• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
Feel the intensity, not your equipment. Maximum image quality. Minimum weight. The new ZEISS SFL, up to 30% less weight than comparable competitors.

Vintage binoculars, what is good? (1 Viewer)

Pierre D.

Member
Good Morning to all

Just a quick heads-up for for those interested in a Swift Audubon

On ebay right now there is a 1965 8.5x44 model 804 with orig leather case and straps up for auction

- current bid is $31.00, 2 bids in so far (much lower starting price than I have ever seen on ebay for one of these.

- auction ends on 20 July '14 at 7:32 AM (Pacific time or 10:32 Eastern)

- eBay item number: 151356080989
 

Binastro

Well-known member
Hi John.
Difficult, but I know a fellow writing a Kershaw history.

Probably a photo and identification of type and coatings might be the best one can do.
 

LPT

Well-known member
Hello Ladies and Gentlemen ,

Any information on dating Kershaw Binoculars

Thank you

John Tate
Kershaw military and civilian binoculars had different serial number series. I've compiled several pages of Kershaw civilian and military binocular serial numbers some with year indicators. Is there a particular number you want information about?
 

Mono

Hi!
Staff member
Supporter
Europe
I think you would be better starting a new thread for this rather than tagging it on to a three year old thread. You will get more attention that way.
 

carpincho

Member
United States
Buy Carl Zeiss Jena 1Q bins multicoated, Dekarems, Jenoptem W, Binoctars (for ultmiate sharpness but small fields, Deltrintems and the 15x60s or 6x18s. Jenoptik 8x30 Waterproof are great, Dokter or Nobilem anything are terrific. Older D&D which became Meopta are terrific. Buy Bushnell Custom 7x26s. Buy Tasco 410 10x50s for a huge surprise of view. Buy Hensoldt IF 10x50 military Bundeswher and be stunned, or Fero D-12 or Fero D-16 8x30. Steiner 8x30, 7x35 and 7x50 Military are terrific. Zeiss Oberkochen 8x30B are fabulous. KOMZ porros are terrific, especially the 12x45 Navy, the 8x30 Baigish and the 5x30 roofers.

Any Korean era 7x50 IF Military bin from Spenser, Canada Leica, SARD or any B&L or Bushnell Zephyr is going to be terrific. The M19 military bin 7x50 from various USA manufacturers is excellent. All of the early Nikon E series or progenitors are super, especially the Gold Ring series or the Black pre-E single coat. All Mikrons are great (made by Nikon. The Tasco 8x30 IF Offshore is really nice especially if the price is low. My wife got hers for $45 delivered. We hate roofers here but the Discovery Channel Store 10x42 at $75 a pair are terrific. Redhaed 8x42 roofers at $50 a pair are also great. I even have a pair of Hensoldt 6x24s with nearly no eye relief that are super sharp and useful during the day and very lightweight.

Any Jason Statesman is going to be good (although I don't like zooms, theirs is "okay"). The 7x50W is outstanding. The Korvette 13 degree field of view 7x35 is a space walk and really nice but very heavy as the prisms are BK7 and huge. Stellar made a terrific 8x25 regular porro and a reverse porro (as did Hoya the galss company), all are excellent. I have a pair of Celestron 6.5x44 ED porros that are still wonderful as are the 8.5x44 ED Swift Audubon. Any Zeiss Oberkochen 7x50 Marine IF porro T8 is fabulous. I like all the Yukon Futuras (sadly discontinued) but especially the multicoated 7x50W and 12x50W.

The Russin Tento and Berkut 7x35 and 7x50 multicoated models are excellent. The KOMZ 10x42 IF is rated the sharpest binoc in the world even today (the color rendition isn't perfect, but whatever). The Zeiss 10x40 Dialyt is considered a great classic roofer.Any of the really good Kern or Swiss porro bins are good. Maybe the KOMZ 7x30 military bin is the 2nd sharpest bin ever but that is a question you need to check yourself. The name Carton and Adlerblick are great bin makers from before. The Takahashi 22x60 is no longer made but it was considered the best flourite bin ever. The Williams Flourite and ED porro bins were also fabulous, but no longer made. The Minox 6.5x32 aspherical IF is also super but discontinued. Go back to any of the older 10x70 IF Nikon Astroluxe or 7x50 IF Prostars and you will have one of the best bins ever.

The entire Fujinon line-up is filled with incredible bins. I have a pair of the first 6x30 FMTRs and they are superb (although the Meopta 6x30 Berlin wall models for Czechoslovakia are superb as well), and the Hensolt Algerian 6x30s are incredible with Neutral/Polarizer/and/Blue filters to add on for desert use, both made in the 50s. The old Steiner 9x40 Bisons(?) were CF, and waterproof. I see incredible deals on Carson XMs from the first series all the time. I have a pair of the Carson filtered 10x50s that are also very good. Tasco Marine 7x50 IF #3222 are also great.

