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Leitz 7 x 35b trinovid binoculars. What are these?

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Old Tuesday 8th March 2005, 01:54   #1
danrs
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Leitz 7 x 35b trinovid binoculars. What are these?

Hoping someone can shed some light on this for me here.

I was just given a set of Leitz 7x35b trinovid binoculars by my life long buddy. They used to be his grandfathers (an avid outdoorsman), and he couldn't bear to see them sitting on a shelf collecting dust, so they were passed to me, who will use them often.

What can anyone tell me about them? I know they're good glass, and that Leitz is Leica, but little else.

They're absolutely spotless, like new, with leather case. Appear to be at least as good of a bino as my Nikon Monarch ATB's, and then some.

Any info regarding weather resistance / proofing, quality, value, etc., would be great. Not to sure I want to get caught in the rain with these if they're not waterproof.

Thanks in advance!
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Old Tuesday 8th March 2005, 02:27   #2
Pinewood
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You can write to Leica for their age, by providing the serial number. The following person answered those questions, six months, ago:
[email protected]
They are not phase coated, but they were well made, decades, ago. If they are truly spotless, they may have more value as a collectors' item, tnan as a user.
7x35 means seven power with objective lenses, the front lenses of 35 mm. diameter. That size is a decent all rounder binocular, but not popular, today. The "b" designation meant that there was sufficient eye relief for eyeglass [briller in German] wearers.
I'll let someone else answer your questions about weather resistance.

Happy bird watching,
Arthur Pinewood
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Old Sunday 20th March 2005, 02:24   #3
jackknife
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I'm the owner of an old 8x32 trinovid. These glasses are excellent. In that mint condition you wrote, they pay at ebay germany over 350 for them.
Be proud to have them.
Matthias
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Old Tuesday 22nd March 2005, 12:20   #4
jackied
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My mother bought a pair of Leitz 8x32 about 2 years ago from an optics shop, she paid about 300 for them, which sounds a lot but they are a match for my B & L Discoverers that I bought at the same time. If my mum hadn't bought them, I would have done, they are excellant.
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Old Tuesday 22nd March 2005, 12:28   #5
Antony Kay
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by danrs
Hoping someone can shed some light on this for me here.

I was just given a set of Leitz 7x35b trinovid binoculars by my life long buddy. They used to be his grandfathers (an avid outdoorsman), and he couldn't bear to see them sitting on a shelf collecting dust, so they were passed to me, who will use them often.

What can anyone tell me about them? I know they're good glass, and that Leitz is Leica, but little else.

They're absolutely spotless, like new, with leather case. Appear to be at least as good of a bino as my Nikon Monarch ATB's, and then some.

Any info regarding weather resistance / proofing, quality, value, etc., would be great. Not to sure I want to get caught in the rain with these if they're not waterproof.

Thanks in advance!
Your Leitz 7X35 (and other models of that vintage) are not waterproof i.e: they will not stand immersion in water. They are reasonably weatherproof because all the joints have gasket seals. In a gale or similar I guess that water could force its way inside via the focusing system but, presumably, you would only be out in such weather by accident. Its nearest cousin is the 8X32 Trinovid, also excellent, and such a handy size.
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Old Tuesday 22nd March 2005, 13:01   #6
henry link
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I owned a pair of these back in thge 80's. They were something of an oddity in the Trinovid line-up. I beleive they were the only 7X35 Leitz/Leica ever made and must have been designed mainly for the US market where the 7X35 was much more popular than in Europe. They were identical to the 8X40 Trinovid except for using a smaller, shorter focal length objective with a shorter objective tube which reduced the magnification from 8X to 7X. For some reason their "street" price at the time was always less than the other Trinovids, $400-450 compared to $600-700 in about 1988. Trinovids were beautifully made, but unfortunately never used multi-coating or phase correction so they are rather dim and unsharp compared to good modern bins. I would not be inclined to use them much if they are in mint condition because of their value to collectors, and I wouldn't store them in the leather case because that can encourage fungal growth. I have a friend with a 20 year old pair of the 8X40's. They have been all over the world and are quite beat up, but still pristine inside.

Last edited by henry link : Wednesday 23rd March 2005 at 17:36.
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Old Wednesday 23rd March 2005, 17:55   #7
steve johnson
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7x35

