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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/04/2014 at 11:00
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Thanks for that info - I won't pursue trying to date those binoculars.

All the best,
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/09/2014 at 19:37
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I just came home and found a package on my doorstep!  Big Grin    I did an ebay thing the other day. I couldn't help myself.  I got a pair of binoculars that looked really clean.  They are!!

Manon 7X50 in about 98% pristine condition plus case.....umm.....$9.99 plus postage!!  They are perfect!!  Smile



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/10/2014 at 21:38
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Want a real WOW? Smile Find a Sears Discoverer 7x50 WA with a 525 or 578' fov.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/11/2014 at 08:31
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I got one of the Sears Discoverers! .  Ebay.  I paid about $33 to my doorstep!  Bucky



Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/11/2014 at 09:54
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The Discoverer are pretty much undiscovered.  The wide field with the depth perception of a long length porro is kind of a neat experience.  There are a couple of different Discoverers, one with a standard flat prism plate and another with a sloped shoulder prism plate.  The amber coatings can be sort of susceptible to nicotine film if from a smokers environment. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/11/2014 at 10:35
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Oh.  I have the ones with the sloped shoulder look.  Are the other Discoverers good, too? 



Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/11/2014 at 10:40
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Oh! I have a question.  What about the Sears 8 X50 binculars?  430 feet @ 1000 yds?  


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/17/2014 at 08:53
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I also bought a vintage Manon bino in Feb on eBay

paid a total of $16.49 !! price: $9.99 +ship:   $6.50
10x50, model 4026, Came with origianl leather covered hard case, OEM lens capsa w/ M<anon logo, OEM cleaning cloth and yellow prees-on filters for the eyepieces in the OEM Manon-marked Ziploc bag - was just missing the bino strap.
They are in excelent to near-mint condition, no visible paint wear or other signs of external wear and tear - and the optics are crystal clear, have an amber lens coating.

Great image, easy on the eyes during prolonged use
After the 1961 Swift Audubons, this is probably my favorite go-to bino

JB191 Seiwa Optical Co., Ltd., Wako-Shi
JE17 Otake Kogaku Kogyo Co. Ltd., Tokyo

FOV: 5.5 degrees
288 ft @ 1,000 yds



Originally posted by Son of Ed Son of Ed wrote:

I just came home and found a package on my doorstep!  Big Grin    I did an ebay thing the other day. I couldn't help myself.  I got a pair of binoculars that looked really clean.  They are!!

Manon 7X50 in about 98% pristine condition plus case.....umm.....$9.99 plus postage!!  They are perfect!!  Smile



hee hee  













Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/17/2014 at 17:49
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Yes....my 7X50s have gold in the front, bluish in the oculars.  Very clear and bright.  I got an inexpensive Nikon ( NOS ) strap from ebay to put on it.  Case is very good.  Oh! I also got two yellow ocular filters with it.   

Cruising for bargain binoculars is addicting.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/18/2014 at 13:00
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Addicting it is !

Have bought several vintage binos - when I see one that gets my attention I try to justify to myself that I really don't need another bin - but sometimes that fails and the collection keeps growing.....!

I really like my Manon 10x50s, seems like you got a very nice set in 7x35!

   My most recent acquisition, about 2 weeks ago, is a 1961 Swift Audubon 8.5x44 with case and orig. leather bino strap - but no other accessories. I plan on usoing these regularly and want to keep lenses protectd so I found a batch of OEM Swift lens caps on eBay just this morning and ordered them.    
   Good, clear optics, no fungus/other contamination, with a very few small specks of dust inside which do not impair the image quality at all - I'll get around to cleaning those out soon.


I am trying to post photos of the binos I own, but I have yet to figure out how to do this on this forum. . When drafting my post, I click on the 'Insert Image' icon but it prompts me to enter the web address of the image - my photos are on the C drive of my computer, not on the web.

Appreciate your help, since I see your photos on the thread and have obviously figured it out!   


Originally posted by Son of Ed Son of Ed wrote:

Yes....my 7X50s have gold in the front, bluish in the oculars.  Very clear and bright.  I got an inexpensive Nikon ( NOS ) strap from ebay to put on it.  Case is very good.  Oh! I also got two yellow ocular filters with it.   

Cruising for bargain binoculars is addicting.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/18/2014 at 13:55
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What specific Sears Discoverers did you get and how do you like them?
Appreciate seeing your feedback/evaluation on those.

