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The vintage binocular discussion thread.

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#51 Glassthrower

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Posted 22 April 2007 - 02:43 PM

Just an update on this thread and subject :

Recently I have gone through a number of vintage binoculars from the 1950's through the early 1980's.

These include :

Tasco 8x20mm #502

Tasco 6x30mm #195502

Tasco 7x35mm #92392

Sans and Streiffe Sightseer WA #976 8x40mm (9 degree field)

Selsi 10x50mm WA (7 degree field)

The Tasco 8x20mm #502 is a definite keeper of Nikon-like quality. Unbelieveably sharp and contrasty for a binocular with outdated coatings and a small exit pupil. This one was a major surprise which I did not expect. So, it has earned a permanent place in my lineup. The best part is, it is small enough to fit inside a large square cutout in my eyepiece case that I use for misc. doodads (lens caps, bolt case halves), so I have access to it at a moments notice for spotting work.

The other two Tascos have condition issues - the 6x30 is in good shape but has the very beginnings of optical mold in one one objective at the extreme edge of field. Not noticeable when looked through, but there nonetheless. The other Tasco 7x35mm would require major surgery and is destined for the parts heap.

The Selsi and the S&S have since been sold/traded. The S&S Sightseer was especially sharp and of high quality.

Also, I have a Mayflower 7x50mm and a Tasco #314 20x50mm on the way as well.

All of these are earlier models which are made in Japan.

I will post photos of all later and share my experiences with the better models...

Regards and clear vintage skies...

MikeG

#52 KennyJ

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Posted 22 April 2007 - 02:51 PM

Thanks for this update Mike .

I'm glad your passion for antique binoculars did not expire along with the demise of your better known association with binoculars . :-)

Regards , Kenny

#53 Glassthrower

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Posted 22 April 2007 - 09:58 PM

Hi Kenny,

There has been a recent flood of old Japanese binoculars to hit eBay. Some are estate sales with large lots - apparently one was a collector who passed on.

I hit pay-dirt with the little Tasco 8x20, but the other two Tascos I bought together (6x30 and 7x35) were a bust - both have issues.

It's a pity that nobody wore eyeglasses (apparently) before the 1980's.

Regards and clear skies,

MikeG

#54 Glassthrower

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Posted 24 April 2007 - 09:42 AM

Some photos.

First, the three Tascos. The "keeper" is the little brushed-stainless number sitting on top.

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  • 1563645-tasco123.jpg


#55 Glassthrower

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Posted 24 April 2007 - 09:43 AM

Another angle -

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  • 1563647-tasco123b.jpg


#56 Rich N

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Posted 24 April 2007 - 06:33 PM

Was the small one called Atom?

I had one very much like yours. I may still have it. Got me into birding.

Thanks for the pics!

Rich

#57 Glassthrower

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Posted 25 April 2007 - 07:37 PM

Hi Rich,

The small one is just called a Tasco model #502. No mention of the word "Atom" - but they are several variants of this same binocular floating around. In fact, I just a monocular of the same style for sale in the latest NewsWeek magazine (new one made in Taiwan) ... I bid on a vintage Mayflower monocular of the same style and lost.

Here is a pic of the Tasco 20x50mm that came in recently. This one is very sharp on-axis, but eye relief is very very very short.

Regards and clear skies,

MikeG

Attached Thumbnails

  • 1567147-20x50a.jpg


#58 BillC

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Posted 25 April 2007 - 11:02 PM

. . . For years on our trips to Seattle, I used to call in on a small optical repair shop in Belltown and chat with the owner there. He said that the "GI glass ", as he called it, was the best set of binocs ever made.


While the prisms on many of the war-years binoculars were mounted in what I feel is a superior manner to most all models today, this 'nocklar fixer from 2 miles north of Belltown would say his extimation was a little over-stated. Even so, I must respect his right to feel that way.

Please keep in mind that just about every day, I hear the songs of the ol-timers who have come to believe that the war years binos had supernatural powers. Unfortunately, taint true.

Cheers,

Bill

#59 Rich N

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Posted 25 April 2007 - 11:31 PM

Thanks, Mike! It will be interesting to see if I can find mine.

I started using it to look at the small birds building a nest outside my office window.

All the best,
Rich

#60 stargazer35

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Posted 03 May 2007 - 08:45 AM

Hi,

I am new here and posting for the first time! I joined this site as it seems there are many enthusiasts here that could perhaps have some more info regarding an item in my small collection of WWI/WWII items. Not sure if this is the right place to post this, but here goes..

The optical piece of equipment in question is from (what I believe) World War I. It appears to be a binocular telescope, which from my research was nicknamed "rabbit ears", most likely because of the way it looks when in use. It bears the following markings:

B.C. TELESCOPE
MODEL OF 1915 A
FIELD 4°-15' POWER 10
B&L OPT. CO. 1918 T.J.S.
225

I believe that it was manufactured by the "Bausch and Lomb Optical Company" to be used by soldiers fighting in the trenches, but lack any specific information.

If anyone could help me out, or point me in the right direction, it would be MUCH appreciated!!

I can also post pictures if necessary.

Thank you.

