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Best Vintage Binos with 11 to 12.5 Deg. FOV

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#1 SandyHouTex

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Posted 22 November 2020 - 12:43 PM

The Jason Statesman thread I started has me wondering what extra wide angle vintage binos are the best.  I really like the wide fields for panning around.  I think SMark mentioned a Swift, and please be specific if you know the model, please list it as well.

 

Thanks.


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#2 pat in los angeles basin

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Posted 22 November 2020 - 12:59 PM

What, you don't want to dig through the 50 or so pages of extrawide threads to find the nuggetslol.gif ??? To start the list- Swift holiday MKII, Bushnell rangemaster (the bat wing version as the  earlier ones (with 1 exception) are only 10 degrees (which I happen to prefer). You shouldn't  discount the 10 degrees versions as that lets in several that use BK7 prisms which don't seem to be as bright in an 11 degree 7x35. There's several that have flat top eyepieces (without the cups on) that allow a wide view even with glasses (hint- kowa prominar 7x35, 10 deg).    Regards, Pat


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#3 domo69

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Posted 22 November 2020 - 01:30 PM

For daytime use the Empire model 210 is up there with my Rangemaster Tamron.

 

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#4 Grimnir

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Posted 22 November 2020 - 06:13 PM

FPO BaK4 Rangemaster 7x35 10* claimed and actual

Tamron Rangemaster 7x35 11* claimed but a little less in reality

Tamron Swift Holiday 7x35 11*  claimed but a little less in reality

Swift Holiday 7x35 11* claimed but a little less in reality

Swift Panoramic 7x35 11* claimed but a little less in reality

 

Of these, the FPO BaK4 Rangemaster is the best glass.

 

Also consider the relatively rare Kowa Rangemaster 7x35 which I understand from SMark is on par with the FPO BaK4 Rangemaster.

 

Graham


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#5 Grimnir

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Posted 22 November 2020 - 06:18 PM

At typical online auction prices the Swift Panoramic probably delivers the best vfm.

 

In my experience, vintage 7x35 glasses with a claimed TFoV greater than 11* are inferior to the models I listed above.

 

Graham 


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#6 pat in los angeles basin

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Posted 22 November 2020 - 06:37 PM

I stumbled on a couple of references to the rangemaster at one time was available with BK-7 prisms. Is that accurate?   Pat


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#7 Grimnir

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Posted 23 November 2020 - 07:41 AM

I stumbled on a couple of references to the rangemaster at one time was available with BK-7 prisms. Is that accurate?   Pat

 

Yes. The FPO Rangemaster was originally made with Bk7 prisms, later versions have BaK4 prisms.

 

The versions are easily distinguishable. The Bk7 versions have no screws in the prism covers, but the BaK4 versions do have screws holding the prism covers.

 

Graham


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#8 DrJ1

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Posted 23 November 2020 - 11:37 AM

Please forgive my ignorance.  What does FPO stand for?.... Fuji Products O_____?  Thanks, DrJ1



#9 pat in los angeles basin

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Posted 23 November 2020 - 11:43 AM

fuji photo optics I think


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#10 Grimnir

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Posted 23 November 2020 - 12:24 PM

Fuji Photo Optical.

 

Graham


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#11 Grimnir

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Posted 23 November 2020 - 12:36 PM

Dave Bushnell told FPO to make the best binocular they could and he'd worry about the cost. The consequence was a binocular much more expensive than its competitors but of outstanding quality. They sit well in the hand too. The FPO Bushnell BaK4 Rangemaster is a true classic glass. Equipped with modern coatings and a field flattener it would be optically comparable to any glass in production today.

 

Graham


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#12 PEterW

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Posted 23 November 2020 - 02:23 PM

... triple tested too...
Peter
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#13 pat in los angeles basin

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Posted 23 November 2020 - 02:38 PM

Graham; I was going through the posts on the bushnell forum on birdforums and found the thread on the rangemaster history and there was your post  on the screwless prism plate.... Lonnnnnng time back..    Glad you are still with us...Regards, Pat


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#14 Grimnir

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Posted 23 November 2020 - 05:14 PM

Graham; I was going through the posts on the bushnell forum on birdforums and found the thread on the rangemaster history and there was your post  on the screwless prism plate.... Lonnnnnng time back..    Glad you are still with us...Regards, Pat

Thank you Pat! I've owned two samples of the BaK4 version of the FPO Rangemaster (one of which I sold to Holger who sold me his Fujinon 10x50 FMT-SX2 at the same time) and one of the Bk7 version and I can confirm the BaK4 is a definite advance on the Bk7 although the Bk7 is also a very pleasant glass.