Other reverse porros that are excellent include the 8x25 Steiner Champ MC, the Bushnell Birder 8x30 and the 10x30 Leupolds. I collect binoculars. I often have people offer older bins in trade on stuff I have NIB and when I look thru them I am shocked with WOW. There were allot of Dr Wohler, Heine Ranger, and other bins that are superb. If you ever see the Nikon 10x35 E bin, buy them. You will end up with a collection of bins dominated by superb porros, many in lightweight magnesium and usually razor sharp. Take an extra look at military bins since every one has likely been tested 5x, because lives depended on them. That also means that ANY Yellow body US Coast Guard/Navy bin in 7x50 or 6.5x45 (NATO) is incredible. Older Steiner 7x50 Marine IF and 10x50 Bayreuth are great as well. There are so many it is difficult to list them all from memory.
 

carpincho

Member
United States
After reading many posts on Cloudy Nights praising current "alphas", this post by KS Bird is most welcome for the useful information it offers. I have desired info about high quality French products and German binoculars from past producers (Steinheil, Schneider, Hertel, etc.) of excellent performance. I have the impression that the polishing of glass is of great importance and noticed this on an older pair of Leitz Marsteptits. All too often I perceive braggadocio among those who tout the latest models to the implied detriment of earlier optics and implicitly parade their egos before readers due to having acquired extremely expensive pieces. Why anyone would desire something so costly, even alleging that it is a lifetime purchase when it clearly will be superceded by later devices makes such expenditures acts of those who can indulge in conspicuous consumption. I myself would like to see more modest and practical indications of products from various periods that will well serve the user. This is why I am so pleased with Mr. Kansas Bird's statements. I have several of the items he mentions, and they did not cost that much.
 

Binastro

Well-known member
The advances are mainly in coatings.

Despite very fine workmanship, older binoculars often have low transmission.

Regards,
B.
 

Binocollector

Well-known member
Germany
I didn't read the whole thread but some of my favourite binos are vintage wide angle 8x30s. One of the best among those with the largest sharp sweetspot is the "Bresser Everest" (but only the vintage ones). It is so good that I bought 2 of them to have one in store. They are both slightly different however. One seems to have Russian lenses (at least the coatings look exactly the same as on my Komz 12x45). I think they are almost certainly made in Japan but they bear no JB-No. to find out the maker. However this one here has the typical Komz coatings of the time, so I suspect it might be assembled from parts from differenct countries. Not sure though. I might have to ask Bresser themselves.
0ijay.jpg

gfk5c.jpg

The second one I bought is a bit newer, has different coatings but is equally sharp. Sorry, no pics yet.
 
Last edited:

Gijs van Ginkel

Well-known member
We have investigated quite a few historic binoculars and very new ones. Results of our investigations can be found on the WEB-site of House of Outdoor under "Verrekijkers testen en vergelijken" test reports by Dr. Gijs van Ginkel.
I read here highly praised (older) binoculars some of which I would not dream of giving them to my worst ennemies. From an historical point however, they are interesting. If you are really interested it may help to become a member of the Binocular History Society, so you can use its WEB-site "Binopedia".
Gijs van Ginkel
 

Don Jamieson

New member
Canada
I have a NIKON SPORTING II 7X50 62 degree, black rubber coated binoculars of unknown date. They are nicely collimated, are bright and sharp, Japanese made, and hope someone knows about them. The WWW search reveals nothing of this Sporting 2 series, can you help ?
 

Attachments

  • P1030886.JPG
    P1030886.JPG
    1.5 MB · Views: 8
  • P1030889.JPG
    P1030889.JPG
    1.6 MB · Views: 8
  • P1030890.JPG
    P1030890.JPG
    935.2 KB · Views: 9

KC Foggin

Super Moderator
Supporter
United States
I have a NIKON SPORTING II 7X50 62 degree, black rubber coated binoculars of unknown date. They are nicely collimated, are bright and sharp, Japanese made, and hope someone knows about them. The WWW search reveals nothing of this Sporting 2 series, can you help ?
I'm just going to jump in here and wish you a warm welcome from those of us on staff here at BirdForum (y)
We're glad you found us and please join in wherever you like ;)
 

carpincho

Member
United States
Regarding good/great products, I recently got a Vixen 12x40 in pristine condition with case, box and booklet in Japanese only! There are no JB/JE numbers but in lieu of the JTII inspection sticker, there is one that reads Passed by Takahachi. I suspect they were made by that manufacturer and are of a high standard. There was only one comment in a Western language (CN) of limited content. The Japanese had very high manufacturing standards and believed (and still do) in constant improvement of products, which leads me to look to them as much as if not more than to European companies. Others should consider this as wise counsel and avoid hype and anything involving the terms "arguable" and "arguably". This pair of Vixens is of an older period and does not correlate to Present items of that name. They are porros.
 

Don Jamieson

New member
Canada
From eBay I bought a pair of Circa 1950's Swarovski Habicht* 8 x 30s porros, costing me $340 CAD ($255 USD, shipped to me from the USA, that are very, very clear, have a reasonably wide field of view, and a breath-taking in focus depth of field.
As I look into the forest across the Cowichan River here on Vancouver Island, the in-focus trees and branches just seem to go on and on with the depth of field.
It's startling and uncanny really, my naked eyes don't have anywhere near that focused depth.
Don
* named after the Habicht mountain in the Alps of Austria.
 

lilcrazy2

Well-known member
United States
Regarding good/great products, I recently got a Vixen 12x40 in pristine condition with case, box and booklet in Japanese only! There are no JB/JE numbers but in lieu of the JTII inspection sticker, there is one that reads Passed by Takahachi. I suspect they were made by that manufacturer and are of a high standard. There was only one comment in a Western language (CN) of limited content. The Japanese had very high manufacturing standards and believed (and still do) in constant improvement of products, which leads me to look to them as much as if not more than to European companies. Others should consider this as wise counsel and avoid hype and anything involving the terms "arguable" and "arguably". This pair of Vixens is of an older period and does not correlate to Present items of that name. They are porros.
About 2 months ago I offered this seller $10 more than what you paid, but was turned down. I figured these older Vixens would be pretty good in the shape they were in and was interested in comparing them to a pair of Nikon 12x40 E's (non multicoated) I was using on the porch a bit. They never would answer my emails on any info about the coatings.
How do you like them?
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top