Japanese External Reverse Porro Prism Binoculars. VIRTUAL MUSEUM


Mark Ohno

Seeking “JUNK” Minature Binoculars for Reuse of the Parts in Repairs to the Collection

Swaps Possible

We are interested in purchasing “Junk” examples of these miniature binoculars: dirty, chipped prisms, cracked lens, fungus inside, not working. We would be buying them for parts to repair others in the collection, so they must have both eye cups (not chipped or stripped) and both diopter rings and prisms.

Must not be missing !

We are willing to pay US $18 each (postage inclusive) for “junk” miniature binoculars that still have their eyecups and diopter rings, to use for parts. If you have some to get rid of email us at miniature.binoculars@gmail.com

Like most collectors we seem to wind up with some duplicate miniature binoculars and full size binoculars not really needed for the collection. If you have a pair of miniature binoculars with a brand name that we do not have, working or needing work, that you think we might be interested in and prefer to swap them to us for a fully functional pair we might have as surplus, email us with a photo and description to miniature.binoculars@gmail.com


Seeking Miniature Binoculars We Don’t Have

We do purchase brands of binoculars of this type that we do not already have (per Binoculars by brand), especially from markets that had some unique brands used (such as Scandinavia). We pay market value, that is to say what binoculars of this type generally sell for on the on-line auctions.  If you have a pair of miniature binoculars with a brand name or in a power that we do not have that you think we might be interested in email us with a photo and description and price to miniature.binoculars@gmail.com

WHO IS LOOKING? Das Publikum ? Les Visionneuses ? が見ている? Кто смотрит? Som söker? Wie Kijkt Er? Quién Está Viendo? Chi Sta Guardando ?

It was always a conscious and specific goal in creating this website to reach the widest and most diverse audience possible. We use a custom program to tabulate the internet provider top domain level country code (TDL/ ISO #) of people viewing the website (examining ONLY that). It is crude methodology and if if you have viewed from a country* not listed kindly email and tell us at miniature.binoculars@gmail.com.

Leute aus 207 ändern haben diese Website angesehen. Les gens de 207 pays ont regardé ce site Web. люди из 205 стран рассматривали этот сайт. 207 カ国から人々がこのウェブサイトを見たこと . Daoine ó 207 tíortha amharc an suíomh gréasáin seo. Människor från 207 länder har sett den här webbplatsen. Personas de 207 países han visto este sitio web.

Special Acknowledgements. Spezielle Bestätigungen. Reconnaissances Spéciales.  . Особые лагодарности. Speciella Tack. Reconocimientos Especiales. Riconosciment Speciali.

It was my intent to try to acknowledge information sources, photos used with the permission of the photographer, assistance given, and to redirect people to other information sources. Also it was my intent to encourage other enthusiasts to contribute to the public information of this website as a group effort. In addition to specific acknowledgements that may appear in the body of the website for specific things, I would like to thank my friend Nico Westphal for his very substantial effort in providing research information on a substantial number binoculars for my list, as well as for information on his Fata Morgana binoculars, and for being a source of binoculars as he downsized his collections. I also want to thank Hans Braakhuis for sharing the photos he took in Japan of the unique prototype Mikron binoculars; and Ulrich Zeun for sharing serial numbers on his Fata Morgana binoculars, and thank noted binocular historian Dr. Hans Seeger for corrections and a wealth of information on Fata Morgana serial numbers and for inspiring my inexpert efforts at crafting a multilingual presentation. I would like to thank Jack Kelly and Ted Brink for photos and information about their Fata Morgana binoculars, and Roland Obst for information and photos and Werner J Becker for assistance. I want to give special thanks to Kate Ohno and to Günter Kampf for investing time and effort in the task of helping to improve the readability of my multi lingual effort, which is a progressive and ongoing challenge. I want to that John Ohno for writing custom code and posting revisions. I also want to thank friends and acquaintances for being good sports about having binoculars stuck in their hands and cameras in their faces. And I would like to acknowledge all the people who have provided JB codes on binoculars they were selling, mostly without realizing they were supporting this research effort.

Interesting Miniature Binoculars Owned by Website Viewers . Interessante Mini Fernglas im Besitz der Website Zuschauer. Intéressant Jumelles Miniatures Appartenant par site Web Téléspectateurs. Миниатюрный бинокли фотографии отправлено веб-сайт зрителей. ウェブサイトの訪問者による興味深いミニチュ 双眼. Intressanta Miniatyr Kikare Ägda av Website Tittare. Los Prismáticos en Miniatura Interesante Propiedad de los Espectadores de la Página Web. Binocoli Miniature Interessanti in Posesso di Visualzzatori di Siti Web.

From time to time viewers of this website will share photos of particularly uncommon or interesting miniature reverse poro prism binoculars, and of particular interest are ones that were not widely geographically distributed. This is a gallery section to enjoy a few of these shared photos.

