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Leitz binoculars

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Old Monday 22nd April 2019, 16:00   #1
jmack429
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Leitz binoculars

Good Morning,

I was just given a pair of Leitz Aviosept 7x50 binoculars that my uncle brought back with him from WWII. I've been trying to find any information that I can about them and I came across this website. I was hoping that you might be able to provide me with some more information on these binoculars. Their serial number is 431011.

Also, this pair is missing one of its' lens cups and I was wondering if you might know where I can get a replacement? Thank you!

Jay
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Old Monday 22nd April 2019, 16:29   #2
jring
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Hi,

very old, built from 1919-1931 according to the model list linked below.

http://home.europa.com/~telscope/leitzbin.txt

Don't know if there is public lists of serial numbers as for Zeiss - I did find some numbers for microsopes, but your 431k would be from 1950 according to this which is way after production for this model stopped, so it's probably a different list.

https://www.chem.utoronto.ca/jbj_arc...%20Numbers.pdf

Maybe ask Leica, if they still have records...

Have seen 400€ and 700€ asked on various sites - it all depends on condition and if you find a collector who still needs one ;-)

PS: And a warm welcome to birdforum!

Joachim

Last edited by jring : Monday 22nd April 2019 at 19:16. Reason: added postscriptum
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Old Monday 22nd April 2019, 18:11   #3
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Hello Jay,

Look on ebay for eye cups, or perhaps eyecups, for Leitz Binoculars. There is a fellow in the UK who manufactures replacement ones for a reasonable price.

Happy bird watching,
Arthur Pinewood
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Old Wednesday 24th April 2019, 14:43   #4
LPT
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Hello Jay,

You've got a valuable, rare and nice binocular. It is also a very unusual example. I maintain a small Leitz binocular serial number database (the Leitz microscope serials cannot be applied to binoculars) and 431011 is a mid-war Leitz number, probably 1943, post-war numbers not beginning until about 480000. The Aviosept was a civilian model binocular and war-time made civilian model German binoculars are not common particularly mid to late war ones. So this is odd. It is also peculiar that a binocular model which was reportedly discontinued in 1931 (and the europa.com listing is a well-researched and generally accurate guide) was made circa 1943. I can think of three explanations.

1) Leitz actually did make some during the war for the civil market or for export to get foreign currency.

2) The binocular was made circa 1919-1931 but during the war was reconditioned by Leitz for military use and assigned a new serial number. I think this is doubtful but if so the binocular should have some military markings.

3) The binocular was made post war (late 1945-1946) from stockpiled parts for sale to Americans. Note that as incredible as it seems some German optical manufacturers such as Leitz as well as Zeiss, Hensoldt, and Voigtlander began manufacturing and selling optical instruments such as binoculars and cameras almost immediately after occupation in some cases even as the war was still going on. Often surplus military and stockpiled civilian model parts were used to assemble these products.

Could you post some pictures of your Aviosept especially of the markings. I'd like to see it.

Frank

Last edited by LPT : Wednesday 24th April 2019 at 15:39.
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Old Wednesday 24th April 2019, 21:40   #5
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A fourth possibility very similar to 3) is that it is a military model Leitz made circa 1943 which was demilitarized 1945-1946 for post-war sale. The demilitarization would have involved removing all military markings from the prism plates and replacing them with civilian model ones while retaining the original serial number. The binocular could have been an unissued example at the Leitz factory or more likely one which was there for servicing when occupation took place. Zeiss did this sort of thing at the end of WW I. I have a Binoctar marked Zeiss 7 x 50 with a 1915 serial number and an IPD tension knob at the hinge end, but the problem is Zeiss did not introduce the Binoctar model until 1918 and Binoctars did not have IPD tension knobs. However the military DF 7 x 50 (the Binoctar was a civilian version of the DF 7 x 50) did have these knobs and was being made in 1915, and other collectors have told me that at the end of WW I Zeiss demilitarized military binoculars which were at their factory and applied civilian model markings on them for civil sale.
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Old Thursday 25th April 2019, 14:01   #6
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Last night I did a search for Letiz Aviosepts and discovered something interesting - a fake Aviosept. Although examples of fake Zeiss models are fairly commonplace particularly of WW II Kriegsmarine ones and 1980's Jenoptems (many actually built under license in Japan(?) but still of lower quality than the German made ones), this is the first fake Aviosept I've seen.

