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Vintage Binoculars

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Old Saturday 6th February 2010, 18:38   #1
LPT
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Vintage Binoculars

For several years I have enjoyed collecting vintage binoculars.
The collection of 43 mostly vintage binoculars can be viewed at:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/binocwp...405689/detail/
I would appreciate any comments, further information or corrections the members of this forum could provide about these binoculars and my descriptions of them. In particular, as detailed at this site I have specific questions about the following binoculars:
Ross No.6 Mk I 4X24
Rodenstock DF 03 6X24
Ross BinoPrism No. 5 Mk II 7X50
Barr & Stroud CF 41 7X50
Pecar 8X40
Schutz Ruf & Co Kassel Heliolith 10X50
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Old Saturday 6th February 2010, 19:53   #2
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Very nice collection. Yes. I know nothing about the bins you asked about (and can prove it ). But, you seem to be a bit short on the older Swift Audubons that are now increasingly hard to find. A Type 0 would fit into your collection rather well I would think.

My bin closet shares several of your early Nippon Kogaku and Nikon E models. Of course, early Swift models abound.

Thanks for sharing.
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Old Monday 8th February 2010, 22:59   #3
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LPT: An interesting collection, well displayed/described. I too now have a Nikon 8x32SE, serial no. 502xxx (1999)(lead glass) which is truly a 'keeper' if ever there was one. I also have a Swift Audubon 804 model 1(c) made by Tamron, a 'featherweight' in name only, in very nice condition. I suggest a Zeiss Jena 8x50 Octarem would be a worthy addition to your collection, if you like fine quality. From "We're certainly not afraid of Zeiss"(ISBN 1-901663-66-3, 2001, by William Reid) the Barr & Stroud CF41 7x50 was a developed CF40 with internal colour filters set in front of the prism system, adopted in 1935 as the second type of Admiralty Pattern 1900A; it underwent many modifications. Earlier models had click stops on the oculars and many also extending ray-shades. Dessicator vent unions and less permeable oculars were later incorporated. The Royal Navy's standard binocular for day and night use, c.70,000 were made during 50 years it was in service. Serial no. information is limited: 33135= pre1941; 70119= 1945, so your 77424 was post WWII, as you surmise. The CF40 goes back to 1934, when production both started and ceased that year (10118-10442). Post war CF41s had lens coatings from late 1946. The model remained in stock until 1975 when it was offered to the public for 116+vat. The last made reputedly was no'd 131657, but a company record from 1973/4 showed serial numbers up to 133312. From 17th August 1942 a chamois leather washer, smeared with Bermoline grease, was fitted to CF41 variants AP1900A, AP1907A and AP1948, improving watertightness. The book acknowledges the plethora of Admiralty Pattern numbers and Barr & Stroud product codes: AP1900A-colour filters, no graticule; AP1907A-cross lines graticule; AP1948-clockface graticule. As to why the ports were plugged after the war, the book reveals many dessicator connections were removed and the vents sealed during renovation prior to sale, then thousands of naval binoculars inundated the civilian market, no longer likely to suffer as seriously from the effects of damp as when they were at sea. William Reid's book is informative and entertaining, albeit necessarily very detailed. My apologies if you have much of this information already, but I've tried to pick out the information relevant to your questions, and hope it fills in some gaps.
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Old Tuesday 9th February 2010, 05:17   #4
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James, Thank you for the information. My CF 41 description has been updated accordingly. I am now definitely going to try to acquire a copy of William Reid's book.
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Old Friday 12th February 2010, 18:39   #5
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Quote:
... the Barr & Stroud CF41 7x50 was a developed CF40 with internal colour filters set in front of the prism system, adopted in 1935 as the second type of Admiralty Pattern 1900A; it underwent many modifications. Earlier models had click stops on the oculars and many also extending ray-shades.
James,
Do you have any information/insight into the rationale for internal color filters, or which colors they were? Recently I've been ruminating about the wisdom of using sunglasses with binoculars.
Thanks,
Ed
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Old Friday 12th February 2010, 21:11   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elkcub View Post
James,
Do you have any information/insight into the rationale for internal color filters, or which colors they were? Recently I've been ruminating about the wisdom of using sunglasses with binoculars.
Thanks,
Ed
The colors on my CF 41 are dark green, yellow, grey, and clear. Note these are naval binoculars. The yellow, I think, would have been used for hazy or foggy conditions and the green for conditions of extreme glare or brightness such as the reflection of sun on water at sunrise/sunset. I'm not sure how the grey was to be used, possibly for fog? This summer at the lake I'll test these filters to see how effective they are.
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Old Friday 12th February 2010, 21:16   #7
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Do not know the specifics for the Barr & Stroud, but yellow and gray filters were standard issue with the Soviet 8x30.
The Zeiss Jena 7x40 also had yellow filters, likewise stored in the eyepiece covers.
Presumably the gray was to cut brightness, while the yellow was to boost contrast.
Similar filters were built into the various Zeiss spotting scopes such as the 12x60 or the 10x80..
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Old Saturday 13th February 2010, 01:15   #8
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How did the user select the green, gray or yellow filters on the B&S CF 41?

