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What are some current US military binoculars?

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#26 BarrySimon615

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 08:28 AM

Bushnell Binoculars on bridge, U.S.S. New Orleans.

Attached Thumbnails

  • 3266385-Bushnell Bridge Binoculars.jpg


#27 RichD

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 08:41 AM

Optex systems Inc, texas.

A manufacturer or just a supplier? Were they 20x100's?

They look great.

#28 brocknroller

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 10:41 AM

Thanks for posting those photos, Barry. Wonder how those "Big Eyes" would work on the night sky? You should have stowed away to find out. :-)

I like the head rest in the second "Big Eyes" photo (which is flipped up in the photo). I imagine the application is to keep your head steady in rough seas.

A few years ago, a CN member (Claudio?) posted a homemade head rest he made for his Nikon 8x32 SE to keep his eyes at just the right distance to avoid blackouts.

I would imagine the SE head rest would also help lessen vibrations for hand held stargazing in a lawn chair since it adds a another resting point. I hold the brim of my hat while stargazing with binoculars to add stability.

I was surprised they didn't have mil spec bins for hand held use on-board such as Fuji FMTs or at least a Captain's Helmsman.

Bill, here's an opportunity to make some military sales!

Take a tour of the boat, throw the Bushnells overboard when nobody's looking, and leave Helmsman in their place.

The Navy will be so impressed with the new bins, they will show up in Seattle to order more for the entire fleet (or to arrest you for destroying government property :-).

#29 BarrySimon615

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 01:50 PM

I like the head rest in the second "Big Eyes" photo (which is flipped up in the photo). I imagine the application is to keep your head steady in rough seas.


B'rock, how would you adjust to using a headrest given the Klingon skull and forehead spine?

Barry

#30 brocknroller

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 02:16 PM

I like the head rest in the second "Big Eyes" photo (which is flipped up in the photo). I imagine the application is to keep your head steady in rough seas.


B'rock, how would you adjust to using a headrest given the Klingon skull and forehead spine?

Barry


Use it in the retracted position. :-)

#31 Wes James

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 03:05 PM

Our control tower here at Naval Station Mayport used to use Pentax binoculars, including the 12x50 and 20x60 PCF's... the sad thing is, they get so abused that they are inevitably knocked waaaaay out of collimation... which, of course, they don't realize until I tell their Tower Chief! Currently they have a pair of Clearview 7x50 and a pair of Pentax 20x60 PCF's up there. It tends to be whatever they can find for sale, as they open purchase them- and don't really know their optics- though one can't fault their choice of Pentax quality-wise... though they would be better off with a lower power wider field pair of binoculars. They certainly don't need much beyond 10x. I gave up trying to advise them some time ago. And what they buy today will be worthless in 3-6 months.

#32 brocknroller

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 06:35 PM

Our control tower here at Naval Station Mayport used to use Pentax binoculars, including the 12x50 and 20x60 PCF's... the sad thing is, they get so abused that they are inevitably knocked waaaaay out of collimation... which, of course, they don't realize until I tell their Tower Chief! Currently they have a pair of Clearview 7x50 and a pair of Pentax 20x60 PCF's up there. It tends to be whatever they can find for sale, as they open purchase them- and don't really know their optics- though one can't fault their choice of Pentax quality-wise... though they would be better off with a lower power wider field pair of binoculars. They certainly don't need much beyond 10x. I gave up trying to advise them some time ago. And what they buy today will be worthless in 3-6 months.


Wes,

Using a 20x non-stabilized bin hand held with a 2.2* FOV and a 3mm exit pupil on a moving ship is bigger faux paux than the presidents using bins with the caps on!

As someone once said (and I heavily paraphrase): Anyone who would use a Pentax 20x60 on a moving ship should not be allowed around sharp objects!

They sound badly in need of an optics consultant. I would recommend William J. Cook, Chief Opticalman, USNR-Ret. (no relation to the cantankerous and venomous-tongued Bill Cook on this forum :-).

I'm sure Chief Cook would welcome the chance to come out of semi-retirement and get away from cloudy/rainy Seattle for awhile to visit Mayport-by-the-Sea and show the station's naval officers samples of his store's optics and nautical supplies.

It could be a matter of national security! What if one of those Russian Akula submarines surfaces off the coast of Florida and they couldn't see it because their binoculars were not mil spec?

I can just imagine.... (harp sounds)

Jake Holman (Machinist Mate, 1st Class):
Capn', I think I see something approaching off the starboard bow.

Captain Collins: Ask Po-han to get the binoculars so I can take a closer look.

Jake Holman: Aye, Aye, Cap'n. Hey, Po-han, where did you put those binoculars in the engine room?

Po-han: See Wow.
Jake Holman: What?
Po-han: On See Wow.
[points to steam valve emphatically]
Jake Holman: You put them on top of the steam valve?! Oh, great.

(hands the binoculars to the captain)

Captain Collins: Holman, I can't see a *expletive* thing through these binoculars, they are fogged up. I can't tell if that's a submarine or a whale. I should have you shot as a mutineer!

Jake Holman: Well, shoot something! If it's the Russians, we might stop an invasion, if it's a whale, we'll have some fresh meat.

Po-han: Wow.

#33 Wes James

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 07:24 PM

*laughing* I know, Brock! And you'll note my comment-

I gave up trying to advise them some time ago.


Wes (ETC/USN/RET)

#34 clschmalz

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 08:58 PM

Optex Systems Inc 20x120 Ship Binoculars
http://optexsys.com/...binoculars.html

#35 Gordon Rayner

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Posted 12 August 2009 - 12:56 AM

I made some of the tapered male dovetails, about 12, which allow those 20 x 120 on the ship ( some of which have the female dovetail (not shown)) to fit the early mounts whose single arm fits between the telescope tubes. Some of the later production have both the female dovetail and the trunnions. Compare the trunnion holding clamps on the end of each fork arm in the photo with the movie industry clamps shown at www.doughty-engineering.co.uk/shop/7/57/ . Those Navy mounts are very heavy. I have owned three. The WW II copies of the Japanese 20 x 120 /45 deg binoc had mounts which were adequate, but much lighter. Those are similar to the 1920's and 1930's Zeiss mounts for the 60, 80, 110, and larger twin telescopes with turret eyepieces. I have about four of those Navy copies of the Japanese design.

The single arm mounts from the '50's and the '60's (Kollmorgen was the contractor for that version of the binocular, which has slightly different optics than the one in the photo) had a stainless steel male tapered dovetail. Mine are hardcoat anodized aluminum. I made a mill fixture to simplify semi-production.

I bought about 15 of those binoculars at the end of the Vietnam war. I still have some. Also have replacement eyelenses . I made some headrests , as copies of the Zeiss WW II 25 x 100 headrest, which is a more comfortable shape than the US Navy version version which bumps the cheeks, as does the WW II Busch design 10 x 80 Flak binocular headrest. I believe that the Navy shape is a copy of the Busch shape. Also, those binoculars need smoothing of the portion next to the nose. I made a vise fixture for the rear of the prism housing, and get an upper body muscle workout with a curved tooth file for aluminum. Such files are also called lead (Pb) files.


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