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Lesson learned about buying used binos online

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#1 Glassthrower

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Posted 23 June 2006 - 03:02 PM

Well, my vintage Binolux 7x50IF binoculars arrived via UPS today...in short, they are damaged and not good for much.

The auction listing read :

This vintage pair of binoculars by Binolux is in great condition, though the carrying case is a little weathered. There are no scratches on the lenses, but the most interesting feature here is the compass (yes, it works) that is built into the top of the carrying case. All in all, a very interesting and useful item as well.


The diopters have MUCH play in them, but they still work. Worse, looking down the right barrel from the objective, a large chip/impact is visible on the inside of the lens element. It doesn't appear to be on the objective, nor the eyepiece, it looks like the prism possibly. At any rate, when looking through the bino normally, the flaw is not that noticeable as the brain averages the two views (collimation is ironically good). Closing the left eye and looking the right ep, the flaw renders part of the field as "clouded" and blurry. There is also a good size dent on the objective cell that implies this binocular was dropped or banged really hard. None of this appears to be caused by the shipper, as the box is in pristine condition.

Even though I qualify for a refund, I am not going to pursue it. I only paid $18.89 shipped for the bino, and the vendor does not refund shipping or handling charges, so I would have to eat the $8.00 s/h and return shipping. Rather than go through all of that just to get $3.00 of my money back, I will keep them. The left side is in good shape and might make a good 7x50 finder for a scope or monocular. Oh well. Lesson learned. The seller was obviously not an optics person (and didn't pretend to be), so I don't think the oversight was intentional.

I guess fixing them would be more hassle/money than they are worth.

MikeG

#2 MIKADO

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Posted 23 June 2006 - 03:25 PM

One already too expensive pays what one does not pay expensive !

#3 edwincjones

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Posted 23 June 2006 - 03:49 PM

but, it could have been a great deal

edj

#4 Bob W6PU

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Posted 23 June 2006 - 04:33 PM

Most often read sentence:

I don't know anything about.......but it appears to be in excellent condition.

Just fill in the dotted line with whatever it is being sold!

I always think twice about a on line purchase, whenever I see that famous CYA sentence!

Bob

#5 Rick

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Posted 23 June 2006 - 05:01 PM

The sad thing is you could've had a $520 budget to spend on top quality glass instead of just $480 now.

Rick

#6 Glassthrower

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Posted 23 June 2006 - 05:37 PM

Well, I'm only out $19, not $40. And I learned a valuable lesson that could have been much more expensive if learned later under different circumstances. I've learned to ask specific questions before bidding and not to make assumptions.

Fortunately for the budget, this is one of those "small" (less than $20) expenses that can slip in under the spousal radar - provided that such expenses are not frequent. This loss will in no way effect my budget when the time comes to make a major bino purchase.

Most often read sentence:

I don't know anything about.......but it appears to be in excellent condition.

Just fill in the dotted line with whatever it is being sold!

I always think twice about a on line purchase, whenever I see that famous CYA sentence!


Good point Bob. I should have known better. But the pics in the auction listing (there were several) looked good and I was off-guard due to the low price of the item. Had the item been $50 or more, (less yet $500), I would have been MUCH more cautious.

MikeG

#7 chris charen

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Posted 23 June 2006 - 05:39 PM

I have approx. 12 binos aqcuired from my local 'E bay' type site.
The most frustrating thing is that the great majority do not describe the condition of the optics - they prefer to mention the overall condition thinking thats more important then the lens. I always have to ask 'what are the prisms / lens like looking 'backwards' at a bright light'.
Some have lied and said 'fine' and when I get them there are major fungus issues and they are basically useless. Some offer refunds which I have done if over $50. Others when confronted say 'sorry didnt know what you meant'/ 'selling on behalf' / 'dont know aything about binos' etc.
But, I keep looking and buying as I have got binos that are true bargains and it is enjoyable bidding online.

#8 Rick

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Posted 23 June 2006 - 06:40 PM

Well, I'm only out $19, not $40.


Marriage math Mike. You and I both know you had a spare $20 to spend. But Andrew Jackson is physically easier to hide from the wife than a binocular that comes in the mail. So as far as the wife is concerned you only have $480 left in the budget and you no longer have that spare $20 in you pocket.

-Rick

#9 DJB

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Posted 24 June 2006 - 03:10 AM

Hi Mike,

Sorry to hear that your purchase didn't work out as well for you as you had anticipated. The binocular must have been dropped along the way, don't you think.

