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Swift Altek 7x21

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Old Sunday 31st January 2016, 17:55   #1
Grimnir
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Swift Altek 7x21

Does anyone know which company manufactured the Swift Altek 7x21?

Has anyone used this glass and if so what did you think of it?

Graham
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Old Sunday 31st January 2016, 20:20   #2
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Looks interesting.
Eikow mentioned as the same glass?
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Old Sunday 31st January 2016, 20:48   #3
elkcub
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I don't know for sure who made them, but it was marketed by Swift & Anderson, Inc. and discontinued in 1959. Moreover, at that time it was one of only four "premium quality" binoculars including the 8.5x44 Audubon, 7x35 Holiday, and 7x35 Neptune. An educated guess would be they were made by the same manufacturers as these others, — Tamron (JL-B45) / Tokuhiro (JL-E47)

It does, indeed, look like an interesting collector's piece.

Ed
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Last edited by elkcub : Monday 1st February 2016 at 03:14.
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Old Sunday 31st January 2016, 22:22   #4
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Where did you see it? is there a photo?
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Old Monday 1st February 2016, 00:13   #5
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This is from Swift & Anderson Cat. #59 (1959).

Ed
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Name:	Swift Altek 1959.jpg
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ID:	571965  
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Old Monday 1st February 2016, 07:38   #6
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They crop up on ebay from time to time and appear to have had a very short production run from 1958 to 1959. The same glass has appeared branded as Eikow Bull-Fight and under one or two other rarer labels.

Ed - were the 1959 Audubon, Neptune and Holiday definitely all made by Tamron? If so I think that lends significant weight to your theory.

Graham
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Old Monday 1st February 2016, 14:40   #7
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There were several small aperture porroprism binoculars, which usually look neat.
Also 6x24 wide angles that I wish were made nowadays with full multicoating.
Minolta although aparently closed are apparently still making optics. I wish they would make me a set of Minolta Standard fully multicoated. Why they didn't do this originally I don't know.

I tried an 8x30 Nikon EII against 8.5x44 Swift HR5
No ghosts at all from streetlights on EII. Numerous on HR5. (Eventually two very faint point source ghosts detected with EII, but the EII is as good as some Leica roofs regarding ghosting). HR5 also veiling glare. EII none detected.
EII 8.85 deg, HR5 8.26 deg.
HR5 0.3 mag fainter stars away from street lights.
EII shows very faint detail where HR5 doesn't into streetlights.
I obviously still have pupil sizes about 5.5mm. About 60% larger diameter than so called average for my age, which I doubt is really well known.
Star images with EII very good. Better than HR5, which are quite good.

P.S.
The better star images in the EII may be because my eyes were stopped down to 3.75mm instead of 5.2mm with The HR5. I did not try stopping the HR5 down to 3.75mm exit pupil.

Last edited by Binastro : Monday 1st February 2016 at 16:43. Reason: Addition
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Old Monday 1st February 2016, 19:32   #8
elkcub
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grimnir View Post
They crop up on ebay from time to time and appear to have had a very short production run from 1958 to 1959. The same glass has appeared branded as Eikow Bull-Fight and under one or two other rarer labels.

Ed - were the 1959 Audubon, Neptune and Holiday definitely all made by Tamron? If so I think that lends significant weight to your theory.

Graham
Graham,

Our database indicates that Audubon, Neptune and Holiday models were made by Tamron / Tokuhiro through 1965 or later. However, those were not Z-body models like the Altek. So until a maker's mark is found on one of them it will probably remain a mystery. (I'm backing off my theory.)

What was the basis of your observation "... they appear to have had a very short production run from 1958 to 1959." Why not further back?

Ed
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Old Tuesday 2nd February 2016, 08:20   #9
14Goudvink
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Binastro View Post
There were several small aperture porroprism binoculars, which usually look neat.
Also 6x24 wide angles that I wish were made nowadays with full multicoating.
Minolta although aparently closed are apparently still making optics. I wish they would make me a set of Minolta Standard fully multicoated. Why they didn't do this originally I don't know.

I tried an 8x30 Nikon EII against 8.5x44 Swift HR5
No ghosts at all from streetlights on EII. Numerous on HR5. (Eventually two very faint point source ghosts detected with EII, but the EII is as good as some Leica roofs regarding ghosting). HR5 also veiling glare. EII none detected.
EII 8.85 deg, HR5 8.26 deg.
HR5 0.3 mag fainter stars away from street lights.
EII shows very faint detail where HR5 doesn't into streetlights.
I obviously still have pupil sizes about 5.5mm. About 60% larger diameter than so called average for my age, which I doubt is really well known.
Star images with EII very good. Better than HR5, which are quite good.

P.S.
The better star images in the EII may be because my eyes were stopped down to 3.75mm instead of 5.2mm with The HR5. I did not try stopping the HR5 down to 3.75mm exit pupil.
Thanks for this comparison. I have been thinking of getting a Swift 804 HR5 to complement my 8x30 EII on dark winter days. Did you compare them on image colour? Does the Swift have a colour cast? Is it warmer or cooler than the Nikon?

Can you say something about eye-relief for eyeglass wearers? Is the Swift equal, easier or more difficult to use with eyeglasses? Any comment would be much appreciated.