Pollux 15x30 CF binoculars

Collection of Roland Obst, Sweden

Photo Roland Obst

These binoculars carry a label for Optica Helsinborg AB, Kullagatan 12, Helsinborg Sweden, one of the oldest optical shops in Sweden and in operation since 1932. I suspect that while many of these small Japanese reverse poro prism binoculars sold in the US market were sold through mail order, or catalog sales, or big box chain retailers, as well as camera shops, most of those sold in the European market were probably sold by specialty camera and optical shops. 

HOC 10x20 CF binoculars

Collection of Göran Wallin, Sweden

Photo Roland Obst

MAX 8x20 CF binoculars

Collection of Marton Demeter

Photo Marton Demeter

Cutaway or Cross Section Binoculars. Querschnitt Fernglas. Usiné Sectionnée Jumelles. Срежьте бинокль. クロスセクション双眼鏡. Tvärsnitt Kikare. Corte y Seccionado Prismáticos. Binocolo a Taglio oa Sezione trasversale.

“Cutaways” are products that have been cross sectioned or have had windows created by custom machining to display the internal technical parts, and to demonstrate visually how they function. Always rare, and always produced in limited numbers, these  are sometimes professionally produced as a saleman’s sample, or for trade displays. Machining an object so that it stays together but allows an internal view is partly machinist skill and partly art form. I have a fondness for these, and own cutaway padlocks, cutaway lock cylinders, cutaway locks, cutaway firearms, a cutaway door closer, cutaway munitions/ fuses/ hand grenades, and a pair of [full size] cutaway binoculars. I have never heard of cutaway miniature binoculars, so I spent some time with a Proxxon® rotary tool with abrasive wheels and created one for myself and another one for a friend.

Factory cutaway of conventional poro prism  binoculars Collection of Mark Ohno

Home Made cutaway of Binolux 7x18 miniature poro prism  binoculars (sectioned glass has been painted white... in part because it came out a bit ragged)

Collection of Mark Ohno

Cutaway machining by Mark Ohno

Miniature Binoculars and the JFK Assassination. Miniaturfernglässer und die JFL Ermordung. Jumelles Miniatures et le JFK Assassinat. ミニチュア双眼鏡やケネディ暗殺。 Миниатюрные бинокли и убийства Кеннеди. Miniatyr kikare och Kennedy Assas. Los Prismáticos en Miniatura y el JFK Asesinato. Binocoli Miniaturizzati e L’assassinio JFK.

After the JKK assassination, three pairs of miniature binoculars were seized at the Ruth Paine house in Irving Texas, where Lee Harvey Oswald had stayed, and are shown in police photos. A 11/22/63 police inventory identified “binoculars Mikron 6x coated and brown leather case”. [These would have been the ubiquitous Nippon Kogaku 6x15 Mikron binoculars] Though I spent some time looking, I could not find any mention of the second pair shown in the evidence photo. And there is a third pair in the case because the carry cord is visible. The presence of these miniature binoculars and a case and light meter for a Minox subminiature camera were cited as being proof of “clandestine spy equipment and spy activity.” There has been a lot of argument about whether there was a camera, and what the film might show if there was a camera, or where the camera might have gone to if it existed. Nobody seems to care about the binoculars. And it isn’t clear who any of this belonged to or if it had any connection to Oswald. I wonder if all these unaccounted for binoculars are evidence of “conspiracy”. Just kidding... it makes me think they went home in somebody’s pocket as a “souvenir”. Americans love souvenirs. After all, Kennedy’s brain was not buried, and then it was stolen from the National Archives, either as a souvenir, or probably to cover up JFK’s now well documented addictions to opioid drugs. 

Miscellany. Sammelwerk. Melange. せ集め. Смесь. Miscelánea. Miscellanea.

The vast majority of the brand names that were used on miniature binoculars also appeared on various larger binoculars.

Miniature Atlas binoculars and non miniature Atlas brand “Revolver” type binoculars in the collection. This brand was named for the Greek god Atlas, the Titan who supported the heavens on his shoulders. Those rather quirky post war selectable eyepiece 8x and 12x combined Atlas binoculars were modeled after the 1896 Zeiss Marine Glas Mit Revolver, made famous by being used by Admiral Togo on the battleship Mikasa during the 1905 Battle of Tsushima (right). Though Zeiss only made that model from 1896 to 1906, the fact that it is so well known which particular binoculars were used in a particular battle 109 years ago underscores the intertwined relationships between binoculars and militarism.

Home Made cutaway of Binolux 6x15 miniature reverse poro prism binoculars

JB47 maker marked: Tokuhiro Koki Seisakusho Inc

Collection of Nico Westphal, Netherlands

Cutaway machining by Mark Ohno

Miniature 7x18 SPI Southerner binoculars and full size conventional SPI 8x25 Southerner binoculars (but in a pleasing but rather unconventional color scheme of tan and burgundy).

