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Zeiss (blc) 12x60 Observation binoculars

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    Posted: January/25/2020 at 02:23
Just received a new item from the US.

A set of Graticule lighting units. These attach to the .406 slide on the Zeiss 12x60 Rm4 KdrGr binoculars. Used to illuminate the targeting grid in the right hand ocular.

I have tested them on my sets of these binoculars and they work fine, although not having any real purpose for my use, as I am not targeting allied bombers at night.

These are quite an unusual find.

Also I have, after four months, finally succeeded in fully dismantling a wrecked pair of these binoculars. Someone had had a go at them previously, using a pick axe by the look of it. But I have managed to rescue some spare parts from them, a set of good condition doublets and rings, prisms, prism mounts, hyper-cycloid IPD plate and gearing, Occulars. The optical mounting plate is complete, just a slight flattening on one corner. The whole filter mechanism is missing though, which is annoying.

It took time because of the rusting of the screws, but I managed to get them all out with minimal losses, also managed to de-rust and recover the screws, so  am going to gun blue them. So an interesting exercise in discovery. it seems these things were pretty much hand made, as all of the parts have a scratched on number. The prisms were spaced using glass slides and adjusted for collimation using cone head steel set screws, I cannot think that that was a good idea. Steel against glass does not seem the way to go.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DPI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/01/2020 at 16:35
Currently working on another pair of these, no sunshade, but otherwise complete and optically in good condition. They had been painted a delicate shade of blue for some reason, so I am slowly removing that paint to reveal the original ordnance tan underneath.

The eye mask, eye relief adjustment knob has been broken off, I suspect somebody used as a carrying handle one too many times. so it will need replacing and they need a good clean on the inside.

I'll pop the doublets and give the optics a clean up. Then put it on the Trocken Gerat 8 from my previous post to dry them out before sealing them up again for another 70 years.

I now have four sets of these. Still trying to find an original transport case for them though.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DPI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/02/2020 at 12:00
heh! Good news, sort of.

I found a transport case for these, What's even better its got three set of the optics inside and associated bits 'N' bobs.

It looks like the sets that Germany sold to Finland during the war, but I cant be sure.
So now have to negotiate price with the current owner. At least I have photos and dimensions so that at worst case I case make up a replacement case.

I'm adding some photos for Don:




















Edited by Kickboxer - February/02/2020 at 17:44
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DPI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/03/2020 at 00:05
Disappointing news, not for sale; at the moment.

Still at least I know where they are and he knows he has a definite buyer if he changes his mind
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kickboxer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/04/2020 at 08:53

Opinion,untempered by fact,is ignorance.

There are some who do not fear death... for they are more afraid of not really living
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kickboxer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/04/2020 at 09:07



Opinion,untempered by fact,is ignorance.

There are some who do not fear death... for they are more afraid of not really living
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DPI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/09/2020 at 01:40
So, here are some photos of the Zeiss 12x60 binoculars I am restoring. These are the ones that were painted blue and damaged.

I have removed a majority of the blue paint, leaving just some to be removed from the eye relief mask tray and holders. These have been dismantled in preparation for paint removal. This was done on the main body by, in some cases paint stripper, but mainly by slow and careful chipping away at the paint. Luckily it was enamel and applied with a brush, so it lifted away from the original surface. It seems that the original surface had not been cleaned before painting so the dirt, oil and grease helped a bit. Still a long slow job though. Messy too.

Dismantling threw up its own challenges as the original specialist tools don't exist and I had to make them. After the paint cleaning, the next job is to lift the Optical carrier tray and give the insides a cleaning, there is no rusting visible internally, normally a problem with these things over the years. Which is a good thing as dealing with that is a real PIA.

Removing the broken eye relief adjustment rod is going to be fun. I have a replacement rod, but getting the old one out and repairing the damage to the housing will be a challenge.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DPI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/09/2020 at 01:49
On the photos above, in the last photo of the black 'hammerite' finish 12x60s.
These are particularly interesting in that they were from the collection of a German gentlemen, now deceased, who had during the 50-60s had them totally refurbished and civilianised . The trocken luft ports are blanked off and underneath is a cunning adapter to allow them to be fitted to a standard camera style tripod.

The original clamping knob has been removed and an adapter to hold just the Strap latching post remains in place.

The ocular raincover has been fabricated out of aluminium instead of the original bakelite.
Unfortunately the ID plate was removed and the hole filled in.

The screw holes for the 'open sighting ' post have been blanked off, you can never find one of these anyway, so for the best. I normally put screws in the holes to blank them.

