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Vintage and Classic Binoculars discussion (Part 3)

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#1 Jawaid I. Abbasi

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 10:56 AM

Vintage and Classic Binoculars discussion

 

 

 

 

Click HERE for Part 1

Click HERE for PART 2

 


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#2 Wayne Costigan

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 06:09 PM

photo 3.JPG photo 1.JPG photo 2.JPG

                    

A veritable optical time capsule from the early 1960s in near new condition with its original cardboard box. And we all know how valuable that is from watching the Antiques Roadshow!

 

Launched in July of 1962, Telstar was the first commercial satellite put into orbit. If you remember that, man, you are old! And smart.

 

These are a typical example of the ubiquitous 7X50 format produced by hundreds of companies in Japan at the time and, I'd imagine, imported by scores of companies around the world in the millions. Just how many have survived is anyone's guess, but few are in this condition, I'm sure. The box contained the original desiccant packet, but sadly, no paperwork. Coated lenses, uncoated prisms, no hats on the lower ones that project slightly into the light path. Deep hard plastic screw off eyecups, a two piece Zeiss-style body, and a fine thread focus shaft. A solid performer with nice clear, crisp images in its standard  7.1 FoV.  This is a JB-9 with a serial # of 64700. Does this mean the 647th to be made, or the 647,000th is anyone's guess. 

 

There was also a hit song that year with the title Telstar, by the group Tornados. And if you remember that tune, man, you are old!

I readily recall my folks listening to it on our stereo that was also a wood encased piece of furniture, polished monthly.  It was on a 45. 

And if you remember those small records with the yellow plastic adapters...

 

 


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#3 Philip Levine

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 06:39 PM

Hi Wayne,

Nice Telstar 7x50 binos.  I favor the older quality build Japanese binoculars as well.

As for the Telstar satellite and the tune by the Tornados, I remember both very well - - look at all the satellites in orbit now.

Phil

Debris_objects_in_low-Earth_orbit_LEO.jpg

 

 

 


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#4 Pinewood

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 10:15 PM

Hello Wayne,

 

Yes, I remember the launch of Telstar.  As I recall it had a low orbit, which meant that every rotation there was only a short space of time for any transatlantic communication.  On one of the first orbits, the French provided a song played by a world renowned French artist, perhaps Yves Montand. I do not recall the Tornados song but I do recall the yellow plastic adapters used to play 45's on an LP spindle.  However, I am not admitting my age on this forum.  

 

Clear skies,

Arthur


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#5 brentwood

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 10:46 PM

https://www.youtube....h?v=WPDvsLSnUGc



#6 SMark

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Posted 07 January 2018 - 12:45 AM

Ahhh... One of the best instrumentals of all time!

 

Check out the live version... https://www.youtube....h?v=N2Jx4ldMOek band2.sml.gif

 

And the awesome '80s re-make... https://www.youtube....h?v=eH7IIv2Mi3s banjodance.gif

 

 

 

Okay, break's over. Back on topic...

 

flowerred.gif


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#7 Wayne Costigan

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Posted 07 January 2018 - 02:41 PM

photo 1.JPG photo 2.JPG photo 3.JPG photo 4.JPG photo 5.JPG

 

Any other fans of the early Selsi brand? This is the one that got me on the brand's bandwagon. My first wide angle at 10 degrees, it is incredibly well built and nicely finished. Gave it to my wife as her first binocular and it was a perfect match.

 

There was a thread I came across when doing research on vintage bins: the Best Looking Binocular, or some such.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, of course, and others believe that beauty is as beauty does, caring more for functionality over aesthetics. The "winner" in that post was a really beautiful wide angle from.... Sears! The outer skin had a lizard look to it, in lieu of the more pedestrian pebble grain. And just the overall shape, the way it sat, really pleased the eye. Probably something to do with that Golden Ratio thing.

 

This small Selsi does much the same for me, though my photos may not reveal it. And for such a small bin, it is nicely heavy. Substantial. Amber coated with plastic screw off eyecups, and the older style of writing on the prism covers I believe dates this to the early to mid-1960s. The views are spectacular! Glass is clean, no scratches. The bin and case still carry their inspection stickers. Who ever JB-75 was, they did some awesome work. Bk-7 prisms, but must be of the highest quality.


