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Binocular List #101: 24 April 2000. Fujinon 70mm, Mirakel, Sans & Streiffe 999

Subject: New (?) Fujinon 70 mm models
Fujinon has an economy model of their 10 x 70, & 16 x 70, binoculars. The FMT-SX models are the old standard, "flat image plane... enables observation
of the marginal area of a visual field, sharper, more true to life colors, and minimize distortions and astigmatism"; also "every lens and prism surface is
coated with a special new EBC process".
The 10x & 16x MT-SX are 70mm, with identical specifications, but apparently without the 'flat image' corrector lens; and the "EBC coating is applied to all
lens surface in contact with the air" (it is unclear if both product lines are fully EBC coated -- are they saying that the binoculars are nitrogen purged, so
there's no air contacting the inner surfaces?.)
My local astronomy club is looking to buy a big binocular; anyone who's used both lines could provide some needed input. Thanks, Peter

Subject: Mirakel
From: Bob Bibb,
I have a small glass marked mirakel, it's 7-17.5 Its marked on the top hinge 7-65, it doesn't make sense. It's made of plastic like material for the body and
eyecups, the rest metal. It's harwix- berlin on left cover and mirakel on right. If I can help any other way let me know.     bob bibb
From: (Seeger)
Today, I can tell something about the "MIRAKEL" binocular. I have one of these small prismatic binoculars, Ser.-No. 5156, with individual eye focusing.
The body is of black vulcanite and the shape is peculiar and only to be found on this glass. The weight is 130 grams. The glass has apparently Porro I
prisms but I have not opened it. On the upper left the manufacturer's name is given - the letters raised and part of the cast body: HARVIX BERLIN. In the
same way there is on the right the word MIRAKEL. (Mirakel is translated miracle). On the brass washer top center the magnification is given: 3 1/2. The
objective diameter is about 13 mm. The height of the small beautiful glass is 4.8 cm. Best regards Hans

Subject: Sans & Streiffe Model 999 7x35
From: Dick Buchroeder,
   Phil Lam and I finished measuring the eyepiece lenses for the S&S, a 12.5-deg 7x35, and the one that I've found to perform superior to any other that
I've used so far.
   I contrived an objective and prisms to match. The eyepiece is the only complicated thing about a binocular.
   You don't want to even KNOW how much astigmatism something like this has over its 88-deg apparent FOV (about 20 diopters), but the computations
agree with one's visual observations on terrestrial and stellar objects. However, S&S did an optimum job under the circumstances, and used high index
glass throughout the eyepiece, BAK4 prisms.
   I looked again at the lens drawing and the astigmatism plots, and asked myself, "what would happen if that one singlet, that looks like it's turned around
(based on experience), were reversed in direction.
   So, I turned it around and raytraced it. The astigmatism is cut in half, and the tangential focus is made flat...which as you know from my constant harping
is the way it should be! The S&S as assembled produces a flat medial focus.
   I took the working half of the binocular out tonite and looked at lights, and confirmed that indeed edge-of-field blurs do seem to agree with the computed
as-designed/assembled S&S lens orientation, NOT with my preferred flat T-field.
   There is no way one can accidently have the elements reversed, because the spacers will not permit it: glass will clink on glass. Neither of the two
relevent spacers can be used unless both of the singlets indicated are oriented as they were when I disassembled the eyepiece.
   This is pretty exciting for me! It means that I can improve the performance of the S&S #999, which I ALREADY find superior to any other 7x35x12.5
commercial binocular I've ever used.
   The problem is, I need to get a couple of new spacers made.
   One is easy: its a straight cylinder with parallel ends. The other has to step down and have a semi-conical shape, correct on the outside to fit the lens
barrel, and correct on the inside so as not to intrude excessively on the lens clear apertures. And everything has to be looked at closely to be sure the
assembly in fact will 'tighten up' when its screwed back together.

>If there is extreme astigmatism at the edge of the field, is the astig
>halfway to the edge a variable? Can an ocular 'fall off' less than another
>ocular with similar edge blur? Is this a variable, or if there is (say) 20
>D astig at the edge, will there usually be (say 5 D) halfway to the edge?
   In the S&S 999, there is considerable overcorrect 3rd order astigmatism, so that the S-focus curves 'inward', dominated by the Petzval sum, while the T-
focus curves 'outward', and the medial or average focus is 'flat'.
   When the eyepiece element is reversed, 3rd order astigmatism is very low, so that both T and S curves follow the Petzval curve (undercorrect, inward
curving), until finally 5th order astigmtism kicks in and sends the T-curve rightward, overcorrect; just enough to make the T curve nearly flat, but at least
crossing over the plane that goes thru the on-axis focal point.
   In the nominal case, T and S curves are essentially parabolic, so that if you double the field, you quadruple the departure from the flat focal plane.
   I find that my eyes get along pretty well with about 3 diopters of astigmatism, and this is common in ALL the older binoculars, even the best, with a 55-
deg AFOV. After that, all bets are off! But, better to have a wide blurry field than a small sharp field. Regards, Dick.

Subject: reviews of Fujinon 25 x 150
  This one shows a Canon 5 x 17 held to the eyepieces of a Fujinon 25 x 150 to boost magnification.....I'll have to try that one.

Binocular List #102: 02 May 2000. Fujinon 10 x 70, more on Aberdeen

Subject: Fujinon 10 x 70
From: Peter Abrahams
It was pointed out to me that, contrary to my last post, the newer, less expensive Fujinon Poseidon 10 x 70 has very limited eye relief of 12mm.
I had a chance to compare the Fujinon Polaris 10 x 70 (about $540 discounted) with the Nikon Astroluxe 10 x 70 (about $1200 discounted). Both are very
nice binoculars, the Nikon is superior but not $660. better. Both are waterproof, individual focus, and fairly heavy; the Nikon does not have a tripod
adapting 1/4 -20 hole.
The Fujinon has oculars that are 50 mm in diameter, the Nikon has 40 mm oculars. As expected, the Fujinon has better eye relief, but the difference is
nowhere near as large as could be expected from the size difference. Neither have adequate eye relief to use with spectacles; the field stop of the Fujinon
disappears as the binocular is moved a very short distance away from the eye, but the field does not contract as quickly as with the Nikon, where the field
becomes much smaller as the glass is moved a slight distance from the eye. I'm not bothering to quote the specifications for eye relief, because the
figures are unrealistic. The 50 mm eyepieces of the Fuji are too large for me, I cannot fit them around my nose when they are closed to my 58 mm
interpupillary distance. Both binoculars have a rather limited field of view of 51 degrees. Both are quite sharp to the edge of the field, with the slightest bit
of pincushion distortion.
I like to test contrast during the day by looking at old weathered wooden boards, the color gradations are very subtle. The Nikons use 'ED' glass, and the
difference is slight but real; with very slightly contrasting colors being more visible in the Nikons. I have compared the Nikons with Fuji 16 x 70s at night,
and the difference was noticeable: the Nikons rendered nebula as white or colorless, compared with a less brilliant, slightly green shade to the Fuji image.
Both glasses are nicely baffled, but not perfectly so; viewing a bright light shows arcs of reflections off metal surfaces out past the edge of the field. The
Fuji has a more uniform flat black interior, while there are more shiny metal surfaces showing inside the Nikon. However, the Nikon shows outstanding
contrast in use, so the differences are academic.
Finally, both binoculars reek of outgassing plastic, the Nikons stink in spite of being some years old & even after extensive washing with various soaps &
solvents. I am considering stripping the vinyl covering off of them, as I find the smell offensive, but it takes some courage to strip a binocular this
expensive. The Fujis have a similar odor but are new, so there is hope for them.
Subject: Fuji MT vs FMT 10x70
From: "Loren A. Busch" <>
Haven't compared under dark skies, but we carry both in the store (at least at Lynnwood) and the only apparent difference is the eyepiece and color of the
markings. I'll check our literature and see if they go into any more details on the coatings.
One of the less known advantages for the Fujinon MT and FMT 7x50 and 10x70 series is the availability of screw on filters, including nebula filters, directly
from Fujinon. They will also make custom prescription adapters for people that need the correction instead of eyeglasses.

Binocular List #103: 09 May 2000.

Subject: Bino-building; new Russian giant
From: Fan Tao <>
This website shows a binocular shaped sculpture/building near Los Angeles,
perhaps a future meeting site for binocular list members?

There was a recent ad on Astromart for giant binoculars, from I didn't see any information on that web site on these binoculars, however,
so I don't know if they are available from them or if this was a one time deal. The ad was from only a week ago but it doesn't appear to be on Astromart
NEW AMTc Giant 20x140 Binoculars with no glare coatings on both lens.
500mm FL; f3.5; 7mm ER [seems kind of short]; 10" red. [?]; 4 deg FOV; 50lbs; $3000 + S&H; Made in Russia.
I wonder how much chromatic aberration there is with such large objectives at an f/ ratio of 3.5.
Regards, Fan Tao

Subject: Nikon 10x70, 6.5 degree on Mauna Kea 4/30/00
From: rab <>
   I lugged those big, heavy Nikons to Mauna Kea with me last Sunday. I showed up at the Onizuka Visitors Information Center, at 9300', before sunset. A
bunch of tourist vans were in the parking lot, and while I was wandering around, one of the van drivers approached me and asked if I wanted to pay $25 for
a trip to the peak to see the sunset. Naturally, I said yes! Went up, wind was nearly still, clouds down at about the 5000' level (the Peak is at about
13,740'), and it got cold fast as the sun started sinking. Along with scanning the scenery with the Nikons, I guessed that it would be worth watching the sun
sink down into the cloud layer...which was below local horizon. As the sun descended into the cloud layer, I noticed the start of a Green Flash, and
watched it develop into a lengthy (several seconds) set of brilliant emerald green striations. At 10X!
   The van then returned everyone to the 9300' level for viewing without bothering the astronomers. The visitor center has several telescopes, including a
Meade 16" LX200, which was out for the public under control of a volunteer amateur astronomer. Who just happened to have come in from Canada and
was recruited for the purpose. I didn't take his name down, but he was friends with the Canadian astronomers (CFHT telescope, I imagine) on the Peak,
and has spent a night up there with them. I asked him about stargazing at the peak. He said that he made magnitude estimates up there, and got down to
only 5.8. At the 9300' level, he was getting down to 7th mag. So the anoxia effect that people talk about seems substantiated again.
   Anyway, I didn't go up there to look thru a crummy SCT, so I took the Nikons away from the crowd and viewed to the south. Unobstructed horizon in that
direction (to the West, the zodiacal light was a nuisance), at latitude about 22-deg, of another 10-deg better than Tucson. So, I got to see a whole bunch of
Milky Way objects not visible from here, and a better view of some that are, like Omega Centauri. How wonderful to have a big pair of quality wide-angle
binoculars! Simply wonderful!           Regards, Dick.

Subject: Signal Corps Engineering Laboratory
From: Peter Abrahams
Yet another wartime optics lab was at the Signal Corps Engineering Laboratory, at Camp Evans, Monmouth County, New Jersey, 2000 acres which was
part of Fort Monmouth. During the war years of 1941-1945, 3000 officers and civilians worked at Camp Evans. The most significant work done there was
on radar, but Squier lab, the 'components, battery, photographic and testing laboratory', included an optics shop. This is where the the Carl Zeiss
collection of photographic lenses was taken, along with other captured military optics, for evaluation.
Kaprelian, E.K. Recent and Unusual German Lens Designs. J.O.S.A. 37 (6/1947), 466-471.

Subject: Sears 10x50 DISCOVERER, model no. 6268
From: rab <>
    After lately accumulating a bunch of doggy binoculars on eBay, I finally achieved some measure of success: bought a Sears 10x50 with a marked field
of 400' at 1000 yards, amber coated, in extremely good optical and mechanical condition!
    It is still in collimation, and the zero diopter differential is still correctly set (almost unheard of in the old binoculars I've bought thru eBay). It looks as
though it was seldom if ever used, although it's case is warped and was probably rained on. No deterioration of any kind in the optics or metal.
    As with ALL the Sears stuff I've bought on eBay, it is characteristically deficient. In this case, its prisms have much too low a refractive index, and
squareness of pupils is severe. I previously owned a 7x35 Sears Discoverer, and this looks very much like a scaled version of it.
    Did my after-dark testing tonite on city lights, and on real stars.
    One can always tell if there is the POSSIBILITY of a parasite image by examining the exit pupil with a magnifying glass. Thus, I could see a couple of
small, slit-like areas where there might be such images and I looked for them on the city lights that fill my eastern horizon. It was difficult to find the
parasites, but some do exist: if the binoculars are held below the lights and I look carefully, spurious overlaid images occur. However, it's actually difficult
to make them appear, compared with most other binoculars where they are a conspicuous annoyance. This despite the low-index prisms causing
significant squaring of the exit pupils. The general ghosting situation was quite good; no sharply focussed ghosts, remaining ghosts subdued. The Sears
binocular is testimonial to the fact that even with small, low-index prisms it is possible to minimize or eliminate spurious images and ghosts.
    I found the plastic eyecaps to obstruct parts of my field of view, in exactly the same way that similar appearing caps make the Bushnell Rangemaster
7x35 inferior to the otherwise similar Swift Holiday Mark II 7x35. One's face is not necessarily symmetrical and brows will interfere with well-intentioned but
ill-advised symmetrical eyecaps. Fortunately, I was able to remove one easily, and the other with some difficulty. (The plastic eyecap on one was stuck to
the metal eyepiece retainer, and both were removable as a unit, but sheer finger-force wouldn't separate them. Last time I tried this I managed to break the
plastic by using padded pliers, so this time I tried a different method. I put the stuck parts into a coffee cup half-filled with water, stuck in a microwave over
for 90 seconds, and the different expansions made it easy to unscrew the two parts).
    This now made it easy for me to fit the binoculars, both sides, to my eyes and facial features. The field stops are now sensed entirely around the field of
view with both of my eyes, and things are no longer painfully bumping into my face. There were also some other subtle advantages to removing the plastic
eyecaps. There is sufficient depth to insert corrective spectacle elements onto the 24mm clear aperture eyelenses, but unfortunately I've run out of them.
    Nonetheless, despite my 2.5 diopters of astigmatism, I can sort out what's in the binocular from what's in my eyes and so I tested the binoculars on the
stars as well as the city lights. I also did small-field testing wearing my glasses.
    The tangential field is not flat; the medial focus tends to be flattest, which is not optimal in my opinion. The pupil aberration is well-behaved, and there is
no kidney-beaning; it is very comfortable to use these binoculars. Color correction both axial and lateral is correctly done. Overall, these are very pleasant
glasses for city and star gazing.
    The square exit pupils are not causing any apparent artifacts to detract from the image, although in the end they must at least 'apodize' a wide-open
eyeball's pupil and give some subtle diffraction spikes on bright objects, as well as cause transmission loss, especially off-axis. However, under bright city
light conditions, I saw no evidence of this. Indeed, where there is often a 'ring of light' effect (for example, in Fujinon 16x70 binoculars) caused by pupil
aberration and consequent field vignetting by the eye's pupil in some if not many binoculars, I was unaware of this occuring in these when I tested them
earlier in daylight. I'll be looking again to see for sure.
    Physically, the Sears Discoverer 10x50 is about 3/4" shorter in length than my much-esteemed Bushnell Custom 10x50. This makes them somewhat
more comfortable to hold.
    The bridge mechanism is flimsy and rocks, but experienced bino users know how to deal with this. The prism covers are bent sheet metal, not as tight
as I'd like for dust protection. Otherwise, everything looks and feels solidly built.
    Except for the failure to use higher index prism glass, these are really very excellent binoculars, as was the 7x35 Sears Discoverer. As far as I can tell,
there is little penalty for this shortcoming for daytime use, an opinion I've held for many years based on my prior experience with certain other low-index
prism binoculars. I would be delighted to hear opinions to the contrary.
    There are no markings indented or otherwise to indicate which Japanese factory these came from.
  Their amber coatings suggest they come from the 1960 era.          Regards, Dick.

Binocular List #104: 16 May 2000. New Zeiss models, new source for reprints, meeting in L.A., Univex

Subject: New Zeiss models.
"The Revolution in Binocular Design".
Zeiss Victory 8x40 B T*, 10x40 B T*, 8x56 B T* and 10x56 B T* Binoculars
New four-element Superachromat lenses to prevent color fringes caused by secondary spectrum and to achieve a short overall length. [triplet, & meniscus
singlet that appears to focus the binocular]
Lens elements with reduced center thickness and prisms of new, lighter types of glass for less weight.
8 x 56, eye relief 17.5mm, FOV 405' / 1000 yds, diopter +- 4.5
10 x 56, eye relief 15.6mm, FOV 330' / 1000 yds [63 degree apparent field], diopter +- 4.5, 5m close focus, weight 1200g, "the first handheld 10x binocular
with a 56mm objective"

Abbe-Koenig prisms ("with twice the volume as the Pechan prism as used by Swarovski, Leica....").
Zeiss T* multicoating matched to AOS for light transmission of over 90% in the spectral ranges where the eye is most sensitive by day and night.
Internal focusing for optimum waterproofness and sealing against dust.
Push-pull eyecups which can be locked in position (viewing without eyeglasses).
Waterproof in compliance with DIN 58 390 80 (submersion).
Filled with nitrogen to prevent internal fogging.
Rubber-armored to provide improved grip in rain and cold.
Practical tripod adapter for 1/4 and 3/8-in. threads.

The optics have been designed using the Advanced Optics System (AOS) from Carl Zeiss.
In the past, to build binoculars providing maximum image quality and performance, glass types were needed whose optical properties were only achieved
by adding lead, arsenic or other metals. These additions have a high specific density and the binoculars, especially models with high magnifications and
twilight performance, are correspondingly heavy.
After many years of intensive cooperation with Zeiss optical scientists, Schott Glas, Mainz, a company of the Carl-Zeiss-Stiftung and the world's biggest
special glass manufacturer, has now succeeded in producing glass types without arsenic and lead, providing the optical properties required for systems of
maximum image quality. The new glass types from Schott are markedly lighter, and their processing does not require the disposal of environmental
pollutants.         (English)
Also, Anacortes Telescope has posted the English brochures for these:
They also show a Zeiss 3 x 12 B Triple XXX Monocular, which can be fastened to the ocular of a Zeiss binocular to triple the magnification.
A historical note mixed in with the sales:
Without eyeglasses, the necessary eye relief is achieved with Zeiss binoculars in three different ways: eyecups with a push-pull mechanism*, eyecups
with a rotating mechanism*, and fold-down rubber eyecups.
*As far back as 1954, Hensoldt applied for a utility patent for this type of adjustable eyecups and hence played a major role in the development of
binoculars at a very early date.

Subject: Source of reprints
From: "pernice" <>
I have found last month a web site where you can find copies of several manuals of military optics like rangefinders and other optical instruments.
you must search at "optics "         jean laurent
   Division of Military Engineering of the International Congress of Engineers. "Range and Position Finding for Purposes of Gunnery," by William Oliver
Smith. Columbian Exposition (1894),XI.; 28 pages Price 3.00 {Item No.6111}
   Reports of the Chief of Ordnance and Board of Ordnance and Fortification. Test of Telescopic Sight with Vertical and Hortizontal Hairs," Annual Reports
of the War Department 1902 Volume VII, Appendix X.; 3 pages Price 1.00 {Item No.5411}
Appendix XI. Test of Zeiss Steroscopic Binocular Range Finder; 14 pages, 1 plate of illlustrations, many tables of results Price 2.00 {Item No.5412}
   Division of Military Engineering of the International Congress of Engineers. "Range and Position Finding," by Capt.W.T.Unge, Late of the Staff-General
and Captain in Royal Uplands Regiment (Army of Sweden). Columbian Exposition (1894), XXXII.; 10 pages, plus 1 plate of illus. Price 1.00 {Item No.6134}

Subject: The Univex Story
From: CARSLS@___m (Cynthia Repinski)
The Univex Story. Cynthia Repinski. 1991.
I have plenty of copies of the Univex Story, and will sell autographed copies to anyone that is interested for $27.95 + $3.00 Priority Mail shipping within the
U.S.A. Outside the USA would be additional.
......The binocular chapter was quite a challenge. Yes, I too would have liked the chapter to be a bit longer, but the people associated with Universal that
were so helpful were getting on in age and, after five years of research, I had to finally bring the entire project to a close. I wanted the people that
contributed the most to see the finished book. I could have kept going with the research, but I had a number of very impatient 85 year old men waiting to
see the book completed.          Cynthia
From her ebay listing: the development of Universal's pioneering methods and machinery to produce lenses and prisms in mass quantities and how this
compared to the more conventional means of lens and prism manufacture in widespread use by others in the optical industry at the time. The following
other wartime optical manufacturers -- Anchor Optical Co., Bausch & Lomb Co., National Instrument Corp., Frankford Arsenal, Nash-Kelvinator, Research
Enterprises Limited and Westinghouse -- are also discussed to a lesser extent. A total of 59 pages are devoted strictly to wartime production activities.
Hardcover, 272 pages, 243 illustrations
The Univex Story has about 270 pages. Chapter 4: The Universal Optical Shop; The Universal Binoculars. (pages 113-169), is a very good outline of US
binocular production during WWII, with many details of Univex products, including a plastic 6 x 42 that was produced in prototype quantities. --Peter

Binocular List #105: 19 May 2000. Email: lots of email.

Subject: Binocular telescope
From: DaveTrott@___m
I have rebuilt my 13" giant binocular telescope again. This time I think I have found a way to make this telescope very useable. I have also designed a
unique "lazy diagonal" system for a pair of 4" refractor binoculars that many of you will find interesting. Check these things out at         Thanks!     Dave Trott

Subject: Reply from Belgium
From: operaglassman <>
Got the time to go through a lot of mailings on the place you indicated, and I saw some interesting features. I see some people presenting themselves to
the group of collectors, and that is what I will try to do.
In the first place, if my English is not correct, do not shoot me, as Dutch is what I am used to speak and write. I can manage in German and French, but I'd
rather go for the English.
Presenting myself, I am a 50 years old collector of operaglasses, spyglasses, and related items. I also collect prints on the subject, but my wife thinks I
should choose for just one of the two.
I have nothing whatsoever to do with optics, but I am a keen collector, with a collection reaching 500 pieces, from as earluy as 1670-80, till 1995. Most of
them are operaglasses, but I recently bought some good binoculars, prismatic as wel as galilean. With these binoculars, I try to go for what in my opinion
is museumquality, original leather case, and practically unused. And I seem to succeed at times.
I'm not prepared to sell, but later, in let's say 10-15 years time, the will eventually come up to be used as swapping material. Exchanging an operaglass for
a binocular.
I hope You have a good view of me to start with.
Question : Two hours ago, I was offered for sale a marine telescope, about 50-60cm long, single draw, leather bound objective tube, brass tume and
sunshade. One slight problem, the objective lens is chipped, and normally should need repair. What would this reparation cost? Objective lens has a
diameter of about 7cm.
Can this be done in Europe, and by what firm?
The telescope is signed : Kelvin & Hughes (marine) Ltd 0402/1633.

Question : As a collector I am in nearly constant search for new or extraordinary operaglasses, has anyone something to offer. I am a low-budget
collector, but for the extraordinary I would make an effort.
I have written a booklet on operaglasses, which is out of print at the moment, but a reprint, in a far better version is prepared, adding new photographs, and
I also am starting a webpage which is still under construction.
I hope, I did not take too much of Your time, looking forward to hearing from You or the other collectors in the group.           Jean-marie Devriendt, alias
Jean-marie, thank you for the introduction, which reminds me of several details:
--First, we have had little input on opera glasses or field glasses (Galilean optics). There is a lot of historical detail to be found in these instruments. In fact,
the surviving instruments ARE the historical record, since there is so little paper documentation (as Hans Seeger writes). We would all like to know more
about the makers of these opera glasses, so anything you can write about them would be welcome.

>One slight problem, the objective lens is chipped, and normally
>should need repair. What would this reparation cost?
Kelvin & Hughes was associated with Lord Kelvin, famous physicist. They probably did not make the spyglass, but retailed it.
To repair this, would mean re-grinding the lens surface, and I'm sure there are many optical shops in Europe that can do this.
You could replace the lens, and keep the original.
This would mean buying a lens of the correct focal length, and the correct diameter. It would be coated -- it is very difficult to find an uncoated lens. You
could find a replacement lens in Europe, but I don't know where.
Perhaps our European readers could provide some information.
Please reply to the list, so everyone can benefit.

From: gene harryman <>
   In one of the earlier postings, one of the members Fan Tao had some question about some "Red Star" Russian 7x30 military glasses on EBay. The
following may help him. I had queried the seller about several things about the glasses. He answered all except my question as to what factory they were
out of. I am in touch with a fellow in Kazan in Russia who gets me things from the KOMZ factory for my glasses, and he said no-one there had heard of
the "Red Star" brand, and that they thought that they might be a Chinese "knock-off". He also said that if they were nitrogen purged, that they did not come
from KOMZ. KOMZ relies on tightness of seals for watertightness. The fellow in Kazan has been very reliable with me in the past, so possible this will
point Fan Tao in a direction where he can get more info.
   As a final note, one of the members (I'm sorry, but I don't have the print-outs with me now or I would identify specifically, was asking about grease for
binocs. I don't know if the others can get small quantities of the grease that Deutsch Optik uses, but if they can't, I know of a distributor for NYE Lubricants
who will sell small quantities and ship UPS. If this would be of any use to anyone I would be more than happy to share his phone & address. I have
bought several items from him and he is very prompt. The NYE factory recommended him to me.                Thanks for the postings. Regards - Gene

Subject: More on viewing the green flash
   Pachon (South America) is at 2700 meters, give or take about 10 m. Just 500 m above Tololo, and 10 km line-of-sight distant from Tololo. From the
summit of Pachon after my hikes there, it was spooky to have to look DOWN to see Tololo, with all its domes. Perhaps a very accurate altitude of Pachon
is available now from the Gemini website, or etc. I suppose the datum for cartography has been updated since the 1980's, now since the advent of GPS
receivers: you can do as well as a few meters now, in "averaging" mode of the portable GPS pocketable devices. We found the true altitude and position
of the Spacewatch dome this way recently, and also the LPL roof-top telescope. I remember the Onizuka Center fondly. Also Hale Pohaku, and the
summit of Mauna Kea.
   Wishing you a great visit there, Memorial Day!! And I hope you see the Green Flash. From Tololo, as the sun set over the cold Pacific, if I used optical
aid (my 10-inch f/4 reflector projecting the sun on a screen), I saw mini-green-flashes, and big ones, EVERY sunset. Optical aid will show you a green
flash every time. That is the secret. Now it's out!
   The "flash" is the detached pieces of the sun just before they wink out, becoming separated from the disk of the sun by atmospheric layers. As the sun
sinks below them, the detached segments shrink, and as they get critically small, they are VERY green. And not just by color-contrast with the red or
yellow sun: I have photographed them, and they are a saturated green on the Kodachrome-25 slides. In 2 1/2 years, I also showed dozens of astronomers
who passed through Tololo the spectacle of nightly green flashes, using my "Green-Flash-Machine," the 10-inch I made and brought from NYC, and made
them into true-believers in the green flash, including the late Mark Aronson, who was most dubious about its reality.
All best, --Joe jmontani@___izona.EDU Joe Montani Lunar & Planetary Lab, University of Arizona,Tucson, AZ
   That's EXACTLY what I expected in regard to the Green Flashes! I hope I get a 2nd trip to the top this Memorial Day and that the weather up there is
clear to see.
   Needless to say, looking at the sun with binoculars isn't exactly advisable, but the brightness of the sun as its sinking below the horizon is low enough to
be harmless. ("Trust me"!). I was taking just fleeting glances at first, then observed steadily as attenuation increased. With the 10X binoculars, it was clear
that the 'green flash' wasn't a flash at all, but the last fragment of the sun. It wasn't breaking into fragments on the one occasion I viewed it, so that's
probably incidental. I watched the end of the disk first turn yellow, then light green, then vivid green until it disappeared. It never flashed, just progressed.
   Joe, you've really had some fascinating job experiences!          Regards, Dick.
From:Joe Montani <jmontani@___izona.EDU>
I can't espouse spreading news about using optical aid to see the green flash reliably and regularly UNLESS users apply PROJECTION. Please, no direct
viewing! Dangerous! Peligroso! Avoid, avoid!! Projection can be done with binoculars. Please don't view the sun directly with binoculars, at ANY altitude.
Especially from the clear air high up on mountaintops. What's your vision worth to you? ;-)
Please be very careful. Use projection only. Live to "see" tomorrow. Sincere best wishes to all in using utmost care to protect the eyes,
--Joe Montani
   Your conversation with Joe reminds me of when I used to work at Kitt Peak and occasionally would go over and watch the sun set with the 60" McMath
Solar Telescope. There in a darkened room you had a 30" image of the sun setting against the distant horizon. As Joe points out, you had whole sections
of the setting sun that were a brilliant green. What he doesn't indicate though, and may likely take a 60" scope to see, is the blue upper edge those green
sections show. Yes, a blue border to the green flash! Anyway, I could go on about what you could see with a scope that big (saguaros and flying 747s
silhoueted against the setting solar disk), but it would get dull after a while...     -Dean Ketelsen:
I've viewed the green flash through binoculars, but very fleetingly. The brilliant light of the sun is fair warning, but the infrared rays, increased by the
aperture of the binocular, can harm and cannot be sensed.
I'd say that the sights that can be seen through binoculars are a fair subject for this list. Maybe not a birder's whole 'life list', but the feathers & details seen
through a glass can be interesting to hear about. --Peter

Subject: Binoculars for spies
From: Peter Abrahams
  This list is also for binocular users, and we hardly ever hear from them.
  For example, I think it would be great if we could start assembling a directory of reviews, starting with the Leupolds of last month, & early reports from
Fan Tao & Dick Buchroeder.
  I'm sure others, especially all the spies that read the list, have noticed an interesting effect when using binoculars to view through a dusty window and
into the room behind. The window is dirty enough that it is impossible to see the room with unaided eye. But the binocular's limited depth of field means
that you can defocus the window & focus on the room, the walls, and the contents (furniture, lamps, other spies, etc.). This allows you to pick out contours
& see objects that you couldn't see with the naked eye. --Peter

Subject: Osborn Optical Moving
From: optical-repair <>
To all you fine folks. We will be moving our business & operation to the Seattle area in about 2 1/2 weeks. As soon as we get settled in and back in
operation, we will contact everyone with our new address, phone & fax. We plan on resuming operation in fairly short order with a much more streamlined
and timely throughput. We will be bringing on board an additional technician and hopefully an aprentice as well as utilizing a larger facility. Thanks to all
for your patience and support. Earl Osborn Osborn Optical Systems/Osborn Optical Repair

Binocular List #106: 23 May 2000.

Subject: Apache by Pioneer
Is this accurate? Is a 7 x 28 the current U.S. issue, and who is Pioneer?
'Apache U.S. Military current issue binocular with out the laser filters. After operation Desert Storm, the military determined that more binoculars needed
to be issued to more troops, but they needed to be smaller and lighter. Pioneer Marketing & Research developed the M24 Apache with the guidance of the
U.S. military.
7x28 Black Rubber Armored, Inividual Eye Focus, Roof Prism $249.'
I've got a recent brochure from Pioneer, of Westmont NJ, on their 'Navy One' binoculars, 7 x 50 and 8 x 24, with a special lens coating, the "SPARC:
Stimulated Penetration Anti-Reflection Coating" does not inspire consumer confidence. --Peter

Subject: LEOS Big Eye
Litton Electro-Optical Systems 20 X 120 Binocular, Mark III, Mod 5, (Big Eye) has a magnification of 20 power with an apparent field-of-view of
approximately 70 degrees and an aperture of 120mm
(Adobe Acrobat required for viewing the .pdf file)

A biocular, image intensified, telescope:

Litton Electro-Optical Systems... provider of night vision products to U.S. allies.... over 12,000 man-years of experience in the design and manufacture of
night vision devices and related products.
Headquarters, 3414 Herrmann Drive, Garland, TX 75041-6188
Night Vision Binoculars, binocular service, 1215 S. 52nd Street, Tempe, AZ 85281
Applied Optics Center, Lenses, Prisms, Mirrors, Antireflective Coatings, 9827 Chartwell Drive, Dallas, TX 75243

Web page on binoculars for astronomy:

Subject: Docter Optik
From: "Brian Haren" <>
Over here in Germany binoculars bearing the Docter Optik label appear regularly. I know Docter took over the old Zeiss Jena binocular and riflescope
mfg. concern a few years back (in fact, in the Zeiss Optical Museum in Jena there is at least one Docter Optic binocular displayed along with the Zeiss
products in a "Zeiss-only" display). These Docter products are considerably less expensive (while still not cheap) than Zeiss, and they are being
marketed (at least to the Americans over here) as "Zeiss Jena quality and design, just under a different label" A question for the group - is Docter holding
to the same quality standards that Zeiss Jena maintained? Is a Docter Optic "Nobilem" glass the same as a Zeiss Jena "Nobilem"?

On another note, if any list watchers are planning a trip to Germany anytime in the future, I very highly recommend a stop in Jena to visit the Zeiss Optical
Museum. The entrance fee is low, the ladies running the museum are very friendly, speak a little English and are obviously proud to be representing
Zeiss. But most important, the depth and breadth of the museum's holdings is astounding. There are displays on virtually all phases of Zeiss production
(including the post-WWII split and the creation of "East and West Zeiss"), biographical displays on Zeiss, Abbe and Schott, a comprehensive history of
eyeglass development and, of course, outstanding displays covering the development of Zeiss microscopes, telescopes, camera lenses, binoculars,
photogrammetric equipment, medical equipment (you can even give yourself an eye exam) and more! While all the displays are labled in German, an
English language pamphlet is available. If you are optically inclined you won't need too much translation. Arrive early and plan to spend the day. Part of
the museum also includes a recreation of an early Zeiss optical production shop located in the old Zeiss Volkshaus next door to the museum. In all, well
worth the trip! Brian
Docter makes very nice binoculars, though the larger models with the eyeshields that are integral with the body, are some of the ugliest glasses I've seen.
Their 'Aspherical' models have very good optics, though not better than the best 'spherical' binoculars. They are widely available in the U.S., at high
prices, and I think the balance of opinion is that most models by Leica (somewhat more expensive), are a better purchase. The Docter 15 x 60 has a
reputation for being very good, though I haven't used one. Perhaps another list member has a more informed opinion. --Peter

From: rab <>
Subject: Re: more on viewing the sun
     I agree 100% that it was dangerous to suggest that anyone use optical aid to view the sun, because there are so many greenhorns out there that
SOMEBODY will indeed do serious harm to his vision. HOWEVER, I disagree with you that it is unsafe to look at the sun as it sinks below the horizon. But
better to err on the safe side and advise against EVER doing it and let the smart ones figure out for themselves the circumstances under which it can be
done, as an an elective RISK if they choose to do so, as I do.
     This widespread paranoia about looking at the sun, even with proper safety measures, is the reason why Meade and Celestron, and other American
makers, don't import or sell superior solar viewing devices, like the solar penta prism (Clave) and the Colzi prism (Zeiss), so that instead we are stuck with
crappy aluminized mylar or mediocre metal-plated float glass.
     Anyway, it merits some quantitative analysis, don't you think? For example, what is the spectral input when the sun is down to a zenith angle of 89.5
degrees, etc.          Regards, Dick.
Below is from Bob Ariail:
         Joe Montani's and your experience with the "green flash" phenonomen was intriguing and extremely interesting as well. All of the books and material
that I have seen on the mysterious green flash has played up the extreme difficulty in detecting it and none mentioned using magnification. I guess most of
us go along with the 'herd of sheep' syndrome convenced the conventional word is the gospel. Its refreshing to hear of Joe's "green flash machine" that
produced green flash fireworks at every sunset! Kudos to you as well for experimenting with binoculars without filters (to note the color) to carefully view
the sun setting event and detect the extended green display. It must have been quite a sight. I know Joe waxed ballistic when you told him of your un-
filitered views, but I have done the same with total eclipses using binoculars and telescope. Five eclipses have taught me that moments before the sun
goes into total eclipse, one can take careful off axis glances at the sun and detect the progress without risking 'burnout' of the retna (or worse!). Just
before the moment of totality direct vision with telescope or binoculars is possible and spectacular to see the erupting red flames of the prominences
billowing forth. The sunset observation with optical aid must be very similiar.
         I remember a number of years ago setting up a C-90 to photograph the setting of the sun at the beach overlooking the ocean from the 5th level of a
motel. The view and seeing were great and I got some excellent shots, but I was convenience from all that I had read that seeing the green flash had to be
accomplished with the naked eye if one were to have a chance at it. I wasn't smart enough like you and Joe to experiment with optical aid to enhance the
event. It now seems so logical now that you two have done it and exposed the myth! Joe's projection idea is the safe and easy way with a telescope of
the size he was operating. I am surprised that color would be easily detected on a projection screen? The extended "green flash" must be quite vivid.
Bob Ariail
From: rab <>
     I've done my share of experimenting too with solar observing, eclipses included, and espcially sunsets. There is enormous extinction as the sun goes
down and the risk is acceptible. I just had my retinas examined yesterday, by a professional optometrist, and no damage of any kind STILL after all these
years of self-abuse!
     The damage that occurs would occur ONLY to the cornea and lens, both of which are fairly robust. The intensity on the retina is always less, with optical
aid, than if you looked directly at the sun without any aid. That's because the image is spread out as M-squared, which if the optics had perfect
transmission would be the same as direct view. It has already been calculated that one can stare at the sun for quite some time before the retina starts to
fry. HOWEVER, that's definitely not a smart thing to do, even though calculations and childhood experiences show it to be so!
     It would be nice if somebody who knows meteorology AND astronomy did an article on greenflash viewing. I guess there are some chapters and articles
out there on the subject, but they all seem to dwell on visual observation and treat it like it was something rare. I admit that up til Mauna Kea, I'd never
seen one. But after seeing the magnified image, I believed I understood what was going on, and that it ought indeed to be a regular occurence if you were
sitting on the top of a mountain. Joe's mountain was at only 7200 feet.Anyway, I hope I get another shot at it on Memorial Day.
     Just bought, again, the Nikon Venturer 10x42 because it looked 'so good' at Jensen's Gun Store, next to all the expensive Zeiss (all the usual, plus
15x60, 20x60 (a real dog optically) and had so much more eyerelief (but still not as much as it needs!) than anything else. Besides, I had some money
burning a hole in my pocket and I couldn't let that go on. After getting it home, I did the old city lights test. This time, they got the coatings right on both
sides, and I didn't see any bubbles in the optical cement bonds (using loupe magnification at the exit pupil). But, the images in it seem less than crisp and
the transmission seems a little on the yellowish side. Frankly, the image doesn't compare very well with the old Bushnell 10x50 Customs.On the positive
side, there seem to be absolutely no image parasites, and the zero-distortion correction is amusing and impressive to me, a lens designer. So, I'm going to
keep this pair just as an example of what the current state-of-the-art binoculars is as of the year 2000.           Later! Dick.
From: rab <>
Subject: Re: more on viewing the sun
     I just talked with Bob Goff here in Tucson, and the topic of 'green flash'came up. Bob G. is an experienced amateur astronomer, as well as a pro
     Bob said he lived on the California coast and overlooked the Pacific for several years. He too reported that he could see the 'green flash', as well as the
'blue flash', on almost any clear day and he usually did it with a small refractor and welder's filters....up til the last moments when he would look fleetingly at
the image directly. He felt emphatically that this was safe.
     Incidently, Bob has agreed to test the 10" f/8 paraboloid made and signed by Russell W. Porter.
     Regards again, Dick.

Subject: Meeting in L.A.
From: Peter Abrahams
Thursday is the meeting of binocular collectors. We will view & use an outstanding collection, have a talk on early 7 x 50s based on material in Seeger
_Militaerische_; a discussion of some very unusual Kriegsmarine glasses, a brief presentation on photographing binoculars, a video on the disassembly of
the blc 25 x 100, and -just confirmed- a visit by David & Nancy Bushnell, who will bring some photographs of their early business & Japanese contacts.
Dick Buchroeder & I interviewed David & Nancy last year, and the transcription will be complete soon. Here is an excerpt:
"I decided to accompany the shipment on an old British freighter, and deliver the steel to Hong Kong personally.
This was 1947. I was 34......I looked all over, you couldn't buy binoculars, because they had been given to the military during the war. I found a used pair
of 6 x 30s at a pawn shop for $50., made by Universal Camera in Minneapolis.
We sailed into Manila Bay, going around the sunken ships, and in to the berth.
I was standing on deck, and someone on the dock called out, 'do you want to sell those binoculars?'
I said, 'sure', I didn't want them anyway after I got off the ship. He said, 'I'll give you a hundred dollars for them.'
That was my first sale, and a profitable one. That shows how scarce binoculars were at that time."

Binocular List #107: 24 May 2000. Mostly Pioneer

Subject: Pioneer
From: gene harryman <>
Pioneer is a large distributer for Steiner and some other brand. They also recondition and sell high end binocs. I used to have a brochure, but I don't think
they have a web site. I believe they have an 800 number.        Gene

From: "Bill Cook" <>
>with a special lens coating, the "SPARC:
But Peter, if you read further, you will see that it "reflects electromagnetic waves back into the light beam." Or, so it reads on one of their ads. It was that
very ad that started me writing bino articles to explain the REALITIES of binoism and the market. If I had the money, I have lawyers all over crap like that.
I'm back up to 6,000 rpm just being reminded of it.
Regards to all,       William J. Cook, Opticalman Chief, USNR-Ret.

   6 years ago, I spoke with the people at Pioneer and was there in person. They stated that the Army and Marines had the M-22, basically a Commander
II without compass and different coatings. He said the Navy did not want as expensive a binocular and wanted it more traditionally shaped. Steiner put a
coating on them that was to suppress a fog /haze in the lens as a vessel sails into a lighted harbor. The glass from Japan, brought to Germany and
assembled and coated in Bavaria.
    Civilian price-200 Navy 150. As for the Apache M-24. I criticized our Vietnam / subsequent Police actions as being ill equipped with optical assistance.
In my unit, we individual soldiers bought civilian binoculars because there were none, I mean none , in the Army. Mine were always being borrowed. No
officers had them, strange.
    The binos I used in the Army were 7x35mm Nikons with the old writing 7.3degrees, saddle quality case. Both are still in action . I had them cleaned
1985 and recollimated. Today , they would be the E series Nikons. A superb classic glass and one of the best Nikon made. The other glass I used was a
Pansonic 7.5-15x40mm Zoom, The 7.5 was crisp , 15 only good for a peak.
   I own Leica 7x20 IF WP and 9x25 IF WP Rubber and the older Leupold 9x25's weatherproof and a superb all round glass they would be.
   In WWI , the Imperial German Army had the "08"'s 4 1/2 to 6 x with 39mm objectives about 4.5 degrees field of view, for noncoms, prismatic 4x 6x , etc ,
for Officers and Battery Commanders, also naval Galilean glasses. It showed as well .              Ed

From: "Brian Haren" <>
   Reference the Navy One binoculars offered by Pioneer that you reference. I had a short opportunity to look through a pair of 7x50's while shopping in a
boating supply store in the D.C. area about a year ago. I had never heard of the company before, and was looking at the selection of Fujinon's and
Steiner's when the salesman pulled the Navy One's out of the display case. I was immediately impressed. They appeared to be very well made, internally
they were clean and well baffled, and the image quality was at least as good as the Fuji's and slightly better than the Steiner (or so it seemed during my
very subjective test), and about $70 cheaper than the Fuji's. The owner's brochure stated that they were "built to US Navy standards" and "Made In
Japan", but by whom the brochure (or the salesman) couldn't say. Bottom line - had I been in the market for a new pair of 7x50's that day I would have
walked out of the store with the Navy One's.
   Now, I'm in the Army, and in a unit that is authorized binoculars and uses them heavily, but I've never heard of this new "Pioneer Apache 7x28"
binocular. They may be going to special forces units or light infantry units, who always get the new toys first. I'd be very interested to see an objective
evaluation of these things.
   The two standard binoculars issued to Army units are the M19 and M22. Both are 7x50's. The M19's are the older, modular models (Vietnam era),
M22's are the Steiner's. Both are good, certainly up to the rigors of military use. Optically the Steiners are better. As far as I know there are no other
binoculars authorized for use by the Army. I have the current CD that references use and repair procedures for all Army binoculars and only the M19/22's
are listed. If these new binos (from Pioneer) are being adopted by the Army they will probably go first to special forces and light infantry units. Any way
you cut it the M19's and M22's are big and heavy, and any space/weight savings are very welcome if you are living out of your rucksack. Of course, if you
are roaming about the battlefield in an armored personnel carrier why not mount a set of battleship bino's? Who cares about weight!
   An interesting side here - my Army user's manual for the M22's states that the bino's are warranted for 5 years by Pioneer & Co (sound familiar?).
Hmm, I guess these guys are Steiner's stateside reps.
   Reference my earlier questions about Docter binos, I took the plunge and bought a pair of their 7x50 marine models (Nobilem?) with built-in compass.
One of our local US Rod & Gun clubs was going out of business and was selling off their Docter stock at a great discount. These bino's are astounding!
Certainly the best I've ever owned and pretty close to the best I've ever looked through (beaten only by a pair of $1,000+ Zeiss). If this pair is any
indication then Docter is certainly holding to the old Zeiss Jena standards of quality. Brian

From: Peter Abrahams
I learned this from a friend:
Pioneer Marketing & Research is the U.S. marketing arm for Steiner Optics. When I first found out about this a year or so ago, I talked to my contacts at
Pioneer. They indicated that Steiner wanted to disassociate themselves with the military model. It was the same mode of thought as the M-22 purchase,
that is, they weren't getting what they felt was a comfortable enough profit margin and they don't like the idea of surplus units showing up in the commercial
market. They feel the used military surplus units generally look very poor cosmetically and degrades their image.

Subject: Green tinted image
From: Discovering Doñana <>
My name is Claudio Manetti,I have found your e-mail list on binoculars and I am very interested. I am not a collector, but for ten years I have had a
photographic workshop in Italy ( Jelen ), and binoculars were my passion, although generally in my small town bins were very ordinary models.
Now I am working since eight years in Spain, I lead a company in Coto Doñana Park, organizing birdwatching trips; so I still use (and repair, but only for
friends) binoculars. Anyway I don't have expensive bins, just good models in very good conditions.
I have a problem: I would like to buy a Zeiss Jena Octarem 8x50 B/GA, I imagine the last type produced by DDR. The coating of the lenses looks dark
golden. I like it, but there is a greenish cast that is evident when cloudy or at sunset, and is very light during the day. A yellowish cast would be tolerable,
but this cast is cold, and I think it reduces the contrast with natural subjects. I don't have the possibility to compare it with other binoculars.
Could anybody help me, telling if this was a common feature of this binocular? I have to decide or to give back it in a very short time.
Greetings from Andalucía! Claudio Manetti Discovering Doñana S.L. Helping Birds To Enjoy Birders C/ Águila Imperial 150,
21750 El Rocío, Huelva, Spain Tel/Fax +34 959 44 24 66
Claudio, it is good to hear from Spain.
I have not used an Octarem 8x50.
But I have seen this green tint in other top quality binoculars, and I don't understand why they would use glass or coatings like this. Birders are probably
the biggest buyers of expensive binoculars, and they need to see the exact color of the feathers -- so it makes no sense to tint the image. If you see
green, it means less red is coming through the binocular. The green does not help with hazy atmosphere, like some people think yellow glass helps. I
have read advertisements where they say that green tint helps you find game animals in a green forest, but I don't know if this is true. If you aren't happy
with them after a day, you won't be happy after a month. Anyone else know a justification for a pale green cast?                  --Peter

Binocular List #108: 31 May 2000.