#61 KennyJ

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Posted 03 May 2007 - 10:44 AM

Welcome to the forum S35 !

I've sent you a PRIVATE MESSAGE , so you will see a little flashing symbol at the top left of your screen page .

Click on to your MY HOME box to read it !

Good luck , Kenny

#62 Jay_Bird

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Posted 03 May 2007 - 02:11 PM

Welcome S35, and please share some description or history about the rest of your 'vintage' collection when you can.

Best regards, Jay

#63 EdZ

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Posted 03 May 2007 - 03:46 PM

Certainly we would like you to share more information about your binoculars here, and i hope someone can help you. BUT, I'm wondering if you might also get some help on the Europa website. Peter Abrahms website of historical binocular information. Look at the links at the top of our forum here. Follow thru ther post titled Links to Web and you will find a link to this other website.

edz

#64 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 04 May 2007 - 07:12 AM

Hi:

Just a quickie since I see photos of old binos here... I bought these LeMaire's on Craigslist for $4, rough shape but everything worked. The interesting thing about these binos is that they were "Switchable." The large eyepieces actually had 3 eyepieces inside and by rotating the eyepiece you could switch between 6, 8 and 10x.

jon

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  • 1584843-Lemaire Binos 2.jpg


#65 Glassthrower

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Posted 04 May 2007 - 08:02 AM

Hi Jon,

What is the view like through those old Lemaire's?

Do all three magnifications still work?

Very cool old bino for $4!

Regards and clear skies,

MikeG

#66 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 04 May 2007 - 10:58 AM

Hi Jon,

What is the view like through those old Lemaire's?

Do all three magnifications still work?

Very cool old bino for $4!

Regards and clear skies,

MikeG


Mike:

All three magnifications worked once I did a bit of cleaning. The views were not bad for a 25mm objective with whatever coatings were possible when they were made.

Jon

#67 stargazer35

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Posted 04 May 2007 - 10:32 PM

On Peter Abraham's website, the only piece of information I found was that there was a similar item sold on eBay circa ~2003. Not too much else, though. I did email him about it so we shall see. -Thanks to KennyJ for his email!

I have decided to post a few pictures of my item for all to see.

In regards to my collection, I mostly collect German WWII memorabilia, although I do collect all kinds of objects! To name a few: pre-columbian, pacific rim, african tribal objects (masks/shields/weapons), and of course items from WWI/WWII.

My latest acquisitions include an early 19th century Fijian Ula (throwing club), as well as an axe and hammer from what I believe to be from the same location (still doing research on them to find out what they are exactly).

But to go back on topic, below are the picture!

~stargazer35

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#68 Glassthrower

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Posted 09 May 2007 - 01:16 PM

Another Japanese made find - this one is the Mayflower 7x50mm binocular.

As typical of Mayflower quality, these are very sharp. Sharp almost to the extreme edge. Lately, I have been quite lucky finding these sharp old binos. Just like the small but interesting Tasco 8x20, this Mayflower exhibits an exceptional build and optical quality.

But, as is also typical of these older Japanese porros - eye relief is tight. I've said it until I am blue in the face, but here goes again : apparently eyeglasses were not invented until the late 1980's, or it was assumed that people would always remove their glasses to use binoculars. I have yet to find a single example of an old Japanese binocular of this type that has sufficient eye relief for someone wearing glasses to take in the entire field - or even a majority of the field. Wearing glasses using this kind of binocular is an experience in tunnel vision.

Color rendition and contrast is also quite good for an older binocular. I would say, that out of more than a dozen vintage Japan binos I have owned, this Mayflower is one of the two sharpest - next to the Tasco 8x20.

Clear classic skies,

MikeG

Attached Thumbnails

  • 1594668-mayflower1.jpg


#69 Glassthrower

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Posted 09 May 2007 - 01:17 PM

Another shot -

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  • 1594669-mayflower2.jpg


#70 EdZ

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Posted 09 May 2007 - 02:03 PM

they look identical to my Empire 7x50.

edz

#71 Glassthrower

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Posted 09 May 2007 - 02:33 PM

This design was apparently very popular, here is another clone in my collection - the body is identical to the Mayflower.

Manon 7x50mm

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  • 1594812-manon2.jpg


#72 Glassthrower

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Posted 09 May 2007 - 02:34 PM

Manon rear view -

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  • 1594813-manon3.jpg


#73 BillC

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Posted 09 May 2007 - 03:09 PM

they look identical to my Empire 7x50.

edz


There's a good reason for that, and the Manon, and the Jasen, and the Town and Country, and the Sears, and the TASCO, and the . . .

Cheers,

Bill

#74 brentwood

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Posted 09 May 2007 - 09:47 PM

I really don't think that I would consider any of these models to be 'sharp'. My favourite Japanese models of that era, would be the Bushnell 10x50 and 7x50 'Custom' and the 7x35 'Rangemaster'. Aside from the coatings, I would consider these to be equal to high end Nikon & Fujinon. I have three of these models and they are all still in perfect collimation.

#75 Beri

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Posted 09 May 2007 - 11:27 PM

Here is a nice oldtimer too :

Swarovski 30x70

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  • 1595718-HPIM0820_resize.JPG



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