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Old B&H 8x40

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#1 Bob4BVM

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 01:37 PM

Picked up a really cherry-looking pair of Bell&Howell 8x40 XWA binocs for $15

Lenses & prisms are the cleanest I have seen in my time collecting these old Japanese binos, whole thing looks like new. Delicious huge 26mm eye lenses remind me of the 11/12* Manons.

Anyone know who made these for B&H ?

Hinge is marked JB191

 

CS

Bob



#2 harbinjer

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 04:14 PM

Weird, this document has : 

JB 191     Seiwa Optical Co., Ltd., Wako-Shi
JB 191     Yoko Sangyo Co. Ltd

 

Anyone know the story here? I've seen many other JB-191's around. 



#3 SMark

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 04:32 PM

Use it carefully, as it's not a particularly well made binocular. Mine would go out of alignment just from bumping it.


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#4 SMark

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 04:36 PM

Weird, this document has : 

JB 191     Seiwa Optical Co., Ltd., Wako-Shi
JB 191     Yoko Sangyo Co. Ltd

 

Anyone know the story here? I've seen many other JB-191's around. 

J-B191 along with J-B146 likely represent over 50% of all Japanese made wide angle binoculars.



#5 pat in los angeles basin

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 05:09 PM

How's the focuser on it? On mine , it was crap. Ok views though, fairly quick drop off  from a sharp center.   Good luck with it.. 

                                                                                                                              Regards, Pat



#6 hallelujah

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 05:43 PM

I had one years ago.

Had it collimated.

Still not impressed with the overall views. frown.gif



#7 Yarddog

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 05:52 PM

Around the 1960s or a bit later, Bell & Howell made binoculars for the U.S. military. They had a flaw which I can't recall for sure but it must have been collimation.

 

On the other hand, the optics were excellent.



#8 Bob4BVM

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 09:41 PM

Thx for the info guys, the story on these things is always interesting

Mine seem pretty nice, focuser is smooth & solid

Daylight view looks very good, but stars will be the real test of course

Now to get a clear night...



#9 WALL.E

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Posted 13 November 2019 - 09:22 AM

Hi Bob,

 

I am quite sure I have the identical binocular you describe.

510ft. / 1000 yrds?

Body contours are "squared off" as opposed to "rounded"?

Front and back lens covers with fancy silver insert with B&H logo?

Strap lugs on the outsides of the prism housings?

Coatings Purple/Magenta?

 

This binocular is a curious little monster to me. Yes JB191.

 

The example I own is in absolutely new condition. Not a mark on it.

It is my opinion that the optics are exceptional. Really good.

Despite the odd body configuration it is comfortable to hold.

 

It seems that the "mechanical" aspects of it are where it was compromised. Read, "cheaped out".

For some reason the entire focus shaft tends to too easily rock back and forth even though everything appears to be quite tight and in proper place.

I can't explain it but, the "construction" of these just doesn't inspire confidence.

 

The one I own has spent it's time on display in my cabinet.

Maybe I should give them a better chance and take them out for a while.

In fact, I seriously will.

 

But hey, if you've got a nice specimen and it works well, ENJOY IT!

And for the price you paid, I think you made a good catch!

 

Eric


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#10 harbinjer

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Posted 13 November 2019 - 01:03 PM

So I just measured mine: 22.5mm eye lenses. Mine have no JB-191 on them, just SMC in an oval, both on the hinge cap, and on the body. It has a silver oval JTII sticker with "6" on top, making them '73-'76 if CL links are to be believed. The focuser is well dampened, smooth, no slop and seems fine. The bridge can be rocked a bit though. The prism plate covers, both front and back feel plastic, and is the distinctive irregular octagonal shape. The field of view is huge, and an unusually large part of it sharp, maybe 85%+. That part is unexpectedly impressive. And even the outer edge doesn't get so bad as to be distracting. Mine have a double silver ring around the objectives.

 

I guess the sample variation on these could be high, and how well they were treated might be extremely important.  



#11 pat in los angeles basin

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Posted 13 November 2019 - 02:25 PM

I think there was another named brand that used the same components- "kanto" brand

 

https://www.ebay.com...1RoCwOEQAvD_BwE

 

 

Noticed a 10x50 kanto for sale that  has the same faceted exterior.     Regards, Pat



#12 SMark

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Posted 13 November 2019 - 02:58 PM

I think there was another named brand that used the same components- "kanto" brand

 

https://www.ebay.com...1RoCwOEQAvD_BwE

 

 

Noticed a 10x50 kanto for sale that  has the same faceted exterior.     Regards, Pat

Right. I don't believe Kanto was the manufacturer on any of these. I've only ever seen J-B191 on them. If it was Kanto, we would be seeing J-B52, and I have been reviewing eBay auctions for these for quite awhile and have never seen anything other than J-B191.



#13 harbinjer

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Posted 14 November 2019 - 09:00 PM

Kanto 7x35 11° JB-73
Kanto 7x35 11° JB-73

Here is a JB-73 Kanto 7x35 11°.  I don't recall the optics being as surprising or good as the B&H 8x40. The 7x35's are up against stiff competition though: my Sears Discoverer 6287-A.  The JTII sticker seems to be from the 60s. 


Edited by harbinjer, 14 November 2019 - 09:01 PM.

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#14 Bob4BVM

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Posted 15 November 2019 - 02:30 AM

Hi Bob,

 

I am quite sure I have the identical binocular you describe.

510ft. / 1000 yrds?

Body contours are "squared off" as opposed to "rounded"?

Front and back lens covers with fancy silver insert with B&H logo?

Strap lugs on the outsides of the prism housings?

Coatings Purple/Magenta?

 

This binocular is a curious little monster to me. Yes JB191.

 

The example I own is in absolutely new condition. Not a mark on it.

It is my opinion that the optics are exceptional. Really good.

Despite the odd body configuration it is comfortable to hold.

 

It seems that the "mechanical" aspects of it are where it was compromised. Read, "cheaped out".

For some reason the entire focus shaft tends to too easily rock back and forth even though everything appears to be quite tight and in proper place.

I can't explain it but, the "construction" of these just doesn't inspire confidence.

 

The one I own has spent it's time on display in my cabinet.

Maybe I should give them a better chance and take them out for a while.

In fact, I seriously will.

 

But hey, if you've got a nice specimen and it works well, ENJOY IT!

And for the price you paid, I think you made a good catch!

 

Eric

You nailed it  Eric, mine are exactly as you described.

So far it has been daylight, tho I did get out last night for a brief test on one or two stars as the clouds blew clear. So far so good star image seemed crisp with sharp focus to near edge of fov and no double image or sign of mis-collim'n.

Hoping for a better night so I can put them on my bino-chair for a real shakedown.

These are so different from my other binocs, I like the unusual stuff

CS

Bob




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