Hmmm, — I mean were they placed over the objective or eyepiece, or inserted somehow?

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Last edited by elkcub : Saturday 13th February 2010 at 01:31.
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Old Saturday 13th February 2010, 02:51   #9
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There is a knob next to each objective tube which can be turned to select filter color. This link shows the set-up nicely.

http://home.lizzy.com.au/syntor/Binoc.html

Back probably in the late 1940's when CF41's were released to the surplus market I'm sure both amateur and professional sailors gladly purchased them for their functionality. Today, they are a very popular collectable with good ones going for 300 USD even though they were produced in large numbers. I think they are popular because of their use by the British in WWII, the numerous variations produced and last but not least the exceptional engineering and workmanship that went into them. It would probably cost at least 1,000 USD to manufacture today.

Last edited by LPT : Saturday 13th February 2010 at 03:25. Reason: to provide more information
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Old Monday 15th February 2010, 17:56   #10
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"Oh, I see," said the blind man. Too bad we don't have such a capability in today's binoculars.

Ed
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Old Tuesday 16th February 2010, 00:07   #11
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Hi LPT and James,
Thank you for the info on the CF 41's, mine are in reasonable shape, serial #52707. My question is about the Canadian R.E.L. 7x50 which must have been in use by the Canadian Navy at about the same time as the Barr and Strouds. I have two pairs of the R.E.L.'s both with the fitted B.O.P. filter assembly, replacing the prism cover, with the filter changing knob adjacent to the ocular. these knobs are marked "O" (open?), "Y" yellow, "D" (Slightly grey), "G" quite dark grey. Were these replacements for the CF 41's, or were they used at the same time, perhaps for different functions? And, were they followed, chronologically, by the Elcan 7x50,s or was there another binocular in use by the Canadian Navy in between?
BTW my CF 41's weigh in at 1570 grams, the R.E.L.'s at 1790 and the Elcans at 1190.
The Elcans have yellow filters that can be put over the eyecups when in the folded down position.
Thank you for any help with my questions, John
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Old Tuesday 16th February 2010, 02:35   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjg213 View Post
Hi LPT and James,
Thank you for the info on the CF 41's, mine are in reasonable shape, serial #52707. My question is about the Canadian R.E.L. 7x50 which must have been in use by the Canadian Navy at about the same time as the Barr and Strouds. I have two pairs of the R.E.L.'s both with the fitted B.O.P. filter assembly, replacing the prism cover, with the filter changing knob adjacent to the ocular. these knobs are marked "O" (open?), "Y" yellow, "D" (Slightly grey), "G" quite dark grey. Were these replacements for the CF 41's, or were they used at the same time, perhaps for different functions? And, were they followed, chronologically, by the Elcan 7x50,s or was there another binocular in use by the Canadian Navy in between?
BTW my CF 41's weigh in at 1570 grams, the R.E.L.'s at 1790 and the Elcans at 1190.
The Elcans have yellow filters that can be put over the eyecups when in the folded down position.
Thank you for any help with my questions, John
Here's a good link for information on REL and Elcan binoculars:
http://home.europa.com/~telscope/canada.txt
If possible, could you provide some pictures of your REL with the fitted BOP filter assembly. I am unfamiliar with this, and it would be very interesting to see.
Thanks for the information regarding CF 41 weight - my description of this binocular has been revised accordingly.
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Old Tuesday 16th February 2010, 17:26   #13
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More from "We're certainly not afraid of Zeiss" (William Reid) which explains green and yellow filters increase the contrast of a warship against a blue sky/sea; grey filters make it easier to look towards bright sunshine/dazzling searchlights. Filters were initially fitted in front of objectives, but it was soon realised this prevented seeing an adequately sharp, clear and pure image. The CF.30 was upgraded with internal 3-tone filters, becoming the CF.40, having colour glasses in a housing behind the prism box, brought into use through discoid changers alongside the oculars. The system worked, but was felt unsatisfactory. When the CF.41 was developed, the designers solved the problem of how and where to fit the filters: they were set at the front of the prism box while still keeping them close to the larger prisms of this new model, thus improving definition over the earlier model. External knobs, similar to those behind the filter housing of the CF.40, were set between the barrels of the CF.41, operated by simple spur gears, introducing filters which best suited the light conditions. The patent for this invention was granted in August 1934. It was a Barr & Stroud CF.41/AP1900A, mounted on an 'enemy bearing indicator' aboard HMS Suffolk, that first sighted German warships in May 1941, resulting in the Royal Navy's successful 'Sink the Bismarck' action. I hope this is helpful...
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Old Tuesday 16th February 2010, 18:00   #14
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It's very helpful and quite fascinating, James. Many thanks.
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Old Saturday 27th February 2010, 19:38   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Bean View Post
More from "We're certainly not afraid of Zeiss" (William Reid) which explains green and yellow filters increase the contrast of a warship against a blue sky/sea; grey filters make it easier to look towards bright sunshine/dazzling searchlights. Filters were initially fitted in front of objectives, but it was soon realised this prevented seeing an adequately sharp, clear and pure image. The CF.30 was upgraded with internal 3-tone filters, becoming the CF.40, having colour glasses in a housing behind the prism box, brought into use through discoid changers alongside the oculars. The system worked, but was felt unsatisfactory. When the CF.41 was developed, the designers solved the problem of how and where to fit the filters: they were set at the front of the prism box while still keeping them close to the larger prisms of this new model, thus improving definition over the earlier model. External knobs, similar to those behind the filter housing of the CF.40, were set between the barrels of the CF.41, operated by simple spur gears, introducing filters which best suited the light conditions. The patent for this invention was granted in August 1934. It was a Barr & Stroud CF.41/AP1900A, mounted on an 'enemy bearing indicator' aboard HMS Suffolk, that first sighted German warships in May 1941, resulting in the Royal Navy's successful 'Sink the Bismarck' action. I hope this is helpful...
As per picture
http://www.flickr.com/photos/binocul...7616130558280/
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Old Tuesday 2nd March 2010, 17:52   #16
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CF 41 Filters