Edited by Wayne Costigan, 07 January 2018 - 02:43 PM.

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#8 CHASLX200

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Posted 07 January 2018 - 05:22 PM

attachicon.gifphoto 3.JPGattachicon.gifphoto 1.JPGattachicon.gifphoto 2.JPG

                    

A veritable optical time capsule from the early 1960s in near new condition with its original cardboard box. And we all know how valuable that is from watching the Antiques Roadshow!

 

Launched in July of 1962, Telstar was the first commercial satellite put into orbit. If you remember that, man, you are old! And smart.

 

These are a typical example of the ubiquitous 7X50 format produced by hundreds of companies in Japan at the time and, I'd imagine, imported by scores of companies around the world in the millions. Just how many have survived is anyone's guess, but few are in this condition, I'm sure. The box contained the original desiccant packet, but sadly, no paperwork. Coated lenses, uncoated prisms, no hats on the lower ones that project slightly into the light path. Deep hard plastic screw off eyecups, a two piece Zeiss-style body, and a fine thread focus shaft. A solid performer with nice clear, crisp images in its standard  7.1 FoV.  This is a JB-9 with a serial # of 64700. Does this mean the 647th to be made, or the 647,000th is anyone's guess. 

 

There was also a hit song that year with the title Telstar, by the group Tornados. And if you remember that tune, man, you are old!

I readily recall my folks listening to it on our stereo that was also a wood encased piece of furniture, polished monthly.  It was on a 45. 

And if you remember those small records with the yellow plastic adapters...

Now that is something i would love to find.


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#9 SMark

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 01:00 AM

Another Telstar (7x35) going for cheap... https://www.ebay.com/itm/142649149515 smile.gif


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#10 Wayne Costigan

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 01:51 AM

Another Telstar (7x35) going for cheap... https://www.ebay.com/itm/142649149515 smile.gif

Cute! My guy's little brother. 



#11 Wayne Costigan

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 11:35 PM

photo 1.JPG photo 2.JPG photo 3.JPG photo 4.JPG photo 5.JPG                     

 

Is there anyone who enjoys and/or collects vintage binoculars who has not looked through a Swift Triton? 

 

This is my first set of, not just vintage, but any full sized, serious binocular. I mean literally, this is the one!

 

Picked it up two years ago this spring at a consignment store. Recognized the name from a favorite uncle having had a beloved - and untouchable - set (I was a small kid at the time, and this is just what adults did back then, in more sane times), and peered through their nicotine and dust covered EPs. Fell instantly in love with the 3D-like views. 

 

Brought them home and began washing off the grime with swabs and rubbing alcohol. Views improved dramatically! Used them for a week or so before finally turning them around  for an inspection through the objectives. Internal haze both sides and, OMG!, a shattered eye lens?!?!

 

Couldn't fathom it. Views were fine, yet there it was: numerous very fine cracks across one eye lens. Started researching sites like this and called a place in Texas. They quoted $85 to clean and relube the entire bin. More if the lens needed replacing. Plus the $15 to mail it to them. Hmmm....

 

More research while my heart mended. I LOVED these things. Found they were made in the 1950s! No JB#. Thought about who may have owned them in the past. What they had seen with them over the decades. Who had let them suffer so that small patches of the classic pebble grained covering flaked off the inner objective barrels in the same spots. And who had allowed cigarette smoke and dust despoil their lenses.  

 

Bought a bino bag for Birding and carried them wherever we went. My wife fell in love with them, too. Couldn't believe something older than us still worked so well and brought so much pleasure. The moon through these blew our minds! Why hadn't we done this before? Why had we gone binless most of our adult lives?

 

Bought her a really minty Selsi 7x35 10 degree wide. Again, wonderful views! Amber coatings and all. Now I got mad. My Tritons had to be cleaned. 

 

And so it began...

