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AusJena 15x60 review [between zeiss & docter]

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#1 daniel_h

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Posted 14 December 2020 - 07:42 PM

had this glass for a while, have seen very few around; maybe 4-5 mentioned in classifieds/ebay/forums - though i presume if i spoke/read German i’d see more reports. made in Germany Jena-zeiss east factory, before docter took over / re-branded, and across the line from west german zeiss 15x60 bga

 

physical&measurements

terrific sized bino for a 15power glass, mass around 1.25-1.3kg [2.8lbs] based off a couple of measures, can be handheld for quite some period before fatigue sets in. much better than the fuji 16x70 or 15x70 nearly half their mass. length is 23cm x 18 across prism end, case is a very nice leather affair at about 12 inches, eye lens of the bino measures 18mm, which is intermediate for most binos i have

 

the mass compares favourably to both the zeiss & docter equivalents, which i read weigh in around 1.5-1.6kg, and the glass has the classic leather look textured finish of binos of old. the docter has a thicker smoother rubberised covering, the zeiss a military style graduated armour.

 

see pics below for size comparison with brunson 15x51 & kronos 26x70.

 

curiously there are no fov stated values on the bino, from what i have read in the limited info i have seen on them they were quoted at 4.6 degree fov. markings just show ausJena on the left and 15x60 Nobilem B on the right hand side. i believe the aus just stands for from, so from Jena -nice & practical

 

aperture appears to measure out correctly at 60mm, and exit pupil is pretty close to 4mm, so appear to be spot on 15x60. stated eye relief is 15mm, i measure actual a bit shorter than this, getting close to 11-11.5mm, recess of the eye lens is minimal, maybe only 1mm or so so i put actual ear around 12-13mm on my sample.

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Edited by daniel_h, 14 December 2020 - 08:18 PM.

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#2 daniel_h

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Posted 14 December 2020 - 07:48 PM

i was not able to get great pics of the exit pupil, or with a laser, but they are below.

 

the glass has a nice deep purple coating.

 

one note re the objective caps, the bino has a very short recess, they fit snug but only have 2mm of attachment, so are only useful when in the case.

 

 

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#3 daniel_h

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Posted 14 December 2020 - 08:11 PM

In Use

the glass is well ribbed internally, and i don’t see reflections alongside bright objects 

 

 i have removed the original rubber eye ups, they are just starting to degrade, i have replaced them with a lower profile model, about 4mm shorter - i always used the originals folded down due to the eye relief, i cannot use them with my glasses, which are thin -i need around 16-17mm er on an eyepiece to be able to see the fov with my glasses on.

 

’the model is centre focus, focus action is very smooth, easily moved by 1 finger but i also don’t accidentally move focus often so it is very pleasing in this regard. 

 

‘the stars come to nice pinpoints - i used to use my brunton eterna as my high owner handheld glass, but at a recent comparison i realised how bloated its stars appear when side by side with the jena - the stars in the lens appear half as small, and have that crisper focus of a good glass.

 

fov measures very close to stated, i could get alnitak  to the top of the orion nebula complex in the fov, likewise alpha-beta centauri, and a-crux/b-crux in view at the edges of the field of view. it feels wider when comparing to the 4.4 stated of the 15x70 ultra, diff just feels more like 1/3 degree, not 0.2. the edge of view stars maintain shape quite close to the edge, i estimate close as 10% out from the edge, with only very minor degradation which in use is not noticeable at all.

 

i need to try and split some more doubles, i can hand hold it fairly steady, but mounting for doubles is best, b-crux looks terrific through this bino. 

side note -jena/docter binos have an offset tripod mounting hole, requires a special docter or jim white adapter -both of which i believe are unavailable -docter’s recent demise is disappointing.

at present i use a manfrotto bino jaw, but will prob buy a berlebach wooden mount, at this light weight mounting is a breeze

 

i probably use it handheld 80% of the time, due to ease of use, light weight and ability to scan quickly large areas of the sky - i frequently use it for 20mins or so, to check out the Northenr sky targets which are up then finish in carina- the region of sky here is very well stem to any binocular, but particularly this power and fov.

i was surprised to pick up a hint of the crab nebula in this bino, i dbl checked the next night to make sure i wasn’t seeing things

 

pic attached showing serial no. i don’t have any jena bino yearly production charts but based off 1 other bino i have seen, i estimate somewhere around 1993 manufacture

 

daytime use -whilst i have only used it occasionally, it gives a very immersive 3d rendering to foliage, i am unable to detect CA on greenery against a bright background. the views of birds i have had are excellent, terrific detail and colour -the brightness and magnification providing excellent detail

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Edited by daniel_h, 14 December 2020 - 08:14 PM.

