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Some Russian binoculars

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#1 chris charen

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Posted 17 June 2007 - 04:38 AM

Recently brought these two Russian binos from a local optical dealer that I know well. I live in Auckland, New Zealand.
One is a 7x50 and the other a 7x35. Unsure about the names, age or history - did some web searches but litle comes up.
[The truth being my Russian is not very good!]

They both have impressive optics - esp. the 7x35's.
They both have coatings that look like they are F.M.C. but I am assuming they are M.C.

They 7x35's have a deep purple / green reflection and the 7X50's are a deep green reflection.
They both have round pupil exits with adequate eye refief. The 7x35's have soft rubber eye cups.

Internally they are pristine and both are well collimated.

They both are very sharp on axis with some softning towards the edge - about 90% on the 7x35's - which is impressive as they have a 8.5 FOV and 70% out on the 7x50's - which appear to be the standard 7.1 degree FOV.
Stars are pinpoint and easy to focus. They display absolutely minimal internal reflections. There is no ghosting on bright objects.
There are no obvious lens defects.
The only and main issue is they both have 'fragile' focusers.
There is minor 'play' in both and are not up to the robust high quality build of rest of the binoculars.

These binoculars cost me about US$40 each.
The 7x50's are equal to my Japanese Ashai Pentax and Yashicas and even some Carl Zeiss Jenas I recently viewed.
The 7x35's I would say were even mildly superior.

If these are an example of Russian binos then they are very underestimated.
Russian binos do come up 'infrequently' on our local E. bay type site - these mainly being the 'Kronus' versions which appear to get 'reasoanble' reviews.
Unsure what the availability of these makes of Russian binoculars are like in the USA or Europe but I would strongly recommend sampling a pair and buying if optically sound.

Attached Thumbnails

  • 1667134-binoculars.JPG


#2 chris charen

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Posted 17 June 2007 - 04:40 AM

and from the front

Attached Thumbnails

  • 1667135-very last.JPG


#3 johnno

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Posted 17 June 2007 - 11:46 AM

Hi Charen,

Not sure about the 7x35's,

BUT,almost sure the 7x50 is a TENTO,I have an older 10x50 Tento with very similar markings,although heavy, the optics are quite good,with pinpoint stars,etc.

I doubt MY Tento coatings,are as good as yours though,
Mine are now at least 15 years old.

Regards.John

#4 putzig

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Posted 17 June 2007 - 04:49 PM

As I can see the 7x35 is the Berkut and the 7x50 is BPC/Tento. Both of them were made in Zagorskij Optical Plant - http://zomz.sposad.ru/En/EMain_Z.htm
They can be abou 15 years old, but maybe younger, because here in Middle Europe some of the optical dealers still sell them, as new.For their price they are very good in optics, and in my opinion the only one fault they have is the focusing, which often very unstable and sensitive. I own three pair of this kind, and I am very satisfied.

#5 chris charen

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Posted 17 June 2007 - 07:58 PM

'Johnno' and 'Putzig' thanks for the information.

These 45 degree 30x90 mm binos look interesting. Click on 'Astronomical' to bring up. [from the above web site]

http://zomz.sposad.ru/En/EMain_Bin.htm

#6 Pepin The Short

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Posted 18 June 2007 - 03:54 AM

I'm familiar with both of these. The pair with rubber eyecups is "Berkut", and the one with metal eyecups is sold under the brand "Baygish". Baygishs have better overall quality (both sharpness and larger field of view, the eyepieces are larger) and I can recommend them to any beginner binocular lover with modest budget. Especially model Baygish BPC5 8x30M seems to be very attractive. It is sturdy, has fine focusing, and produces clear, sharp views. As far as I know it is based on German Carl Zeiss Jena design from WWII, since the factory had been captured by the Red Army and the technology was stolen. The contrast is suprisingly good for Russian optics, but of course is no match with contemporary Western / Chinese designs with modern coatings. On the other hand Baygish BPC5 8x30M costs only 50$ in Poland (new!) and a solid, leather holder is included. It is very nice, durable (no plastic at all), and handy pair of binoculars. The only disadvantage are the metal eyecups.

#7 Patrik Iver

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Posted 18 June 2007 - 03:36 PM

They can be abou 15 years old, but maybe younger, because here in Middle Europe some of the optical dealers still sell them, as new.


