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Winkler-Optik Binoculars, made in Zittau, Germany

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/19/2011 at 21:57
Oregon View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper

Joined: December/19/2011
Location: Portland, OR
Status: Offline
Points: 1

Hi everyone,

I recently acquired a mysterious pair of 6x24 binoculars made by a firm called Winkler-Optik, made in Zittau, Germany.  I don't know much about these and my internet searches on Winkler have proven fruitless.  I purchased them because the price seemed right ($27), their quality is first-rate, and they just plain look cool. ;)  As you can see from the pictures, these binocs have been well-loved.  Nevertheless, the optics are perfect….and I mean pristine!  There is zero sign of any dust, scratches or other imperfections.  The glass is quite nice and I’ve been extremely impressed by their clarity.  I would call the construction “military grade.”  All parts are metal and the pair is HEAVY, somewhere between 2 and 3 pounds I would estimate.  I think you could use these things to bludgeon a burglar in a pinch and they wouldn’t be any worse for wear!

I am hoping that these binoculars are WWII era but am not quite sure.  Their design is quite similar to other WWII German binoculars made by Busch, Zeiss, etc.  They also say “Deutsches Erzeugnis” (Made in Germany) and not the German Democratic Republic, aka: East Germany (1949-1990).  Zittau is in the far-eastern region of modern Germany and was under de-facto Soviet rule during the Cold War.  I know that a number of firms went defunct with the end of the war and the rise of communism.  I can find no information on Winkler online so I assume the company met such a fate.

Does anyone know anything about Winkler-Optik or know where I could learn more about this pair of binoculars?  Your help is appreciated.


Reece in Oregon

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/20/2011 at 11:58
FrankD View Drop Down
Optics Journeyman
Optics Journeyman

Joined: November/11/2005
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 686
I wish I could help but I have only just recently gotten into purchasing some of the classic porro designs and none of my purchases have been German in origin.
However, may I suggest you try this same question on or's binocular forum. I have used both forums to extensively research a variety of classic porros in recen months. There was just a thread in the Others subforum of the BF binocular forum asking about a vintage military porro and several responses were posted within a day or so.
Hope this helps.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/26/2012 at 04:22
John H.-S. View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper

Joined: January/25/2012
Location: Brighton U.K.
Status: Offline
Points: 6
This binocular appears to have uncoated optics so will not be later than the end of WW2.  Coating of lenses for cameras and binoculars became universal after the war, before then it was used only on German military and navy optics.  Lens coating as it is known today was introduced by Carl Zeiss Jena in 1935 but remained a German military secret until 1945.
Winkler is not a name that I have come across but this example is obviously of good quality.  Because it has centre focus it is a "civilian" binocular, military or navy ones invariably have individual focus on each eyepiece.  There are several reasons for this: centre focus binoculars are much more prone to the entry of moisture or dirt which would make them useless, the extra mechanism associated with centre focusing make such binoculars inherently less robust, and in any case in service use, after adjustment is made for an individual user's eyesight refocusing is rarely ever needed.
That is not to say that this binocular was not used in the war, that must be forever unknown, but it was not made for military use.
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