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#4 Foss

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Posted 14 December 2020 - 09:41 PM

I have the CZJ Noblem 15x60B and love it! Thanks for sharing pix of yours.

~ Foss


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#5 Corcaroli78

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Posted 15 December 2020 - 07:49 AM

had this glass for a while, have seen very few around; maybe 4-5 mentioned in classifieds/ebay/forums - though i presume if i spoke/read German i’d see more reports. made in Germany Jena-zeiss east factory, before docter took over / re-branded, and across the line from west german zeiss 15x60 bga

 

 

Hi Daniel

 

Many thanks for the very informative post.  How do you compare the performance between the 15x60 and the 15x70 in DSO´s? I have been tempted to get a 15x60 bino as it is more compact than the Individual focus 15x70, and i do not know how it performs considering the Jena model is at least 30 years older.

 

Thanks

Carlos


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#6 WALL.E

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Posted 15 December 2020 - 08:37 AM

daniel h,

 

That 15X60 looks very nice!

 

That off set mount is very different.

 

Without special adapters, how do you overcome this matter?

 

Eric



#7 Mark9473

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Posted 15 December 2020 - 09:47 AM

Eric, this requires a dedicated tripod adapter that includes a part that screws into that hole and then provides a center stud.

See here: https://www.cloudyni...0/#entry2973358

It may appear clumsy, but that's the very best tripod adapter I have ever used.


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#8 WALL.E

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Posted 15 December 2020 - 11:37 AM

Mark9473,

 

Now I "get it".

 

Pretty nifty!

 

Eric



#9 j.gardavsky

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Posted 15 December 2020 - 04:01 PM

Eric, this requires a dedicated tripod adapter that includes a part that screws into that hole and then provides a center stud.

See here: https://www.cloudyni...0/#entry2973358

It may appear clumsy, but that's the very best tripod adapter I have ever used.

Very good, Mark!

 

I will get it somewhere tooled,

 

JG


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#10 daniel_h

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Posted 15 December 2020 - 04:23 PM

Hi Daniel

 

Many thanks for the very informative post.  How do you compare the performance between the 15x60 and the 15x70 in DSO´s? I have been tempted to get a 15x60 bino as it is more compact than the Individual focus 15x70, and i do not know how it performs considering the Jena model is at least 30 years older.

 

Thanks

Carlos

very close, it’s hard to find an obj visible in the 70 that the 60 can’t detect

 

i don’t know if there is a good quality 15x60 porro currently made, i think the docter was the last with the company demise -a few roof prism hunting models exist in 15x56, i’d love to look through the swaro. the minos 15x58 is well priced for an ed glass, if you can find one - not sure what the edge sharpness is like 

 

i am a bit surprised to read some users state the edge sharpness of the docter model is a bit weak


Edited by daniel_h, 15 December 2020 - 08:32 PM.

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#11 B 26354

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Posted 15 December 2020 - 09:02 PM

....this requires a dedicated tripod adapter that includes a part that screws into that hole and then provides a center stud.

See here: https://www.cloudyni...0/#entry2973358

It may appear clumsy, but that's the very best tripod adapter I have ever used.

Totally agree.

 

Very good, Mark!

 

I will get it somewhere tooled,

 

JG

These are almost impossible to find. Over the years, I have only seen them come up on eBay a couple of times. Fortunately, when I bought my Nobilems (2001 or so)... the store in Van Nuys CA where I got them (Scope City), had one.  One.


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#12 CAAD9

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Posted 16 December 2020 - 01:20 AM

Great write up. Thank you for sharing.

Have you ever had them side by side with Fuji fmt-sx2 16x70?  


Edited by CAAD9, 16 December 2020 - 01:24 AM.


#13 daniel_h

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Posted 16 December 2020 - 02:51 AM

Great write up. Thank you for sharing.