I remember a set of Sears binos we used to have in the 70s which we had bought new at our local Sears.

They were a 7x50 if I remember correctly, and I recall them having a very good image quality.

Would like to own a good vintage Sears bino again so that will likely be my next buy. As you said, it IS addicting - but not too expensive if you search carefully!   


thanks




Originally posted by Son of Ed Son of Ed wrote:

Oh.  I have the ones with the sloped shoulder look.  Are the other Discoverers good, too? 



Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/18/2014 at 20:35
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( You have to have 50 posts in order to post a picture...)

I have the sloped-shouldered Discoverers. Model 6267.  Very clear...but the image seems to be lighter than my other binoculars.  I don't know if it's the Amber Coating or if they are dusty inside.  They are not dusty outside.  

Here's some ebay pictures.  They are cleaner now.  I cut the strap off and replaced with leather.   


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/19/2014 at 20:52
Pierre D. View Drop Down
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Ed

Thanks for sharing picture, looks very nice! Got it on the 50-post min to post photos.

My Manon 10x50s were slightly dusty inside when I first got them - just fine dust. Cleaned them, easy job as it was mostly the inside of the objective lenses, and slight cleaning of prism faces. It did improve the image. Just be careful to not affect collimation when you take them apart and re-assemble them. I marked the position of eccentric collimation rings at objectives and reassembled them - no issue.

Those Manons have amber coating but seem to have no lighter an image than my other binos.


I'll keep looking, There is a Sears 6267 very similar to yours for sale on Ebay now, as well as a few others decent looking ones, some are discovers - one is 7X15X35 Zoom Discoverer w/ case, appears to be very clean. Orig owner. Don't know though, as I have never owned a variable power zoom models. Any thoughts ?



QUOTE=Son of Ed] ( You have to have 50 posts in order to post a picture...)

I have the sloped-shouldered Discoverers. Model 6267.  Very clear...but the image seems to be lighter than my other binoculars.  I don't know if it's the Amber Coating or if they are dusty inside.  They are not dusty outside.  

Here's some ebay pictures.  They are cleaner now.  I cut the strap off and replaced with leather.   


[/QUOTE]
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/19/2014 at 21:25
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I had a zoom binocular back in 1980 ( a Bushnell ) and it was horrible.  As the power went up the image got destroyed. At 7 or 8X it was OK... But it was just no good, overall.  I would stay with fixed powers.  

I used to get headaches after using them.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/19/2014 at 23:19
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Friends don't let friends buy zoom binoculars Big Smile.  http://www.bigbinoculars.com/nozooms.htm

Zooms are generally a bad idea.  The article in the link will explain'.
The Sears Discover binoculars both the slope shoulder and the conventional flat prism plate are generally good binoculars.  You see the 7x35 versions much more commonly than the 7x50's.

If you want a real WOW from a vintage porro glass I advise a Bushnell Rangemaster.  These come in the conventional flat prism plate style (the early one from Fuji Photo Optical) and a slope shoulder version along the lines of the Discoverer in Ed's post (the later style from Tamron).  Pretty much nothing will embarrass one of those.  Ditto a Baush & Lomb Zephyr.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/20/2014 at 09:20
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Yes....I have read about the quality of those oldies.  However, I can't help but think that I can get a new Zen Ray ZRS for the price of those 50 year old Rangemasters and Zephyrs.  

If I am approaching the $100 mark ( or higher ) in my 'shopping' , I am now in the attitude that I had better be searching for a Real Bargain of the Century, something like a Zeiss or an old Hensoldt or a Swift Audubon...because I am now in New Binocular Territory at those prices.  

If you can get Leupold Yosemites for $85-100 range, you have to weigh that against what you are bidding on.

...once you get up into the mid-hundreds and $200 range, you are in new Zen-Ray country.  

I like to find stuff that can be had for under $35!!  

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/20/2014 at 09:26
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When it comes to binoculars, I am down here in YARD SALE level!!  Roll on Floor Laughing I just try to get some that are decent and work correctly.  I am happy seeing things magnified and not get a headache.  I would love to have big State-of-the-Art Optics, but I wouldn't be able to give a review of them...I would just be able to look through them and say: BOY! THAT LOOKS REAL GOOD!   




Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/25/2014 at 12:20
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I am in the same boat with Ed. I look at the bargains I can find on ebay and other such sites.

I do own some new binos, but I love the look/quality feel of the vintage "black pebble grain" era porro prism binos I grew up with.
The best of the vintage ones I own leave me feeling I'm not giving up a whole lot vs. the new binos out there.

I just recently bought a 1961 Swift 8.5 x 44 Audubon on ebay - probably the best of all my vintage binos, it rivals the newest Nikons I own with modern lens coatings: Nikon Egret 8x40s porro.
The Swifts have a good image even in the dark, great depth of field and a 420 FT @ 1000yd FOV. What I really like about them is how easy they on my eyes during prolonged use and have a crisp, clear image except for just a little softness at the edge.
Pretty impressive specs too for a bino from 1961:
-BaK4 prisms
-Neoprene gasket selaed to keep dirt out (but not waterproof)
probably why they had perfectly clear optics when I received them
-twist up/down aluminum eyecups
-fully coated glass (this was before multi-coating was developed)


Good luck on your ongoing search for bargains. The good news is if you keep looking diligently you'll come across some great finds on occasion!

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/25/2014 at 15:07
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I like a bargain as well as the next guy.  With the exception of my two 7x35 Bushnell Rangemasters, a Bushnell Custom 7x35, and a Baush & Lomb Zephyr 8x30 I have not paid much over $40 for any of my vintage porros.

As far as Ed's getting getting into new binocular price territory, get a Zephyr 8x 30 side by side with ANY of today's $2-300 porros and get back to me on how much the new is better than the Zephyr...they just are not better.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/25/2014 at 18:31
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I have seen Zephyrs on ebay for about $299 in mint condition.  Are the Zephyrs better than the Zeiss Jenoptem?  I have seen them go for less than $200 in great shape.  

I thought the new stuff was going to be better than the 50-60 year old stuff.  But, I can't compare, I don't have a Zephyr or any new 8X30.  And, aren't the Yosemites waterproof?     




Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/25/2014 at 22:16
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Originally posted by Son of Ed Son of Ed wrote:

I have seen Zephyrs on ebay for about $299 in mint condition.  Are the Zephyrs better than the Zeiss Jenoptem?  I have seen them go for less than $200 in great shape.  

I thought the new stuff was going to be better than the 50-60 year old stuff.  But, I can't compare, I don't have a Zephyr or any new 8X30.  And, aren't the Yosemites waterproof?     





That is on the high side for a Zephyr.  It better be NIB  clean for that much.  I paid $249 for mine.  They had little exterior wear, a 90% case, the original box and the original B&L owners manual, just like what you would have gotten when new.  This is where it gets tricky buying used vintage stuff.  They were advertised as missing a screw on eye cup, no big deal I had a couple that would fit, and in general good working order and clean inside.  They were frozen solid, the hinge would not flex, the focus would not move.  I could not get the glass apart myself to clean it.  I let the seller have it in an email and he eventually refunded a bunch of the price.  I sent them off to Nicholas Crista for refurbishing (best money I ever spent on a binocular service job).  I am into them for $250 and you can't better them but precious little with a Nikon SE.  I still am trying to get around the idea these were made in 1951.  The Zephyr cost about $150 in post WW II economy which was like $1,500 in today's $$.  Totally made in the USA binocular, maybe even the last such when B&L went to Japan in the 70's.  The last were made in 1986.

The 8x30 and 9x35 Zephyrs are the rare ones.  Back in the day B&L pushed the 7x35 as the best all around size, so there are quite a few of those.  Good 7x35's can be found for $75 or so.  They also came in 6x30 and 7x50.

I would say the Zephyr kicks the butt of both of my Jenoptems, including my multi coated Jenoptem from the last  production year of 1986.

Yes the Yosemite is waterproof Smile.  But it does not focus nearly as smoothly as the Zephyr and...well they are different animals.  I have recommended a Yosemite many times in the past and will continue to do so, they are remarkable for their price point.

Best deal I ever got was a Swift Audubon 8.5x44 from 1968 for $20.  They are perfect optically and needed no cleaning or repair at all.

In point of fact, most of the newer stuff will be better than the older vintage models.  I think we get so tied up in reading about all the new fangled bells and whistles of today's wonder glass it does a lot of good to get hold of a golden oldie (alpha for their time) porro and let it speak for itself.


