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Falcon 8x42 vintage JPY info?

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Old Wednesday 30th January 2019, 13:46   #1
aengus4h
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Falcon 8x42 vintage JPY info?

hi all

just joined after lurking a while and quietly collecting a few vintage binoculars. A good while ago I picked up a pair of Burleigh 10x50's in an antique shop, LH occular flapping about and full of dust but in good shape otherwise. Noting the centre screw was loose I figured a relatively simple fix so offered 5 and deal was done. Living my the Thames at the time I thought they'd be nice to have. Cleaned and assembled, they gave a nice image per side but so badly out of alignment to give instant eye pain! And so they sat untouched for some time, till now while between jobs and giving myself little projects to keep busy I did a proper strip down and adjusted them and they now work really well again. Turns out these are JB84/JE54.

That started me into collecting a number of the miniature JPY binos, always loved the look of them along with a couple others that caught my eye. Probably a bad habit to have picked up given I've spent around 400 now! But I have what I think is a nice collection and its kept me busy while I look for work :-)

Was hoping you might be able to help ID a pair of Falcon 8x42's I recently acquired. Not found anything similar on web searches but they carry the same mark as the Swift Trilytes and look like a copy of the dialty/ClassiC in body styling. Uppendhal prisms, coated lenses and a nice bright image that's relaxing to view, pin-cushions a little at the edges but nice and sharp, gave good views of Orion the other night when it was clear too.

They were missing the LH eyepiece cover so the occular floated during focussing, I've worked around with one off a trash pair of 2-hinge folding compacts that I'd cannibalised for the roof prism glass to rebuild another pair. Too small to use one off any full size pair that I have spare.

I'd guess from the JTII sticker and another article I found online about the stickers that these may be from 1973-76 era but other than that I've no info at all.

Thanks in advance...
Dave
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Old Wednesday 30th January 2019, 16:38   #2
Binastro
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Hi Dave, welcome.

I reckoned 1970s from photo before I read your post.
I also thought Swift.
I have a Swift like this. It isn't very good.
Also Minolta similar but not rubber armoured.
Serial number is low, so maybe someone bought a batch of 100 with own name on them.

I also like the Japanese miniatures.
My first and only binocular was a Charles Frank Nipole 7x23 that went everywhere with me.

It is good that you can tinker with binoculars and get them working.

Last edited by Binastro : Wednesday 30th January 2019 at 16:43.
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Old Wednesday 30th January 2019, 18:26   #3
aengus4h
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thanks Binastro, I did wonder but didn't find anything on swift of this type, but same OEM perhaps. I do find them pretty OK in use, tho you do get some flare if the sun is a little off axis. They're in very good condition, hardly used really by the look of them, unmarked, very little dust inside that I'll sort one day.

Was quite surprised at the image, very bright and sharp and even better after cleaning the externals, at dusk quite useable too. I bought them as a punt for 10 so pretty happy with that ;-)

Funny as I have a Nipole 7x23 wide too, very nice tho heavy compared to the more skeleton format. My miniatures (now a dozen) range from 5x15 & 7x15 NK JB7's, Perl and HK made 8x's to Simor 10x40, 12 & 15x50. Most needed cleaning up and a few somewhat more (alignment and such, not hard on these tho). The regular sized ones are good if heavy-ish.

The Burleigh I had to shim the prisms to get aligned which was a lot of retries but passed an afternoon with a pleasing end result, pin sharp looking at the stars confirming they work well for me. Another, prinz 10x50 "compact lightweight" from a job lot, which is a bit shorter tho no lighter, had prism screws so a lot easier to correct.

Managed to sort a pair of Nikon Sportstar EX's that were out of alignment too, so a nice bargain pair of 10 WP bins too. Roofs are more of a pain compared to the old porro format, doable but lots of patience. Have a few picked up in a job lot, all but one was out of alignment, badly, with rattles from the blind between the prisms having come loose, dropped I expect. Seems a very fragile setup to my eye.

One day I'll figure how to open up an old 6x J Barker mini reverse porro that I obtained, 1920-58 vintage, the older end of the scale I expect given non-coated optics. Nicely made and still gives a lovely view tho mould looks to have formed on the prisms.

I've found it handy to be able to "fiddle", none of mine are of a value to send them off for professional work, besides which with no income I'd soon go bust lol. I know I'm conditionally aligning rather than collimating, one day I may get around to making a jig to get them set up more accurately...

