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Bushnell Rangemaster FPO (Fuji) 7x35 10deg (1 Viewer)

Rathaus

Well-known member
Hi all,

I didn't see a dedicated thread for these.

I've just given my pair of 'silver ring' FPO Rangemaster 7x35 to an ex zeiss technician (of 20yrs) to service. He was originally going to do my standard 10deg 7x35 Rangemaster, but I figured the silver ring model could possibly benefit more from the costly procedure. Also, the silver ring is slightly out of collimation vertically. I was dubious about whether these bins could possibly be better than the Tamron 11deg model, but once I Cleaned them up just a little (they were very very grubby on the diopter side internally), even with their slight mis collimation, the view was stunning.... so I'm quite excited about this binocular being fully serviced.

Depending on the outcome and the thickness of my wallet, I'll then get the other Rangemaster done at a later date. That's the plan. To some (fair enough) it will seem silly to spend that time and money on a fifty year old Japanese binocular, but these are pretty special. Also, there is some satisfaction to be had in fully restoring something which optically was not far off becoming a bin job for anybody unaware of their potential.

I'll put up some pics and thoughts once they're done.

Does anybody have any further advice regarding the servicing of these?

Cheers,
Rathaus
 

Bencw

Well-known member
No advice Rathaus, but look forward to seeing the pics and hearing how they are after the service.
 

Foss

Well-known member
Cost versus value aside, these binoculars deliver amazing performance. Like Bencw I'd like to hear all about it!
 

Rathaus

Well-known member
The Bushnells have been serviced

Ok thanks for the link. I did search but couldn't come up with it initially.

Anyway, it just happens that today I collected the Rangemasters from the Zeiss man. Fully cleaned, serviced and collimated. They are absolutely stunning. No cleaning work has been done on the exterior.

Prior to the service these bins were putrid internally.

Here are a few pics.
 

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Rathaus

Well-known member
I'm slightly surprised that the optics have cleaned up as well as they have. This Zeiss man is brilliant. He spent 20 years working at Zeiss.
 

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Rathaus

Well-known member
The Zeiss man now has my non silver ring range masters (they look very similar) to service. They are also putrid internally, but it's easy to spot the potential.

Another shot of the silver ring range master back from service.
 

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Rathaus

Well-known member
Last pic for now.

I haven't fully evaluated the view through them yet (It's raining out) but the collimation is now perfect. It's easy to see that the clarity and ease of view and depth of field is monstrous. So is the FOV.

Many many thanks to the forum members who put me onto these. It's very satisfying to have salvaged these amazing binoculars.

Rathaus
 

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Bencw

Well-known member
Thanks for posting Rathaus, the Rangemaster is an excellent vintage binocular, always snapped up quickly when they come up for sale and still give superb views.
 

Rathaus

Well-known member
Before the service

I forgot to put up a before service photo of the innards. Check it out.

I posted a comment a while back regarding binocular access and service in my area and feeling like I lived in the last outpost of the western world...well, since then I phoned Zeiss Australia in Victoria (still relatively close at 1650km away) who said to send any binoculars, Zeiss or otherwise, to this Zeiss chap Who just happens to live and work ten minutes from my house. Bizarrely fortunate.

I also forgot to say that he has centred, lubricated and weighted all of the hinges and controls beautifully so that the binoculars have that wonderful tactile feeling.

Rathaus
 

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Steve C

Well-known member
I'm slightly surprised that the optics have cleaned up as well as they have. This Zeiss man is brilliant. He spent 20 years working at Zeiss.

A good optics man sure helps, but those Ragemasters are pretty simple and very stout internally. They are a fairly simple cleanup unless they have fugus or need collimation. Yes the view is pretty stunning. Certainly good enough for modern day birding, particularly if you do not need an abundance of eye relief, and have a hankering for a good porro view. The prisms in those things are huge.
 

Rathaus

Well-known member
A good optics man sure helps, but those Ragemasters are pretty simple and very stout internally. They are a fairly simple cleanup unless they have fugus or need collimation. Yes the view is pretty stunning. Certainly good enough for modern day birding, particularly if you do not need an abundance of eye relief, and have a hankering for a good porro view. The prisms in those things are huge.

I was thinking of a superb modern day porro with which a sensible comparison could be made. So, this afternoon I had the Bushnells out on my deck, side by side with the outstanding and very similarly wide angled Nikon 8x30 Ell - a familiar and excellent 'yardstick' binocular for many enthusiasts.

Still not good viewing conditions here...February is hot, humid and hazy. Bring on winter. So, Not ideal clear viewing, but the big bushels more than held their own in the haze. Shortish eye relief aside (which personally I like) they have that Fujinon like punch as well as that wonderfully elusive and effortlessly lazy 'ease of view' (especially after their fresh collimation) putting them, overall, at least on a par with the superb nikons on this particular day.

Counting pine needles in crisp clear air at half a mile will have to wait until autumn and winter....but I'm not sure that's the point of these bins. Regarding Depth of field, fov, sweet spot, easy/relaxing/lazy viewing comfort (one of my favourite attributes in a binocular), contrast and resolution, I can say without reservation that the superb newish mint condition Nikons will have a nightmarish fight on its hands,,,,albeit from a serviced but heavily used 60yr old bin which is about twice the weight.

Let's see what happens.

Rathaus
 
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jimb100

Member
I was thinking of a superb modern day porro with which a sensible comparison could be made. So, this afternoon I had the Bushnells out on my deck, side by side with the outstanding and very similarly wide angled Nikon 8x30 Ell - a familiar and excellent 'yardstick' binocular for many enthusiasts.

Still not good viewing conditions here...February is hot, humid and hazy. Bring on winter. So, Not ideal clear viewing, but the big bushels more than held their own in the haze. Shortish eye relief aside (which personally I like) they have that Fujinon like punch as well as that wonderfully elusive and effortlessly lazy 'ease of view' (especially after their fresh collimation) putting them, overall, at least on a par with the superb nikons on this particular day.

Counting pine needles in crisp clear air at half a mile will have to wait until autumn and winter....but I'm not sure that's the point of these bins. Regarding Depth of field, fov, sweet spot, easy/relaxing/lazy viewing comfort (one of my favourite attributes in a binocular), contrast and resolution, I can say without reservation that the superb newish mint condition Nikons will have a nightmarish fight on its hands,,,,albeit from a serviced but heavily used 60yr old bin which is about twice the weight.

Let's see what happens.

Rathaus

I've compared my 11 degree rangemasters many times to my EII and the Rangemasters more than hold their own.

My 7x35 Customs are not far behind, if at all.
 

Rathaus

Well-known member
I've compared my 11 degree rangemasters many times to my EII and the Rangemasters more than hold their own.

My 7x35 Customs are not far behind, if at all.

Yeah I agree with what you say.
I did Some one on one viewing with the 8x30 yesterday, and the Bushnell 10deg appears just as sharp on axis at this stage, but appears to have a fatter sweet spot.

The 8x30 offer incredible depth of field and a beautiful 3D image. Some people have criticised the nikons for this, which is one of the most bizarre things I've ever heard. Anyway, I haven't compared this fully, but the bushnells have an incredible depth of field also. Perhaps more so.

More comparisons to follow.
 

Grimnir

Well-known member
I have the FPO silver-ring Rangemaster and the Tamron version, both in excellent condition and both serviced and collimated by Cory Suddarth.

There's no doubt about which is the better of the two, it's the FPO. It has the most relaxed view of any of my binos and that includes the Nikon 8x30 EII and most of the better vintage super-wides.

Sixty years on and it's still a great glass.

Graham
 

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