I've purchased some 30+ binoculars on eB__. About three or so have been real dogs, only one of which I returned, a FUJI that had a prism dislodged--got my money back--after a while.

So correct, about 90% of the people selling on eB__ auctions probably don't know which end to look thru! HOWEVER, there ARE SOME very trusted sellers BTW.

As one example, I bought a SARD Mark 21 7x50 including the winged eyecups and a case--looked good on auction and was described as such. There was enough fungus in there to start a bad batch of something worse than the bird flu.

Anyway, as mentioned: "....I don't know nothing about...." ; ....I'm not an expert on binoculars, but...."; "....from an estate buyout....", or "....Hey, they look good to me....". Buyers please beware.

I looked the SARDs over. I decided on a course of action. I separated the two halfs into two monoculars. I worked with the one in my work area for about a week, several hours a night. What I came out with was a custom cutdown version of the monocular, that is, one that was basically cut down the middle and refurbished as the final part of the project. Ironically, both halves are still usuable to some extent (Bill C. stated, in different context, that this would be the case in one of his posts a long time ago!). In case you are wondering, yes, the glass cut was the worst. I used a special face mask as we did in industry.

I must admit that my Optical & Film Supply Co. WWII 7x50 binocular shows how the tunnel vision is so prevalent in the SARDs. The OFSC unit is a beauty with coated optics and has replaced my B&L 7x50 as my de facto for comparisons.

I don't get the "big deal" with the 6x42 SARDs on auction. Some folks pay a crazy price for them. Hey, if you got the bucks, then buy the trucks, as they say. Instead I would go for the B&L Mark 41 7x50 EWA instead, some of which have sold for $5k and more! But I would not.

That project was good fun. Maybe I'll sell the thing on eB__ someday, but I will be absolutely straight with the buyer: RUBBER BANDS INCLUDED ABSOLUTELY FREE! But wait, I have a pouch.....

Good luck pal.

Best regards,
Dave.

#10 Glassthrower

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 11:28 AM

Well, I dissected the Binolux 7x50IF last night.

Two of the prisms were damaged - one had a slight chip on the extreme edge, and the other had a large impact/shock that broke a dime-sized piece loose. Also, one diopter is completely stripped out.

But, I do have one good objective cell with a focal length of about 300mm and a good eyepiece with a +/-4 diopter that works. By chance, I have a tube from an old Tasco 50mm toy refractor laying around. I am going to make a 7x50 finder scope out of the parts. A friend is going to show me how to use human hair to make a cross-hair on the finder. I played with the tube last night and got a nice (but inverted) image. I need to flat-black it before I assemble.

I may try to find a cheap prism diagonal to get a correct image finder.

So it wasn't a complete loss.

MikeG

#11 refractory

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 01:37 PM

Human hair, eh? They used to use spiders' web strands. But if you're waxing nostalgic, maybe you might be able to notice the mites clambering up and down the hairs trying to bite the stars. Mini-Me spiders.

I also have a bunch of ebay duds that have enough parts either to make finders out of or cobble together one or two usable binos- but I'm not sure all the optics are close enough to each other. Might make a dandy joke bino, though (no, no, it must be your EYES- the bino is FINE...).

Jess Tauber

#12 Glassthrower

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 02:35 PM

I decided to go against the correct-image idea....impatience is a virtue. I assembled the "scope", it works well, and it displays an inverted image. So it's pretty useless as a terrestrial spotting scope. I JB-Welded a 1/4-20 thread shoe on the bottom so I can attach it to a tripod. In the end, what I finally have is a 7x50 fixed power wide-field telescope. Pics will be forthcoming when everything dries. I also decided against the cross-hair - too much hassle. And I might end up disassembling it and re-using the parts for something else later.

This could get addictive...I like tinkering.

BTW, I also lost the auction for the little jeweler's magnifier glasses. Someone out-sniped me for it.

MikeG

#13 DJB

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Posted 27 June 2006 - 03:54 AM

Hi Mike,

Great idea for a DIYP. For crosshairs, I've used the thinest of tackle line. When the star, or whatever is directly centered on both "hairs," if it a star, it becomes a bit brighter (refraction of a tube) rather than dimmer.

Getting the hairs at exacrly 90* is a crucial step, unless you offset the scope, of course. A drafter's divider served me well.

If you were bidding on a loupe: had I known--I have about 15 or 20 around--I should have put one up just for you.

Good luck.

Best regards,
Dave.


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