Quote:
Originally Posted by elkcub View Post
James,
Do you have any information/insight into the rationale for internal color filters, or which colors they were? Recently I've been ruminating about the wisdom of using sunglasses with binoculars.
Thanks,
Ed
Some CF41 have one yellow filter and two neutral density filters each side whilst others have a green and two ND filters.
The ND filters simply reduced the glare eflected off the sea when looking for small objects amongst the waves such as liferafts or periscopes.
As already mentioned the yellow or green filters cut through fog or mist.
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Old Tuesday 2nd March 2010, 18:22   #17
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The following binoculars have been added to my collection since the last posting on February 6/10:
Bushnell Rangemaster 7X35
Goerz Trieder 9X20
Huet Extra Lumineuse 7X24
Spindler & Hoyer Feldglas 08 6X39
Ross Bino.Prism Mk IV 5X40
Lumex Stereo 10X35
Once again, I would appreciate any comments, further information or corrections the members of this forum could provide about these binoculars and my descriptions of them. In particular,I have specific questions about the following binoculars:
Huet Extra Lumineuse 7X24
Lumex Stereo 10X35
Also, thanks to information contributed by members of this and other forums, the descriptions of the following binoculars have been significantly revised since the last posting:
Barr & Stroud CF 41 7X50
Ross No.6 Mk I 4X24
Rodenstock DF 03 6X24
The new binoculars can be viewed at:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/binocwp...302180/detail/
The entire collection including additions can be viewed at:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/binocwp...405689/detail/
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Old Monday 3rd May 2010, 19:43   #18
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The following has been added to my collection since the last posting on March 4/10:
-Huet Paris Modele 1933 Type 1 8X30
-BBT Krauss Modele 1933 Type 2 8X30
-Ross Prism Binocular 8X20
-Nash-Kelvinator M3 6X30
-Interesting books, articles and websites about binoculars
-Zeiss Silvarem 6X30 Tension Knob Tool
-REL 7X50 with BOP Filter Modification
-Barr & Stroud CF25 7X42 with a) internal view of prism clamp and b) view compared to CF41
-Oigee 6X36
-Barr & Stroud CF41 internal views of a) prism arrangement, b) desiccator tubes, c) colour filter wheel

I would appreciate any comments, further information or corrections the members of this forum could provide about these binoculars and my descriptions of them. In particular, I have specific questions about the following binoculars:
-Huet Paris Modele 1933 Type 1 8X30
-BBT Krauss Modele 1933 Type 2 8X30
-Oigee 6X36
-REL 7X50 with BOP Filter Modification. Particular to this, I am researching the BOP filter conversion of the Canadian 7X50 REL binocular. If a member has any 7X50 REL binoculars or a BOP converted one, I would be most interested in its details such as model #, year of manufacture, number of dry air ports, serial number, presence of coated lenses, presence of yellow Admiralty arrows, and any other information about its history and manufacture.

Once again, thanks to members of this and other forums who have provided new information about the binoculars in the collection.