Subject: Coatings
From: "Bill Cook" <>
  Claudio: Few things in bino land are touted as much as coatings. The color of the tint as you look AT the instrument should not have a lot to do with the
image you see THROUGH the instrument if it was correctly designed by a reputable company. The color is indicative of the type of metal deposited on the
  Some coatings, the "ruby red" for example, WILL make a brown deer more visible against a green backdrop than a mag fluoride coated bino of the same
aperture. The secret here is "of the same aperture." If you look at instruments with the ruby red coatings in the showroom you will note that you can see not
only the shadow of your face but your skin tone as well. That is light that is supposed to be going the other direction. I have not done the math on this.
However, I would not be surprised if a 7x50 bino coated with ruby red coating has any more throughput than another multi-coated instrument 42mm in
  As for the gold coatings: These were really popular back in the late 50's and early 60's. Pentax was big on the concept for a while. The coating on the
objective DID improve contrast. However, like the ruby coating they sent a lot of light bouncing off. In addition, the eyelenses were also gold coated so
some of the contrast gained at the objective lens would be lost at the ocular as back lighting reflected off those coatings and into your eyes.
  Finally, while some companies love to brag about the haze cutting abilities of their binos, methinks that if you move away from instruments like the Zeiss
border glass you will find that "cast" comes from a poor choice in optical glass - perhaps too much lead in Rx. William J. Cook, Opticalman Chief, USNR-

Subject: Zeiss Jena Nobilum 15/60 and Doctor 15/60
From: dewees <>
I have looked through both of these models in a side by side comparison.
I think they were identical in every respect except the body covering, the Zeiss has leather coverings and the Doctor have rubber type. The quality of both
of these binos is very excellent. The view is much superior to other similar size and power binos I've tried such as Steiner and Optolyte. I've yet to use a
Carl Zeiss 15/60 but I don't think there would be much room for improvement. I have owned a Nobilum 10/50 for a couple of years now and would rate
them a very close second to the Nikon 10/40 Superior E and the Leitz 10/42 (new generation). The 10/50 has a slight blue tint that is somewhat noticable
at dawn and dusk. I can't see it in the bright day and I did not notice any tint in the 15/60 models which I also tested in bright day. Randy Dewees

Subject: new email list
There's a new list for binocular users, mostly oriented towards amateur astronomers.
On the web: A cursory review of a dozen binoculars:

Subject: Docter, Zeiss, Nikon
From: Thomas Press <tpress@___om>
   I was puzzled by the query in the attached Binocular List as to whether Docter Optic is upholding the Zeiss Jena quality standards. My experience with
late production Zeiss Jena binoculars, unfortunately, is that "quality standards" for Zeiss Jena is actually a contradiction in terms as the three examples
I've owned were all in need of real help. For example, the right column focus on my 10 x 40 Notarem failed six months after purchase for no apparent
reason, my 8 x 30 Deltrintem lost collimation after a truly trivial jolt, and right ocular of my 7 x 50 Binoctem infuriatingly refused to hold its setting. Optically,
all three glasses were interesting, but the build quality for each was, to be charitable, shoddy. The better question, really, is whether Docter has made any
improvements in the old Zeiss Jena line, other than the introduction of aspherical lens elements and new styling for the Notarem series.
   I was also interested to see a continuing fascination in the Binocular List with Nikon's Venturer line. It may be old prejudices on my part, but I've never
shared the apparently universal enthusiasm for Nikon binoculars. Good glasses, certainly, but for me, at least, not the equal of the best of
Zeiss/Swarovski/Leica. I would be curious to know if any readers have had any experiences with the new Swarovski 8.5 x 42 EL or the Zeiss Victory
models.       Thanks as always for most interesting reading.           Tom Press
Zeiss does indeed have their 'ups & downs', no argument there.
I have found Nikon's top of the line binoculars to be very good: the Prostar 7 x 50, HP 7 x 50, Astroluxe 10 x 70 & earlier versions, Superior E 10 x 42, and
the Venturers. The best Leicas probably have better optics.
However, there's plenty of room for different opinions here. Birders, astronomers, optical engineers, and repairmen are often at cross currents in
evaluating binoculars.
I also would like to hear about the new models from Zeiss & Swarovski (including the SLC 8 x 56 B, and SLC 15 x 56 WB).                  --Peter

Subject: Pioneer
   I was at Pioneer's two different Hdqs in N.J. over the years. Bjorn fixes the glasses, and a large variety of pamplets and booklets and mfg. specs were
available to me for the looking plus the trying out of the glasses. Nice people! Usually on the ball, formed by a former CZ technician in 1947. I have two
60's unrubbered traditional Steiner CF's. One made for Kresges.
   I have their old early 80's brochures,very stilted German English Usage. Military Marine and Pilot versions, also 15x80 & 7x50 Compass Commander
   I considered their original carbonnite models to be best in the 7x50, 15x80, 6x30(very fine) , 8x56 (not too rugged) . I considered the 10x50 & 8x30 lesser
......The Navy I glass is from Japan. 80-100,000 Steiners were supposedly used by all in the Gulf War II. After all Iraq & Iran had the first for 10 years

Subject: Meeting in L.A.
From: Peter Abrahams
On May 25, Steve Rohan, Dick Martin, Fan Tao, Leonard Matula, and Peter Abrahams, were joined by David & Nancy Bushnell, at Steve's residence.
David brought old photos & papers from his business. Bob Penney, who designed riflescopes for Bushnell, arrived to share memories of their work
together. Peter gave a talk on early 7 x 50s, based on Seeger's military book. Dick presented a short tutorial on photographing binoculars. We
exchanged photocopies & exhausted Steve's photocopier by making copies of some of his papers. Steve's next book, a half finished collector's guide to
binoculars, was discussed. Much time was spent in viewing and comparing binoculars.
We viewed a video produced by Steve & Terry Vacani on repairing the Zeiss blc 25 x 100 (Seeger p166, 255). The Cardano circle used to adjust
interocular distance was most interesting. The prism and eyepiece move together in this adjustment, and since the light path through the prism is doubled,
a 1 mm movement of the prism will cause a 2 mm increase / decrease in the light path. The prism must therefore move half as far as the eyepiece, and
when a user moves the eyepiece to fit their interpupillary distance, the linkage in the binocular moves the prism half as much. It is a very elegant &
complex solution to a problem, which would seem to have much simpler solutions, with a basic redesign of the binocular......but the simple way isn't the
Zeiss way.
We discussed holding the next meeting in a year, near Memorial Day, possibly in San Diego.

Subject: Made in the U.S.?
From: Peter Abrahams
I had thought that Leupold was the only manufacturer of binoculars in the U.S., and recently learned that Litton Electro-Optical Systems still makes their 20
X 120 (or so it seems on their web page). At the L.A. meeting, we heard that there have been rubber armored 7 x 50s appearing at gun shows, marked
Navy 7 x 50 Made in U.S.A. Does anyone know who would be making these?

Subject: Re: Russian 7x30's
From: rab <>
   I really didn't take a HARD LOOK at those Russian long-eyrelief 7x30's until this evening. Zero or negligible distortion (which isn't necessarily a good
thing!), slightly yellow image, but for the first time I noticed that they don't really have field astigmatism. If the markings on the IF eyepieces are to be
believed, they DO have about 5D of inward curving field curvature. So, I suppose young soldiers with springy eyes could get sharp images over the whole
field, allowing just enough time for the eyes to focus!
   I've never seen this in a binocular before. Quite remarkable!                Regards, Dick Buchroeder

Subject: Big bino fling in Hawaii
From: rab <>
   I've packed my Nikko 10x70, Nikon 10x70, Bushnell 10x50, and Swift 7x35, in preparation for a Big Night at the Onizuka visitors center at the 9300'
level on the side of Mauna Kea, on Memorial Day night! Keep your fingers crossed that the generally clear skies are in evidence that night.
   When I get back, after perhaps one more comparison run to Patagonia AZ, I want to disassemble an eyepiece on the Nikon 10x70 6.5-deg binoculars to
see whether it is of Japanese wartime configuration, or if Nikon turned its back on the wartime Nikko in favor of the German Erfle design.
   The Nikon 6.5 degree binocular is NOT just a scaled version of the Nikko 7.0 degree 10x70. The ghost situation is considerably different (technically
worse on the Nikon,which is 'bailed out' by its AR coatings) and the size/shape of the optics are different. Since both have similar eyerelief, it isn't apparent
to me why Nikon didn't simply bring out a civilian version of the wartime Nikko rather than create the new binocular, which looks every bit as expensive as
a replica of the exellent wartime glass. Hopefully, examination of the eyepiece will give insight.
   The instruction manual for the Nikon 10x70 WA contains an artist's sketch showing a 5-element Erfle.          Regards, Dick.

Subject: ramblings on binoculars
From: rab <>
   As you know, I am trying to totally immerse myself in a deep-sky viewing experience next Monday night (or later in the week if weather interferes).
   I'm trying to understand, from the amateur astronomy point of view, what 'binoculars are all about'. One 'given' is that wide angle binoculars should
always supplant 'narrow angle' binoculars if one's means permit. I'm ONLY interested in binoculars with 'wide angles', which means an apparent field of
60-degrees or more.
   My experience tells me that for aesthetic viewing, which is what this trip explores, something around 10x70 is an 'optimum' size. I've viewed with good
120mm and 150mm binoculars, but the diminishing field of view means that multiple objects...objects in relationship to one another...are no longer readily
viewable. I also had a 13.1" dobsonian reflector binocular, and while it was wonderful, one was restricted to viewing 'single objects' all the time.
   On the small end, I've had lots of 7x35's, including the Rangemaster and the Swift Holiday Mark II, as well as Sans&Streiffe models #910 and #999,
which altogether constitute samples of the very best low-power wide-angle binoculars ever made, with apparent fields approaching 90-degrees. But while
multiple objects are now readily visible in the same field of view, my perception is that they're still too small, much like viewing with the naked eye, to see
enough detail within the individual objects to make the views exciting. I have also owned two SARD 6x42 and found them disappointing in their low power,
despite the large exit pupil and wide angle.
   Higher power binoculars have many interesting features and merits as well as demerits, but aren't readily hand-holdable, which keeps them out of the
present investigation.         Regards, Dick B.

From: Peter Abrahams
For my own use, real field of view does not determine the usefulness of an astronomical binocular; since there are plenty of celestial objects of all sizes to
fill a field.
However, 10 x 70 might be the ideal astronomy binocular if 'hand holding' is paramount. Any increase in aperture would need to be matched with
increased magnification, to keep the exit pupil within about 7 mm; and 12x, 15x, or 20x binoculars are increasingly difficult to hand hold.
While there is nothing wrong with tripod mounted binoculars, if I'm going to haul around a tripod, I prefer to use a binocular viewer in a telescope. In
comparing a top quality binocular viewer (Zeiss / Baader), to a binocular telescope of equal aperture, the only loss I see is the low power / wide field views
provided by the twin telescope configuration.      --Peter

Binocular List #109: 02 June 2000

Subject: Web site
Hi...finally got some bino pics on to my site...for those who enjoy the larger sizes...5-6 are now present..
Regards Mike Simonsen Copenhagen Denmark
   take a look here...hope you like it...if not ...tell me why not.

Subject: Pioneer, USA
From: "William M. Beacom" <>
I have noticed some discussion about Pioneer research and it's Navy One binocular. This binocular was marketed by several firms in the late 80's and
early nineties. It was the Bushnell Waterproof Specator, The Vixen, 7X50 Waterproof, and was also a Celestron model. If memory serves me, It was
manufactured by Seiwa Optical Co ltd in Tokyo. J/L code 191.
You also have mentioned the Leupold glasses being made in the USA. I think a better term would be assembled in the USA. They like the the glasses
made in San Diego by Kama Tech are assembled in the USA, from mostly imported parts. Kamakura KoKI furnishes parts for the Navy Glass currently
being used, and assembled by KAMA-TECH. This glass is being manufactured in various forms for Swift, Bushnell,Edmunds, and others. I am sure
someone has put NAVY on this glass, much like Pioneer put NAVY on their glass, for marketing purposes, and then said it was made in the USA, as
Leupold claims.       Bill Beacom aka Binocular Bill

Subject: USA made?
From: "Loren A. Busch" <>
   RE: Current Production Binoculars marked "Made in USA" Several recent batches of Swift Seahawk 7x50's and Fujinon 7x50 AR's have arrived marked
"Made in USA". External comparison shows them to be identical to others in stock that carry the "Made in Japan" markings. Examination of a recently
acquired (trade in but 'new', never out of the box) Fujinon 7x50 ARC (compass model) shows several noticeable external differences, the older bino's
marked Japan. This pair are at least 5 years old.
I have speculated that the 'Made in USA' Seahawks and AR's are coming from the San Dimas CA plant? Anyone know? Also might note that starting about
18 months ago, the Fujinon 7x50 WP-XL (polycarbonate bodies) have been coming marked either Japan or China, only perceptible difference being the
almost impossible to see 'CHINA' markings on the binoculars, and a paste-over strip on the boxes saying "Made in China"
    We have the 8.5x42 EL Swarovski in stock, just arrived, first impression is very good, but no time yet to make detailed comparison.
   An interesting new product, introduced a year ago but just arriving on our shelves, is a spotting scope adapter or doubler for the Swarovski binos, both
the new EL series and the larger (wont fit x30's) SLC's. The eyecups easily screw off of the SLC/EL series, and the doubler, about 4 inches long, screws
on in its' place. This now gives about double the magnification and provides about the same eye relief as the original setup, complete with push-pull
eyecups. Interesting design feature is the use of a threaded insert to allow this adapter to be used with all sizes of SLC and EL bino's. The protective cap
for the adapter acts as a spanner for inserting or removing the adapter. The threaded porting is also clutched in such a manner that if you try to over
tighten, the clutch slips, not allowing you to bind or strip the threads.

Subject: USA made?
From: "Bill Cook" <>
   Leupold: I finally got one of their reps (after beating him about the head and shoulders), to admit that their lenses did come from overseas and that,
when push comes to shove, only two instruments (both pocket models), are truly made in the US.
   Those interested in American optics should check out my all brass Baywatch telescope Except for the eyepiece, it was
totally designed and is built right here in Seattle. The 45-degree Amici prism is 15 percent larger than those coming from the Orient for "2-inch" eyepieces,
and I designed the objective using Zemax-EE.
    As for the rubber armored 7x50s that say made in the USA: They could have been Fujinon ARs (which are not made by Fujinon), Swift Sea Hawks
(which are not made by Swift, or Bushnell Navigators which quessed it... not made by Bushnell. I am not at liberty to give the name of the
manufacturer to the group lest I betray a trust. However, finding out from whence they come will not be rocket science.          Kindest Regards, William
J. Cook, Opticalman Chief, USNR-Ret.

Subject: USA made?
From: Peter Abrahams
Some of our foreign readers might be wondering why such a fuss is made about 'Made in the USA'. Americans are often guilty of a small minded
provincialism regarding foreign trade, but in this case there is some reason for the 'local boosterism'.
There is almost nothing left of the US binocular industry (and we don't pay import duties on binoculars for that reason). From 1900 to 1950, there was a
thriving industry in the US, and the loss of an industry is not just a matter of jobs. It means that there are no optical engineers designing lens - prism
systems, no mechanical engineers designing housings, no machinists and opticians producing binoculars; and all these people are valuable resources to
those who study binoculars. Any efforts to re-establish this industry would be good news for us.
In addition, the present situation at Leupold is slightly different than noted above.
Prior to 1992, Leupold sold imported binoculars, including some with the 'Golden Ring' designation. In 1992, Leupold introduced 9 x 25 and 10 x 28
'Golden Ring' models. These 'Golden Ring' models were designed and prototyped at their Beaverton, Oregon plant. The lenses and prisms were made
overseas, the bodies were made and the binoculars were assembled in Beaverton. In 1992, the 'Golden Ring' was taken off imported binoculars, and in
1994, all imports were labeled 'Wind River, imported by Leupold'. In 1996, Leupold introduced Golden Ring 8 x 32, 10 x 40, and 12 x 50 binoculars,
similarly designed & fabricated in Beaverton, using imported glass.
Leupold employs a team of optical designers, mechanical engineers, & machinists, that have been very helpful to me, and I regard their local presence as
a valuable resource. Besides, I doubt I'll ever learn Japanese or Chinese.           --Peter

Subject: Russian 7x30's
From: Fan Tao <>
About those Russian military 7x30 binoculars we have been discussing on the list, yes, I believe they are made by KOMZ since I have an instruction sheet
from the Joint-Stock Company "Kazan Optical Mechanical Plant". Some of us have been calling it the "Red Star" binocular only because some units are
marked with a red star as well as "Made in Russia", so they are clearly not Chinese in manufacture. After Dick Buchroeder's last report on these
binoculars, curiousity got the better of me and I finally took apart one of the eyepieces. The eyepiece appears to be a variant of an orthoscopic or Konig
design with a negative field element. There are seven elements in a 2-1-3-1 configuration (from field lens to eye lens). The field lens appears to be a
negative doublet (followed by an optional reticle), then there is a planoconvex element (flat side towards the field), then a triplet, finally another
planoconvex eye lens (flat side facing the eye). Interestingly, when the focus is changed, the spacing between the negative element and the rest of the
lenses changes, causing a zoom effect. All elements are coated with the exception of the reticle. Also, the middle element in the triplet is noticeably
yellow, so that appears to be the reason for the yellow image, rather than the coatings or prisms. Incidentally, Gary Russell is selling a zoom 17-24mm
eyepiece that looks very much like it is from this Russian 7x30 binocular. If anyone has one of these eyepieces, I would be interested to hear about it.
Regards, Fan Tao

Subject: Steiner
From: "Bill Cook" <>
   With some of the posts I make, one might suppose that I do not like Steiner binoculars. Well, there are a number of reasons why I would put the IF
Fujinons and Nikons ahead of them. However, this year I plan on adding them to the more than 100 models we already carry.
   My problem comes in handling some of the shuck and jive one has to deal with in the name of promotion. Goodness knows I know how to spread it
thick. In fact, I am a master. However, when I see some of the stuff to come out of Pioneer...I drop to one knee and KNOW I am in the presence of
greatness. C'mon're the best promoter in the industry...just make it believable.
   "80-100,000 Steiners were supposedly used by all in the Gulf War."
Where did that info come from? Do the math. How many ground troops did we drop off in Iraq? Did each soldier really need 3 binos - including the 85%
who were never close enough to see the enemy at all? Or were cases of Steiners, that we didn't know about, being air lifted to Saddam?
    When I first wanted to give Steiner a try in my shop back in 1988, part of the pitch from our local Steiner rep was that they were being sold to "22 armies
and navies around the world." After running some simple tests and determining I did not want Steiner in my line-up at that time, I called the rep up to tell
him why: They were not as "waterproof" as other models I was carrying, each one tested was out of collimation to an inordinate amount, the baffles were
IMHO too large or not spaced properly (you could see that bright ring of reflected light around the edge of the field), and the hinge and focus was just too
sloppy for an instrument of that cost. When I work the hinge on a big Fuji, Nikon, Swarovski, or the like, it seems to whisper, R-o-l-l-s R-o-y-c-e. When I do
that with a Steiner, the clickity clack seems to whisper "m-a-t-t-e-l."
   The last point of course is totally subjective.
    Then, about 2 months later, Sven was in the shop and I mentioned that our account would never be large enough to change the manufacturing
procedure on any instrument that was being sold to 22 armies and navies, he said,"We don't sell to 22 armies and navies...just to one...the biggest."
    That comment made no sense to me and flew in the face of knowing that Steiner was being sold to a number of countries. It is at that point I no longer
had time to play games and bagged it - not because of a few shortcuts in production, but rather the tricky rhetoric in their promotional work.
    I would dearly love to have dinner with Dr. Steiner himself. For less than $10 a bino and a change in promotional philosophy, Steiner could start blowing
the doors off some of their competitors and all their braging could be based of quantifiable data instead of used car sales showmanship.
Just a thought, William J. Cook, Opticalman Chief, USNR-Ret. Manager, Precision Instruments & Optics Group, Captain's Seattle

Subject: Introduction
From: (
I started with Zeiss in 1978 in the microscopy department and came to the binoculars department in 1983. Besides other things I have to do in my job for
Zeiss I'm the webmaster for our binoculars sites alias alias
The site is still under construction and at the moment it is linked to
As far as the history of binoculars is concerned I'm less than a beginner in comparison to you but if you have technical questions concerning the binoculars
program since 1983 I will be happy to assist you in getting answers. As I do a lot of business travel my answers may take time - sorry for that.     Best
regards,       Walter Mergen

The Zeiss Hensoldt web page (yet another alias):
includes a list of models:
    with a tiny 4 x 12 binocular, and an electronic image intensified 5.6 x 60, that I've not seen before

We now have 83 list members, including France 1, Belgium 1, Denmark 1, England 2, Italy 2, Australia 3, Germany 3. We'd especially like to hear more
from other countries, we know almost nothing about the binocular manufacturers of France & Italy, for example.

Binocular List #110: 03 June 2000

Subject: New Zeiss Binoculars - First Impressions
From: HOldenburg@___m
   I always found Zeiss binoculars fascinating. My first good pair of binoculars was a pair of Zeiss 10x40's that I bought way back in 1980, still without
phase-coating and T*-coating. Later I got a pair of 7x42's and, when Zeiss introduced the phase-coating, a pair of 8x30's.
   But things moved on, and for a long time Zeiss didn't introduce any new models that got me sufficiently interested - the NightOwls were too large and
too heavy for my purposes, the stabilized 20x60S, a marvelous pair, is sort of in-between binoculars and terrestrial telescopes: The magnifcation is too
large to replace the usual 8x to 10x birding binoculars, and too small to replace a scope. In the 1990's I finally had to concede that other manufacturers
had raced ahead of Zeiss, so I somewhat reluctantly switched to Leica 8x32's because of their waterproofing and their very high contrast. Of course I
continued using my 7x42's, optically perhaps the best pair of binoculars I know.
   Still, my main interest was still in Zeiss binoculars. I found a used pair of Zeiss 8x50's Porros a couple of years ago and bought them. Some time later I
also got a pair of Zeiss 10x50 Porros my father in-law bought in 1963 ... So when the news broke that Zeiss would introduce a new line of binoculars I
was immediately interested - not because I *need* another pair of binoculars, but rather because I *like* binoculars, especially Zeiss binoculars. And
when I try hard enough I think I can even find a couple of good reasons to buy a high-quality pair of 10x binoculars ...:)
   Anyway, the new Zeiss binoculars hit the shops in Germany. It looks as though at present only the Victory 8x56 and the Victory 10x56 are available.
That's not the range I'm interested in, I'm more interested in the 10x40's and possibly the 8x40's. (I use my binoculars for birdwatching, and I find any
binoculars weighing over about 900 grams too heavy to carry around all day.) Still, I had a close look at a pair of the new 8x56's, and here are my first
   First of all, these bins are still heavy. But that's of course unavoidable with binoculars with such large objective lenses. Anyway, they're a lot better than
the previous model, the NightOwls. The shape fits my hands very well, they're amazingly easy to hold for such heavy binoculars. The new eyecups are
definitely better than the ones on the NightOwls which were prone to completely lose their shape very soon. However, I didn't find them as comfortable as
the traditional rubber eyecups used on the Classic models, e.g. the (excellent) 7x42's.
   I didn't like the focusing. The focusing wheel is similar to the one of the NightOwls, and it's diameter is in my opinion definitely too small. That was one
of the major shortcomings of the NightOwls, and I've got no idea why Zeiss kept this feature. In birding I've got to be able to focus my binoculars *very*
quickly, and the focusing wheel just isn't ideal for that. What's more, the focusing was pretty stiff, and there was a rather strange difference between the
two directions - the focusing was *much* stiffer when focusing towards the minimum focusing distance. I first thought this was just a freak occurrence, but
the other two pairs I looked at were the same. Maybe that's of no importance to hunters, the group that will most likely buy these binoculars, but for
birdwatching the focusing isn't ideal by any means.
   Optically, well, I didn't really have the time to do a thorough comparison and there was a lot of moisture in the air, but my first impression was that the
8x56's were good but not stunning. I did a quick comparison with the Leica 8x32's (in my opinion still one of the best birding binoculars on the market)
and the Swarowski EL 8.5x42, and I actually preferred the Leica and the Swarowski over the Zeiss. In particular, I thought the Swarowski had if anything
less colour fringing than the Zeiss. Go figure.
   Now, I realize this comparison was hardly fair as the Zeiss are most probably optimized for low light levels, so a comparison in bright sunlight may not
really do them justice. Still, on the basis of what I saw I personally wouldn't consider using them as an all-purpose pair.
   The really interesting question now is - what are the 10x40's and the 8x40's like? The specifications look great, in fact they look so good that these
binoculars may have a huge impact on the birding market where Zeiss has steadily been losing ground over the past 10-15 years - they're lightweight,
fully waterproof, have an ergonomic shape and a close focussing distance. And on their website Zeiss stresses that that they've put some effort into
cutting down on stray light ("Falschlicht"), so the contrast, perhaps the single most important feature now that most binoculars are pretty sharp, should be
   The only thing that remains to be seen is how they perform optically. The toughest competitors will be the corresponding Leica and the Swarovski
models, and these aren't easy to beat.
Any comments, also off the list, are always welcome.            Hermann Oldenburg

Subject: binocs at 9300' on Mauna Kea
From: rab <>
    I spent approximately 1.5 hours on each of three successive nights (May 29-31, 2000), at the 9300' Onizuka Visitor Information Center (open more or
less every night of the year), between approximately 8 and 9:30 PM . It's VERY cold at that altitude, and chill limited my observing spells. Finally, I made a
trip to the local Salvation Army thrift shop in Hilo and picked up some warm accessories!
    The idea was to try all four of my favorite binoculars, then think the results over, and do it again the next and the next night. It's easy to be thrilled by the
marvelously dark moonless sky, and the breathtaking sweep of the Milky Way, this time of the year, at 20-deg N latitude, so one has to get beyond that to
appraise the optics.
    The Nikko 10x70, sadly, has very poor transmission by comparison to the others, and for this reason was not worthy of continued testing. Its optics were
only partly AR coated by a previous owner; it's prisms are not coated at all (or if they are, the wrong faces were coated and the right ones not!). I suspect
also its optics may have deteriorated with age and even though recoated are still inefficient.
    The Bushnell 10x50 Custom with 7-deg FOV (70-deg apparent) performed superbly, limited only by its 5mm exit pupil, and of course, by having only
MgF AR coatings. It appears, based on eyepiece disassembly by Gene Harryman, the Bushnell 10x50 design derives from the Nikko 10x70, as do so
many of the commercial postwar Japanese binoculars. Fresher optics, coatings, make it worthy!
    The Swift Holiday Mark II 7x35 with 10.9-deg marked field (76-deg apparent) is on of my favorite WA binoculars, but has never been entirely satisfactory
in Southern Arizona, even in the darkest sites. However, I had to rethink my complaints about faintness when using it at 9300' on the side of Mauna Kea.
Perhaps it was the extra 12-degrees of the richest part of the Milky Way that changed my mind, but there is definitely value and enjoyment, compared to
the 10x70 binoculars, to be had with this size binocular! And, the wider apparent FOV made me wish I could take its eyepieces and attach them to the
Nikon 10x70, which has only a 65-deg apparent FOV!
    The Nikon 10x70, modified to eliminate residual spherical aberration, produced the finest views of all the binoculars I had.'Fresh' optics, even though
MgF coated, gave the most contrasty images. Its larger aperture also makes stars brighter than in the Bushnell 10x50. (star brightness, provided the eye
pupil is filled, depends on the square of the binocular's aperture); I doubt that I was getting the 70/50-squared gain, because my eyes no longer open to
7mm, but I have measured them at about 6mm recently (Sky & Telescope used to sell a pupil measuring device; I had a prototype given to me years ago).
    My preference, if limited to only one of these binoculars, would be without hesitation the Nikon 10x70. However, it would be wise to bring a tripod of
some kind because lugging 5-lb 10-x binoculars is fatiguing, and no matter how well one holds it by hand, some performance is lost by jitter.
    The matter of residual spherical aberration, whether it be in the Optics, or in the viewer's eye (most eyes have undercorrect SA...see Handbook of
Optics, Second Edition, OSA) is absolutely worth considering. The present Nikon 10x70 x 6.5 binocular was equipped with removable SA correctors that I
designed and which Steve Stayton mounted in removable cells that attach to the Nikons. The comfort and improvement that results with the correctors is
instantly apparent. There are theoretical drawbacks to the general application of such correctors, or to designing ordinary binoculars with modified
objectives, but my experience over these three nights (my first serious stargazing experiment with hand-holding the corrected binoculars) showed me that
with some training, the shortcomings are minor and the advantages are indisputable. More may be written later about the correctors, but it is premature to
lay those cards on the table at this time.
   Regards,      Dick Buchroeder

Subject: Bushnell Custom 10x50
From: rab <>
   Well, my Bushnell paid a price for going to Mauna Kea!
   I'd packed it, the Nikkos, and the Swift altogether in a Samsonite suitcase. The Nikkos were in their military wooden box. The Swifts were in bubble
wrap. The Bushnells were in a Bushnell binocular case, stuffed inside another box.
   To make a long story short, when I unpacked them I noticed that one of the spectacle lenses that I tacked to the eyepiece barrel with Duco was no
longer connected. And it takes a pretty fair amount of G-force to separate a 1" diameter thin lens from something like the binocular. Rebonded the lens
back on with Duco, and examined image. Now have severe vertical decollimation, far more than misalignment of the spectacle could ever cause (and all I
had to do was match the tear-lines in the cement!). So, although I can't see or hear anything loose, my guess is that one of the prisms got wacked loose.
   Good excuse, then, to do some invasive surgery on the Customs!            Regards, Dick.

Subject: Re: more on viewing the sun
From: rab <>
    Made my second visit to Mauna Kea on Monday, and got the same tour driver to take me along to the peak.
    This time I used a 0.5% Tiffen ND glass absorption filter (I admit, I didn't run a trace to see if it blocks IR and therefore this is a dangerous thing to do.
I'm going to ask Schott specifically if they have that information. Their filter catalog shows no dropping-off as of 1100nm, but that's still not far enough to
know safely.)
    And again I was cautious, bobbing around, etc. Afterwards, I could detect no changes from my-side of the retina.
    It was cloudier than last month...clear off to Maui and beyond, with Haleakala clear from about the 8000' level and above. The cloud level on MK was at
about that height. There was bumpiness in the cloud layer, it wasn't nice and smooth.
    So, I started observing when the sun was half-way immersed in the cloud deck. And what I could see with the ND filer that I couldn't see previously, due
to the high brightness, is that the top of the sun starts to show green even when a very sizable (say 1/3) of it is above immersion, and this green at the top
grows until it's the only thing left just before total immersion. ( I would imagine that a low-density aluminum filter would work for the experiment, but the
chrome filters appear so orange that I don't know if you'd see the green).
    Then, finally, at the Kona airport last evening, I was able to watch the sun set over the sea, I being just a little above sea level. Again, there was
something of a cloud layer, but it was very close to the horizon. And, sure enough, the top turned green several seconds before it became totally
    So, there you have it: 3 out of 3 for me, visible only because of the 10X optical aid. I think you are right, Joe, that certain circumstances result in brighter
'flashes' than the mundane daily behavior. But there seems no doubt that given an unobstructed horizon, one can see some measure of this effect on
every reasonably clear occasion. I imagine you'd see it at sunrise too, but you'd have to be right there at the right time or it would escape you. Any idea
about green flash at sunrise?
    Dean and I believe it was Bob G too said they could also see a blue 'flash' from the McMath scope on Kitt Peak. If the idea is that normally the blue light
from the sun is scattered away, and that the red image is already below the horizon because it refracts less than the green/blue, then seeing the blue
would indicate extremely low scattering in the atmosphere along that path, and a blue image would be the last to sink below the horizon.
    Obviously, before making this sort of thing widely known to the public, some SERIOUS attention to safety has to be paid. I think you're right that
suggesting anyone look directly at even the setting sun with a binocular/telescope is simply unmentionable. However, what do you think about suggesting
the use of a suitable ND filter, called out by name and number, in conjuction with a telescope/binocular? Or has anyone tried it with a plain old Tuthill
Solarskreen to see if there is enough transmission at sunset to see the Green?
    Please advise!         Dick Buchroeder
I looked through this book a while back, and don't recall too many details, but it was very good:
O'Connell, D. J. K. The green flash, and other low sun phenomena. [Castel Gandolfo] Vatican Observatory; New York, Interscience Publishers, 1958.
192p., 80 color photos.         --Peter

Subject: Steiner etc.
  I enjoyed the precise info on Navy I and Leupold and Steiner. I was to the Steiner reps at Pioneer and spoke with the people and read literature. I own
and did own various Steiner products. I know people fanatical about them and those against them. Anyway, they were truthful as Bill Cook supported in
the Japanese etc. mfg. of optical products and assembly in Germany.
   Bill, I think it was 40-armies and navies used them. 80,000-100,000 pairs in the Gulf War!!!!????
   My brother (kid) Kevin was a full bird Colonel in the USMC, on the USS Tripoli, and commanded forces that were to attack the Basra coastal islands but
instead went inland and through the super duper fantastic , indefeatable Republican Guard. His forces fought for and easily took the Kuwait Airport and
some 700 prisoners. To the chase--- he had no Steiner Glasses, in fact he specifically mentioned a fellow staff officer getting a pair from his dad sent to
him before departure to the gulph. The pair were Commander II's he said with compass, as I own a pair and do love them. Stored away in boxes? very ,
very possible with the goverment doing things. I really believe the USA Goverment has something against men having binoculars. It might be the inherit
comment I get when viewing "Duh! Lookin in windows or for birds, duh?". I worked on the RR and used all types of optical equipment well to my advantage
and eventually all the critics secretly harbored a pair somewhere and some secretly had me sell them some or check out what they had, when they bought
them . Funny, old Civil War photos are quite numerous with "Field Glasses" and telescopes displayed. Look through "Pictorial History of the SS", and
many similar very pictorial reference books and You see many pairs of various binoculars adorning necks galore. In "Dah Nam" my 7x35, 7.3 degree Nikon
, Cf glasses were used extensively. Many coveted them. I also used a Pansonic Zoom 7.5-15x40 pr for use on perimeter towers. The 7.5-9 was crisp, on
up less.
   I had them collimated and cleaned at Miller Optics , an old friend of mine, in Philadelphia. In the 60's , I also purchased several prs of 19th century
glasses "Field Glasses" and "PILOT" Glasses" from Riggs and Brothers, Philadelphia, Penna. , 1968 they went out of business as an optical and nautical
supplier for Merchant Shipping as Philadelphia began to lose its secondary Maritime Slot on the East Coast. I still use them on the coast here in small
boats, 3 1/2-4 power.
   Leupold made here! I've been deluged by "know it all sportsmen " and I said I doubt it. Now I'm confirmed. Thank you! B&L closed their Glass Factory in
Rochester, NY in 1995 I'm told. Does anyone have any info? About my brother and Steiners, I shall check in more detail and report back to You all
forthwith.    Ed
B & L: Glass factory closed July 25, 1985. 1995, glass plant razed.

Subject: Steiner M-22G evolution
From: "Steve Harris" <>
The last few Binocular List postings have brought back memories of my experiences with the Steiner M-22G. I sat down this afternoon and whipped out a
rather lengthy summation of many articles that I have saved over the years and some interesting Web sites that are related to the military and military
optics. These sites should also serve as resources for further research into the topic of modern US military binoculars. All Best Wishes, Steve Harris
Subject: Steiner M-22G, evolution of the M-22 program, new US Army binocular entries, and a few tips for the M-22G owner
From: “Steve Harris” <>

Steiner M-22G‟s started to show up shortly after Operation Desert Storm as “hocked restricted items” at pawnshops and military surplus stores throughout
the country. Here in Texas, the flow of units out of Ft. Hood (Kileen, TX) where III Corp is based, was almost scandalous.
I have heard that this was an annoying problem for the Army nationwide, usually found around bases involving large armored units. By 1996, the trickle
had turned into a flood, as these binoculars actually started turning up as official surplus at DRMS appointed bases tasked with optical surplus sale and
disposal. Many of the binoculars were becoming rather ragged after being brutalized by the desert sands and banged around in the armored environment.
For many of the binoculars, the demilitarization process involved removal of the safety level code D laser filers or destruction of the filter while still attached
to the binocular. Eventually, the binoculars started to show up largely “in-tact” with many lots including scantly used and even new binoculars. Federal
and State agencies got wind of the M-22G‟s release and complained to the DoD about not getting access to these binoculars through the auction process.
The DoD responded by diverted a large quantity out of the auction supply chain to the Border Patrol, DEA, BATF, and others. Some state police and
larger metropolitan police departments also received small quantities of M-22‟s during this process.

The reason why the M-22G went to auction, after only roughly a decade of service, is still a mystery. Sure, the binoculars took a beating in the Gulf, but
other binoculars such as the M-15, M-16, and M-17 have been around for 50+ years and are still in serviceable condition. One possible reason for the
early retirement was the glint problem associated with the M-22G‟s laser filters. The “glowing pink” laser filters were often referred to as “shoot-me filters”
by many who used the binocular in combat. Even small amounts of reflected light off of the filters created glint that could be seen for up to a mile. The
glint problem was finally corrected in mid-1997 by the Tenebraex Corp. (Boston, MA)
(this Web site has many photos and diagrams of US Army binoculars and a interesting bit of history on glint, this is a must visit site!) with the introduction
of their killFlash Anti-Reflective Device (ARD). While the advertising material claims that resolution is not affected, most who have used the M22-G-ARD‟s
will tell you that something goes terribly wrong when the filters are put in place. Resolution IS affected and the crisp Steiner image denigrates to that of a
much inferior glass. Another possible reason for the M-22G‟s disfavor is the fact that the laser filters on the unit are very limited in the bandwidth protection
that they offer. Newer, multi-bandwidth laser threats in the early 1990‟s made the 1970‟s designed laser filters somewhat obsolete. Other reasons for
early phase-out status range from the M-22G‟s weight and bulky size to durability/quality problems associated with the Macrolon construction
(polycarbonate reinforced fiberglass).

Sometime in the mid-1990‟s a company called Kama-Tech Corp. (Chula Vista, CA)
started producing an inter-service (?) replacement for the M-22G using the Fujinon Nautilus 7X50AR body with a modern multi-bandwidth laser filter
located in each objective tube, directly behind the objective lens. The binocular has black body armor (thus the M-22B designation) and the Fujinon name
is embossed on the left top plate. The objective coating is a very bright, almost iridescent green color, creating a glint problem of almost the same
magnitude as with the M-22G. The laser filter can be seen behind the objective lens and it also has a high glint factor. The relatively compact Nautilus
7X50AR body was most likely used because of weight and size complaints associated with the Steiner M-22G. The Kama-Tech binocular is still being
assembled in the US using Japanese body and parts, with laser filters manufactured in the US. Corion Optical Filters (Franklin, MA)
 also produced the M-22B under DoD contract during the mid-1990‟s. It has been suggested that Corion makes the laser filter that is inside the Kama Tech
binocular, but this cannot be confirmed. In 1998, Corion lost its contract with the DoD and production of the M-22B was taken over by the OFC Corp. a
Division of Corning NetOptix (Natick, MA)
Not much is known about the M-22B variant produced by OFC. It certainly is thought to have advanced laser filters and may have electronic sensors that
are being developed across town at the Army‟s Soldier System Center
OFC is a pioneer in both diamond turning of optical glass and variable bandpass optical filtration systems. With the looming threat of advanced oscillating
wavelength lasers on the battlefield, more complex variable bandpass filtration systems will be needed on military optical devices, thus utilizing OFC‟s
strategic expertise. For a bit more information on the threat of blinding laser weapons and their impact on the optical battlefield, investigate Lisa A. Small‟s
definitive, non-technical, summary paper at
With a surprisingly comprehensive (!) listing of US and foreign classified/non-classified battlefield laser weapons systems, it is certainly worth a read even
if laser weapons are not you area of interest! If you ABSOUTELY MUST have more technical details, see John Knowles‟ article “Early Morning DEW:
Directed Energy Weapons Come of Age” in the JOURNAL OF DEFENSE ELECTRONICS, October, 1996 (sorry, I don‟t have a link here, try a major public
university library located in a city with lots of defense contractors to borrow your copy of JDE).

So what is new and exciting with binoculars and the US Army? Probably the most interesting development has been the adoption of the Leica Vector 1500
Laser Rangefinder binocular
 (military version of the civilian Leica Geovid 7X42 BDA) for Special Forces, forward observation units and tactical teams. An even more advanced Vector
1500 (code named “Viper”) was described in an article in the March 1997 issue of ARMED FORCES JOURNAL INTERNATIONAL
entitled “Talking Binoculars”
which described a pair of Vector 1500‟s modified by the ThermoTrex Corp. (San Diego, CA)
which communicate with each other via bursts of low power laser signals. I understand from reliable sources that these binoculars have been issued to
Special Forces units and have been seen in use at Ft. Polk‟s (Alexandria, LA) Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC)
location of the Army‟s Advanced Digital Battlefield. I must say that it is rather reassuring to see the Army giving consideration to such a fine pair of
binoculars! For more on Leica‟s military binocular applications visit

Putting that Steiner M-22G back in showroom condition
In 1996, I won several lots of Steiner M-22G binoculars at DRMS auctions and also purchased lots from army surplus dealers who could not figure out how
to repair and re-market really nasty examples of the M-22G. Learning the in and outs of this binocular was a quick study in the three steps of the Steiner
repair hierarchy. First, “if it‟s not broke, don‟t fix it.” Second, “if it‟s kinda broke, cannibalize it.” And third, “if it really is broke, you can‟t fix it.” Glued
Macrolon is not a pleasant material to work with. It is structurally resistant to blunt impacts, yet terribly brittle when it comes to puncture damage. Actually
tearing one apart for internal cleaning was usually out of the question. But for the most part, the majority (90%) of the examples that I worked with were
very clean internally; even after all they had been though. The exterior coatings and lenses also held up remarkably well, considering the fact that many of
these binoculars had literally been sandblasted from the micro-sand particles common to Operation Desert Storm. So, in my humble opinion, the M-22G is
a reasonably tough and reliable binocular from a structural standpoint. Collimation problems, lubrication issues, and poor accessibility for some kind of
maintenance certainly do raise concerns about its quality and design for long-term use.

If you happen to run across or have a Steiner M-22G that is in good shape from an optical standpoint, don‟t let its grimy looks or missing parts keep it from
being a nicer part of your collection of modern military optics. If the binocular was in the Gulf, you will generally find lots of micro sand dust still hiding
under most of the rubber parts. This dust is highly abrasive and will eventually do damage (if it hasn‟t already), so as a starting point, it is a good idea to
strip off all the rubber accessories/parts and give the binocular a general wipe down. Trying to get the green rubber armor clean can be solved using
Castrol Superclean (2-Butoxyethanol (111-76-2), Sodium Metasilicate (6834-92-0). Superclean is a highly alkaline, industrial strength cleaner/degreaser
and can be found at your local auto parts store. Superclean is the only cleaning agent (out of dozens that I have tried) that that does a good job of
removing the grime, while also gently breaking down the micro thin outer layer of oxidized hardened rubber. This stuff does a wonderful job and really
makes the green rubber look factory new. It is recommended that you use gloves with this stuff and make sure and wipe off the rubber armor after you
have finished, using a mild liquid dishwashing detergent and water.

Parts for the M-22G are still available through a civilian source. Tom and Suzanne Schott at Optic Options (800-872-0273) take care of outsourcing for all
of Pioneer Research‟s binocular parts. If your order is of a reasonable quantity, I am sure that the Schott‟s will be more than happy to work out a deal with
you. Some of the more commonly requested parts that are still available are priced below.
M-22G Laser filters                              $100.00 one set left!
M-22G Laser filter rubber donut cover           $39.95 each
M-22G Laser filter objective cover (designed to fit over filter) $14.99 each
M-22G Eyecups                                    $19.95 set
M-22G Diopter retaining ring                     $7.20 set
M-22G Diopter knobs (not original)               $11.00 each
M-22G Original strap                             $9.95 each

If your original laser filters are broken, missing or you just want to have the ultimate Steiner M-22G accessory, the good folks at Deutsche Optik
 have unissued, Steiner M-22G polarizing filters that replace the original laser filters for $60 a set. These polarizing filters were sold as part of the original
Steiner/DoD contract and went unissued!
Steve Harris        <>

Binocular List #111: 04 June 2000.

Subject: East German Zeiss binoculars & Memory Lane
From: SCSambrook@___m
    Although by no means an expert of East German Zeiss binoculars, I was in the photo-retail trade from the mid 60s to the 80s, and I certainly sold a lot
of them.
    In Britain there were two distinct 'families' of porro models - the cheaper ones (7x 50, 8x 30, 10x 50) being called 'Jenoptem', and the dearer ones
having the traditional Zeiss names (Deltrintem et. al.). There had also been a range named 'Werra' in the late 60s, which was the name of of an
idiosyncratic East German camera - we always assumed those binos were also Zeiss-Jena.
    Throughout the 1970s the 8x 30 Jenoptem, which was by far the most popular model, sold at about £30, or say $50 at then-exchange rates. We got
33.3% basic discount, plus an extra 10% for quantity orders. It was always very hard to explain to customers why the 8x 30 Deltrintem, costing almost
twice as much, appeared to be identical - irrespective of whether one was looking at it or through it ...
    Eventually the 8x 30 Jenoptem was designated 8x 30W, and marked 'Multi coated'. The external quality of these seemed less good than the earlier
ones, although they seemed to perform equally well - but not better. Towards the end of the 80s, the appearance of the whole range became somehow
cheaper, and both mechanical and optical deficiencies became more common.
    I remember the big 8x 50 Nobilem being sold off at ridiculously low prices in the 80s, trade cost was about £60 (say $90/100). And also the Dodekarem
- some in leather covering, some in rubber.
    The roof prism Notarem models were, I believe, not very good. At least, not the ones I looked through. It amazes me to see high prices on these today
... They were poor sellers when they came on the market - most people can tell the difference between indifferent and good, if not between good and
better. I think the 8x was a lot better than the 10x - but neither of them had any of the 'bite' that you get from a top class bino. They were better than a
Swift Trilyte of the same era ... which isn't saying much.
    The best of the East German models was the porro 7x 40 Septarem - yes, 7x 40 - just like the ones that turn up as DDR surplus today, but not the EDF
type.. Only in the 70s they cost £60 retail, and included a first class leather case. And I never saw a poor one. Mmm, should have bought one for myself
... trade price was er, £36 ... plus sales tax 15%.
    The Docter 8x 30 sells today at around £120 over here ... you can buy secondhand as-new 8x 30Jenoptems for £30-ish - no contest really.

  And yes, I understand your concern about 'Made in USA' binocs - we used to have a binocular industry once !
  As globalisation continues I expect it will be only a matter of time before we see Leica binoculars assembled in Patagonia from optical components
moulded in Sierra Leone and ground and polished in Iraq, with mechanical parts fabricated in the Spice Islands from materials originating in Crete. And
worldwide distribution handled from Tierra del Fuego .... My fiends tell me I am pessimist by nature.
  Finally, A Question - has anyone any experience of the 'Swiss Leica' binocular which Deutsche Optik sells ? I have not seen this advertised in Europe,
but then I don't get out very much in Europe ... Best wishes         Stephen Sambrook.

Subject: USA, customers
From: "Bill Cook" <>
>Leupold made here! I've been deluged by "know it all sportsmen " and I said
I doubt it. Now I'm confirmed. Thank you!<
   Don't push it. Though my poor mother was illiterate, she was wise enough to teach me, "Never get in a battle of wits with an unarmed person. You'll lose
every time."
   It was this "Sportsman" category that gave me the:
   "I doan see y uh main kan't kideem a good 7x50 at'll fitinis shirt pocket."
   "Hell, uh telescope at big oughtta be able tuh look thugh uh few little clouds," and the ever popular,
   "Do you have any telescopes that can look through wood, steel, and car doors?"
   The scariest thing to me is that these people are issued driver's liscenses.
Regards, William J. Cook, Opticalman Chief, USNR-Ret.

Subject: Steiners and Leitz Vectors
From: "Brian Haren" <>
    Reference the email from Edward Kennedy about the comments from active duty personnel about not having binoculars available when they need
them. As an active duty soldier I can vouch for the shortage of binoculars in units. While I'm not in a combat specialty (I'm a topographic engineer), my
specialty used to require me to lead small teams of field reconnaisance soldiers around the battlefield to collect geographic (or terrain) data. The one
item I could never get authorized was binoculars. In the Army binoculars hold the same accountability status as trucks, tanks and machine guns; they are
considered "non-expendable major end items" and must be inventoried, safeguarded and accounted for in the same manner as trucks, tanks and
machine guns. Some units even consider them "sensitive items" and insist they be locked up in safes or arms rooms. The number of binoculars a unit
may have is determined by the unit's modified table of organization and equipment (MTOE). You can have no more than what the MTOE says you may
have. Period. If you want to increase your authorization (a paperwork drill, but it can be done), your higher ups invariably ask, "Why do you need more
toys that just have to be accounted for?" The implication here is that bino's are "toys" and that the pain of keeping track of them outweighs the potential
benefit of having them available to the soldiers who need them to do their job. Aaah, the military mind. End result? My compatriots and I end up taking
our own binoculars to the field to get the job done. I've had lieutenant colonels ask if they could borrow my Steiners, even though I knew full well their unit
had bino's sitting back in garrison, locked in a safe!
    As far as huge numbers of binoculars showing up on the market after the Gulf War, I can easily understand it. Remember, immediately after the war
the US Military got the order to downsize - FAST! The Army is about half the size it was in 1990. We literally imploded. From personal experience I can
tell you that the normal property disposal rules were bent in the name of expediency. A lot of base DRMO (property disposal) offices were holding public
"fire sales" of turned-in equipment that would normally have been shipped to regional depots for reconditioning/reissue. The Army literally had too much
excess stuff to handle and figured it easier to sell it off locally than clean it up and store it for later use. I am sure this is how so many binoculars made it
onto the surplus market.
    Now, referencing Steve Harris' reference to the military's use of the Leitz Vector bino's. A few years back I was involved in the testing of a really neat
system put together by the Army as part of the "Digital Battlefield" concept. The Army has taken a pair of the Vector binoculars, a laptop computer and a
GPS receiver, hooked them all together through a GIS software package and uses this system to collect accuate positioning data in the battlefield. The
Leitz bino's are really sweet - stunning optics, a digital compass and laser rangefiner (and a price to match!). The bino's have a serial port, so they can
be hooked to the laptop. The system works like this; the GPS receiver is constantly feeding position information to the laptop software, which tracks a
soldier's current position on a "moving map" display. The soldier sees something on the battlefield he needs to get an accurate position on (lets say a
bridge the enemy put up overnight), but he does not want to expose himself and give away his position. He takes the binoculars, gets a quick azimuth
and range to the bridge from his position and the software accurately calculates the bridge's true location (within a few meters). The soldier makes a
quick call on his radio and within a few minutes artillery is accurately raining down on the bridge. Neat (from a soldier's perspective)! Brian

Subject: Green Flash
From: Jack Kelly" <>
The question was raised about a green flash at dawn.
While climbing Mt. Hood a number of years ago we stopped at about the 9000 foot level to watch the sun rise and experienced a very bright, almost
strobe-like green flash. The weather was slightly overcast at the time.
The flash was very pronounced and I was not using binoculars. Regards, Jack

From: "Bill Cook" <>
>Funny, old Civil War photos are quite numerous with "Field Glasses" and telescopes displayed.<
   Ah yes, I can see it now - July 1, 1863. The faint sound of marching feet and the dust it would raise. Brig. Gen. John Buford, now on McPherson Ridge
just northwest of Gettysburg, looked town the Cashtown Road. He KNEW what was coming, but he had to use his field glasses to be sure. 2,300 men with
him - John Reynolds and his troops hours away - and 20,000 Rebs to be dealt with before nightfall.
   John was not ever severely wounded. He died of caring for his men and exhaustion 6 months later. He was lucky though. Had he been an instrument
repair tech and had to deal with the Navy bureaucrats on a regular basis, he wouldn't have lived to see the Civil War at all.
   But then....I digress. William J. Cook, Opticalman Chief, USNR-Ret.

