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Swift Sport King 7x35 (1 Viewer)

elkcub

Silicon Valley, California
United States
Here are some quick pictures of a top quality 8x40 binocular made for Linet by Hiyoshi Kogaku. This one has the same body and mechanical works as the Swift Type 2 Audubon series. The "violet" coatings are different than Swift's, and yellow filters are built into the ocular covers. Notably it sports a 12º TFOV.

What this instrument showed me is that sometimes there can be too much of a good thing. An apparent field of 96º = ±48º is almost disorienting, particularly if one is at all inclined to look towards the edge. Otherwise, it's a very good optic, providing great peripheral cues if gaze is maintained near the center. Alas, I've never had it out birding. Others may have a different take on it.

Fan Tau had a 10x40 Linet, incidentally, but he told me it was deleted from his collection for some reason. He may have traded it.

Ed
PS. The s/n isn't dated, so this may be something Hiyoshi did for Swift products only.
 

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elkcub

Silicon Valley, California
United States
Hi Ed,

This is what we needed, catalog pics.
They show four types, in accord with my information. The first type is labelled Vega coated precision optics, the next three types are all Fully Coated. In my experience 'Vega's' are always from the 1950's and early 1960's. The four types are also in accord with the type arrangement in our Audubon survey, dont you think Ed?
The fourth type, with the small focus wheel and the tripod connector in the body, raises a problem as I have its FoV as 630 ft. instead of 600 ft. Unfortunately I can't back it up with pictures.
There's a fifth type, made from 1985 on and so in the new lighter and more compact housing and carrying the model number 714 instead of 704, which was not issued in Europe (Europeans by then were in favor of 8x32's) and is known in two versions, one showing its configuration as 7x36 and the other as the more common 7x35. I know one of our members, SteveF, owns a 7x36. To this day I haven't been succesful in determining what it should be really. I think they're identical and so there should be a misprint, but on which one I don't know. See the picture.

Renze

Yes, I agree that the four types accord with our "Type" arrangement in the Audubon survey. In addition, looking at your picture (right) I can't help but note that the blue markings (including the objective rings) and the white triangle on the prism cover, mimic the 804R (left) that was introduced in 1985. Of course, the 804R had MC optics.

From this discussion it would appear that the early 704 Sport Kings were not made by Hiyoshi. Might it be that the Model number was changed to 714 just to correspond with a change in manufacturer?

What do you think?
Ed
 

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pmlevine

Member
different versions of Sport King 7x35

Hi Frank,
I am also lucky to have the Sport King, actually two different versions.
The ones with serial number 6315500 have the large focus wheel, and a bit of an amber hue to the glass coatings. Looking through the objectives, I can see an inner cone baffle extending toward the prisms.
The other Sport King, serial number 604844, has the smaller focus wheel, there is a slight violet hue to the glass, and does not have any inner cone baffle extending from the objectives toward the prisms.
So I think the sn 6315500 dates from 1963, but I'm not sure if the 604844 serial number indicates 1960 manufacture.
I had a third Sport King, also with a large focus wheel, but gave it to my brother-in-law for deer hunting.
The wide angle view and great depth of field makes this model Swift a please to use.
Phil
 

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FrankD

Well-known member
Phil,

Thank you for the info. Coincidentally I just picked up another Sport King via ebay yesterday. I should have it in a few days. Serial number is 4-655036. I look forward to comparing the two. The first one has the smaller focus knob. The last one I picked up has the larger one.
 

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Renze de Vries

Well-known member
I contacted SteveF and he generously supplied us with pictures of his Sport King 7x36. As you can see it's indistinguishable from the 7x35 (pictured above) which was also made by Hiyoshi in the 1985 new housing so I believe one of the configurations is a misprint. Note that the model name on the box is misprinted too.
Why the model number was changed from 704 to 714 I don't know for certain. The procedure used by Swift to denote a model which made the change into the 1985 redesigned housing was to add an R to the serial number, i.e. 804R for the Audubon, 789R for the Skipper. In these cases however the configuration was unaltered, so maybe Swift chose to change the model number for the Sport King because its aperture went from 35 to 36.

Renze
 

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Renze de Vries

Well-known member
Some more of SteveF's pictures, showing the fine, round exit pupil originating from the Sport King 7x36's Bak-4 prisms.

Renze
 

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Renze de Vries

Well-known member
From this discussion it would appear that the early 704 Sport Kings were not made by Hiyoshi. Might it be that the Model number was changed to 714 just to correspond with a change in manufacturer? What do you think?

