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What was your first binocular?

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#26 Tony Flanders

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 08:45 AM

My first binoculars were 7x35 Galileans. Very poor eye relief, extremely narrow field of view, no coatings at all, mediocre image quality. I still own them.

My second binoculars were Nikon 7x35s, mid-1960s vintage, no model name. Superb mechanical quality, very good optics aside from having relatively primitive coatings, 50-degree AFOV. I still use them frequently.

#27 Jay_Bird

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 01:03 PM

AMC 7x35 Porro (K.O.C. is the maker mark from c.1970 Japan)

They have dented trim rings, missing patches of leatherette, and metal showing through laquer and anodizing, but are still a servicable, fully coated, baffled, full aperture, 8° field of view 7x35 that get used almost every week. It's close to 40 years since I started carrying them in camera bag, on boats, on hikes, and using them for astronomy...

#28 Joad

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 01:17 PM

My first binocular was a Japanese made "Zenith" 7-12 X 40 variable power unit (click stop at each magnification). It was a present from my parents in 1965. I still have it and it is still an excellent binocular. It is even still in collimation.

#29 Jeronimo Cruz

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 09:39 PM

Rugged Exposure 10x50's. And I got them for $20.00!

They showed me the potential of binoculars for astro use. The first time I saw many, many objects was through these binos.

They are broken but I still have them for sentimental reasons.

#30 Les

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 10:23 PM

I some how acquired a 4x?? "opera" glass as a kid in the mid 1950s. Big metal barrels and glass lenses. My first pair of "real" binos was a mail order Sensi 7x50 (mid 1970s) for about $100 which I immediately returned because the collimation was out of whack and purchased a Bushnell Custom 7x50 ($130 ?). I got about 30 years of pleasure from these before selling them. Nice view but bulky and heavy. I used these often on a tripod co boresighted with a 40x spotting scope set in a home brew wooden jig mount.

#31 John F

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 10:49 PM

My first pair of astronomical binoculars were some Orion 9x63 roof prism "mini-giants". If I recall correctly, they cost me $169 and they were all that I could aford at that time. Compared to the binoculars I use today they were awful. However, they were still good enough to get me hooked on astronomy and binocular star gazing at dark sky sites. Even though my next instrument after that was a nice telescope, I still enjoyed binocular observing and worked over the years to improve both the quality and the diversity of the different types of binoculars that I use. When I talk to people today who are just getting interested and astronomy I always tell them they should start out with a pair of binoculars rather than a telescope.

John Finnan

#32 Andresin150

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Posted 20 May 2010 - 08:30 AM

John, you have some nice binoculars!

#33 doctordub

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Posted 20 May 2010 - 11:19 AM

Bushnell imageview 10X25, I bought these because of the camera. This was before I had returned to Astronomy.
CS

#34 Ad Astra

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Posted 20 May 2010 - 11:27 AM

My Great Grandma had a nice pair of 7x35's; black leather in a nice brown leather case, and I seem to remember 'purple' coated lenses and the old-fashioned hard, black baklite eyecups. I couldn't really tell you the name of them, don't really remember, but I spent hours watching birds and neighbors, but the first time I turned them on the sky -- wow! I was hooked for life!

Dan

#35 contrailmaker

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 02:30 AM

I also had a couple of the toy plastic deals until my dad bought me a pair of Tasco 7x35s in '73. I think I used those binocs more than any since.

cm

#36 chris charen

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 04:04 AM

A Japanese 7x50 7.1 degree Yashica which I inherited from my father. Excellent 45 year old optics which are still very usable. They have 'coated' only optics but are reasonably sharp to edge and on dark skies still give a good image. Yery similar to some Ashai Pentax 7x50's I have also. I still have them unfortunately one of the barrels is loose but the memory of my dad still dwells in them.

Chris

#37 Pinewood

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 05:10 AM

My Great Grandma had a nice pair of 7x35's; black leather in a nice brown leather case, and I seem to remember 'purple' coated lenses and the old-fashioned hard, black baklite eyecups. I couldn't really tell you the name of them, don't really remember, but I spent hours watching birds and neighbors, but the first time I turned them on the sky -- wow! I was hooked for life!

Dan


Hello Dan,

If the case was pebbbled brown leather, the binocular may have been a Bausch & Lomb Zephyr 7x35.

Clear skies,
Arthur Pinewood

#38 Mark9473

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 03:36 PM

My first binocular were my dad's Zenith 12x50. They suffered from one too many family outing on the beach - sunscreen, sand, you get the picture. I tried too clean them but then I never got them back in collimation - hey this was late '70s - this forum wasn't around for help.

#39 lzmary

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Posted 22 May 2010 - 01:00 AM

[Deleted]

#40 Richard Low

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Posted 22 May 2010 - 02:15 AM

My first bino was a Russian made Tento 10x50. I asked my dad to buy me a scope for my stargazing, but my dad said I was too young (6 years old then) to handle one, so he bought me this bino instead, which I used for observing the next ten years before the lenses got covered with fungus.

#41 Gordon Rayner

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Posted 22 May 2010 - 03:40 PM

The family has a WW II Busch (cxn) "Dienstglas " 10 x 50 in one of the WW II B&L or Sard leather cases which tie to the binocular. The user unfastens front and rear drop-down covers. Those cases provide some protection, yet allow rapid preparation for viewing.