Subject: Zeiss Fernrohrlupe; Zeiss Wien; Glare problems
From: "Jack Kelly" <>
From: Lothar Helling []

>> at my Fernrohrlupe has been a - not original - screw in the middle of the bridge (?) between the two objectives. This screw is 10 mm long and might
have fixed the extra lens-device. Each objective has an extra brass-ring (thickness 1,5 mm, height 3 mm). At the top of the middle-axle is a nut to fix the
Fernrohrlupe at a holder.
In Jena is an optical shop, which has sold Zeiss-products direct from the factory. This has been at GDR-times. But even now they have three different
auxiliary close-up lenses for the Turmon. As you know, the binocular-production of Zeiss at GDR-times has been in Eisfeld, not in Jena. This factory was
bought by Docter-Optic, a West-German company. They produce now in Eisfeld a monocular like the Turmon, but with plastic body. Optical quality is
good. Regards, Lothar<<
> I just measured the special objective ring on my Fernrohrlupe Teletur. It measures 5mm high and 22mm in diameter. The glass also has a special
chrome knob at the top of the center hinge. The knob screws onto a threaded post which is 7.5mm in diameter and 6mm high. Jack <
   The special objective ring on my Fernrohrlupe is also 22 mm in diameter, but only 3 mm high. The chrome knob seems to be the same.
   I give you the adress of the photoshop in Jena, where I saw the close-up lenses, if you want to order them directly from USA. One lens was - I think -
aproximate DM 20.-, that is $ 10.-. Foto Zentrum Johannisstrasse 12 07743 Jena
   Some weeks ago I got a Telact 8X from Zeiss Wien. What do you know about the S/N of Zeiss Wien? Did they have own numbers or are their S/Ns a
part of the Jena numbers? My Telact is 314613. What do you think about the quality of Zeiss Wien compared to Jena?
   Hans Seeger writes, that there are only very few binoculars it is a pleasure and a recreation for the eys, to look through. That is not sharpness, contrast
and so on. A lot of modern expensive top-glases have that. But this very few give you more, they give you a seeing-event. Hans Seeger says, the Telact is
one of these. Before I got it, I did not realy know what he means. But now I know. Do you have an idea, how this very special kind of viewing can be
explained? Is that a special relation of different physical facts? Or can you see this only with this particular german mind? You know: Nietzsche, Wagner,
deep dark forests ... -)
   However, my Telact has a problem: The objectives are a little hazy inside. When I look through the objetives it is not much. But when I use the binocs in
the normal position the haze is pretty intensive. This difference is an interesting effect I never had before. I can help myself with tubes made of black
cardboard on the objektives. They avoid sky-light coming from the sides into the objectives. The view than is much better, but not haze-free. This is not a
satisfying solution. Before opening and cleaning the surfaces I must say, this binocs are perfectly collimated. No headaches even after long viewing. (I´m
very sensitive in that.) What would you do?         Regards, Lothar
From: Peter Abrahams
>>Do you have an idea, how this very special kind of viewing can be explained? Is that a special relation of different physical facts?<<
   I believe that the qualities that comprise the very finest binoculars can be precisely described in terms of astigmatism / distortion balance, coatings &
baffling, field of view, physical aspects such as handling & focusing, and many more qualities. There will always be plenty of room for opinion, for example
distortion might bother one user who likes to 'scan the horizon' but an astronomer would want pinpoint star images to the edge; birders will want very exact
color rendition, etc. There will never be a consensus on the 'very best binocular'.
   But it would be very useful to take a binocular that could be seen as the best in one aspect, for example a Zeiss deck mounted 8 x 60 is one of the best
optical systems, and analyze the objective, prism, and eyepiece -- glass type, surface profile, optical specifications; and thereby learn why the image is so
good. It is not because of magic.
   No one would nominate this 8 x 60 binocular for 'best user comfort'. A non-military model could be much lighter in weight, have no sharp edges, etc.
   We discussed the idea of an 'ideal' binocular in earlier lists, for example list #86. But it is an important issue, and we only 'scratched the surface'.
Further discussion would be very useful.
   Regarding the problem with the Telacts: Stray light through a binocular will ruin the view. This is a very common problem, that is not difficult to fix while
the binocular is being designed. (Meaning.....there is no good excuse for this.)
   If you use a binocular, then move it away from your eyes 5-10 mm, you will see the exit pupil; and you will often see other light coming through the
eyepiece, at the edge of the black area around the exit pupil -- usually crescent shaped arcs of light. You can also see stray light by viewing through the
objective lens. There are methods of helping to fix the problem, that do not always work. Here are a few:
1. Cut pieces of black paper, to fit around the prisms.
2. Use a black pen to blacken the rough ground edges of the prism.
3. Paint the interior of the binocular flat black. --Peter

From: rab <>
Subject: Re: Nikon 10x70 x 6.5-deg [1980s model]; partial tear-down
   I took screwdriver in hand and removed just the right-side prism cover/eyepiece assembly.
   The field stop is approximately 29mm in opening. This means the objective has a focal length of about 255.4mm, thus f/3.65. The eyepiece focal length
would then be 25.5mm for 10X.
   My primary interest was in seeing the shape of the field lens, the side facing the field stop. It is STRONGLY CONCAVE. This means, short of totally
disassembling the eyepiece to positively prove it, this eyepiece is of ERFLE type, not Nikko type. Just as shown in the artist's concept sketch on the
'instruction sheet' that accompanies the binocular.
   The prism facing the eyepiece is seen to be SLOTTED, a good touch. However, casual inspection shows the prisms are probably NOT AR COATED,
which is the source of my only complaint with these binoculars: they show a bright white ghost when viewing city lights. Shining a flashlight into the
objective end shows reflections that are suggestive of uncoated prisms. Odd that Nikon would have done everything else so marvelously, and skimped on
this. Or do I simply have a factory defect? I've found Nikon's workmanship even in its most modern, most expensive binoculars to be inconsistent.
   The prisms are unblackened, and held in with straps. There is no potting compound used to tack them as a precaution.The top prism appears to be
about 30mm wide, measured with a plastic rule held at a distant. None too large, considering the field stop is 29mm.
   I hand-held an eyepiece from a Sans&Streiffe 7x35 Model #910 (77-deg apparent FOV) to the objective focal plane and looked at the city. Looked like it
showed possibilities for a wide-angle conversion. Also hand-held an Erfle from one of the older BLC 8x60 military binoculars, but couldn't reach focus on
distant objects because of its obstructing mechanisms. It ought to be possible, but even if focussed there is no assurance that lateral color and such would
be zeroed-out since that depends on the original design for the complete BLC.
   In any event, it appears that Nikon based the design of their 10x70 x 6.5-deg WA binocular not on their own Nikko 10x70, which would have seemed
logical to me, but on the Erfle-based Zeiss-type designs.
   I decided to quit while I had this much information, rather than to continue disassembling the eyepiece. It went back together nicely with three flat-head
machine screws and has not lost its collimation. Whew!
Regards, Dick.

Binocular List #112: 09 June, 1902.

Lists 100-111 have been posted at (135 kb text file)

Subject: Introduction
From: (Helling)
My introduction: My name is Lothar Helling, I`m living in Germany in Hamm, a city close to Dortmund in Northrine-Westfalia. My profession is electrical
engineering, I`m teaching at a technical training center. My interest in collecting binoculars started in 1990, when I found a Russian military glass from
WW II at a Berlin flea market. My father has been a soldier in Russia in WW II ... So the technical aspect of binoculars is very interesting, but also the
historical coherence.
I also collect books about optics, from Zeiss, about Zeiss etc. and for example a postcard from Hindenburg wearing a Hensoldt-glass (?). The text says:
Immer wieder vorwärts für Kaiser und Reich! Von Hindenburg. General-Feldmarschall (Always again foreward for emperor and empire!...). Best
regards, Lothar

Subject: Re: Binocular List, Zeiss Jena, Swiss Leica
From: Fan Tao <>
  Claudio Manetti asked about the Zeiss Jena Octarem. I checked my pair, serial number 6565992, which has coatings which are more violet than gold.
To my eyes the image is very slightly yellow, much less obvious than with a Russian 7x30 for example. I did not find this small color shift objectionable. I
also have a couple of earlier Zeiss Jena models (serial numbers 54xxxxx and 60xxxxx) that have coatings with a bronze tint. These also have a slight
yellowish image, perhaps a bit more than with the Octarem. Again, this was only nocticeable on careful inspection.
  I have looked through the 8x30 Swiss Leica Army binoculars at a show. I believe these used to be the Kern "Pizar Elit", as a picture of it from a Kern
brochure looks identical (Kern merged into Leica in 1988). These binoculars performed similar to a Zeiss Deltrintem, that is, it has a very wide angle (68
degrees) with its usual aberrations towards the edge. The image was very clear but otherwise not extraordinary. In short, if you like the performance of the
Deltrintem, or its many copies, you will like this version with its added Swiss craftsmanship. Fan Tao

Subject: Introduction
From: CARRLANE@___m
    I am a collector of WWII Japanese Binoculars and optical equipment. I am especially interested in the history of Nippon Kogaku N-K (NIKKO logo)
optical equipment produced before/during and after WWII. I am also interested in researching WWII Nikon aircraft bombsights/gunsights and their aerial
cameras and lenses.
    I recently purchased a pair of 15 x 80 mm straight through models produced by N-K during 1945. I have several other pairs of these binoculars that
date from the late 1944 time frame. The pair I recently acquired are dated Feb 1945 and are optically coated. All other pairs of 15 x 80s and 120/150 mm
binoculars I have are not optically coated. The pair I recently purchased is the only example I have that is dated 1945. The coating appears to be original
(light blue tint) as the wax is still in place in the lens cells. Does anyone else have any large aperture Japanese binoculars dated from 1945? I have read
that the Japanese optically coated their submarine periscopes during WWII. Perhaps they did coat some of their binoculars in 1945. I also have two
pairs of N-K 7 x 50 mm binoculars that have optical coatings that probably date from 1945. Regards, Richard Lane Nebraska, USA

Subject: On line reviews
   S&T Test Report: Binocular Mount By Alan MacRobert
Adapted from Sky & Telescope June 1993
   Canon's Image Stabilized Binoculars, S&T 5-98

Subject: Warner & Swasey
There was a Warner & Swasey binocular on ebay 08 June 2000, with letter of Aug. 9, 1963 from L.M.Cole, V.P. in charge of sales for W & S, to C.B.
Smith, Construction Eqt. Branch Mgr., W & S, Quincy, Massacusetts, concerning an inquiry on W & S binoculars.
"There is not much around here in the way of history because most of the old records have been destroyed. I do remember that there were three patents
on binoculars issued in 1902. Two of them were to Mr. Gottlieb Fecker, and one of them was issued to Worcester R. Warner and Gottlieb Fecker. We
made binoculars in 6, 8, and 10 power, and before and during World War I, we made a total of about 6,000. All manufacture was stopped after World War
I. Since that time, there have been some of these returned for cleaning and adjustment, but everyone who had any skill doing this has now either passed
on or is retired. I do know for a fact that there are no lens of any kind left around here, but perhaps by digging for a long time, we might discover a few
parts, but I doubt it."
Popular Astronomy, vol. 11, 1903, page 279:
The Prism Binocular Adopted as the Standard by the U.S. Navy.
In the spring of 1902, the United States Navy Department made an official test of Prism Binoculars for the purpose of choosing the most efficient and
practical instrument for Government use. The Warner & Swasey Prism Binocular was pronounced superior to all others and recommended for adoption as
the standard for the Navy. Large orders were then given the Warner & Swasey Company of Cleveland, Ohio, for these glasses, all of which have proven
entirely satisfactory to the officers and the Navy Department. The decision, however, was not so satisfactory to the makers of other prism glasses, and
they urgently requested another test. To satisfy all, the Department acceded to this request, and notified American makers and the representatives of
foreign makers that an official Board would again be appointed for this purpose and named February 2d, 1903 as the date.
We understand that Prism Binoculars were submitted by the following makers:
The Warner & Swasey Co, Cleveland, Ohio. The Bausch & Lomb Optical Co., Rochester, N.Y. C.P. Goerz, Germany. Ross Optical Co., England.
Voigtlaender & Co., Germany.
The finding of this Board, submitted in March, confirmed the previous reports and tests by recommending the Warner & Swasey Prism Binocular as the
standard for the Navy. Extensive orders from the Department have since been given the Warner & Swasey Company for these prism glasses.
Previous to the adoption of the Warner & Swasey Prism Binocular last year, no glasses of the prism type were in use in the Navy. All of our battleships,
gun boats, and cruisers are now supplied with the Warner & Swasey Prism Binoculars and the official reports show that they are giving the fullest
From a W & S brochure: In 1900 we brought out the Warner & Swasey Universal Prism Binocular.....of aluminum....the instrument can be taken apart and
reassembled without change in collimation or adjustment. The optical parts of these instruments are from the celebrated works of the John A. Brashear
Co. 13/16 inch objectives.
6 power, 6 3/4 degree field. 8 power, 5 degree field. 10 power, 4 degree field. Price $40.
U.S. Patents.
695,712. March 18, 1902. Gottlieb Fecker. Porro prims telescope, leaf spring prism clamp.
701,863. June 10, 1902. Gottlieb Fecker. Binocular, prism housing covers extend to form hinge & strap loop.
714,340. Nov. 25, 1902. Worcester Warner and Gottlieb Fecker. Prism binocular, groove in prism, finger engages groove, finger attached to plate with
slot to adjust.

Binocular List #113: 13 June 2000

Subject: Binocular Reading List
From: "Brian Haren" <>
Seeing that lots of those who subscribe to the list are optical professionals and serious collectors/users, I'd like to ask a question of all: What do you
consider essential reading or reference material for those serious about binocular collecting, using and repair? For example, I find two books almost
indispensable for my small collection of WWII binos:
1. 'Basic Optics and Optical Instruments' published by the Naval Education and Training Program Development Center
2. TM 9-1580, Binoculars, Field Glasses and B.C. Telescopes, All Types, dated 15 Mar 45
What else is out there that you consider essential? I'm particularly interested in reading what former Navy Opticalmen(man?)(person?) think are must-
have references. Brian

We have a conspicuous absence of English language books on the history & collecting of binoculars, with Watson's booklet & Rohan's specialized text
being the sole exceptions.
The civilian books on binocular repair are not considered essential by most, but they have their uses, Seyfried and Alii are the two I can remember.
The military repair manuals that I know of are listed in various places in the file at:
I would also be very interested in hearing of other texts used by repairmen, though I believe that any others would be instruction sheets issued by
manufacturers. --Peter
Akin, Al. Optics for Birders. Prescott: Wolfe Publishing, 1994.
Alii Service Notes. Repairing & Adjusting Binoculars. 1996. P.O. Box 30871 Honolulu, HI 96820. $24.95.
Armstrong, Alan. Binoculars for Birders. Madison: Avian Press, 1990.
Hale, Alan. How to Choose Binoculars. Redondo Beach: C & A Publishing, 1991.
Henson, Truman. Binoculars, Telescopes, and Telescopic Sights. N.Y.: Greenburg Publisher, 1955.
Paul, Henry. Binoculars and All Purpose Telescopes. N.Y.: Amphoto, 1980.
Reichert, Robert & Else. Binoculars & Scopes. N.Y.: Chilton. 1961.
Robinson, Leif. Outdoor Optics. N.Y.: Lyons & Burford, 1989.
Rohan, Steve. Eyes of the Wehrmacht. Bradbury: Rohan Optical Press, 1996.
Seeger, Hans. Feldstecher: Fernglaser im Wandel der Zeit. 1989; Borken, Germany: Bresser Optik, 1989.
Seeger, Hans. Militaerische Fernglaeser und Fernrohre. Hamburg: Seeger, 1996.
Seyfried, J.W. Choosing, Using, & Repairing Binoculars. Ann Arbor: University Optics, 1995.
Von Rohr, Moritz. Die Binokularen Instrumente. Berlin: Springer, 1920.
Watson, Fred. Binoculars, Opera Glasses, and Field Glasses. Buckinghamshire: Shire, 1995.

Subject: Zeiss Wien serial numbers
From: (Seeger)
   In Binocular List 111 Jack Kelly and Lothar Helling asked about details on Zeiss Wien serial numbers - i. e.: Do they have own numbers or are their S/Ns
a part of the Jena numbers? I looked into my list of Zeiss numbers (about 3000 numbers listed) and can tell you that the Wien numbers were part of the
Jena numbers. I copy all of my Wien numbers in context with others. It seems that numbers for Zeiss Vienna and Zeiss London were allocated in "batches"
but were positioned within the usual number circle.
   The following list may be of interest to other binocular enthusiats too. Please understand that I had to leave out the last digit of the numbers. If I get a
serial number I keep the owner of the optic in question confidential - and the complete number too. If someone has further numbers for my list I would
appreciate a message. It goes without saying that he will get information on his Zeiss optics if my documentation reveals facts like dates of production and
the number of glasses of that particular series.
   Following: Zeiss Jena, Zeiss Wien, Zeiss Györ (Hungary), and Zeiss London numbers. Until now, there are no Zeiss Wien glasses with lower or higher
S/Ns in my documentation. Lines without indication of Vienna or London refer to Jena. I always list the "rim number" of Zeiss glasses, see page 124 (Abb.
71) in my "gray" book. The following lines are a direct copy of parts of my list with my abbreviations. If you have questions about a particular glass I will try
to give an answer.

17299x 12 x 30 Telefort
17563x 6 x (21) M 7 Z 6fach, Zeiss Wien, Nr. am Deckelrand re unten
17673x 8 x         Telact
18207x 8 x (24) Telact - wie Telact 805x, s. Notizen
18361x 15 x (60) Li: CZ Wien Nr. 18 re: M. 8 Z. 15 x Doppelfernrohr Nr. an oberer Brü seitl.
18404x 3 x         Teleater lizard, vergoldet
30998x D.F. 18 x (50) Porro II, Abb. 83 im grauen Buch
31242x M 8 Z. 12fach Carl Zeiss Wien Ü.K. 7. 11. 13
31293x Mgnf. 6 (24) No 879x (= De li o, Ser-Nr am De-Rd li o) Li o De: Bin. Prism. No 3 Mk 1 Magnification 6 No 879x Re: CZ London 1914
Messing, Leder
31293x Mgnf. 6      No 8786 (De li o), Carl Zeiss London, Obj.-Durchm 24, No 3 Mk 1
31373x M 9/13 Z Feldstecher mit Skala 6fach. Ü.K. Adler 2. 5. 14 Carl Zeiss Wien (6 x 30)
31461x 8 x          Telact Carl Zeiss Wien
31552x 6 x (24)     Telex
46951x D.F. 6 x lange Stutzen (= 6 x 30)
46996x 6 x         Carl Zeiss Wien
47126x D.F. 8 x (= 8 x 24) Rim No 4572x
51651x 10 x          Teleplast/Relieffernrohr
51722x 6 x 30 M 9/13 Z Feldst. m. Skala 6fach Carl Zeiss Wien 21. 6. 15
51811x M 9/13. Z (6 x 30) Feldstecher 6 fach Carl Zeiss Wien
51888x D.F. 8 x (24)
53532x D.F. 6 x           signiert 1917
53548x 6 x Carl Zeiss WIEN (Linse li) keine Rand-Nr. Linse re: TELEX, Nr, drunter 6 x
53605x D.F. 6 x (= 6 x 24)
55308x 6 x          Marineglas, raised letters
55343x (15 x 60) li: CZ Wien ÜK 2 Wappen 12.10.16 re: M 8/12 Z mit Skala Doppelfernrohr Nr. 55343x (wie auf S. 177 o li)
55353x (6 x 30) M9/13Z Feldst. m. Skala 6fach Zeiss Karoly Györ 20. 12. 15, Adler
55452x (6 x 30) M9/13Z Feldstecher mit Skala 6fach Nr. . Li: Ü.K. Adler 28.2.16 Zeiss Karoly Györ, ohne Randnr. Messg, Hartgummibez. Art-
Strichplatte re
55659x 6 x            Telex
84755x D.F. 6 x 24 Zink, eine S. beledert, andere Kunstleder, f. Schweizer Armee
84855x 6fach M 9/13 Z Feldstecher mit Skala 6fach, K u K KM, Zeiss Wien, Rand re u: W 748x, Deckel Zink, Leder (= 6 x 30)
85010x M 9/13          Feldstecher mit Skala 8fach
85146x 8 x M 9/13 Z (x 30) Zeiss Wien
85153x M 9/13 Z        Zeiss Wien
85416x D.F. 6 x 24 An Schweiz, Zink, Leder, Messg-Obj-rge, keine Rand-Nr.

Subject: Filters
From: "Brian Haren" <>
Well, yesterday I was standing on an impressive monument to Otto von Bismark with a stunning view of the Rhein Valley. (Oh, the joys of living in
Germany. Any current/ex Army or Air Force folks out there, if you've ever been stationed in Germany and visited the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center,
this is the 'Bismarkturm' located right outside the main gate.) The weather was perfect. Warm, dry, nary a cloud in the sky. I had with me my Docter
Navidoc 7x50's. The shorter range view down into the local town was clear and bright, just what I expect from these glasses. However, the long range
view was a disappointment. Industrial pollution, haze, whatever, significantly degraded the view. This got me thinking. Does anyone out there on the list
know of a source of haze filters and polarizing filters that might fit these binoculars? How about making a set of each - is there a source for filter material
and any suggestions for construction? Would the Steiner polarizing filters sold by Deutscheoptik work? Any and all input is greatly appreciated! Off list
responses are welcome. Brian
   I've fabricated polarizing filters for binoculars, using extra lens caps, cutting away a disc in the middle, & gluing in plastic Polaroid material. They are
very nice for cutting glare, and for viewing fish. I don't think they'd have much effect on haze.
A haze filter absorbs UV & extreme blue light, since shorter wavelengths are scattered much more than longer colors. Haze filters are pale yellow & the
standard yellow 'shooter's glasses' have a similar, very limited, effect. They would be worth trying on a binocular.
But if you're viewing through air that is full of fine particulates, nothing is going to be of much assistance.
   Regarding off list replies: I hope that the binocular list can be a vehicle for people to contact each other; and I also hope that any useful information
exchanged privately is shared with the list & put in the archives -- that is the purpose of the list. --Peter

This came from Larry Gubas, who received it from Walter Mergen.
Zeiss Post-War Binoculars and Binocular Products
The following are the Carl Zeiss binocular models from the post-World War II period and the month and year of their introduction to the market:

8 x 30           October, 1954
6 x 30           March, 1955
7 x 50           December, 1956
8 x 50           June, 1957
10 x 50            June, 1957
6 x 30 BW             June, 1957
8 x 30 BW             June, 1957
8 x 30 B Monocular              April, 1959
8 x 50 B            September, 1960
6 x 30 Schweden              March, 1961
7 x 50 B            June, 1961
8 x 30 Monocular             July, 1963
8 x 30 B Dialyt           April, 1964
7 x 50 B/GA             November, 1964
8 x 30 B/GA Dialyt            June, 1968
8 x 30 B Dialyt Monocular              June, 1968
8 x 56 B/GA Dialyt            August, 1968
10 x 40 B Dialyt           November, 1968
8 x 20           April, 1969
8 x 20 Monocular             April, 1969
8 x 30 Dialyt kurz           June, 1969
6 x 20 Monocular             October, 1969
8 x 20 braun            December, 1969
8 x 30 porro           July, 1970
6 x 20 B            October, 1971
7 x 50 B/GA            December, 1972
8 x 20 B            September, 1974
10 x 25 B            May, 1975
10 x 40 B Dialyt            March, 1977
40 x 60 Dialyt Monocular              May, 1977
Microscope base (stereo)               May, 1978
8 x 56 B/GA T*             August, 1978
8 x 30 B/GA Dialyt            April, 1979
3 x 12 B Monocular              July, 1979
10 x 40 B Dialyt T*            July, 1980
10 x 40 B/GA Dialyt T*             August, 1980
8 x 20 B with diopter setting            March, 1981
10 x 25 B with diopter setting            March, 1981
15 x 60 GA T*             July, 1981
7 x 42 B/GA T* Dialyt             October, 1981
7 x 50 B/GA T*             October, 1981
8 x 20 B with a new shield             January, 1983
10 x 50 B with a new shield              January, 1983
8 x 30 B Dialyt           March, 1983
8 x 30 B/GA Dialyt            March, 1983
10 x 40 B Dialyt            March, 1983
10 x 40 B/GA Dialyt T*             March, 1983
30 x 60 B/GA T* Monocular                March, 1983
8 x 30 B Dialyt T*           August, 1983
8 x 30 B/GA Dialyt T*             August, 1983
8 x 20 B/GA Dialyt            December, 1984
8 x 20 B with F Number               January, 1985
10 x 25 B with F Number               January, 1985
10 x 40 B/GA Dialyt T* short focussing           August, 1985
3.6 x 12 Diadem Theatreglass               October, 1985
10 x 40 B Dialyt T*            October, 1985
7 x 42 B/GA Dialyt T*             July, 1986
8 x 56 B/GA Dialyt T*             July, 1986
P- Behandlung for roof prism              July, 1986
New iris in prism for 10 x 40 & 8 x 30          September, 1986
8 x 30 B Dialyt T* short focussing          January, 1987
8 x 30 B/GA Dialyt T* short focussing           January, 1987
Microscope base (Stereo) with collapsing foot        March, 1987
*           May, 1988
6 x 42 B Nautik            October, 1988
7 x 50 B Nautik            October, 1988
*           July, 1989
20 x 60 Stabilized            April, 1989
8 x 56 Monocular             September, 1990

Design Selection model which is also a self contained case
8 x 20 B combi         October 1990
10 x 25 B combi         October, 1990
4 x 12 B combi         April, 1992
6 x 18 B combi         April, 1992
8 x 20 B black         September, 1992
10 x 25 B black         September, 1992
4 x 12 B black         September, 1992
6 x 18 B black         September, 1992
8 x 20 B dark        September, 1992
10 x 25 B dark         September, 1992
4 x 12 B dark        September, 1992
6 x 18 B dark        September, 1992

7 x 50 BC Nautik          September, 1992
15 x 60 B/GA           September, 1992
Mono 4 x 12 B T*          April, 1994
Mono 6 x 18 B T*          April, 1994
Mono 8 x 20 B T*          April, 1994
Mono 10 x 25 B T*           April, 1994
MiniQuick 5 x 10 Pocket Monocular         August, 1994
20 x 60 Monocular Stabilized           September, 1994
5.6 x 60 Nightvision Monocular        September, 1994
B = For Eyeglass wearers, GA = Rubber/Armored, T* = Zeiss trademark for coated lenses.

Binocular List #114: 15 June 2000. Early 7 x 50s

  Hans Seeger has given permission to email this text to the binocular list; noting that Seeger retains copyright for all material contained in his books.
Please abstain from further distribution of this text.
Several corrections should be noted:
  Page 323: I have been informed that my statement on the Hensoldt "Marine- u. Artillerieglas No 11" is incorrect. This glass did not infringe the Zeiss
patent, the Zeiss patent referred to Porro I prisms with enhanced objective separation (stereoscopic view). Without more research, I cannot give additional
comments, but I wanted to make you aware of the error.
  Page 328: I checked my text - and found that the meaning is not clear. I wanted to say the Binoctem was not introduced earlier than 1930/31. My
German text does not clearly express the fact that the Binoctem was built in all of the following years (except the years at the end of WW II); actually the
center focus version (Binoctem) became one of the most successful civilian Zeiss binoculars. Your text, however, could mean that the Binoctem was built
only in the years 1930/31.
  The binocular on page 308 (Abb. 212 a) was made by Srb & Stys.
  Presentation to the meeting of binocular collectors, Los Angeles, 25 May 2000
Early 7 x 50 models. Excerpts from Hans Seeger, Militaerische Fernglaeser und Fernrohre. (Available in the U.S. from Deutsche Optik)

4.1. Early Models and Marine Glasses with Roof Prisms.
   [page 285-6] In 1899/1900, the first binoculars with 50 mm. objectives were constructed by Hensoldt, see fig. 67 (right). The design of the „artillery-
glass‟ is not ideal for naval use, since the housing cover is a separate piece that is attached with screws. Around 1903, Hensoldt introduced a new
construction form for their Pentaprism models, which is characterized by a housing that is closed on top and therefore is more suitable for use by the Navy,
see fig. 67, left; and fig. 116 in “Feldstecher”. The „Marineglaeser‟ in this Hensoldt series have the specifications 10 x 50 and 12 x 50. Before they found
real acceptance, they had to be taken off the market, because they infringed on the still valid Zeiss patent. There was no 7 x 50 model in this Hensoldt
   There were 7 power prism field glasses in the previous century, even with 50 mm. objectives, but it is difficult to be sure when the first 7 x 50 field glass
was produced, and by which producer. A definite answer cannot be given, though it was probably between 1905 and 1910. Considering that the glass
available at that time had relatively low indices of refraction, it was probably either a Porro model with long focus objectives or a roof prism field glass. Two
models are possible candidates; the Porro II from Leitz (one of the “Messingglaeser” [brass glasses], fig. 197), or the roof prism Noctar from Zeiss. From
Zeiss brochures, it can be seen that the Noctar (7 x 50) was already obtainable before large scale production (ca. 1911), see fig. 196.
   The Noctar became the precursor for tens of thousands of Zeiss Marine binoculars. A 12 x 50 model was also made with Abbe Koenig prisms, and
W.W. I models of this glass with the „M‟ marking of the Imperial Navy are known (one of these 12 x 50 specimens has housing covers of brass). The third
model in this series is a 10 x 50, and it can be supposed, but not proven by an appropriately marked specimen, that these were also used by the Navy. All
three of these binoculars have an identical appearance.
   Goerz did not want to be left behind, and at their plant in Berlin, shortly before or at the beginning of W.W. I, a 7 power marine glass was built, but with
slightly larger objectives: the roof prism Marine Trieder 7 x 52.5, see fig. 94. [page 287]
   Around 1910, the first 7x50 Porro field glasses were made, either the Leitz Porro II “Messingglaesern” was first, or the Porro I models by Busch in
Rathenow or Voigtlaender in Braunschweig were made earlier.
   Busch introduced its first 7 x 50 in 1913, with Porro I prisms, called the “Marlux”, at the time as individual focus only.* (*An old Busch catalog archived in
Jena contains a remark by a Zeiss worker that is interesting: “Center sharpness good; decreases towards the rim too fast and too much. Our Noctar is far
superior.”) A very early 7x50 Voigtlaender Marineglas of Porro I construction is shown in Fig 219.
   However, the 7 x 50 that was the best known, was produced in the largest numbers, and made for the longest time, was the Binoctar from Zeiss, Jena.
This was to be built in many variations, became the standard Marineglas, and originated in the time between 1910 and 1914 (see 4.3.)

4.2.1. Porro II Marine Glasses by Leitz
   [Page 289] Before W.W. I, Leitz began developing a series of Porro II glasses. These Leitz Porro II models were successors to their own unusual
appearing Porro I models, which were also used in the Imperial Navy, but which were only a temporary product at Leitz, see fig. 218. This strange design
had objectives that were spaced only a short distance apart, and probably did not meet with approval. Not until years later did Leitz built larger Porro I
models in the manner of the Binoctar, with the metal parts mostly of brass, and only the prism housings of aluminum (as was standard).
   Leitz worked on the Porro II design, and after 1907, built a series including a 7x50 of brass with leather coverings, see 197b. The Leitz “brass glasses”
established the Porro II models as a service glass for the Navy, where they were to serve for 5 decades. The specifications of these Leitz glasses are: 7 x
50, 10 x 50 and 12 x 60. Of the surviving examples of the 7 and 12 power models, about half have an “M” and an Imperial crown, an indication that these
models were used in the Navy. The 10 power model is frequently marked „Dienstglas‟, an indication of military use, which of course includes the Navy. In
old pictures (see fig. 198), it can be seen that the 7 x 50 model was used on German submarines in W.W. I.
   Whether these high quality Leitz field glasses were sold on the open market is questionable; the civilian and military Leitz brochures of the years before
1915 do not include these models. It is improbable that examples of these marine glasses were exported to other countries before the first World War. All
three models appeared in the 1919 civilian brochures of Leitz, where they had never previously been listed. Those glasses were probably left over from
war time production. In the middle twenties, the 12 power model disappeared. From that time on, the 7 and 10 power models were probably also offered
with center focus. As civilian models on the open market, these Porro II glasses remained available from Leitz until 1931-32, in both individual and center
focus models.
   It is unclear whether the individual focus models, with aluminum body and hard rubber coverings, were also bought by the German Navy, which was
then very small because of the treaty of Versailles. In the third Reich the situation changed. Field glasses were needed in great numbers because of the
intense re-armament, and Leitz built several variants of the 7 x 50 models with Porro II prisms. All models had an eccentric ring collimation to align the
optical axes. [page 290] At the beginning of this era, the earliest of these marine models used upper prism housing covers of brass, attached in the usual
manner and held in place by three screws. Later, all metal parts of this model (which was produced until the end of the war), were were made of
aluminum. For another Leitz marine model, the prism housing cover was formed differently and fastened by screwing onto the housing, see fig. 199.
These models have cartridges for dessicant, which are inserted into the upper cover.
   These cartridges, often used in the thirties and forties in military optics, are filled with water absorbing silica gel (see section 4.3), and prevent hazing of
the optics after the entry of humidity. If needed, these cartridges can easily be exchanged with special tools.
   At the end of the thirties and during the war, the 7 x 50 marine glasses by Leitz used coated optics (see section 4.3). During this time, a special series
of this model was produced, which used a different construction for the ocular. This change was dictated by the partial rubber covering used on this
model. The exposed parts of the body of this 7 x 50 model were coated with a tough lacquer. The only known examples of these rubber coated models
are those marked “beh” (E. Leitz, Wetzlar). All have dessicant cartridges in the upper cover, see fig. 200.
   The quality of the naval, war time Leitz 7 x 50 models is good but not very good. The surviving models often have hazed optics, and the Porro II prisms
are often damaged. The prism mount obviously did not effectively protect the prisms against impact, and in regards to temperature changes, was not an
effective design. (Splintering of glass at the edges of the prisms can perhaps be caused by different rates of expansion between the glass and the prism

4.2.2 Porro II Marine Glasses from other Producers. France; Huet.
    [page 293] Porro II glasses were released almost simultaneously in Great Britain and France, after their development in Germany. In 1928, 7 x 50 and
10 x 50 models were produced. Fig. 44 shows a 10 power glass. In these models, a modified Porro II prism system is used (patented by Cranz, 1920),
see fig. 45 for the image reversal system.
    [page 294] After the second World War, the 7 x 50 by Huet was continued in production, and specimens with coated objectives and the usual individual
focus are known. These field glasses were probably intended for civilian use. Similar Huet specimens with rubber coating were probably used on French
submarines. Such a glass is described in section 4.5 and fig. 264. Another French marine model with Porro II prisms is shown in fig. 237.
    Another interesting Zeiss 7 x 50 model of Porro II design, the U.D.F, is described with the U Boat field glasses.
    Jena. Zeiss H models [page 311]
In 1936 the first German 7 x 50 model with Porro II prisms and cemented field lens was built in Jena, the Septar or Septarem. From Zeiss internal records
it can be seen that the first series of the 7 x 50 H, of 300 pieces, was produced in March of 1936. The Septar has individual focus, as do all marine
versions of this model, and the center focus version was called Septarem. From the markings it can be concluded that these two models were designated
for civilian use. On those glasses the specification markings included an “H”. (Septar or Septarem 7 x 50 H; the later military versions were marked D.F. 7
x 50 H. The H indicates an increased brightness [Helligkeit].
    The D.F. 7 x 50 was sold in several versions (fig. 213), most of which were probably used by the Navy. One version had the standard prism housing
covers as in the civilian version, another had strengthened covers and also a special ocular for longer eye relief (for use with gas masks). If present, the
reticle was cemented in between the prism and the field lens in the Zeiss H models, and therefore protected against damage or dirt, and of course also
protected against later improvements.
    The Porro II 7 x 50 H from Zeiss included a second version, which was built in smaller numbers and used on board ships of the wartime Navy in
connection with a „directional blinker‟ [signal device], see 2.5. During W.W. I, the Germans used special high quality and high cost field glasses for signal
    Another variation of the 7 x 50 H can be seen in pictures (see fig. 214), but more precise data about the exact use is not available.
All forms of the lightweight 7 x 50 Zeiss Porro II Marineglas are noted for their optical quality. It can be supposed that both models were also used in the
Army, but the only photos that the author has seen of wartime use show these unmistakable glasses in the hands of the personnel of the Navy on board
    The „H‟ in 8 x 60 H stands for Helligkeit [brightness], which is a result of the optical construction, as in the 7 x 50 H Porro II. Both models have on each
side only three optical groups each, and therefore have less light loss at the surfaces of the elements. [page 312]

4.3. Larger Navy field glasses with Porro I prisms for hand held use. 4.3.1. Developments from Germany
   [Page 323] Before 1914 and at the beginning of World War 1, all of the leading optical manufacturers included in their programs large bright Porro prism
field glasses. The success of the Hensoldt models with 50 mm objectives was probably larger than the other optical firms suspected.
   Later military and Navy models were the "Marine u. Artillerieglas No. 11" with pentaprisms (1902, see fig. 67), the "Marineglas" 12 x 50 (pentaprisms),
the "Spezial-Jagdglas" 10 x 50 (introduced 1904, pentaprisms, center focus), and the first 50 mm Dialytes (12 x 50 "Marine" and 10x50 "Nimrod II" both
1905, available only with center focus). Zeiss followed with a 50 mm objective, the Noctar, circa 1910, see fig. 196. The Hensoldt Pentaprism models and
Dialytes, and the Noctar, have a roof prism system, which at that time was easier to use with a large objective, for optical reasons (see 'Feldstecher', page
139). Because of the complicated and therefore expensive roof prisms, and surely also because of the patent situation, these prism systems had only a
limited usage (at the time there were only two manufacturers).
   The Porro I models discussed here have one characteristic in common: the distance between the objectives is greater than between the oculars,
covered by the well known Zeiss patent until 1908. Most of these marine models were built with large objectives (for brightness), and there soon
developed two different construction forms. Some of the marine models have a lengthened prism housing (for example the 6 x 42), and others have a
relatively small prism housing, but lengthened objective tubes.( 7x50)
   At the beginning of the first World War, Voigtlaender had already produced two models with brass housing & leather coverings, and the lengthened
objective tubes, a 6 x 42 and a 7 x 50. Some surviving specimens are engraved with the Imperial crown and M, see fig. 219. The popularity of the
Voigtlaender 7 x 50 may be explained by the fact that Otto Weddigen, legendary U-Boat commander of the U-9, awarded the Pour le Merite in the first
World War, might have used this glass.* Busch, Rathenow, also made at that time similar 7 x 50 models with Porro I prisms.
   The most successful Navy glass was produced in Jena at the beginning of the first World War: the D.F. 7 x 50, and the later civilian form with individual
focus "Binoctar". This field glass was available only with individual focus for 15 years after its inception, an indication of its intended use in the military and
Navy. Only in 1930/31 was the model offered with center focus, as the "Binoctem", which could be as useful to the hunter in the forest and field, as to the
naval personnel at sea.
   [page 329] The 7 x 50 Porro I models were successful and popular, and became a classical form, which was followed by many excecutions, variants
and different special models, not only at Zeiss but world wide. Daniel Vukobratovich from the Optical Sciences Center, University of Arizona, noted in
1993/94 ("Binocular Performance and Design") concerning the need for less than fully corrected 7 x 50 models: [page 329, text in English]
   [page 330] An earlier D.F. 7 x 50 can be seen in fig. 222. A rich history can be read from the engravings: In November 1918, it was in service of the
German Navy (?), in 1935 it reached Austria and continued its service there in the wartime Navy. The glass was taken to England (booty or confiscated
after 1945?), to be purchased by a very pleased new owner in the 1970s, who purchased it for 15 pounds sterling at a flea market. Why this history? If the
glass were offered in an auction more than ten times the price, the provenance of the markings would be highly suspicious. They are easily engraved
later, which forgers have unfortunately recognized.
   Over the course of time, the 7 x 50 went through the developments seen in other service glasses. The Zeiss models retained the use of aluminium
(body), zinc and brass as the predominant materials through W.W.I. In the thirties, aluminium became more established for all metal parts, and the field
glasses become lighter. Leather and hard rubber coverings disappeared over time, and the German military and Navy models had a black, more or less
thick laquer. A coarse lacquer was used before the first World War (Fernglas 09, see fig. 9, and some Hensoldt models). Leather replaced hard rubber at
the end of the first World War, because of the shortages of rubber.
   In the time before the second World War, and even more during the war, several construction forms or variants of the 7 x 50 were produced. The main
danger at sea was the hazing of the optics from the intrusion of humidity, and this was countered with a built-in dessicator cartridge. Fig.223 shows a
freqently seen variant of the Zeiss 7 x 50 Marine model where the bottom covers of the prism housing have such a cartridge screwed into them. The
ocular of this model has the usual construction form.
   [page 333] Equally common are the 7 x 50 models with "arrangement for use with gas mask", see fig. 224. The special ocular construction of this glass
is recognizable by the hard rubber ocular covering, attached to sliding rings. The exit pupil is longer in this model. As mentioned in section 2.5, the Zeiss
7 x 50 models with gas mask oculars were also used for anti-aircraft defense, and perhaps by the Navy. Surviving models are marked "M IV/1" and "T",
and with "Flak.(Kueste)" [coast] or "Scheinw. u. Fluwa." [searchlights and anti-aircraft arms”. Field glasses of this kind might have been used with anti-
aircraft search lights, for there are pictures from W.W. II showing field glasses which are mounted on a horizontal strut next to the searchlight.
   Another Kriegsmarine 7 x 50 from Zeiss, is similar to the usual Binoctar, it is a 7 x 50 with neither desiccator cartidges nor gas mask oculars. This
relatively rare glass in shown in fig. 225.
   An unusual German 7 x 50 field glass is shown in fig. 226. It is a fixed focus model. the oculars do not have any screw threads for focusing. This
characteristic indicates use in a military airplane, but the coating indicates use in the Navy. We can only speculate about the exact use, or area of use
during the war. These German military 7 x 50 fixed focus models are rare, the auther knows of only the two depicted examples, both from Zeiss.
   [page334] Only a few specimens survive of another German 7 x 50 model from the Kriegsmarine. This is a model with eyeguards that can be folded to
the side, which permits easy cleaning of the eye lenses or use with glasses or gas masks. The model in fig. 227 (top) is furthermore distinguished by an
ocular lens which sticks above the housing by about a millimeter. These two characteristics can also be found in the U-boat glass of fig. 254.
   There were accessories for the Navy 7 x 50s, but only photos survive. Frequently these glasses were protected with a rubber covering, which was
pulled over the housing, see fig. 228. The rubber was sensitive to sweat from the hands, fat and oil, and it soon became sticky, disintegrated and lost its
durability. Today no (?) example of this accessory survives.
   A field glass is only truly complete with the original case. The case for the 7 x 50 with gas mask oculars can be seen in fig. 224. This case contains
further accessories, such as glass filters which can be attached on top of the eye pieces.

Binocular List #115: 20 June 2000

Subject: Telescope makers
From: Peter Abrahams
I assembled some texts on obscure telescope makers & posted it on my web site. I've seen binoculars by some of them: Askania, Busch, Merz, Steinheil,
Bardou, Chevalier, and Krauss.
  Some German telescope makers:
Bamberg / Askania, Busch, Erfle, Ertel, Fritsch, Merz, Reinfelder & Hertel, Repsold, Steinheil, Tremel
  French telescope makers:
Bardou, Brunner, Cassegrain, Chevalier, Gambey, Gautier, Krauss, Lerebours et Secretan, Mailhat, Vion

Subject: Assorted repair topics
From: gene harryman <>
   As a couple of the members know, I am trying to learn how to refurbish old post-war Japanese binoculars as a hobby. I have encountered several
difficulities, and I was hoping that someone in the group could point me in the proper direction, to wit:
   Does anyone know where to obtain the textured vinyl wrap used on the older glasses?
   Where could I get lenses and prisms re-coated, and what kind of expense should I expect? I have found several pair of old glasses that seem possibly
worth the effort and some measure of expense.
  One of the earlier lists had a comment, and I apologise for non-attribution, as I can't find the specific reference right now (boy, that dragged out!), to
collimating the BARRELs by manipulating the hinge. Could whoever mentioned this please expound a bit. All of the (admittedly cheap) glasses I have
worked with have a rigid hinge.
   In list #81, Cory Suddarth discussed desiccants. In the past, I had found these hard to come by, and I was re-cycling them in the oven. However, I found
a very economical source for quantities of these; they can be bought in lots of 50 bags for about $12. Each bag is estimated to treat 400cc of space. This
makes them cheap enough to trash when fully saturated. The site is
   I am all with Brian Haren in looking for books. The one by Seyfried is a very good primer, but does not touch on the actual optical properties. But it will
certainly get one started tearing binocs apart.
   In list 83, there was some discussion about greases and the laments that they were not sold in small quantities. Nye Lubricants makes a heavy silicone
based grease, NYE PG-8s, (thanks to DeutscheOptiks for the info on the grease) that can be purchased in small (2 & 4oz jars through TAI Lubricants at
about $35/2 oz). The number is (302) 326-0200. Nye also makes an excellent penetrating oil. I had been soaking a lens assembly in normal penetrating
oil for 4 weeks to loosen a retaining ring. To no avail. I used the NYE Film Wet 200, and a couple of days later, wallah! And, yes I tries it on some other
items that had not been previously soaked and it worked just as well. I hope this info is of some use.       Gene Harryman
There are a few binoculars that are collimated at the hinge, the newer Rolleis are one. The smallest adjustment would have a large effect on alignment, so
I'd imagine it is a difficult process. --Peter

Subject: ND glass transmits IR. Danger!
From: rab <>
    I examined the Schott Glass Filter catalog, for Neutral Density glass, types NG, and ALL of them have high transmission in the Infrared, peaking around
2.6 microns, and should therefore be regarded as DANGEROUS FOR SOLAR OBSERVING!
.....(you can) block the IR by adding KG5 heat-absorbing glass(the Schott Catalog confirms it!). The KG5 is reasonably 'white' in the visible, so you still
have an ND filter but a safer one.      Regards, Dick

Subject: Identification of a small opera glass
From: "Roger Davis" <>
A couple of years back I had a small pair of brass opera glasses come into my hands. Fred Watson said they were "exqusite". They are (when closed)
about 40mm high OG O.D. 32mm approx 3X magnification 3 telescoping sections with the final 4th section being the focus tubes. When you push a small
button on the OG end, the sections spring open. Expanded height is (at focus) 75mm. Markings: BREVETTE S.G.D.G.
Any ideas?? Roger Davis, Binocular & Telescope Service Centre
Non frustra signorum obitus speculamur et ortus. (not in vain do we watch the setting and rising of the stars)
France, patent designation. Bte S.D.G.D., brevet = certificate; brevet d'invention = patent
(SPJP Societe Parisienne Jumelles a Prismes)          --Peter

Subject: A second look at the Zeiss Victory 8x56
From: HOldenburg@___m
  Last weekend I had a chance to have another look at one of the new Zeiss Victory 8x56's, this time in the field. I compared it to a pair of Zeiss 8x56
Classics and a pair of Leica 8x32's for about an hour and a half, and in this comparison it blew the other two pairs clean out of the water.
  The resolution of the pair I used was very high and the contrast just about the best I've ever seen in any pair binoculars. Colour rendition was also
excellent with natural, saturated colours, even in difficult light conditions when viewing against the light. In fact, the optical performance was so good that
I'm seriously considering getting a pair even though the 8x56's are for my puposes definitely on the heavy side.
  Why there was such a difference to the first pair I looked at a couple of weeks or so ago I don't know. I'm normally pretty good at judging the quality of
binocular optics. Zeiss binoculars are normally all virtually identical in their performance, so I think maybe that pair was somehow damaged after it had left
the factory. (Some cynics over here say all parcels labelled "Fragile" are dropped at least three times before they reach their destination ... <grin>.)
  Onto the other points: I still didn't like the focussing all that much, but it didn't bother me all that much in the field. I think I could get used to it. The
handling is amazingly good for such a relatively heavy pair, it's exceptionally well-balanced and I found I could use it for extended periods of time with no
fatigue. In fact, I found it easier to use than the Zeiss 8x56 Classic. The eyecups take some getting used to, but after some fiddling around to find the
ideal position I found them pretty comfortable.
  I'm now very much looking forward to the 8x40's and the 10x40's. Hermann Oldenburg

Subject: East German Binoculars
From: Thomas Press
  I thoroughly enjoyed your commentary on post-war Zeiss Jena binoculars in the recent Binocular List - very perceptive and exceptionally well-written.
  I have owned over the years an 8 x 30 Deltrintem, 7 x 50 Binoctem, 7 x 40 EDF, and 10 x 40 Notarem (all,thankfully, now in the hands of new owners),
and was ultimately disappointed by all, chiefly for build quality deficiencies. Optically, I thought the 7 x 50 was the best of the bunch. I may have lucked into
a good sample, but I found the 10 x 40 to be OK by non-phase coated standards, i.e., similar to an Optolyth 10 x 40 Touring model or even an early 80's
Zeiss 10 x 40 Dialyt, but the internal focussing mechanism of the Notarem failed, and the instrument never seemed as clear following the warranty repairs.
I am still mystified why the 7 x 40 EDF continues to get rave reviews and fetch nosebleed prices: I could never get used to (or appreciate the benefits of)
the yellow images, and find the still-available IOR Romanian 7 x 40 porro military glass to be dramatically sharper (perhaps its design was influenced by
the Zeiss Jena Septarem model you mentioned).            Best regards - Tom Press

Subject: Books
From: Fred Watson <>
  I was flattered to find my little binocular book among the greats in List #113! Thank you for drawing it to everyone's attention.
  Hopefully it won't be long before you'll be able to include Bill Reid's superb monograph on the binoculars of Barr and Stroud, which will be published by
the Royal Museum of Scotland.
  One other book that perhaps should be in your bibliography is
Antoni M. Piaskowski: "Dawne Lunety I Lornetki w Zbiorach Polskich" (Old Terrestrial Telescopes and Binoculars in Some Polish Collections), Retro,
Warszawa, 1996. ISBN 83-901353-7-X (~200pp).
   In case you're not familiar with this book, it is Professor Piaskowski's optical and metrological survey of 97 old instruments, of which 37 are Galilean
binoculars and 10 are prismatic binoculars (mostly well-known types). Except for summaries in English and German, the book is in Polish. The publisher's
address is Wydawnictwo Retro-Art, Warszawa, ul. Emilii Plater 25. Best wishes, Fred

Binocular List #116: 26 June 2000.

