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Fungus on my Zeiss Binoctem 7 x 50?

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#1 Scrumpymanjack

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Posted 18 May 2021 - 04:28 AM

Hi all. 

 

Thanks once again for such a rich, informative forum. I recently bought three pairs of Zeiss binoculars at an auction in the UK. I didn't have a chance to examine the bins physically before bidding (I know, I know!) but went for it anyway because a) they looked in pristine external shape and b) the price seemed very reasonable even with possible servicing costs thrown in.  

 

As it turned out, I received one pair of Zeiss Jenoptem 10 x 50 W, which ARE pristine. There doesn't seem to be a speck of dust anywhere, and it's a joy to look through them. Just amazing. I don't want to go into pricing but the cost of all three was below what this pair of binoculars seems to command on ebay these days.  

 

BUT, I also received a pair of Zeiss Binoctem 7 x 50, which have a thin grey film across both sets of internal lenses. I apologise for not knowing more about this or being more specific but I'm new to this world and still have lots to learn. 

 

Here is a (bad) photo to help with the description of the problem: 

 

IMG_4238.JPG

 

Can anyone please tell me what this is - and how bad it is in terms of servicing? In addition, can anybody recommend a place to get this sorted out in the UK? I know that getting in touch with Zeiss is probably one option, but I fear that may be prohibitively expensive. 

 

Any and all thoughts most gratefully received. Thanks in advance. 


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#2 astrokeith

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Posted 18 May 2021 - 05:12 AM

Obviously difficult to be sure from a photo, but it dosent look like mould or fungus. Which could be good news.

 

It looks more like a film of contaminate that has migrated onto the surface. Can be grease/oil or water based dirt from condensation. Probably cleanable.

 

Or, bad, it could be a coating detaching. These bins were made from about 1930's to 1970's. Early ones had simple coatings, later had multi-layer.

 

Being Zeiss they would be quite easy to take apart and service, if you know what you are doing!



#3 Foss

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Posted 18 May 2021 - 08:40 AM

Can't really tell by the picture but your description sounds like generic internal haze that besets many an older binocular. 



#4 Rokkor

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Posted 18 May 2021 - 10:27 AM

Can't really tell by the picture but your description sounds like generic internal haze that besets many an older binocular. 

Is it the haze that occurs between the prism faces? That's what many of mine have although all the lenses are clean, and usually so are the outer faces of the prisms. Is there any way to clean between the prisms without upsetting the collimation? 



#5 j.gardavsky

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Posted 18 May 2021 - 03:54 PM

Hi all. 

 

Thanks once again for such a rich, informative forum. I recently bought three pairs of Zeiss binoculars at an auction in the UK. I didn't have a chance to examine the bins physically before bidding (I know, I know!) but went for it anyway because a) they looked in pristine external shape and b) the price seemed very reasonable even with possible servicing costs thrown in.  

 

As it turned out, I received one pair of Zeiss Jenoptem 10 x 50 W, which ARE pristine. There doesn't seem to be a speck of dust anywhere, and it's a joy to look through them. Just amazing. I don't want to go into pricing but the cost of all three was below what this pair of binoculars seems to command on ebay these days.  

 

BUT, I also received a pair of Zeiss Binoctem 7 x 50, which have a thin grey film across both sets of internal lenses. I apologise for not knowing more about this or being more specific but I'm new to this world and still have lots to learn. 

 

Here is a (bad) photo to help with the description of the problem: 

 

attachicon.gifIMG_4238.JPG

 

Can anyone please tell me what this is - and how bad it is in terms of servicing? In addition, can anybody recommend a place to get this sorted out in the UK? I know that getting in touch with Zeiss is probably one option, but I fear that may be prohibitively expensive. 

 

Any and all thoughts most gratefully received. Thanks in advance. 

This looks to me like something which might have condensed on the prisms.

A professional service specialized on the old Zeiss binoculars, like Schilling in Germany, would ask significantly more than what is worth of these binoculars when offered in top condition.

