• BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE!

    You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

questions about Swift Osprey Mark II 7.5 x 42 (1 Viewer)

syncrasy

Member
I recently inherited a nice pair of Swift Osprey Mark II 7.5 x 42 binoculars and I have a few questions:

  1. What's the difference between the Mark II and the original Osprey?
  2. What was the original retail price of the Mark II (either in the USA or UK)?
  3. The diopter ring is somewhat loose and turns around freely. It still works (with some fiddling) but I wonder if it can be repaired by a novice. (I couldn't figure out how to remove the ring, so it's probably best if I just leave well enough alone.)
 
Last edited:

elkcub

Silicon Valley, California
United States
I recently inherited a nice pair of Swift Osprey Mark II 7.5 x 42 binoculars and I have a few questions:

  1. What's the difference between the Mark II and the original Osprey?
  2. What was the original retail price of the Mark II (either in the USA or UK)?
  3. The diopter ring is somewhat loose and turns around freely. It still works (with some fiddling) but I wonder if it can be repaired by a novice. (I couldn't figure out how to remove the ring, so it's probably best if I just leave well enough alone.)

Hello syncrasy,

I don't know much about the Model 754 Osprey, however, "Mk II" was Swift Instrument's (American) designation for their 'better' line of binoculars, not the second of a series. So you have the original product. Swift-Pyser's 1984 catalog lists the same Osprey as 102-091 BCF. The first two digits of the serial number will pin down the year of manufacture for you, which is probably in the mid-1980s. I can tell you it was manufactured by the Japanese company Hiyoshi Kogaku, the same company that made Swift Audubons. I don't have pricing information for that model, but for sure it was less than the Audubons.

Have fun with it.
Ed
 

richard866945

Bino repair man
dioptre

I recently inherited a nice pair of Swift Osprey Mark II 7.5 x 42 binoculars and I have a few questions:

  1. What's the difference between the Mark II and the original Osprey?
  2. What was the original retail price of the Mark II (either in the USA or UK)?
  3. The diopter ring is somewhat loose and turns around freely. It still works (with some fiddling) but I wonder if it can be repaired by a novice. (I couldn't figure out how to remove the ring, so it's probably best if I just leave well enough alone.)

It's been a while since I last repaired an Osprey but I think you will find three tiny grub screws hiding under the rubber eyecup. These secure the dioptre ring to the lens tube.
 

henry link

Well-known member
I found the Osprey on a few price lists from the 1987 to 1991.

In a London Camera Exchange ad in "British Birds" from July 1991 it was £139 and the Audubon 8.5x44 was £199. A 1987 price list from Vic Odden's of London Bridge has it at £159 and the Audubon at £179.

A 1987 price list from Telescope Exchange in Los Angeles has it at $139 and the Audubon at $157.95.
 

syncrasy

Member
Ed, thanks for the history background (I read your Audubon 804 thread -- very interesting!). My Osprey's serial # is 83-xxxx, therefore 1983 manufacture year.

Richard, you have just made a stranger very happy. I was able to adjust the diopter and tighten the screws (fortunately I had a jeweler's screwdriver and magnifier visor). Thank you from across the pond!

Henry link, thank you for the prices! That helps me understand the Osprey's relative position in the quality hierarchy.

Adjusting for inflation, $139 translates to about $316. Do you think the Osprey is optically comparable to current binoculars in the $300-$500 price range (e.g., Zeiss Terra ED 8x42 and Nikon Monarch 7 ATB 8x42)? Or would those two binoculars be considered an upgrade from the Osprey? (Not that I plan to part with the Osprey -- it's very nice and might replace my older Bushnell 8x30.)
 
Last edited:

elkcub

Silicon Valley, California
United States
...Adjusting for inflation, $139 translates to about $316. Do you think the Osprey is optically comparable to current binoculars in the $300-$500 price range (e.g., Zeiss Terra ED 8x42 and Nikon Monarch 7 ATB 8x42)?

Probably not. Your Osprey has "Fully Coated Optics," which is a big step down from modern multi-coated optics.

Ed
 

syncrasy

Member
Do you think the Osprey is optically comparable to current binoculars in the $300-$500 price range (e.g., Zeiss Terra ED 8x42 and Nikon Monarch 7 ATB 8x42)?
Probably not. Your Osprey has "Fully Coated Optics," which is a big step down from modern multi-coated optics.

Ed

Well, I put this idea to the test. I purchased a (roof prism) Monarch 7 (~$480) and... I returned it.

To my eye the Monarch 7 created a tunnel vision effect (despite the wider FOV) with significant pincushion distortion at the edges. It also appeared to have a slightly yellow cast (compared to the Osprey's more neutral coloring). And the M7 was no sharper than the Osprey and lost sharpness more quickly away from center. In short, the M7 was underwhelming and simply did not provide as pleasant an experience as the Osprey. Needless to say, I was disappointed. But I also gained an appreciation for these older Swift porros. I have read that the rule of thumb is that one must pay 3x for a roof to match or exceed a porro's quality. Perhaps this Osprey is in fact a $300+ binocular in today's dollars and will remain king of my hill until I shell out $900+ (e.g., for a Monarch HG or better).
 
Last edited:

Users who are viewing this thread

Top