 

Graham


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#15 SMark

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Posted 24 November 2020 - 04:10 AM

My favorites for (7x35) include...

 

10° Bushnell (FPO or Kowa) Rangemaster

10° Kowa BaK4

11° Swift (Tamron) Holiday

11° Bushnell (Tamron) Transition or Custom Rangemaster

11.5°  Sans & Streiffe 900 (J-B52 / J-E32)

12.5° Sans & Streiffe 999 (J-B52 / J-E32)

 

When I grab for a 7x35 (and I have MANY to choose from) 95% of the time I will grab one or more from this list. A couple exclusions... I tend to avoid the Gray version of the Bushnell Custom Rangemaster, because it will typically have UV coatings. And I prefer serial numbers for the Sans & Streiffe 900 to be above ~77000 due to the better coatings used from about that point on. There are many others not on this particular list that are also excellent performers. But these above are my preferred models.


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#16 Grimnir

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Posted 24 November 2020 - 05:12 AM

My favorites for (7x35) include...

 

10° Bushnell (FPO or Kowa) Rangemaster

10° Kowa BaK4

11° Swift (Tamron) Holiday

11° Bushnell (Tamron) Transition or Custom Rangemaster

11.5°  Sans & Streiffe 900 (J-B52 / J-E32)

12.5° Sans & Streiffe 999 (J-B52 / J-E32)

 

When I grab for a 7x35 (and I have MANY to choose from) 95% of the time I will grab one or more from this list. A couple exclusions... I tend to avoid the Gray version of the Bushnell Custom Rangemaster, because it will typically have UV coatings. And I prefer serial numbers for the Sans & Streiffe 900 to be above ~77000 due to the better coatings used from about that point on. There are many others not on this particular list that are also excellent performers. But these above are my preferred models.

 

An excellent precis from the undoubted world authority on vintage Japanese 7x35s!

 

Graham


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#17 SandyHouTex

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Posted 24 November 2020 - 05:00 PM

Thanks fir the different models and makes.  I’ll start seeing if a couple turn up.



#18 PEterW

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Posted 24 November 2020 - 05:49 PM

Good luck, hopefully grab one whilst SMark isn’t looking!
Peter
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#19 davidmcgo

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Posted 24 November 2020 - 09:26 PM

If Smark ever sells another overhauled SARD 6x42 grab it!  Most amazing 12 degree binocular I have ever used, really long eye relief, full illumination to the edge of field and crazy sharp on axis and well controlled over much of the field with the edges not being real horrible.

 

Dave


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#20 publin

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Posted 27 November 2020 - 09:47 AM

Please forgive my ignorance.  What does FPO stand for?.... Fuji Products O_____?  Thanks, DrJ1

HI  Drj1!   this  information   from  japan  binocular history - In 1934, the Fuji Photo Film Co. was established (not related to Fujii

Brothers).  In 1938, Fuji began melting and production of optical glass and
lenses.  During World War II, Fuji made lenses and aerial cameras.  Post-war,
Fuji produced optical glass and lenses for studio cameras.  regards  publin



#21 DrJ1

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Posted 29 November 2020 - 06:13 PM

HI  Drj1!   this  information   from  japan  binocular history - In 1934, the Fuji Photo Film Co. was established (not related to Fujii

Brothers).  In 1938, Fuji began melting and production of optical glass and
lenses.  During World War II, Fuji made lenses and aerial cameras.  Post-war,
Fuji produced optical glass and lenses for studio cameras.  regards  publin

Thanks publin.  I bought a Fujica ST-801 35-mm camera and several EBC Fujinon lenses in 1975 and the system served me well.  I still  use the Fujica glass on my digital cameras.  I hope to have a Fujinon FMT-SX Polaris 10x50 someday and perhaps the 16x70.  Regards, DrJ1.



#22 SMark

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Posted 30 November 2020 - 03:50 AM

Good luck, hopefully grab one whilst SMark isn’t looking!
Peter

I still find it hard to stop myself. You'd think I'd have enough by now... undecided.gif


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#23 pat in los angeles basin

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Posted 30 November 2020 - 09:38 AM

one aging rocker said "too much is never enough".          Regards, Pat



#24 Terra Nova

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Posted 30 November 2020 - 11:40 AM

I picked up a pair of vintage Japanese 7x35 Binolux wide angle binoculars with an 11° FOV off of eBay year before last for a reasonable price. They arrived very clean and well collimated and I have been more than pleased with them. I have thoroughly enjoyed them the last two summers, especially this passed summer as I confined my astronomy viewing to my own back yard. They are wonderful widefield sky-cruisers for looking at constellations and asterisms.




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