 

Turns out, with the help of you all on sites such as this, YouTube videos, and a little patience and common sense, I managed to figure out that the cracked lens was actually FUNGUS. That only spurred me on.  Dived in to this one and haven't looked back. 

 

As stated above, this Triton lacks a J-B #, as well as the registration mark of the R in a circle, so these are pre-1959. Quite a hefty little handful. Deceptively so, and so well built, I came to find out. Covered lower prisms. A feature that mostly disappeared with the contentious '60s and the arrival of rubber eyecups that fold down.

 

The hard plastic ones on these Triton's screw off easily with a quarter turn, since they employ a bayonet style thread. I've added a felt-like, sticky back, press on material under the eye cups to protect eyeglass lenses from scratches. The ocular lenses on this pair are smaller than latter ones. I have had four pass through my hands, and a clean 1968 set is a permanent part of the collection. It sports the striped machined focus barrel, or cylinder like the ones my uncle owned. 

 

For those who don't think that Bk-7 prisms can yield extraordinary views, they need to take a gander through a Swift Triton! The (in)famous Simon Spiers agrees with me on this in his review of this binocular on FLICKR. 

 

These have been cleaned, prisms blacked, and the body painted. 


Edited by Wayne Costigan, 10 January 2018 - 11:38 PM.

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#12 lit

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 03:26 AM

  • l remeber 1962 and that song

them were the best of days and times for me anyway

 

growing up in the Plains along the Nebraska/Kansas line in the country

 

just started kindergarten that year

 

them were good times

 

wish l could go back in time

 

least they had a downtown back then,,,dime stores,,soda fountains..old comic books stand,,etc,,,,

 

the Family also won in a drawing one of them Funiture stereos brand new from the Music Store

 

l had a good time with that...had a great new wood smell to it

 

 

the best of times


Edited by lit, 11 January 2018 - 03:37 AM.

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#13 lit

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 03:42 AM

just turned 60 btw

 

lol


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#14 lit

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 10:23 AM

just turned 60 btw

 

lol

and Western Auto'=Bikes



#15 hallelujah

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 11:24 AM

  Is there anyone who enjoys and/or collects vintage binoculars who has not looked through a Swift Triton? 

 

This is my first set of, not just vintage, but any full sized, serious binocular. I mean literally, this is the one!

This one looks like a newer model.  J-B257

 

https://www.ebay.com...9.m1438.l2649 

 

Stan


Edited by hallelujah, 11 January 2018 - 11:25 AM.

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#16 SMark

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 12:47 PM

 

  Is there anyone who enjoys and/or collects vintage binoculars who has not looked through a Swift Triton? 

 

This is my first set of, not just vintage, but any full sized, serious binocular. I mean literally, this is the one!

This one looks like a newer model.  J-B257

 

https://www.ebay.com...9.m1438.l2649 

 

Stan

 

Like many of the better Swift binoculars from the early '60s, the Triton of that era was made by Futaba/Tamron (J-B26 / J-E45.) I had one of those that had excellent images.


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#17 lit

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 03:58 PM

has anyone heard of the Triton Mirakel Special 7x35

 

was it from the early 60s? late 50s?


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#18 Wayne Costigan

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 04:31 PM

has anyone heard of the Triton Mirakel Special 7x35

 

was it from the early 60s? late 50s?

Ask the seller if there are JB/E #s on the bottom hinge area, If there are none, pre-1959, the year adopted. Also, check to see if there is a registration mark, the R with in a circle, by the Swift logo. If not, then pre-1960, the year it was added. Roll down rubber eyecups on an older binocular indicate 1970s or later.  


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#19 Wayne Costigan

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 04:38 PM

 

 

  Is there anyone who enjoys and/or collects vintage binoculars who has not looked through a Swift Triton? 

 

This is my first set of, not just vintage, but any full sized, serious binocular. I mean literally, this is the one!

This one looks like a newer model.  J-B257

 

https://www.ebay.com...9.m1438.l2649 

 

Stan

 

Like many of the better Swift binoculars from the early '60s, the Triton of that era was made by Futaba/Tamron (J-B26 / J-E45.) I had one of those that had excellent images.

