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dannybgoode

Vintage Soviet 8x30’s

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Spotted these on Facebook Marketplace for all of £12. They looked like a copy of my dream bins - the Nikon Nature 8x30 E II - and they were only a mile or so from my house so took a punt.

You know what? They’re rather nice; great colour rendition, very sharp, light and have that wonderful perception of depth a really good porro bin will give you.

It’s always a bit of a chance with Russian optics but find something good and they can prove excellent value for money. These are keepers.

Don’t suppose anyone can identify the maker?

 

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From my knowledge of the Bulgarian-Cyrillic alphabet, the Russian-Cyrillic letters БПЦ translated to Latin-English are BPC, with the 'C' pronounced as 'TS' as in sits. Fortunately these letters are the same in both languages, although both alphabets are not identical when you compare them to each other, (and the other Slavic/Slavonic languages that use the Cyrillic alphabet).

The nearest I can get to it from using the logo is Kazan Optical-Mechanical Factory (KOMZ).

Edited by Philip R
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I have a pair of those. Made in USSR (so that dates them) by Komz. Very nice quality binoculars and very close performance to my Zeiss Jenoptem 8x30s. I believe the same factory also uses the BPC and "Baigish" brand names for their products.

 

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What a find for £12, excellent binoculars, well done.

Edited by Saganite
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49 minutes ago, John said:

Made in USSR (so that dates them) by Komz

If they were made in the Soviet Union they were made by Kommiez, obviously. 😁

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1 hour ago, John said:

I have a pair of those. Made in USSR (so that dates them) by Komz

Me too John..😁

To be honest I feel a little cheated now...I paid £13 for mine on Gumtree 4 years or so ago!!😁

Joking apart, a great little set of bins, great for birdwatching in the garden too. Nice leather case included.

Mine have that slightly yellowish tinge (very sharp though) and that smell!!

Dave

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John is correct with his USSR answer. I also have those 8x30s purchased in 1984.  If you check the serial number the first two numbers tell you the year of manufacture.   Great bins, just the job for casual birdwatching as they only take up a corner of a backpack.   And although 8x30 bins are not generally recommended for astronomy don’t rule them out for that.

From my large town location it’s surprising what modest bins can show, M13,92,31,15,44,39, Double Cluster, wide doubles like Nu Draco and Double Double ( the 2 main components not 4 !! ) etc etc are all easy and of course the magnificent M45 Pleiades.  Being easy to handhold helps of course.

Ed.

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I bet they don't build them now like they used to, nice find!

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1 hour ago, NGC 1502 said:

 

John is correct with his USSR answer. I also have those 8x30s purchased in 1984.  If you check the serial number the first two numbers tell you the year of manufacture.   Great bins, just the job for casual birdwatching as they only take up a corner of a backpack.   And although 8x30 bins are not generally recommended for astronomy don’t rule them out for that.

From my large town location it’s surprising what modest bins can show, M13,92,31,15,44,39, Double Cluster, wide doubles like Nu Draco and Double Double ( the 2 main components not 4 !! ) etc etc are all easy and of course the magnificent M45 Pleiades.  Being easy to handhold helps of course.

Ed.

Mine are 1986. I don't think the design changed much in a couple of decades.

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Indeed those Ruskies made great bins. I had a Tal 110mm Newtonian on a bomb proof EQ.  It gave a ‘refractor like’ view of doubles - Airy disc with diffraction rings - a clubmate had the 150mm.  These scopes could easy outlive their owners.

The Russian 35mm cameras like the Zenit E were not so hot I’m afraid, mine was a bit of a disaster zone for breaking.  I also lost count of the photos I took that were grossly overexposed because I forgot to stop down the manual preset aperture - shooting at f2 instead of f11 in bright sun is not good.....😬

Sorry for thread drift.....Ed.

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Thanks all for the comments - nice to know the manufacturer and yes they're really nice for the money.  Agree they are not really astro bins but they'll do as a nice light travel pair and I can see with their contrast and image rendition them making a nice lunar pair.  I do a fair bit of birding as well so they will get good use :).  

There does look to be a couple of minor defects in one of the objective lenses but looks to be a manufacturing thing.  They don't affect the performance.

@F15Rules - yep, for the £12 I got the proper case as well.  To be honest at that price I was happy to take the punt and even if they were rubbish I'd have not lost anything.  However they have turned out to be rather nice - agree there may be a bit of colour cast but it is not offensive; actually quite the opposite.  As for the smell - do they all have that.  Mine have a very distinct odour!

@NGC 1502 - Yes, I have a fondness for vintage Russian optics.  I have a medium format camera somewhere and I too had a TAL mount.  Nevermind outliving its owner, they'll still be around at the end of days on Earth!  So my serial no starts 79 so mine are from 1979?

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12 hours ago, John said:

I have a pair of those. Made in USSR (so that dates them) by Komz. Very nice quality binoculars and very close performance to my Zeiss Jenoptem 8x30s. I believe the same factory also uses the BPC and "Baigish" brand names for their products.

 

It actually makes a lot more sense for them to be based on the Zeiss than the Nikon thinking about it.  The Soviets cloned a lot of German gear; some of it very well and some of it... well, not quite so well :D.

Goes to show the 'value' a badge adds as well.  Zeiss Jenoptem can't be had for £12!

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31 minutes ago, dannybgoode said:

It actually makes a lot more sense for them to be based on the Zeiss than the Nikon thinking about it.  The Soviets cloned a lot of German gear; some of it very well and some of it... well, not quite so well :D.