Have you ever had them side by side with Fuji fmt-sx2 16x70?  

nto side by side, had sold my fuji’s by the time i grabbed these, the fuji gathers a bit more light, makes it easier to see dim objects -like the crab nebula i mentioned above 


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#14 Terra Nova

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Posted 23 June 2021 - 11:15 AM

For many years now I’ve wanted to get my hands on a nice sample of Zeiss West (Oberkochen) 15x60 prism binoculars. I believe I’ve told the story here in the past about how when I first got into Amateur Astronomy in 1964 I was using a pair of Herters 8x40s and my observing friend had his dad’s Navy B&L 7x50s. My friend’s grandfather was actually the one who steered both of us into the hobby and he had a wonderful Questar Standard and also a superb pair of Zeiss West 15x60s. This was the first time I had ever seen either of these two superlative instruments and both, along with their stunning views were etched in my mind. I always wanted both after that. Over the intervening years telescopes came and went as did binoculars as I progressed through our wonderful hobby. Four or five years ago, I finally attained the goal of acquiring a Questar but I continued to look for the ZWO 15x60s. They are quite rare here in the US and generally when one is available a princely sum is wanted for it. A year or so ago, I did get a nice pair of Zeiss Jena 10x50 Dekarem binoculars and I had them cleaned and tuned up by Cory Suddeth, who by the way, did an amazing job. Well now, I am happy to announce that my second goal has been attained. I located and purchased what I hope is a very nice example of the Zeiss West Oberkochen 15x60 prism binoculars and they should be here in a week. I feel like I got a good deal on them. I paid a sum equal to what I paid for the CZJ Dekarems (including the cost of their servicing) which was under $500. I’m quite excited about my purchase and will post pictures when I receive the binoculars.


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#15 j.gardavsky

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Posted 23 June 2021 - 12:09 PM

Terra,

 

tis is a great news and I am feeling happy with you.

 

The Zeiss West Oberkochen 15x60 are legendary binoculars, designed and manufactured mainly for the law enforcement.

 

I have their remake from DOCTER, and even the discontinued DOCTER Nobilems are very expensive, actually more expensive than what they used to cost as new.

 

Looking forward to your report with some pictures,

JG


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#16 Mark9473

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Posted 23 June 2021 - 12:55 PM

I think that's one of the most exciting purchases one can make as a binoculars aficionado.


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#17 B 26354

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Posted 23 June 2021 - 01:10 PM

Wow, Terra... that is really wonderful news! Of all my binoculars, my Docter Nobilem 15x60s are my absolute favorites, and I can't wait to read your reports and (hopefully) see some close-up photos of your Oberkochens.  Major congratulations!!!

 

biggrin.png


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#18 Pinewood

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Posted 23 June 2021 - 01:27 PM

Hello Terra Nova,

 

Are you writing of the Zeiss 15x60 or the 15x60B or even the 15x60GAT?

 

Stay safe,

Arthur



#19 Terra Nova

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Posted 23 June 2021 - 02:06 PM

They are the Zeiss 15x60, or maybe the T? They have the leatherette covered porro prism body, blue MgF2 coatings, and say “made in West Germany” on the front of the focuser spindle and Carl Zeiss on the back of the left monocular.

 

Like these:

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Edited by Terra Nova, 23 June 2021 - 02:27 PM.

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#20 j.gardavsky

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Posted 23 June 2021 - 02:13 PM

Here is one of the classic versions with the leather look armor,

 

https://www.fernglas...st_15mal60.html

 

Best,

JG


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#21 Terra Nova

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Posted 23 June 2021 - 02:29 PM

Here is one of the classic versions with the leather look armor,

 

https://www.fernglas...st_15mal60.html

 

Best,

JG

Yes, thank You JG. The ones I have coming look just like those. Unfortunately mine don’t have the beautiful original leather case or strap (but thankfully my Dekarems do).


Edited by Terra Nova, 23 June 2021 - 02:31 PM.

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#22 KennyJ

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Posted 23 June 2021 - 04:34 PM

Ahh -- the Carl Zeiss West 1960s era 15x60!

 

If it wasn't for the sheer fate and fortune leading me to look through one of those as a young teen back in the mid 1960s., it is extremely unlikely I would ever have ended up being a member of a binocular forum.

