Question from West Australia:
Q. I am trying to identify, age and possibly value some binoculars: 1 pair Carl Zeiss 15 x 60 number 584624 and 1 pair Carl Zeiss Jena notarem 8 x 32 Bmc number 4989497 can you help me in any way ? I think they may be about 25 years old.
A. - 15 x 60, if it is early model, which is all black, made in 1960s to about 1980 and if it is in very good condition could be fetched £300 - 400; If it is later model, made in 1990s up to 2007, multicoated lenses often gray finished outside - £650 -700, in perfect condition;
- Notarem - in very good condition - £175 -200.
Questions from Helen Honeycutt - the USA
Q. I have a Teleplast 3x with case and straps in excellent cosmetic condition. The prism on the right side is broken. Is there a way to repair or replace it? This is the Bausch & Lomb model.
A. Sorry, but I do not have any prism to that model. Recently I have serviced Zeiss model. To yours model the Zeiss prism should fit.
At this time in the UK, I do not know any source that it is reliable to make this kind of prism.
Q. Do you have an estimate on the total number of teleplast binoculars that were produced? 3x? 5x?
A. A Londoner collector - Thomas Antoniades has researched the production numbers of Teleplast, and others collectable binoculars for decades. He has an extensive database on Zeiss serial numbers.
Thomas Antoniades says:
“There were four batches of Teleplast
1) Marked 1-100 and in script. This batch included the 3x and the 5x
2) From 124701 to 124800. This batch included the 3x and the 5x
3) From 137801 to 137900.This batch included the 3x and the 5x
4) From 141101 to 141200.This batch included the 3x and the 5x
Thus 400 were made in total.”
Question from Chris - Australia:
Q. Hi I have a set of old military M5 Wollensak binoculars. They are from Australia and marked R.A.N , which I think means Royal Australian Navy. What I find strange with my set is that they have to Knobs on the front of them that are not on any other picture of these Binoculars I can find. Do you know anything about this difference? Could it have been done as a modification by the Navy? Do you even know what they are for?
A. Unfortunately, yours binocular is not exactly Australian binocular. The bottom plate is indicated that it is Barr & Stroud. William Reid explains: “the little pipes that protrude from the shoulders of.. [the].. binocular are part of a desiccating method such as was introduced by Barr & Stroud for their models CF30 and CF41. These desiccator unions connect to a pump designed to introduce warm, dry air into the barrels. Having said that, I would mention that a single union such as appear on the American glass would be much less efficient than would two operating in pairs as in the Barr & Stroud instruments: ‘warm air in through one pipe/moist air out through the other ’€¯. However, a pair of unions needs a large area of flat cover-plate than one does not find on the Wollensak”. William Reid suggested that sometime the binocular modification has been made.
In the view of the William Reid explanation it seems as an enthusiast of the binocular made a new look of the Wollensak binocular.
Look in the William Reid book. And about Wollensak M5 you can find in Dr. Stephen Rohan book - page 23.
Question from John - USA
Q. I was lucky to inherit a set of Zeiss blc 8x60 U-Boat binoculars. The optics look like they need some cleaning. The question I have is should I send them in for repair? They are extremely rare. I have the set that is black see attached photo. I found a place in Texas called Land Sea and Sky that repair binoculars. Is this a good place? I would appreciate any assistants.
A.1. If you would like to sale the binocular, I suggest do it without any service;
2. If you would like to keep as a collection, service them;
3. Unfortunately, I do not know any serviceman reliable, in the US, sorry; Maybe there are some, but I do not know a reliable one;
4. Yours binocular definitely was repainted. Do not believe that was any black one. All binoculars U-boat were light green, originally. We have seen hundreds of U-boat, but NONE was black! Everyone - which looks as a black or gray, was repainted! Even painted very well and looked 'originally' black, after dismantled you can see original green paint. Probably, you can see somewhere on yours binocular, pieces of green paint, maybe on hinges???
Question from Steven Dietz
Q. I am a collector of Great War Military Glass. I am working on a detailed article of the lowly D.F.08 Galilean Feldglas/Fernglas. It is neither rare nor interesting to some, but I find it speaks volumes to the mode of German manufacturing and the impact on quality of War shortages and materials.
There seems to be a dearth of material given the abundance of this glass. I am looking for corroborative information which I have gleaned and referenced. Thus, I have a few questions.
1. Other than Dr Hans Seeger and someone such as you, are there any living source points?
2. Are there any sources as to the total number of manufacturers of this glass? I have been able to determine the following manufacturers for the D.F.08.
·Spindler & Hoyer; Leitz; Zeiss; Voightlander; Zeiss; Howard; OIGEE; Rodenstock; Busch; Goerz; Schuetz; Other (Potentially Dietzgen)
3. What would be the interest of posting the article on your site once complete. I am just interested in sharing the information I have accumulated.
I am primarily looking for someone to vetting my article and do not want subjective detail posted.
A. Answering for yours questions:
1. As far as today, we do not know anybody else than Dr Hans Seeger who would have some knowledge about that kind of glasses. We do not collect them, but some shapes of these binoculars are beautiful, like an art.
2. You will not be able to find many production numbers, as the numbers was not given all time of a production of any binoculars, and is no files of that numbers.
3. It will be nice to publish yours article, particularly that is difficult to find a knowledge about that binoculars.
Question from Gray
Q. Were Colmont binoculars made that could have been used during the American Civil War?
A. We are sorry, but we are not experts on non prismatic binoculars. We were asked an American field glass expert, but he does not know the answer for your question.
Does anybody knows the answer for that question, it will be nice to hear.
Questions from Jacob Minee
Q. I have just read yours info about Kriegsmarine binoculars. I have this models, I would like to ask: when the washer is missing how is possible to know the production date, if you do not have a serial number?
A. No it is not possible for sure to say which production batch the item come from when the washer is missing. It is not a other place on the outside of a binocular where you could find the production number.
Sometimes only on model 10 x 80 you can find the same production number on internal parts or if the binocular has been taken for service; some servicemen have marked the parts with the serial number of the binocular.