Goes to show the 'value' a badge adds as well.  Zeiss Jenoptem can't be had for £12!

Yes, all my reading suggests that these were clones of the Jenoptems, using tooling appropriated by the Soviet Army after the war.

I think the slight yellowish cast came from the local glasses used for the objectives..as for the smell, who knows? All the Tal scopes I owned from new also had a distinctive odour, though less "pungent" - maybe something to do with the local lubricants used?

The stellar images in these are very nice, round points and colours come through well too, despite the slight yellow cast..

BTW my pair are also 1979 vintage😁

Dave

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Just now, F15Rules said:

Yes, all my reading suggests that these were clones of the Jenoptems, using tooling appropriated by the Soviet Army after the war.

I think the slight yellowish cast came from the local glasses used for the objectives..as for the smell, who knows? All the Tal scopes I owned from new also had a distinctive odour, though less "pungent" - maybe something to do with the local lubricants used?

The stellar images in these are very nice, round points and colours come through well too, despite the slight yellow cast..

BTW my pair are also 1979 vintage😁

Dave

Haven't used mine properly yet but have risked the wrath of the neighbourhood by using them in my garden a bit and I am really like the IQ - as you say sharp across the FoV.  The depth of field is awesome too - will try them out properly when the clouds clear :)

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Mine are branded with a Helios sticker and have very purple coatings inspected/manufactured 1980.

 

 

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Nice! 

First time I've seen these with the Helios brand on them. The purple coatings look great, very like the early Tal scopes looked☺.

Dave

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22 minutes ago, dannybgoode said:

How do you like yours?

I haven't used them too much tbh but for daytime use there very good with hardly any CA I would say they have a yellow tinge to the overall view maybe due to a hefty layer of anti reflective coatings, staring into the objectives it's hard to see my face in the reflection which is a good sign so i've read on here, they came with the original case and I found them in a charity shop for little money, I will endeavour to give them the Andromeda test soon :) .

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42 minutes ago, Bruce Leeroy said:

they have a yellow tinge to the overall view

Some older achromatic objectives were made of glass that was slightly tinted yellow in the mass to absorb some blue, indigo and violet light. That was a ploy to reduce the chromatic problem. Some old Vixen achromat telescopes resort to that trick, too, which is not unfair, if the offending colors can't be controlled it's better to suppress them. The reduction in brightnes is less troublesome than the loss of contrast and clarity due to the unfocused light spread over the focused image.

By the way, my chinese 80mm FPL-53 triplet has a very pale yellow cast on a side-by-side comparison with my 80mm achromat which is pure white in overall tint. Of course the colored fringing is no match, the triplet has none whatsoever but to achieve the apo goal, the chemical makeup of the glass has to be such that it has that very pale yellow shade. The chinese 90mm triplets have it, too.

(I was comparing resolution when I saw that, I didn't expect to see a change in overall tint between the two scopes).

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6 hours ago, dannybgoode said:

 

@NGC 1502 - Yes, I have a fondness for vintage Russian optics.  I have a medium format camera somewhere and I too had a TAL mount.  Nevermind outliving its owner, they'll still be around at the end of days on Earth!  So my serial no starts 79 so mine are from 1979?

 

Yes, they will have been manufactured in 1979.  Additionally I have the same in the monocular version also made in 1979, even more compact and portable 👍     The Zenit 35mm cameras ponged heavily because of the solid leather case, almost addictive but hopefully legal.......😳    The Zenit E had a built in selenium light meter, the first camera I had with a meter, but my Weston III was more accurate, so that plus the unreliable nature led me to get another non metered Praktica Nova 1 that’s still going strong but never used.....Happy days........

Ed.

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I've two sets of these, Very bright and crisp, Was told they're called Komz!

I was told these were actually made at the Zeiss factory in East Germany that Russia took over after the war!, Have to say, I have a set of 8x30 Zeiss Jena and they're for all the world the same bins!! (And optically theior equal!)..

This set was a fiver! Had to pay and extra three quid for the case as it had a set of other 8x30's in, The receipt was in the case too!

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This set is much better cosmetically but no different optically!! EDIT, Forgot to say I paid £10 from another bootsale for these!!

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The cheaper set came with orange fiters fitted, Seemed like they'd been on from new as they were stuck with decades of gunge!! :D

 

John 🙂

Edited by johnbaz
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Quick update on these - I am really quite fond of them.  Just out with them at the moment doing some very casual lunar obs whilst my main scope is running a darks sequence and they are light, comfortable and give a really nice, if slightly yellow, image.  The colouration is far from offensive though and actually helps a bit with the moon this bright.

Been birding with them too and they work just fine.  Excellent little things

Definite keepers...

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On 29/08/2019 at 15:21, johnbaz said:

I've two sets of these, Very bright and crisp, Was told they're called Komz!

I was told these were actually made at the Zeiss factory in East Germany that Russia took over after the war!, Have to say, I have a set of 8x30 Zeiss Jena and they're for all the world the same bins!! (And optically theior equal!)..

This set was a fiver! Had to pay and extra three quid for the case as it had a set of other 8x30's in, The receipt was in the case too!

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This set is much better cosmetically but no different optically!! EDIT, Forgot to say I paid £10 from another bootsale for these!!

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The cheaper set came with orange fiters fitted, Seemed like they'd been on from new as they were stuck with decades of gunge!! :D

 

John 🙂

Just to make an observation about orange filters on binoculars.  I remember reading a very long time ago, in a catalogue by H W English,  that some people had been using their binoculars since purchase with the filters fixed on the eyepieces  -  "Not realising that the orange glow was incorrect".

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