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Old Monday 30th May 2011, 01:39   #1
terry2336
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Swift Sport King 7x50s

Hi, I'm Terry from Maine. I collect old cameras and binoculars. Best buy this year was an unused mint pair of Leitz Amplivids I found in a junk shop. I know they are great but today at an auction I found a nice pair of Swift Sport King 7x50s. I cant find anything about them online. Can anyone tell me about the age and quality of these.

Terry
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Old Monday 30th May 2011, 03:31   #2
terry2336
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I blew it. I was going by the description in the auction list. I just took closer look ans ,duh, they are 7x35s
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Old Monday 30th May 2011, 04:41   #3
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Ok, that's better. Your Sports King could have been made anywhere from the mid-to-late 1950s under Swift & Anderson, or during the 1960s under the successor company, Swift Instruments. Back in the early 1960s, Swift distinguished between "Premium Quality" and "Quality" binoculars. The SK 7x35 704 is a "quality" binocular with the best specs, i.e., 578' FOV, 5-lens ocular.

Can you provide any pictures? And what is the serial number?

Hope that helps.

Ed
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Old Monday 30th May 2011, 22:16   #4
terry2336
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pics and a question

Here are pictures of my new Swift 7x35 Sport Kings. They are in great shape, looks like they were never used. The glass is perfectly clear with no scratches or dust. They are quite heavy brutes.
The center hinge is extremely stiff making it hard to adjust pupil distance easily. does anyone know a safe way to lubricate this?
The serial number is 4-92650
Terry
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Old Tuesday 31st May 2011, 02:06   #5
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Very nice find, Terry. I don't believe this instrument was made by Hiyoshi Kogaku, like the Audubons, so the serial number doesn't tell us much. The 1950 704s had a FOV of 525', like yours. Later models made in the 1960s had 578' fields. Given that yours are not fully coated and used simple ribbed knurling on the oculars, my guess is that they were made for Swift-Anderson in the mid-1950s. This was prior to the introduction of (ugly) bling type diamond facets in the late 50s. So, these would be about 55+ yrs. old, with a leather case in beautiful condition.

I would recommend sending it to Nicolas Crista: http://www.nrcoptics.com/. Nick was the head optical man for Swift, does beautiful work, and charges very fair prices. He's also a fine gentlemen.

Regards,
Ed

PS. Don't put oil in the bridge or focusing mechanism. It was designed for a grease pack that has no doubt dried out. Use a small amount of Pecard Leather Dressing on the case to restore moisture to the leather. It's the best stuff on the planet. http://www.pecard.com/
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Old Tuesday 31st May 2011, 21:22   #6
Renze de Vries
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Terry,

Can't resist the temptation to congratulate you with this superb find. What condition! The nice thing about binoculars is that people seem quite attracted to them in general, then find that using them is quite another matter. So it's always possible to find pretty old models in the most amazing condition.
I don't have much to add to the data already supplied by Ed, except that Swift in the 1950's and '60's marketed a surprising amount of 7x35 models in all kinds of quality levels. The Holiday was clearly their top dog, but the Neptune, Sport King and Triton were only marginally behind. Interesting about the Sport King is that - contrary to the Holiday for instance - it was elected to make the transition into the new body design in 1985. If I'm not mistaken it was the only 7x35 granted this right. This last Sport King type then received the model number 714 (all forgoing types being 704) and got the printing with the white triangle also found on the redesigned Audubon (804R). Lastly, this post-1985 type is sometimes found as 7x36 instead of 7x35, which I believe is a misprint.

enjoy,

Renze
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Old Thursday 21st July 2011, 15:51   #7
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The prefix "4" in the serial number seems to correspond with JL B26: Futaba Kogaku Kogyo Co. Ltd.
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Old Thursday 21st July 2011, 15:56   #8
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Swift 704

. . . and the "Vega" label was about 1956 through 1957. It was dropped around 1958.
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Old Thursday 21st July 2011, 17:37   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdmadison View Post
The prefix "4" in the serial number seems to correspond with JL B26: Futaba Kogaku Kogyo Co. Ltd.
Please expand on this. How does the 4 relate to a manufacturer? It's news to me.

Ed
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Old Friday 22nd July 2011, 00:53   #10
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See my earlier thread named "Code Breaking." Then check your Swifts for consistency. My sample isn't huge, but it has no exceptions yet.
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