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FOUR SQUARE binocular HELP ?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/09/2016 at 09:22
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Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper


Joined: November/09/2016
Status: Offline
Points: 7
I've found some binoculars - look very vintage - for £35 in one of those lovely charity shops.

Never heard of the brand before, FOUR SQUARE - but looking on the front near the lenses the followin markings are evident: JB142 on one side an LE10 on the other. The 'L' on LE10 is in the exact font for the L on the word Leica.

Looking through the binoculars shows crystal clarity with punchy colours, but the thumb focusing wheels is a little stiff to move.

Are these worth getting?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/09/2016 at 11:32
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Optics Apprentice
Optics Apprentice


Joined: May/28/2014
Location: Twin Falls, ID
Status: Offline
Points: 128
That binocular was made in Japan (probably in the early 50s) by Subaru Kogaku Kikai Co. Ltd. “Four Square” was one of HUNDREDS of “brands” made by about 345 bino companies alive at the time. It is many miles from a Leica. However, if it is clean and collimated, its pedigree really doesn’t matter. I have owned many very expensive electric guitars—in today’s market, $250,000 worth. When maturity finally overtook me, I realized my favorite was one of the least expensive ... made in Mexico.

If you need “snob appeal,” you shouldn’t touch it with a 10-foot pole. If, on the other hand, you want to better enjoy nature, it may be just the ticket. Only you can decide. You might want to be certain it’s collimated; those finds usually aren’t, and a qualified technician would probably not be cost effective. If it is, you may have a real winner, performance wise and historically.

“Don’t worry; be happy.”

PS Welcome aboard!   

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/09/2016 at 12:12
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Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper


Joined: November/09/2016
Status: Offline
Points: 7
Thanks for your response - I've bought it anyway due to the clarity - whether it needs aligning or not I won't really know but, for the time being they are working really well.

I also have a pair of Swift Blue Stripe Saratoga MK II'S - which are good, but the absolute clarity of picture and colour rendition is not as good as these Blue Squares - and it's very obvious! Looking at a white building for example - whites are very obviously much whiter than the Swifts.

The Saratoga's may need cleaning inside after all these years, and then they may catch up with these Blue Squares. The Swifts are more comfortable to use with an easy turning focusing wheel.

Funny but in the same shop were a pair of ROSS OF LONDON SOLAROSS with original case etc - these were cloudy to look through in comparison - I understand the optics on the ROSS are supposed to be good - but not in my opinion unless they don't hold a candle to a Subaru Kogaku Kikai ??? Or they may need dismantling and cleaning (how would you do that?).

Sorry I'm new to all this - and recently got into binoculars because I needed a good sharp pair for helping realign radio networks from our roof - I wanted as much clarity as possible. And in buying a few recent pair of binos (the Swifts and the Blue Squares), I got hooked after seeing how good these Blue Squares are. Can they get even better from the vintage era at a reasonable price ???
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/09/2016 at 18:17
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Optics Apprentice
Optics Apprentice


Joined: May/28/2014
Location: Twin Falls, ID
Status: Offline
Points: 128
Oh, my friend, please don’t be sorry for being new to this! I have come across so many people who pontificate endlessly on so many aspects of binoculars when THEY should be saying “I’m new to this.”

If you don’t know whether or not your binocular is collimated ... it is, at least “good enough.” We all have a varying degree of Spatial Accommodation (a tolerance for a small range of line of sight disparities) and if the error falls within that range, the brain will take care of the problem, via the eye’s rectus muscles.

For a few of us who are familiar with working on binoculars, those Swifts could be done in our sleep. The bugbear for those unfamiliar with the task would be getting each prism seated at 90 degrees to its mate and in addressing alignment. The Internet has dozens, if not hundreds, of sites telling one how to collimate their binocular. If the observer is going to be the only one using the instrument, this Conditional Alignment will work fine. If a thorough 3-axis alignment is sought, all those instructions range from childish to wrong. So, if you don’t readily notice a problem, don’t go looking for it; just enjoy
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/09/2016 at 20:08
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Optics Professional
Optics Professional


Joined: January/29/2006
Status: Offline
Points: 983
you found a good glass for a good price, that is all that matters. 
the stiff focusing can be fixed with a drop of penetrating fine oil. I'll let WJC tell you how, i am just the guy that takes binoculars apart and can't remember how to put them back.
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