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B&L 7x35 Zephyr

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#1 zombie1210

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Posted 07 July 2020 - 05:55 PM

I have these coming to me in about a week. Anyone own this model, and what should I expect from them?  Any good for astronomy, or best left to daytime viewing? They are super clean, and well cared for.  Not sure how old they are, but I suspect before 1970.

 

 

S40Cwwt.jpg

 


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#2 Pinewood

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Posted 07 July 2020 - 06:08 PM

Hello,

 

This binocular was top of the heap seventy years, ago.  You can still enjoy them for bird watching, but not at close distances,  and looking at various asterisms like the Pleiades or Orion's sword, if it is a later, post WWII, coated model.

 

I have one

 

I will try to attach a document to help you find the age.

 

Stay safe,

Arthur

Attached Files


Edited by Pinewood, 07 July 2020 - 07:44 PM.


#3 pat in los angeles basin

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Posted 07 July 2020 - 06:15 PM

hopefully when you receive them, the forward hinge cap should have a serial # on it . I seem to recall the code legend is available. Perhaps here??

 

 http://www.binocular..._prod_list.html

 

 

I have one - reverse direction focus as I recall, good image  sharp pretty much across the fov 6.5- 7 ish degrees? BAk4 prism as I recall. Superb build quality- mine was super light for the size (magnesium?)   7x isn't usually the power of choice unless you have really good skies. Enjoy them. Regards, Pat



#4 Yarddog

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Posted 07 July 2020 - 06:33 PM

I also have one but not that clean.

 

Really light and handy. Optics are still high end. Mine were made in 1954.



#5 DrJ1

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Posted 07 July 2020 - 06:33 PM

Hello,

 

This binocular was top of the heap seventy years, ago.  You can still enjoy them for bird watching, but not at close distances,  and looking at various asterisms like the Pleiades or Orion's sword, if it a later, post WWII, coated model.

 

I have one

 

I will try to attach a document to help you find the age.

 

Stay safe,

Arthur

Thanks Arthur for the useful document.  I have 7x35 Zephyrs made in Rochester NY.  I now know they were made in 1965.  Mine are not in as good condition as Zombie1210s, but they are very sharp with an extremely wide sweet spot.  They are very well made and I need to get inside and clean some of the lenses.  They are good enough to use, but I see some reflections when looking at the moon. I now want a 9x Zephyr! DrJ1



#6 zombie1210

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Posted 07 July 2020 - 06:35 PM

I think the first letter is a K, which would be 1951.  I will verify when I have them in my hands. The original case is also in good condition, with some slight discolration on the lid that looks like a little shoe polish would fix.

 

 

auD6Ido.jpg?1


Edited by zombie1210, 07 July 2020 - 06:46 PM.


#7 DrJ1

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Posted 07 July 2020 - 06:48 PM

I have another old Bausch & Lomb binocular.  It is also a 7x35 and labeled  "Bausch & Lomb Opt. Co. Rochester NY  USA".  They are about the same size as my Zephyrs but have rubber eyecups, as opposed to hard plastic on my Zephyrs.  The serial # is 233307, DES Pat. 83.934.  Note the period in the presumed patent number as opposed to a coma. I wonder why there are no letters in the serial # as I would expect from the document Arthur sent?  They are excellent optically just like the Zephyrs although the retaining system on the objectives is not as comlex as that on the Zephyrs.  DrJ1



#8 Pinewood

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Posted 07 July 2020 - 07:11 PM

Thanks Arthur for the useful document.  I have 7x35 Zephyrs made in Rochester NY.  I now know they were made in 1965.  Mine are not in as good condition as Zombie1210s, but they are very sharp with an extremely wide sweet spot.  They are very well made and I need to get inside and clean some of the lenses.  They are good enough to use, but I see some reflections when looking at the moon. I now want a 9x Zephyr! DrJ1

Hello Drj1, 

 

You are quite welcome.

 

I think that 9x and 8x Zephyrs may be very well regarded.  My 7x35 was made in 1959.  My 6x30 Zephyr is from 1951.  Prior to the Zephyrs, there was a line of binoculars, and other lines later on.

 

Stay safe,

Arthur


Edited by Pinewood, 07 July 2020 - 07:42 PM.


#9 RLoret

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Posted 07 July 2020 - 09:14 PM

I have another old Bausch & Lomb binocular.  It is also a 7x35 and labeled  "Bausch & Lomb Opt. Co. Rochester NY  USA".  They are about the same size as my Zephyrs but have rubber eyecups, as opposed to hard plastic on my Zephyrs.  The serial # is 233307, DES Pat. 83.934.  Note the period in the presumed patent number as opposed to a coma. I wonder why there are no letters in the serial # as I would expect from the document Arthur sent?  They are excellent optically just like the Zephyrs although the retaining system on the objectives is not as comlex as that on the Zephyrs.  DrJ1

Prewar model.  I suspect that the rubber eyecups are replacements.



#10 FrankL

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Posted 07 July 2020 - 11:04 PM

Prewar model.  I suspect that the rubber eyecups are replacements.

B&L serial numbers without letter prefixes and suffixes are pre-1941 manufacture. #233307 was likely made 1939-1940.



