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USA Made Binos?

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#1 rmbennett30

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Posted 27 September 2020 - 07:03 AM

I am looking to get back into this hobby and wanted to start with binoculars.   I am a diehard American and am not wanting to purchase products made overseas.  It seems this Astronomy hobby has almost all of it manufactured overseas.   Does anyone know of Binoculars that are produced in the USA good for Astronomy???  Please let me know as I am fairly new to this hobby and just cant find any USA made not just assembled...  MADE in the USA binos???



#2 Mark9473

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Posted 27 September 2020 - 07:12 AM

I suggest you take up stamp collecting instead. ;-)
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#3 otocycle

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Posted 27 September 2020 - 07:34 AM

Take a look at Maven binoculars for USA manufacturing...glass types may be imported from Japan or Germany:

 

https://mavenbuilt.c...ions/binoculars



#4 ihf

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Posted 27 September 2020 - 10:56 AM

Take a look at Maven binoculars for USA manufacturing...glass types may be imported from Japan or Germany:

 

https://mavenbuilt.c...ions/binoculars

FAQ says

 

Where are they built?

We use premium Japanese components for S, B, and RS Series optics. The S Series and B Series are assembled in a military standard (MIL-SPEC) facility in San Diego, and are then shipped to our headquarters in Lander, Wyoming where we inspect and test for quality assurance. The RS Series is assembled in Japan, and the C Series are assembled in the Philippines. Once assembled, they are shipped to our headquarters where each batch is sample-tested for quality assurance.


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#5 FrankL

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Posted 27 September 2020 - 11:11 AM

See: https://www.birdforu...highlight=Maven


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#6 ihf

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Posted 27 September 2020 - 11:30 AM

IIUC Kamakura figured out how to put the final touches of their Japan made binos in the San Diego facility.



#7 SMark

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Posted 27 September 2020 - 12:22 PM

One of my favorite astronomy binoculars is made completely in the USA. It’s called the Bausch and Lomb Mark 41 7x50.

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Edited by SMark, 27 September 2020 - 12:29 PM.

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#8 ihf

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Posted 27 September 2020 - 12:28 PM

One of my favorite astronomy binoculars was made completely in the USA 80 years ago. It’s called the Bausch and Lomb Mark 41 7x50.

I corrected that sentence for you. Buy war bonds!


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#9 SMark

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Posted 27 September 2020 - 12:32 PM

I corrected that sentence for you. Buy war bonds!

Thank you! 

 

And in similar fashion, there is the SARD Mark 43 6x42...

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#10 SMark

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Posted 27 September 2020 - 12:36 PM

These are both US Navy WW2 wide angle binoculars that just happen to also be excellent astronomy binoculars. 



#11 ihf

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Posted 27 September 2020 - 12:41 PM

I see the SARD Mark 43 6x42 has good eye relief. I assume in the 1940s they already applied a single layer of coating?



#12 SMark

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Posted 27 September 2020 - 12:57 PM

Yes, both the Mark 41 & Mark 43 have very long eye relief. Optical coatings were pretty new technology at that time. But the US Navy didn’t scrimp anywhere on these with every optical surface being coated, including the monster-sized prisms.
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#13 ihf

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Posted 27 September 2020 - 01:42 PM

I wish they would still make them! I guess equipment of US soldiers has moved to night vision devices. Those are still made in the US. Bright and wide views.



#14 Pinac

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Posted 27 September 2020 - 02:55 PM

I am looking to get back into this hobby and wanted to start with binoculars.   I am a diehard American and am not wanting to purchase products made overseas.  It seems this Astronomy hobby has almost all of it manufactured overseas.   Does anyone know of Binoculars that are produced in the USA good for Astronomy???  Please let me know as I am fairly new to this hobby and just cant find any USA made not just assembled...  MADE in the USA binos???

There is currently not one single binocular that can really be called „Made in USA“ that I am aware of. Sorry, you come 30 years too late.

The same may soon be true for Europe (we are not there yet). Things like „made in Germany“ and the like which had special reputation for quality have lost a lot of their lustre in the last decade or so, since even companies like Zeiss and Leica have had their binoculars made in other parts of the world.

Japan wil stay in the game for while, who knows for how long.

China is the future, whether we like it or not. Unless the West is willing to go back to working harder and earning less.


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#15 pat in los angeles basin

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Posted 27 September 2020 - 03:02 PM

It's an interesting question- what was the last  year that a major maker (Bausch and Lomb/ Swift/ Bushnell??) made binocs in the US?. How bout the "made for milspec" stuff that came from Fujinon- was some of that made in US as part of the contract?

                                                                                                                                  Regards, Pat


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#16 SMark

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Posted 27 September 2020 - 03:10 PM

Who remembers when the B&L Zephyr production moved from Rochester to Japan? A sign that the end was near...