Subject: British patent information
From: Peter Abrahams
The British magazine 'New Scientist', 26 Sept. 1992, vol. 136, number 1840, page 21, has a story about a very interesting British patent binocular:
Michael Freeman of Optics & Vision, Clwyd, Wales, (patent WO 92/5462). This binocular uses curved mirrors instead of prisms. The optical path is Z
shaped, and the eyepieces are weaker than usual, allowing increased eye relief. "The aperture can also be a slot so that no adjustment is needed for the
spacing of the user's eyes. The mirrors can be folded down to fit the binocular into a flat package."
Can anyone look this patent up, and perhaps scan it into an electronic image?
Neither Freeman nor Optics & Vision appear in US patent searches. Thanks, Peter

Subject: repair
From: "Bill Cook" <>
>Does anyone know where to obtain the textured vinyl wrap used on the older glasses?<
I get mine from Fargo Enterprises.

>Where could I get lenses and prisms re-coated, and what kind of expense should I expect?<
Sky and Telescope Magazine will show a number of coating houses. I most recently used Uvira in Oregon. I can't remember the cost. It is important to
remember that coating takes place at HIGH temperatures and no coating house guarantees against breakage.

>to collimating the BARRELs by manipulating the hinge. Could whoever mentioned this please expound a bit. All of the (admittedly cheap) glasses I have
worked with have a rigid hinge.<
I have repaired and restored thousands of binos. I have never seen one collimated at the hinge.

>The one by Seyfried is a very good primer, but does not touch on the actual optical properties. But it will certainly get one started tearing binocs apart.<
Please read that last sentence three times, fast, before proceeding.
  Kindest Regards, William J. Cook, Opticalman Chief, USNR-Ret.

Subject: various updates
From: DeutOptik@___m
Greetings from sunny San Diego, Peter. A few (belated) thoughts and comments from your previous missives:
(i) the glass polarizing filters for Steiner military binoculars remain in stock, and they are NIB @___air (including mounting hardware);
(ii) regarding our Swiss Leica 8x30, there will be a review of these in an upcoming Shutterbug magazine by editor Bob Shell;
(iii) with regard to locating leatherette for recovering binoculars, there are several catalogues offering camera repair equipment and supplies and they all
offer such leather coverings. If interested, e-mail us for particulars;
(iv) additionally, there have been several comments regarding the availability of binocular collimators, and please note that we continue to have 2-3 of
these available. Due to their few numbers, they are no longer shown in our catalogue, but they are the British field service type and work for almost any
hand-held glass up to about 70mm aperture. The damage is $999, including a fitted mahogany box, selection of books on optical repair, Geneva gauge
(for measuring lens curvature) and an assortment of binocular bodies and parts.
(v) we've recently received a sample of a Bosnian-made binocular (from Sarajevo) that is substantially identical in form and perfomance to the Carl Zeiss-
Jena DF 7x40 (our so-called "Checkpoint Charlie" glass). Pricing is attractive and it seems to be an excellent instrument (albeit somewhat heavy, as with
the DF model). Anyone know anything about that?
(vi) Finally, we have been advised by several of your readers that our Czechoslovakian 10x70 as listed in our latest catalogue is actually a 10x80, and
thus we stand corrected regarding same. It's basically a knock-off of the WWII German flakfernrohr glass but appeared to us to measure smaller than
80mm. However, if your readers say it's an 80mm objective, so be it.
Oops, one more thing. We are looking to add a couple more reprints of military technical manuals to our Optical Bookshelf listings in the fall, and I will
advise particulars when those are ready. Notably, those were not listed on your latest bibliography, and we find them to be extremely useful. I might also
note the new Koblenz circular that also offers some noteworthy information about the very good optics collection in the Koblenz Technical Museum. It's in
German, but still very worthwhile as a reference. All the best, s/ Mike Rivkin, Deutsche Optik
Subject: French terminology
From: Fred Watson <>
I'm pretty sure S.G.D.G stands for "Sans Guarantie du Gouvernment", referring to the terms of the patent.
(Can't check as I'm away from home at the moment...)
Cheers for now, Fred

Binocular List #117: 08 July 2000.

Subject: sgdg comment.
S.G.D.G Is indeed: Sans Guarantie De Gourvenment; literally: without the guaranty of the government...
It has a juridical meaning: It tells that the item on which it is inscribed, is patented ( or model protected), But that the government is NOT obliged to do
anything about patent (or model) infringements...
Meaning that the owner of the patent has to pay himself in case of a trial...All the government does, is to record the patent (or model)...
It can be, that it refers not to a patent but only to the actual item (model protection)....meaning that a direct copy will be an infringement on the producers
rights to his design...
Here in Denmark we can take out a patent OR protect the design.... Mønsterbeskyttet...(model protected)
The german counterpart....DRGM.....means Deutsche Reich Gebrauch Muster, literally German nation use model...meaning this model is protected
against copies within the german nation.
After world war 2...around 1953 the new term was. DBGM....Deutsche Bund Gebrauch Muster....same thing, only it reflects the change of state from a
Nation to a union of states...the Bund der deutsche länder. Still in existence....!
Generally these markings, be they french or german, can be taken as a sign of some Does cost money to get the recording papers....but not
much......and Model protection is cheaper and less easy to defend in a trial than real Patents....
DRP is Deutsche Reich Patent...and DBP is Deutsche Bundes Patent...and these are patents....
There MIGHT be a Sans Guarantie de Etat as well......SGDE....either this is the belgian version or it is a certain french version for some special can be seen on preWW1 guns from the Belgian Fabrique Nationale gun factory....mostly mauser and browning guns.....
But as far as I know there are few belgian bino producers....
Michael Simonsen Copenhagen Denmark

Subject: ND Glass
From: rab <>
  Although Mr. Bolton's heart is in the right place, it is totally inadvisable to use such 'heat absorbing' glass and expect it to provide any eye protection
whatsoever for solar viewing! The 'heat absorbing' material used with slide projectors and other non-critical applications is merely iron-rich crown glass and
while suitable for extending the life of your transparencies, won't do a thing for your eyes.
  One should have a spectral transmission curve out to 3 microns wavelength or more in order to determine the usefulness of a filter material. The Schott
glass that was recommended to me by a solar expert, David Lunt, has been proven suitable for the purpose. Be wary of substitutes!              Regards, Dick

Subject: Zeiss code names
From: "Dan Weinstock" <>
Can someone explain the origin and meaning of the various names for the Zeiss models? Is it linguistic, or gibberish? Is there some sort of rule/code for
deciphering something about the specifications of the binocular from the name? Thanks from a novice collector, Dan Weinstock Geneva, New York
My understanding is that they are just words that prevent confusion during cable transmission of orders.
In the1920s, Zeiss used product names beginning with A, in sequence from Asa to Ase. But whether there are exceptions, or how the sequence overlays
product lines, is a topic I'll leave to others. Peter

Subject: Fungus
From: "Brian Haren" <>
I came across a WWII vintage 7x50 today (M16) and took a quick look down the objectives. Yuck. Lots of what I think is fungus - kinda' spider web-like
and spreading across the prisms and probably the inside surfaces of the optics. The exterior glass seems in pretty good shape, just could use a cleaning.
Question - what permanent damage does fungus do to the inside of a binocular and does it's presence generally render the bino's unsalvagable? What
treatment should I use on the inside of the bino's to make sure I kill off all the critters? If I can get my hands on these at a reasonable price they look like
they'd make a good "starter" bino to try my hand at servicing, but only if they are worth resurrecting. Thanks! Brian
Fungus etches glass & repair usually requires repolishing, which strongly tends to alter the optical qualities of the system. Prevention involves keeping
them dry.
Is there a chemical that prevents fungus?
There's some discussion on fungus in list 96, found on my web site. --Peter
Subject: 19th century Galilean binoculars
From: Dwhome001@___m
I continue to be frustrated by the lack of available documentation on 19th century non-prismatic binoculars, and I envy you fellows with the abundance of
historical and technical information on the later items. French instruments so dominated the market during the mid-19th century, that I can not help but
think that such a significant industry is not documented some where. I am planning a trip to Paris next summer on other business, but I would like to use
the opportunity to see what information might be available. I wonder if anyone on your list might have a contact in Paris. In fact, I would be willing to hire
someone, possibly a graduate student, to do some preliminary research in France. Don Wilson
The French were certainly the most important makers of opera & field glasses, and there is very little information on them. I've been told that the two
World Wars were particularly devastating to French optical firms because they were appropriated by the conquerers, and because many were owned by
Jewish businessmen. I don't know if this is accurate. There is an additional factor in this problem; the French government, which is reputed to be a very
difficult bureaucracy, and not sympathetic to foreigners. --Peter

Here is a photo of a really beautiful binocular, posted to accompany my article on Edgecomb in the telescope section:
Unsigned, 50 mm, 600 mm focal length, air spaced doublet with edges of lenses in contact. Individual focus at each tube with rack and pinion.
Interpupillary distance & horizontal collimation adjust with wheel between oculars and knob at yoke. Vertical collimation by knob at right ocular, lens is
carried in ring inside ocular that moves on threaded rod attached to knob. These two adjustments do not appear in the models shown in the Edgecomb
Inverted image, near focus about 20 feet
Original ocular probably equivalent to 12-15 mm focus. Left ocular missing eye lens. Right ocular, eye lens flaked where burnished in cell.
Reportedly came from the Mystic, Connecticut area. --Peter

Binocular List #118: 12 July 2000.

Subject: 1860s US Navy rating (?)
I purchased a sleeve emblem, and was told it was a US Navy rating, to be sewn on a sleeve of a white 'jumper', from the late 1860s. It portrays a field
glass. I scanned a small 38 kb image:
Does anyone know about this -- what rank was this, what function did this rating perform -- repairing field glasses? Or is it less than genuine? Thanks,

Subject: Re:Fungus
From: "Bill Cook" <>
I would like to temper what Peter said about fungus a bit:
   Fungus CAN etch glass. The speed with which it does so is based on a number of different factors involving glass type, humidity, temperature, and
longevity on the glass.
   Also, polishing it CAN change the prescription. However, given moderate consideration to what one is doing, it need not be an ordeal. The biggest
problem comes from the removal of anti-reflective coatings. It cannot be presupposed that your WWII glass does not have coated optics. Although limited
before the war, many instruments had all or partially coated optics by the end. In addition, it is likely that a good stout military bino has been repaired at
least half a dozen times in its time on earth and at any point coated optics could have been substituted for the original elements.
   The predominent Navy models of that time frame would have been MK 19, MK 21, MK 28, MK 32, MK 39, MK 41 (now there's a glass!), and MK 45. I
believe the MK 16 was a Marine Corps or Army glass - Peter would know. The point to consider, if you take them apart, is that in optical instruments for the
Army, arrows used to indicate orientation point to the object and not the viewer - going against the conventions of the Navy and the optical industry.
   Just a thought.
William J. Cook, Opticalman Chief, USNR-Ret., Manager, Precision Instruments & Optics, Captain's, Seattle
editor / publisher, Amateur Telescope Making Journal,,
(M16 army B & L 7x50 -- didn't know but did have it at web site. PA)

Subject: Fungus, polishing off of.
From: "R.F.Bolton" <>
  Here I go putting my head on the block again ;-)
  I regularly have to clean fungus from older photographic lens's. The item concerned is usually of no great $ value and the owner wants an improvement
in the usability of the lens.
  The lens's concerned are usually old, sometimes with non coated elements. New elements are not an option. 'Proper' polishing usually costs more than
the lens is worth, so not economic. Cleaning is the only way to go, with everything to gain and not much to loose. Over a long period I have evolved the
following method. It may not be technically the best, correct or even the only way, but it works for me, and I have never had one complaint regarding the
performance of any lens's so cleaned.
  The fungus I mostly see is either as described by Brian or looks like little lumps of cotton wool on the surface. This type seems to be the most damaging
as when it is cleaned off it is not unusual to find pock marks in the glass. My theory is that this type of fungus has tungsten carbide teeth.
   Materials required.
   Liquid metal polish #1. I use a brand called BRASSO and it is sold for cleaning Brass, Copper, Steel, Pewter and Zinc. It is a fine abrasive powder in a
liquid I believe is white spirit, with a small amount of ammonia added.
   Liquid metal polish #2. I use a brand called SILVO and it is sold for cleaning and polishing Gold, Silver, Electro plate, Aluminium, Pewter, Chrome and
GLASS. Again it is a fine abrasive (finer than Brasso) in methylated spirit.
   Shellite. A hydro carbon liquid like unleaded petrol but probably cleaner.
   Huff, breathe on the lens surface to condense breath.
   Regular tissues.
   Very soft much washed chamois leather.
   The elements to be cleaned need to be removed from their mounts if possible.
   Depending on how dirty the element is will determine which of #s 1 or 2 to use. This is really found by cleaning lens elements. The method of use is the
same so a trial run on an old/sacrificial element might be in order.
   In any case go gently and its most unlikely that you will do damage.
   If in doubt use #2 first.
  Put a small amount on one side of two layers of tissue. Tissue over finger, put on top of container, with lid off, and shake or invert to get a small amount
on the tissue.
   A variation is to use the chamois leather instead of the tissue. It lets only a very small amount of the metal polish through. Cleaning is still possible but
takes a lot longer. I know of some techs who just use a finger dipped in the metal polish and then rub all over the lens surface. I have never cleaned a lens
like this but have used it to clean off the powdery layer that forms on heat filters in projectors. As there is only light and not an image passing the filter I
don't have a problem with the method.
   Put finger on same side as the metal polish before starting to clean lens surface. My theory is that the tissue acts as a filter and only the finest particles
will pass through and be used to clean off the fungus. Use light pressure to clean lens and DON'T rub too long in one spot Clean all over the lens surface.
The Silvo will dry out as the Metho' evaporates, leaving a film of dried powder on the lens surface. The time to stop will again be found by experiance, but if
your only using light pressure, damage is unlikely. Clean off the residue, then use Shellite to get the lens clean enough to inspect. Most time there will be a
vast improvement. If fungus is still on the lens, clean again but concentrate more on the areas with fungus. Practice and making haste slowly are the best
method. If the element that was cleaned was coated then it is possible to see variations in the coating, similar to the rainbow effect oil on a puddle gives,
when looking at the element from an angle. With camera lens's when its all back together and on the camera such effects are not seen and don't have a
discernible effect on the images that the lens produces. Have a go on an old fungusy element, you may be pleasantly surprised.
   You may have more of a problem getting the element as clean as a new, never been touched before element. That is something that could perhaps be
discussed. What method and cleaning agents give the best results in the real world, away from filtered air and pressurised rooms to do the cleaning in.
Rod Bolton. Brisbane Photographic Repairs.

I posted some photos of the early Bushnell retail outlet, and one of the 180mm binocular he is selling, as noted a couple of lists ago: Display at Bushnell retail outlet, 1950s 57 kb Display at Bushnell with David 72 kb Bushnell with 180 mm 39 kb

Subject: Re: Opticalman wanted
From: "Bill Cook" <>
Navy Opticalman Wanted
103-year old Captain's Nautical Supplies - America's most respected name in opto-navigational instrument repair and the West Coast's largest retailer of
quality binoculars and telescopes - is looking for an Opticalman (or anyone with PROVEN instrument repair skills), to do instrument repair and sales in
their Seattle, Washington facility.
Candidates should be mature, hard working and articulate individuals who keep themselves well-groomed in keeping with the conservative heritage of our
company and who have the ability to work as well with customers on the sales floor as they do at the bench. An AA degree or better is preferred but not
Interested persons should contact me at:
Or Captain's Nautical Supplies 2500 15th Ave West Seattle, Washington 98119 206-283-7242
Kindest Regards,
William J. Cook, Opticalman Chief, USNR-Ret. Manager, Precision Instruments & Optics

Subject: Fake Zeiss, fzg code, Hartmann
From: "G.H.Samuel" <>
  I have long been interested in civil and military binoculars (especially 1930-1960, with an emphasis on 6×30s) and am something of a collector. I am
writing because I think I can contribute to your correspondence about fake Zeiss glasses and about one or two other things.
  The fake Zeiss that I have is a 6×30 Diensglas that I bought around 1981-82 in Tottenham Court Road, London. It is (I think?) an early WWII model
dienstglas (full markings on the focusing oculars) and is in excellent condition both optically and in its bodywork. Indeed it has quite a „new‟ feeling to it.
There seems to be a light coating on the lenses. On the right hand plate there are the traditional markings: Dienstglas, 6×30, 103955, H/6400 set out in the
pattern shown on p 129 of Dr Seeger‟s excellent bible (except no “m”). On the left hand plate, however, is the Carl Zeiss emblem which is not engraved but
as if printed. The plate itself is clearly much newer than the other side and also appears to have a reddish undercoat under the black covering paint. Until I
bought a copy of Dr Seeger‟s book, I thought that the binocular might actually be a Zeiss; perhaps it had „blc‟ on the other plate and some enterprising
post-war retailer thought it better to put a plate on with the emblem. However the number clearly does not match the Zeiss numbers of the WWII period so
that my new theory is that it is a dienstglas made by another wartime manufacturer and turned into a „Zeiss‟ in the 1950‟s. I must stress, all the same, that
it is an excellent glass and of actual Zeiss quality. I can safely use it for hours with no headaches. The actual bodywork (but not the design), however, is
similar to that of the very late WWII German 6×30s: the glasses that had no markings whatseover except 6×30 (I have an example of one of these, bought
in a Voigtlander case from a junk shop in Bristol). Any ideas about this fake Zeiss would be welcome.
   It might also be helpful if I mention that I have another dienstglass 6×30 with the code fzg. This, of course, is Feinmechanik, Kassel, and the number is
1903. The optical quality is wonderful and I use this binocular all the time (along with my fake). Some twenty years ago I also saw another 6×30 in a
military shop in Islington, London, with the code fzg. So, fzg ought to be added to any code list since they clearly made 6×30 dienstglas binos.
   Finally, can you answer a question for me? I have a 1950s catalogue of Hartmann, Wetzlar binoculars. The catalogue states that the company, Karl
Hartmann OHG was founded in 1921. If this is true, why can I find no mention of it in my Pawlas code book? Did they have a code number? Surely they
made binoculars for the services?
   I have further information about Kershaw numbers and Zeiss numbers (nothing startling) should anyone be interested. I also have some details of an rln
10×50 seen in a Southport second-hand camera shop 15 or so years ago (very poor quality in its body work, almost toy-like).
Geoffrey Samuel

Binocular List #119. 17 July 2000.

Subject: Re: Fake Zeiss etc
From: (Seeger)
Dear Mr. Samuel,
Thank you for your message. I will try to comment your 6 x 30.
Due to the serial number it cannot be a Zeiss Dienstglas of WW II. The 6 x 30 rln have the coding "rln" on the right hand cover plate. I looked into my list of
serial numbers. This list tells me: It can be a bmk model (numbers between 74.000 and 129.000 noted), a Spindler & Hoyer (a number 133.000), one of the
many cag (numbers between 19.000 an 159.000), Voigtlaender (ddx - number 107.000 and 112.000). All these are "Dienstglasses". It cannot be (to my
knowledge) a Busch (cxn) model.
The quality of the German 6 x 30 is good. I think that the lenses and prisms have been made by well known firms and that the glasses were assembled by
other firms which - probably - made the metal parts or some of these. Years ago I saw a Dienstglas 6 x 30 with an uncommon code: From a factory which
produced x-ray equipment.
I have noted the code fzg for my list. Thank you for this information.
Unfortunately, I have no information about the pre war or WW II activities of the firm Hartmann, Wetzlar. I have an 8 x 60 Hartmann for a part exchange
and know that their models like 8 x 40 were popular on (civil) ships after WW II.
I would like to get your Zeiss (blc, rln) serial numbers for my list. You see that these numbers contribute to the dating of binos and help to get additional
information. Best regards Hans

Subject: Polishing glass
From: "Bill Cook" <>
  I believe that Rod's idea about fungus having tungston carbide teeth is correct. However, when I saw him mention polishing elements with Brasso, I
shuddered. Brasso and other metal polishes have small (but not GRADED) polishing agents. Remember, they were conceived to polish brass buttons and
not optics.
  If I am wrong, I would ask someone to correct me. However, for now I would recommend graded cerium oxide or rouge. Any optical shop would probably
give you enough to last for the rest of your life.
William J. Cook, Opticalman Chief, USNR-Ret.

Subject: FJA mark on US mil glass
A binocular sold on ebay last week, marked:
Left side top: "BINOCULARS M7 NO. 1893" Right side top: "7X50 BAUSCH & LOMB OPT. CO. ROCHESTER, N.Y. U.S.A. 1942 F.J.A." Center Pivot,
bottom side: "DES. PAT. 83,934 SER. UX8516"
The seller noted, 'likely used by Field Judges during war games, hence the F.J.A. markings'
Has anyone heard of this mark?

Subject: U.S. binoculars 1917-1919
From: SCSambrook@___m
  I wonder if anyone on The List can fill yet another void in my knowledge of U.S. binocular manufacturing during the Great War ?
  I am trying to complete an assessment of just what the British government bought from the USA by way of binoculars ... both for itself and others.
  It appears that the British, via the Ministry of Munitions, sought to encourage the Crown Optical Co. of Rochester to expand its production of binoculars
on a very large scale indeed. This was to meet not only the British demand, but also that of Imperial Russia, and an output of up to 10,000 units per week
was predicted. That would have been a LOT of binoculars under war-time conditions ... But, there were many problems, and deliveries against the
contracts seem to have petered out by early 1918, when according to my information herein British government documents, the U.S. Navy had 'virtually
taken over' Crown's factory and 'commandeered' production.
   Now, my knowledge of the U.S. optical industry at this time is sadly lacking, and I have not been able to trace anything in the U.K. to enlighten me
further. Does anyone have any knowledge of Crown ? Is the 'U.S. Naval Gun Factory Optical Annex' anything to do with the Crown works ?
 Any pointers or ideas will be very welcome indeed.       Stephen.
Very little is known about the USNGF Optical Annex. The Gun Factory is in Washington DC & during WWI, appropriated some factories in Rochester. 6 x
30s, 10 x 45s, and a 3x Galilean, from the annex are found today.
Learning more about USNGF optical work is one of my priorities, and any assistance will be greatly appreciated. --Peter
A History of The Rochester, NY Camera and Lens Companies, by Rudolf Kingslake. The Crown Optical Company
This company was founded in 1906 by A. H. Hatmaker, president, and A. E. May secretary-treasurer, to manufacture lenses. They first occupied a
building at 484 Clinton Avenue South, and moved to 65 Atlantic Avenue in 1909, to 299 State Street in 1912, and finally to 203 State Street in 1917. They
disappeared in 1919 at the close of World War I.

Binocular List #120: 19 July 2000.

Subject: FJA mark on US mil glass
From: CARSLS@___m
During my research for my book on Universal Camera Corporation, I was able to discover what such initials represented and what some of them actually
stood for. The initials were those of US Government Ordnance Inspectors, some of which were given in-plant offices in many production plants so they
could more easily monitor a company's production activities. Initials of Government inspectors began appearing on military equipment many years prior to
W.W.II, in some instances as far back as the late 1700s on certain military guns and rifles.
I was able to trace two sets of initials commonly seen -- J.K.C for Lt. Col. John K. Christmas and F.J.A. for Lt. Col. Frank J. Atwood. Cynthia Repinski

Subject: FJA; r f v on German glass
From: "David Hoyt" <>
  Regarding the f.j.a. on the model m7 that is the govt inspector. This was used before ww2. I have several, m8-r.l.b, spenser mark 19, e.k. m13 nash
kelvinator h.m.r.
  I have a question. i have a wather pp and zeiss silvamar with the stamping rfv and a four digit number. I have heard it was for the german finance
ministry. I would welcome an answer..

Subject: USN Mark 42
During WWII, the US Navy listed three models of very wide angle glasses: the Mark 43 Sard 6 x 42 at 11 degrees 50 minutes (60 oz.); the Mark 41 B & L
7 x 50 at 10 degrees (58 oz.); and the Mark 42 Pioneer 7 x 50 at 10 degrees (51 oz.). An image of a Mark 42 is posted at:             130 kb
Markings: 7 X 50, 10 degree, SER: (removed), DES. PAT. 137441, PIONEER.
This binocular uses triplet objectives; and mirrors of solid aluminum instead of prisms, this is a poor material to use for a reflecting surface & should
probably be considered experimental (especially since the back of the mirrors are the outer shell of the body, with the rubber covering glued onto the
mirrors!). Although it is only slightly lighter in weight than the others, it is a very comfortable binocular to use due to the wide body, and the user can focus
without moving the hands from a normal grip.
The eyepieces appear similar to the Mk 43 but are not identical, eye relief is 14 mm, although the rubber eyeguard prevents this close approach.
Pioneer Instruments seems to have been associated with Kollsman, and a division of Bendix Aviation in Bendix N.J. (aircraft instruments).
A very innovative & interesting binocular; and further clues about this glass are needed.

Subject: Binocular by Merz
An image of a twin telescope signed 'G. & S. Merz in Muenchen' has been posted to: 123 kb
Photography by Peter Louwman.
Information on Merz, a very important German telescope maker, can be found at:
I do not know of another binocular by Merz. --Peter

Subject: WW2 German codes
From: SCSambrook@___m
   I have a few letter codes from my own earlier compilations which are not on the web site - although it occurs to me that they might all probably be
already available in the Public Domain.
--buh Rochling, Wetzlar
--ctn Emil Busch -- this is cited by others as Freidricks & Co, but my informant who was in Europe in 1945 insists it is Emil Busch ... I leave that for
others to debate
--cww Carl Weiss -- I have a note that suggests they made telescopic rifle sights
--czn Emil Busch ( again !)
--emq Carl Zeiss, Jena ( allegedly on binoculars - but I don't think this is quoted by Hans Seeger in his Big Book )
--exp / fxp / fzp all Hans Kollmorgen Optische Anstaldt, Berlin ( possibly telescopic rifle sight makers BUT there was a USA firm also called Kollmorgen,
which made sights ... )
Also, 'x' and 'z' are adjacent onthe keyboard - I wonder if one of these might be a typing error on an old list many years ago.
--ghp Rufs & Co. Kassel
--kay Ford-Werk AG, Berlin
--lmq this is Carl Zeiss Jena, but my correspondent noted it from a binocular
--mow Krauss & Co, Berg Elster ( NOT BBT-Krauss, France )
--rmf maker not known, allegedly on an unspecified model 12x 60 advertised in the British 'GunMart' magazine in august 1996
   Please note that I have no original documentary evidence for these - but they may be of interest. Best wishes, Stephen.
Although the information above might be correct, this topic has been inaccurately represented for years; at U.S. gun shows, several photocopied lists with
incorrect data have been in circulation for a long time. The best source that I know of is Walter, although no one would claim that every listing is likely to
be totally accurate:
Walter, John, German Military Letter Codes. Hove: Small Arms Research Publications, 1996. From this book:
buh 'apparently involved in the production of shells'
ctn 'Koelner......mistakenly identified with Friedrichs'
czn 'Klaus Nueske'
emq 'Stiefeling, Berlin....often identified with Zeiss, for whom Stiefeling may have been a sub-contractor'
exp 'wrongly associated with Kollmorgen'
fxp 'Kollmorgen....optical'
fzp 'Ortlepp'
ghp 'mistakenly identified with Ruf'
kay 'Ford....vehicles'           --Peter

Subject: Zeiss Dialyt 8x30B redesign; Dialyt 40x60 scope
From: "Charles M. Barringer" <charzov@___om>
   I recently picked up a pair of Zeiss Dialyt 8x30B Nr.1516774. They have the later block letter Zeiss logo and with rubber eyecups deployed are 116mm
in both height and width. They are engraved "Made in West Germany" and the objective tubes in front of the yoke are black enameled, not leathered.
   I was struck by the comparison with an earlier pair with identical specs, Nr. 746415, which are 142mm high, a full inch longer. Other cosmetic
differences are that the earlier Dialyt is engraved "Made in Germany," has leather covering on the objective tubes, and the logo is the classic Carl Zeiss
   The older piece is dimensionally similar to the Dialyt monocular 8x30B (Nr. 906255) although the monocular features front focusing.
   What constitutes the difference between the older and newer designs? Is there a theoretical qualitative difference? (I cannot perceive a practical
difference beyond the handling.) Is anyone aware of the date and/or serial number range at which the design was changed? Did a similar transformation
take place with the 10x40B?
   On a related topic, I have a Zeiss 40x60 Dialyt spotting scope (Nr. 1539064, with block letter Zeiss logo), eyepiece focusing. Does anyone have any
idea of the approximate production date of this scope or have any literature pertaining to it?
   Anybody else have one I could marry to this one to create a binocular?
Best regards Charlie Barringer
Charlie is currently presiding over Zeiss Historica & any answers to these questions will be put to good use. I wish I had some answers; but I can add that
combining two telescopes of 40 power into a binocular will require some very precise machining. However, you might share my feeling that a spotting
scope is, at best, one half a good binocular. --Peter

From: "Roger Davis" <>
   Thanks for the replies to my request about the SGDG imprint on my opera glasses. I have noted all comments thanks.
   Also my 0.0182 cents worth (after OZ's new GST). With regard to the Brasso and Silvo as Rod suggested, Rod please don't! In this case Bill Cook is
quite right! I use cerium oxide and a very soft tissue which has been lightly dampened with Isoproyl alcohol. You can use a small amount of pressure on
the optical surface, but not so much that you will cause a refiguring! The the thing is that once you have cleaned the fungus off you must wash out the
binocular housing itself. After all, where could the spores be hiding? You may clean the prism, but at a later date it could reinfest the optics. Wash out the
housing with isoproyl as well.
   Another method I have used is to get a polishing pad (as sold for polishing spectacle lenses) and stick it to a reasonably thick piece of flat glass, then
add a slurry of cerium oxide, water and a dot of detergent (prevents clumping), you can do prism faces on this pad quite easily.
   Bill with regards your request for a tech, sorry, I just bought this business out so I am no longer thinking of emigrating!
   Oh well, two scopes to restore, back to work.
Roger Davis, Binocular & Telescope Service Centre P/L, Heidelberg, VIC Australia 3084

Subject: Fungus
From: "R.F.Bolton" <>
  Just thought I should add a bit to my previous post re cleaning fungus. On re reading it I should have perhaps included some more detail but it was
getting a bit long winded.
   I was not advocating polishing a lens only cleaning fungus off the surface. I assumed that no one would be over enthusiastic with the polishing action as
I am aware that its possible to mark an element. It only requires light pressure to clean off the fungus. Practice on a sacrificial element will show this and
indicate how much pressure is required.
   I started doing it this way due to no real alternative available when I started many years ago. Also, and this was really the clincher, no replacement
elements were obtainable, so it was clean or the scrap bin.
   The SILVO brand is labled as suitable for glass, and as its intended for cleaning silver logic says it should not be too abrasive or the valuable silver will
dissappear over time. The manufacturer does not seem to have a web site at present but I will see if I can find out anything regarding the abrasive used.
   Finally as I said it has worked for me for a long time and that surely has to be a point in favour of the method.
Rod Bolton. Brisbane Photographic Repairs. PO Box 698. Kenmore. Brisbane, 4069 Australia.

Binocular List #121: 24 July 2000

Subject: German codes
From: Lngubas@___m
   A small comment on one of the firms mentioned in your last post and other Zeiss related companies with regard to military production. There is also a
website with a lot of information on military codes that I don't know if you have posted:
   Hans Kollmorgen GmbH was a small medical instrument firm in Berlin that Zeiss took a 53% interest in 1914. Most of these instruments were optical in
nature such as early endoscopes. It was obviously pressed into military goods for the second World War. It was relocated after the war to Calmbach
where Zeiss also had the shutter manufacturing firm of Gauthier. It was a business that was not big enough to survive in the restructuring days after the
war and was sold off or just was discontinued. Georg Wolf GmbH was a similar firm in Berlin that they acquired in the 1930s. Zeiss had provided the
optical parts for these devices both with unidentified optics and those with their trademark. (There were several other optical companies with the name of
Kollmorgen including here in the US and Austria - they were not directly part of this company.)
   Since Zeiss also owned Busch, it is possible that these small firms were overseen during the war by them from nearby Rathenow.
   Emil Busch AG had been founded in 1800 by two clergymen under the name of Optische Industrie-Anhalt and bought by Emil Busch in 1845 and offered
a full line of optical products. It concentrated on military products as early as 1864 and was completely in that field in the early 1900's through the end of
the First World War. Busch had been a Zeiss licensee since before the war and in the mid-1920's, financial difficulties caused the executives of this
company to approach Zeiss for help to save this historical firm and one of the oldest enterprises of the German optical industry. Zeiss acted immediately
since there were other parties interested in purchasing the company at a low price and shutting it down as a competitor. Zeiss had acquired 80% of the
shares by 1931. The firm was originally headquartered in Rathenow to the West of Berlin. Later, it was located in the Spandau section of Berlin and its
post-war products were mostly all in the field of eyeglasses. It has either been absorbed in to Zeiss (which recently sold off the eyeglass frames business)
or sold off into other companies. The East German version was absorbed into VEB Carl Zeiss Jena and was part of the losses of the Treuhand era of the
early 1990s.
   Another Zeiss company of interest: At the end of the 1920's, Dr. Hermann Anschuetz-Kaempfe who was the sole owner of Anschuetz & Co. GmbH
became concerned about finding a successor to run his company after his death. He had pioneered many modern navigation devices and was the
inventor of the gyro-compass (1906). He had founded his company in 1905 when he had the ambition to travel to the North Pole via submarine. When he
became ill, he felt that joining the Carl Zeiss Stiftung would be the best solution. The Stiftung sold off this navigation business in 1994 to an American
company, Raytheon of Lexington, Massachusetts. Larry

Subject: German codes
From: "G.H.Samuel" <>
I have my own copy of the Pawlus code book which is a reprint of an original German archive document which lists all the codes up to the 'o's (thus the
controversy over rln). According to Pawlus, the codes you mention are listed as follows:
buh Rochling
ctn Kolner Werkzeugmaschinenfabrik, Koln-Sulz
cww Carl Weiss
czn Nuske, Klaus, Mech.Werkstatten, Stettin
emq Stiefeling, Willi, Kunstharzpresserei, Berlin
exp Landes-Lieferungsgenossenschaft (etc), Dortmund
fxp Kollmorgen, Optische Anstalt, Berlin
fzp Ortlepp, Dampfsagewerk
ghp Deutsche Edelstahlwerke, Krefeld
kay Ford-Werk AG, Berlin
lmq Carl Zeiss, Jena
mow C.W. Crous & Co, Berga/Elster
rmf Not known (the Pawlus list does not go this far)

My understanding is that the Pawlus book is the best documentary evidence there is, but perhaps Dr Seeger will be able to provide further information on
this. I put into circulation a list about 20 years ago, some of which does appear to have been used in Dr Seeger's book (on binocular cases, for example,
although this may be entirely coincidental). This list was compiled using Pawlus and thus I like to think it was accurate. It was while I was compiling this list
that the Hartmann question arose. Should you ever require any details on codes please do not hesitate to ask. Also, the Imperial War Museum Library in
London has a copy of Pawlus (or at least they did in 1980). Best wishes Geoffrey
Subject: German codes
--RFV..Reich Finans Verwaltung.....For use by the Guards at the german national bank, and for their transport of money and/or gold.....Seen on Walther PP
pistols and Mauser K98 Rifles as well...
regarding codes......all codes up to ozz are contained in: der grosse code buch published by Pawlas verlag OR deutsche waffen journal in germany.
This is a reprint of a list found after the war...but it has not been updated after autoon 1944...meaning all the R codes are unknown....Mauser is SVW....
Latest code I can recall having seen is tko on 7.92 german rifle ammo....
--cww is indeed carl weiss...leather goods manufacturer...and likely to have made pouches for optical equipment...I think he belongs in Braunsweig
If a factory has several production facilities they get seperate codes...but in the code book, they are named under the same name......try and look for, say
Poltewerk....20 factories...20 codes....but one company only.
--emq...Zeiss aussenwerke....and seen on range finders Em 34 made by zeiss
--fzp...ZF43...Scope for the Fallschirmgewehr 42...paratrooper rifle 42. experimental only.....check in the book: The German Sniper, by Senick.
--ghp: think I have that one on an odd cannon sight...found two of those on fleamarkets here in denmark, with a year in between...still havent found out
which cannon they belong to....roof prism inside...will try and get pics of those up on my home page.         Michael Simonsen Copenhagen Denmark

Subject: Fungus
From: dewees <>
   Some more speculations and observations about fungus. I have (my wife has, I mean) a small farm and horse ranch. I can't help but notice that
everything here that ingests food also leaves something behind. Sure, fungus has little chemical teeth, and must graze on glass to make a living, but I'll go
a little further and say that the little critters also deposit mineral manure. I think the fungus is usually dead and gone, or at least in a state of hibernation, on
the stuff I've worked on. What is left on the lens surfaces is depleted glass, probably now in the form of a carbonate-silicate glop, like what is deposited by
thermal springs. This stuff is tough (like a rock) and probably is chemically bonded to the underlying glass. Gentle wiping with lens tissue will hardly wipe
off organic fungus remains, let alone this concretic excrement.
   The main thing here is to improve a bad situation. While I probably wouldn't use Brasso myself, it seems to work without leaving obvious scratches. I
have been scrubbing the heck out of fungus "etched" lens using ordinary water based lens cleaners and seeing 50 to 90 percent improvements. That is, a
vigorous scrubbing action with a cotton swab or paper towel. I scrub until I know there is no improvement happening. Precipitated chalk (gymnastic) is
used in thin film coating houses as an aggressive mechanical cleaner. All of these techniques fly in the face of conventional wisdom and training, and
probably will damage a fine optical finish to some extent. After the "rock" is removed there remains, I'm guessing, a relatively smooth trough in the glass.
Like a polished scratch. It scatters light but not as badly as the translucent
fungus yuk that was there.
   I have not contributed in a while so I have to trot out the resume. Opticalman 1975 - 1980. Geologist for a few months. Optical and manufacturing
engineering in the commercial optics environment. Physical scientist in the Physics Department at the Naval Air Warfare Center (NAWC) at China Lake for
the last eleven years. I run an optical fabrication facility here, do the odd bit of research now and then, and do optical system design for tactical,
surveillance, and laser applications. Oh yes, I'm a professional optician too.
   If anyone needs some cerium oxide I have plenty to spare. Randy Dewees

Subject: Fungus Again
From: "Bill Cook" <>
Concerning Fungus Removal. Rod et. al.:
   The last time I cleaned my own 10-inch telescope mirror, I leaned it up against my truck tire and blasted the puppy with a garden hose; that is how I
usually do it. Thirty minutes and a little sunshine later, I removed the only water spot (about .25 inches in diameter), with a cotton swab.
   I get great humor out of watching folks on the ATM list talking about cleaning their optics. Pro and cons go on for pages and an experienced optician
watching the exchange would swear that some people have made a religion out of spending hours cleaning their half-wave mirrors! I don't usually pipe up
on these matters. To some folks, creating elaborate solutions to non-existent problems is a way of life and something that they enjoy. I think this is
perfectly fine. I would not deny them their joy.
   With that in mind, I would like to applaud your efforts to cut through the bull and get down to the brass tacks of removing fungus in as simple a manner
as possible. Therefore, as you are an optical professional, I would not take upon myself to tell you your business. However, in the spirit of brotherhood and
in all humility (those of you who know me wipe that grin off your faces), I (as an optical professional), would like to comment for the possible benefit of
others who have followed this thread.

Rod Wrote:
>I was not advocating polishing a lens only cleaning fungus off the surface.
I assumed that no one would be over enthusiastic with the polishing action
as I am aware that its possible to mark an element.<
   At the first stroke with Cerium, rouge, Brasso, or Silvo, POLISHING takes place. It may be a little bit; it may be a lot; it may be localized. All the same, it
is polishing.

>The SILVO brand is labled as suitable for glass, <
  The Guillotine has been proven 100% effective in reducing the effects of migraine headaches. Nevertheless, the use of it does have some drawbacks.
Please remember that in Jason, Bushnell, and Tasco literature the word QUALITY is used liberally throughout. You may draw your own conclusions.

>and as its intended for cleaning silver logic says it should not be too abrasive or the valuable silver will dissappear over time.<
  Logic is subjective. Are we talking about the logic of one who has ground, polished or figured hundreds of optical elements or one who has not? As one
who has felt his chest turn cold seeing the damage that ONE piece of over-sized abrasive has caused on an almost finished workpiece, I would never trust
a metal polish. Too many mistakes occur even with graded abrasives. It would also be good to note that the thickness of a layer of optical coating
compared to the thickness of even a cheap silver coating job would be similar to comparing the thickness of a playing card to that of a shoe box.

>Finally as I said it has worked for me for a long time and that surely has to be a point in favour of the method. Rod.<
   If you and your customers are happy with the work, it stands as a testimony. But, only of adequacy and not efficiency. Last week a customer came into
my shop to buy a bino case for a bino that had just been collimated by another "optical" shop it town. It is a learned reflex that when an instrument is
placed in my hands, the elbows bend to swing the instrument up to my eyes. Being immediately underwhelmed by the collimation job, I placed it on the
collimator. The 7x50 was out of collimation by 3.5 degrees - not minutes - DEGREEs! I reported my findings to the customer who had just parted with her
money a few minutes before. She flashed me that smile that so often says, "I am stupid and proud of it," and told me they looked "fine" to her. Thus, if I had
done the job for her, I could have done so by dropping the instrument onto the floor - making more money and saving headaches. Still, if that were my
normal practice, I would have been out of business years ago! Most people care. And, the difference between polishing metal (even fine silver), and optics
is about the same as that between carving a roast and doing open heart surgery.
   Now, it would be really easy for you to esteem me as some crank out to rain on your parade. I assure you this is not so. With a "picture being worth
1,000 words," I would ask you to see page 90 of Texereus's HOW TO MAKE A TELESCOPE (second edition), from Willmann-Bell Publishing. Therein,
you will see 6 highly magnified photos of precision polished mirror surfaces. If these mirrors were placed on a table before the most experience optician in
the world, his eye could not discern a difference. Still, these images (which make a precisely polished surface look like an aerial view of a wind blown
desert), show that there is a great deal of difference to be seen even when one is using graded polishing agents. By comparison, these images would most
assuredly appear to be perfectly smooth when compared to the similarly magnified surface of a piece of silverware that had been polished with Silvo or
Brasso. If I can be proven wrong in anything I have said, please feel free to post better information here. I do want to be responsible for propagating bad
info. For that cause, I do not mind being offended at all.
   If I have offended anyone with all this boilerplate, I sincerely apologize. I threw it out for what I truly hoped would be a good reason.
Kindest Regards, William J. Cook, Opticalman Chief, USNR-Ret.
Manager, Precision Instruments & Optics, Captain's, Seattle
editor / publisher, Amateur Telescope Making Journal

Subject: Canadian BOP
From: "Steve Harris" <>
   I have a pair of Elcans up at the Canadian factory getting the diopters re-lubricated. I talked to one of the product managers there and also the service
manager about additional information. They "said" that they would send me details about ELCAN history and production. The odd part is that ELCAN has
just opened two new optical factories here in the Dallas suburbs, right under my nose! Will share what I get.
   Litton Electro-Optical is another famous optical product that is still in production here in Dallas. I visited with the product manager who said the "big
eyes" are still sold to governments, from the "high teens to the mid-twenty thousand dollar range, depending on the configuration and accessories." I
guess a used one from the 60's is really a bargain!
   Also, does anyone out there have information on a maker out of Canada entitled BOP. Have some military glasses built on an 7X50 REL frame with a
custom carousel filter assembly sitting on top. The Canadians say they are Canadian Navy late WW2 or post.
Regards, Steve Harris <>

Binocular List #122: 25 July 2000.

Subject: Zeiss Dialyt 8x30B redesign; Dialyt 40x60 scope
From: (

Dear Mr Barringer,
   Your Zeiss Dialyt 8x30B Nr.1516774 is the "short" version (order number 523504) that was introduced in 1969. The "long" version (order number
523500) was introduced in 1964. The redesign of the "short" version took place in 1983 and had the order number 523508 for the "leather" covered version
(sold out in 1995) and order number 523509 for the rubber armored version which is still in the Zeiss binoculars program. Your Zeiss Dialyt 8x30B
Nr.1516774 was manufactured in 1977. The reason for the redesign of the "long" version was the reduction of weight. A similar transformation did not take
place with the 10x40B.
   The Zeiss 40x60 Dialyt spotting scope was originally designed by Hensoldt AG, Wetzlar (which is a member of the Zeiss Group since 1928). When
Zeiss and Hensoldt formed a joint manufacturing and distribution for binoculars and rifle scopes (Hensoldt = manufacturer; Zeiss = distributor) in 1964 part
of the Hensoldt program was taken over such as the Zeiss 40x60 Dialyt spotting scope. It's market launch under the Hensoldt brand was in 1948 and it
was sold under this brand up to 1969.Between 1969 and 1977 it was not in production and when production started again in 1977 it was branded with the
Zeiss logo. The Zeiss 40x60 Dialyt spotting scope was sold out in 1980. Your Zeiss 40x60 Dialyt spotting scope Nr.1539064 was manufactured in 1980.
Please find enclosed a copy (unfortunately only in German) of the technical data.
Yours sincerely, Hensoldt AG Zeiss Gruppe, Vertrieb Zeiss Ferngläser
Dr. Mergen, (Webmaster)

Subject: Information from France
From: "pernice" <>
  i will try to give you some basic informations about french manufacturer of optics and for my favorite company SRPI
  Before the 19th the french manufacurers of optical instruments (microscopes, instruments for measurement of angle) were isolated artisan sometimes
with the help of scientifics and astronomes . in the beginning of the 19th we can read the name of Lerebours who is the maker of some earth's telescope
(among others he made the surface telescope which used by napoleon to see the british coast ,it is a classic engraving that you can find in ours history
handbooks...). then Lerebours had been associated with somes cousins of switzerland the Secretan; the Secretan family has made numerous
astronomical's instruments and various topographic instruments (theodolite and surveying instruments) of very good quality. (the Secretan company
was associated later with the Morin manufacturer then with SRPI company)
  in the middle of 19th and in the beginning of the 20th there was numerous small manufacturers of portable binoculars of good notoriety: Baille Lemaire
and Colmont Valette .some of these binoculars had been exported in USA. but the quality of theses optics was not very good particularly about the the
small field of view and the defiency of brightness. after the first world war and to oppose against the superiority of the german's opticals company, it was
decided (an idea of A.Leaute officier in artillery ) to create an association beteween scientifics and manufacturers,it was the creation of the SRPI (Societe
de Recherche et Perfectionnements Industriels: society for the research and to perfect industrial's method) since 1920 it was possible to see laboratories
near the machine shops .the SRPI company was competent in various technological domains and also in the construction of various optical's device for
the french army. between the 2 world wars and after the second, the works of the optical department of SRPI was consecrated to all the instruments of
aiming ,observation for the land forces ,and french navy (bunker periscopes, binoculars with self correction for the aiming of the guns ,optics sights,and in
association with others french manufacturers BBt and Huet ,very numerous portative binoculars 8x30, 8x40, 6x24, 7x35...) (for example each society had
produce his own "8x30" with the same military test); but in 1965 it was produce by all the manufacturers,for problems of technical service about the
maintaining of the equipment, only one and same model 8x30 M241, (with the identicals spare part for the 3 company .it was made also by SRPI others
big binoculars 10x60,10x60 periscopiques for navy ,10x80 flak binoculars (a copy of the classic german flak binocular),big semaphorics binoculars 12x90
;and a curious and interesting binocular with 2 magnifications of 8-2 x 50. some others civil binoculars was made the "starlight" series with, at my
knowledge 2 models of 8x40 et 12 x40 very luminoux and bright .(my inventory is not exhaustive, i am too new in the collection of binoculars) at the
present time the SRPI is still in activity but the department of opticals systems is closed ,i think ,since 1981.
i will try to know more about the others french makers .sorry for my "poor" english ,i hope that all yours document will be a good motivation for a better
"english language "         jean-laurent d'origine

Subject: A Cautionary Tale
From: SCSambrook@___m
   I spent many years selling binoculars in the retail trade. Those who are presently involved in the same business might find this cautionary little tale
interesting ...
   I went to a cricket match recently, and sitting next to me was a bespectacled middle-aged man with a Zeiss 10x 40B Dialyt. It was obvioulsly far from
new, as most of the finish had worn off the OG rings. He kept on raising and lowering it, and I noticed that he had not folded down the rubber eye-cups;
furthermore, periodically, he took off his spectacles to look through it. Eventually, and at a suitable interval in the match, I asked him 'Do you not find it
better to fold the eye-cups down and keep your spectacles on?'.
   Englishmen at cricket matches perhaps do not expect to addressed on the subject of binoculars, and he spent a few moments pondering my question
before saying that he really didn't know whether he did or didn't. Play resumed, and our conversation ceased for the moment, but I noticed that he did, with
a struggle, fold the eye-cups down (I guess they were a bit stiff after a quarter of a century) and keep the binocular to his eyes. At the next lull in play he
said ' That's much better - I didn't know you could do that. I've had them 25 years, and nobody has ever mentioned it before. Anyway, I've never really
been happy with them, because I was told that I should have got the Zeiss-Jena ones which are much better.' We chatted briefly, and I said I had been
many years in the trade selling binoculars, and he really had got the better of the two 'Zeiss' brands, which seemed to cheer him up somewhat..
   I supposed this was a sorry comment on both retailers and customers - the dealer had failed woefully to explain the product properly, and the individual
had failed to read the instructions. Because of the inadequacy of the pre-sales advice, the customer had readily believed that he had purchased an inferior
brand, and been denied the benefits of ease of use and pride of ownership. A very poor situation. I sat thinking that had he bought them from any business
of mine he would not have had such bad service.
   As he put the glasses away at the end of the day he said 'I bought them from ***** & Company in *****. Did you know them?' I had to confess that
indeed I did know them, but I refrained from saying that I was their manager when he bought his binoculars !
   What do they say about false pride and a haughty spirit? Could I really have trained my staff so poorly ? It makes you think, as they say.           Cheers,

Subject: Fungus removal
From: "R.F.Bolton" <>
Hi Peter, Bill, Randy etc. No offence taken, just appreciative of the feed back.
   Doing what I do has been lonely occupation in the past as the mindset of other camera repairers was to closely guard any 'trade secrets'. A lot of my
early cleaning type repairs were initially done on a careful trial and error basis, with the odd fatality. Luckily there are a lot of old camera lenses around to
practice on, even today.
   Another difference is that to me anyway, [ready to be corrected, nicely please:-)] is that the quality of an image seen through binoculars is to some
degree subjective, where the image produced by a camera lens is turned into a permanent image that can be enlarged to very great degrees and minutely
examined. This would surely show up any imperfections as more people would be able to examine the image on a greater scale and give an opinion.
Camera lens performance can also be measured 'properly' on an optical bench and so allow different lenses to be compaired.
   To this point I have not repaired a lot of binoculars so welcome your input in that regard, but I have cleaned a lot of older camera lenses and do not have
customers coming back complaining that the lens performance has been degraded. Usually the lens was so 'foggy' that taking any sort of photo was not
on. I would also mention that in the majority, these lenses would not be off valuable collectors type cameras, just 'good' cameras for taking happy snaps
around the home, with sometimes some sentimental value attached to the camera by the owner. There are a couple of companies here that do 'proper'
cleaning, polishing and recoating of optics. The cost involved means the item would need to increase in value afterwards to warrant the expense. The
average person will not pay that sort of price for a lens that will only be used to produce 6x4" photos to go in a family album.
   Bills method of cleaning his mirror is probably not in any book on cleaning telescope mirrors. But it works for him. To me this makes it a viable method to
do the job. I don't think though that it would be the sort of method to recommend to every telescope user, as success would be varied by the ability of the
person doing the cleaning. Same logic applys to camera repairs, some owners can do minor repairs others are a disaster waiting to happen. The end result
is usually a dismantled camera, brought in a plastic container, which we in the trade call a 'kit' with a "can you put this back together" request. I have repair
manuals for cameras. When I get to do a repair for the first time I will go by the manual as the method described obviously worked. But if in doing the repair
I can see a 'better' way in my opinion, I will vary the method next time. If the repair is succesfull, takes less time and no damage is done, in my book the
method is better. I think anyone who does repairs would do this, same way a cook will vary a recipe.
   Its Sunday as I write this but come Monday I will track down some cerium oxide and rouge so the next time I have a lens that has fungus on I can try
that method.
   Thanks guys for the advice and feed back, it's going to a good home (I think).
Rod Bolton.

