35 wide angle I have looked through was sold in Denver, Colorado in 1963 for $153.90. That was 52 years ago, and I think it is a reasonable inference to make that it may have been made in the late 1950s or a few years later. The serial # is 315066

Using the annual inflation indicator at 4.01 %, that would cost close to $1,200 today new. Nothing in that price range today comes even close to its wide FOV(525 feet), huge sweet spot, quality mechanics, and comfortable viewing, Its view is as natural a one that could be expected.

If the reader believes I am exaggerating, find someone who has one and try to buy it from him, A few collectors buy everyone they can find. One fellow I am told has over 30 pairs, which makes little sense to me since he may some day have a heart attack and the Rangemasters will find themselves in pawn shops collecting dust, or worse being used by "knuckle draggers" who don't understand what they have and use their shirt tails to grind away the coatings.

I am surprised that the alpha manufacturers have not resurrected this model, since no patents are still around to hinder production. Remember, you optical snobs, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, even with binoculars.
Yes people are on to these. I've found They're quite tricky to find in good condition. ive got an FPO custom 7.4 deg and I can say, when the nitpicking is done, it's virtually as good as anything. Built like an alpha fuji! It is pin sharp with outstanding contrast. Huge depth of field. It's not really a coincidence that it reminds me of a small 7x50 Fujinon. In some ways a world apart, but there is something familial to the view...no doubt. I've got the wide 10deg fov rangefinder on the way.

Does anybody have experience of the Tamron rangefinder 11deg fov?

Cheers
Rathaus

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Old Monday 2nd November 2015, 08:22   #30
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I have a Bushnell 7x35 WA GlassesOn from, I think, the mid '80s. Just come back FOC from Bushnell with a replaced focus wheel rubber. Does anyone have any info on these, opinions or would collectors want them?
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Old Wednesday 4th November 2015, 00:22   #31
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Alert! Old thread revival post. :-)
I recently picked up a set of Rangemasters made in Japan.
This set came with the original warranty card so I believe this information may be useful to those wishing to help establish an approximate date theirs.
Serial number 0416091 was sold January 14, 1979 so likely manufactured in 1978.
I recently had occasion to send my Rangemasters back to Bushnell for repairs. I was informed that since mine were made in 1978 they were no longer eligible for warranty repairs.

I expect they could provide dates for most Customs and Rangemasters.
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Old Wednesday 4th November 2015, 02:58   #32
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Not eligible for warranty repairs. OK. But will they service them for a cost?
Will Bushnell provide dates for Customs and Rangemasters?
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Old Wednesday 11th November 2015, 01:54   #33
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Not eligible for warranty repairs. OK. But will they service them for a cost?
Will Bushnell provide dates for Customs and Rangemasters?
Bushnell charged me $90 and made me aware of the production date.

Will they provide a date just by calling? Call and ask.
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Old Tuesday 17th November 2015, 17:12   #34
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Jim - the Internet is ruining many postal systems. Wonder how long before our governments figure out a way of taxing our use of it. FYI, I'm a wee bit of an authority on the Custer Battle, inasmuch as I was a lecturer for the National Park Service as a seasonal historian back in the 1960's. But my knowledge is dated today. Same birds in Montana today as there were in 1876. The binoculars back then were pretty primitive compared to what we have now. Lewis & Clark did have a telescope (Galilean) on their trek. That must have been a highly prized item back then. John
Hi John:

Have you read Libby's "Boots and Saddles?

We were supposed to stop there on our cross-country genealogy vacation, last summer. Got caught up in buying a house in Twin Falls. But, we're closer, now. Maybe next year.

Bill
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Old Wednesday 18th November 2015, 04:46   #35
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Jim - the Internet is ruining many postal systems. Wonder how long before our governments figure out a way of taxing our use of it. FYI, I'm a wee bit of an authority on the Custer Battle, inasmuch as I was a lecturer for the National Park Service as a seasonal historian back in the 1960's. But my knowledge is dated today. Same birds in Montana today as there were in 1876. The binoculars back then were pretty primitive compared to what we have now. Lewis & Clark did have a telescope (Galilean) on their trek. That must have been a highly prized item back then. John
Take a close look at the left side of Goff's picture of Lt. Col. Custer and Libbie in their study at Fort Abraham Lincoln 1873 and you'll see two binocular cases hanging on the wall beside the bookcase underneath a sword and some powder horns. His rifle and gun rack is in the right side of the picture giving historians some information about his arsenal.
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Old Wednesday 18th November 2015, 05:18   #36
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Bill - Read "Boots & Saddles?" Of course. Elizabeth Custer spent almost her entire life memorializing her husband, George Armstrong Custer, and she was very good at it. She was well-educated, intelligent, photogenic, and a "true believer" in her husband's military ability. Interestingly, they had no children, and she never remarried. She in fact had a flair for publicity like her husband and lived a long life, dying at age 91 in 1933.