#17 Milos1977

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Posted 27 September 2020 - 03:21 PM

rmbennett30

 

Its all of the same earth. But I do understand. If you want better or best you could have conflict of interest in this hobby.

One thing though that is more satisfying than buying from a source you love so much is making it yourself. 

Just an idea. 


Edited by Milos1977, 27 September 2020 - 03:22 PM.


#18 pat in los angeles basin

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Posted 27 September 2020 - 04:03 PM

the pair of Rochester Zephyr I have shows a "y" prefix- 1956- so after that- early mid 60's?    Regards, Pat



#19 SMark

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Posted 27 September 2020 - 04:43 PM

I recall that my 9x35 Rochester Zephyr was early ‘60s.

#20 FrankL

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Posted 28 September 2020 - 07:38 AM

I believe B&L moved handheld binocular manufacture to Japan in the early 1970’s. 



#21 Foss

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Posted 28 September 2020 - 08:59 AM

^^^ IIRC the logo on the Japan-built models was slightly different, but I can't offhand recall how.



#22 Gordon Rayner

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Posted 28 September 2020 - 03:32 PM

It was 1973, perhaps 1974. that B&L Rochester  stopped binocular production.    As  repeatedly described  by your servant,  in the context of Mk. 41  threads, when I heard  that B&L  were, or had already,  stopped Rochester binocular production,  I  phoned.  

 

The man said  words to the effect that  "  had you called  a few weeks  ago,  I  would have offered to you,  at no cost,   the body molds for the MK. 41  or the postwar  version, but they have been scrapped".     I recently found  my copy of the  1946?  B&L  report/plans in detail  of the optics  and mechanisms   of the MK. 41:  diameters, spacings,  radii,  glass types.  I have been quite busy.   That   document  remains  in my storage  archive,  which I recently moved   several miles.  

Does anyone  have/ has anyone done  archival  search, correspondence with Kollsman/SquareD,,  Flushing plant  (. does it yet exist?), etc.   In re  the MK. 43  6 x 42 ( with its WW II plastic ( phenolic?)  focus grips,  corroded  prisms housing covers  from  contact with  tanning acids in their leather cases, etc.  I visited the Flushing, N. Y.  Photronics  facility in 1970,  but  only saw a man assembling one of   20 x 120  with 45 degree inclination   of sight line.  That and their( Photronics)  12 x 96  with 45 deg. inclination  (I have two specimens  of the 12 x 96)   have been discussed years ago by your servant in this forum.  Let us know  if  Mk. 43  documents exist.  I have never seen any except   the late 1940's cutaway which  is in some books, IIRC, and which somebody posted  in this forum not long ago. 

 

Swift and Bushnell  etc never made   anything .   Bushnell   told us about his experience  at the 1993   Abrahams    forum   in San Diego.   Swift  admitted  (" maybe'')  when   I  mentioned  at  ShotShow(?),  about  the source  of  some being Katsuma.   


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#23 Gordon Rayner

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Posted 28 September 2020 - 04:10 PM

Re:  #5 and # 6, above:   I sold  to them a FUJI  UBMM  projection  binocular  parallelizer  acquired by me  via LEGITIMATE, not cumshaw,  Navy  surplus  ( when it yet existed). a  Nikon autocollimator telescope, and maybe something else.  They have several  UBMM., and probably  many more in China  and Japan.    Kamakura made  the late  8 x 30  CZJ  Deltrintem  when production was stopped  around the time of the demise of the DDR.    

 

I worked  on maintenance/repair  outside the US, and in the US,  on several   commercial versions  of the push-pull  prism mount (no eccentrics)   M-22  (without the laser filters),  But I would need to place a big order to  get an identifying  brand name(if I had one), such as Bakers  have on some of those, were I  sell those  M-22  commercial version  ( which I  recall before  the M-22 contracts)    to what remains of   a market which I served decades ago   .

 

Alpen  were Kamakura produced.  

 

Thank you for  the interesting Link,  Frank   

 

RIP   Nemoto  Yasuyuki  "Charley",   longtime   Fuji  US,  since ca 1980 IIRC,  and Fuji-Kamakura  cooperative  personality ,    Moral : stop smoking, healthy diet,  exercise.  


Edited by Gordon Rayner, 28 September 2020 - 04:13 PM.

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#24 Obx

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Posted 28 September 2020 - 05:20 PM

Another vote for the B&L US Navy Binoculars. Mine have excellent optics and the B&L build quality is top notch.


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#25 jcj380

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Posted 30 September 2020 - 08:46 AM

Yes, both the Mark 41 & Mark 43 have very long eye relief. Optical coatings were pretty new technology at that time. But the US Navy didn’t scrimp anywhere on these with every optical surface being coated, including the monster-sized prisms.

My 1944 Navy Mark 30 7x50s have great optics.  I do wish they had a little more mag, but ...




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