I have owned a pair of these for about 20 years. Trinovids were made from 1963 until the introductin of the current BN line. (I own 2 pairs of BN models and an older 6x24 trinovid, as well as some older Leitz binoculars from the 50's). the 7x35 is a great all around instrument. It has a wide field (150M) and is very steady to hold. I am sorry they don't still offer them in an Ultravid, since for many uses they are about as good as it gets, with an exit pupil as large as most of us can hope to use (5mm) and are relatively small and light. I have replaced them in daily us with an 8x32 BN, but they are still pretty darn good. I am not sure they needed phase coatings since they were not a true roof prism. The prism goes into the center of the instrument and the light does not cross the same path twice as in a roof prism. Catalogues of the era claim they are fully coated, but I do not know for sure. The apear very slightly dimmer than a current instrument, but not by much and their sharpness is pretty close. They have a reasonably high value to collectors , but are still useable by almost any measure.
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Old Wednesday 23rd March 2005, 19:27   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve johnson
I am not sure they needed phase coatings since they were not a true roof prism. The prism goes into the center of the instrument and the light does not cross the same path twice as in a roof prism.
Admittedly this stuff gets a little esoteric, but my understanding is that the Leitz Trinovid bins relied on remarkably complex Uppendahl prisms. Zeiss then and now used both Schmidt-Pechan prisms and Abbe-Koenig prisms, and everyone else making roof prism glasses (now including Leica) used Schmidt-Pechan prisms. Unlike porros, all of these roof prism designs rely on reflection as well as refraction to invert the image, and, consequently, all require phase coatings to deal with the sharpness problems associated with out of phase light waves resulting from the use of reflective surfaces. Zeiss claims that the Abbe-Koenig prisms (actually a very old Hensoldt design) are the most efficient, although not the most compact. I suspect that cost rather than design inefficiency doomed the Uppendahl approach, but the 7 x 35 Trinovid would have been a wonderful glass updated with phase coating and modern multicoatings.
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Old Thursday 24th March 2005, 14:39   #9
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There is an interesting technical article here which describes Uppendahl, Schmidt-Pechan and Abbe-Koenig prism systems (unfortunately the diagrams from the original article are not included): http://www.europa.com/~telscope/trliebmn.txt
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Old Tuesday 29th March 2005, 17:50   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chartwell99
Admittedly this stuff gets a little esoteric, but my understanding is that the Leitz Trinovid bins relied on remarkably complex Uppendahl prisms. Zeiss then and now used both Schmidt-Pechan prisms and Abbe-Koenig prisms, and everyone else making roof prism glasses (now including Leica) used Schmidt-Pechan prisms. Unlike porros, all of these roof prism designs rely on reflection as well as refraction to invert the image, and, consequently, all require phase coatings to deal with the sharpness problems associated with out of phase light waves resulting from the use of reflective surfaces. Zeiss claims that the Abbe-Koenig prisms (actually a very old Hensoldt design) are the most efficient, although not the most compact. I suspect that cost rather than design inefficiency doomed the Uppendahl approach, but the 7 x 35 Trinovid would have been a wonderful glass updated with phase coating and modern multicoatings.
Chartwell99 is right. I should have looked at my reference materials a bit more before answering. One element of an Uppendahl prism is a roof prism and does rely on reflection. I would note however, I took these out and compared them with a 5 year old pair of 8x32 BN and I have a very hard time seeing any difference in contrast or clarity. When I looked through a 40 year old pair of 6x24 however there is considerable softness to the image and the brightness does not equal the later trinovid or the BN. I suspect the coatings improved considerably during the 27 years the trinovid models were in production. I have also found that in general the Portugal models seem sharper than the German, although some models, in particular the wide angle 8x32 were only made in Germany. I don't know what market Leitz intended for these glasses. However they were available from 1965 until 1990 - longer than many other models such as the 7x42 or the 8x40. The 7x35BA were only in productoin for 3 years, making them among the more rare trinovid models.
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Old Saturday 22nd October 2005, 20:42   #11
zertrat
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Thumbs up I have used a pair for 20 years

I have used a pair of trinovid 7 x 35 binoculars for 20 years.
They are incredibly durable. I have used them backpacking in western US mountains and canyons, and very extensively during my professional fieldwork in rough climates like Amazonian Brazil, Costa Rica, several Sahara nations, highland Ethiopia, Madagascar, Namibia, etc. They are banged up and nicked, but they still work great, and they keep out moisture, keep out sand and dust. In wet conditions I do keep them in a bag or case -- they will fog up inside if you leave them out in the rain overnight, but a couple hours in the sun will bake them dry again. The lens quality is wonderful -- excellent light-gathering ability and crisp, broad image.
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Old Saturday 22nd October 2005, 23:31   #12
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I used Leica 7 x 42 BA Trinovids exclusively from about 1988 until 1998 when I had my cataract surgery and no longer needed to wear glasses. They have great eye relief; too long, infact, for lengthy use without glasses. You can't hold them tightly against your face without occasionally getting the "half moon" effect. They were the best bin I'd ever used until I got my Nikon 8 x 30 E2's and 10 x 35 E's. The Leica's are sharp, have a very wide field and are comforable to use. They have a slightly yellow caste which Iaporoli discussed about 2 weeks ago. They aren't as sharp as the Nikons, but I still keep them in the Kitchen for emergency use and casual astronomy. I assume they are pre- phase coating but it doesn't appear to have affected them that much.

Last edited by ceasar : Saturday 22nd October 2005 at 23:35.
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