Subject: S&S #910 "Sightseer"
From: rab <>
   Just a quick note to let you know that I received a pair of S&S #910 binoculars thru an eBay auction, that appear to be in excellent condition and are so
nominal in their adjustment settings, even in their collimation, that I doubt they have ever been apart.
   So, you can imagine how disappointed I was to see that they are different, optically, than the previous pair of S&S #910, "Sightseers", that I already own
but which are out for collimation and other adjustments at Texas Nautical.
   I have a remaining eyepiece from yet a third, parts S&S #910, and compared it to the one on the latest S%S. The designs are different. The old one has
a flat eyelens, the new one a convex surface. With the old one, it's possible to comfortably view the field stops and the entire field of view. With the latest
one, I cannot see the field stops, even with eyeglasses removed, unless I swivel my eyes around to look in crooked.
   Additionally, the old S&S had round exit pupils; this latest version has the clipped pupils characteristic of lower index prisms.
   In summary, S&S drastically changed the optical design of the "Sightseer", presumably in the direction of lower quality. This version that I've just
received isn't worth keeping.
   Unfortunately, I didn't write the serial number of the pair I sent to Texas Nautical, so I can't compare it to the present one. Will do that when I get the
good pair back. Both binoculars have the same factory code, B52 (Kanto Kogaku Kogyo Co)
   How sad.         Regards, Dick.

Binocular List #123: 02 Aug 2000

Subject: French Optical Industry
From: SCSambrook@___m
   It was most interesting to read Jean Laurent's contribution on the French optical industry. Thanks are indeed due to him for expanding our knowledge.
   The only English-language work dealing with the French industry is Mari E. Williams' The Precision Makers (Routledge, London, 1994). Those
interested in the growth of the French precision instrument and optical industries post 1860 to 1939 might it find it interesting. The work also deals with the
growth of similar industries in Britain, although the emphasis is on precision and scientific instrument industries, rather than on specific products. Best
wishes, Stephen

Subject: Replies
From: "Bill Cook" <>
>Bills method of cleaning his mirror is probably not in any book on cleaning telescope mirrors. But it works for him. To me this makes it a viable method to
do the job. I don't think though that it would be the sort of method to recommend to every telescope user, as success would be varied by the ability of the
person doing the cleaning.<

   Right you are. I would like to make it clear that if I were cleaning optics form one of my customers, I most certainly would not use that method either.
With my comments I was trying to illustrate the difference in the ways of looking at things. When I am working the precision side of the house, I can be a
critical terror. However, my 10-inch telescope is for fun, and I would never spend an inordinate amount of time working on it. When it gets too bad - and
after several of my tacky cleanings it still looks great - I'll send it off and have it stripped and coated.
   And Stephen, don't be hard on yourself. Just because one speaks, it does not mean he is teaching. A few days ago, I heard one of my employees
talking to a customer about the differences between the Fujinon FMT-SX and the Fujinon XL (third party product). The customer said, "So basically the
difference between the FMT-SX and the XL is just the size of the eyepiece?" My staff member replied, "Basically."
   "Basically?" "BASICALLY" my butt!!! I could write a dissertation on the differences. My guy was just looking for a short cut and when the customer left I
was prepared to give him one! He had been taught. He CHOSE to water down his lessons.
Kindest Regards,
William J. Cook, Opticalman Chief, USNR-Ret.

Subject: Steiner
From: "Bill Cook" <>
Can someone give me a history lesson on Steiner? I've got some brochures but I would like something with a historical flavor and not a sales flavor.
William J. Cook, Opticalman Chief, USNR-Ret. (
The history of Steiner Optik GmbH began in 1947, when founded as a one man company by Karl Steiner. ...within six years the company had 50
employees. Since 1973 the management of the company has been in the hands of his son, Carl Steiner and there are about 120 employees. By the end of
1950 the products manufactured ranged from miniature cameras to binoculars and special objectives. It was then that Karl Steiner decided to concentrate
on manufacturing binoculars..... using only the best materials like the extremely strong fiber reinforced polycarbonate called MakrolonBayreuth optical
manufacturing plant

Subject: cerium oxide
From: "R.F.Bolton" <>
    Well, I had done penance and now have 100grms of cerium oxide from an astronomical mirror kit, supply house.
    What would be the best medium to mix it with? and in what proportions? The only info I have is in an old book on telescope mirror making and 1 plus 3
parts water is is the brew. This is for the final polish, would a 'thinner' mix be more appropriate for cleaning fungus.
    I have had a go at an old element that had fungus on and the main thing I note is that it seems to be harsher than Silvo, With no effort at all I managed
to polish the the fungus and coating right off the surface. There does not appear to be any marks on the lens surface, just a lack of coating now.
    I will obviously have to change my cleaning method if this is a normal result using cerium oxide.
    Is there a definite technique to using this material I am not aware of?
    Any advice most welcome.           Rod Bolton.
    The merit of optical cerium is that the 'grit' is very evenly graded & there should not be a stray particle of dirt to scratch the optic. If it cuts quickly, at a
grit size that leaves a polish on glass, that is another merit. If it cuts quickly on the lenses that you are polishing (a lens 4 mm in diameter polishes much
faster than a 40 mm lens), you have to pay increased attention to the profile of the polisher you are using. I believe the ideal is to use the lens as a mold to
make a pitch lap (assuming the lens is spherical). The process is something like this: put the lens on a dopping stick, cover it with plastic wrap, take a
small blob of softened pitch attached to a tool and press it to the lens surface, let it cool in contact with the lens, and use this pitch to polish the lens. But
first learn more about it from someone else, who has actually done this.
    I agree with earlier replies on these questions -- it is very difficult to re-polish a lens without changing the 'prescription'. When you use a binocular, the
image quality (sharpness, fading to blurry edge; distortion of lines at the edge; -- all the qualities that make up an image) -- this image quality is created by
the profile that was ground into these lenses (and also by the glass type). The tolerances to which this profile was created are extremely small; perhaps a
wavelength of light or one thousandth of a millimeter (tighter tolerances with higher magnification). It is extremely difficult to remove fungal etch from a
lens and maintain the profile of the lens.
    The question is, how much can you change that profile and still have a decent image? Answer: How good was the image to start with? Personally, I am
certain that if you or I were to purchase a new binocular, the very best made, and were to repolish the surfaces of a couple of lenses & a prism, on one
side only, and then compare the two sides --- there would be a noticeable reduction in image quality in the re-polished side. This would be worse in higher
power binoculars, and probably a 3x Galilean would be unchanged (flat prisms are more difficult).
    So then the question is; what does one do with an old binocular that has fungus, etc? Leave it or fix it so it can be used? A fine glass that is unusable
due to hazed optics is not of value (to me). And fungus can 'grow' if conditions are right, so removal might be appropriate (although probably fungus can
be killed & removed without repolishing to remove the etching).
    My personal opinion is that it depends on the instrument. There are a few binoculars, such as the 8 x 60 blc, that are so well made that only a true
professional optician, with years of experience and the proper machines, should be allowed to polish the lenses. Also, any quality optic with an aspheric
surface should not be repolished by an amateur (and can you be certain there is no asphere?).
    However....There are millions of good usable binoculars out there that could be repolished, and if a mistake is made, so be it. Just be aware that
mistakes are very easily made in this work.
    Those of us who are big on collecting, especially through ebay & other remote auctions, should be aware that there is a long history of repairs to
binoculars, and some have been damaged through repair. If a repairman has repolished the lenses, they could be changed in ways that no general dealer
would know. You just have to accept the losses with the gains when you collect. --Peter

Binocular List #124: 14 August 2000.

Subject: Polishing Optics
From: Cory Suddarth <>
   I've had great luck polishing out both scratches and fungus. Though, I do encounter scratches most often. By scratches, I mean the fine abbrations
caused by too many shirt tail cleanings, and usually on the eyelens. Frost this lens up and do what you will, it will always have that noticable annoying
foggy, smokie, haze. All but the deepest scratches or pits are removed by making a pitch lap to the lens, using cerium oxide and a little patience.
   Bob Mathews of Mathews Optical - Polsboro WA, showed Bill Cook and I to first coat the lens with WD-40, then a layer of aluminum foil pressed and
smoothed on the lens surface to be polished. Then press the covered surface down into pitch that is at the right temperature. Let the works cool with a bit
of pressure, peel off the foil, and you're ready to polish.
   Next question? "So what about the surface Rx"? "Won't you change it?" Well, you just made a lap from the surface right? Except for the radius
differential caused by one layer of foil, you got yourself a match. Watch the polishing pattern. Is it getting glossy in the center first? If so, you are flattening
the curve, work more off the out side surface. Or vice-versa. Do I think the surface I just polished is dead on to perfect factory specs? No. But I just took a
worthless bino with very hazy images and made it (the image) look like new. It is for sure the single most "Wow factor" that I've ever done to an other wise
trash glass. I'm sure if I repolished the 10 (minimum) or more curved surfaces in a binocular the Rx (error) differences could accumulate and be noticed,
but one or two lenses? You'd really have to work to screw that up. Maybe it's like washing your 10 inch mirror with a garden hose, it works very well for me.
   Prisms? Now you're talking flat! You might concider sending those out. If you've ever seen this done in a professional optics lab, you'll reconcider the
undertaking. Though it's not impossible, it'll make lens polishing seem like play time. Aspherics? Don't even go there!
Since mid February, my evenings and weekends are spent doing Suddarth Optical Repair. My work comes mostly word of mouth and some Deutsche
Optik referals. A local birding store throws me a few jobs now and then too. Besides the optical polishing work, I also reskin binos that are in need.
Anyway, My shingle is out for biz. I'm sure by now I've personally repaired in the tens of thousands of binoculars and scopes. So many old Zeiss,
Hensoldts, Leitz, Wollensak, Wetzlar, S&S, Bell & Howell, Sard's, B&L's, Hertel & Reuss, Unitron, Questar's, QM Spyglasses, 10X80 Flakfernrohr's, Toko
20x, Zephyrs, Barr & Stroud, Feldstechers, Westinghouse, Tamayas, Fujinon, Sigmas, Nikons, Swifts, and all those countless Japanese names that blur
together. Too bad I haven't actually kept a list of all the various names and models over the years.
Cory Suddarth Servicing Optical Instruments since 1975 831.443.8778

Subject: Polishing optics
From: "Robert B. Ariail" <>
    As an alternate to cerium oxide for fungus removal may I suggest jeweler's rouge. This was the 'old fashioned way' of polishing out an optical surface
before cerium oxide was generally available and became the 'rage' due to its extremely fast 'cutting' ability which decreased the time needed with rouge by
more that 50%. In the case of mirror making the fast action of cerium oxide was not a problem because the mirror maker was controlling the figure being
generated by constant critical testing.
      It would appear to me that the slow action of the rouge would be very 'forgiving' as to altering the optical configurations of the lenses or optical
elements being cleansed of fungus. While the process may take considerably more time the net change of figure should be considerably less. This would
be a small price to pay to properly restore a rare and valuable binocular.
      I completely agree with Peter that any polishing action regardless of how small will alter the figure from the original. The only means of preventing
this would be through the work of an expert lens maker knowing full well the original design figure from the start and the techniques of retaining it
throughout any polishing process.
      The process is clearly described in the old but now republished and updated Amateur Telescope Making series. In volume I the technique of making
the lap and mixing the rouge are discribed clearly for larger optical components. There are also extensive sections for eyepiece design and testing as well
as an introduction to small lenses including the process, tools and techniques for making them.
      While all of this may seem to relate very little to modern or antique binocular optics, anyone taking the time and effort to study such material would
surely end up with a much better perspective and technique for handling the type of polishing job necessary to properly eliminate fungus with minimal
residual damage to the optic involved.        Bob Ariail

Subject: World War 1 period U.S. binoculars
From: SCSambrook@___m
    Crown binoculars seem to have been prominent in British attempts to acquire sufficient supplies, and some support was probably provided by the British
authorities in building up the capabilities of Crown Optical. Optical glass is one area where the firm must have been dependent on sources outside the
    What appears to have made the British enthusiastic for Crown was the belief of the Ministry of Munitions that Bausch & Lomb were not giving value for
money. The notion of pro-German B&L sympathies is not shown in the Ministry's surviving files, but there are most certainly disparaging remarks -
'instruments of inferior quality ... at exorbitant prices' is one of the nicer references ! It's clear that the Ministry of Munitions was seeking to end what it saw
as B&L's U.S. binocular monopoly.
    B&L were charging the British $56.90 for the Prism Stereo 6x 30 in 1915, as opposed to the original Crown contract price of $32.50 for their equivalent.
Does anyone know at what price B&L retailed their glass at this time? At roughly $5 to the £, the B&L price certainly looks high - English made service 6x
30s were costing the government about £6 ($30 equivalent) throughout most of the war.
    And I'm sorry to hear that Bill Cook's staff don't always chose to benefit from the Boss's wisdom ... but it does make me feel a little better ! Thanks, Bill.
Cheers, Stephen.
Those prices are roughly equal to what B & L charged here in the U.S. You can find comparable prices for B & L models sold in the U.S. at:
....or in Excel

Subject: Keuffel & Esser
Has anyone knowledge regarding the precision instrument firm of Keuffel &Esser of NYC, NY. ? I 'm mainly interested in their binocular production. I've a
Gallilean Field Glas 6x40 with adjustable bridge , cental focus, sunshades, very wide eyepieces, quick draw feature. I was told it was for coastal
observation but any glass could be if one is on the coast. These are first class quality. Precision, non coated, easy to hold 3 1/2 degrees of field about, no
model #'s just Extra Power 6x and Co. Name on eyepieces. Tks Ed
PS I do believe that the people at Steiner told me Karl Steiner had worked for CZ before starting his firm after the WWII.
K & E show binoculars in many of their catalogs, both Galilean & 'twin telescopes' with lens erecting systems. They certainly had the ability to fabricate
them, but they were modeled after European binoculars if K & E did make them, and it seems likely that they were imported. --Peter

Subject: Unusual markings
From: "David Hoyt" <>
I wonder if you could help me on a a pair of zeiss 8x30 glasses..on the left cover is B.C. Nr 7 Sr.2589. they must have been civilian pressed into service
as the case lid has filters and the case is waffenampt marked. right cover says carl zeiss jena 8x30 8o.5 reticle in right lens. beautiful glasses.

Binocular List #125: 18 August 2000

Subject: Reprint
From: CARSLS@___m
Should you be interested, I am furnishing photo quality copies of an original 8 page reprint article from "Popular Science" magazine entitled, "How
binoculars were made at Universal Camera Corporation. The illustrations in this article show the optical system of a binocular; how lenses and prisms were
ground, polished and coated in Universal's Optical Shop; and how the binoculars were finally assembled and inspected at the plant. There are a total of 18
photographs showing each of these steps. The original pages were approximately 6 1/2" x 9 1/2" in size - I have reprinted each page at its original size on
8 1/2" x 11" semi-gloss photo paper. Each page has been retouched so there are no tears, blemishes or yellowing, as was evident on the original. I would
provide such a copy at a cost of $22.00 postpaid to anyone who might be interested. Please email Cynthia Repinski at: carsls@___m
From: Peter Abrahams
I received my copy of the reprint. It is very well done. There are clear photos of prism & lens grinding. In the article, it is noted that the Vinylite covering is
wrapped & a seam is fused with a soldering iron -- a good tip. A coating chamber is shown; and described as experimental. Testing is shown, performed
by beautiful women.
The reproduction is certainly superior to the original. The paper is high quality, and the images have been enhanced & seem to be superior to most 1940s
era Popular Science printing. Those of you who have bought a quality ink jet printer know that they are inexpensive, but maintenance costs often total
over $1. a page & photographic paper is about $1. a page; so the price is reasonable. --Peter

Subject: Canadian binoculars
From: Peter Abrahams
   The Canadian National Research Council had an Optics Section, and in August 1939 they began planning for war. The U.S. Bureau of Standards
provided plans for the glass factories established during WWI; and B & L and A.O. also assisted. In November 1939, approval for plans & funds for a
factory were obtained. By January 1940, most of the machinery needed had been purchased. In April 1940, samples of most of the needed optical parts
had been made at a temporary plant at the NRC in Ottawa, where workers were being trained. In June, plans for a factory were drawn. On 16 July, 1940,
the Canadian government established Research Enterprises Limited, a 'crown company'. In August, it was decided to place the factory in Leaside in
Toronto, and $600,000 of machinery was ordered. Construction of the factory was started 16 September 1940, and by 5 June 1941, optical glass was in
production. Their first goal was to produce glass and rangefinders of the Barr & Stroud type (and radar equipment). W.E. Phillips, a leading businessman,
was the first president, but REL was government owned and supported. George Sweny was the General Manager. Scientists included Dr. L.E. Howlett,
head of the NRC Optics Section; and Dr. R.J. Montgomery, formerly in charge of optical glass at B & L. REL was further supported by the U.S. Bureau of
Standards and the British Admiralty.
   REL made 6 x 30 and 7 x 50 binoculars. Some components were subcontracted. They were tested by being sprayed with water; being attached to a
cord & dropped; and dropped into a box of sand from 6 feet.
   Other REL products were predictors, tank periscopes, and sighting telescopes. Optical research at the NRC in Ottawa included improvements to aerial
photography lenses. Experiments in night photography were impossible in Britain, and much work was done in Canada.
Canadian Binoculars. Canadian Machinery and Manufacturing News, Nov. 1944, pp65-69.
Canadian Binoculars. British Admiralty Technical Mission, letter of Sept. 5, 1940.
Eggleston, Wilfred. Scientists at War. 1950.
There are some odd markings found on REL binoculars, as noted in these emails:
    C.G.B. 37 MA --- 6X30 ---70094-C on one side and Graticule 5 Mils Apart --- R.E.L./Canada 1945 on the other. The case is also marked with Z.L & T
Ltd. 1943 along with the number 2103. The military stock number is F1-001765 with the description of Binocular, M12 (Canadian) 6X30.
    7X50 REL, carousel filter assembly on top, marked BOP. Was BOP, Bushnell Optical Products?
    From: David Bushnell. As for the BOP binocs..... to my knowledge we never supplied any to the Canadian military, that is before 1972. (When
business was sold) Cheers, David
From the Elcan web site:
ELCAN Optical Technologies (ELCAN) Established in 1952, ...facilities, located in Midland, Ontario and Richardson, Texas, combine to form the largest
and most fully integrated optical manufacturing facilities in North America. With over 800 employees operating within 350,000 square feet of
space....ELCAN received ISO 9001 registration in June 1994. ... ELCAN Optical technologies is a unit of the Raytheon Commercial Electronics segment of
Raytheon Systems Company. 450 Leitz Rd Midland, ON L4R 5B8. Phone: +1 705 528 7177 FAX: +1 705 526 5831 Email: sales@___com Web:
...the design and manufacture of complex, precision opto-mechanical and electro-optical systems and subsystems for the projection display, medical,
industrial, automotive, defense, and entertainment markets.
Midland, Ontario ....over 600 employees operating within a 235,000 square foot modern facility..... developing systems to function in the ultraviolet, visible
and infrared......ELCAN family of Optical Sights, high precision cinematographic lenses, state-of-the-art projection systems light engines and lenses, and
thermal vision systems.
     Product Categories: Finished Optics, Filters & Coatings, Optical Fabrication; Electronic Imaging Components, Equipment, Systems; High Speed
Imaging and Sensing; Optoelectronic Devices and Technologies; Cameras, Camera Systems

Subject: Repair
From: "Roger Davis" <>
Cory Sudarth wrote:
>I'm sure by now I've personally repaired
>in the tens of thousands of binoculars and scopes. So many old Zeiss,
>Hensoldts, Leitz, Wollensak, Wetzlar, S&S, Bell & Howell, Sard's, B&L's,
>Hertel & Reuss, Unitron, Questar's, QM Spyglasses, 10X80 Flakfernrohr's,
>Toko 20x, Zephyrs, Barr & Stroud, Feldstechers, Westinghouse, Tamayas,
>Fujinon, Sigmas, Nikons, Swifts, and all those countless Japanese names
>that blur together. Too bad I haven't actually kept a list of all the
>various names and models over the years.
   Gee whiz Corey, I did! I must have over two hundred various brands in this little book of mine, from Accura to Zeiss. It's a damn sight bigger than my
"little black book" of possible girlfriends!
Where do you get the leatherette for the reskinning? I can't get anything thinner than 0.65 mm here in Melbourne Australia. Roger Davis BATSC
I have bought glove material at larger leather supply stores; it is softer than leather used on binoculars, and might not be thinner than .65 mm. It stretches
& fits odd shaped cylinders. --Peter

Binocular List #126: 30 August 2000

Subject: Japanese 4 x 10
From: "David Hoyt" <>
i am quite curious about the jap 4 x 10 ww2 binoculars with the bifocal exit lens. mine has reticles on both sides as well as bifocal s. others i have
examined have that arrangement on one side. i really can`t see the benefits over just a reticle. how might they have been used?

Subject: Nedinsco Nedelta
Does anyone know when and for how long the Zeiss Nedinsco made Nedelta Binoculars??? 7x50...etc.... regards..

Subject: Bushnell Featherlite
From: Dick <>
   The Bushnell Featherlite 8x40 which had the name and particulars written on the objective cowlings arrived safely today, after a lengthy wait due to
complications with the mail and, perhaps, with the seller. Absolutely nothing written on the prism covers.
   It is indeed an obvious attempt at cheapening the 'legendary' 8x40 Featherlite of which I have an IF model, and Steve has a CF model. There seems to
be lightweight, simplified prism covers, cheaper vinyl covering, cheaper eyecaps, cheaper everything, plus the eyelens is plano on the outside...a usual
downward design simplification.
   Performance wise, its plastic eyecups have to be unscrewed to see the field stops, even without wearing spectacles. That done, it appears to be an
honest, competent lens design. The color is properly designed for all parts of the field, distortion is low, and the exit pupils are round. The original design
used an Efle eyepiece, which was clearly 'overkill' for the modest angle of view. I suspect they have gone to a cheaper eyepiece construction, and have
lost only a millimeter or so of eyerelief. But, they apparently didn't recognize this when designing the plastic eyeguards.
    Hard to tell the age. It came with a beat up Bushnell case with a 'how to use' pamphlet dated 1958. However the binoculars themselves don't look that
old, are scarcely worn. I suspect the case/pamphlet are just something the seller found and put the binos in.         Regards, Dick.

Subject: Keuffel & Esser
From: SCSambrook@___m
Re. Edward Kennedy's enquiry about Keuffel & Esser in #124
  Although I have little direct knowledge of Keuffel & Esser, they were the U.S. agents for Barr & Stroud Ltd of Glasgow, Scotland, certainly up to the
period of the Great War of 1914-1918. Much of Barr & Stroud's archival material survives in the Business Records Centre of Glasgow University, and it
may be that they have records relating to Keuffel & Esser.
  If K & E made binoculars, prismatic or galilean, during the Great War, it is likely that attempts would have been made to buy them for the British forces,
and that enquiries may have been routed through Barr & Stroud. Although I have found no trace of any such correspondence in the London Public Record
Office files, that source is by no means the only one. Indeed, the Glasgow records might be more productive.
The Business Records Centre can be contacted at :
A specific enquiry to them might produce something relevant.

Binocular List #127: 05 September 2000.

Subject: Zeiss B.C. Nr. 7
From: (Seeger)
Dear David,
I want to give a short comment on your note in Peter Abrahams's list No 124:
In my documentation on Zeiss glasses there are 4 glasses with B.C.
markings. The serial numbers and the designations:
2190415 7 x 50 B.C. Nr. 5 Sr. 654              7°
2196120 8 x 30 B.C. Nr. 7 Sr. 1320 8°5
2199211 8 x 30 B.C. Nr. 7 Sr. 4411 8°5
2199579 8 x 30 B.C. Nr. 7 Sr. 4779 8°5
It is apparent that B.C. Nr. 5 refer to 7 x 50, Nr. 7 to 8 x 30. The degrees indicate the viewing angle. These glasses were possibly export models, the
owners of these glasses assume Japan or Sweden - but this is uncertain. This has to be investigated later.
The 7 x 50 belongs to a series of 1000 glasses which were ordered on the 12. December 1941. The Zeiss internal designation tells us: "n. 31 71 11". n =
nach = corresponding to. The number refers to a technical drawing.
The 8 x 30 belong to series of 2000 glasses each which were ordered on the 13. March 1942.
The number 2589 of your B.C. Nr. 7 is not the serial number. Thie serial number could be on the washer between the objective glasses. Please tell me this
number for my (confidential) documentation.
Best regards
yours Hans

>>Zeiss 8x30 glasses..on the left cover is B.C. Nr 7 Sr.2589. they must have been civilian pressed into service as the case lid has filters and the case
is waffenampt marked. right cover says carl zeiss jena 8x30 8o.5 reticle in right lens.<<

Subject: Zeiss serial numbers
From: Jack Kelly, binocs@___m
  As many of the list members know, I have come to the conclusion that sometime in 1907 Zeiss converted from a serial numbering system, where each
binocular model had its own sequence of numbers (“parallel numbering”), to a system where all binocular models produced were amalgamated into a
single serial number sequence (“sequential numbering”) beginning somewhere in the range of 118000 - 120000.
  As a result of my first posting on this subject, a number of members provided additional information and the following is a summary of what we know so
Here are some of the facts and conclusions:
  We have specimens of the early (“Feldstecher”) series of binoculars with serial numbers that overlap between the models. By this I mean that we have a
binocular model (6x15) that was introduced in 1894 carrying serial number 474 and another binocular series (7.5x25) that was introduced in 1896 which
has serial number 45. From the “Summary of Zeiss Binocular Production by Year” which Larry Gubas secured from the Zeiss Archives we know that Zeiss
had manufactured 1476 binoculars by the end of 1895. (see Chart 1 below). From this it seems apparent that early binoculars carried a different sequence
of serial numbers for each model (“parallel numbering”).
  The Telex 6x21 was first introduced to the market in 1907. We have evidence of a Telex with serial number 7333 and another with 7372. We have
evidence of another Telex with serial number 123838. Since Zeiss only produced 17151 binoculars in 1907 it is obvious that 123838 does not represent
the number of Telex binoculars produced. We can assume that Telex number 7333 was produced in 1907 since that was the first year of production for
that glass and that it was produced before 123838. If you subtract 7333 from 123838 you get 116505 and we know Zeiss did not make that many
binoculars in 1907. Finally, the cumulative production of all Zeiss binoculars by the end of 1907 was 124727, so it is reasonable to assume that both 7333
and 123838 were produced in 1907.
  The obvious conclusion form this is that Zeiss began production of the Telex under the old “parallel” numbering system and subsequently changed to a
new system part way through the year.
  If you add up the highest serial number (representing the number of binoculars produced) in my records for each model of the early binoculars they total
118008 which corresponds well with the total cumulative production of 127727 binoculars by the end of 1907. (see chart 2 below)
  By 1907, Zeiss had stopped advertising all but the 8x20 version of the “Feldstecher” series, and that was labeled in their catalog as a Telactal, the “al”
suffix meaning alt or old style. In this same time period, Zeiss introduced an entirely new series of binoculars that incorporate many of the basic design
features we see in modern instruments. These include strap lugs cast integral with the binocular body, integral cast hinges, thin sheet metal prism covers
that wrap over the body and eccentric objective mounting rings for easy collimation.

  According to my catalog copies and Hans Seeger‟s first book, the new 1907 binocular models included: Telex (6x21), Telact (8x24), Silvamar (6x30),
Telefort (12x30), 3x20 Teleplast, 5x20 Teleplast and 10x25 Teleplast. I do not have any 4 digit serial numbers on record except for the Telex and Telact
and a single DF 95 n/a (new version). My lowest 6 digit numbers for these models are 123838 (Telex) and 150159 (Telact) which put the Telex in 1907
and the Telact into 1909.
Based upon my knowledge of Zeiss and their attention to detail, I have concluded that the introduction of the new models coupled with rapidly increasing
production stimulated them to change their numbering system. They then implemented the new numbering sequence by adding up all binoculars
produced up to the time of the new system and began the sequential numbering sequence at that point.

  Some of the questions that remain open, but nevertheless formed a basis for my conclusions include:
  What models were considered as part of binocular production? We know that telescopes, microscopes and the Galan binocular all had their own
sequence. Did the relief fernrohr and monocular series also have their own series of numbers? My guess is no. They were considered part of the
binocular series and thus added into the total when the new starting point was decided upon.
  Were the military models included in the sequence? My guess is yes but as part of the regular serial numbers for civilian models.
  Were the Zeiss Wien, St. Petersburg and London serial numbers in the same series as the Jena production? I think yes they were, and a recent note
from Hans Seeger confirms that conclusion.
  If we apply my assumptions in questions 1-3 to the numbers on the attached charts we get the following:
Feldstecher production 118008
Lowest 6 digit Binocular 123838
Difference               5830
This total seems to confirm quite nicely that the change in numbering took place in mid 1907. We can assume that the serial numbers in my database are
not the highest but we can also reasonably assume that it is unlikely that we would increase the total significantly.

  This leads us to another series of questions:
  Did the production of the early Feldstecher design continue beyond 1907? The evidence from the 1907 catalog indicates they did offer the 8X20 Telactal
(old style). There is, additionally, the lightweight 8x20 model listed in Seeger's first book as being produced in 1908 and his chart also shows the regular
8x20 in production in 1908. If this is the case, we should eventually see 8x20 feldstecher designs with 6 digit numbers, but it is also possible that they were
produced prior to the changeover and sales consisted of old inventory.
  Did the production of the other new models for 1907 commence before the numbering change? If so, we should see Silvamar and Telefort and Teleplast
examples with 4 digit numbers.
  Does anyone have any specimens that fit these two criteria? If so, please email the information directly to my attention at binocs@___m.

Chart 1 Zeiss Production by Year
1894       205         205
1895       1271        1476
1896       2775        4251
1897       4161        8412
1898       5426        13838
1899       7532        21370
1900       9288        30658
1901       9498        40156
1902       8335        48491
1903       9955        58446
1904       13278        71724
1905       17698        89422
1906       18154        107576
1907       17151        124727
1908       22980        147707
1909       34052        181759

Chart 2 Highest Serial Numbers
Model Highest S/N
4X         2916
5X        10504
6X        8337
7.5X      2654
8X        54278
10X       9637
12X         11373
12X monoc 122
5-10X      553
5-10X monoc 133
3X Teleplast ??
5X Teleplast ??
8X Teleplast 307
10X Teleplast 364
Telex 6x21 7372
Telact        4995
df 95 n/a       4463

Total 118008

Subject: Translation.
From: Peter Abrahams
Hans Seeger, Militaerische Fernglaeser und Fernrohre. (Hamburg: Seeger, 1996) is the most informative book on binoculars. In the U.S., it is available
from Deutsche Optik for $120. The text is German, and the captions to the illustrations along with chapters 3 and 7 are in English. I hired a German
friend to translate some of the chapters, which I then edited into a final text. My translator recently became a grandmother, and no further work is
Seeger retains all publication rights to his books, and does not want a translated version to be published without extensive editing and corrections. I asked
him about the possibility of sharing the work that I had completed, and I am grateful that he has given permission for me to post it on my web site. The
following sub-chapters can be found in the 'Binoculars -- Translations' section of my web page:
2, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3; pages 31-39
2.3.4 - I, pages 83-101
2.3.4 - II, IIIa, IV, pages 102 - 110, 115 - 119
2.5, pages 179-182
2.6, pages 185-200
4, pages 281 - 299, 311 - 321.
4.3. 4.3.1, 4.3.3; pages 323-336, 345.

Binocular List #128: 15 Sept. 2000. Voigtlaender

Subject: Voightlaender
From: Peter Abrahams
Voigtlaender produced such innovations as the first modern style hand held Galilean binocular circa 1823; a turret ocular with 15x and 25x magnification
circa 1917; an iris diaphragm accessory of 1905; and the objective cell with eccentric rings for lateral adjustment circa 1905.
Two questions:
They patented the hand held Galilean binocular in 1823, but that optical design had been made since Lipperhey. What detail of the binocular was covered
by the 1823 patent?
Who was Professor Pohl? (see below)
Voigtlaender: no date, Price list of Field Glasses & Telescopes, V. & Sohn, A.G. (16 pages).
"The application of Binocular Principle to field glasses and telescopes was patented by us in the year 1823.....the firm then made Galilean field glasses with
single eyepiece lenses and two fold cemented object glasses. In 1841 we constructed Binocular glasses consisting of three fold Achromatic object glasses
and also three fold achromatic eye piece lenses. They were found far superior to the old pattern as regards size and flatness of field of view, definition, and
greater perfection of the Achromatism.
In the year 1869 we constructed a telescope with Porro reversing prisms after the design of Professor Pohl in Vienna.....We have recently brought out most
efficient and portable prismatic field glasses.
....we now construct larger telescopes up to 4 inches aperture.......the object glasses are two or three fold, cemented or uncemented.
....the prisms of colorless Boro Silicate Jena glass."
Seeger, Feldstecher:
In 1823, Friedrich Voigtlander received a license in Vienna for the production of his 'Doppel Theater perspective'. Fig. 1 shows one of the few remaining
glasses of this first series. Shortly thereafter, 7 different models were in production by Voigtlander.
Fig. 1. Ca. 5 x 48 F. Voigtlander, Vienna, 1823. Galilean principle, brass, gilded, ivory. From the first series of the first mass produced binocular.
Focusing by sliding tubes, no interocular adjustment.
Fig. 5. Ca. 5 x 55 Voigtlander and Son, about 1860. A so-called Krimstecher, or Lotsenglas.
(1897 Zeiss 5 or 10 x 24.) About twenty years later, Voigtlander, Braunschweig, constructed a prism field glass with an ocular revolver. The specifications of
this 35 cm. long model were 15 and 25 times magnification, and FOV of 56.5 or 75 meters. (Optical Museum Oberkochen.)
Figure 52, „Teleater‟, Zeiss. Also shown is a Voigtlander opera glass different only in small details. 3 x 13.5 Perkeo, Voightlander, Braunschweig, ca. 1930.
Two theater prism glasses in gilded jewelry execution. Mother of pearl, or alligator leather.
The „iris-blind‟ appears in the 1905 Voigtlander catalog as a novelty accessory that is “stuck onto the objective of binoculars and fastened with the help of a
clip ring.” In their brochure is the reason for their product, and similar considerations were made at Aitchison.
It is probable that the eccentric adjustment developed from a patented device offered by Voigtlander, Braunschweig, from 1905. From the contemporary
brochure, eccentric rings “to facilitate the range finding and mounting of external sighting telescopes. The device consists of two eccentric, thin steel split
rings with thickened rims, they serve mainly for side adjustment of a sighting telescope.”
Kingslake, Rudolf. A History of the Photographic Lens. Boston: Academic, 1989.
Johann Christof Voigtlaender, 1732-1797. Born in Blankenburg in the Harz Mountains, 1756 founded a mechanical instrument making company. Three
sons joined the firm, Wilhelm (1768-1828), Siegmund (1770-1822), and Johann Friedrich (1779-1859). J.F. continued the business after death of his father,
learned optician's skills in England, returned to Vienna in 1808, probably introduced Wollaston's meniscus spectacles in Germany & Austria. Simon Ploessl
was an apprentice of J.F., and left to start his own firm in 1823. J.F. retired in 1837, his son Peter Wilhelm Friedrich Voigtlaender (1812-1878) took over
business. 1840, made portrait lenses for Petzval; they parted in an unfriendly manner. A second Petzval design of 1840 for a landscape lens had been
provided to Voigtlaender but not produced, it was made by Dietzler in 1856 as the Photographic Dialyte & copied by Voigtlaender as the Orthoskop. 1849,
built factory in Braunschweig; 1866, closed Vienna factory. By 1860, he was making Petzval portrait lenses up to 6 inches diameter; and by 1862, about
60,000 Petzval lenses had been made. 1866, made a nobleman, allowed him to use 'von Voigtlaender'. 1876, retired, company managed by Friedrich Ritter
von Voigtlaender, 1846-1924. Friedrich designed many lenses; with half brother Hans Zinke-Sommer in 1870 designed an f2.37 portrait lens; in 1878 made
a totally cemented lens; 1888 the Euryskop. Collinear lens, 1892, designed by David Kaempfer & Hugo Scheffler.
1898, company became Voigtlaender AG, Friedrich became Chairman of the Board, and his 5 daughters were owners. 1965, bought by Zeiss-Ikon.
   Reference to H. Harting, Zuer Geschichte der Familie Voigtlaender, C.Z. fuer Optik und Mechanik, 1924-5; and to Eder, History of Photography, Dover,
WWII code mark: d d x

Binocular List #129: 21 September 2000

Subject: Bausch & Lomb archives
From: Peter Abrahams
Thanks to Stephen Sambrook for alerting us to the B & L archives. Ms. Mazucci was correct that it takes some relentless probing to learn of the archives; as
I made many phone calls to B & L with exactly this question, in about 1996, and was totally unsuccessful. If any list members obtain information from them,
please share it:
    19 Sep 2000 From:
   Since 1993, there have continually been archive interns at Bausch & Lomb, however most of us worked around 8 hours per week. I have been working
here (alone, 20-30 hours per week) since mid-August, so I am fairly new to this particular field and cataloging system.
   Unfortunately, it takes a relentless, seeking man such as Mr. Sambrook to actually find out that we have this department. I have been working at getting a
link on our website to my email address - anything to let people know that our services are available and free.
   I would be more than happy to do research for you, but I would prefer it if you were specific with each inquiry. I receive about 10-15 inquiries per week, so
it may take some time. I welcome a relationship, such as the type I have with Mr. Sambrook, where I slowly and continually work on your requests along with
my other ones. For example, there are times when I am researching something so far from the WWI industry, such as a colorimeter c. 1960s, and I
inadvertently find an article relevant to his dissertation. I collect information as it comes, and send it off to him. Does this sound reasonable?
   Regarding the letters of support: any and all are welcome, although it may not do much. The budget has already been cut, and I doubt B&L would go back
on it. I am trying to work as hard as possible to get the archive in good shape before the sesquecentennial anniversary of the company (in 2003). Perhaps
sometime in the future you could write a letter of support - when the company can realize the potential monetary gain.
   The librarians were correct in explaining that much of B&L's historical information has been dispersed to various locations. After selling our sunglass
division, for example, the historical information was the center of a tug-of-war between the two companies. Most of it is currently to my right, stuffed in boxes,
and awaiting cataloging. So we are definitely incomplete, but we may be resourceful. I look forward to your requests and support!
Sincerely, Liz Mazucci

Subject: Voigtlaender
From: operaglassman <>
Please find hereby a photo of a Voightlaender early binocular, 'found'
in Praghue, having the inscription on the top-bridge : Friedrich Voightlaender PATENT in Wien 1823. The number on the lower bridge is 1061(probably the
number of the operaglass being produced), and being a single-draw, in my opinion, earlier than the Seeger-one.
With kind regards, Jean-Marie Devriendt alias operaglassman
---------- 57 kb
As noted in the last list, these 'opera glasses' are the earliest modern style, hand held, Galilean binocular, patent 1823. They were not the first Galilean
binocular, and I would like to learn what feature was patented by Voigtlaender. --Peter

Subject: Voigtlaender
From: SCSambrook@___m
   I don't know a lot about Voigtlaender, although I have a ddx. 6x 30 which is very good, and several of their cameras, which are also very good. Here's a bit
more for the records ....from James Frederick Chance A History of the Firm of Chance Brothers & Co (published privately, London, 1919)
   When the French glass maker Georges Bontemps was working for the Britsh firm of Chance Brothers in the late 1840s and early 1850s, he undertook a
European sales tour to 'drum up' business for the glass which Chance's were making with his assistance. In 1850, he travelled 3,700 miles, and visited just
about all the major telescope and lens makers, with the exception of Voigtlaender, which somehow he managed to miss. Returning in 1852, Bontemps
'obtained a large order from Voigtlaender'.
   Although there are no further references to Voigtlaender until 1888, it seems that Voigtlaender was an established customer, as in that year '...came a
letter from Voigtlaender. Expressing great regret at the interference with his firm's long connexion with Spon Lane [Chance's Birmingham address] he said
that the essential advantages of the new baryta flint glasses, both light and dense, rendered their adoption obligatory, and further stated that the
Government's pressure limited his use even of Chance Brothers & Co.'s hard crown "the superiority of which we have always highly acknowledged".'
   Voitlaender wrote 'further letters' to Chance on the subject, but the firm made no attempts to introduce similar glasses at that time, on the grounds that 'it
was not deemed advisable to take up a difficult manufacture of special glasses wanted but in small quantities'. (pp 176,182)
   (This probably tells us more about Chance Bros than about Voigtlaender ...
however, this was not the end of Voigtlaender's dealings with Chance - see
from The Photogram (London, 1896)
'Continental Optical Works. III - Voigtlaender & Sohn' by J. H. Agar Baugh
   The author reports being shown ' a new hand binocular telescope with very large field of view and an arrangement for altering the magnifying power, thus
with object glasses one inch in diameter the magnification ranges from four to sixteen times and the angle of view from 10 degrees to 3 degrees twenty
minutes. ...The hand telescope is short and gave splendid definition and a very bright image, much brighter than older forms. The field is flat and the
achromatism also very perfect, though the price is even lower than many instruments now on the market'
   He was also shown the glass store with glass 'as received in slabs from Jena and Birmingham'. Afterwards he was introduced to Dr Kaempfer, who had
made the calculations for the 'new hand telescopes' then being placed on the market.
   '...their construction involves the principle of telephotographic lenses; a negative lens being placed between the objective and the eyepiece. The latter is
achromatised with as much care as an objective, and consists of four lenses each of which is achromatic'
   In a summary of the firm's history and achievements, the writer refers to 'the new hand telescopes with variable illumination'.
   The works are described as being 'newly built' with all workshops illuminated by 'the firm's own electric light plant'. About 100 men were employed, and the
firm paid pensions to its reired workers, scales ranging up from half-pay. (pp 111 - 113)
   Although the article includes some illustrations of the works, there is no picture of these intriguing instruments.
   The Photogram, which seems to have been an annual publication, ran a series of short illustrated reports on 'Continental Optical Works' from 1895 to 1898,
including Steinheil, Zeiss and the Schott glassworks.
  I believe these are all held in the library of The National Museum of Photography, Film and Television at Bradford, West Yorkshire, England. Not a lot
there, but some of it is most intriguing. The snippet about government pressure on German makers to use only German glass is revealing, particularly when
considered along with contemporary protective import tariffs ...
  And I thought the Zeiss tele-objectives of the 1950s were something new
Best wishes Stephen

Subject: Of Origin Unknown
From: gene harryman <>
   I have two inquiries. First, I have obtained an old pair of 6x30 binoculars labeled "Preisler/Malmo" and I would appreciate any information anyone in the
group could provide on the maker. They don't appear to be particularly good, but curiosity rules. I would induce, given the name and the fact that they
appear to be pre-war (funnel shaped bakelite eyecups, VERY heavy metal body, and occulars mounted in a brass cylinder), that they were made in Malmo,
Sweden and imported into either Britain or North America, since the logos are in English.
   Secondly, I have also gotten a pair of Nippon Kogaku 7x50, made in Occupied Japan. They appear to be different from most of the ones I have seen in
that the lenses, while absolutely unscathed, are not coated. I would appreciate opinions on the wisdom (not financial sense) of having the lenses and prisms
coated, and any dangers involved in doing so. If this is a stupid question, please let me know.
Thanks & Beat Regards, Gene
I have nothing on Preisler or Malmo, but I'd like to hear more.
Coating is somewhat risky, cracking or slumping of glass is always possible in the heating process, though I'd doubt it in this case. It's unlikely these are
'worth' the expense, you're talking about a lot of parts. Peter

Subject: Sunagor 20-120 x 70mm zoom binoculars; review from on line
From: Peter Abrahams
Back in list 95, I mentioned that these were for sale on ebay, and now a UK dealer has them. A user reviewed them on 'sci.astro.amateur' newsgroup:
   The binocular is a 70mm zoom with a zoom range from 20x~120x. The cost is $480 (maybe more today) shipped from the UK. This includes a soft case,
tripod adapter, all lens caps and shoulder strap....They use BK7 prisms....While they are quite satisfactory for daylight viewing, they left something to be
desired for astronomy.....High power (over 80x) is next to useless for astronomy applications...too dim, poor contrast, too shaky........ the tripod adapter
supplied with the binocular was far too wimpy. It acted almost like a spring, allowing the binocular to vibrate. Difficult viewing at anything over 60 or 70x.
"fully coated, 1.4 kg, believed to be the world's most powerful....."

Binocular List #130: 23 Sept. 2000.