 

Best,

JG



#6 sevenofnine

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Posted 18 May 2021 - 05:44 PM

Fungus in optics looks more like a spot with tendrils around it, whitish in color. My guess is that just a good cleaning might do the trick. A service technician will tell you more. Hopefully, not too much $$$. Good luck! watching.gif



#7 Scrumpymanjack

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Posted 19 May 2021 - 02:09 AM

Thank you all for your considered and knowledgable replies. Extremely grateful. I have a follow-up question based on some of the feedback: would it be foolhardy of me to try to service these myself? I have never taken apart binoculars before but I have watched several videos/tutorials, and I am methodical and careful in the things I do BUT I don't know if the binoculars are gas-filled or have some other characteristic that would take servicing to the next level. According to a quick online search, these Zeiss binoculars are from 1972 (though I'm not 100 per cent sure). Thanks again. 


Edited by Scrumpymanjack, 19 May 2021 - 02:33 AM.


#8 astrokeith

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Posted 19 May 2021 - 04:00 AM

A professional repair would cost more than they are worth, and so if you feel confident I would proceed with caution.

 

They wont be gas filled.

 

You can 'go in' from the front and rear quite easily, without having to disturb the prisms. Hopefully this should allow you to clean what ever is necessary. If you have to take the prisms out then you are going another level.

 

Get your self a nice clean work area, with some pots to put parts in. If they are 1972 then they are the later model with multi coatings and hopefully the threads wont be stuck too hard.

 

Good luck!



#9 j.gardavsky

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Posted 19 May 2021 - 05:46 AM

Thank you all for your considered and knowledgable replies. Extremely grateful. I have a follow-up question based on some of the feedback: would it be foolhardy of me to try to service these myself? I have never taken apart binoculars before but I have watched several videos/tutorials, and I am methodical and careful in the things I do BUT I don't know if the binoculars are gas-filled or have some other characteristic that would take servicing to the next level. According to a quick online search, these Zeiss binoculars are from 1972 (though I'm not 100 per cent sure). Thanks again. 

I have put apart in past some number of binoculars, even if not the Zeiss you have.

 

1. The first step is would be to make the ray tracing with a green laser pointer through the front lenses into the prism system to see where the mud is located. The mud will light up the laser beam.

 

This procedure requires an experience with understanding what the ray tracing shows on a prism system. Not everybody has an experience with it, like myself.

 

The problem with this first step is, if not trained you take a risk to hurt your eyes with the reflections of the beam. This risk is with the not coated prism surfaces air-to-glass high.

 

2. Another first step it to unscrew the rear plate of the binoculars to check the prisms.

On the last binoculars (25x100 FB) I have inspected, this looks like

 

gallery_316833_11893_79371.jpg

 

 

Here the prism mount is similar to that used on lots of the Carl Zeiss Jena binoculars in past.

Before unscrewing plate on which the prisms are mounted, it makes again sense to ray trace the prisms, as a suspected mud or fungus would light up the laser beam. And again, there is a risk of hurting your eyesight.

 

The other steps would depend on what you would find following Ad1. or Ad2., or both.

 

Best,

JG


Edited by j.gardavsky, 19 May 2021 - 05:47 AM.


#10 Scrumpymanjack

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Posted 19 May 2021 - 09:00 AM

Great. I'm going to do this myself. I've never done anything even remotely similar (unless replacing the screen of an iphone counts?) but I'm both confident and excited. I mean, if you're careful, methodical and clean, what could possibly go wrong? Lol. I'll report back. Thank you. 



#11 j.gardavsky

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Posted 19 May 2021 - 02:28 PM

Great. I'm going to do this myself. I've never done anything even remotely similar (unless replacing the screen of an iphone counts?) but I'm both confident and excited. I mean, if you're careful, methodical and clean, what could possibly go wrong? Lol. I'll report back. Thank you. 

Post some documenting pics,

JG



#12 sevenofnine

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Posted 21 May 2021 - 07:18 PM

I say "go for it!" Sometimes you get lucky and the repair/cleaning isn't too difficult. I still have my first pair of binoculars that I disassembled and cleaned. They cleaned up good! Good luck!! watching.gif

 

P.S. There are tools available to loosen lock rings if necessary. About $20 on Amazon. 




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