#11 Pinewood

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Posted 08 July 2020 - 07:58 AM

Hello,

 

This photo has my B&L 7x35 Zephyr, a 6x30 Zephyr and a B&L 7x35 from 1939 or 1940.  Although a civilian glass, the latter was lent to the US Navy for World War II.   The owner's name  on the starboard prism plate, and a Bureau of Ships serial number were engraved on the port prism plate along with the year of acceptance, 1942.  The non-Zephyr is uncoated and has a slightly larger field of view than the 7x35 Zephyr. 

 

Stay safe,

Arthur

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  • Zephyr.JPG


#12 zombie1210

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Posted 09 July 2020 - 11:04 AM

Speaking of 9x35's, I just bought this pair. Made in Japan.

 

sA20l4u.jpg



#13 Pinewood

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Posted 09 July 2020 - 12:36 PM

Hello Zombie1210,

 

Good luck with both binoculars!  Use them well.  

The 9x35 may not be exactly identical to the American made model.  That was certainly the case of American made and Japanese made 7x35 Zephyrs, which had a slightly wider FOV.  Beyond that. Rochester made Zephyrs are more collectible.  Along with any WWII American naval or military glasses, they were very well made and exemplify American craftsmanship and high quality.

 

I find binoculars  8 power and above, hard to use for anything much above the horizon, although I do have a ten power glass but my 12x and 15x are mounted.

 

Stay safe,

Arthur 



#14 SMark

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Posted 09 July 2020 - 05:44 PM

Great binoculars, even today. I have really enjoyed my 8x30 and 9x35 (recently sold) Zephyrs because they both have a well corrected wide FOV. In their day they were Alpha binoculars.

#15 zombie1210

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Posted 09 July 2020 - 07:54 PM

I am also getting another Rochester Zephyr 7x35. This one is from 1953 and is individual focus.

 

 

eUE4r8B.jpg?1

 

 

2q7gYWn.jpg



#16 Pinewood

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Posted 09 July 2020 - 09:53 PM

Hello Zombie, if I may,

 

Good luck with that one, as well.  Have you become addicted?  

 

This was probably a favorite for hunters, and backyard binocular astronomy,who used to enjoy IF binoculars.  IF binoculars are a bit simpler and more robust.   

 

An 8x30 Zephyr would be next logical purchase, but do not take that as encouragement. 

 

Stay safe,

Arthur



#17 zombie1210

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 12:22 PM

Addicted? Maybe. Obsessed? Probably.   The first 7x35 is coming in todays mail. I'll post some thoughts on them later. 



#18 zombie1210

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 04:30 PM

I got the CF 7x35 Rochester Zephyr today.  Excellent condition, and the optics are spotless. The focuser is pretty stiff, but I'm sure it will get better with use. Maybe I will leave them laying out on the sun for a while, and it will loosen up a bit.

 

Date code is X. Should be from 1952, I believe.

 

They feel great in my hands. They are fairly light, but have a solid, quaility feel to them.  The FOV is nothing special, but the views are bright and focus is crisp. I do not see any color fringing, and so far I have not noticed any edge distortion. They appear to have coatings, as I can see a slight violet when looking into the objectives. Not a mark anywhere on the glass, and the insides are spotless. The black leather case is in super good condition. 

 

So far, I am impressed. I will be giving them a workout in the next few weeks. And I will compare them to the IF 7x35's and the 9x35's I will have in a few days.



#19 Pinewood

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 05:25 PM

Hello Zombie,

 

If the weather allows try it on come NEOWISE.  As the comet is an elongated target, higher magnification may not be useful.

 

Stay safe,

Arthur



#20 zombie1210

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Posted 13 July 2020 - 03:49 PM

Here is the 9x35's.  And another photo showing them with their 7x35 cousins.

 

The IF 7x35's were made in 1953

The CF 7x35's were made in 1952

The 9x35's were made in Japan. and I don't know the date of manufacture. The serial number is 35xxx

 

VKHIa1i.jpg?1

 

 

Js4nIJv.jpg



#21 zombie1210

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Posted 13 July 2020 - 06:55 PM

I could not resist this complete package. So yes, I guess I am obsessed.

 

6qjpTdA.jpg?1



#22 zombie1210

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Posted 16 July 2020 - 02:33 PM

I received this package today. Its is in fantastic condition. The date code baffles me though. It is:

9384 UT

Anyone decode this for me? I'm guessing it was made some time after 1960

 

2bAhsEa.jpg?1

 

75FR78B.jpg?1

 

dy5mD9J.jpg?1

 

4r3Zf0x.jpg?1



#23 Pinewood

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Posted 16 July 2020 - 06:33 PM

Hello Zombie,

 

1965, if I read the table, correctly. It looks like a time capsule, LNIB.

 

Stay safe,

Arthur


Edited by Pinewood, 16 July 2020 - 06:34 PM.


#24 zombie1210

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Posted 16 July 2020 - 06:44 PM

Thank you Arthur. It has lived its life in a closet or dresser drawer, by the looks of it. The amazing thing is, how smooth the focuser is. The motion feels like brand new. And of course the great views. 




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