Subject: Field Glasses in Ghost Stories:
From: SCSambrook@___m
  Anyone interested in both of the above might be entertained by reading M. R. James' short story 'A View from a Hill'.
  There are several collections of Montague James' stories in print, but not all include this particular treasure. It can be found in 'The Ghost Stories of M.R.
James' selected by Michael Cox (Tiger Books, London, 1991) ISBN 1- 85501-141-7; and 'Collected Ghost Stories' by M.R. James (Wordsworth Classics,
London, 1992) ISBN 1-85326-053-3. Other editions may be available in the USA, but be aware that the Penguin collection does not include this particular
  Collecting Galileans will never be the same again after you've read this story ! Stephen

Subject: Voigtlaender, Richter, aspheres
From: SCSambrook@___m
1. I see from Rudolf Kingslake's ' A History of the Photographic Lens' that Robert Richter, latterly with Zeiss, worked as an optical designer at Voigtlaender
from 1914 to 1923. Richter was apparently a man of considerable ability, moving on to Goerz from Voigtlaender, and being the only Goerz optical designer
retained by Zeiss after their take-over of Goerz in 1926.
2. Aspherical lenses in binoculars: Kinglake's piece on Robert Richter in 'A History of the Photographic Lens' tells us that he designed the aspheric
eyepiece of the Zeiss Deltar binocular. If I knew the Deltar had an aspheric eyepiece, I confess that I had forgotten until i read this entry again.
   This prompts several questions. Was the aspheric surface the 'neat trick' that made the extreme angle of view possible ? Presumably, the difficulty and
cost of making one or more aspheric surfaces must have been thought justified by Zeiss. Or, did the aspheric rather allow a significant increase in image
quality over the field ? Never having had the chance to look through a Deltar, I just don't know how good it actually is.
   Was the Deltar's aspheric component, or components, unique ? Did Zeiss use aspheric surfaces in other contemporary instruments ?
   I don't know of any photographic lenses in this period that used aspherics, and I can't ever recall hearing of similar measures in binoculars - until very
recent years, that is. The earliest camera lens I know of that allegedly included an aspheric surface was the 90mm Kilfitt Macro-Kilar of the late 50s or early
   It seems that neither Zeiss nor Kilfitt may have thought it worthwhile mentioning this technical 'tour de force'. The only reason that the Kilfitt aspheric
became public knowledge was because a London firm of Optical Repairers - Jason Adams - announced that they were unable to repolish it because of its
aspheric surface.
   Perhaps the aspheric was a trade secret that the makers wanted to preserve... I wonder.            -- Stephen
  I believe that aspheres in eyepieces are used to correct edge of the field aberrations, which are a result of attempts at wide field, but the wide field itself is
not provided by the asphere. The 8 x 40 Deltar, introduced 1937, have a field of 198m/1000m, 11.2 degrees true field, a 90 degree eyepiece, which is
indeed very wide field. They are sharp enough mid field, but get fuzzy half way to the edge (presumably astigmatism from the eyepiece). I find them to be a
poor performer. (Almost any binocular can be very wide field if you just remove the field stop.)
  Aspheres have been made since the 1600s. For a lot more on this subject than is relevant here, see my essay on the history of fabrication of aspheres:
I don't have data on the first use of aspheres in binoculars (but would certainly like to know). I don't believe they were as scarce, or as late an arrival, as one
would think. The 1937 Deltar, and the immediately post war 8 x 30 Deltrintem, used aspheres. I believe that aspheres were used in photographic equipment
& elsewhere well before the 1950s. --Peter

Subject: Repolishing
From: SCSambrook@___m
  I'm not an optical technician, and don't have anything of practical value to contribute on this subject, but I do have some memories and observations on
the possibilities of saving damaged instruments by re-polishing.
  When the Jason Adams company were working in the mid-1960s, they re-polished and recoated a Leitz 85mm F1.5 Summarex belonging to my brother.
We were both Leica zealots, and he had bought this lens from a professional motor sport photographer who had not really taken care of it. The front element
was 'sand-papered' and had some pits in it for good measure. It was a mess, to say the least, and the results were really poor.
  With a refund not forthcoming ( wha' d'ya expect, Mate? I do motor sports, I'm not a blankety-blank portrait man !) it was either the rubbish bin, or Jason
  When it came back - cost about £20 or $55 at the time - it honestly looked like new. Well, the glass did, which was what it had gone away for. We were
both a little nonplussed by its appearance, as we reckoned that polishing out the chips must have materially altered the thickness of the front element. And
we knew enough to know that that was a Bad Thing.
  After a little bit of recrimination about 'more good money after bad' my brother decided to expend a little more cash, and shot off a roll of Panatomic X
(remember that?) and developed it. More head scratching ... it was now as good as it had been bad previously. More expense, a roll of Kodachrome this
time, bought by yours truly. Wait a week for the trannies, put them in the Pradovit N (like I said, we were Leica zealots) and project onto the 48-inch screen.
Teeth grinding, this time. Why was it better than my new 90mm Tele Elmarit? The results were truly that good. In fact, if anyone cares to visit, I can still show
them the trannies I took with it. (I never took any more, 'cos my miserable brother wouldn't lend me it afterwards !)
  Two points here, I suppose.
  One: if it ain't broke, don't fix it - but if it's really busted you have little to lose, so why not try?
  Two: Jason Adams ( there really was a Mr Adams) knew something we didn't about re-polishing. He must have known how to compensate for whatever
extreme things he was doing to one surface. Perhaps 're-working' is more appropriate than 're-polishing'.
Several years after the Summarex saga, by which time I was working in the photo-retail trade, I saw a similar miracle worked on a Zeiss 35mm Biogon for a
Contax. That lens has a protruding rear element, which is completely unguarded, and a customer brought one in with a really deep gouge. You could put
your thumb nail in it, it was like a furrow. At that time, the old Kershaw Optical works in Leeds was still open, if only just, and one of their remaining optical
staff used to call in our shop regularly. We showed him the Biogon, saying ' Pity, what a shame, lovely lens ruined etc.' He pulled a face and said 'do you
want me to fix it?' and took it away with him. A few days alter he brought it back with the element looking like new, and re-coated. When silly-me asked if it
would still produce sharp negatives he gave me a withering look and told me that of course he knew how to do these things, and I should ask the customer
after he'd used it. Oh yes, and that was £10 please for doing it.
  If I'd had a brain, I'd have asked just what he'd had to do. But I didn't, and I expect he's long dead by now.
  I was a little more tactful when the lens' owner came back later and asked how we'd fixed it without affecting the performance ... or at least I hope I was!
  Optical work is science, not magic. Is this a skill that's dropped from sight because there's no longer any commercial outlet for it ? Thirty of forty years ago,
there was no collectors' market, no people who would buy up some battered useless lens simply because it was uncommon, or just missing from their
collection. A scratched Summarex then was almnost worthless, unlike today. People who had a good but damaged lens were prepared to pay to fix it, and I
suppose labour costs were relatively cheap then. But, the point remains, it was possible to get these things done.
  So, optical technicians ! What's the secret ? Can it be recovered ? Is it worth while ? Or is this a skill never needed by those who make up today's optical
repairers, and so never learned ? Cheers Stephen

Subject: Directory of archives & museums
From: SCSambrook@___m
  Might it be an idea to put together a directory of optical archives and museums with optical artefacts ? I can start you off with some British ones, if you wish.
  You might even mention that our Public Record Office Index is available online, although not the files' contents themselves. There IS quite a bit of stuff
relating to military optics. Address is (GB spelling of catalogue there)       --Stephen

Binocular List #131: 04 October 2000

Subject: Hans Hensoldt
From: SCSambrook@___m
  Having seen at least one 'Hans Hensoldt ' binocular on the eBay site, I wonder if any member knows anything of this make.
  The only reference I have is to the ' Hensoldt Reporter ' 35mm coupled rangefinder camera of 1955, a Leica-like rangefinder model made by Industria
Scientifica Ottica of Milan Italy for 'Dr Hans Hensoldt' of Wetzlar.
  The most Hans Hensoldt on eBay was a 7x 42 Henso, which looked a bit like a 'regular' Hensoldt Dialyt. I also have a note of what I think was a Porro-1
type 8x 30 designated Hellso ... my pencil scrawl is illegible, I regret to say.
  Come to that, does anyone know anything Italian binoculars ? I fear I am totally ignorant. About Italian binoculars ...
Cheers Stephen
   I believe the two Hensoldts were related but am not sure.
All I have on these is from Seeger's red book, in rough translation, p51:
In 1959-1960, HH Spezial Optik Wetzlar began producing under the Hellso name. HH was Dr. Hans Hensoldt, not identical with M. Hensoldt and Sons,
Wetzlar, which was mostly owned by the Carl Zeiss Foundation. HH made straight sighting [straight, in-line optical tubes,] field glasses in the Dialyt form.
The best known models are a 9 x 63, and an interesting model where the objective tubes have a bayonet lock and can be changed. The ads read: “A
double-usage field glass, so cleverly constructed that in a flash a 7 x 35 is changed into a 12 x 60 with excellent optical performance...”
   Re: Italian binoculars, some are very well made. We hope to hear from Italian list members with any information on binoculars made in Italy. Meanwhile,
there are two Italian binocular makers that we're aware of: Koristka, and San Giorgio. 'R. Esercito' is found on binoculars & means, 'property of the Royal
Of course, binocular users owe a debt to the Italian, Ignazio Porro. --Peter

Subject: 10 x 80
From: "John S. Platt" <>
  A 10 x 80 blc binocular resides in an MOD airfield here in the UK. The serial number is 167251, the rest of the plate contains the large letters "D.F.", the
Eagle with "M" to the left and "IV/1" to the right.
  They are not in the best of condition but do appear to have the original cradle on them. I can supply pictures if required.
  Best wishes from a clod and wet UK. John Platt (

Subject: Nikon
From: "Dan Weinstock" <>
I just bought a used pair of Nikon 8X30 porros, CF, 8.5 deg. FOV, with serial # 602714. No JB/JE code, silver oval label remains on the axis, but the label
stampings are worn off. Does anyone have a list of dates by #? Any idea as to age of these? When did they stop using the JB/JE codes?
Thanks and regards, -Dan Weinstock Geneva, NY
A list of Nikon binoculars is on my list of projects-to-do. No one I know has anything on their serial numbers. We could really use some help here, if anyone
reading this has any information.
The JB/JE codes were used into the 1980s I believe, but some makers omitted them earlier; and they are often very hard to find or hidden.      --Peter

Binocular List #132: 04 October 2000

Subject: 200mm Zeiss
From: "Kevin Kuhne" <kkuhne@___et>
   Just wanted to let anyone who might be interested know that my e-mail has changed to kkuhne@___et. Be just a while till Im up and running again in the
new house/shop. The 200 m.m. Zeiss is almost finished. After that its on its way to Germany for view. Id like to hear from anyone in the clan who might think
this is the WRONG thing to do. Really like to hear pro's and con's on this subject. After all, this is, (was?) a war prize. It sat in the Smithsonian warehouse for
50 odd years and no one really took the time to rescue it from time and the elements. As a matter of fact only days after I brought it home for restoration a
violent storm hit the exact housing it was stored in. It would have been demolished had it still been sitting in the place it was stored. Now when certain
people know it was being restored, all of a sudden there is a intense interest in it. Pressure has been put upon the Naval Historical Museum because some
Militaria museum in Germany wishes to show it in their "line -up" of historical instruments. I myself think this is wrong! Why should we, the most interested of
all the worlds peoples in such historical instruments, have to travel to Germany to view this item??????? If I had known before hand that Germany would be
its first showplace, I would have never undertaken this project. Please let it be known that I have been, or never will be paid in any way for my time and
efforts, (some 8 years, on and off in my FREE time, and a lot of out of pocket money such as re-coatings, paint, and all the other extras, etc.), for the
restoration of this instrument. I never kept track of the hours involved. Had I done this Im sure Id feel much worse than I do at this point. As a matterof fact
Im the one who must build the shipping crates and be responsible for shipping charges. Please dont misunderstand me, it has been an absolute HONOR, a
PLEASURE and a PRIVILEGE to work on such an instrument. As most of us know there is one of these 20-40X200's being stored in England. Why dont our
German friends try and obtain that one for display? Please let me know your thoughts on this.
With best wishes, Kevin K. Kuhne

From: Peter Abrahams
Among my telescope collector friends, it is common to hear 'let's try to keep this Alvan Clark telescope in the U.S.'.
I have heard from German friends, the feeling that it is a pity that the finest binoculars were made in Germany, but are almost impossible to find in Germany.
It seems to be a common feeling. I'm not sure if this is a good thing, or not. While Alvan Clark was making his telescopes, there were excellent telescopes
made in Germany -- but we never see them in the U.S. The Sard 6 x 42 binocular is a very nice glass; and not too rare in the U.S. -- but is very scarce in
Germany. Wouldn't it be better if the various models could be compared?
However, if some U.S. museum has decided that some foreign museum should assume custodianship of an artifact -- that's another issue. The museum
owns the object, but the museum is owned by the taxpayers (?) Do we want museums run by popular acclaim? Is this something that was traded off for
some favor from the foreign government?
I hope that some list members have some publishable opinions here. --Peter

Subject: Hans Hensoldt
From: Peter Abrahams
I heard from a knowledgeable friend about H. Hensoldt:
Hans was the grandson of Moritz Hensoldt, the founder of Hensoldt & Sons, Wetzlar. Hans was a member of the board in 1928, when Hensoldt sold a
majority interest of the firm to Zeiss. He was active in the political establishment in Germany during the 1930s and the war. After the war, he maintained his
affiliation, and his strong opinions were an embarrassment to Zeiss. They managed to remove him from the board, after which he set up his own company in
Wetzlar, manufacturing Hans Hensoldt binoculars; and selling the Reporter camera, which was reported to be manufactured in Italy. There were quite a
number of binocular models, but most resembled the former Hensoldt models. There were many legal actions as a result of his business procedures and
use of the name. Hans died in the early 1960's and the company continued until circa 1990.

Binocular List #133: 21 October 2000

Subject: U.S. & German museums
From: Lngubas@___m
  Regarding Kevin's work - is it possible to have a picture and a summation of what he has done for an article in the Journal, Zeiss Historica. Also, most of
my readers will not know much about the pedigree and complexity of such an instrument. The story of where it was for so many years is as good as the lost
Zeiss lens collection from the same era.
  Regarding putting it on view in Germany: I would agree that it should be on view in the US first but the Germans are interested caring people and an
exhibition there makes sense at some point but there should be an unveiling here in the US first even if it may be only members of the clan to visit the
instrument in Kevin's workshop. I am making the presumption that this first exhibition will be a for a limited time and that the Naval Historical Museum (which
I have never heard of - it would be interesting to learn more about it as well) will bring it back to where it was lovingly restored. Larry

Subject: U.S. & German museums
From: "Kevin Kuhne" <kkuhne@___et>
  As a matter of fact I have not seen an issue of Zeiss Historica for many years. I am taking photo's of the instrument as it goes back together, a kind of
before and after format. I had planned to write a new text to go along with it, although this will take some time. I have one more 200 m.m. Japanese binocular
to finish and two 180 m.m. binoculars after that. I am on deadlines for all of them. The Zeiss Historica publication would be an excellent choice in which to
place the article I agree.
  I fear that my first post to you regrding my feelings concerning the exihibition of the 200 m.m. Zeiss in Germany came out sounding very rough. I wish to
apologize for this. Those people who know me personally are aware that I tend to speak my mind.
  I have nothing against the German people to to sure. I am of German descent myself. I really have no problem with it being on loan to them for exhibition
but I truly believe that it should be on view here first. I have the feeling that the Naval Historical Museum has absolutely no plans of putting this instrument on
display at the present time, at least they had not informed me of any such plans. And since it would just be sitting in its crate in another wharehouse for
another 50 or so years, being on display in Germany is perhaps not such a bad idea after all. I'm not making a complete turn-around here, I'm just thinking
of what would be in the best interest of the instrument and the people who have an interest in seeing and studying it.
 Very best regards, Kevin.

Subject: Ownership and Custodianship
From: SCSambrook@___m
  It is inevitable, if not always welcome, that highly regarded artefacts made in one country should tend to migrate to other lands, particularly when the other
lands perceive domestically manufactured items as being, in some way, inferior. With a long standing tradition, or perception, of German optics being the
very best it cannot be surprising that so many of the most interesting optical items have left their country of manufacture. The two World Wars of the 20th
century sadly provided what must, in retrospect, be seen as unwelcome opportunities for an 'optical diaspora' of German optical instruments, particularly
military types.
  The ensuing scarcity of German optics in Germany should be seen on two levels. Firstly must be the apparent rarity of what might normally be expected to
be commonplace types, and secondly the absence of more advanced and sophisticated instruments which were made in realtively small numbers. For the
binocular enthusiast the former is likely to be the more important, whilst the more serious student of optical instruments will be principally concerned with the
latter. There is, perhaps, a third category as well. Some military optics which were produced in significant quantities may have been particularly subject to
loss and damage in action, resulting today in particular scarcity which puts them into what is termed 'level 2' above.
  I believe that in all countries there are large numbers of surviving high grade commercial binoculars which are sitting forgotten in countless homes. To the
average person a binocular is nothing special. After all, they are not pretty, have neither precious stones nor metals, and - above all - are not generally seen
as having great commercial value. Few people collect binoculars or even express interest in them. Very rarely do auction houses promote the idea of
binoculars as being collectable; unlike the brass microscope, 'field glasses' lack lustre, literally and metaphorically. The difficulty facing the German (or any
other) binocular enthusiast is not that there is a real dearth of binoculars, but that the the survivors are simply forgotten or ignored.
  Here is a paradox. The only force which will make people check their cellars, lumber rooms, attics or whatever, is the idea of value. But these instruments
largely have no value, as a trawl of the eBay auction site will show. Rarely does anything other than a Zeiss item make a high price, and the highest prices
of all seem to attach to Zeiss items with Third Reich markings. What might be termed 'ordinary' high grade glasses sell at modest prices. So long as there is
no buoyant market, there will be little chance of coaxing survivors out of closets. Yet, any sudden influx of such survivors would tend to drive prices down,
creating a self-extinguishing cycle of supply and demand. Binocular collectors are likely to have to continue searching very hard to find what interests them,
even though the artefacts doubtless still exist in considerable numbers. Our German fellow-enthusiasts are not alone in this.
   In the matter of the truly rare, the sophisticated and the complex, the situation is different. Here there is little possibility of dormant and forgotten survivors
appearing in any quantity, although no doubt odd specimens will continue to surface. It is frustrating for any national to think that the majority of his (or her)
country's really interesting pieces has migrated to other lands, frequently over very wide oceans. But this situation is not confined to optical instruments, and
it is something we have to live with. The important consideration is that these 'significant' items do not disappear into private collections to become,
effectively, just as lost as the lesser items languishing unknown in cupboards. Indeed, it must be better that a rare instrument be housed in a foreign
museum rather than be inaccessible in its own country. Of course, not all collectors hide away their treasures, and by no means all museums display or
announce all of what they have, but in general it can be argued that with the rare and historically important pieces, location is less important than some kind
of accessibility.
   In short, the problem is not that instruments have become dispersed, but that dispersal has tended to be largely outwards from Europe. The USA seems to
have swallowed up a disproportionately large number of 'old world' glasses without having returned any significant quantity of 'new world' manufactures to
facilitate comparative studies of, in particular, military optics. It seems most unlikely that this situation can ever be redressed, and the most that can be asked
by all students and collectors is that knowledge of these immigrants is disseminated as widely as possible. Stephen..

Subject: Kevin Kuhne's Dilemma
From: SCSambrook@___m
  I must begin by saying that I don't know the detailed background to Kevin's Zeiss restoration, beyond being aware of what the instrument actually is and its
historical significance. However, I think that anyone who has put in the amount of work that he has, on an instrument that appears to belong to a national
museum, may be allowed some proprietorial feeings in the matter of its subsequent employment or disposal. If he is less than pleased by the idea of its
being shipped off to Germany straightaway, I think that is understandable.
   Equally understandable though, is the wish of whatever German museum is involved to have it on show. I take no side in this, but the enthusiasm for
getting it 'back home' can easily be imagined. This is one of the rarest of the rare, the ne plus ultra of the binocular world, and if the museum in question
already has an extensive colection of military optical rareties, then it is almost natural for them to want this one, temporarily or permanently. In itself, this
attitude is not unreasonable. Museum curators, if worth their salt, ought to have the completeness and prestige of their collections as paramount in their lives.
   This being duly acknowledged, it still leaves Kevin's question to answer: is letting it go for display in Germany actually wrong ? Do the circumstances of its
original acquisition, subsequent rescue from obscurity and the eventual lavish expenditure of his time and skill on restoring it combine to produce an
overwhelming case for keeping it in the USA? This is not easy to deal with.
   Firstly, there is a growing movement in favour of returning historical artefacts to their original owners, whether they are colonial spoils, private plunder, or
trophies of war. There is a strong sense of natural justice which encourages this philosophy, and which in some cases is re-inforced by what might be termed
'natural logic'. Perhaps the Greek government should have the Elgin Marbles returned to Athens, from whence they were appropriated in the 19th century.
After all, that is the place where they physically belong. Why should they reside over a thousand miles away in a foreign museum ? After all, they are Greek,
and should be in Greece. This only right and proper, they were effectively stolen and should be returned to their rightful home.
   There is a counter argument, of course. Had the Elgin Marbles not been removed from Athens by Lord Elgin, then in all probability they would not now
exist. There was no systematic preservation of Greek heritage by the Greeks until comparatively recently, and the Marbles would almost certainly have been
allowed to deteriorate, or even have been destroyed. As Elgin salved them and the British Museum conserved them, so they should remain in the hands of
their saviours, the British people. In London, they will be seen by far more people than would see them in Athens. The argument in favour of their remaining
in London is powerful in the extreme.
   As the British and Greek goverments are now debating the rights and wrongs of the Elgin Marbles question, so Kevin has the dilemma of the big Zeiss
binocular. Someone in the US forces obviously salvaged it from Germany after the war, and the Smithsonian took care of it (no matter how loosely the word
is used) for years afterwards. In Germany it would have been lost in the chaos of the immediate post-war reconstruction. Without the US forces, it would
altogether have ceased to exist. Kevin, apparently as a labour of love over many years, has now restored it. Without his labours it would still be a collection
of parts in a warehouse, meaningless to almost anyone who might chance to see it. What justice or sense can there be in shipping it off to Germany,
seemingly before anyone in the USA has even had the chance to see it displayed.
   Well, it was a war prize. What one generation regarded as 'trophies of war' - the traditional and honourable prizes of victory - another one now regards as
'loot' or 'pillage', emblematic of glorification of victory, rather than sympathetic to defeat and despoilation. There are those who feel the need to make
gestures of reconciliation, and not always from the noblest of motives. Perhaps someone sees political, career or personal benefit in allowing the big Zeiss
to go 'home' to Germany so quickly. The key word here, though, is 'home'. It came from Germany, it is still German, and to many it will always belong in
Germany. There will be not a few in the USA who think like that, and there will be many, many more in Germany. It is natural that a German museum should
want to show it, and quite predictable that some of those responsible for it in the US should acceed to this desire.
   My sympathies lie entirely with Kevin. I think I would be heartbroken to see the fruits of my labours crated up and shipped overseas so soon after the
project's completion. I would not easily be consoled by arguments as to the ethical correctness of its going back to its homeland and I think I might feel at
least angry and possibly bitter. The lack of sensitivity in those ultimately responsible for the instrument is more than merely reprehensible; it is crass in the
extreme. Yet, sadly, I can find no argument that says it should remain forever in the USA. It ought, one day, to go back home, perhaps not permanently, but
certainly to spend some of its time there. But, to send it immediately away is truly wanting of some very good reason. If it is a tribute to German optical
manufacturing skill, it is no less a tribute to one American's dedication in restoring such an important artefact for no motive other than simply to have it
preserved. Stephen

Subject: U.S. & German museums
From: "Brian Haren" <>
  It's been a long time since I've sent anything to this list. Moving, buying
a house, settling into a new job, etc. sure soaks up all your "free" time...
  The email from Kevin Kuhne is interesting. Before making a judgement it would be useful to know precisely which museum in Germany this binocular may
be heading to. If it's headed to the Zeiss museum in Wetzlar then I think this is an appropriate venue for the instrument. The museum celebrates Zeiss'
technological achievements and this glass certainly is one of Zeiss' best efforts. It would be an important addition to the overall collection. However, if it's
headed to one of the historical museums then I'd tend to agree with Kevin. Regardless, if the binocular is Smithsonian property then technically it's just
loaned to the museum for a specific period of time (or if on permanent loan, can be recalled). Having spent considerable time in the Smithsonian museums
in D.C., I don't think they have an appropriate venue to display this binocular. Is there a museum here in the US that would make a better home?
  The comment about historical German glasses being hard to find in Germany is right on the money. Most went to the US, England or Russia as war
souveniers. The same holds for pre-war Leica and Zeiss cameras; all were valuable barter material because of their excellent reputation. My uncle, an
artillery battery commander in Europe during the war, always remarked about how surprised he was at what a German was willing trade for a few cigarettes.
Go to a German swap meet or flea market and you'll find very little of anything for sale that was made prior to 1944.
  Whatever happens, I salute Kevin for his work in restoring this glass. Brian W. Haren

Subject: green flash
From: "R.F.Bolton" <>
There was some mention of the green flash a while back on the list. I found a reference to it while tracking down some info on dome ports. Might be of interest to list members. Rod.

Binocular List #134: 27 Oct. 2000

Subject: History in Spanish
Florencia Torres Queirel has contributed a history of the binocular in Spanish. I hope this encourages others to provide texts, in other languages or in
English, on binoculars, especially on binoculars made in countries other than the U.S., Germany, and England -- there are many others!
Monografia sobre los binoculares, por Florencia Torres Queirel

Subject: Discussion on museums
From: Lngubas@___m
  A few mild points of information. There is no Zeiss museum in Wetzlar. There isn't even a Hensoldt museum there.
  At the former West German Zeiss location in Oberkochen, there is a modest Zeiss museum which is a part (about 15% of floor space) showing some
historical Zeiss items but they run the whole product line from lenses and cameras to microscopes and geodetic instruments. They are only a half dozen or
so binoculars and no telescopes that I can remember.
  The museum in Jena that was started in the 1920s when Zeiss bought a huge collection of ancient eyeglasses was started on a private basis at that time
but with the war, it was packed up and put into storage and was not put back on view until the 1960s. Their floor space is limited as well since it has been
sharing the building with the Herman Pistor school of optics since that time. However, since 1989 or so, it is no longer the Zeiss Optical Museum. It is called
simply the Optical Museum and it is not the property of Zeiss or Jenoptik. It is the property of the Ernst Abbe Stiftung (Foundation) which is what is left of the
non-business properties that were once held by Carl Zeiss Jena. It is mostly the buildings and property built for Zeiss employees since before 1900 and it
generates a good bit of profit and so the museum is well supported but it is also responsible for the pensions for all of the former employees of VEB Carl
Zeiss Jena and will be paying for that privilege for many years to come. West German Zeiss did not want to take it over and neither did Jenoptik but it is now
very successful with the properties and both seemingly made a big mistake in not taking it.
  Someday, I will write all of this down for posterity if I can find a publisher. Larry Gubas

Subject: Museums
From: Arnold Cohen <ancohen@___t>
Gentlemen, I greatly appreciate receiving your communications. This is my first comment. It is always important to try not to judge through the
retrospectoscope. As was pointed out, war souvenirs like binoculars, even (in better times) captured small arms were proud keepsakes of service in the line
of fire. My father-in-law was a career Air Force Officer and flew P-38s in Europe. His recollection of various motorcycles, even light aircraft, borrowed from
the retreating enemy brings back memories of lost youth, of heroic times lived by men made heroes then or gradually over time with each retelling. The small
items which made it home in duffel bags or bombbays served as concrete proof of past greatness to sometimes skeptical grandchildren, and now
increasingly show up on Ebay after Uncle Charley dies in Arizona and the relatives back in Chicago just arrange an estate sale. Most often these were
obtained in trade or as gifts; picked up abandoned in deserted vehicles or homes, the usual story of "Taken off a dead (you fill in the enemy)" to the contrary
notwithstanding. I had the opportunity to talk in as much length as my French allowed to the owner of a military "surplus" store in St. Marie Eglise in
Normandy. I was struck by the paucity and poor quality of the items available and was told that after the war vast quantities of military surplus were gathered
up and sold to the one country with money-the U.S. This raised desparately needed money for all involved-alot of people ate and kept warm due to this trade.
Not so evil, eh! Those of us who were children in the 50's in New York City remember the Army Navy stores, even local hardware stores filled with that stuff.
No profound technical insights, just wanted to throw in my two cents.       Arnold Cohen, MD

Subject: Naval Historical Museum
From: gene harryman <>
  I read the latest list, and your comment about the Naval Historical Museum. There is a museum at the Navy Yard in D.C.. It is really quite interesting;
however, when I was last there I was not interested in binoculars, so I don't remember if they had any or not. They do have a ton of stuff. Anyway, try ; also,there is a fairly new web site which will let you find just about anything you ever wanted to know that the Government also
knows. Try You can spend hours. Hope this is of some use. I think the Naval Academy also has a museum. I'll try to check for you.
Regards, Gene

Subject: Introduction:
From: Jay LeBlanc <>
I have long been interested in stereo vision, as a child I discovered that two identical road maps viewed with a stereo viewer produce a false but fascinating
sense of depth with red roads apparently closer than black ones, with blue rivers at the greatest apparent depth.
  5 years ago I moved from New England to Sonoita, AZ. I completed an observatory last year and am currently observing DSOs every clear and moonless
  One of my most successful binoculars is nothing more than two Jaeger's 5-in f/5 objectives in front of a Tasco (!) 7x35 wide angle binocular with the 35mm
objectives removed. The resulting instrument is 34x and works far better that I would have guessed from mis-matched optics. I've mounted the 20 pound
binocular at one end of an 8-ft ladder, this beam has a counter weight at the opposite end, and is balanced over a rocker box perched on top of a heavy duty
  I made a novel low power binocular from the 35mm objectives and 32mm oculars. These produce a 4x inverting image, like 2 low power finders mounted
side by side. The novel part of this arrangement is that depth perception is reversed, so you can view the moon apparently hanging in front of tree branches!
Visit my website at: <>

Binocular List #135: 07 November 2000

Subject: Nutting
From: Peter Abrahams
  While looking through 'Outlines of Applied Optics' by P.G. Nutting, 1912, published by Blackiston in Philadelphia, I found a few pages on binoculars. He
begins by noting that because they are used at low magnification, the designer should attempt to provide even illumination across the field, and a wide field
of view, rather than strive for the sharpest definition, which might not increase sharpness, given the low magnification boosting the mediocre acuity of a
user's eyes.
  To minimize eyestrain while focusing, the user should determine whether the eyepieces are negative (focal plane inside the ocular, can not be used as a
magnifier); or positive (focal plane outside the ocular, Kellner for example, most reticles are used with positive oculars). Instruments with negative oculars
should be focused with an inward motion of the focuser; and positive oculars should be focused by racking out. (This is news to me & I am not necessarily
presenting it as fact, though I have heard opinions on minimizing eyestrain by focusing in a certain direction).
  Binoculars with objectives spaced further apart than the eyes are spaced, have the effect of increasing stereo depth perception. More importantly, they
increase penetration through brush or other obstructions, since more field rays can 'get by' the obstruction to reach a widely spaced pair of large objectives,
than can reach the pupil of the eye.
  Nutting's most interesting subject was early prisms. He claimed that the small prisms used in many binoculars, spaced far apart as they commonly were,
acted to reduce the aperture of the objective by stopping the edges of the field. This could be checked by measuring the exit pupil of the binocular.
I attempted this myself on a circa 1900 Zeiss 'Feldstecher 8 Fach', 20 mm objective, which has a 2.5 mm exit pupil, and thus no vignetting. It is not difficult
to measure exit pupil to within a half millimeter, just set the binocular on the edge of a table, pointed to a white wall, and hold a millimeter ruler up to the
eyepiece, measuring the white disc, using a magnifier.
Any additional measurements will be posted to the list. Modern binoculars are also sometimes guilty of this deception. --Peter

Subject: ELCAN binoculars
From: "Steve Harris" <>
  I had the pleasure of visiting with Mr. Klaus Kubetz, Sr. Assembly Manager for the ELCAN plant in Midland, Ontario, Canada. I had sent a pair of civilian
ELCAN's into the factory to have the diopters re-lubed (the redundant o-rings were getting old!) and he was kind enough to call me to tell me about my
binoculars and binocular production at the ELCAN factory in Canada. Since one of Peter's last listserve posts did a fine job of describing ELCAN's beginning
and current production facilities, I will skip to the details.
  Leitz's world renown craftmanship has always been about the craftsmen. Mr. Kubetz started his career at the age of 14, as a precision mechanical
apprentice with E. Lietz in Wetzlar in 1956. He finished his apprenticeship in 1959 and went on to work with various Leitz camera projects in Wetzlar until
1963. At that time he was asked to move to the ELCAN (Ernst Leitz Canada) plant in Canada to lend his expertise to advanced opto-mechanical production.
During the 1970's he served as a the supervisor for various military projects, which included the ELCAN 7X50 binocular. Mr. Kubetz is currently the Senior
Assembly Manager in charge of the ELCAN plant in Midland, Ontario, Canada. He manages 150 different optical products (60% military, 40% civilian) in all
of ELCAN's 7 main assembly areas.
  The contract for the ELCAN 7X50 Canadian Interservice Military binocular was awarded to ELCAN in 1974. Production of the binocular lasted about 2.5 to
3 years. During this time period approximately 7,500 of the black-bodied military version were produced, along with approximately 400 of the gray-bodied
civilian version. The civilian version was largely a failure due to a poor job of the Leitz marketing department in Canada, as well as in the U.S. The binocular
cost the Canadian government about $450 (Canadian) in 1974 and the commercial version could be purchased by ELCAN employees for about the same
amount. Large quantities of spare optical parts, optical servicing tools/equipment, and technical manuals were sold to the Canadian Armed Forces for future
maintenance and repair of the binoculars. The Canadian Army currently maintains "optical repair depots" where the binoculars are still serviced and
maintained along with other more modern ELCAN optics. The ELCAN still serves as the main "workhorse" binocular for the Canadian armed forces.
  ELCAN considered and built several other binocular prototypes other than just the 7X50 version. The U.S. Navy requested a 10X50 prototype binocular
based on the same body as the 7X50. About 10 prototypes of this binocular were built for the U.S. Navy, but no contract was awarded. An 8X50 prototype
was also produced largely to appeal to the commercial marketplace. About 10 of these prototypes were produced. The failure of the 7X50 binocular in
commercial guise ended any hope for expanded production of an 8X50 model.
  Production of military binoculars at the ELCAN factory continues even today. ELCAN is building the binoculars for the U.S. Army's ITAS (Improved Tactical
Weapons System) integrated optical system. Specifications and description of this device are still classified, but there is still some hope for the opto-
mechanical device fan out there. Even with the addition of some very advanced electro-optical meddling, Mr. Kubetz did inform me that the production of this
binocular still involved many "complex opto-mechanical glass assemblies and tubes". Yes, it is reassuring to hear that good ol' optical glass and German
craftsmanship still rule at the Midland ELCAN plant!

Subject: Voigtlaender
From: Lngubas@___m
Regarding Voigtlaender, in 1924 it was purchased from the family by Shearing which was and is a big pharmaceutical firm in Germany until the sale to Zeiss
in the 1950's. The trademark was sold in 1972 and has been bouncing around ever since.       Larry

Subject: 7X50 Zeiss; Starmor
I have two things I like to share at this time...
One: I have bought a 7x50 zeiss with a large german airforce mark.
I have never seen anything like this and would like to hear if anyone has seen anything like this...
The story I got, was that this binocular was dived up outside of copenhagen.
The diver found a german Pilot complete in gear, standing upright at the bottom of the water with this binocular around his neck.
The dog tag was removed and forwarded the german authorities but the diver kept the Binocular. This should have happened sometime in the fifties.
Several snags in is, where was the water so still a body could stand like that...he was skeleted but still.....There is NO serial number I can
see the pics here:

Another thing was the discussion on Zeiss serial numbers some months ago...if they had special serial batches.
I have two starmor telescopes, with very low serial numbers...Now it is possible that Zeiss only used the last three digits of the serial number, but they look to
my eye more like real serial numbers.....serial number 688 and 785.
okay I know...its a biased feeling, but here are the pictures,
The grey one is mounted in something I believe was made by the danish navy..It has a large serial number "2" on top of the mounting. Looks like danish
naval marking. Alas , both are in less than good condition.

Binocular List #136: 14 November 2000

Subject: Voigtlaender
From: Marc James Small <>
>Regarding Voigtlaender, in 1924 it was purchased from the family by
>Shearing which was and is a big pharmaceutical firm in Germany until the
>sale to Zeiss in the 1950's. The trademark was sold in 1972 and has been
>bouncing around ever since.
  Well, upon the death of the last of the direct male Voigtlander line, Friedrich Ritter von Voigtlander, in 1924, the family trust which owned the firm sold their
interest to the Schering drug concern, who wanted to expand their product line into photographic papers and films. This change in ownership caused the
Voigtlander company to develop a split personality, with a number of low-end products to get folks involved in the purchase of films, and a continuation of the
high-end products for which the company was noted. Following World War II, Schering went through a bad spell financially, as did most of the rest of the
World's pharmaceutical concerns (quite different from today's situation!), and sold Voigtlander to the Zeiss Foundation in, I believe, 1954. The Foundation
then merged Voigtlander with Zeiss Ikon to form "Zeiss Ikon Voigtlander" in 1965. In 1974, following cessation of camera production by Zeiss Ikon, a number
of corporate assets were sold to Rollei, including several camera designs and the tooling for their manufacture, and the Voigtlander name and its
Braunschweig plant. When Rollei bankrupted in 1980, the Voigtlander name was lost, though the rest of the former Zeiss Ikon assets were retained.
Interestingly, several members of the Voigtlander family still work for Rollei and there have been several marriages between members of that family and of
the Franke and Heidecke families. I would suspect that an informal arrangement was made between Voigtlander and Franke & Heidecke following the end
of the Second World War, under which Voigtlander concentrated on miniature-format (35mm) photography and Rolleiflex on medium-format, but I have no
documentary evidence to support this. Marc

Subject: Yet another legend of the war years meets the cold hard facts of medical science
From: Arnold Cohen <ancohen@___t>
I read with interest Mike from Denmarks' recent letter. Although I am a gastroenterologist and not a pathologist, I may be able to shed some light on the
submerged Nazi pilot story. It is unlikely that a skeleton would remain intact submerged in relatively shallow water for 10 years. First, one must consider the
initial circumstances of the immersion. While a relatively gentle ditching at sea or a successfull bail out could occur, it would be unlikely that he would jump
or ditch so accoutred. Rather one might expect a body in full gear to be more the result of a less planned and hence, more violent landing. This usually
results in major trauma often with disarticulation of limbs, heads etc. Immersion blast injury usually causes extensive damage to the soft tissues, esp of the
abdomen, rather that skeltal injury. Immersion results in gross swelling of the tissues as water flows to equalize osmolarity. This ruptures cells, disrupting
tissues, initially causing gross swelling (appearance of a typical "floater")and then maceration of the soft tissue and eventual dissolution. This includes the
ligaments holding the bones together. Depth is important, as most depths that a diver will go to have oxygen in solution, supporting aerobic bacterial
breakdown of the tissues in addition the action of anerobes contained in the victims own intestines. Their gas production causes the swelling of the
abdomen seen in war pictures of the dead. At great depths these processes are slowed but not absent (or the deep sea floor would be filled with dead fish
etc.) due to lower temp and oxygen content. The sea is filled with fish that eat meat, so in addition to microbes, the larger fauna will gobble up the victim. In
so doing the larger critters typically carry off bits thus spreading remains around. Water is not still, so the currents, storm induced flows etc. will scatter
remains etc. Unless the pilot were contained in a suit which would hold him together and in turn not rot itself (unlikely with WW2 materials) he wouldn't be
standing up 10 years later!! It does make a great story and doesn't detract from the mystery of the glasses! Arnie

Subject: Library of Congress on-line
From: Peter Abrahams
If you go to:
And search for 'binoculars', you'll find a poster indexed:
"Your binoculars could prevent this Loan your 6 x 30 or 7 x 50 Zeiss or Bausch and Lomb binoculars to your navy : Pack carefully and send to Naval
Observatory, Washington, D.C"
There's a variety of images of this poster, including a 30 megabyte file that would print out very nicely on the finest color inkjet. There's also some other nice
images, which I haven't explored yet.

Subject: Hand made vs. machine made
From: Arnold Cohen <ancohen@___t>
I have often noted not only the high quality but often pleasing quality of the images obtained with old quality binoculars such as Zeiss, Leitz or even post war
Nikons. Glasses at least partially hand ground. I doubt that such manufacturing processes would result in a rigidly, geometrically, optically perfect lens, yet
the functional result is often more pleasing than some newer glasses made with the benefit of the newest technology and hence, perhaps more "perfect". Is
it possible that the old artisans were actually balancing one abberration on another to give this result? or were they really so much better? This is also said
to be true by some photographers who swear by old leicas and claim they give a better picture. Have any of the old lenses been subjected to modern testing
to evaluate this hypothesis? I eagerly await the words of my accomplished and far more knowledgeable group members. Thanks, Arnie
   Binoculars since the first Zeiss prism binoculars of 1894 were made in very large quantities. There could have been artisan supervision of the
manufacturing process, but the 'aberration balancing' practiced by Alvan Clark and other telescope makers could only have been used in very small
production quantities. I don't know the answer to this question, but more details about how the earliest binoculars were made would be of great interest.
   The earliest binoculars were very sharp mid field, and it is possible that they haven't been surpassed in that regard. I find modern eyepieces superior in all
other respects.
   Some old camera lenses are indeed thought superior by some photographers. I am skeptical of most of their opinions, but it is (I believe) true that
uncoated lenses, if polished to the highest degree, have less flare & maintain better contrast than coated lenses.
   I have heard of some informal testing of old binoculars on interferometers & such, but no thorough work that the tester wanted to make public. I certainly
hope someone makes this a project. --Peter

Subject: Kern 8x30
From: Fan Tao <>
  I recently bought one of the Kern 8x30 Swiss military binoculars that are available now on the surplus market. Mine are marked with the date 1978 and
come with a rubber/plastic case and nice eyepiece covers. This particular model has the rubber eyecups seen on the current Swiss Leica 8x30 (a
descendant), but not the rubber body armor. Also, the hinge is different from the Leica. The apparent field of view of the Kern is between 65 and 70 degrees.
The edge sharpness is comparable to a Zeiss Deltrintem, but not as good as a Zeiss Oberkochen 8x30 (circa 1960, with a 2-1-1-2 eyepiece configuration
rather than the more common Erfle design). The nice feature of the Kern 8x30 is that the eyelens is level with the top of the eyepiece (with the eyecup folded
down) so that you can use the full eye relief of about 15mm with glasses. Earlier models, I believe, had metal pushdown eyecups rather the rubber eyecups.
  I also just got an interesting set of Zeiss Jena Deltarems, the model with an amazing 90 degree apparent field of view. This set happens to be coated.
Since the common belief is that Zeiss only coated military models during and before WWII, these probably had their coatings applied later. It appears that all
surfaces are coated, but I have not disassembled this pair. The other interesting thing about these Deltarems is that the serial number is 1667986. If this is
really the original serial number, that would seem to date these binoculars to about 1935. The available literature indicates that the Deltarems were
introduced by Zeiss in 1937. I would appreciate comments from others, especially if these binoculars have passed through your hands.
Fan Tao
That serial number does date from 1935, according to the information I have. Seeger dates the Deltar & Deltarem to 1937. I'm not sure if there was early
production or if the serial number dating is 'flexible'.  --Peter

Subject: Frankford Arsenal Encyclopedia.
From: Peter Abrahams
   Most of those on the list are aware that I continually pester collectors to search for paper (catalogs, manuals, etc.) on binoculars, which is much harder to
find than the binoculars themselves. Once in a while it really pays off, and I just received from Jean-Laurent Pernice, in France, an extremely useful
photocopy: the Frankford Arsenal 'Encyclopedia of Army Ordnance Binoculars'. It was published in Philadelphia, with no date, but after 1944, the last model
discussed is the T8, and some details indicate wartime publication. I took notes on some of the best material:
   Page 1, "future procurement officials should not permit Industrial Service business reasons to add to the number of models in the field. An example of this
was prevented from being perpetuated by the cancellation of plans to procure Binocular M10, a Navy design 7 x 50 Binocular, from Anchor Optical for purely
financial or business reasons in order to save financial investments of the Ordnance Department in the facility. The procurement of Binoculars M9 from
Universal Camera Co. as a commercial design after Ordnance designs were available, may also be considered a mistake....(instead of) giving maintenance
requirements greater consideration, before deciding to add to the multiplicity of models".
   "The standard binocular for issue to all Army Forces prior to World War II was the Field Glass, Type EE. The E and EE Field Glasses are based on a
commercial design of the Bausch and Lomb Company....manufactured by the Bausch and Lomb Company, the Naval Gun Factory, Talbot and Reel
Company, and Crown Optical Company.....The Type E Field Glass is a larger and heavier predecessor of Type EE. Both the metal parts and the optics are
larger and heavier than the Type EE Field Glass, although the optical characteristics, magnification, etc., were the same....Procurement and issue of these
glasses was the responsibility of the U.S. Army Signal Corps until the early part of 1921 when this responsibility was transferred to the Ordnance
Department....when....the following makes and types constituted the majority:"
B & L Type EE; USNGF EE; Talbot Reel E; Crown E; Busch 6x; Krauss 16x; Huet 12x & 16x; Lemaire 6x & 8x; Alpine 7.5x & 8x; Busch Millux 6x; Colmont
8x; Afsa 8x.
   "an extended series of tests of the various types of Field Glasses was made by the Field Artillery at Fort Sill and that another test was carried out by the
Coast Artillery at Fort Monroe."
   "By 1937, practically all the non-standard binoculars had been disposed of by public sale and there remained on hand approximately 100,000 Type
EE....many were reconditioned....Frankford Arsenal in 1941"
   "in 1940 the Ordnance Department was faced with the necessity of adopting a commercial model binocular for which tooling existed....the model selected
was the 6 x 30 commercial Binocular" by B & L, and 18,617 M3 binoculars were bought from B & L, none engraved M3 since B & L changed the name to M8.
Only the addition of a reticle was made to the commercial model; however, parts were not interchangeable between the B & L model & those made
elsewhere, so the B & L model was designated M8.
   Nash-Kelvinator - Ranco Division and Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company were chosen as additional manufacturers; neither had made optics
& these were furnished other companies. The production of these two makers was made of interchangeable parts, according to Ordnance Drawings, and
they were designated M3.
   In the "Optical Elements Code Chart, 9 March 1944, Ordnance Fire Control Sub-Office, Frankford Arsenal", the glass parts were required to be identified by
maker on the rough ground edge of the optics, using a two letter code in black ink or a color code in 2 or 3 dots, as described below: manufacturer; color
code; letter code.
   B & L; blue; B & L. Bell & Howell; red-blue; BEH. Bonschur & Holmes Opt. Co; yellow-black-purple; BHS. Carter & Bray Optical Co.; purple; CBR.
Delaware Association; purple-blue; DLA. Dioptric Instrument Corp; green-red-green; DI. Eastman Kodak; red; EK. J.W. Fecker Optical Co.; white; FX.
Frankford Arsenal; purple-red; FA. C.P. Goerz American Opt. Co.; white-red-green; GCP. Gundlach Manufacturing Co.; white-red; GMC. Ilex Optical
Co.; white-black; IP. International Industries, Inc.; green; IN. F.W. Judge Optical Works; white-yellow; JG. Kollsman Instrument Co.; red-blue-red; KO.
Liberty Optical Co.; white-red-blue; LOC. Mack Optical Co.; purple-green; MOC. May Oil Burner Co.; yellow-purple; MAY. Wm Mogey & Sons Co.; red-
blue-yellow; MWS. Mount Wilson Observatory; red-blue-green; MWL. Murch Electrical Co.; yellow-blue; MHE. National Research, Inc.; white-blue;
NRC. Optical Instrument Corp.; white-red-white; OPC. Optical Research, Inc.; red-green; OPR. Panocular Corporation; red-white-purple; PAN.
Perkin-Elmer Corporation; yellow-white-purple; PEC. Pinkham & Smith; black-purple; PSC. Ritholz & Sons; yellow-white-green; RZS. Robinson-
Houchin Optical Co.; blue-green; RHC. Scientific Specialty Co.; black-blue; SSY. Shuron Optical Co.; red-yellow; SOC. Simpson Optical Manufacturing
Co.; yellow-white-red; SIC. St. Louis Optical Co.; black-green; SAL. Tinsley Laboratories; white-green; TLA. Ultima Optical Co.; blue-white-green; ULA.
John Unertl Co.; yellow; UJ. Univis Lens Co.; red-black; UV. U.S. Instrument Corporation; yellow-blue-yellow; USI. U.S. Optical Supply Co.; yellow-
white-blue; UD. Vard, Inc.; white-purple; VA. W.R. Weaver Co.; yellow-black; WWR. Winters-Jones Co.; yellow-white-black; WJC. Zenith Optical Co.;
black; ZC. Norman Ford Co.; blue-white-blue; NFD. U.S. Management & Eng. Co.; green-white-green; UME.
   Delaware Association, built a plant in Miami, made machinery from scrap & automobile parts, and "within three months after breaking ground, were
shipping acceptable optics".
   "7 x 50 and 6 x 30 Binocular optics do not require edge blackening." Letter coding is recommended on edge-blackened optics, color coding on thin edged
optics; and the color code needs to be applied after lens coating.
   The British Government bought 6 x 30s directly from Universal Camera, designated M6. The M9 was made at Universal, identical to the M6 except with a
left side reticle, instead of the British right side reticle. Threads were not standard and the prism mounting was developed at Universal. Optical parts were
made at Universal.
   Research Enterprises, Ltd., in Canada, made the M12, based on the B & L M3, for British use only.
   In 1943, a review of the M3 was done, in response to many problems encountered under severe military conditions. The Navy had engaged B & L to
review their 7 x 50 for the same reason; and Universal to review the 6 x 30. Universal suggested to the Army that all services should adopt a more rugged &
waterproof model, since conversion would otherwise be impossible. This might have meant yet another model with unique maintenance requirements. The
M13 was made the standard 6 x 30, with parts that were interchangeable between all manufacturers (for the first time).
   The EE binoculars mounted the prisms in a machined, full width slot, with screws through the body that pushed the prisms into alignment. This permitted
collimation without disassembly, but the screw tips placed much stress on the glass prisms. The B & L system of mounting the prisms with triangular wire
wrapped around the prism and adjusted via the slanted shoulders of flat head screws, was deemed inadequate, as these models became out of collimation
in transport. Universal developed a method of staking the prisms by 'chiseling' a peel of metal from the prism shelf; very secure but imposing stress on the
glass that resulted in chipped & cracked prisms. The M13 and later models adopted a cementing procedure, with an undercut shelf that was packed with
   Prisms do not reflect a light beam at an exact right angle, and so they were marked to indicate the deviation of a beam of light; a prism marked '2-6' meant
that in a text fixture, the prism showed a deviation of 6 minutes of arc in the direction of 2 o'clock on a clock dial. The prisms were grouped according to their
numbers & when the binocular was assembled, pairs were matched to compensate for the imprecision.
   In 1943, the Army ordered 50,000 binoculars for the Army Air Force, and for this order the new M14, a waterproofed M3, was adapted to include rubber
eyeguards and Polaroid filters, and designated the M15. Westinghouse began production and in addition a small quantity of M7s with sand cast bodies were
made. In March, 1944, the 6 x 30 was terminated, manufacture of the M15 (Westinghouse) and M16 (Nash-Kelvinator) began, and 15,000 Navy Mark 21
models (Kollsman) were obtained. 16 different optics manufacturers supplied the glass parts for the M15 and M16.
  Anti-reflection coatings were used on most binoculars made during 1944.
  Aluminum was in short supply and a few cast parts were made of zinc alloy, which did not hold paint as well.
  EE field glasses cost an average of $39. per unit.
  The M1 was an 8 x 56, with oculars set at about 80 degrees to the body, made by Keuffel & Esser for use with Height Finder T9E1, which was cancelled
and 'no more than a pilot Binocular M1 was ever made'.
  The M2 was an 8 x 56 by B & L, for searchlight control, issued to the Engineer Corps, and 2,476 were procured at $70.
  311,263 Binocular M3s were procured at an average of $71. each.
  Binocular M4 was cancelled. The T4 was an M3 made with pressed steel instead of die cast aluminum parts, and six were made.
  Binocular T6 was a 6 x 20, 8 degree F.O.V., of magnesium alloy, weighing 8 ounces, mounted in rubber-lined goggle frames, used hands-free, for field
artillery air observers. The T7 was a T6 with 3.5 power magnification. They were both made by Universal Camera, and are noted in Cynthia Repinski's 'The
Univex Story', where the two patents are listed (2,436,574 Feb. 14, 1945; and 2,436,576 Feb. 14, 1945) and the two developers, George Kende and Sten
Johanson, are noted.