Edited by Klamath - April/25/2014 at 22:29
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/27/2014 at 11:09
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Waiting for Klamath to come back.....


















Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/27/2014 at 11:13
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" By the time he comes back on, Eduardo will have forgotten what he was going to ask him..."   






Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/02/2014 at 14:27
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Steve - appreciate the input on Bausch & Lomb Zephyrs.

I have been wanting to find one for years now since borrowing an 7x35 Zephyr from a neighbor on a hunting trip when I was a Senior in high school (1977 - OK, I'm dating myself!) I was very, very impressed.

I have been searching ebay, other auction sites and visiting pawn shops / flea markets, optics stores that carry vinbtage binos, etc. on and off for the past ten+ years.   
For the most part the Zephyrs I have come across were either nice but overpriced, or beat up and overpriced for their condition. I have lost out on several ebay auctions for Zephyrs that went too high - typically in the last hours of a bidding "feeding frenzy".
I have noticed that almost all I have seen have been 7x35s, which tracks with your coomments about these being the most common. I have come across only four or so 8x30s and 7x50s during this time out of the dozens and dozens I have seen, and no 9x35s or 6x30s that I can recall.

Perseverance does pay off - if you persevere long enough! I just bought an 8x30 Zephyr on ebay today; $137.24 total including shipping. Has the original black leather case/strap & bino strap. Binos in very good optical condition, all leather also in very good condition according to the photos and my correspondence with the vendor.

Will post an update when I receive them, quite happy to finally have added one to my collection!


QUESTION to all on this forum:
Does anyone know if there is a way to date these?
For Swift binos, the last 2 digits of the year of manufacture is part of the serial # - don't know if it's that easy for Zephyrs.

Appreciate any feedback.


Originally posted by Klamath Klamath wrote:

Originally posted by Son of Ed Son of Ed wrote:

I have seen Zephyrs on ebay for about $299 in mint condition.  Are the Zephyrs better than the Zeiss Jenoptem?  I have seen them go for less than $200 in great shape.  

I thought the new stuff was going to be better than the 50-60 year old stuff.  But, I can't compare, I don't have a Zephyr or any new 8X30.  And, aren't the Yosemites waterproof?     






That is on the high side for a Zephyr.  It better be NIB  clean for that much.  I paid $249 for mine.  They had little exterior wear, a 90% case, the original box and the original B&L owners manual, just like what you would have gotten when new.  This is where it gets tricky buying used vintage stuff.  They were advertised as missing a screw on eye cup, no big deal I had a couple that would fit, and in general good working order and clean inside.  They were frozen solid, the hinge would not flex, the focus would not move.  I could not get the glass apart myself to clean it.  I let the seller have it in an email and he eventually refunded a bunch of the price.  I sent them off to Nicholas Crista for refurbishing (best money I ever spent on a binocular service job).  I am into them for $250 and you can't better them but precious little with a Nikon SE.  I still am trying to get around the idea these were made in 1951.  The Zephyr cost about $150 in post WW II economy which was like $1,500 in today's $$.  Totally made in the USA binocular, maybe even the last such when B&L went to Japan in the 70's.  The last were made in 1986.

The 8x30 and 9x35 Zephyrs are the rare ones.  Back in the day B&L pushed the 7x35 as the best all around size, so there are quite a few of those.  Good 7x35's can be found for $75 or so.  They also came in 6x30 and 7x50.

I would say the Zephyr kicks the butt of both of my Jenoptems, including my multi coated Jenoptem from the last  production year of 1986.

Yes the Yosemite is waterproof Smile.  But it does not focus nearly as smoothly as the Zephyr and...well they are different animals.  I have recommended a Yosemite many times in the past and will continue to do so, they are remarkable for their price point.

Best deal I ever got was a Swift Audubon 8.5x44 from 1968 for $20.  They are perfect optically and needed no cleaning or repair at all.

In point of fact, most of the newer stuff will be better than the older vintage models.  I think we get so tied up in reading about all the new fangled bells and whistles of today's wonder glass it does a lot of good to get hold of a golden oldie (alpha for their time) porro and let it speak for itself.



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Yes, Zephyrs can be dated.  There is lettering to indicate this.  Don't have it right handy, but post the serial number complete with letters and it can be done easily.

Edit:  This photo comes from Simon Spiers collection.  Simon posts here time to time.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/binoculars/7557689202/
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