Last edited by aengus4h : Wednesday 30th January 2019 at 18:28.
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Old Wednesday 30th January 2019, 20:49   #4
Binastro
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You are doing a good job, Dave.

I've never met anyone with a Nipole 7x23 before. I bought it from Arthur Frank early 1960s maybe.
He sold me a military Ross? 10x70 monocular probably from his collection.
And his telescope man made me the first production 8.5 inch Newtonian with the two black hemispheres covering the gears. However, the main mirror was rubbish. Dudley Fuller gave me a very good replacement F.O.C., an amazingly good deed.
He probably sent the original mirror back to Arthur Frank just to annoy him.

I have a very similar collection of miniatures.

Charity shops, boot fairs and time.
Eventually, though, one may get fed up with the quest.
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Old Wednesday 30th January 2019, 21:16   #5
aengus4h
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ah for me its been that popular auction site, not seen many mini's in the stores. Bought a job lot off BHF just for the 15x50's as they seem scarce and that's given me a few std ones that were in ok shape, just needing clean/align plus some spares. The nipole's I got in part as it calls to my ancestory, being part scot :-)

Diving in and dismantling wasn't a huge deal for me tho, I repaired a couple zoom AF camera lenses some time back so had most of the tools needed already. Hardest part tho was after stripping the lenses figuring out how to get it all back together so the zoom worked right and fed the info back to the camera. No digital cameras back then to help take reference pics to refer back to. They were scrap tho, a friend who dropped them so insurance wrote them off. No glass damage, just jammed. Gave them to me to "play" with and wouldn't take them back once sorted so I got a couple of nice, free lenses for my camera. Binoculars are pretty simple after that!
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Old Sunday 3rd February 2019, 16:30   #6
Binastro
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Re. post 1.

I have an almost identical binocular, except size wise.

The differences are.
The rear cover plate says 8x30
WIDE ANGLE
8.5 *

I think that the rear half and more, down to the front tubes, is identical except that the left hand eyepiece cover has no scallop ridges.

At first sight it seems O.K.
But this example is a bit unpleasant to use.
The focus seems to slip or to be imprecise.
The view is a bit uncomfortable, although alignment seems to be fairly good.

I tried it this morning at just over 100 metres on a crow and some chimney pots.
Compared to Leica 8x32 BA.
The BA is sharper by quite a bit.
The BA is slightly brighter although both binoculars were probably working at 8x24 approx.
The 8x30 has considerably less contrast, image looks flat.
The BA is much steadier due to extra weight and bulk. The 8x30 is narrow and wobbles.

I must have tested it but can't find details.
The 8x30 field is about 8.0 degrees.

Another difference to the photos in post 1 is that the front of the top bridge says TOKUSHU.
On the front left middle bridge is a white Japan sticker with 106 PASSED JTII in red.
The bottom front axle cover says No. 035 JAPAN with an identical two triangles and centre circle as the binocular in post 1.
So the number is a type number not a serial number.

So not a great binocular by any means.

Incidentally, while I was using it this morning a robin perched 4 metres from me and started to sing a bit.
I didn't know robins can sing.
Not a great song. He wouldn't win Britain's Got Talent, but a good effort.
temperature 1C clear transparent. Snow mostly gone.
I took a few photos but lens not long enough.
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Old Sunday 3rd February 2019, 19:15   #7
aengus4h
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guess maybe I got lucky with these then :-)

The LH eyepiece on mine is rubber, off a trash pair of 2-hinge compacts, since the original was the only part missing when purchased. Best glass I have for comparison at the mo is a Nikon sportstarEX 8x25 and it compares pretty well to those, funds don't stretch to alpha glass at the moment, unfortunately.

Did obtain a trilyte-alike the other day, Chinon 10x40 version, 5.5 degree FoV, coated rather than multi-coated. Mint condition but slightly out of alignment, not as bright, longer minimum focus than the falcon. Dioptre was a bit odd, "floated a bit" and could barely get it set to suit my eyes. Seems perhaps someone turned it a bit too far left in the past and that started to unscrew the tube, nothing a quick dismantle and reassemble couldn't fix :-) Just need to cleanly locate access to the prism tilt screws without damaging the pebbly case coating, one day...

Funny you mention the robin, never heard one sing, of the dozen or so regular species I see here I've not seen a robin so far.
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