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Questions about my green rubber armored Bushnell 8x30 (circa 1981) (1 Viewer)

syncrasy

Member
For nearly 40 years I've owned a pair of green rubber armored Bushnell 8x30 Compact Wide Angle (446 ft. at 1000 yds.) binoculars. The original box and owner’s manual are long gone, so I've never really known exactly what I have. Several years ago I asked Bushnell for information and received a scan of an original catalog page (UK, circa 1981) that shows these binoculars are model #13-8330 from the Sportview Armoured Binoculars series. (The series included a 7x50 "Extra Bright" model.) The optical quality is quite good for a (presumably) low-priced binoculars.

The center post is embossed with "Japan J-B133" and stamped "Q. 2757" (presumably the serial number). Curiously, the badge on my pair has the name "BUSHNEL" (missing the final "L").

My questions:

  1. Is the "BUSHNEL" misspelling likely an odd factory error? Or could it indicate a fake/counterfeit? (There's room on the badge for another "L", if that's any clue.)
  2. If the model number is #13-8330, what does "J-B133" mean?
  3. Assuming these were sold in both the USA and UK, did Bushnell use different model numbers for different markets?
  4. Does the "Q. 2757" serial number help identify the year of manufacture?
  5. It's interesting that Bushnell's marketing blurb says these are "Zeiss styled binoculars" (presumably because the familiar porro prism design was long associated with the Zeiss name and, by inference, Zeiss quality). When did binocular company marketers stop comparing themselves to Zeiss?

Thanks!
 

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Binastro

Well-known member
JB133 is Kamakura, a large Japanese maker of binoculars.

There may be other numbers inside front barrels or elsewhere.

Bushnel may just be a mistake.

Zeiss style does not indicate quality, just the shape and construction.

Q. probably serial number.

Regards,
B.
 

syncrasy

Member
Thanks for the info, Binastro.

Perhaps the design/shape of these binoculars was based on the [Zeiss] Hensoldt DF 8x30 binoculars, first made for the (West) German army in 1955. A fully-armored version was made from 1959 to 1963. (Source: "Review: Zeiss Dienstglas 8x30 vs. Hensoldt DF 8x30 vs. Steiner Fero-D 12" by Holger Merlitz).

Others on this forum already know this, but I just discovered that there are dozens of green armored Hensoldts currently offered on eBay. As Merlitz observes in his review:

"In recent days, binoculars of the German Bundeswehr are showing up rather frequently on the surplus markets. Old stocks are being cleared, because firstly the Bundeswehr is running out of money and secondly these binoculars are technically outdated: New standards require the presence of laser protection filters which can not be fitted to ancient optical equipment. These are good times to purchase cheap but robust second hand binoculars, and also to gain insights into quality standards of the optical devices used during the cold war era."

Learning more each day.
 

syncrasy

Member
Does anyone know the eye relief spec for these binoculars? It's not stated in the brochure above and I can't find any other info online.
 

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