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Habicht with sticky rubber (1 Viewer)

AegisEag

Active member
United States
Hi, My Habicht has sticky rubber after years of not using it and just storing it in the pouch. What happened to the rubbers? How do you fix it? When it happened to a bino before. I just put plastic tape over the rubber. Is this the only solution? Thanks!
 
From Cloudy Nights:
Cleaning sticky rubber on binoculars

Below are two of several posts from the thread above.
Post 7:
To clean the rubber use 70% alcohol from the drug store and wipe it down with an Armor All wipe. Amor All is formulated to protect vinyls and leather from brutal sunlight in cars so it should be good enough for your binoc.
Post 21:
Glycerin is the number one treatment for rubber. ArmorAll and products like that make thing look ok for a little while, but they tend to exacerbate the deterioration
 
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Hi, My Habicht has sticky rubber after years of not using it and just storing it in the pouch. What happened to the rubbers? How do you fix it? When it happened to a bino before. I just put plastic tape over the rubber. Is this the only solution? Thanks!
Sorry to hear! In some cases it is good silicon treatment. Do not rush to act on the entire surface of the rubber. You can try it on a small area to see what effect it has.
But you have a old Habicht with Roof prisms or new armored Habicht with Porro prisms? Can you show as some pictures with your binoculars model?
 
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Sorry to hear! In some cases it is good silicon treatment. Do not rush to act on the entire surface of the rubber. You can try it on a small area to see what effect it has.
But you have a old Habicht with Roof prisms or new armored Habicht with Porro prisms? Can you show as some pictures with your binoculars model?

I bought it in 2016 shown in picture below. I changed the eyecups to accommodate eyeglasses better. It's the new armored one?

I can't risk putting liquid in the body which may reach the lens. It costs $1200 now. Why is it so expensive again? I seldom used it and I don't to return it to Swavorski even though I bought from them directly because of huge shipping costs back and forth. I plan to just use transparent packing tape to tape the whole body so I can hold it with no sticky rubber and at least it won't risk damaging the lens. The only practical and safe solution (no pun intended)?

habicht.jpg
 
Hi Richard,

The leatherette on the regular non-rubber armoured Habicht models is some form of rubber/ rubber like material.

- - - -
And although I’ve not mentioned it before (during all the discussion and images of RA breakdown on various Swarovski roof prism binoculars) . . .

I have a leatherette Habicht 7x42 from early 2017 (#A8705), on which some of the leatherette started to become sticky a couple of years ago.
It happened to the panel on each half of the main body, but not to the panel on each objective housing.
(The defective panels are uniformly sticky, including both the most and least held areas.)

I also have a Habicht 10x40 from the same time (#A8701), and all 4 panels are fine!
And both units have been used to the same degree, and stored under the same conditions.

[And similar to the 10x40, both body panels on my Habicht 8x30 from mid 2013 (#A8324) are also fine.]

. . . so 🤷‍♂️


John
 
I'm confused - the only rubber on that model are the eyecups. Is it the leatherette that's sticky?

Yes. It's the leatherette that is sticky. When I wiped it with cloth. The black stuff went to the cloth. When I touched it with my fingers, the black stuff got to my fingers. What caused the stickiness to form? If I removed the entire leatherette. What does the metal look like?
 
Yes. It's the leatherette that is sticky. When I wiped it with cloth. The black stuff went to the cloth. When I touched it with my fingers, the black stuff got to my fingers. What caused the stickiness to form? If I removed the entire leatherette. What does the metal look like?
Take it off, use is as a pattern to make a new covering with stuff like this.

 

AegisEag

Silicone is like a cream that doesn't reach the lenses because you apply it with a cloth soaked in silicone! But it must be applied, for example on a small surface, to see if the material returns to its initial elasticity.

It seems that the Habicht series is no exception to this ugly problem of Swarovski from the NL and EL series. I am the owner of a Swarovski Habicht 7x42 as well, which still has no problems, but I am very disappointed by this problem that can appear unexpectedly! Something like this makes me not recommend Swarovski to anyone, despite the superb optics! Prices are going up, but the quality of finishes is going down badly. A reputation is very hard to earn but can be lost very easily
 
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I am concerned as well... I am in the process of buying a leatherette Habicht as well, but didn't know about this issue. There must be a reason why this happened? Lot of leatherette Habicht owners on this forum and I have never heard about this.

