I second this, some of the British made binoculars were very good indeed.David Frydman wrote:So yes Zeiss and other German firmsmake optics of the highest quality, although Taylor Hobson lenses were often better.
It is a great shame that no British firm seems to be making binoculars now whereas at least five German factories still have German manufactured binoculars.
In the past week I stripped down and cleaned a 70 year old pair of WW2 Kershaw
Army binoculars. The whole job took under an hour.
With all the prisms removed, I compared the machining work against a pair of WW2 Zeiss.
The Zeiss are very nice, while the Kershaw looked a bit rough and ready, not quite the same
level of workmanship, but I guess we had other priorities at the time.
Everything was re-assembled, first look and zero collimation problems, perfect sharp image
from the off. Comparing the cleaned Kershaw against the Zeiss, I could not see any difference
at all with the view. It was as if both pairs had been made at the same factory at the very same time.
Out of interest I tested the Kershaw against several pairs of Multi-coated Jenoptems that we have
on the shelves. First off the feel and handling. no contest, the Kershaw the clear winner.
Solid in the hand and feel virtually indestructible, indeed this pair has
been dropped on more than one occasion with no lose of collimation or optics problems.
Image sharpness, Kershaw were as sharp as the Jenoptems and stayed sharper more towards the
edge of the field of view.
Brightness, a bit of a surprise here, I expected the more modern multi-coated optics to give a more
noticeable brighter image. Well the difference in daytime was so slight that it is hardly worth mentioning.
The more I look, the less of a difference I notice. I have read that Zeiss DDR started multi-coating
their optics in the late 70s and tried different methods and materials towards the end.
My Jenoptems date from the mid to late 80s.
Looking at a streetlight at night, the Jenoptems controlled the flare slightly better than the Kershaw.
and showed stars a touch fainter than the Kershaw. However the difference is not as much as I expected,
given all the formula for light loss between un-coated and multi-coated prisms.
Looking at birds and plants during the day I do not notice any difference in the views, colourful plants
looked the same level of colour and tone through both pairs.
So some excellent work on the part of this long gone British binocular maker.
Also as a side note, I found that various parts from the Jenoptems also fitted the WW2 Zeiss with no alteration
at all. Looks like Zeiss Jena were still using some of the old tooling and designs as the older WW2 models.