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B&L Zephyr 7x35 (1 Viewer)

rdnzl

Not Sure.
I will be getting these in about a week. What can anyone tell me about them? Will they be good for birding, or better for general use?
 

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Pinewood

New York correspondent
United States
Hello rdnzl,

I was out using a coated version of the Zephyr 7x35, this morning. For a very old binocular, it worked well. Some would complain that its close focussing distance was not short enough for bird watching. It is also not very friendly to eyeglass wearers but there are remedies for that.
A newer mid-priced binocular would be brighter and have more contrast with their much improved coatings but it is far better constructed than most modern binoculars. It is light and has many general uses: sport stadiums, tourism and looking at the sky. Although most binocular astronomers like higher magnification and more aperture but forty years ago, this zephyr was of a recommended size. Seven power is my ideal for hand holding for astronomy. Seven power also suits me for bird watching if I have to look above the horizon.

Stay safe,
Arthur Pinewood :hi:
 

Steve C

Well-known member
rdnzl

I can't speak to the 7x35,but I have an 8x30 that looks just about as mint condition as yours. Mine was made in 1950. For a binocular of that age it works a lot better than most would think possible. It is not as bright as something like my Nikon Aculon, but I would not call it dull, nor say it was lacking contrast. I used it a bit the last couple of days and would have no concerns about needing something better if that happened to be the only binocular I could lay hands to. The big difference in my 8x30 and your 7x35 will be field of view. The 8x30 claims 445', but measures something like 460', compared to the listed fov of 393' in the 7x35. I've never used a Zephyr 7x35, so can't comment on comparative brightness between the two.

One word of caution. When I got mine I was assured that it was in perfect condition, and matched the pictures. When it came out of the box it was covered in what looked like a thick nicotine film. I could not physically force hinge movement, nor force function from the focus wheel. I had to raise pure hell with the seller and was able to get them to knock down the price. For the price difference, Nicholas Crista restored mine to brand new condition.

It what you are after is a fine example of an excellent classic porro binocular, still useable in today's world, you have made a good choice. Don't obsess on what the spec sheet says it does not have and I think you will get along just fine with the Zephyr.
 
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rdnzl

Not Sure.
I also have these on the way. 9x35's made in Japan.
 

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Patudo

Well-known member
There's an older thread on this model that you might find interesting. I've never tried one myself, but it will be lighter and more handy than your Audubon, fine binocular though the latter is. 7x magnification is fine for birding unless the critters you're looking at are some distance away (which also depends on what you're looking at, of course). Some of the really experienced birders here, such as dwatsonbirder, have used 7x binoculars all over the world. Both the US- and later Japanese-made B&L binoculars were highly regarded for build quality and you should find them a pleasure to use.

The biggest handicap with virtually all these classic porros, for me, is that I need to remove my glasses/spectacles to look through them (aka "short eye relief"). I've gotten pretty good at doing this quickly, but I do still miss the occasional fast-moving target. This isn't an issue if you don't wear glasses, of course.
 

Steve C

Well-known member
B&L shifted Zephyr manufacture to Japan, I think in 1986. The Japanese venture did not last long, so your 9x35 may well be among the last Zephyrs made.Those might be multi coated. As I recall there were some inconsistencies with the later Japanese manufacture.

The 9x35 interests me, and was what I was actually looking for when I found the 8x30.
 

rdnzl

Not Sure.
I am also getting this pair, with individual focus, from 1953.
 

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Pinewood

New York correspondent
United States
Hello Rdnzl.

Are you becoming obsessive? I have lost count of the binoculars, which I own. Are you on your way to the same destiny?

How long before you get an 8x30 Zephyr? Are you thinking of a 7x50?

Use you new binoculars well!

Stay safe,
Arthur :hi:
 
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rdnzl

Not Sure.
I received the CF 7x35 Zephyr today. Optics are great. But the focuser is super stiff. It seems to be lightening up a bit after running it in and out a bunch of times. They are light, and fit my hands well. FOV is nothing to write home about, but they are bright and crisp. I do not detect much edge distortion.

Date code is X, which shows them being made in 1952. Not sure about the coatings. It appears to have a slight violet cast when holding them in certain light and looking at them from either end.

So far, I am impressed. I will give them a good workout in the next couple weeks.
 

rdnzl

Not Sure.
Here is a photo of the 3 of them. I just got the IF 7x35 today. Except for some dust on the grooves of the eyecups, they are immaculate. I'll clean that up with a toothbrush. The glass is perfect on all of them.

The IF 7x35's were made in 1953

The CF 7x35's were made in 1952

The 9x35's were made in Japan. and I don't know the date of manufacture. The serial number is 35xxx

The second photo is a complete package that I also have coming. I know, I might be getting out of control on these.
 

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rdnzl

Not Sure.
I have received the package today. Its is in fantastic condition. The date code baffles me though. It is:

9384 UT

Anyone decode this for me? I'm guessing it was made some time after 1960
 

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rdnzl

Not Sure.
I picked up another Zephyr for a really cheap price. They are in amazing condition. The case is a little tattered, but it is intact.

The date code on them is PG6927. What year might they be?
 

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WJC

Well-known member
I picked up another Zephyr for a really cheap price. They are in amazing condition. The case is a little tattered, but it is intact.

The date code on them is PG6927. What year might they be?

Don't forget HOMEBOY, if you need a collimation tweak, I'm here for Ya. :cat:

Bill (Former Lake Stevens Resident) Cook
 

Pinewood

New York correspondent
United States
I picked up another Zephyr for a really cheap price. They are in amazing condition. The case is a little tattered, but it is intact.

The date code on them is PG6927. What year might they be?

Hello Rdnzl,

I obtained 1959 from the attached document, which the late John Dracon posted on this forum.

Stay safe,
Arthur.
 

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