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Vintage and Classic Binoculars discussion (Part 2)

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#1 Richard McC

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 08:07 AM

After almost two thousand posts to the old "Vintage and Classic Binoculars discussions" thread it is time to start a new one before the forum software has a heart attack! :)

To kick things off here are a couple of pictures of my Swift Audubon 804ED (8.5x44). Not a vintage binocular (mine was manufactured in 1996) but a Swift collector might call it a classic. Very sharp on axis and a decently wide field of view (~8.2°) too.

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#2 Richard McC

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 08:07 AM

Second picture

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#3 planetmalc

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 11:40 AM

I bought one of these, secondhand and sight unseen, and was rather disappointed by the off-axis performance, which I'd rate as 'poor' for a model that retailed new at over £400 in the UK. The bulbous front element is a liability that requires the user to be extra-careful. I liked everything else about it though, particularly the vivid colour rendition which is clearly better than that of the Audubon 10 x 50 HR/5 model of the same vintage. Surprisingly, the two models weigh almost the same. Lovely handling and a real good-looker.

So near and yet so far.......

#4 Simon S

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 12:31 PM

Richard, you could have let the previous thread reach 100! :crazy:
Love the Swifts, they are a great performer.

#5 Richard McC

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 06:10 PM

Sorry Simon, we should have moved to a new thread earlier. The forum software isn't fond of really long threads. If you go to "My Home" and then "Display preferences, number of shown threads, languages, colors..." you can change the number of posts to display per page. Reduce that from 20 to 19 and the thread will be over a 100 pages long for you. :)

The Swift 804ED does show very vivid colors, planetmalc. With my sample under the stars the image quality begins to noticeably fall off about half way from the center of the FOV to the edge and near the edge it is very poor. By day the `sweet spot' seems to be larger. At least the degradation increases gradually which I find less annoying than when things go from good to poor very quickly. It would be better still if almost all (or indeed all) of the FOV was great but I guess not every binocular can be a Fujinon FMT, Nikon Prostar or SE, etc. The 8.5x44 and 10x50 versions of the Swift are pretty similar in size (see attached picture) and weight and I agree that the objectives should have been recessed a little more for better protection.

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#6 Richard McC

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 06:13 PM

My Swift collection (my father has a 1999 804 non-ED too).

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#7 Philip Levine

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 06:49 PM

Hello Richard,
Does't Simon qualify for some special recognition from CN for starting and contributing to such a great thread? The variety and depth of vintage bino info in this thread has been amazing, great tips, photos, you name it. 139426 views, 1925 replies, 97 pages!
Kudos Simon!
Phil

#8 KennyJ

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 07:13 PM

For what it's worth, I wholeheartedly agree that Simon deserves special recognition for his contributions to this forum !

Kenny

#9 Zdee

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 07:27 PM

For what it's worth, I wholeheartedly agree that Simon deserves special recognition for his contributions to this forum !

Kenny


:ubetcha:

#10 mercedes_sl1970

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 07:46 AM

For what it's worth, I wholeheartedly agree that Simon deserves special recognition for his contributions to this forum !

Kenny


Agree too. I have certainly appreciated the thread. In these days of more and more disposable items the vintage and classic bino thread is very refreshing.

Andrew

#11 alsendk

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 12:57 PM

Absolutely
It is so very joyful for me, to try take in all that knowledge, wisdom, and technical skill, that Simon Spiers is giving away here.
But also Signore Bensi, and mr.Potts- FrankL....actually everybody here should be mentioned and celebrated for their tribute for making this place here very special.
Thank you all
Allan

#12 Simon S

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 04:44 PM

Thank you for all your kind comments it means a great deal to me. I would also mention Frank and Marco's huge contributions to the tread.

#13 FrankL

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 08:29 PM

Thank you Alan and Simon. I really enjoy these older binoculars and love it when others enjoy them too. Simon, your posts and Flickr page had a lot to do with my starting to collect binoculars.
Frank

#14 Simon S

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 05:12 AM

The Ross Porro II binocular is a very common find on the used market, I have several examples in my collection, this one having the Stepnite designation.
Some of the early examples in good condition are a good binocular, sharp and bright but often suffer from field to prism separation resulting is a speckled view in the eyepieces.

This binocular defiantly rates as one of the better binoculars in my collection just for it's superbly well corrected image. It Looks exactly the same a Army issue Bino Prism 7x50, but has coated optics and therefore a slightly brighter image (in theory). The view is in fact very bright, sharp and stays sharp almost to the edge of the field. It is strange this binocular can perform so well and other Ross models of this era and design are poor by comparison.

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#15 FrankL

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 10:40 AM

This is a great binocular. I have one made 1935-37 without coated optics and like yours sharpness to edge is much better than many other Ross and Barr&Stoud Porro II's I've seen. Compared to two circa 1950's Steplux 7X50's I've had (the Steplux is the CF version of the Stepnite) the Steplux had a little brighter image due to their coated optics (the Stepnite is still exceptionally good for uncoated, though), but the Steplux sharpness to edge was not nearly as good. This softness at the edge can be focused out with the center then going soft indicating it is due to curvature.

#16 Simon S

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 11:00 AM

Frank I have just won a pair of B&L mk28's. They need a few bits, eye cups etc but I have a source for those. I am rather excited at the moment!

#17 jhubs

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 03:20 PM

Hello everyone! I am awestruck by the combined knowledge contained in this thread,so after a bit of lurking (and learning) I have finally signed up. This was prompted by a recent meeting with simon (glad you like the customs!)who suggested this thread/forum.
As a long term binoholic with a taste for fine vintages surely there can be no better place.Anyway congratulations on those mk28's simon,superb instrument its a sobering thought that lives depended on these binos and the people that used them.Good find.

#18 Simon S

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 03:29 PM

Hi Jhubs glad you could join us. Lots of info and interesting people on here, all interested in binoculars of various vintages and designs.
This thread was only started this week but the previous thread can be found here http://www.cloudynig...5/o/all/fpart/1


#19 Pinewood

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 05:34 PM

Frank I have just won a pair of B&L mk28's. They need a few bits, eye cups etc but I have a source for those. I am rather excited at the moment!

Hello Simon,

The Mk 28 was my third binocular, which I bought new in the original box, wrapped in metal foil. That purchase was made, 27 years, ago.

Happy collecting,
Arthur :waytogo:

#20 FrankL

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 10:51 PM

You've certainly been busy lately!

Once you get the Mk 28's place them on a table next to your beloved Nikon Tropical 7X50. If your Tropical is like my likewise beloved Tropical, it will be externally almost indistinguishable from the Mk 28 having what appear to be the same dimensions, same shaped prism plates, same size objective caps etc. Both are great binoculars too. I think the Mk 28 with coated optics has to be in optical and build quality one of the best mass-produced 7X50's in WWII.

#21 BillC

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 11:40 PM

Simon:

for new EP cups, contact Captain's. I had several made to original specs -- all that really matters are the threads -- out of plastic. And, they should have plenty left in pnenolic, too.

BillC, out

#22 Simon S

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 02:50 AM

Thanks Bill Surplus Shed have all the parts but thanks anyway.
I wonder if it will be as good as the Nikon, I think it will be close.


#23 BillC

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 10:19 AM

Structurally, close; there was a war on. Optically, not even.

#24 alsendk

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 12:27 PM

Please put on a picture of the Mk28
I am getting very curious now to know more.
Is it a german binocular?

hilsen
Allan

#25 Simon S

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 12:36 PM

No Allen Bausch and Lomb 7x50's. They are not here yet, but rest assured they will be on as soon as I receive them.






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