I have a 7x50 exactly like that one - identical markings. My maternal grandfather gave it to me when I finished high school 20 years ago, so they definitely were around at that time. Optically it's quite good and sharp. It's seen some mild abuse (paint worn through in several places) in and around boats, but the optics are pristine, and the collimation is still good.

This is the same brand which is known as Kronos nowadays, I have a "made in Russia" (not "made in USSR", as the 7x50 is marked) Kronos 26x70, and the manufacturers logo and prism housings are identical.

#8 gatorengineer

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Posted 19 June 2007 - 06:25 PM

The 7.5 degree 10x50's look very interesting. Are you aware of anyone who sells them on the web, or the 30x90's........

I have a number of Russian Binos Tento's and Komz, and would definitely take them over at least the last generation of the Chinese binos. I havent seen the latest Fuji knockoffs, but the reviews on those are favorable.

#9 Simon S

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Posted 03 August 2008 - 06:55 AM

The 7x35's are badged by various russian optic company's, Komz, Tento, and offer a fair field of view, sharp image and typical yellow sepia cast. They are also tough as hell!

#10 hallelujah

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Posted 03 August 2008 - 07:15 AM

Pepin,

Whatever happened to the translation from Polish to English, that you talked about last year?

http://www.optyczne....etek-10x50.html

#11 Vincent33

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Posted 03 August 2008 - 10:09 AM

[quoteThe contrast is suprisingly good for Russian optics, but of course is no match with contemporary Western / Chinese designs with modern coatings. On the other hand Baygish BPC5 8x30M costs only 50$ in Poland (new!)[/quote]

Where, please? Thanks.

#12 Scanning4Comets

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Posted 03 August 2008 - 04:29 PM

Those are some very nice Russian Binocs indeed Charen !!!

I myself have had two pairs of Russian bins. My first pair were a 20x60 Tento I bought about 25 years ago and dismantled them to see what was inside. Do'h !!! They're toast now.

My second pair are the ones in the pic provided here which are Zenit 7x50's that I found in a pawn shop for $40.00 :shocked:. I remember seeing that they had perfectly round exit pupils and nice coatings. These were sold on Astromart about 5 years ago to some lucky guy. :bawling:

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  • 2558018-Zenit russian 7x50 Binocs.JPG


#13 Gordon Rayner

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Posted 04 August 2008 - 04:16 PM

I recall Russian 10 x 50, 7 x 50, 8 x 30, 12x 50(?) for sale deep in Mexico in the 1980's ( but not near the border with the U. S.) The importer was in Guadalajara. The were mechanically well built, the leather cases had a slightly fishy odor, and the images had yellow tint. The prices were very low, but I preferred the CZ Jena with untinted images, which were available in England and Canada, but not widely in the U. S. A. at that time, because of the 60%duty on socialist country optical goods.

#14 KennyJ

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Posted 04 August 2008 - 05:54 PM

I recall 12 x 40 was more common in England at the time than 12 x 50 .

I would agree some of cases emitted a distinct hint of Halibut .

Kenny

#15 hallelujah

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Posted 04 August 2008 - 08:10 PM


I would agree some of cases emitted a distinct hint of Halibut .

Kenny


Must have smuggled them in with the "catch-of-the-day". :grin:

#16 Clive Gibbons

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 12:01 PM

I recall Russian 10 x 50, 7 x 50, 8 x 30, 12x 50(?) for sale deep in Mexico in the 1980's ( but not near the border with the U. S.) The importer was in Guadalajara. The were mechanically well built, the leather cases had a slightly fishy odor, and the images had yellow tint. The prices were very low, but I preferred the CZ Jena with untinted images, which were available in England and Canada, but not widely in the U. S. A. at that time, because of the 60%duty on socialist country optical goods.



I have two pairs of Tento 7x50's.
One bought used for very little money at a charity shop.
Both have exceptionally sharp optics.
Images do have a slightly yellowish tint. I believe this is due to the coatings. Every lens and prism surface has a rather strong bluish/magenta MgF2 layer, which has an overall attenuation of blue/violet wavelengths.
The rubber eyecups (diving mask quality rubber) are still in one piece. The focuser is smooth, positive and seems to use no grease... well, not as much as most binocs.
The fishy-smelling case is packed away far from sensitive noses.

