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Old Tuesday 21st August 2007, 23:11   #1
Alena
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Swift Nighthawk Mark I Binoculars

Hello,

I have joined the forum today. I'm an amateur birder, of many years. The binoculars I have owned and used for a long time are Swift Nighthawk Mark I, 7X35 578 ft at 1000 yds, extra wide angle, Model 770. Finally, for the first time! I brought them in for cleaning and repair today. I decided to replace rather than get them repaired due to the cost, however, I'm curious to learn something of this pair. I am pretty sure I would have bought them in the 1980s and paid a fair amount at the time. Amazingly, in spite of being used a great deal, travel, home and cottage - cleaning and an adjustment is all that is needed, in spite of travel and many crashes and bangs. I may yet get them repaired as a second pair.

Does anyone know anthing about these binoculars.

Any help would be appreciated.

Alena
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Old Tuesday 21st August 2007, 23:42   #2
elkcub
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Welcome to BirdForum, Alena.

Model 770 was marketed in the US as early as 1980, possibly earlier. It was part of the Mark 1 WIDE ANGLE series, along with a few others. It has magenta coatings on all air-glass surfaces, and weighs 25 oz. Basically, it corresponds with Type 3 Audubon construction, but I don't know if it's made by Hiyoshi Kogaku. You could answer that question my telling us what the JL- or B- manufacturer's marks are on the front hinge. In 1980 the MSRP was $122.50 by comparison with $240.00 for the Model 804 Audubon.

If you'd like to have them spruced up, I'd recommend sending it to Mr. Nicolas Crista, 25 Crescent Place, Hanson, MA 02341. Phone: 781.294.2039. His prices are very reasonable. Mr. Crista was the head optical man for Swift when they were headquartered in Boston. I don't send my Swifts to anyone else.

Blue skies,
Ed
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Old Wednesday 22nd August 2007, 00:16   #3
Alena
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Hello Ed,-

Many thanks for the nice reply. The number on the front hinge is J-B191. My husband bought a pair of Swift at the same time and his have J-B133. Both are heavy and certainly mine feel like they weigh more than 25 oz at times. It doesn't give a company, just made in Japan

I live in Ottawa and will consider sending them to Mr. Crista.

I am surprised by the amount of information on the forum and am enjoying reading some of the postings.

Many thanks,

Alena



Quote:
Originally Posted by elkcub View Post
Welcome to BirdForum, Alena.

Model 770 was marketed in the US as early as 1980, possibly earlier. It was part of the Mark 1 WIDE ANGLE series, along with a few others. It has magenta coatings on all air-glass surfaces, and weighs 25 oz. Basically, it corresponds with Type 3 Audubon construction, but I don't know if it's made by Hiyoshi Kogaku. You could answer that question my telling us what the JL- or B- manufacturer's marks are on the front hinge. In 1980 the MSRP was $122.50 by comparison with $240.00 for the Model 804 Audubon.

If you'd like to have them spruced up, I'd recommend sending it to Mr. Nicolas Crista, 25 Crescent Place, Hanson, MA 02341. Phone: 781.294.2039. His prices are very reasonable. Mr. Crista was the head optical man for Swift when they were headquartered in Boston. I don't send my Swifts to anyone else.

Blue skies,
Ed
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Old Wednesday 22nd August 2007, 04:37   #4
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I have a Swift Nighthawk binocular. It is model 771 and 8x40 with a 499' FOV. It is a bigger glass than yours,closer to 30 oz I'd guess, but I've never thought to weigh them. This was the first binocular I bought. Got it in either 1968 or 69. Took Ornithology in 1969 and learned to bird with it. It proved tough as nails over many years of really hard use. I finally took pity on it and sent it to Swift to be refurbished. Elkcub gives you good advice on where to send the glass. I had purchased another 771, this one a Mark I which arrived with shipping damage. Called Swift and talked to Mr. Crista. He said he had all the possible pieces. He called me back after he got the glass and we talked over what to do with them. He did one whale of a job. I'm glad to see his contact info. Mine have the B 191 mark on the hinge. In spite of their age, I still do not feel optically disadvantaged using them. They are not quite as bright as some newer porro glass, but the FOV cannot be topped. They have great 3-D and their resolution is more than adequate. I'd sure keep them around if I were you.

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Old Wednesday 22nd August 2007, 13:59   #5
Alena
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Hi Steve, I was pleased to see your posting. My Swift Nighthawks have undergone extremely hard use and I'm amazed at their durability. Certainly they are not as bright as the new ones, but I feel with some cleaning and care they will be a good back-up. I feel such an attachment to them - they are the only pair I have had since taking up birding in the early 80s. Mr Crista sounds like the man and I'll contact him to see what he says. The shop I took them to here in Ottawa is extremely good but they just don't find it worthwhile to do repairs anymore.

The pair I have are like 2-story glasses - you look in the top floor and see out the main floor (: I'm not very technical. I assume they were all like this.

I'll take all this good advice and keep them, hopefully repaired.

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Old Thursday 23rd August 2007, 07:51   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alena View Post
My husband bought a pair of Swift at the same time and his have J-B133
Alena,

Are your husband's binoculars Nighthawks as well? If not, what model are they?

happy birding,

Renze
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Old Thursday 23rd August 2007, 19:48   #7
Alena
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There doesn't seem to be a name on the binoculars, other than Swift, No. 781, 7x50.

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Old Thursday 23rd August 2007, 23:47   #8
Renze de Vries
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Thank you Alena,

Never thought I'd find myself quizzing. But here I am:

Swift 7x50 Aerolite

Renze
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Old Friday 24th August 2007, 11:59   #9
Alena
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Hello Renze,

Wow - I am very grateful for all this help. Aerolite seems a bit of a name stretch for such heavy binoculars but we are pleased to have this information. These binoculars have served us very well.

Now I'm curious about a scope we bought about the same time but it is at the cottage right now. When I bought it I was told that mechanically it might leave a bit to be desired but the optics were superior. All I know is that it was made in Russia.

Starting to feel rather old with all this old stuff!

Many thanks for your help.

Alena
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Old Monday 27th August 2007, 05:58   #10
karmantra
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Elkcub: I have a pair of Swift 7x50 Nighthawks, #788, that have worked well for me as a backup pair of bins in spite of being heavy--can you give me a little info on when they were made? Thanks! FOV is 372' and indicates under the Swift logo on the left barrel that they are 'coated'.
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