 

Have a Triton, Saratoga, and Spt. KIng all made between 1966-68 that sport JB-26 stamps. All excellent views! 

 

But also have a Nighthawk 7X50, 1966, JB-131 that cleaned up so well (blackened prisms), that it darn near equals my JB-7 Nikon in brightness. First 7X50 with Bk-7 prisms to do that. 

 

Also have a 10X50 Rainier, 1966, JB-32 that is equally as impressive. Finally the Zoom 7-14x40, 1968, JB-22, and I wouldn't sell it for the world.  Swift imported some great stuff back then. And all  but the Zoom sport the long fluted focus cylinder, or barrel, I love.  The Zoom's focus wheel is just double thickness, but still attractive. 


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#20 Wayne Costigan

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 04:42 PM

has anyone heard of the Triton Mirakel Special 7x35

 

was it from the early 60s? late 50s?

Just saw the Mirakel Special Triton on eBay, dated 1960, per it's serial number, missing the eye cups, I believe. 

 

This may have been a special run for a store by that name. Gonna Google that next. 



#21 lit

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 04:48 PM

great

 

l have a  bid on it..


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#22 lit

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 05:01 PM

 

has anyone heard of the Triton Mirakel Special 7x35

 

was it from the early 60s? late 50s?

Ask the seller if there are JB/E #s on the bottom hinge area, If there are none, pre-1959, the year adopted. Also, check to see if there is a registration mark, the R with in a circle, by the Swift logo. If not, then pre-1960, the year it was added. Roll down rubber eyecups on an older binocular indicate 1970s or later.  

 

JB 45


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#23 lit

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 05:04 PM

 

 

has anyone heard of the Triton Mirakel Special 7x35

 

was it from the early 60s? late 50s?

Ask the seller if there are JB/E #s on the bottom hinge area, If there are none, pre-1959, the year adopted. Also, check to see if there is a registration mark, the R with in a circle, by the Swift logo. If not, then pre-1960, the year it was added. Roll down rubber eyecups on an older binocular indicate 1970s or later.  

 

JB 45

 

l dont even see a Swift logo on it


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#24 lit

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 05:16 PM

 

 

 

has anyone heard of the Triton Mirakel Special 7x35

 

was it from the early 60s? late 50s?

Ask the seller if there are JB/E #s on the bottom hinge area, If there are none, pre-1959, the year adopted. Also, check to see if there is a registration mark, the R with in a circle, by the Swift logo. If not, then pre-1960, the year it was added. Roll down rubber eyecups on an older binocular indicate 1970s or later.  

 

JB 45

 

l dont even see a Swift logo on it

 

now l think it reads JE 45 insted of JB  yes JE


Edited by lit, 11 January 2018 - 05:43 PM.

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#25 Wayne Costigan

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 05:29 PM

 

 

 

 

has anyone heard of the Triton Mirakel Special 7x35

 

was it from the early 60s? late 50s?

Ask the seller if there are JB/E #s on the bottom hinge area, If there are none, pre-1959, the year adopted. Also, check to see if there is a registration mark, the R with in a circle, by the Swift logo. If not, then pre-1960, the year it was added. Roll down rubber eyecups on an older binocular indicate 1970s or later.  

 

JB 45

 

l dont even see a Swift logo on it

 

now l think it reads JE 45 insted of JB

 

Your right! The description says Swift Triton, yet the actual bin only says Mirakel. My Swift Triton had JE-45 as the chassis maker. If it is JB-26, then that's the same producer of bins for Swift during that time period. Whether they meet the same specs as a Swift Triton, you'll have to decide after comparing. Good luck.

 

Just checked again, blew up the image, and it does say Model 748, so it is a Swift! That is the Triton model #, and you may have something unique there! Collector-wise, I'm talking, as I'm sure the images are no different from other Tritons, that is, excellent!

 

I purchased mine despite the layer of dust and nicotine on the ocular lenses AND looking through a dirty plate glass window of the store. Don't even think I stepped outside to test them! 


Edited by Wayne Costigan, 11 January 2018 - 05:35 PM.



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