I have no problems with my NL and EL either.
 
many swarovki have this problem in an alarming percentage

I didn't think the NL armour was at all the ame as that on the Habichts?
 
In the picture, you can notice the leatherette stickiness in the black photo shade which can transfer to your fingers or cloth. Almost the entire surface of it is sticky. Can I just use a swiss knife scissors to cut the leatherette and remove it. Is the leatherette glued to the main body or not? Can someone share a photo of a bare body without the leatherette?

habicht leatherette.jpg
 
My Habicht 8x30 developed sticky leatherette and Swarovski replaced it. I never considered it to be a problem with the leatherette, however. I must admit that one late night I stupidly applied shoe polish to it, and it became irreparably sticky afterward. I don't know what I was thinking; I knew it was fake leather!

Entirely my fault, but Swaro did put a new wrap on.

I'd like to know what the binocular body looks like underneath though. I might be tempted to put on a real leather wrap in the future if it's easy enough to get the leatherette off.
 
In the picture, you can notice the leatherette stickiness in the black photo shade which can transfer to your fingers or cloth. Almost the entire surface of it is sticky. Can I just use a swiss knife scissors to cut the leatherette and remove it. Is the leatherette glued to the main body or not? Can someone share a photo of a bare body without the leatherette?

View attachment 1551068
I think I would Swarovski ask to do it...
 
It would be very expensive to send it back and forth to Austria.

1. Unless Swavorski would shoulder the cost of sending it and shipping back to me? For those who have shipped them under warrantee (10 years warrantee?). Did they shoulder all the costs?

2. One other risk of sending back is the prism can misalign if there is rough handling at the courier so would Swavorski shoulder the costs of sending it back 2nd time after they replaced the leatherette?

3. And lastly, if the item got lost on the way, would Swavorski refund you the full amount?

If the answer is no to the 3 questions. Then I'd just remove the leatherette. It's not a major optics problem. No one has seen a bald Habicht body before? I just want to know if the leatherette is glued to the body or not before I attempt to cut it with the Swiss knife scissors.
 
bino cover.jpg

I realized I bought it at Binostore at Italy several years ago. They even shipped the wrong item, and told me to ship it back using Postal Service. So I went ahead to try to remove the leatherette instead of shipping it back. I tried removing a spot as shown in photo above. However, the stickiness is even present in bare body!This is because it's like whole leatherette disintegrated. I tried to use cotton bud on a spot I removed and cleaned the bare body portion with alcohol. Even with that. The stickiness in bare body (spot) won't go away! So I ordered a transparent packing tape and will just tape the whole leatherette. Anyway. In case I would try to remove the disintegrated leatherette in the future. How will I clean the stickiness in bare body (a result of the melted leatherette sticking to it)?

Ok. I admit my temperature in my house is 91 Fahrenheit, so maybe Habicht is designed for use in temperature below 86 F? And the leatherette just melted above 86 F? Therefore, for those who plan to buy the Habicht, don't worry about it if your temperature doesn't exceed 86 F.
 
Two naked Habichts! 🙀
What was a leatherette covered one and an RA covered one:

Naked Habichts! .jpg
The first is from a 2017 ebay lisiting by baon747, the second from a 2021 listing by kara-kopek.

They both predate 1984 when the current air-tight nitrogen filled body was introduced
(it has a screw over the gas valve port on each front bridge arm, as in post #4 above).

The marks seem to be mainly residue from the glue used to hold the coverings in place.


John
 
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habicht serial.jpghabicht flake off.jpg

I used Swiss knife scissors to start cutting from the hole in the strap holder (see last message too for the details). Then small section suddenly flaked off. So the entire leather was fragile and degrading already. I tried to cut straight to it and didn't expect the inside was also sticky. It would be messy to remove and clean the sticky surface of the bare body. If the cleaning liquid get into the lens. It would just not be worth it. If I used the leatherette camera self-adhesive shared earlier. Does it stick as good as a transparent packing tape? Because I don't want the new leatherette cover to detach during use and accidentally touch the sticky bare surface.

Also I bought it in 2016. What year is it made based on the serial no.? Since not many or only a few encountered a degrading and melting leatherette. Is it possible by chance I got a fake Habicht 8x30W? I used it at Louisiana with temperature of 92.2 Fahrenheit. What is the average temperature of your place. I wonder if it just melts the leatherette.
 

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