Tuesday, June 25, 2013


Spy Glasses


Post-Script: I've had a long and storied past with binoculars, my interest waxing and waning over the years. I had a very nice pair of Bausch & Lomb 7x50s, with an Insta-Focus lever, that we took to California on our honeymoon, but lost after our vehicle was broken into. Then I had a cheaper set, which I disassembled and used the front objective lenses as makeshift camera lenses for my Speed Graphic 4x5 (makes for a very nice portrait lens, BTW). Then last year the intermittent astronomy bug bit once again and I acquired a monster-sized set of Zhumell 20x100s, for which I have yet to find an adequately strong mounting support, weighing in at over ten pounds. And finally (for now) is this set, acquired for about $20, manufactured sometime in the 1970s, which makes for a nice travel binocular, being equipped with lens caps and carrying case.

Last night I did not take any photos during our bay-watch session, having neglected taking a necessary tripod along for the trip, so your imaginations will have to suffice.

Typecast via Olivetti Lettera 22, photos via Lumix G5. I shot the typed piece in bright shadow at +0.6 stops over-exposure, then processed it in Filterstorm on the iPad2, where I pulled in the light and dark limits and applied a slight S-curve. And there's some spot of goop either on the inside of my lens or on the sensor, as evidenced by the dark smudgy spot in the corner, only visible at close-focus. You'll also notice most of the corrections are on the left side of the page, caused by the Olivetti's intermittent skipping problem that happens mostly at the beginning of a line, something I'll have to address when I return home.


Blogger Ted said...

Ahh yes. the pleasure of seeing what the unaided eye cannot. Your descriptions are beautiful and evocative, and makes me want to unpack my dad's old Fed-Mart 7x50's.

Sadly, current domicile has vestigal yardspace with little of interest in the small slice of sky I get to view. This is frustrating when trying to learn the moods of a 500mm lens, as often your only subjects are planes in the air corridor, dung-ugly birds and the moon. :P

1:02 PM  
Blogger teeritz said...

Nice post, Joe. I've got a pair of Japanese-made binoculars and I always feel like I'm on safari whenever I use them to look out at the park across the road from my house. Nothing to see, of course, although I did spot some foxes prowling about last Summer.

3:55 AM  

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