George
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Old Tuesday 2nd February 2016, 12:17   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elkcub View Post
Graham,

Our database indicates that Audubon, Neptune and Holiday models were made by Tamron / Tokuhiro through 1965 or later. However, those were not Z-body models like the Altek. So until a maker's mark is found on one of them it will probably remain a mystery. (I'm backing off my theory.)

What was the basis of your observation "... they appear to have had a very short production run from 1958 to 1959." Why not further back?

Ed
Ed,

Only that I have never seen it advertised except in the 1959 catalogue - not in any previous advertisement (however I only have one or two previous Swift advertisements) and it seems to be a very rare glass indicating that it may have a had a very short run. Of course, this is hardly conclusive.

Graham
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Old Tuesday 2nd February 2016, 14:33   #11
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Dear George,
You will have to give me a few days, as I have repetitive strain injury to my hands at the moment.

The HR5 is a very good binocular, but must vary as the different coatings changed over the years.

If you get a late one, and don't use it at night into streetlights it should be O.K., but I'll check eye relief. I don't usually wear glasses but I can.
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Old Tuesday 2nd February 2016, 18:32   #12
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Hi George,
The eye relief is similar with the EII and HR5.
With correction glasses for long sight and the rubber eyecups folded down, the fields are reduced by about 8% for me.
With small glasses or short sight maybe the full field is available.
For me they are both better without glasses, which I am not used to wearing with binoculars.

My assessment of colour cast is not likely to be accurate as I am not a birdwatcher and this is not usually important for me.
Except with red coated or Pentax gold coated binoculars, which are horrible.

It would be best if you tried an HR5, when you could also make sure that it is completely clear optically and in alignment.
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Old Tuesday 2nd February 2016, 20:14   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grimnir View Post
Ed,

Only that I have never seen it advertised except in the 1959 catalogue - not in any previous advertisement (however I only have one or two previous Swift advertisements) and it seems to be a very rare glass indicating that it may have a had a very short run. Of course, this is hardly conclusive.

Graham
Graham,

On a different note, would you happen to have any pre-1959 advertisements of the Swift Audubon? My belief is that it was first issued in 1958, but I can't confirm it.

Thanks,
Ed
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Old Tuesday 2nd February 2016, 22:49   #14
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Hi George,
The eye relief is similar with the EII and HR5.
With correction glasses for long sight and the rubber eyecups folded down, the fields are reduced by about 8% for me.
With small glasses or short sight maybe the full field is available.
For me they are both better without glasses, which I am not used to wearing with binoculars.

My assessment of colour cast is not likely to be accurate as I am not a birdwatcher and this is not usually important for me.
Except with red coated or Pentax gold coated binoculars, which are horrible.

It would be best if you tried an HR5, when you could also make sure that it is completely clear optically and in alignment.
I also use eyeglass corrections for far sightedness, and agree that the EII and HR/5 interfere equally with viewing the full field. I recently acquired very close fitting glasses, however, which in my case provided the extra 1.5mm needed to solve the problem.

The HR/5 had at least three major coating changes from when they first appeared (in the US as 804R) in 1985 to when they were discontinued ~2000. Each has it's own color contrast, but my preference is for the last of the FMC series.

For astro use, as well as terrestrial birding, I would imagine the 10x50 HR/5 (Audubon) Kestrel might work as well or better than the 8x44. Unfortunately, don't show up too often nowadays, but they are a peach of a binocular.

Ed
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Old Wednesday 3rd February 2016, 10:24   #15
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Binastro, Ed,

Thanks for the additional information. I wear close fitting glasses and I can see the whole field of view with the EII so from your comments I gather the Swift should be ok.

Now let's see if I can find a FMC ED to compare its colour to my EII... :-)

Binastro: Good luck with your injury.


George
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Old Wednesday 3rd February 2016, 11:41   #16
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Graham,

On a different note, would you happen to have any pre-1959 advertisements of the Swift Audubon? My belief is that it was first issued in 1958, but I can't confirm it.

Thanks,
Ed

Sorry Ed, I can't help you there. I have an ad from 1959 and another which I think is from 1959, both showing the Audubon, but nothing earlier.

Graham
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Old Wednesday 3rd February 2016, 14:41   #17
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It is possible that the British Journal of Photography Yearbooks from 1957, 1958 could have an advert for Swift binoculars?
Or maybe Sky and Telescope magazines?
Popular Photography, Modern Photography also?

I don't have any of these to hand.
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Old Wednesday 3rd February 2016, 22:55   #18
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Binastro, Ed,

Thanks for the additional information. I wear close fitting glasses and I can see the whole field of view with the EII so from your comments I gather the Swift should be ok.

Now let's see if I can find a FMC ED to compare its colour to my EII... :-)

Binastro: Good luck with your injury.


George
George,

Oops, be careful here. The HR/5 804ED is not exactly the same as the HR/5 804. Sadly, it has ~1mm shorter eye relief, which makes a critical difference for me.

Since the standard and ED HR/5s use the same coatings (for a given year of manufacture), the former is a comparison worthy binocular to the EII.

Ed
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Old Thursday 4th February 2016, 10:54   #19
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Thanks Ed, very useful information, I will be extra careful. Not that the chances of finding a HR/5 804 ED are very great...

George
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