These binocs have optical performance on a par with units costing 10x as much. If you ever see a pair, get 'em. :waytogo:

#17 m00nless

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 01:07 PM

If anyone has purchased new Russian binoculars recently I would like to know the source.

#18 Sammyboy

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 04:43 PM

I haven't bought any new ones but these Russian optics come up frequently on Ebay at tempting prices.

I have a pair of BNU5 8x30s from 1986, an 8x30 monocular from about 1975, and a pair of the ZOMZ 12x40s from circa 1977.

I'm impressed with all of them, the monocular has a very pronounced yellowy tint, though the bins only a slight tint. I'm keeping an eye out for some nice 7x50s to add to the old Soviet collection for astronomy as most of my bins seem to be on the small size!

Sadly the 12x40s seem to be slightly out of collimation - not enough for a double image and still very useable but I can feel my eyes trying to compensate for the first second or so I look through them. Are these collimated via eccentric rings? If so I'll have a go - though bit reluctant to take the metal 'cosmetic' ring off as that old soviet grease must give the bins some element of waterproofing! :p

#19 potts34

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 11:22 AM

I have several pairs of Russian binoculars both centre focus and individual focus, 8x30(Zomz)cf and if(Komz),7x50(Zomz) if and 12x40 (Zomz)cf all are generally excellent and really good value for money.
I agree focusing can be a little sloppy but put this down to larger tolerances to allow for extreme cold in winter? I just use a thicker grease to lunricate the workings and they are ok then.
These sites are worth a look if only for the symbols and makers details http://www.zenitcame...a/qa-logos.html
http://cameras.alfredklomp.com/logos/ although they are camera based sites you will see many of the logo's on binoculars.

#20 potts34

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 11:27 AM

Charen, you're a long term member I think? take a good lok back through the vintage Binocular thread I just bumped back up ther's plenty in here about Russian stuff, It is indeed worth seeking out and by and large is all I concentrate on now ...unless a bargain comes along....and the wife's not looking!!!

#21 Pinewood

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 11:52 AM

If anyone has purchased new Russian binoculars recently I would like to know the source.

This firm is located in the USA:
http://www.russianoptics.com/

Clear skies,
Arthur Pinewood

#22 m00nless

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 01:57 PM

I emailed them a few times in the past, but never got a reply.

#23 Clive Gibbons

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 02:57 PM

When I worked in an optics store back in the 1980's, we carried a wide range of different binoculars.
Mostly the popular brands. No Zeiss, Leitz or Nikon, tho.
Anyways, there was a very handy brick wall a few hundred feet away from the store. It made for a good target to test our binoculars. Each pair was mounted on a tripod and a Pentax 7x monocular was placed behind the eye lens of each unit. This boosted the binocular's magnification by.... :thinking: a factor of seven. :grin:
So, a 7x glass became 49x and 10x ones jumped up to 70x.
The brick wall was examined for sharpness, contrast and overall image quality.
Of all the binocs tested only one matched the Tento 7x50's and those where a pair of Bausch and Lomb 10x50 porro prism glasses which retailed for $400.
It was a truly eye-opening experience. Several pairs of highly regarded binos in the $150 to $250 range didn't hold a candle to the Tentos.
But, back the day, there was much more resistance to buying Russian (Soviet) products. So, even when we pointed out to customers how sharp and inexpensive the Tentos were, they would very often still buy the inferior, but better known brand. :shrug:

#24 Pinewood

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 03:43 PM

I emailed them a few times in the past, but never got a reply.

Hello Moonless,

I purchased a Foton 7x35 from them, about sixteen months, ago.

Clear skies,
Arthur Pinewood

#25 KennyJ

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 03:59 PM

I've been aware of the optical quality / value for money of Russian binoculars for many years , although I grew out of solid eyecups , short eye relief and stiff focus mechanisms about 10 years ago .

However , over 7 years ago when I finally purchased my Zeiss 7 x 42 , I had a surplus from my set - aside budget that amounted to around £250 , which I came very close to spending a good proportion of buying one each of a range of Russian binoculars .

Instead I bought a 102mm short - tube refractor and a few eyepieces and assorted bits and pieces .

In spite of their mechanical and physical shortcomings , I do sometimes wish I'd have bought the binoculars instead .

Kenny


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