Ed,

The Sport King 1950's and '60's types were made by Futaba / Tamron (Tamron for the metalwork, Futaba for the finished product).

The Sport King 1970's type (Mk 1, FoV 600 or 630 ft.) was made by Hiyoshi.

And the last, post 1985 type, by Hiyoshi as well.


Also, in an earlier post you stated that only Hiyoshi included the date of manufacturing in its serial numbers. I don't think that's correct. Have a look at the Audubon and Saratoga line for instance and you'll see that Futaba did so too.

best regards,

Renze
 

elkcub

Silicon Valley, California
United States
Ed,

The Sport King 1950's and '60's types were made by Futaba / Tamron (Tamron for the metalwork, Futaba for the finished product).

The Sport King 1970's type (Mk 1, FoV 600 or 630 ft.) was made by Hiyoshi.

And the last, post 1985 type, by Hiyoshi as well.


Also, in an earlier post you stated that only Hiyoshi included the date of manufacturing in its serial numbers. I don't think that's correct. Have a look at the Audubon and Saratoga line for instance and you'll see that Futaba did so too.

best regards,

Renze

Hi Renze,

Ok, that speculation clearly wasn't accurate. The model change to 714 was not because of a change in manufacturer.

I'm up in the air about the 7x36 designation being an error. Who knows how many were marketed. When does an error transform into a purposeful act?

You may be referring to my first statement here: http://www.birdforum.net/showpost.php?p=2309215&postcount=16. In particular, "...One marked Vega in his listing has s/n 4-135372. I think this says less about the date than the manufacturer, since from what I can determine only Hiyoshi Kogaku products included the date in the s/n." I don't follow what you mean by: "...Have a look at the Audubon and Saratoga line for instance and you'll see that Futaba did so too." Did Futuba make either Audubons or Saratoga's? Or, have you seen a date marked Futuba? If so, I sit corrected ... again.

My most recent comment was: http://www.birdforum.net/showpost.php?p=2309246&postcount=21. Essentially, it's a speculation that Hiyoshi may have only dated their Swift products, since the Linet is clearly of Type 2 construction that would have been dated were it a Swift.

Three strikes and I'm out, I guess. Be kind. :eek!:

Regards,
Ed
PS. Is this a picture of King Leopold, a Knight of the Golden Rings?
 

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Renze de Vries

Well-known member
I don't follow what you mean by: "...Have a look at the Audubon and Saratoga line for instance and you'll see that Futaba did so too." Did Futuba make either Audubons or Saratoga's? Or, have you seen a date marked Futuba? If so, I sit corrected ... again.

Ed,

I'll contact you directly about this date marked-serial number-manufacturer code business because it's too detailed and off topic I'm afraid.

About the picture, there's only one thing I'm sure of, it's not me!

Renze
 
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rdmadison

Well-known member
Bushnell introduced its ten-degree Rangemaster 7 x 35 in 1951.

The first mention of Vega in a Swift ad occurs in 1956. By autumn of 1957 the Vega logo was dropped from the ad, even though a Swift/Vega-labelled Triton was still pictured.

Ed's 1959 brochure shows a ten-degree Sport King with the tan case and I have an eleven-degree 1960 Sport King in the first brown case (illustrated in Ed's brochure with the Triton), so 59/60 is a pivotal year for Swift design.
 

FrankD

Well-known member
RD,

Thank you for the info. I was just reading about the Rangemaster last night on Fan Tao's webpage. He has some of the original advertisements from that period scanned and posted along with the binocular pics.

I was also able to get my hands on one of the 1960 Sky King models that you mentioned. At least I think it is probably similar. Any chance you have a pic of it that you could post?

Thanks.
 

debbielynn

Debbielynn
SWIFT Binoculars Sport King Mark 1 7 x 35 wide field

Hi all,

I stumbled across this old thread about binoculars that I think I have. They were my husband's fathers.

It appears they are: SWIFT Sport King Mark I, 7 x 35, Extra Wide Field, 600ft at 1000 yds, model no 704. Fully Coated, Amber Coated Optics, U.V. Coating

This is what the writing on the binocs say. Made in Japan, serial no. might be 774243, hard to read.

I was going to sell these on Ebay or Etsy, but came across your thread and thought a birdwatcher might appreciate them more. Not sure of the value yet.

Thanks, Debbie
 

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