Binocular List #137: 20 November 2000

Subject: Deltarem
From: (Seeger)
Dear Fan Tao,
Your Zeiss binocular ser. no. 1667986 belongs to a series of 500 Deltarem which were ordered in June 1935. This series is made of Elektron metal. The
coating has been applied later. For the first D.F. 8 x 40 wide angle see my book "Militärische Ferngläser..." page 213. The statement given there regarding
the introduction of Deltar and Deltarem is not exactly correct; I had no detailled information at that time. Best regards yours Hans

Subject: Luftwaffe binoculars...
   Ref: Luftwaffe marked Binocular dived up??? In reply to the recent message from Arnold Cohen, I must admit that although I do know little of submerged
bodies, I have had some speculation on this issue. Therefore I have forwarded a request for more information about when and where they were found.
I know the waters where they purportedly were found, and I have a hard time understanding where so silent waters should be present...
I have so far received one bit of info: The diver took in fact the dog tag, the bino AND the head of the german soldier with him....
BUT, his old mother were bothered by this head in a big glass container in her sons room, (Small wonder)... which eventually led to the return of the dogtag
and the head to german authorities..
The diver is still alive today, I am told, he is 86 and my questions will be put to him. If anything new comes up, OR no news at all, I will post it here to end
this tread properly.
And one thing I forgot last time ...MY mailaddress:

Subject: Recent additions to the web site
From: Peter Abrahams
--The 'archives' are now up to date:
--The table on US Army binoculars from Frankford Arsenal, 1944 has been entered as plain text and posted to:
--The US Navy schedule of binoculars from 1944, earlier posted as an Excel spreadsheet, has been converted to plain text and posted to:
--The long list of Zeiss models has been converted from Excel to plain text:
--The Hensoldt spreadsheet has been converted to plain text:
--The Leitz spreadsheet converted to plain text:
--The Goerz spreadsheet converted to plain text:
--The B&L spreadsheet converted to plain text:

Binocular List #138: 04 December 2000

Subject: 'Wanted' parts, services, and binoculars
From: rcbibbo <>
I don't think I asked this before. who duplicates prisms? also who duplicates chipped or broken lenses? hope you have a sugestion.
thanks bob bibb
From: "Frederick Schwartzman" <>
I'm searching for an optics house to grind down a pair of objectives from 40 to 33 mms. So far I have not found any. Could you add a "HELP"
column to the Bino List where I and others might ask for such information or where a request could be made for that elusive part such as an
eyecup or prism or the like?       Thanks and regards. Fred
   A couple of list members have asked about use of the list for 'wanted' postings. When I first set up the list, I decided to avoid use of the list for
notices that a certain binocular was 'wanted', thinking that we all wanted the same rare models, and these messages would add to the noise
without being useful. But now I can see that too much email isn't a problem with this list, and if list members want this service, then we'll just
change the policy and allow 'wanted:' postings.
   Regarding edging lenses, I received a suggestion that Joe Appels at TORC in Tucson, AZ, would likely offer this service. If any list members
know of other optical shops that can edge lenses or duplicate prisms & lenses, please let us know. --Peter

Subject: Advice on new binoculars
From: Peter Abrahams
   Since I'm involved in amateur astronomy, I regularly get asked to recommend a binocular for stargazing. I don't know what to recommend,
when the criteria are: 7x50, 8x50,or 10x50 models, that are sold today, center focus, somewhat light weight but rugged & water resistant, with
excellent optics, for under $500.
There's a lot of very good binoculars, and it's impossible to keep up with what's still available.
Can anyone recommend a binocular? Here's some of the discussion on the topic:
   I'll assume that you don't want to carry a really heavy model, there are military design 7x50s that are really excellent but too heavy for my neck
& also individual focus, Fujinon for example. These are by far the best bargains, at 350-450, but heavy & IF.
   If you don't have to wear spectacles; you can limit eye relief -- you pay for long eye relief in cost; and also in eyepieces that are wide diameter,
and if you have narrow interpupillary distance, this can cause problems with fitting your nose in between them. These kind of 'physical
dimensions' problems are a good reason to try before you buy & avoid mail order unless the $$ differences are large.
If you need to wear spectacles to see where you're going to look; this is a reason to get long eyerelief. I wear my specs on a cord, so I can drop
them off. But you can get a binocular with enough eye relief, its just that you pay in huge oculars & price.
   If you don't mind the bulk, a 7x50 will show a lot more in the dark than a 35. But if it's mostly for day use, then you're carrying a lot more glass
than you're using; your pupils will stop it down & you're only using the inner part of the lens. There's also the issue that when your pupils open all
the way up, the image quality declines, as the outer part of your eye lens isn't well corrected. But you're gathering more light, so really that topic
can't be decided; it just makes the situation not black & white (using a large exit pupil gives a less sharp image than using smaller exit pupil --
that's a 'fact of nature' that you have to live with; you'll also get a brighter image)..
   Why individual focus, you'd think that infinity would be the focus? Many astro users prefer CF, as do I, even though you pay a big price in water
tightness & durability. It helps me see what I'm seeing, to tweak focus. You're looking at very dark, very low contrast nebulae -- or trying to pick
out dim stars -- or just checking focus by tweaking it.
   The only advantage of 10x over 7x is that you get a wider apparent field of view with higher powers -- most all 7x50s have the scrimpy 50
degree AFOV; you can get more, but you need huge oculars; and to get all that & long eye relief, you need huger oculars.
   Personal favorite 7x or 8x binocular? Zeiss made outstanding 8x50s in the 1960s. They are not scarce but they are expensive; you'd want to
inspect before you buy; though their warranty shop will work on them.
The Canon image stabilized models are said by some to have the best optics available today, and that's with the stabilization off. But they are far
higher power.
   I've only just barely checked out the finest made today -- Nikon Venturer, two sizes - 8 x 42 & 10x42; the best Zeiss weigh a ton but are
excellent; possibly the Leica 8x50 would be the best optics available & is about $1000. discounted. If there is one model that it thought of as the
best available, I believe it would probably be the best Leicas or the Canon image stablilized -- though I'm not sure there is agreement there. --

Subject: USN Mark 35 Mod I, by Zeiss or National?
From: Peter Abrahams
  Recent email with David Hoyt concerned this issue.
A binocular sold on ebay recently, that was marked on one cover:
US Navy Buships Mark XXXV Mod I. 1943. National Instrument Corp. Houston, Texas.
And on the other cover:      Zeiss 7 x 50.
  Zeiss sold 7 x 50s to the US Navy. James Stoker's list of military binoculars includes one marked 'Zeiss' but made by National. The USN 1944
Schedule of binoculars, found on my web site & in Seeger, notes that the National is of the 'Zeiss Type' (objective barrels that unscrew, not B & L
style with one piece body).
  Why would a binocular be marked Zeiss and also National? Swapped housing covers? --Peter

Binocular List #139: 08 December 2000.

Subject: Optical services.
From: "John W. Briggs" <>
Here are some other options for edging and cutting services. These companies are GREAT resources, and they publish very helpful catalogues:
John W. Briggs University of Chicago Engineering Center, Yerkes Observatory

Subject: Zeiss / National binocular
From: "binocs" <>
With respect to the Zeiss/National issues, it is my understanding that the US Navy contracted with the Texas company to inspect and service the
Zeiss glasses. This would explain the double markings. Jack Kelly

Subject: Burris
From: Fan Tao <>
   Regarding recommended 50mm binoculars suitable for astronomy, the criteria of water resistance and under $500 eliminates many models.
One model I would suggest is the Burris 10x50 Fullfield. It is rated as waterproof and retails for under $300. It has a wide field at 6.5 degrees and
also excellent eye relief at over 20mm. I checked the edge sharpness of the Burris against a Zeiss Victory ($1000) with a comparable AFOV and
it is as good or better. The Burris is only deficient in its color correction and coating effiency. In comparison with models over $500 it is not as
bright and whites are not as pure. Also, I encountered a peculiarity of sealed binoculars when I brought the Burris to the RTMC show this year.
The binoculars had been sitting in a hot car all day and the internal air pressure had built up so much that I couldn't bring them to focus. It took
several hours before I could use them. None of the other (unsealed) binoculars I brought had this problem. I couldn't find a JB code on the
Burris. I suspect that they are made by the same firm supplying the Orion Ultraviews. I haven't tested the Ultraviews but the specifications are
similar and the reviews I have read agree with what I have seen with the Burris Fullfields (though the Ultraviews are probably not waterproof).
   I was able to get my Zeiss Victory 8x56's for under $1000. They are very bright and have excellent color correction. In addition they have very
good eye relief (around 18mm) with nice sliding eyecups. The apparent field of view is moderate at around 60 degrees and the edge sharpness is
no better than that of the Zeiss 8x50 model from the 1950's-60's or the Zeiss Jena Nobilem or Nobilem Super from the 1980's, though the eye
relief is better. In comparison with a blc 8x60 porro II, I prefer the blc's much wider field and slightly better eye relief. The blc 8x60, however, is
bulkier and of course does not have modern coatings. The Victory is compact for a 56mm binocular and overall very nice to use, though I am
disappointed that Zeiss has improved the performance of eyepieces so very little in 60 years.
   Does anyone know where to obtain the Russian wide angle 8x30 model pictured in Seeger's Military Binocular book, photo 129?                  Thanks,
Fan Tao

Subject: Tools, supplies, models.
From: Arnold Cohen <ancohen@___t>
   Earlier this year there was considerable traffic on the list about an optical strap wrench. A member from England even offered to obtain this for
folks. Well, the new Sears strap wrench set that Bob Villa pushes on TV about every 15 minutes is perfect for the task. It is made in England and
I suspect is the same our fellow member was suggesting. I've used it on an absolutely fixed diopter correction eyepiece in an old Hensold 7x42
that had defied all previous tools, penetrating oil and sprained wrists- it opened it in a snap and atraumatically. It also worked on a old individual
focus Hensoldt with equal aplomb. Great tool and cheap!!
    Another old question was the availablity of leather covering for old glasses. The Leather Factory is a chain that sells retail and wholesale for
all leather related materials-they sell a morrocan grain pig leather that is cheaper than the leatherette from camera repair outlets-it is thin and
supple with a bit of stretch and should work well-I'm going to try it on a Schutz Uranos 6x50 with naked objective tubes-we will see.
    Lastly, re: inexpensive astronomy glasses. I've been surprised by the quality of the image from some of the Meade and Celestron glasses.
Edmunds Scientific recently sold Meade Safari Pro binocs for $99. These 8x42 porro prism are only 25oz, reasonably compact and give a bright
clean image. Although there have been few visible stars in Spokane lately the ones inspected were a sharp dot of light w/o distortion, comma or
color fringe etc. At 1/10 the price of Leicas etc. they seem a great value.

Subject: Nikon 10 x 42 SE
From: Peter Abrahams
  When the Nikon 10 x 42 SE arrived on the market around 1996-7, they were reviewed as being a very fine binocular, and I agreed.
Just about the only problem I read about was on the internet, probably in an astronomy group, " these things are NOT well sealed. There
are two small holes on the top of the plastic fitting that holds the ocular in place. These holes allow moisture to go from the outside
directly to the interior of the lens assembly. I think this is a very poor design and was shocked when I discovered this the hard way." I
asked about this problem, in this group & elsewhere, but received no answer.
  Due to the generosity of a list member, I recently acquired a 10 x 42 SE, and I still like them very much. I removed the rubber eyecups,
and in the retaining ring around the eyelens I saw the typical pair of holes to receive a spanner wrench. Inspection with a flashlight and a
magnifying glass showed that the inner shoulder of each hole looked different than the outer shoulder. This motivated me to remove the
retaining ring -- and darn if the criticism wasn't correct! The retaining ring is L shaped in cross section. The hole to receive the pin in the
spanner wrench is drilled deep enough that it pierces the ring. Only the inner half of the drilled hole pierces the ring, the outer half is in
the vertical part of the L. Even though the dimensions of the hole are about 1/2 mm by 1/2 mm, and it is covered by the soft rubber
eyecup, clearly water could go directly into the ocular lens assembly. I don't know if focusing causes a vacuum to draw the water in,
though I doubt it.
  I sealed the holes with clear laquer.
  The mechanical parts of these binoculars are very well designed; they are light weight and comfortable, and seem rugged. It is quite
surprising that a mistake like this was left in place through all the prototyping and production.
  But I still like the binoculars.     --Peter

Subject: Bushnell models
From: Peter Abrahams
The Bushnell 7 x 18 Next View sells for between $20 & $40., and I got one for $10. on ebay. They are rectangular, with a rectangular field. The
body is translucent plastic, purple, green, or blue, so you can see some of the workings. The image is dim and soft; though for the price they do
all right. Looking backwards through them, I thought I saw a roof mirror, so I had to disassemble the snap-together plastic body. They have a
very unusual optical layout, unlike anything I've seen. The objective is a cemented glass doublet, and the eyepiece is a spaced plastic doublet.
The mirrors are arranged in a plastic shell shaped like a widened N. The objective is horizontal, below the lower left corner of the N. The light
path is vertical through the objective, and it hits a mirror on the upper left surface of the diagonal line in the N; then hits an adjacent mirror on the
left vertical line in the N. This bounces the light to the lower right corner of the N, where there is a 90 degree roof mirror placed at the proper
angle to bounce the light up to the eyepiece, horizontally oriented at the upper right corner of the N.
There is a resemblance to a Porro I system, but the pair of mirrors is not at 90 degrees and the roof prism is canted as well. The roof prism has
no backing plate & it looks like the two mirrors are aligned at 90 degrees and then cemented in place.
While investigating this little gem, I found an odd new Bushnell model:
Bushnell 7 x 60, as low as $190. IF, Porro I, waterproof, Field of View 315 ft@___s = 105 m@___ 43 oz., 1225 gm. Exit Pupil 7.7mm (indicates
There are a lot of comments on SAA & elsewhere about the poor quality of most current Bushnell products. I won't argue with that, but I will say
that some of their earlier models were very high quality.
--The small Custom Compacts, in a variety of magnifications, various objectives around 20mm, Porro I with the objectives closer than the
eyepieces -- are one of the best pocket binoculars ever made, the image is better than most of the best Zeiss, Leitz, etc. modern roof prism
models, though probably not as bright as new glasses. These were made for a long time, 1960s onward, and I'm not sure if the latest models
(1980s or 90s?) are as good, but they could be. This is one problem in comparing old binoculars, you have to know the vintage as well as the
model. These aren't too hard to find at pawn shops, gun shows, antique malls, etc.
--The 7 x 50 & 10 x 50 Customs were very fine, but only a very few were made -- I've only seen one of each.
--The 7 x 50 Rangemaster was very good, and very wide angle; they aren't too scarce today.

Binocular List #140: 09 December 2000

A web site on binoculars, that has a lot of links to web sites related to binoculars:
There are several web sites that resemble this one, with a long a list of links to other web sites that are about binoculars. It's getting so
we need a web site that lists links to web sites that index sites about binoculars. --Peter

Subject: Strap wrenches
From: gene harryman <>
   Just a quick note on strap wrenches. There is one that MicroMart sells that is made in California & has a rubber coated Kelvar strap.
It's trade name is Handy Grip, and it goes down to 1/4 inch. While this may not be new news to many, what I have found really works
while trying to dissamble the frozen junk I work on is this: get a piece of 3M non-slip self-adhesive rubber floor/stair tread ( the black
sandpaper finish kind, not the mottled grey) from a hardware store. Cut small strips and attach the strips to whatever you are trying to
remove (finish rings, occular barrels, etc). When you put the strap wrench on the part it will not slip and whatever it is will come off with
the strap. Else, use a 12 inch hacksaw and a cold chisel. You should have a piece of paper or such under one end of the strip when you
apply it so that you can lift that end to remove the strip. Also, when you lift the paper strip, if you put a few drops of naptha (lighter fluid)
or acetone where it is pulling up, it will help to peel it off without damaging the item. Regards, gene

Subject: leitz glass
From: rcbibbo <>
iv'e picked up a leitz glass that i can't find on the binocular list. I thought maybe you could help me. on the left cover is marked 6x L 16
below that is120=6.8 degree right cover has e leitz wetzlar. if you look in from the objective end you can see the prism ends have metal
ends,and are probably colimated by screws.there are no holes through the leather cover,and they are in mint condition. it looks like they
were colimated and then covered. as they look so good, i think I will leave them alone. can you tell me anything about them?          thanks

Subject: Minox 8x32 roof prism binox
From: "Charles M. Barringer" <charzov@___om>
  My beloved Trinovid 8x32's have disappeared after 30 years of faithful service, and I know I will find them, if they are still around, only
by admitting they are lost and trying to replace them.
  One prime candidate, judging by specs and advertising alone, is the referenced Minox 8x32 which combine normal attributes in most
respects with moderate price and, more startling and attractive to me, a 2 meter close focusing capability.
  1) Does anyone have experience with these binoculars which would confirm or negate the (admittedly partisan) enthusiasm I have
read and;
  2) can someone comment on how binoculars with parallel light paths can effectively deliver binocular images at the advertised 2m
minimum focus.
     The only other binoculars I can use at such close distances are Swift 7x35 WA's, with oversized prisms and 5-element (Erfle?)
eyepieces where the field of view is broad enough to allow non-parallel accommodation of close subjects. The downside is that they
weigh a ton.
     On the more general topic of close-focusing binoculars, is anyone on this list aware of specific binocular models (preferable still
available commercially) which allow close focusing in the 2m/7ft or better range?           Thanks and regards         Charlie Barringer
    I've been quite interested in these Minox binoculars since I obtained some of their brochures, but I know no one who has purchased
one & the local stores don't have them. carries them, so they are being imported into the U.S.
    There are other binoculars with a close focus of about 2 meters, especially smaller models. The Zeiss Teleater focuses to 1.5 meters (I
am slightly nearsighted which might effect the measure). Some Galileans focus to well under 1 meter. I am not sure which of the top
quality modern full size models focus to 2 meters.
    A binocular does provide parallel light paths exiting the eyepieces. A 20 mm pocket binocular simply places the objectives directly in
front of the eyes. Larger models, and models with widely spaced objectives, are compromised in close focus; and only a restricted area
of the image is seen by both eyes. This is easily seen by viewing through a binocular at a very close object, which will be out of focus
but it is seen that only one area is seen by both eyes -- the left area of the right side & the right area of the left side.
    On this web page, Minox's specifications include 'over run' in diopters, all models have 4 diopters over run, and I have not heard this
term before. A German language Minox brochure lists all Minox models with the same 4 diopter measure, where it is labeled 'Ueberhub',
with an infinity symbol. I don't find 'ueberhub' in a big German dictionary, 'ueber' means over and 'hub' can mean throw, stroke, lift.
I'll guess that they're saying that, at infinity, a person with 20/20 will be able to focus 4 diopters further out. This might mean that person
with 4 diopters near sightedness would still be able to focus at infinity; I'm not sure.
    The German brochure lists a 10 x 52 with aspheric lenses in the oculars, not found on the web page. --Peter

Subject: Introduction
From: "Patrick Ryan" <>
   My name is Patrick Ryan. Recently of the Denver Astronomical Society, I now call Anacortes, Washington, my home. For many years
I have been a telescope & binocular enthusiast. Because of their versatility and portability, I have focused more on binoculars. Their
portability is all the more important to me as I have been without a car most of my adult life. Not that I owned a car as a child, though! In
any event, I can take binoculars with me whether I ride a bus, taxi, or hitch a ride with a friend. I can't do that with a telescope, unless it
were of spotting scope size.
   I do not own any collector binoculars, yet. I'm sure that someday my Zeiss Design Selection 8x20 will be considered a collector's item.
It certainly deserves to be one, at any rate. I'm always amazed at the view I get through that little wonder. My Nikon Superior E 8x32 is
just as wonderful (8 feet near focus). It is, all around, the best binocular that I've ever owned. Its views always satisfy. I am just days
away from purchasing a Zeiss, Leica, or Swarovski 7x42. From an optics standpoint, I lean toward the Zeiss. Yet, they just don't have
the durable look of their Leica and Swarovski counterparts. For THIS binocular, I'd like one that would stand up to anything.
   Binoculars are the few things that I'm a snob about. For some years I contented myself with the "B" grade glass that had been in my
optics arsenal. One day, however, I decided that I would, just once, like to have the best of something. That's when I bought my Zeiss
compact. That did it. Using that Zeiss alongside my other instruments, I soon found that there was a real difference. I could tell the great
glass from the not-so-great great glass. I liked using the great glass, and resolved to only own the best binoculars.
   I do attempt to keep up with the current binocular market. I have done some reading on the history and development of binoculars.
I'm sure that this list will aid me in that endeavor. Patrick Ryan

Subject: Custom optics work
From: dewees <>
>who duplicates prisms? also who duplicates chipped or broken lenses?
>I'm searching for an optics house to grind down a pair of objectives
  Concerning resurfacing and manufacturing optics, the days of getting a friendly optician to do several hours of highly skilled work for a
12 pack are gone. Custom work such as reverse engineering (what is the glass, radii, etc.) and duplicating a lens is done at a shop rate
of 60 to 100 dollar an hour. Edging down a lens is a reasonably simple and cheap service. Duplicating a lens takes 4 to 6 hours (without
coatings). Duplicating a single prism is very difficult and the resulting article will not match the production item in quality unless many
hours are spent touching the surfaces in. Prisms are made in "blocks" or lots of many which reduces or eliminates geometric and surface
form errors. Just repolishing the surface of a lens or prism is no big deal for an optician. Regrinding and repolishing a surface is a much
bigger deal as a grinding tool set must be made and very carefully used. So crazed, sleeked, stained surfaces can be recovered but
deep scratches are probably there to stay. I will consider doing certain jobs of a simple nature or something more complicated if it is a
very interesting instrument (I don't have much free time.
  A comment on the theory of Zeiss opticians balancing aberrations while making binoculars optics. It's a myth. The optical design
(where aberrations are balanced!) is tested and set before production by the optical designer and a prototype engineering team. The
excellent Zeiss opticians make optics in strict accordance with quality standards established for the optical components they are working
on. Sometimes components are "matched" in order to allow looser tolerances to be used. Zeiss has always had a high standard of
quality and the "sweetness" of Zeiss binoculars is simply the result of excellent design and execution. Randy Dewees

Binocular List #141: 14 December 2000.

Subject: Zeiss
From: Lngubas@___m
Regarding the legendary Zeiss quality and price. The quality in each step of the process of manufacture goes through a complete
review at the end of that step. So each glass element is quality tested at the end of its grinding, any cementing is reviewed at the end of
that process before any additional work is done, and the same for each and every part and each and every joining of parts, components
and steps. When my friend, Nick Grossman, took a tour of the Hensoldt plant in Wetzlar a few years ago, he asked what is the cost of
manufacture and what is the cost of quality control - he was told that 80+% of the cost of making a Zeiss glass is the quality control and
insurance of conformity to design. Larry

Subject: Leitz, Minox, Close focus
From: Arnold Cohen <ancohen@___t>
  Re: Leitz 6x16 in question. I believe that the glass is a leitz binotour made in 1914 only. I have a glass with the same markings and
they appear to have the prism fittings as described. They are IF. The best leitz reference I have found, albeit the binocular section is
brief, is "Leica Collectors Guide" by Dennis Delaney/ Hove Collectors Books 1992, 1994 34 Church Road Hove East Sussex BN3 2GJ
   Re: Minox: I have also been intrigued by the price of the 8x32 Minox as it seems to have all the current features including phase shift
coatings. I question their actual site of production. I purchased a Minox 6x monocular and the box and item state "Germany" but a little
gummed sticker on the box said "Japan". My understanding is that German export laws allow an item to be made abroad and imported
into Germany and if inspected and meeting German export specs to be labeled as made in Germany. Minox has a long history of far
east manufacture of cameras. Could this explain the price differential??
Maybe some of our European members will have insight in this question.
   Re: close focus: Reverse porro prism glasses seem to allow closer focus. The new Minolta activa 8 and 10x pocket reverse porro
glasses seem to be extraordinary in this regard with focus to my presbyopic eyes without glasses to about 4 feet. Has anyone else tried
these? I almost bought a pair for that reason alone but held back not knowing anything else about their qualities. They would be great
for nature hiking allowing close looks a thing just off the trail in the thick! Arnie
  I'd certainly like to know if Japanese products can be labeled 'made in Germany'.
  Close focus range is determined by the mechanical design: how far the eyepieces will rack out. I don't know of an optical reason that
some eyepieces would allow closer focus than others, but I hope someone will correct me if I'm wrong here. Reverse Porro binoculars,
with objectives adjacent to each other, would allow more overlap in the two images of a close object, and so a designer might give the
focus screw a longer throw to take advantage of this. --Peter

In the 1920s, the artist Hohlwein made advertisements for Zeiss, Busch, and Ernemann binoculars. Thanks to Larry Gubas for providing
scans of three images. These are large files and they make very nice printouts. 606 kb 740 kb 249 kb

Subject: Report on Bushnell 8x40's
From: Dick <>
  I have collected 3 and 'one half' Bushnell 8x40 old-style porro prism binoculars, all ostensibly the same if examined casually. I acquired
an interest in this model after using a copy owned by Steve Stayton which showed a wider than average field with exceptionally good
image quality. Subsequently, I examined old Bushnell advertising and learned that despite its modest 60-degree apparent FOV (varies
slightly among my copies) it contained a 5-element, doublet-singlet-doublet, Erfle least in the advertisement.
  First, I acquired a monocular, sliced longitudinally, from eBay. It showed all the internal workings and confirmed the erfle eyepiece.
Then, I acquired three more fully-functional 8x40's from eBay, two of which are CF, and finally an IF. Set side by side, they look alike
except in the details.
  All have an 18mm clear aperture eyelens.
  But each has an entirely different eyepiece design, as evidenced by the fact that one has a concave eyelens, the next a plano eyelens,
and the last a convex eyelens. The monocular has a concave eyelens, the same as with the IF binocular.
  The lettering is different on all four.
  Three have round exit pupils, indicating BAK prisms, while the fourth has squarish pupils, indicating BK prisms.
  All except the one with BK prisms have internal light baffling cones behind the objective, a feature common on Zeiss porro prism
binoculars up until only a few decades ago. Yet, the BK7 version is the only one of the Bushnells that clearly sports double-eccentric
objective cells for collimation.
  Finally, the three working binoculars produce very similar images, all of good quality. It would be hard to tell them apart without critical
  This is not the first time that I've noticed the same make and model of a binocular to show radically different design and construction
features. In the present case, all produce comparable optical quality.
  One is not always fortunate. For example, I also have two copies of the Sans & Streiffe Model 910, 7x35 with 11-deg FOV, plus a parts
copy of the same. The older one with plano eyelens is excellent, the newer one with a convex eyelens is disappointing. The parts version
has the plano lens, and corroborates the high quality of the working version.       Regards, Dick Buchroeder

In the German periodical Technikgeschichte, vol. 65 #4 (1998) pages 354-5. Joerg Zaun reviews 3 books by Hans Seeger. If any
member has a copy of this, I'd like to 'review the review' for this list; but if it is just a brief note that the books were published, then I won't
ask for a copy. --Peter

Subject: lens "fungus"
From: Dennis Bohrer <>
I have had several pairs of binoculars over the years that have been exposed to time and moisture and spots and dendritic growths
appears which are called "fungus". I currently have a pair of WWII Zeiss, 6x30's, belonging to one of our botanists, and when I described
the problem to him he questioned that it was a fungus and suggested it was a bacterial growth due to the nutrient requirements of a
fungus. What's your knowledge of this. I have read of the various ways to get it off of lenses and have had success in removing it but am
curious as to what it is. Any thoughts or knowledge of studies on the subject? It seems to appear on both coated and uncoated lens
surfaces. I recently cleaned a pair of 10 x 80 flak glasses by using a light polish of alcohol and cerium oxide. The lenses did not appear
to have coatings orginally and came out perfect to my eyes and to the customer. I'm am very carefull not to be to agressive on the
surfaces so as not to change the surface geometry. Dennis
>on the surfaces so as not to change the surface geometry.
  I'm sure you can do a good job (list members would not be aware that Dennis is a professional repairman); cerium with a q tip will
change the surface profile, cerium with a pad or fingertip & very gentle touch probably wouldn't, cerium on a pitch polisher that is molded
to the lens profile is ideal. Rouge cuts much slower than cerium & is 'safer'
  There's some decent discussion on fungus in the archives, especially in #96. You need to treat the inside of the body, not just the
Zeiss has a chemical that they use in-house that kills the fungus. They are considering selling it. --Peter

Binocular List #142: 15 December 2000.

Subject: Minox 8 x 32 Binocular
From: Thomas Press <>
  Concerning the Minox 8 x 32 binocular, the binocular appears to be made in Germany from all identification markings, and certainly
feels that way in use. It does, in fact, focus as close as 6 feet and my example,unlike the sample reviewed by Stephan Ingraham in
Birding Magazine, displays a surprisingly flat and undistorted field as well as commendable sharpness. It is, however, not as bright as the
Leica 8 x 32, probably due to the use of BK7 glass in the prisms. The use of BK7 glass (which Minox confirms) also is undoubtedly an
element, along with introductory pricing, of the remarkably reasonable price.      Regards, Tom

Subject: Japanese German binoculars; fungus
From: "geneharryman" <>
  Re: Question on Japanese Products being labeled as made in Germany. In his book on binoculars, Mr. Seyfried stated that he found
that to be the case on occasion. Perhaps he could be queried for more detail?
  Re: Fugus/cloudiness from age - While I don't play with anything that has more than the normal MgFl coatings, what I have found that
cleans virtually anything off lenses without (apparently) injuring the coatings, is to put the lenses and prisms in a small double boiler Not
direct heat), add enough white vinegar to submerge them well, cover, and heat to just below boiling for 20-30 minutes. Then clean with
normally used optical cleaners. Be sure to watch carefully, as the vinegar evaporates much more quickly than water would.
Regards, Gene

Subject: Sans & Streiffe STRIFE
From: Dick <>
  I recently took delivery on a second pair of Sans & Streiffe 7x35 12.5-degree binoculars. They are marked #999 COMMANDER,FULLY
COATED on the left prism cover, and 7x35 EXTRA WIDE ANGLE 12.5 deg, 657ft at 1000yards, MAGNESIUM, No.25744 on the right
prism cover. On the bridge at the objective end are stamped J-E21 and J-B146.
  This particular version has prohibitively short eyerelief and inferior field quality, although its exit pupils are round. The eyelens is flat.
  Previously, I had acquired a pair of the S&S Model #999, with the bridge stamped J-E32 and J-B52. That model is approximately 1/2"
shorter, shows clearly superior workmanship, and has the number 6170 stamped on the left prism cover. It has longer eyerelief, better
image quality. There is, quite simply, no comparision in performance between the two.
  Indeed, the recent arrival is the same length and general overall appearance as the S&S Model #910 G 79318 (left prism cover), with
stampings J-E32 and B52, an 11-degree model with flat eyelens.
  And, that model is superficially almost indistinguishable from SS Model #910 G 80012 (left prism cover).
  Yet, again, the two Models #910 are optically extremely different, with the higher serial number version having a convex eyelens, and
so little eyerelief that the field stops cannot be seen with my unspectacled eyes.
  There appears to be a clearcut trend toward later production being degraded design versions of earlier production, sometimes with a
change in vendor, and sometime by the same vendor (case of the 910's).
  The upshot is that one cannot rely upon reputation in selecting a Sans & Streiffe binocular. There seems to be a shameless
degradation of quality as time advanced.
  Note that in the case of the Bushnell 8x40's that I previously reviewed the visual quality was essentially indistinguisable as the models
changed design. I cannot make the same kind remark about the S&S.            Regards, Dick Buchroeder

Subject: Pitch polishing
From: Peter Abrahams
> a pitch polisher. Can you give me a reference or explanation of the technique?<
Pitch is sap from a pine tree that is boiled down to become a hard material that yields under pressure. To polish an existing lens without
altering the curvature, if its spherical, you'd lay some plastic film (food wrap) over the lens, make a dam of tape or cardboard (a cylinder
the same diameter as the lens), pour molten pitch (as cool as possible) onto the lens to make a negative impression of the curvature,
about 1/2 inch thick, attach the cooled pitch to a stick, and use this to polish the lens, with cerium & water slurry. It's very safe, and if
you use rough which cuts slower, it is even safer but slower. --Peter

Subject: Removing lens coating
I have a question from a friend. He is in the process of cleaning and rebuilding a german WW2 10x80 FLAK binocular. When he took out
the two large prism component, he discovered, that their surfaces were uneven, and it looked as if they had been coated, and that some
of this coating, had suffered damage. I have seen them and his description was correct. Now he likes to know:
1: are such prisms usually coated?
2: how can he remove what is left of the coating? what should he use.?
At least one of the damaged surfaces show up when the bino is used, so he has to do something about it. They may have been moist,
while the bino has been in storage.
  I don't know if 10 x 80s were coated during the war. The lack of coatings in these binoculars is almost the only flaw they have; these
are wonderful binoculars but if you view the moon with them, you'll see several bright images of the moon across the field (ghost
  If he's lucky, it is an early wartime coating (though I doubt this special process was applied to 45 degree 10 x 80s), which is quite soft &
can often be removed with soap, water, and a soft cloth. Optical rouge can be with a cloth or fingertip and a very gentle touch; this will be
more aggressive & could make the flat prism surface slightly curved if extreme care is not used.
  If it is a late wartime or modern coating, they can be very difficult to remove; a good modern coating is harder than the glass & needs to
be removed by polishing, which of course will easily change the surface of the prism. There are chemical treatments that can remove
coatings, but they also can damage the polished glass surface. I believe the only safe answer to this problem is to take the prisms to a
highly skilled optician & have him polish the prisms, but this will be very expensive. I hope a list reader knows of a better way to remove
lens coatings. --Peter

Subject: More web sites & list trivia
From: Peter Abrahams
Reviews of binoculars, submitted to "Birding in Canada"
This is a table of features for many currently available binoculars, including useful information like close focus (Swift Eaglet 7x36 = Eagle
Optics Ranger 7 x 36 -- four feet close focus). Also including some quirks like field measured in 'inches at 15 feet'; and "Overall
friendliness to eyeglass wearers, scale of 1-5" instead of a measure for eye relief.
Is an essay on the best binoculars for birding. I don't agree with some of the opinions but it is a worthwhile essay. This is from a birding
department at Cornell U., they received 61 binoculars for review, including the top of the line from some of the best manufacturers. They
are sponsored by Swarovski. The 10 x 50 by Swarovski was the favorite binocular, which actually didn't bother me because I also like
Swarovksi models quite a bit, more than most other binocular nuts that I know. Swarovski just opened retail outlet in Portland, selling cut
crystal (they have it displayed under a number of tiny spotlights, and it is really beautiful with that illumination). I was glad to see they
also sold the binoculars, and it was a low-pressure sales environment, staffed by gorgeous women -- though they also charged full retail
prices. I inspected the EL 8.5 x 42, with a 6.5 feet close focus, $1533. This was a very nice binocular, with an edge of the field that was
fuzzier than I'd like, presumably from eyepiece astigmatism. The open hinge is quite comfortable. These 8.5 x 42s are reviewed on
BVD's site:
The 15 x 56 ($1800)was really excellent, it had some color at the edge, noticeable distortion (straight lines appearing curved at the edge),
but very little astigmatism, and was sharp across the field of view. It was extremely heavy for a hand held binocular.
   Finally, there is an email list on egroups for binocular users, mostly amateur astronomers, 'bino-net'. They are finally reaching critical
mass & the 'conversations' have been informative. The web site is below, but you can only read the messages if you join (but you don't
have to receive any email to be a member, you can be 'web-only') 

Binocular List #143: 19 December 2000.

Subject: Leitz 6 x L 16
From: (Seeger)
I refer to Bob's question about a Leitz with the inscriptions: 6 x L 16 and 120 = 6,8 degree. This must be a 6 x 24 model, possibly like that on
page 89 in my book on Military Binoculars. To the designation (see also page 288): L means "Lichtstaerke" i. e. luminosity or light gathering
power. Calculated: (Objective diameter : magnification) to the square (24 : 6 = 4; 4 x 4 = 16). 120 refers to the field of view, i. e. 120 m / 1000
m. This is 6,8 degree.
The collimation was either done via eccentric rings or through screws on top of the prism housings. I am not sure if Leitz used the "Goerz-
Justierung" i. e. the Goerz type of collimation. Best regards Hans

Subject: Barr & Stroud Range Estimator
From: "lindabo" <lindaboz@___>
I recently got a Barr & Stroud Range Estimator in mint conditions.
I never saw such a type of binocs nor I have any information about them.
Can anyone give me any information about these very unusual binocs? Thanks, Giancarlo
I posted Giancarlo's images: 74 kb 61 kb
These are worth investigating. Perhaps someone who is in regular contact with Bill Reid can show him these images? Are Michael Moss & Iain
Russell on email? (authors of: Range and Vision: The First Hundred Years of Barr & Stroud. Edinburgh: Mainstream, 1988. 256pp.) --Peter

Subject: ghosts not parasites
From: Dick <>
>>10 x 80s ....lack of coatings in these binoculars .....if you view the moon with them, you'll see several bright images of the moon across the
field (parasite images).<<
   A 'ghost' is formed from the primary image light, a spurious reflection of that light forming an image similar to the main image. For example, a
faint image of the moon lying near the moon itself. Better coatings help.
   A 'parasite' is formed by light leaking in from outside the normal field of view, and unrelated to the normal image. The cause is probably
always unintended, unbaffled indirect light paths in the prisms (both porro and roof types). For example, when scanning a starfield near the
moon, an image of the moon will be overlaid on the starfield. Coatings have no effect, since the parasites are based on total internal reflection.
Regards, Dick.

Subject: Minox
From: Fan Tao <>
   There is a news release on the Minox 8.5x42 and 10x52 here:
Although there is no mention of aspheric surfaces in this article, it does say that the eyepieces have only four elements, so it would not be
surprising if aspheres were used to obtain good correction and reasonable eye relief while keeping costs down. Both models are listed on the web site ($479, $599).
   A tip for users of the eBay auction site. You may be missing out on some items if you don't use the "International Search" option. There is an
interesting set of Nedinsco 7x50's being offered from Germany at the moment (item #1201496550). Other binoculars from Germany can be
located by searching for "fernglas". Note though, that many sellers indicate that they will not ship internationally.
  I checked my Sans & Streiffe #999 Commander (so marked on the left prism plate). They are stamped JB52 and JE25. On the right prism
plate it says "7X35 12.5* WIDE ANGLE G 13091". Also, unusually, the focus wheel is engraved with distances as seen on camera lenses (50
feet - infinity). I'm not sure how useful that really is. The eye relief on my sample is better than average, though not enough to use with glasses.
Fan Tao

From: Arnold Cohen <ancohen@___t>
I picked up a Ricoh 7x21 mini porro prism glass, fully multicoated about 15-20yrs old. The list price was more that $550 when new (I got it for
$70, new in box). It is an extraordinary glass-bright, beautifull images, sharp to the edge, great color rendition and with a peculiar distance
estimator-you focus to infinity-adjust a ring on the central focus ring and as you then focus it gives a very reasonable estimate of closer
distances! The mechanics also speak of a very high quality intrument. I've never seen another richoh anywhere-only cameras, copiers etc(and
the binoc/camera combos). The merchant who sold it said they produced a very high qual glass,expensive to make but could never establish a
"name" allowing them to compete in the upscale market and unlike most of the other Japanese makers elected to drop out rather that market
downscale binocs. I don't know if its true but its a good story. I'd love to find some others if they are as good as this one. I've not been able to
find anything else about it and the company web site didn't return queries. Arnie

Subject: Leitz Binoc
From: "Jack Kelly" <>
I just picked up an interesting Leitz Binocular. It is a 6x30 CF marked E. Leitz, Germany and Keuffel and Esser Co., NY. What makes it
interesting is that it is also marked Signal Corps, US Army, and has reddish brown leather covers. Finally, it is serialized E 6394. The US
Army purchased a number of different glasses before W.W.I but finally standardized on the EE series which was based upon a commercial
B&L design. Prior to the EE series there was the E series. Not much is known about this series except that it was quickly superceded by the
EE. The sample Leitz/K&E glass looks very much like the B&L glasses of this era and was probably one of many purchased in the years
leading up to W.W.I. Does anyone out there have any additional information on the early E series? Regards, Jack

Binocular List #144: 21 December 2000.

Subject: Ricoh
From: WIta057@___m
In regards to Arnold Cohen's post on Ricoh binoculars, I was in correspondence with a person who used to be Ricohs marketing
manager who had a pair of 8X30 and 7X21 porro prisms made by Ricoh up for auction on Ebay. He told me that Leitz had set up the
Ricoh binocular manufacturing plant in Japan and that these were high end binoculars but never established a following. My only regret
is that someone nosed me out in the bidding so I never got to satisfy my curiosity on the 8X30 Ricohs.     Aloha, Wayne Itamoto.
From: "Pete Rasmussen" <>
From Arnold Cohen's letter I believe I know a little about the Ricoh 7x21 GOLD porro prism binos since having had a pair. It appears from the
construction of the binos and the case that they are of Carton Optical, Ltd., Japan manufacture. Mine were brand new in the box! FWIW, I was
told by the seller that they were of Zeiss design. He offered to send the documentation about them via a computer program but I didn't have the
software to view it. He was in marketing of a company that in some way had dealt with the potential sale of these. Apparently they are a rare
model. Very cute little binos I might should add.      Pete Rasmussen

Subject: US Army binoculars
From: "Steve Harris" <>
  The Signal Corps Manual No. 3, published in 1916, indicates that there was no official E designation at that time. The binoculars are broken
into five distinct categories.
Type A "1910" - "magnification 3.5 and 5.5 diameters; Galilean type: object lens, 1.5 inches"
Type B - "magnification 4.5 and 6.5 diameters; Galilean type: object lens, 1.75 inches"
Type C - "the present issue being the Terlux 10-power; object lens, 1.75 inches"
Type D - "the present issue being the Busch 8-power "Stellux;" object lens, 1.75 inches"
Type EE - "prismatic binocular, 6-power; object lens, 1.1875 barrel equipped with a mil scale"
   The Signal Corps Storage Catalogue, published in 1920, does indicate a series of E and EE designated binoculars.
Type E - "binocular, 6 by 30; same as Field glass, type EE, except for omission of the mil and range scale"
Type E-1 - "binocular; Galilean: 4.5 inches diameter magnification; object lens 1.75 inches...formally designated type B"
Type E-9 - "Galilean; magnification approx. 3.5 and 5.5 diameters; object lens 1.5 inches...formally designated type A "1910"
Type E-10 - "prismatic; "Terlux" 10-power; object lens, 1.75 inches...formally designated type C"
Type E-11 - "prismatic; Busch 8-power "Stellux"; object lens, .75-inch...formally designated type D"
Type EE - "binocular, 6 by 30; object lens, barrel equipped with mil and range scale"
   I would make the assumption from the above information that sometime during the war years everything was converted into either an E or EE
class binocular. Certainly, a Signal Corps Manual from the ~1918 time period would be helpful in completing a history of these binoculars.
Cordially, Steve Harris <>

Subject: M-22
From: "Steve Harris" <>
   (There was a discussion on the list a few months ago about the Steiner M-22, and recently I asked Steve some questions about them. --
   Steiner made the M-22 with three colors of rubber, green, black and WHITE! The military/marine unit were green rubber, a limited number of
highly modified black rubber units were made exclusively for the German GSG-9, and yes, some white units for artic troops (SWFA had one of
the ultra rare white rubber M-22's and may still have it, e-mail them). Some of the original Steiner M-22 parts that I ordered over the years had
the M-22 G designation on the part box. For all I know, G could be an abbreviation for Gummi, Gummiarmierung, or Gummischutz. Tenebraex
lists its filters with the M-22-G-ARD and M-22-B-ARD designations. I don't think this is any kind of official military sequential listing, only an
informal designation used by the manufacturer or army for quick identification purposes. G for Green and B for Black refers only to the rubber
color and does make the distinction in a rather clear, but illogical fashion. The Army on the other hand is one logical place and I would guess
their distinction between the two binocs would be in the NSN number. Send the folks at Tenebraex an e-mail to
find out their reasoning.
>>Corion Optical Filters also produced the M-22B ... In 1998, Corion lost
its contract and production of the M-22B was taken over by the OFC Corp.<<
>Did you mean Corion & OFC made the filters for the M22B or the whole glass?
   The answer is a mystery. Both companies certainly have the technology to develop and manufacturer laser filters. I called both companies
and they were afraid to tell me anything beyond the fact that they made the M-22 under contract. The folks here at Litton claim that they are the exclusive manufacturer of the laser filers used on the M-22. I do not
know if they were talking about the original Steiner contract or the newer binoc. Maybe they invented some aspect of the filer design and
licensed the technology to these other companies. I just don't know the semantical details of who made what parts for which binoc. Shoot them
an e-mail for more info.
   And good luck finding out technical details from a contractor on a current production product. They love to greet you with the, "Who are you
and why do you want to know?"..."binocular collector, eh?" All this filter technology is becoming a real pain in the ass for the military, because
as soon as they develop protection bandwidths for optical devices, the threat profile will change and the soldier is left unprotected again. Hell,
the Chinese are working on this stuff day and night and promoting it as a "optical countermeasure" for third world countries. For ten grand, you
can really screw up a bomb run and not shoot a shot! Regards and Merry Christmas, Steve

Subject: U.S Army binoculars
From: Peter Abrahams
I put together a page on U.S. Army binoculars. Thanks to everyone who helped, especially Steve Harris & Brian Haren, and while the archives
contain the complete text of your contributions, I trimmed the text to 'just the facts' for the web page.
Most of the text of this 'Army' page has appeared on this list in the past, and the new material is given below. The last text is very intriguing, I
wonder which manufacturers of optical elements weren't meeting standards (and I don't know what OFE is):
   At the onset of WWI, the Signal Corps was responsible for issuing binoculars to the Army. They were issued to noncommissioned
officers and sold at cost to commissioned officers who were engaged in combat. It became clear that many thousands would be needed,
but U.S. manufacturing capacity was some hundreds of binoculars, using German and other European glass. In 1914, the U.S. imported
$641,000 worth of optical glass, and in 1915, almost none was imported. Thus, in late 1914, production of optical glass was developed
at Bausch & Lomb, Spencer Lens, and Pittsburgh Plate Glass Co., assisted by the U.S. Bureau of Standards and the Carnegie Institute's
geophysical laboratory.
   Binocular production was established in Rochester at Bausch & Lomb, Gundlach - Manhattan, and Crown Optical. B & L's connection
with Zeiss was dissolved in 1915, when B & L began manufacture of binoculars for the British, French, and Russian governments. As of
1914, B & L had made up to 1,800 binoculars in a year. By November, 1918, 3,500 binoculars were made each week, and at the
armistice, the factory had 6,000 employees and measured 32 acres. Gundlach - Manhattan produced up to 600 binoculars per week
during the war. Crown had difficulties in increasing production, and the factory was commandeered by the Navy in late 1917, with
production reaching 1,200 Army Signal Corps binoculars a week, in addition to production for the Navy. To staff these three factories,
the Signal Corps often used draftees who had some related experience.
   The Weiss Electrical Instruments Co. in Denver had made surveyor's levels and engineering equipment, and made binoculars for the
Army at this time.
   The Talbot Reel & Manufacturing Co. in Kansas City made fishing reels in a factory that was 30 square feet in area. It was purchased
in 1917, a new factory was built, and production of Army field glasses was accomplished before armistice.
   The standard Army binocular was 6 power, prismatic, individual focus, with a field of 150 yards at 1000 yards; issued with a leather
case with attached compass. Total shipments of these were about 106,000 units. Artillery units were supplied with an 8 power
binocular, all of which were made in France.
(Source: Benedict Crowell. America's Munitions 1917-1918. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1919. p577-9)
   The Optical Instrument Committee was formed in 1942 to resolve problems in procurement of optics for the Army. The Binocular Sub-Committee
consisted of representatives from B & L, Ranco (Nash-Kelvinator) of Columbus Ohio, Universal Camera in N.Y., Westinghouse of Mansfield Ohio, and
Wollensak of Rochester. The Optical Element Sub-Committee included representatives from American Lens, B & L, Bell & Howell, Bray Optical,
Kodak, Fecker (J. Fecker), Gundlach, Wm. Mogey & Sons (W. Mogey & F. Kimsey), Perkin-Elmer (R. Perkin), Tinsley, Unertl, and others. These two
sub-committees met on 15 December 1942 at Ranco, and the agenda was: "The deterioration in the quality of binocular optics being supplied OFE to
the binocular manfacturers and the refusal by five of the processors to accept the return of rejected optics were the reasons for calling this general
meeting to discuss optical was agreed that new test fixtures were essential, that the standardization of inspection procedure was vital"
(Source: Optical Instrument Committee, A Brief History.) n.d., ca. 1943. (33p)

Binocular List #145: 23 December 2000.