The original canvas strap replaced with a leather strap and a completely new paint job except for the sunshades, don't know why, although they may have originally been polished.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Scrumbag Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/09/2020 at 04:49
That's quite the piece of machinery!
Was sure I had a point when I started this post...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dogger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/09/2020 at 05:52
Interesting pieces of history, a labour of love to be sure.
God save the Empire!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DPI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/09/2020 at 09:54
Always the question, whether to preserve the original fit and finish and remain historically correct or to present it in a good clean, attractive condition.

These days you see many of these large format binoculars from the war, being sold in a polished finish.  I don't really like this, although I see the attraction of it. Normally I try to retain the service look. That is repair damage, but not in-service wear and tear.

I have a pair of U-Boat binoculars that have heavy wear on the barrels where they have been held in the hand under all sorts of conditions. There were some scratches caused by inept repair work. That I have repaired, but left the barrels in their almost bald condition.

I look on in-service wear and tear as part of their individual history.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kickboxer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/09/2020 at 18:24
Originally posted by DPI DPI wrote:

Always the question, whether to preserve the original fit and finish and remain historically correct or to present it in a good clean, attractive condition.

These days you see many of these large format binoculars from the war, being sold in a polished finish.  I don't really like this, although I see the attraction of it. Normally I try to retain the service look. That is repair damage, but not in-service wear and tear.

I have a pair of U-Boat binoculars that have heavy wear on the barrels where they have been held in the hand under all sorts of conditions. There were some scratches caused by inept repair work. That I have repaired, but left the barrels in their almost bald condition.

I look on in-service wear and tear as part of their individual history.




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DPI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/20/2020 at 05:05
OK, making progress on this. Managed to remove the right hand M3x.5 screw-pin that locks the hinge screw-pin. for the frame that holds the eye relief masking assy. The M9x 1 hinge screw-pin did not want to come out after 70+ years. Large flat-tip and a wrench persuaded it that it really should come out. Once started, it came out ok. I ran an M3 tap through the hole to re-profile the thread. I shall replace the M3 screw-pin with new M3 cone head locking screw as the original is a bit frangible.
 
Now to start on the left hinge. the M3x.5 screw-pin on this side turns but wont engage the thread to extract, looks like damaged threads, so its going to be a careful drill and extract job. Looks like the thread will have to be re-profiled here more aggressively.
 
Then I can start planning on lifting the optics carrier plate and clean out the inside. Its not too bad, just some accumulated dust. No rust thankfully. The carrier plate screws have all been cleared of the sealing medium, black bitumen it looked like. I shall replace it with beeswax when the time comes. The screws have been eased, so that they move freely.


Edited by DPI - February/20/2020 at 12:47
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DPI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/20/2020 at 12:50
The offending screw-pins.

Of course finding replacements would be impossible. So its either fabricate repros, repair or replace with modern.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DPI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/21/2020 at 08:54
Well The mask frame is removed. It proved impossible to extract the screw-pin using an extractor. So the more drastic 'drill the sucker out' approach had to be taken.

The Hinge screw-pin came out with only minor damage, mostly from the screw-pin being in place over the years. I think that the thread can be re-profiled OK.

So now I can get on with removing the final parts of the blue paint and get on with lifting the optical carrier plate to begin internal cleaning.

Tried to post a photo of the mask frame dismounted as well, but the software keeps telling me it exceeds 15Mb, when the photo is only 2.5Mb.




Edited by DPI - February/21/2020 at 09:02
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Trying again

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dogger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/21/2020 at 09:18
That has to be a true labour of love!
God save the Empire!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DPI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/21/2020 at 09:41
Well I have 4 of these plus another wrecked one I use for spares and templates for making repro parts.

I really like these and they are optical history. The Zeiss archivist is really vexed about the Americans and Russians taking all the records after the war.

At some point I am going to have to go to Novosibirsk and see if I can find the original Zeiss documents. But I do not have high expectations of success.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DPI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/21/2020 at 12:18
So here it is with the optical carrier plate removed.
The thing I find curious with this is that although moisture ingress was a concerns, there are no gaskets between the carrier plate and the main body of the binoculars. I would have thought that would be an obvious thing to do. Too late to do anything about it now of course.

Anybody know why?




Edited by DPI - February/21/2020 at 12:28
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DPI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/21/2020 at 12:20
The optical carrier plate, the red dot is the screw I have to remove to release the broken shaft of the eye relief adjustment screw. I left an original adjustment screw with a small engineering firm to make several replacements for me. I shall use one to fix this set. The filter assy will need to be taken apart and re-lubed as it is very stiff. Again the problem of 70+ years old lubricant
But progress is being made. So far the longest was removing the blue paint.




Edited by DPI - February/21/2020 at 12:26
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