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Audubon HR/5

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Old Tuesday 24th May 2016, 12:53   #1
cj.holder
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Audubon HR/5

I've recently inherited my late father's HR/5s. I thought my Opticron Vega 3s were good until I tried these. The clarity and focus is amazing.

The code is 902806, and J-B56 is stamped on the front. Does that give any clue as to date of manufacture?

Dad lived in Worcester which was the home of the Kays Mail Order catalogue - remember those days? Items returned by customers were usually sold at discount prices in the staff shop rather than returned to stock. Dad said he paid 60 for them, and he said that was half the normal selling price.

I'm keeping them for obvious sentimental reasons, and might sell the Opticrons.
Chris
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Old Tuesday 24th May 2016, 13:41   #2
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Hi Chris and welcome.

1990 I think.

If you ever decide to part with the HR/5, let me know. But obviously it would be better if you kept it.
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Old Tuesday 24th May 2016, 14:40   #3
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Hi Chris and welcome.

1990 I think.

If you ever decide to part with the HR/5, let me know. But obviously it would be better if you kept it.
These are actually amazingly good binoculars, BAK prisms, complex eyepieces and wonderful wide field clarity. Swift advertised the use of "slotted prisms" for improved internal refraction, although that may have been marketing ballyhoo. Like many Japanese porro prism glasses of that era, these are a little fragile and prone to miscollimation if bumped (or dropped) but, to use a favorite expression, these punch way above their weight. I regretfully sold mine years ago, and learned a painful lesson. Today, I wouldn't give up my Opticron SR GA 8 x 32 porros on a bet.
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Old Tuesday 24th May 2016, 14:59   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chartwell99 View Post
Swift advertised the use of "slotted prisms" for improved internal refraction, although that may have been marketing ballyhoo.
Hi,

porro prisms should indeed be slotted or grooved to eliminate stray light. See

http://www.astronomyclub.xyz/globula...-2/prisms.html

for an explanation.

Joachim
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Old Tuesday 24th May 2016, 20:34   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cj.holder View Post
I've recently inherited my late father's HR/5s. I thought my Opticron Vega 3s were good until I tried these. The clarity and focus is amazing.

The code is 902806, and J-B56 is stamped on the front. Does that give any clue as to date of manufacture?

Dad lived in Worcester which was the home of the Kays Mail Order catalogue - remember those days? Items returned by customers were usually sold at discount prices in the staff shop rather than returned to stock. Dad said he paid 60 for them, and he said that was half the normal selling price.

I'm keeping them for obvious sentimental reasons, and might sell the Opticrons.
Chris
Hi Chris,

You might be interested in an article about the Swift Audubon we wrote in 2005. Binastro is correct, the first two digits of the s/n indicate the date of manufacture, a fact that we discovered later. Does your model say 'Multi-Coated Optics" or "Fully Multi-Coated." A picture of the cover plates would nail it down, but my guess is that it was distributed by Pyser in the UK. http://www.birdforum.net/showpost.ph...6&postcount=15

In good condition it's a great binocular with a very easy view, that is, if the eye relief meets your needs.

Ed
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Old Tuesday 24th May 2016, 21:26   #6
cj.holder
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Does your model say 'Multi-Coated Optics" or "Fully Multi-Coated." A picture of the cover plates would nail it down, but my guess is that it was distributed by Pyser in the UK.
Ed,

It says "Multi-Coated Optics".
It's the 4b (1) model shown on page 17 of your document.

Chris

Last edited by cj.holder : Tuesday 24th May 2016 at 21:29.
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Old Friday 3rd June 2016, 07:56   #7
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These are on their way from the UK to me. I couldn't get a clear shot of the serial number.

Instead of starting a new HR5 thread, is somebody able to more specifically identify these Audubon HR5 for me? Rough year of manufacture etc? Where do they slot into the Audubon mix?
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Old Friday 3rd June 2016, 07:59   #8
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Just 'Multi Coated'...I've got a few other pics if required. Cheers
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Old Monday 6th June 2016, 13:14   #9
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The audubons arrived from the UK in about four days! Unbelievable.

Wow, what binoculars....I can see why they've built a reputation and following for themselves. I need to do some minor glueing/epoxy repair on the plastic diopter ring where the grub screws have cracked the plastic ring. (I'm surprised at how dormant the Swift forum is)
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Old Monday 6th June 2016, 14:06   #10
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Hi there,
A Swift flew 3,000 miles in 5 days, so 10,000 miles in 4 days is swifter.

A Swift fighter also held the world speed record for a month. 753.7 mph.

Last edited by Binastro : Monday 6th June 2016 at 14:12.
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Old Monday 6th June 2016, 21:58   #11
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Hi there,
A Swift flew 3,000 miles in 5 days, so 10,000 miles in 4 days is swifter.

A Swift fighter also held the world speed record for a month. 753.7 mph.


It's true though, the Swifts were the swiftest delivery I've ever had from Europe. Four days was from when I tapped the purchase button. Not even the wonderful Teutonic efficiency of the Germans and Austrians could quite match the good old Royal Mail...on this day at least. I feel like Tim Brook Taylor - rising to Land of Hope and Glory
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Old Monday 6th June 2016, 23:24   #12
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Just 'Multi Coated'...I've got a few other pics if required. Cheers
Now that they are in hand, please tell us the s/n. Audubons that were marketed by Swift Instruments in North America had a forth line on the right cover plate saying: "Model No. 804." Since yours doesn't have it, the original distributor was Pyser, UK. Here, 804 is a model number, there it was a catalog number.