If you get back to Montana in the near future, contact me, and I'll give you a preview what to expect at the Battlefield.

John
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Old Thursday 19th November 2015, 08:10   #37
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Tamron Rangemaster 11deg

I received this in the post today and rejoiced when I found it to be in virtually mint condition.

I can't seem to find much about Tamron on here. I might try more advanced searches.

I'm trying to think of a binocular built quite like this. I joked with John Dracon that it's eyepieces and focuser could possibly be used in place of a car jack. I happen to be buying some cheap new digital kitchen scales this week and I'll be weighing these things. If there is a heavier 7-8x35mm out there anywhere I'd be very surprised.

Then there's the view. That view. 77deg apfov with a fat sweet spot. Razor sharp. Bright. Barring the short eye relief and weight which is no problem for me, these are probably the best wide angle binoculars I've ever looked through. Mid 1960s onwards according to Fantao. Not sure how long these were made.

Does anybody else have experience with the Tamron Rangemaster 11deg?

Cheers
Rathaus
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Old Thursday 19th November 2015, 09:15   #38
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Even the rain guard is huge
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Old Thursday 19th November 2015, 09:38   #39
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I'm not sure what Bushnell/Tamron were thinking when they made these. What was the market for this binocular? Schwarzenneger was probably too small and weak to lift them back in 1965. There is a heap of over-engineering going on here contributing to the massive weight and size. I can see these bins will not suit all. What is the name of the two arms which attach the eyepieces to the centre pivot? Those things that often flop about on cheap porros? I read somewhere they called them the 'feather'. On the Tamron they are massive thick rigid slabs of a weighty metal of some kind. Outrageous. Here -
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Old Thursday 19th November 2015, 10:53   #40
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I can't seem to find much about Tamron on here. I might try more advanced searches.
I don't know anything about Tamron in the context of binoculars, but they've certainly been a supplier of photographic lenses (under their own name and others; sometimes top-end, sometimes 2nd-tier or worse) almost since back in the days when Pontius was a pilot...

...Mike
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Old Thursday 19th November 2015, 16:28   #41
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I have one of the Tamron Rangemasters and like the standard porro style earlier Fuji models, it is pretty superb.

It is my feeling that Bushnell thought maybe it was time to tweak the old line porro design, so they flipped the prisms, as they had done with the smaller Custom series. This likely led to all sorts of "unnecessary new fangled crap" comments so it id not last, however it was also in the time of the roof explosion. My view is that it was a step taken to see if the design could be evolved to some degree or another. The Japanese had gotten the majority of the mileage to be gotten with the porro. The roof reigns supreme in the minds of most viewers, so I'll be surprised to see anything done with new glass and coatings in the old time WA porro designs.

One thing for sure, the Tamron model is pretty huge. But the original Fuji's were not very much smaller. Those prisms are at least twice the size of a more typical porro of the 7x35 size range, reduce the size of the Rangemaster and you have a completely run of the mill JTTI 7x35.

They were produced until 1973. There are several stories about special forces military use in Vietnam. It was not a widely purchased military unit and those used were lilely purchased individually by soldiers who used them. Hard to fathom an open porro lasting long in jungle use.

I posted a review of both models here a few years ago. It went on for a long time with lots of views and comments. It's here, but I'm not doing the searching.
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Old Friday 20th November 2015, 03:02   #42
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Tamron Rangemaster = 1.025kg

Excuse the geekiness but I got those kitchen scales and just weighed the naked Tamron Rangemaster 7x35 - it smashed the 1000 gram barrier -
1025g
2lb 4oz
I'd be fascinated to know if a more nuggety 7x35 exists.(?)
That's 4 grams heavier than the porky old school Zeiss 8x56 bgatp

The Rangemaster 7x35 10deg silver ring model comes in at 930 grams



For reference - on the same scales

Nikon 10x35 Ell = 615 grams
Nikon 8x30 Ell = 560 grams
Habicht 8x30 = 555 grams
Zeiss 7x42 bgatp = 800 grams
Zeiss 8x56 bgatp = 1021 grams
A six sided dice = 6 grams
One of my single size 13 boots = 1.18kg

Cheers
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Old Friday 20th November 2015, 23:33   #43
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I have one of these, a little beaten up, but great optics. I have two other Rangemasters, an FPO and one of the very rare 'Early Tamron' . I paid $29.95, $10 inc. tax! and $69.95 respectively for these three. I tested them for FOVs one night using the 'Big Dipper' method and they all gave the stated figures.
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