I found that I preferred using the binoculars to using my self-made 6 inch f/8 Newtonian telescope, once the novelty of Saturn , Jupiter, and the moon had moderated. I then found that the Forest Service had a WW II Nikko 22.5 & 30 x 180mm, about 30 miles away. Using them was a revelation. Then I randomly found the classic article by Dr. Henry Paul in an early 1960's issue of Review of Popular Astronomy, " Big Viewing with Giant Binoculars ". I met him and saw his collection about five years later.

#42 Tom McDonald

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Posted 22 May 2010 - 04:53 PM

An old pair of Sears 7x50's from the 50's that belonged to my father. They lost collimation so in the mid 70's I bought a pair of Bushnell 7x50's at Service Merchandise for around $90.00. Still have them and they still perform! I also have a pair of Pentax 20x60 PCF V. Impossible to handhold for astronomy, but on a tripod give awesome views!
By Wednesday I should have a new pair of Nikon 10x50's. The following week I'll post a review of them. Hopefully night skies will be clear and I can get out under the stars. I'm going to the western Poconos for the Memorial Day weekend visiting friends and family. Skies are usually impressive!

#43 KGE

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Posted 22 May 2010 - 06:25 PM

A Leitz 8x40 Trinovid. It was an improbable Christmas present from my father in 1980. 100+ binoculars later I still have them and would rate them (somewhat ironically) as the best single pair I have used. They have seen heavy use over the years. They were refurbished by Leica about 10 years ago and are in mint optical condition.

Kevin

Zeiss 8x30 Deltrentis
Zeiss 8x30 Carl Zeiss
Leitz 8x40 Trinovid
Zeiss 7x50 Carl Zeiss 7x50-B
Zeiss 10x50 Jenoptem 10x50w
Zeiss 10x50 Carl Zeiss
Zeiss 8x50 Zeiss Jena Super Nobilem
Zeiss 12x50 Zeiss Jena Super Nobilem
Nife 8x50 M/44 90 deg.
Russian 12x60 60 deg.
Miyauchi 20x77 45 deg.
Russian 10x80 45 deg.
CXN Busch 10x80 45 deg.
Gamma 10x80 90 deg.
Miyauchi 20/26/37x100F 45 deg.
Sard 6x42
Asahi Pentax 7x35
Asahi Pentax 8x40
Tasco 7x35
Swift 10x50
Ross 5x40 Mark-IV
Ross 5x40 Mark-V
Ross 7x40 Tropical 7
Ross 10x50 Tropical 10
Ross 10x70
Barr&Stroud 15x60 CF-46
Barr&Stroud 6x42 GK-5

#44 Gordon Rayner

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Posted 23 May 2010 - 01:07 AM

I have or had an 8 x 40 Trinovid. What about the roof spikes?

Individuals have different perspectives, but I find it odd that you rate the Trinovid so highly in comparison with some of the other items in your arsenal.

Was the Nife a Dutch or Swedish WW II ? Rivkin had some of those, no?. What is Gamma 10 x 80, 90 deg? Polish? Czech? Soviet? I suppose that I might go find my Seeger, or use Google, or look at old Rivkin or Sovietski catalogs.

#45 KGE

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Posted 23 May 2010 - 10:27 AM

Gordon:

I would probably choose something other than the Trinovid strictly for astronomical use, and usually do. However, it is hard to beat for compact size and brightness.

The Nife is Swedish, probably late 1940's vintage. The Gamma is Hungarian.

Kevin

#46 CharlesStG

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Posted 24 May 2010 - 07:52 AM

My first pair of binocs were bought about 1986 -- they were a pair of Celestron 20x80s -- not the one with the huge center shaft - just the regular pair. I then bought a Bogen 3001 with cheap Susis pan head for it.

The funny thing is I tried to use them on top of the tripod and it just wasn't any fun -- neck strain all the way.

So, what to do??? I splayed out the legs as far as they would go, and INVERTED the center post, putting the Susis head upsidedown, and BELOW the center of the tripod. I then connected my binocs to the head using a binoc to tripod adapter arm and VOILA!!! I layed down on the ground on my back with a pillow under my head and observed the heavens in wonderful comfort. I was SO impressed by what these 20x80 binocs could show, even from my light polluted back yard which was near Providence, RI at the time.

Great, early memories of astronomy and without these memories, I don't think I'd be about building an 8" f/12 folded binocular refractor just now.... :p

#47 Roadbike

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Posted 24 May 2010 - 11:58 AM

What a fine and enjoyable idea for a thread. My first pair of binoculars was from Sears. The venerable 7x35 was made in Hong Kong, had coated optics with 500 foot FOV at 1,000 yards. On many a camping trip it delivered a whole new view of the milky way and I saw the edge of lunar craters for the first time. The 7x35 served well for many years, but the limitations of a 30 year old design were apparent when I first tried a pair of modern fully multicoated 8x32 with BAK4 prisms. The Sears ultimately took retirement at the Salvation Army.



#48 gwsudiro

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 02:18 AM

hello... ^_^

my first "real" binocular is 8x25 reverse porro ruby coated maybe from GTX....from around late 90s..

#49 marcelof

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 11:09 PM

My first binocular was the Nikon 10x70 6.5º.One incredible experience.Have individual focus non-rotating eyepieces(giants).It is like watching in the cinema. The following were attempts to repeat that experience.I never to achive it.

#50 Simon S

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Posted 26 May 2010 - 12:03 PM

Although I can't remember the first binocular having a particular smell, the Russian and Zeiss binoculars have a unique smell, a wonderful oily mechanical aroma that is so strong in my memory. The 10x50 Jenoptems I own now have still held on to this smell.


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