New Hohlwein advertisement:
Thanks to Larry Gubas for sending another artistic painting by Ludwig Hohlwein of Munich, this one dated 1912, for Zeiss binoculars.

Subject: Penneys 7x35 Super Wide Angle, Sans & Streiffe Model 999 7x35
From: "Pete Rasmussen" <>
Penneys 7x35 Super Wide Angle
  The vintage 1960's (?) era Penney's Super Wide Angle 7x35 680ft./1000yds. (13 deg.) porro prism binos arrived Monday Dec. 4th, 2000.
Markings are J-E21 and J-B146. They are in overall excellent condition and are nearly fully coated lenses/prisms. The only detected problem
is a minor and possibly repairable looseness of the bridge. The gear stem seems solidly bushed.
  There is only one significant but fairly low to moderate intensity ghost produced per bright light sources. This continues to show until about
one field diameter outside of view. These are probably BK7 prism but only show the squaring off shadow as two opposing 180 deg. apart
edges. Otherwise they are perfectly circular on the alternate two of the four sides of circle. This orientation shows as exactly the same but an
opposite hand orientation in both tubes.
  The color through the glass is considerably amber. Much more so than my Tasco or Belfont 657ft. (12.5 deg.) binos. Image brightness and
contrast were excellent on the night sky. The image is extremely sharp on axis. Field is very flat, seems very low in distortion, and a very
comfortable match for the eyes. It gives a fairly similar view to the Belfont but with less lateral color. Kidney beaning when panning by daylight
is more prominent than the Belfonts. There isn't any seen in the Tascos.
  The eyelens is plano convex. These, IMO, produce an extremely well corrected image that is very possibly sharper off center than the
vintage Tascos. They are seemingly less distorted in the image field and have a slightly larger apparent field, than the Tascos, with a fairly
solid but slightly ill-defined field stop noted when the solid eyecups are removed.
  They give a very panoramic view but the true solid field stop is still very slightly farther outward than can be seen without head turning. When
the eyecups are in place, the apparent field is slightly smaller (12 deg.?) Then, it too shows a prominent but imperfectly defined field stop edge.
The field stops do not match the definition given with the Tascos, but are still quite good and useful. The eye relief is slightly shorter than the
Tascos when without the eyecups in place. These Penneys are similar to the Belfonts, that I own, in this regard.
Sans & Streiffe Model 999 7x35 Binoculars
  The Sans & Streiffe No. 999 (657ft. at 1000yds.) porro prism binoculars arrived in good order Thursday Dec. 7th. They are a fully coated
model, the exit pupils are fully circular, and they seem as in very good overall condition.
  The interior light deadening looks excellent. They seem better than my Tascos (657ft. at 1000yds.), and about the same as my Belfonts
(657ft. at 1000yds.), as per examination of the interior surface light reflections, as seen through the eyepieces, when the binos were held at
arms length and with bright light incoming through the objectives. The stamped identification marks on front of bridge are J-E21 and J-B146.
Those are the same ID numbers as my Penneys 7x35 Super Wide Angle(680ft. at 1000yds.).
  This Sans & Streiffe has the same beautiful external eyepiece cap knurlings and eyecups as my Penneys model. The images seem quite
similar with the exception being the Penneys has a little more kidney bean distortion while daylight panning. When the solid eyecups are
removed from the S&S, the panoramic image effect becomes more visually dramatized. I found this worked nicely for the Penneys a few days
earlier. My Tascos already have low eyeguards to gain this advantage.
  There are some distinct differences between these two particular models. One is that the Penneys has some squaring of the exit pupils were
the S&S does not. The through-the-glass whiteness is notably better in the S&S. The image in the S&S appears considerably brighter, too,
than the Penneys, from the whiter throughput and being that the air-glass surfaces are all fully coated vs. partly coated. Lateral color error is
about equal in both pairs and actually quite well in control considering the extreme designs. Same goes for the moderate degree of distortion
considering these eyepieces work at under F-4 and approach an awesome 90 degree apparent viewing field angle!

Subject: Depth of field
From: Peter Abrahams
  It is quite annoying when a binocular has very limited depth of field; the user is continually re-focusing and an object that is close will not be in
focus from front to back.
   It is commonly heard among binocular collectors that Porro I binoculars have depth of field that is superior to roof prism binoculars.
   At some birding web sites, the binocular reviews compare depth of field between models:
"Zeiss B/GA T* 7 X 42, It has extraordinary depth of field"
"the Swarovski task force concentrated upon..... superior depth of field"
   However, I don't believe there is a reason that binocular prism types would affect DOF, and if two binoculars use objective lenses with the
same f ratio, they should have the same DOF. Can the DOF of a binocular be improved without using a smaller objective or increasing the
focal length?. Depth of field is determined by the F ratio of the objective and the distance to the object: there is less DOF with a fast low f ratio
lens and a close object. Magnification can have an effect on the observable DOF. Unfortunately, the books on this issue are related to
photographic optics, which is not quite the same thing as visual instrument optics (with photography, the focal length of the lens is the primary
factor but with visual instruments that use an eyepiece, the magnification of the system is prime; and with photos, you're viewing an enlarged
   What can account for the differences in DOF that are perceived by binocular users?
Possible factors:
1. Porro prism binoculars with the prisms spaced far apart in the housing will have a longer, folded optical path compared to a binocular with
adjacent prisms, and so can use longer focal length objectives without being longer physical length binoculars. This configuration is found in
many early binoculars but few modern examples, probably because the prisms must be much larger -- if both prisms are by eyepiece, where the
light cone is smallest, the prisms can be smaller and lighter. However, I haven't seen any evidence that there are differences in f ratio between
objectives of roof and Porro binoculars.
2. Roof prisms that are not phase coated show diffraction spikes around bright point sources such as stars. Is it possible that similar 'spikes'
are part of the image of an extended object, and that they have an effect on the slightly out of focus image? (This possibility is considered
because an exception to the DOF formula for lenses are catadioptrics, with a central obstruction. The out of focus 'circle of confusion' is a ring
shape, and it expands very quickly as focus is shifted. Camera lenses that use reflective optics have very shallow DOF.)
3. A binocular that provides a brighter image will cause your eye's pupils to stop down, effectively increasing the f ratio of the system. Would a
50 mm binocular with an f4 objective show larger DOF during daytime viewing, than a 20 mm binocular with an f4 objective?
Similarly, compare (for example) two 7 x 35 binoculars, f4 objectives, that are identical except one is coated with 95% transmission, and one is
uncoated with 50% transmission. During the day, the coated model might show larger DOF because your eye's pupil is stopped down and the
binocular has become a 7 x 20, with an f7 objective.
4. Focus travel; a glass that takes 3 revolutions of the wheel to go from near to far focus will seem to have larger DOF. However, DOF
comparisons shouldn't be made by changing focus; the observation should be of two objects in the field of view that are different distances to
the observer -- find the maximum distance where they are both in focus.
5. A really superior binocular with excellent resolution & contrast might appear to have less DOF, because there is a 'snap to focus' that is
6. I am not sure this is correct, it's from one of the birding web sites: "Wide angle eyepiece designs can increase the apparent depth of field of
even quite high power systems"
7. Only a few binoculars are internal focus (using a moving internal lens element.) On a photography list was found this text, which might or
might not be accurate: "internal focusing has the effect of less depth of field... Tamron techs agreed that this is an issue with internal focusing
lenses....something to do with moving the optics within as opposed to lengthening the barrel as in conventional lens design."
   Only the first 2 of these possible causes are related to roof prisms. I don't know of any reason that roof prism binoculars would have less
depth of field than Porro prism binoculars, but I'm hesitant to reject such widespread opinions, even though I haven't been able to confim the
idea with my own observations.
  A related question would be, can fixed focus binoculars be optimized in any way to give a larger depth of field than 'regular' binoculars? (Or
are fixed focus glasses totally bogus, I believe the answer is yes but it's interesting to consider their optimization).

Binocular List #146: 29 December 2000.

Subject: Depth of field
From: dewees <>
  Concerning DOF. From a first order sense the DOF is strictly a function of the overall focal length and F/number of the system. DOF is
classically a name for the maximum tolerable defocus a system can have - the defocus cause by axial displacement of the object from some
nominal. So, if defocus is all one considers all binoculars of a particular power will have the same first order DOF as long as the effective
apertures of the overall systems are the same. Overall system focal length in the case of a human and binocular would be the product of the
binocular magnification and the focal length of the human eye - for a 10X binocular this is about 7.5 inches. Effective aperture may be
established by the binocular aperture in low light situations or by the viewer's pupil in bright situations. Therefore a binocular's DOF is
somewhat dependent on conditions
  Objective F-number doesn't count in this afocal situation except to change the sensitivity of eyepiece placement for focusing. This, along with
some of the other factors you mentioned may change the subjective impression of the DOF. Another effect I think creates a real high order
change is the quality or sharpness of the binoculars, both on axis and off axis. The overall modulation transfer function (MTF) of a system is the
product of all the MTF's assignable to different causes. If the first order DOF is relateable to a specific minimum MTF then it is obvious that
other aberrations present will decrease the "tolerance" allowable for defocus. At some point as quality drops a binocular has no DOF and is
fuzzy even at the sharpest focus position. Field sharpness probably creates a more subjection impression of change since these aberrations
don't have an effect on on-axis DOF. So, high quality binoculars, on and off axis, should have greater DOF than low quality binoculars.
Randy Dewees

Subject: Fungus treatment
From: "R.F.Bolton" <>
   This may be the Zeiss brew for cleaning/killing fungus. I knew I had it some where, just has taken a long while to find it. I got it from a camera
repairer but have not had the need in recent times to mix and try it. The story that came with it said it was on an old Zeiss camera repair
   Extract from email:-" Leitz had a formula many years ago that was on their microfiche. It was 94% distilled water, 4% clear ammonia and 2%
hydrogen peroxide. The water was the carying agent, the ammonia cleaner and the H2O2 the fungus destroyer. I have used this for years and it
works well. I think if you add H2O2 to almost anything it will kill the fungus."
   Being mostly water it should be safe to use almost anywhere.
   I got one reply to my enquirys regarding the damage done by fungus. I would not claim to really understand the process but it could be the
mineral acid requirement could come from the greases used in lens's and binoculars. Below is a copy of the reply.
"I did some checking with a chemist who didn't know.... but she found a material safety data sheet for Magnesium Chloride which it says is used
as an optical material. It doesn't make it clear whether or not Hydrofluoric acid from a reaction with MgF is responsible for lens fungus.... but
suggests that if so it wouldn't be from a reaction with moisture.
It says: Hazardous Decomposition..... Can evolve toxic and corrosive hydrogen fluoride in contact with mineral acids Solubility in water
....0.0002 g/100g (practically insoluble)"     Rod Bolton.

Subject: Repair
From: gene harryman <>
   I find some of the early post-war Japanese glasses come with broken parts. I had tried every glue, epoxy, goop, or contact cement I could
buy at the hardware stores. I even resorted to cobwebs, spit & chewing gum; but all was to no avail. Nothing worked on the casings or ocular
arms - until I called the 3M Factory Rep. There now is an epoxy made for "low energy" surfaces, such as plastics (including composites), and
white metals, and castings such as many of the bino housings are made of. It is "3M Scotchweld DP460". I have tried it and it works
beautifully. Put it on, compress the parts & clamp, wipe off the squeeze out (so gas-out is not a problem), and a day later it is as good as new.
It is even strong enough to hold breaks in the ocular arms when they have snapped at the focusing hub. It is not usually available in normal
hardware stores. You need to go to a plastic's specialty house. If you call 3M's 800 number and ask for the Industrial Adhesives section, they
will tell you of a distributor near you. It is actually a system which consistes of three parts: a twin tube cartridge of epoxy (hardener & resin,
which looks like the normal hardware store variety), the "gun" the cartridge snaps into (like a small handheld caulking gun), and a mixing nozzle
(which is a double helix tube that mixes the hardener and resin thoroughly and extrudes it through a needle nozzle). The gun and nozzle have
to be ordered and bought separately. The epoxy is about $10, the nozzles are about $1 each, and the gun is unknown (rep gave me mine), but
it can't be more than a couple of bucks, and is reusable.
   Squaring the prisms has always been a problem for me with these old glasses, because you cannot get enough slack in the clamping bars to
shift the prisms without either stripping the screw out because of backing it out too close to the end of the threads, or taking the bar off, which
then leads to the problem of reattaching it without disturbing the alignment. I solved this by replacing the original clamp screws with #2-56 x 3/8
slot head brass screws, nuts and washers (available at model railroad stores). I put a washer on the head, insert the screw through the original
hole in the body, put on another washer, then a nut, tighten down, and then I carefully epoxy the bottom nut and washer to the body, so the nut
won't turn when the screw does. After the epoxy has set, remove the screw and top washer, and re-attach the clamp with them. You can put a
little vasoline on the screw thread when you glue the nut so that if you slip with the epoxy it won't stick to the screw. Just clean the vasoline off
before re-assembly. Then you can back off the clamp screw enough to shift the prisms as you wish, and then re-tighten without having had to
remove the clamp bar or risk shifting the adjustment you jst made. Hope this is of some use to someone else. Regards, Gene

Subject: Conestoga
Most US collectors know of the 'Conestoga' field glass, a very cheaply made Galilean with a cover for the objectives that attaches with a spring
loaded chain. I received an email on them: The Conestoga Corporation, Bethlehem, PA, USA Model No. FG-66 -- Made in USA -- Patents
Pending. The Conestoga Co. is on the net, toy makers, with an 800 number. They made the field glasses (the only one they made) between
1935 and the late 50's. They became the official boy scout field glasses.

Subject: History of Swift
  Swift has been in the business of developing and importing quality optical products since 1926 when Robert W. Swift Sr. purchased a small
binocular importing company. To the German Army Gray field glasses being imported at the time, he added German prism binoculars, weather-
indicating instruments and specialty optics and soon expanded his importing operations to include some French optical products.
  After World War II, Swift began working with the Japanese optical industry in the development of a unique new Swift line. Swift opened our
Tokyo branch, Swift Instruments, International (S.I.I.) in 1959 to serve as a liaison between the Japanese factories and our U.S. offices. Swift
Instruments, International is responsible for purchasing and inspection and the branch retains various specialists, including designers in Tokyo.
For distribution outside of the U.S., a Japanese trading company called Associated Manufacturer's Agency was appointed the exclusive
Japanese export agent for Swift brand products, which are sold through Swift licensees who are the sole agents for their respective countries.
  In 1959, Swift and Anderson, Inc. changed it's name to Swift Instruments, Inc. and we registered the Swift trademark which has become
synonymous with "Technical Excellence and Enduring Quality."
  Our Microscope Division was started in the late fifties. Since then, Swift has worked continuously to build and maintain our leadership in the
educational, medical and research markets. From the beginning, we have backed our products with our Lifetime Warranty and eternal parts
support and we are committed to continuing to provide innovative and durable products and helpful technical and customer service to our
dealers and their customers around the world. Humphrey H. Swift, President

Subject: Belgian binoculars
1919 Foundation of OIP, Optical precision instruments, Oudenaarde, Belgium :microscopes, binoculars, cameras
1939 Foundation of "De Oude Delft" (renamed to Oldelft): Concentric Mirror Systems, Wide Aperture Optics
1988 OIP joined the Delft Instruments Group
1996 Integration of OIP and DIEO into "Delft Sensor Systems"
1999 Delft Instruments holding sells DIEO

Binocular List #147: 01/01/01

Subject: Repair & restoration resources
From: Peter Abrahams
I omitted some names from those posted in the last list; in particular I overlooked some list members with considerable qualitifications:
Kevin Kuhne, Connecticut Roger Davis, Australia Rod Bolton, Australia
From: "R. S. Terry" <>
As of a year ago, Herb Kohler, of the Chicago area was active, and turned out exemplary work at a fair price. He repaired, cleaned,
supplied parts for some 3 to 5 units for me. Thank you, RST
From: Arnold Cohen <ancohen@___t>
1.) 7 x 50 Spencer eyecups - try I Miller Precision Optics 35N 2nd Street Philadelphia PA 19106/215 925 2285/2206 This old optical house was
founded by the grandfather who originally worked for Rockford Arsenal and after the war bought up huge quantities of optical surplus. Did
contract binoc repairs for military. The have most parts for mil glasses. Harvey is son, Steve is grandson. They specialize in microscopes now.
2.)Optical repairmen: --Roger D. Gillispie, Sharp Instrument 641 N Walnut Colville WA 99114 887-684-3499 I've dealt with Roger whose main
work is repair of intruments used by optometrists and opthalmologists-is very carefull, cleans, collimates, etc. Very nice gentleman, totally
--Mountain Optics, 30 Bass Lake Court Kallispell MT 59901 877-756-2466 Does complete restorations/overhalls/recovering etc. They did a
beautifull job on a derilict 8x56 Hensoldt-now as good as new-both are very fairly priced as well.
   Thanks to the group for the Ricoh info. I shall remain on the lookout for the elusive, high quality glasses. The available phone number from
the web listing for Carton Optics put me in touch with a very nice Spanish speaking family who tried to help but were confounded by my
requests for info-clearly a changed phone number!!          Arnie
From: Jack Kelly <>
> a supplier of Spencer 7x50 eye cup guard?
   The last time I visited Millar and Co. in Philadelphia they had an assortment of spare parts for just about any American binocular. The
challenge may be getting them to find it and ship it to you! 215-925-2285.
   With respect to Binocular service, Meischner, in Boston now sub-contracts their work. Millar had an active repair staff 2 years ago.
   I intend to update the repair resources list every few months, so please provide more input. If you are a repairman, write a few lines
describing your work & specialties. If you've used a repair service, contribute some feedback. This is an international list, not limited to the
   Finally; it seems that to some people, 'repairman' means a worker who follows instructions & has grease under his nails; and that there is a
class of artisans who research and restore binoculars, and are more than 'repairmen'. I know of some very fine restoration specialists, and I
usually refer to them as 'repairmen', with all due respect. If anyone knows of a better word, I'd be happy to adopt it. --Peter

Subject: Introduction
A brief introduction: I have had a life-long interest in optics and binoculars in particular. In recent years I have started a collection which includes
modern and (I am not sure what the official classification is, vintage?) World War II military pieces. I live in Derby, England, UK and have
contact with a few other collectors in this country. I am afraid that the purchase of Hans Seeger's book a few years ago only helped to intensify
my interest. I suppose like many collectors my interest is in high quality optics and I have binoculars representing the 'premium grade'
manufacturers, Leica, Zeiss, Swarowski, Fujinon as well as other pieces which have something special or unique about them. For a number of
years my quest for the 'ultimate' binocular resulted in dreams of the blc 25x100 which I thought would always remain just that, a dream.
However, this year I came to hear of one, and knowing that if I passed up the opportunity I would probably regret it so I took the plunge and
made the purchase. It now represents the most prized and treasured binocular in my collection. As you know, information on this instrument is
very sparse and I am collecting any references I can find. I noticed in your email archive a video on certain repair aspects relating to the blc
25x100 (not that I would attempt any such operation I can assure you!) and would be interested if it would be possible to obtain a copy. The
email list for this group seems to be a unique source of information on this rather esoteric subject and I would very much appreciate my name
being added to the list. I very much look forward to hearing from you.            Robert Wojciechowski

Subject: A few notes on fungus
From: Peter Abrahams
   The second text below refers to WWII research into fungus; it would be interesting to find this work. The first note below indicates that
antifungal capsules should be removed when they are found during disassembly. I'm not sure I've seen this type of damage to the interior of a
   War Department Technical Manual TM 9-1580; Binoculars M3, M7, M8, M9, M13, M13A1, M15, M15A1, M16, M17 and M17A1 and BC
Telescope M65. 1953. (284p)
p246. To fungus proof the battery commander's telescope M65, fungicidal capsules were sealed in the instrument. However, the active
element not only kills fungus but also speeds corrosion of metal and softens optical cements.
   J. William Schopf. Cradle of Life: The Discovery of Earth's Earliest Fossils
Elso S. Barghoorn (1915-1984), a paleobotanist, biology at Harvard, a fungal specialist, an expertise he had developed in Panama during the
Second World War when he studied the microscopic filamentous fungi that were fouling binoculars and other military equipment in the Pacific

Subject: From the WWW
--Belarus (Ukraine) optical company:
   Interesting looking 7 x 18: If a list member in the US wishes to directly purchase one of these 7 x 18s,
let me know & we can split shipping. The contact is mailto:rtt@___ru
--A good collection of links: ACE Index: Manufacturers of Binoculars, Optics, Spotting Scopes, and Telescopes
--"Up Grand", Hong Kong seller of Chinese binoculars:
--Carson Optical, looks like Chinese models:
--Yuanda binoculars, 87 models: "Collective ownership, import and export enterprise, in Yunnan
province; includes Aude Optics Electric, KunmingYuanda Optics, Kunming Optics Instrument Plant, Liantong Installation & Test factory. More
than one hundred types of telescope is waiting for your sensible choice. 95% of our products sells like hotcakes in Europe, America and other
--Eagle Optics has a new Fujinon 10 x 60, but no details; they are not yet on the Fujinon site
--Birders' Exchange collects equipment for conservation projects in Latin America and the Caribbean....including new and used binoculars....
has aided over 187 groups in 34 must be in good working order....contributions are tax-deductible.
--Bino-net, email list for users of binoculars, mostly amateur astronomers, worth checking out:
--Deutsche Optik Bulletin board:
D.O. has an increasing number of books available:
-Binoculars, Field Glasses, & B.C. Telescopes, All Types. TM 9-1580.
-Field and Depot Maintenance, Repair Parts and Special Tools List for Binoculars M3, M7, M13, M13A1, M15A1, M16, M17A1. TM 9-6650-208-
35P (1962, 42p)
-Manual for Overhaul, Repair and Handling of 7x50 Binoculars with Parts Catalog. USN, document 250-624-2. 116p., 1951.
-Choosing, Using, and Repairing Binoculars. Seyfried.
-Repairing and Adjusting Binoculars. Alii.
-Eyes of the Wehrmacht. Rohan.
-Feldstecher im Wandel Der Zeit. Seeger.
-Military Binoculars and Telescopes for Land, Air and Sea Service. Seeger.
-German Military Technology: The Optical Equipment. Seeger.
-Mitteilungen des Vereins der Freunde und Forderer der Wehrtechnischen Studionsamlung eV.

Binocular List #148: 05 January 2001

Subject: JB codes
Thanks to Bill Beacom for providing a further list of JB codes for manufacturers of Japanese binoculars. I updated the files on the web site with
this new information (about 20 new entries).
JB - JE codes for manufacturers on Japanese binoculars--(plain text)
JB - JE codes--(Excel 5 file)

Subject: Supplies
From: "Frederick Schwartzman" <>
I was very interested to read of the new adhesive. Perhaps somebody knows of a similar magical potion for repairing plastic eyecups, firstly an
adhesive if all of the pieces are there and possibly some sort of filler if parts are missing. regards, Fred

Subject: Repairmen
From: "R.F.Bolton" <>
   While I am flattered to be included in the list of binocular repairers I should point out that I am primarily a camera repairer who is in the
process of expanding into binocular repairs. At this point in time my personal depth of experience is very much at the shallow end of the pool.
Rod. Brisbane Photographic Repairs.
From: Marc James Small <>
   I have used Herb Koehler several times on older Zeiss Jena glasses and have been MOST happy with his work. Oceanview is probably
Harry Fleenor, the great Rolleiflex repairman, though I was unaware he worked on binoculars. Marc

  Subject: Re:Bino Techs
From: "Bill Cook" <>
>There is a significant shortage of binocular repairmen
>Can anyone tell me of others, or if any of the above are inactive?<
  Boy, not seeing my name on that list is like a knife right under my heart. However, it is better to have the knife there than in my wallet. There
are those who say this work is a lost art. It is not! It has been killed, fair and square.
  There are many highly skilled folks out there. Most, though, have opted for a career in which they can earn enough money to feed their
families, and many people with Smithsonian needs are looking for K-Mart prices. Still others think that a tech should be pleased as punch to
work on their instrument for next to nothing just for the pleasure and honor of working on a piece of history. That is the part that killed me. With
35% of my work being museum pieces (near the end), customers wanted to call and 'chat' about their bino 2 or 3 times a week as if theirs was
the ONLY instrument we had on the bench.
  I know the Bino List is full of collectors, and I don't want to offend anyone. Still, I would hope you would all look around you at the dwindling list
of names and realize that if the business was that good, techs would not be dropping like flies.
  Currently, I am trying to get an arrangement going with a camera repair firm - sort of as a franchise: You know, Arthur Treacher's Fish and
Chips / Bill Cook's Scopes and 'Nocklars. However, I don't know if it will ever turn out. There is a propensity for camera techs to think that
because they do good work on cameras bino restoration should be a piece of cake. That usually helps them make customers angry for a few
months before they shut their shop down.
  Still, with my shop closed, what I am about to say should not be taken as self-serving; I hope it is helpful. I have seen some names on the list
of recommended repair centers that DO subcontract their work out and others I wouldn't let near a fishbowl. There is a whole lot more to being a
good tech than knowing how to wipe off a lens and put all the screws back in place. Chief Osborn and Cory Suddarth can do anything with a
bino that the folks in the factories can - and in many cases have a better idea of WHY it is being done to start with. I have seen other names on
the list that worry me from first hand knowledge of their work.
  An example: I have followed one fellow whose name was mentioned recently with a pooper-scooper on several occasions. Yes, he has a
repair business, but. A few weeks ago, a lady came in to buy a case for her 7x50 Zeiss binocular. As a courtesy I put the bino to my eyes to
check for collimation errors. The lady said that would not be necessary, she JUST had them aligned. Seeing that all was not well, I asked if I
could put them on the collimator. They were out in step and spread. Divergence at mid-swing was between 2.5 and 3.0 DEGREES!!! Not
wanting to offend the tech (You know, brotherhood and all that), I suggested that they must have taken a fall in the last few hours. The customer
looked through them and said everything looked okay to her. Well, I've been dragged down Stupid Lane enough to know that I wasn't going to
be able to help this lady, so I shut up and crawled back in my hole. After she left, I got on the phone to discuss the matter with the other tech
and let him know that she might be returning. When I told him what I had found, he responded:
  "Yeah, I noticed something was not quite right."
  IMHO someone who looks at a 3.00 collimation error as 'not quite right' and would let the bino out of his shop as complete, should not be
trusted with collector's items. Sorry, I guess I am just WAY too picky!
  Finally, while you might think there are very few techs already, let me say that there are really even fewer. Many of the biggest names out
there do farm their work out. While I won't go into who's who, I can say that the New York Times published an article about 10 years ago
concerning the optical repair work done by on of their home town optics firms when, in fact, even at the time of the article, their serious repairs
and restorations were coming to me here in Seattle. Later, when Cory came onboard, he did a 'bigeye' for the owner's mother.
  Anyone out there who is a serious collector, is going to want to have a repair tech in his back pocket. I would recommend that those folks try
out these various techs on the cheaper instruments before throwing them an 80 year old Zeiss that is to be totally overhauled.
Just a thought,        William J. Cook.
William J. Cook, Opticalman Chief, USNR-Ret.
Manager, Precision Instruments & Optics, Captain's Nautical Supplies, Seattle
Editor / Publisher, Amateur Telescope Making Journal

Subject: microscope adapter
From: Peter Abrahams
  I recently purchased from Eagle Optics a Chinese made adapter to use a miniature binocular as a stereo microscope. It works well. "Selsi
microscope adapter for roof prism binoculars. This solid mount is metal construction with coated glass optics. Works with any 8x or 10x
compact roof prism binocular for stereo 16x or 20x microscope view. Binocular not included. $40 + 5 ship in US."

Subject: Japanese design twin telescopes
Thanks to Dick Buchroeder and Fan Tao for pointing out an innovative Japanese binocular telescope. There are lots of images of very
ambitious & beautiful twin refractors at the web site & links off of the site. These twin refractors use for image erectors a pair of 135 degree
diagonals. It is a bit tough to figure out how these erecting diagonals work. It looks like you could replicate it by taking two "45 degree Amici
prism diagonals" sold for amateur telescopes; removing the prisms, inserting mirrors, placing one into the other, and rotating them against each
other to the proper angle.
The best illustration is at:
"EMS is the Erecting Mirror System invented by me,Tatsuro Matsumoto,Japan. EMS offers non-reversed upright image with only two
reflections. More than 17years have past since the article of my homemade binoculars appeared in November,1982 issue of the Sky &
Telescope magazine. I had succeeded in developing the EMS which offers non-reversed upright image at the right-angle viewing about
ten years ago, and have come to accept the order from amateurs. Tatsuro Matsumoto (
Joe Castoro is a US amateur astronomer who bought a pair of these units for his telescopes. They are very expensive ($2600, for one or for
one binocular is unclear). He shows them at:
" part of the adjustment process on the bino units, a Pentax Helicoid unit is used. There are more adjustments to attend to than a
binoviewer. The Bino backs just slip into the 2" back of your focuser. You first have the interpupillary adjustment which is done by
moving the Pentax Helicoids on each rear EMS unit. On the right Bino unit there is an ALTaz ajustment for correction in the x-y plane and
next you need to correct in the rotational or axial plane. For example in the left eyepiece there might be a telephone pole that is placed 6
to 12 o'clock. But in the right eyepiece that same pole might be 11 to 5 o'clock. There is a rotation portion of the bino back that handles
this adjustment. Of course the two scopes must be parallel and the bino backs must be parallel also. Once you place them into the
focusers, you must align them with respect to one another. I can be setup and running, now that I know the procedure, in about 5
minutes for equipment setup and another 5 minutes for alignment. After that each person that looks through the scopes has to adjust for
their own interpulliary adjustment and re focus........ The mirrors are di electric coated.." Joe Castoro Coram, New York Error!
Bookmark not defined.

Subject: Web sites
From: Fan Tao <>
Russian giant binoculars from the "NOVOSIBIRSK INSTRUMENT-MAKING PLANT":
Baker Marine (San Diego, CA) binocular repair & sales:
Our facility is one of only two authorized Fujinon repair centers in the United States. Baker Marine normally turns around repairs in 5-10
working days. Founded in 1936 by Captain Robert H. Baker.... In the late 1950s, Robert L. Osterberg, Retired OM, joined forces with Captain
Baker. Through his service in the United States Navy, Osterberg gained more than 20 years of experience as an optical repair man aboard
many tenders and land based facilities around the world.
-------------- Kingslake
A History of The Rochester, NY Camera and Lens Companies by Rudolf Kingslake
(Web publication of: Kingslake, Rudolf, 1974, "The Rochester Camera and Lens Companies", Rochester NY, Photographic Historical Society. )
Bausch and Lomb Gundlach Wollensak Ilex Elgeet The Rochester Optical Company The Ray Camera Company The Monroe Camera
Company Eastman Kodak Company The Photo Materials Company Reichanbach, Morey and Will Vogt Optical Company Century
Graflex Sunart and Seneca The Crown Optical Company Projection Optics Gassner and Marx Movette Photostat and Rectigraph

Binocular List #149: 12 January 2001

Subject: Fungus
From: Peter Abrahams
There is a new fungus treatment available from Zeiss Oberkochen. I have no further ordering information: Fungus Cleaning Agent
"Fungusreiniger NEU". Germicidal effect, not effective in cleaning. Dilute the agent with ethyl alchohol, apply with cotton swab, allow it to act
for one hour or more, clean the surface using normal cleaning solution. Not poisonous but keep away from food & avoid contact with skin. Can
be ordered from Carl Zeiss Oberkochen, dept. KuDi. 100ml bottle, INR 0117.362 500ml bottle, INR 0117.361 1000ml bottle, INR 0117.360

Subject: Repairmen/Bino Techs
From: "optical-repair" <>
  I have noted the comments on the availability of qualified optical instrument repair technicians. (And contrary to the indication in list #146, we
are currently accepting work, we are just being more selective in the work we take in).
  Bill Cook hit the subject straight on in his analysis of the situation. We ourselves have found that we must spend much more time in optical
component fabrication, optical systems engineering and contract work in order to afford to stay in the repair business!!
  The point that Bill made concerning the subcontracting of repair work is also right on the money. I would venture to say that there are only
four or five of us actually doing their own repair/restoration work. As he mentioned, the majority of the repair facilities actually send their work to
Bill, myself, and a couple others. Two of the manufactures that send work, have mentioned that they cannot find folks with the skill sets to
troubleshoot and repair, and especially for instruments that are not in the current product line!!
  I would also like to say, that the growth of this list has been great to see, and I look forward to each new listing. As always, if I can help
anyone on the list just let me know.
  Earl Osborn       Osborn Optical Systems/Osborn Optical Repair

Subject: Repair Capabilities
From: Cory Suddarth <>
Re: repair level capabilities, perhaps a yes/no format could be filled out. i.e.
1) Has a collimator.- Yes/No
2) Uses collimator for every glass.- Yes/No
3) Can do paint, lettering, and number monofil work.- Yes/No
4) Can re-skin or re-texture glass.- Yes/No
5) Can re-polish optics
6) Can re-gas with dry nitrogen.- Yes/No
7) Can work on night vision.- Yes/No
8) Has all those expensive tools like spanner wrenches.- Yes/No
9) Uses common optical practices for, setting Zero Diopters, setting IPD scale, adjusting hinge tension, repacks focusers.
10) Has lathe and other common machine tools for making parts, screws and eyecaps etc.- Yes/No
11) Has repaired over ten thousand binoculars.- Yes/No
12) Has worked on hundreds of Big Eyes by Fujinon, Zeiss, Nikon (Nippon Kugaku), Kollmorgan, and nameless military Big Eyes from China,
Russia, Japan, Germany, and the U.S.- Yes/No
  I'm sure I've missed a few. I'm know our group could add some thoughts here. When Earl adds, Can fabricate optics from scratch, I'll be first
to cry "Show-Off!!.
  Cory Servicing Optical Instruments since 1975 831.443.8778
Subject: Repair
From: Peter Abrahams
Does anyone know these 2 repair businesses, in Arizona & Morden Surrey, England?
(I note the British utilize 'optical couriers' to transport instruments -- whatever that means, I like the idea!)
--Precision Optics - Binocular & Telescope Repair Service. We do repairs on most makes and models of binoculars, telescopes, rifle and
spotting scopes. We specialize in antique and military instruments. We have over 20 years experience working with high quality optics. All
work is guaranteed. Our services include cleaning optics, collimation, repair and restoration of antique and military instruments. Precision
Optics, P. O. Box 2974, Show Low , Az 85902, Phone # 1-520-532-2997, E-mail:
----------- Kay Optical was launched in 1962 as a business for repairing and servicing binoculars... Most equipment at that
time was of British, French and German origin. With the Japanese "invasion" in the late 1960's, servicing work expanded considerably.
Modifications, such as short-focusing a binocular can be carried out.
Repairs come and go by personal caller, Parcelforce or optical courier.

Subject: Cases
From: SmashMN@___m
   A minor tip, but maybe of use to the group.
   I like to have the correct case for every glass I collect, but they're often in pretty shabby shape, even if the optics inside are in good condition.
A common example of this is the Hood plastic cases for WWII Navy binos. Well made and well designed, but often scuffed and dirty from years
of storage someplace.
   I recently obtained a pair of 9x63s. The case was dirty--but worse than that, splattered with white paint, as if it had sat at the end of a
workshop table and gotten years of overspray. I tried a little paint thinner on the bottom, but it reacted with the plastic and left a smear.
   After some false tries, I found the solution with good old WD-40. I sprayed it on the textured plastic and then scrubbed it with a wire brush,
fine wire bristles 3/4 of an inch or so long, circular motion. Whatever's in WD-40 not only lifted off the paint but the years of grime as well.
Took a while, had to go over some areas more than once, but when I was done, the case looked factory new.
   What I haven't solved is the strap issue for leather cases--the cases I get are often intact, but the shoulder straps long gone or if there, too
decayed to trust. The trick is to get straps made that match the leather and the finish of the case. Anybody have any sources?              Marc

Subject: Meeting in L.A. May 2001
From: Peter Abrahams
   This is a very preliminary call for a meeting of binocular list members, preliminary dates Thurs. 24 May, 2001; or Mon. 28 May, 2001. I will
(almost certainly) be in L.A., attending the Riverside Telescope Maker's Conference, which starts Friday 25. I'm guessing that Thursday isn't
the best day for everyone, but lets hear from people before we move it. If some folks will attend if we move it, maybe we should. Steve Rohan
is once again willing to host the meeting, at his residence about 30 miles east of Los Angeles. Previous meetings have been very productive,
with presentations, demonstrations, hands on use of some of the very finest binoculars, and meeting other glass hounds. Please reply if you'd
like to attend, as the number of attendees will partly determine the event.

Subject: Japanese binoculars
From: gene harryman <>
  1. I have several pairs of Japanese binoculars labeled ATCO in some variation, such as Atcocite, AtcoMar, Seymour-ATCO, Kleeratco, etc.
The JB and JE numbers (if they have one) are all different from model to model. I have done searches on the net, but I can find no reference to
ATCO. Can anyone give me information on what ATCO was and any bits of history known?
  2. Does anyone know when Ofuna stopped making binoculars under their own name and started making them under the brand "Tower"?
Does anyone have any information on Cosmos label binoculars, also made by Ofuna. Additionally, I am trying to determine when production of
"Tower" binoculars ceased, or for that matter began. I know from two sources that Ofuna made glass for the Imperial Army. I don't know about
the Navy, but it would stand to reason that they did these also. I would appreciate any response on any these items.      Thanks, Gene

Subject: Web pages
  A web page with some of the history of Nikon binoculars:
  We're a binoculars wholesaler based in Kunming, the capital city of Yunnan where there are more than 20 manufacturers of telescopes and
binoculars. All of these manufacturers have more than 40 years of working on binoculars and telescopes and used to produce only for army.
After transition to market economy... Kunming has become the largest binoculars, telescopes and other optical instruments production and
export base in China. .....we have excellent relationships with all the manufacturers. Therefore, we can purchase the binoculars and telescopes
from them at the very low prices which a friend offers only to a friend. Besides, our experienced, choosy staff compare, evaluate a lot of can be sure to get the products with the most desirable price/quality ratio.

Binocular List #150: 19 January 2001.

Subject: Zeiss 20 - 40 x 200
  The restoration of the Zeiss 20 - 40 x 200 is complete. Kevin Kuhne finished the job and mailed some photos of the instrument. To make
them manageable for web downloads, I converted to B & W and reduced them to about 100 kb each or less.
  Information on this model can be found in Seegers book, Military Binoculars and Telescopes for Land, Air and Sea Service, pages 167, 244,
246, 259, 262, and 280. The book includes more detailed images of the unique mechanisms designed for this glass, to solve the problem of a
stationary eyepiece and an elevating objective tube, causing the right & left side have image rotation in opposite directions. Characteristic of
Zeiss engineering, the solution is hugely complicated, a pair of image rotators that counter-rotate the image as the objectives are raised. IPD is
adjusted using the complex Cardano circle mechanism, discussed in list 108 regarding the Zeiss 25 x 100. Congratulations are in order to
Kevin; and we hope they find a good home in Germany (and that someone can actually view through them.)
20 - 40 x 200: 83 kb
Flats: Repolished to 1/20th wave, aluminized & overcoated. 58 kb
Front of housing: Front view, before tubes were attached, showing 20x lenses in upright position. 77 kb
Front: 116 kb
Side view with Kuhne: 73 kb
Lamphouse: Lamphouse for illumination of reticle. Rheostat for brightness (top). Blue & red filter selector switch (left). Lamp change selector,
introduces fresh light bulb (right) 81 kb
Left interior: 61 kb
Magnification change knob; and name plate (composite image) 86 kb
Objective: 95 kb
Objective 2: 64 kb
Ocular: Ocular plate showing orthoscopic oculars with aspheric eye lenses. Filter selector knob (left) and I.P.D. adjustment knob (right). 86 kb
Ocular2: Ocular plate & lamphouse for illumination of reticle (top). 130 kb
Right interior: 36 kb
Side: 66 kb

Subject: Repairmen/Bino Techs
From: "Roger Davis" <>
  We here at BATSC have the same problems it seems as you guys across the Pacific. I am currently taking a break from repairs, it is now
0820, I have already been here for an hour and a half trying to catch up. I can see 15 binocs on the "in" shelf and 6 on the work benches. I
have an 1886 Troughton & Simms 4" refractor in the final stages of restoration (included French polishing after removal of 100 years of bad
paint jobs [five or six coats] over the original french polish) and another 4" brass refractor of home built origins (c. 1930) awaiting restoration. Of
the binoculars 8 of them are from so called "Optical Service" companies around this city of Melbourne, Australia. These companies are
Spectacle Opticians and only have a vague understanding of binoculars. Their phone calls normally consist of a "can you do it" even though
we have to explain to them what "it" is! I have two other guys working with me and we can't keep up with the demand. It doesn't help when we
are also getting repairs in from people who have had them repaired at another servicing establishment and bring them to us dissatisfied with the
  We also sell binoculars & telescopes & microscopes and trying to spread ourselves over the sales and service is not easy. Some customers
have no concept of magnfication and why binoculars go out of collimation ( quote: " must be the mirrors inside") so it takes time to explain to
them the reasons for repair or selecting one binocular (telescope/microscope) over another. So we lose valuable repair time. As Bill is prone to
say: yada yada ..
  Thanks Earl for your offer of help, but it's a long way to swim!
  As for Cory's list I can add a few:
Restoration of any optical piece of equipment Yes/No
Makes tools to make tools to make repairs Yes/No
Can French Polish                             Yes/No
Can put up with dumb questions from customers Yes/No
   Roger Davis Binocular & Telescope Service Centre P/L Melbourne Australia

Subject: Repair
From: "Bill Cook" <>
>11) Has repaired over ten thousand binoculars.- Yes/No<
  What's the deal Suddaaaaaarrrrppphhhh!? 'You tryin' to FORCE me back to work? I know I am going to have repair remorse at some point.
However, right now it's feelin' pretty good. By shutting down the shop, I cut my emails by, at least, 40%.
  I don't want anyone on the list to take from that that I would turn my back on my friends in need. However, I was getting so many emails every
week from folks who would never spend a dime with Captain's but who would have me download 30 years of experience into their computers so
that they could go forth with information - but no proven skill - to do repairs for a living.
  Oh I still have stories to tell just dealing with the retail end. I spent more than 10 minutes on the phone today trying to get some fellow (who
wanted an accessory) to tell me whether his telescope was a refractor or reflector. At the end, I broke it down as simply as I could by saying:
  "Look at the big end. Is there a LENS there or is there a MIRROR at the other end of the tube?"
  His response...and if I'm lyin' I'm dyin':
  "How can you tell?" As kind and helpful as I want to be to folks, sometimes my 'stupid meter' pegs out and I am hard pressed for sweet things
to say. I gave the gentleman TASCO's phone number and wished him well. What I WANTED to do was ask him if he knew the difference
between his refrigerator and his electric range!! Or perhaps ask him if he was allowed to drive.
  I have since repented of my unkind thoughts. I think if I can get my blood pressure back DOWN to the HIGH range, I will be more agreeable.
  Finally, you don't have to eat Earl's dust on making optics from scratch. It just so happens my Strasbaugh (Freddy) if for sale. It would look
good in your garage. The money would look good in our bank.               Just a thought, Bill Cook, Opticalman Chief, USNR-Ret.
Mgr. Precision Instruments & Optics, Captain's, Seattle
editor / publisher, Amateur Telescope Making Journal

Subject: Leather
From: Arnold Cohen <ancohen@___t>
   RE: Leather straps for cases and binocs. The Leather Factory chain of wholesale/retail leather goods and related materials supplier. They
sell "saddle straps"-long straps of strong, pliable full grain cowhide that are the right width and length for the job. They come natural or oxblood.
The natural can be stained and finished with materials they sell to match most colors. The only problem is I have yet to find a source for the
dumbell shaped/collarbuttons used to secure binoc straps to themselves. Rivets work but are more permanent. Also, old fashioned "scuff coat"
liquid shoe polish does a great job on leather cases/straps to bring back to near new appearance. First condition the leather carefully with mink
oil or other high qual leather conditioner. Let rest for a few days, buff again and apply the scuff coat. The black is most effective, due to the
variation of brown colors must be sure it is a close match first. Arnie

Subject: Repair
From: "David Hoyt" <>
marc norman was right on with the wd-40 tip in cleaning the hood cases. amazing! does anyone have any tips on touching up the black crinkle
paint that is on some ww2 glasses? i`ve tried masking off an area and also spraying some paint into a papercup and brushing it on. it blends
pretty well if you have a small area.

Subject: Exit pupils, brightness, etc.
From: Peter Abrahams
   The question was raised on sci.astro.amateur, whether two binoculars with identical exit pupils but different apertures & magnifications, would
be identically bright. There are other variables, such as coatings, but generally the answer is yes, though not because exit pupil itself is
particularly significant -- but because when you accept a certain exit pupil (ratio of aperture to magnification), and increase aperture (increase
brightness), you have to increase magnification (decrease brightness).
   Comparing two models with greatly different specifications but identical 4 mm exit pupil, a 25 x 100, and a 8 x 32, which would be brighter?
   1. How much light does the objective collect? Area of objective = pi times radius squared, to compare areas & calculate the ratio between
the two binoculars: 50 x 50 x 3.14 = 7850 square mm of glass in the 100 mm objective. For the 32 mm objective: 16 x 16 x 3.14 = 804 sq.
mm. 7850 / 804 = 9.76. So, there's almost 10x light gathering with the 25 x 100, compared to the 8 x 32.
   2. How large a field is viewed (how much light is gathered from the sky?). Assume an equal 75 degree apparent field; the 25 x would have a
3 degree field; and the 8 x would have a 9.4 degree field. This is a linear measure, so the area of the sky viewed in each would be compared
using the same radius squared ratio: 25 x views (1.5 x 1.5 x 3.14) = 7 'square degrees' of the sky. The 8 x views (4.7 x 4.7 x 3.14 =) 69.4
'square degrees' of sky. 69.4 / 7 = 9.9; so the 8 x views 10 times as much area of sky.
   3. Do these two factors cancel each other out? It would seem they do.
   I'm reminded of a conversation with an optical engineer, when I asked him whether you can ever, under any circumstances, have light
gathering without magnification (to view the night sky with a large field). He said no, that would violate the 'no free lunch' law of optics. This
rather obtuse reference was not particularly meaningful to me at the time, but 'I'm beginning to see the light'.
   4. You also need to differentiate between brightness per unit area, and total amount of light transmitted. Example: a 7 x 50 (7.1mm exit
pupil), with a narrow 6 degree field (42 degree apparent field). Compare with an 8 x 50 (6.25 mm exit pupil), with a very wide 9 degree field.
The 7x will have greater brightness per unit area of the field, the 8x will be delivering much more light to the eye. When I was visually
comparing the 25 x and the 8 x, I was attempting to perceive brightness per unit area -- comparing the beige color in the view.
   5. Coatings will make a significant difference when comparing glass, without changing exit pupil. Baffling will effect perceived brightness, if
there is stray light from outside the field of view, the field will likely seem brighter; or there is stray light from outside the exit pupil, the field will
likely seem dimmer. If you really want to nit pick, you can note that the actual field of view is significantly effected by eyepiece distortion, which
widens the field, but the amount of light gathered at the edge will be different than an undistorted area of the field (slight vignetting).
      I put all this drivel to the test, and set up a 25 x 100 (2.6 degree field, labeled Parks, made by Toho Optical), and a Canon 8 x 32 WP (7.5
degree field, their current production, a really excellent binocular). I viewed a dim corner of a white painted wall, right eye through the Parks &
left eye through the Canon. They were quite similar, with the Canon being very slightly brighter. It might be a 'true color' effect, or the Canon's
superior coatings. A Zeiss 15 x 60, circa 1970, was very slightly dimmer than either; this glass has been into the repair shop for yellowed
cement & it might have the problem again (a common affliction of the otherwise outstanding Oberkochen binoculars of that era, I've seen them
where the field has a medium brown cast to it -- the cause is either deteriorating cement or a haze from outgassing lubricant.)
   Then I thought to measure the exit pupil of these models, using a machinists rule & a strong magnifier to read to a fraction of a mm, to make
sure the aperture delivered to the eye was the same as the diameter of the objective. I had a few heart-stopping moments when the 25 x 100
mm glass was showing a 3 mm exit pupil, but then I realized I had the ruler laying on the eyepiece & not out at the distance provided by eye
relief. This makes measuring, using only two hands, a lot more difficult, holding a translucent paper & the ruler in the air at the proper distance
above the eyepiece, and the magnifier in the other hand. The Canon 8 x 32 shows a 4 mm pupil, and incidentally, clearly has a field stop
mounted at the prism, a sheet metal insert covering the prism with a large hole in the middle. The Zeiss 15 x 60 has a 4 mm pupil.
Unfortunately, the 25 x 100 only shows a 3.5+ mm exit pupil, meaning that it is effectively an 88 mm glass; and the field stop seems to be the
prism shelf itself, so it would not be easy to open up. This Parks 100 mm model looks very similar to the 14 x 100 and 25 x 100 models sold by
Orion, Adorama, and other retailers; it would be interesting to compare JB numbers with other Japanese 100 mm binoculars -- this example is
marked JB 251 (Toho) on the prism shelf, viewable through the objective.        --Peter
--------- A reply to the above is useful:
three quantities that "brightness" (can mean): luminous flux (equivalent to total power); luminous flux density (equivalent to power per unit
area); and luminance (equivalent to power per unit area per steradian) still sometimes termed "photometric brightness". Zane

There are a large number of reviews of currently available binoculars at:

Does anyone know what the binocular article is in this book?
U. S. Naval Institute Proceedings Naval Essays of Service Interest: A Collection of Selected Articles from the Pages of the U.S. Naval Institute
Proceedings. Naval Institute Press [Annapolis, MD: 1945 ?] 1st edition. 415pp.

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