The new binoculars can be viewed at:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/binocwp...947321/detail/
The entire collection including additions can be viewed at:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/binocwp...405689/detail/

Last edited by LPT : Monday 3rd May 2010 at 19:51. Reason: grammatical
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Old Friday 11th June 2010, 05:57   #19
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I am looking for someone who might know about three pairs of bins that I have. One is a Jason Statesman, Model 151, Exclusive UVC, 7 X 50, Extra Wide Angle 11 degrees, 578 feet at 1000 yards, No. HB 22908. The other two I need to unpack (I just moved). One is vintage and tiny/collapsable and one is a newer Bell & Howell with a digital camera and some other goodies. Appreciate any help. Thanks from Loon country! (Please email me!!)
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Old Thursday 17th June 2010, 21:03   #20
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The following have been added to my collection since the last posting on May3/10:
REL C.G.B. 54G.A./C.G.B. 57G.A. 7X50
REL C.G.B. 57G.A. 7X50 with Dry Air Adapter
Barr & Stroud 7X CF31 7X50
Nippon Kogaku 7X50 7.3 deg
Nash-Kelvinator Corp. Binocular M3 6X30 Reticule (View 2)
Huet Paris Modele 1933 Type 1 8X30 Prism Cage (View 2)
Huet Paris Modele 1933 Type 1 8X30 Prism Removed from Cage (View 3)
Barr & Stroud 7X CF 25 7X42 Balsamoiding Material (View 5)
Ross X5 Bino.Prism Mk IV 5X40 with REL Dry Air Adapter (View 2)

The following have been significantly updated with new information and/or correction of errors since May 3/10:
-Huet Paris Modele 1933 Type 1 8X30
-BBT Krauss Modele 1933 Type 2 8X30
-Nash-Kelvinator M3 6X30
-Interesting books, articles and websites about binoculars (books by Forslund, Law, Rohan, and Seeger added)
-REL 7X50 with BOP Filter Modification

I would appreciate any comments, further information or corrections the members of this forum could provide about these binoculars and my descriptions of them. In particular, I have specific questions about the following binocular:
-Nippon Kogaku 7X50 7.3 deg

Also, I am researching the BOP filter conversion of the Canadian 7X50 REL binocular and REL 7X50's in general. If a member has any 7X50 REL binoculars or a BOP converted one, I would be most interested in its details such as model #, year of manufacture, number of dry air ports, serial number, presence of coated lenses, presence of yellow Admiralty arrows, weight, and any other information about its history and manufacture.

Once again, thanks to members of this and other forums who have provided new information about the binoculars in the collection.

The new binoculars can be viewed at:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/binocwp...926230/detail/
The entire collection including additions can be viewed at:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/binocwp...405689/detail/

Last edited by LPT : Thursday 17th June 2010 at 21:06.
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Old Wednesday 23rd June 2010, 20:17   #21
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LPT,

Do you know what kind of ocular the Nippon Kogaku 8x30 Type A has? You mention that the 9x35 has a 5-element Erfle.

I own an earlier Nippon Kogaku 8x30 Mikron, which looks the same as your Type A.

Thanks,
Ed
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Old Thursday 24th June 2010, 00:49   #22
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elkcub,
I have disassembled one and am almost positive it is five element, but not sure if it is technically an Erfle 5-element.
By the way, I recently got another A series 8X30 and for some reason it's optically quite a bit better than the first one. Flickr page updated a few minutes ago.

Last edited by LPT : Thursday 24th June 2010 at 00:54.
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Old Monday 9th August 2010, 19:50   #23
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I would point out the 7x50 doesn't!
http://www.flickr.com/photos/binoculars/4817473655/
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Old Monday 9th August 2010, 21:09   #24
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Simon,

Just about all the old 7x50's with 7-7.5 degree fields use 3 element Kellners. The eye lens is a cemented doublet.

I noticed that you recently bought an A-series 9x35. They made that one by simply combining the 8x30 A eyepiece with the 7x35 A objective. For some reason they didn't do the same thing with the E series, going instead with a different eyepiece to make a 10x35. You might want to look for multi-coated E series 8x30's and 7x35's which seem to go pretty cheaply on ebay (look for the green coatings and the modern leaning Nikon logo). With your tech skills you could make up your own fully multi-coated E-series 9x35 and 6x30 (neither of which Nikon ever marketed) just by switching the objectives between a 7x35 and 8x30. Both are very nice binoculars.

I also have a pair of those old Nikon "Feather-Weight" 7x50's. Wish I could find some eyecups for them.

Henry

Last edited by henry link : Monday 9th August 2010 at 21:14.
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Old Monday 9th August 2010, 21:20   #25
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Henry, thank you for your reply. I am looking to buy some of the E series, but they are few and far between over here. What are your thoughts on the old 7x50's?
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