 

Having spent most of a lifetime since coveting one, I don't think the eye - relief would be sufficient for me now.

 

Kenny


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#23 Terra Nova

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Posted 23 June 2021 - 05:16 PM

Ahh -- the Carl Zeiss West 1960s era 15x60!

 

If it wasn't for the sheer fate and fortune leading me to look through one of those as a young teen back in the mid 1960s., it is extremely unlikely I would ever have ended up being a member of a binocular forum.

 

Having spent most of a lifetime since coveting one, I don't think the eye - relief would be sufficient for me now.

 

Kenny

I don’t wear glasses except readers and thankfully short eye relief isn’t a problem for me.


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#24 B 26354

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Posted 23 June 2021 - 07:05 PM

I just ran JG's linked article through Google Translate:

 

BINOCULARS FOR HOBBYASTRONOMERS
ZEISS WEST
CARL ZEISS 15x60

 

with original quiver and binocular strap!

 

After WW II, many leading employees left the plant in Jena and large parts of it were dismantled. In 1946 a new production site was set up in Oberkochen.

 

In 1947 the name Zeiss-Opton was renamed to Carl Zeiss. Since then, a distinction has been made between "Zeiss-Jena binoculars" and "Zeiss-West binoculars".

 

Carl Zeiss binoculars are among the top products on the optical market worldwide.

 

From 1958 the model 15x60 with Porro I prism system was produced. It represents a top optical performance and is highly praised in astronomical circles.

 

At the beginning of the 80s it was modified with a rubber armouring and the improved T * coating.

 

The parameter is 15x60. 15x magnification with 60 mm objectives.

 

The serial number is 1397774.

 

According to Zeiss, the binoculars were manufactured in 1976.

 

The focusing wheel at the lower end of the articulated bridge.

 

Looking through the binoculars.

 

Width = 21 cm, height = 18 cm, weight = 1280 g.

 

- - - - - - - -

 

As far as eye-relief, I'd be curious to learn what it is on these ones that Terra is getting. I'm mildly far-sighted with a mild astigmatism, so I do wear eyeglasses. ER on my Docters -- purchased new by me in 2001 -- is 15mm, and I have no problem seeing the entire FOV.


Edited by B 26354, 23 June 2021 - 07:07 PM.

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#25 Corcaroli78

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Posted 24 June 2021 - 01:30 AM

For many years now I’ve wanted to get my hands on a nice sample of Zeiss West (Oberkochen) 15x60 prism binoculars. I believe I’ve told the story here in the past about how when I first got into Amateur Astronomy in 1964 I was using a pair of Herters 8x40s and my observing friend had his dad’s Navy B&L 7x50s. My friend’s grandfather was actually the one who steered both of us into the hobby and he had a wonderful Questar Standard and also a superb pair of Zeiss West 15x60s. This was the first time I had ever seen either of these two superlative instruments and both, along with their stunning views were etched in my mind. I always wanted both after that. Over the intervening years telescopes came and went as did binoculars as I progressed through our wonderful hobby. Four or five years ago, I finally attained the goal of acquiring a Questar but I continued to look for the ZWO 15x60s. They are quite rare here in the US and generally when one is available a princely sum is wanted for it. A year or so ago, I did get a nice pair of Zeiss Jena 10x50 Dekarem binoculars and I had them cleaned and tuned up by Cory Suddeth, who by the way, did an amazing job. Well now, I am happy to announce that my second goal has been attained. I located and purchased what I hope is a very nice example of the Zeiss West Oberkochen 15x60 prism binoculars and they should be here in a week. I feel like I got a good deal on them. I paid a sum equal to what I paid for the CZJ Dekarems (including the cost of their servicing) which was under $500. I’m quite excited about my purchase and will post pictures when I receive the binoculars.

Hi Terra,

 

Congratulations on your finding!! . I know by experience what is to get -after many years- a piece of the personal history, something that brought us into the hobby. I can not imagine the joy that you will have when your Zeiss 15x60 arrive and start using them, memories from childhood will come, and that is wonderful.

 

Such event will deserves a revision thread from your side (as the same bino is in my to-do list) grin.gif

 

Carlos


Edited by Corcaroli78, 24 June 2021 - 01:31 AM.

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