Have fun with it. I just bought another US model in new/mint condition for my collection.

Ed
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Old Monday 6th June 2016, 23:31   #13
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There were at least two "multi-coated optics" versions, the first issued in the mid-1980s. In the US it was denoted 804R (1985) with blue objective rings, but in Europe it looked like the later models. So, the date is important to know.
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Old Monday 6th June 2016, 23:48   #14
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Now that they are in hand, please tell us the s/n. Audubons that were marketed by Swift Instruments in North America had a forth line on the right cover plate saying: "Model No. 804." Since yours doesn't have it, the original distributor was Pyser, UK. Here, 804 is a model number, there it was a catalog number.

Have fun with it. I just bought another US model in new/mint condition for my collection.

Ed
Thanks Ed.

The numbers are 865304, and J-B56
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Old Monday 6th June 2016, 23:55   #15
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Another shot. On first impressions, These bins are wonderfully clear. Outstanding.
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Old Tuesday 7th June 2016, 00:10   #16
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The Swifts are liking this. I'm using them right now on this grey gum. It's vivid and crisp. This tree is filled with parrots...sulphur crested cockatoos on the lower levels and lorikeets on the upper levels ...in every hollow in the trunk and branches.
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Old Tuesday 7th June 2016, 00:49   #17
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Clear day here. I've just spent an hour putting the swifts through their paces alongside the Habicht, Ell and Zeiss BGATP 7x42. The swifts are doing very well at 'faint single web detection' - one of the most difficult tests that I know of as it seems to combine resolution, CA, contrast, brightness etc all in the one go. The excellent Ell can struggle at this web test sometimes. Ive only done a couple of hours of viewing at this stage, but I'd easily be putting the swifts into the above category of binoculars. What an extraordinary value.
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Old Tuesday 7th June 2016, 02:26   #18
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Hello Rathaus,

Use it well.

Happy bird watching,
Arthur
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Old Tuesday 7th June 2016, 14:08   #19
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Hi Rathaus,
What's with the yellow, rose and light green stickers on the focuser?

Is there a number code on the silver Japan sticker?
6?
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Old Tuesday 7th June 2016, 19:39   #20
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Thanks Ed.

The numbers are 865304, and J-B56
So it was manufactured in 1986 by Hiyoshi Kogaku, and would correspond optically with the 804R sold in the US starting in 1985. By coincidence, my 804R was also made in 1986, like yours.

It is, truly, a great binocular.

Ed
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Old Tuesday 7th June 2016, 19:48   #21
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Hi Ed,
How do the two Multicoated models differ?
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Old Tuesday 7th June 2016, 20:04   #22
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Clear day here. I've just spent an hour putting the swifts through their paces alongside the Habicht, Ell and Zeiss BGATP 7x42. The swifts are doing very well at 'faint single web detection' - one of the most difficult tests that I know of as it seems to combine resolution, CA, contrast, brightness etc all in the one go. The excellent Ell can struggle at this web test sometimes. Ive only done a couple of hours of viewing at this stage, but I'd easily be putting the swifts into the above category of binoculars. What an extraordinary value.
Rathus,

What does single web detection mean? Does it refer to spider webs?

David,

The second multi-coated version had more multi-coated surfaces, but not all of them. The eyepiece reflections are clearly different, and the objectives are somewhat darker green. The fully multi-coated version that showed up in the late 1990s is even darker green. None disappoint.

Ed
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Old Tuesday 7th June 2016, 20:44   #23
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Although slightly increasing in brightness, I also experience increased CA with more multi-coatings. This is my reason for thinking that the 804ED was introduced. It was very effective in correcting for CA. It's still the only binocular that allows me to appreciate subtle color variations in birds.

Ed
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Old Tuesday 7th June 2016, 23:00   #24
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Rathus,

What does single web detection mean? Does it refer to spider webs?

David,

The second multi-coated version had more multi-coated surfaces, but not all of them. The eyepiece reflections are clearly different, and the objectives are somewhat darker green. The fully multi-coated version that showed up in the late 1990s is even darker green. None disappoint.

Ed
Ed and Binastro et al,

The only Japan sticker I have is on the bottom of the case and there is no number. I assumed that the coloured dot markers were a focus marker from the previous owner? Also, my swifts do not have the tripod mount beneath.

Re The single thread test - I look for a single thread from a spider or caterpillar a few inches long (6-12inches...sometimes longer) which is usually stretched between bark or twigs. The best thread is Very fine/barely perceptible. Sometimes it's also a waving piece of thread. Shaded or sunny, this is the most ruthless test I've come up with so far for binoculars. I usually view from 30-40 feet away. Some of my sharpest binoculars can struggle with the thread test. It's almost spooky and ghost like when the thread appears in some binoculars and not others.

I walked up to the piece of thread I was viewing yesterday to check it out, and it took me a minute or so to find it from just 12inches away with the naked eye. I knew where it was but still couldnt locate it for some time. Incredibly difficult to see. A couple of the binoculars gave me a better view from 30-40 feet away.

Cheers

Rathaus

Last edited by Rathaus : Tuesday 7th June 2016 at 23:22.
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Old Tuesday 7th June 2016, 23:07   #25
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These are the main stickers on the body.
The previous owner appears to have been fastidious. They had their name machine embroidered into the neck strap. Very nicely done.
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