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Old binoculars

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#1 PencilCricket



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Posted 16 October 2012 - 04:57 PM

I was wondering if anyone could tell me anything about an old pair of binoculars I inherited from my grandfather. All I know about them is what's written on them:

"REGENT 10x50 coated optics Empire Made"

I really don't know how old they are, but I'd imagine "Empire Made" puts their age at 50+ years. I've had them for many years but so far I've only ever used them for watching cricket* but I'm wondering how suitable they are for astronomy. I've had a go in the garden this evening and they seem OK apart from being a bit heavy at around 2 pounds. Anything anyone could tell me about them would be of interest :)

*one day I'll pass them on to my grandchildren and retell the day I saw Sachin Tendulkar make a 50 through them at Trent Bridge

#2 charen


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Posted 16 October 2012 - 09:47 PM

They are Japanese made post war classic porro prism binoculars. As long as they are well collimated and mildew free they will be work as astronomical binoculars. They do lack the more modern lens coatings of today so brightness and contrast will not be as optimal. The eye relief will also be restrictive. They are not waterproof.
Post war Japanese binoculars had strict quality controls in place to ensure continuity of optical and build standards so it is rare to get a bad 'one'. They are not robust as such however and have to be handled in accordance.
Japan produced 100's of porro binoculars under many names and many households worldwide would have had a pair. The Chinese over they past decade or two now supply the majority of optical instruments for world consumption. Your binoculars should still give better images then the 'entry' level binoculars that have flooded the markets over the recent years.


#3 bigfield


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Posted 06 February 2013 - 04:03 PM

"Empire Made" is generally considered to be a Hong Kong / Commonwealth marking found on goods destined for the UK market, in which Imperial Preference would grant no duty charges or lower tariff charges on UK importation of manufactured goods from Hong Kong as a Crown Colony (around 1842-1997). I have a variety of Regent "Empire Made" binoculars documented in www.miniaturebinoculars.com. The inference is that these binoculars are claimed to be Hong Kong assembled (presumably from Japanese parts)and intended to be sent to the UK or a Commonwealth country (Canada, Australia, etc. I have also found the accompanying cases to these Regent binoculars to be marked "England made" or "Empire made".

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