First, here is what a real Aviosept should look like: https://www.google.ca/search?q=Leitz...5j8FYDXH2JZOM: Note that early WW II Leitz Porro II 7 x 50's were basically a militarized version of the civilian model Aviosept and look almost exactly the same, but later in the war desiccant cartridges and rubber armour were added and prism plate design was changed slightly.

And second this is the fake: https://stewartsmilitaryantiques.com...itary-antiques This binocular is actually a British WW II Binoprism No. 5 7 x 50, a nice binocular but very common and worth but a fraction of a genuine Aviosept. The fake markings, though, are well done and convincing.

Last edited by LPT : Thursday 25th April 2019 at 15:15.
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Old Friday 26th April 2019, 06:28   #7
jring
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Hi Frank,

very interesting read - thank you so much!

Would you mind to make your Leitz binocular production number estimates public, or is there information from official sources in there that cannot be shared?

Joachim

Last edited by jring : Friday 26th April 2019 at 06:29. Reason: speling
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Old Friday 26th April 2019, 17:19   #8
LPT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jring View Post
Hi Frank,

very interesting read - thank you so much!

Would you mind to make your Leitz binocular production number estimates public, or is there information from official sources in there that cannot be shared?

Joachim
Hello Joachim,
It needs a little editing but will put something together and post it here in the next few days.
Frank
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Old Saturday 27th April 2019, 18:54   #9
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Here is my Leitz handheld binocular serial number guide. All information is according to what I consider to be knowledgeable sources, but nonetheless, there are inconsistencies. Note, for example, Binuxit 192983 which Leica Germany wrote was made in 1937. This year seems too early to me (I think it should be late 1938 or 1939) and as far as I know Leica Germany does not have archives with pre-WW II serial number information so I think whoever wrote the letter was estimating. But Leica's response is noteworthy and deserves consideration. Also I have attached what I believe is an accurate record of Uppendahl prism Trinovid serial numbers. I do not recall the source of this document but it may have come from a discussion on this forum.

60187 – 6.5x50 Porro II, rare, probably pre WW I 1907–1914
105551 – 7x50 Porro II, “brass glass”, WW I German Imperial Navy markings, 1914–1918
158759 – 6x30 Dienstglas, brass prism covers, believed made mid-1930’s
188568 – 6x30 Dienstglas, zinc prism covers, believed made 1938-1939
192983 – 8x30 Binuxit, Leica Germany wrote that binocular made in 1937
261189 – 7x50 Marsept, believed made 1939
293025 – 6x30 Dienstglas, believed made earlier 1941
330000 – 6x30 beh Dienstglas, beh code on 6 x 30 Dienstglas introduced late 1941-early 1942
431741 – 7x50 Porro II (type ii), 1943
474439 – 7x50 Porro II rubber armoured, 1944-1945
485890 – 8x30 Binuxit, not coated, 1945-1946
486619 – 7x50 Marsept, not coated, 1945-1946
495517 – 8x30 Binuxit, photographed in Leitz 1949 sales brochure
495524 – 7x50 Marsept, photographed in Leitz 1949 sales brochure
617867 - 8x60 Maroctit, purchased in 1962
625001 – 8x32 or 10x40 Trinovid, 1962, see attached Trinovid serial number listing
651449 – 8x32 Trinovid, purchased in 1965
993647 – Uppendahl prism Trinovid, highest Uppendahl number seen, probably 1989-1990
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Old Wednesday 1st May 2019, 20:59   #10
Renze de Vries
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The source of the attached record of Leitz Trinovid serial numbers is the nice booklet 'Novelties' - The story of the Leica Trinovid by Gary Hawkins. Gary was working as a technician for Leica UK at the time.
The handwritten notes and markings on the copied page are by me.

Renze
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Old Wednesday 1st May 2019, 23:56   #11
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Hello Renze,
Thank you for crediting source of document to Gary Hawkins.
Frank
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Old Thursday 2nd May 2019, 14:33   #12
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Thank you both for adding to the collective knowledge base. Well done!
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Old Monday 6th May 2019, 15:37   #13
jmack429
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Do you know the name of the website for the replacement cups?
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Old Monday 6th May 2019, 15:43   #14
jmack429
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Thank you for the information that has been posted to date. I have been out of town and this is the first that I am reading these replies. I will try and post some pictures later today when I get home from work and can take them.
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