All Atlas and SPI binoculars

Collection of Mark Ohno

Binoculars: Togo statue

Afghanistan .af

Aland Islands .ax

Albania .al

Algeria .dz

Andorra, Principality .ad

Angola .ao

Anguilla .ai

Antigua and Barbuda .ag

Argentina .ar

Armenia .am

Aruba .aw

Asia Pacific TDL .ap

Australia .au

Austria .at

Azerbaijan .az

Bahamas .bs

Bahrain .bh

Bangladesh .bd

Barbados .bb

Belarus .by

Belgium .be

Belize .bz

Benin .bj

Bermuda .bm

Bhutan .bt

Bolivia .bo

Bonaire, St Eustatius, Saba .bq

Bosnia &Herzegovina .ba

Botswana .bw

Brazil .br

Brunei Darussalam .bn

Bulgaria .bg

Cambodia .kh

Cameroon .cm

Canada .ca

Cape Verde .cv

Cayman Islands .ky

Chile .cl

China .cn

Colombia .co

Congo, Dem Republic .cd

Congo, Republic .cg

Costa Rica .cr

Cote D'Ivoire .ci

Croatia (Hrvatska) .hr

Cuba .cu

Curacao .cw

Cyprus .cy

Czech Republic .cz

Denmark .dk

Djibouti .dj

Dominican Republic .do

Ecuador .ec

Egypt .eg

El  Salvador .sv

* countries, territories, protectorates, principalities, kingdoms, islands, other TDL etc., updated as of Oct 2018

 Here are some mechanical and technical details about the website for anyone interested in how such things may work. The website is written and converted to html in Microsoft Publisher®2003. That program was never really meant to do what I am doing with it, but so far I have made it work, though it is sometimes recalcitrant. Photos were initially improved with Adobe Photoshop CS2®, and then later on with PIXLR®, which does some things better, but since being bought out seems to have some issues The website is hosted at nearlyfreespeach.net, which charges by the data as people look at the site. As well as piles of memory sticks, I have upgraded through six or seven used laptops utilized to edit the website that have struggled to cope as the website grew over a gig. The latest is a Lenovo W550s with a i7 2.4 ghz processor, 32 gig ram, and a 320 gb hard drive. Despite this decent spec I have still had issues lately and have had to manually up virtual memory a couple                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     times. Photos of people looking through binoculars were taken with several point and shoot Cannon Power Shot cameras which could be carried around as fairly expendable, and sometimes an iPhone 5 or 6. And a few were taken by other people with whatever they had. Binocular photos were initially taken with a Nikon D200® camera with a cheap 18-55 Nikkor lens plus an aftermarket macro lens, which took decent close ups of small markings but distorted the overall binocular photos, and also required getting so close to the marks that it created lighting issues. I next added a second Nikon D200 with a better quality Nikkor 12-24mm lens that had a macro feature. (I need wide angle for another purpose). It was an improvement, and I reshot a lot of binoculars. But it still distorted the binoculars a bit, and wasn’t particularly good for the small markings. Then in 2016 I purchased a more dedicated Nikon macro lens, the Micro Nikkor AF 105mmF2.8 D. It takes nice macro photos, but it’s depth of field on binoculars isn’t that great and has a stand off that makes it difficult to hold binoculars in hand. Oh well. I wore out the port on one Nikon D200, and as a result now have 3 more so as not to have to swap lenses as much. The photos are intended to be “utility” photos. These are “weasel words”, to excuse quality issues, distortion, and for when I want to take expedient photos when it is early morning, dusk, raining, and otherwise fairly unsuitable for natural light macro photography or when I have no patience to work at getting better photos. Though photo editing software can compensate a lot. It might be advantageous if I dusted and cleaned binoculars before photographing them rather than after, but I normally do repairs in front of TV when I have binoculars to repair and TV offerings are not good enough for undivided attention, and that is when I clean them, if I bother. I probably should scrub my hands before shooting pictures, but if I have been working on my old Land Rovers, then all that old grease and grunge is hard to get off. When the website is viewed on Firefox® or certain other web browsers, the original typeface (Arial Black) may be presented differently, because Microsoft® enforces their typeface copyrights, and this may degrade the layout and spacing and appearance. (So if it doesn’t look good...just blame Microsoft®). This website is very content heavy. Scroll down navigation was used to keep topics grouped together. If I had not utilized a scroll down approach, then the website might be around 800 or 900 ordinary screen size pages. Without scrolling down the navigation would be annoying. And the website is growing all the time. This does cause some technical issues. Posting can take hours. So if the website displays or acts oddly (distorted images or headers or navigation issues or freezes up), it might be because it is in the process of being revised. Also, because of the massive amount of data (and specifically images) any hiccup in the posting of even one of the over 13,000 images and headers can affect everything that follows (usually pictures out of place and distorted because the wrong picture is forced into a space not intended for it). Everything you see is a result of a massive army of coded commands, which you don’t see. Browsers present differently than by the creating program. A page layout may look great as created, but less so on a browser. This is usually because the browser pushes text into an additional line the text box is not sized for. So when you view in Firefox® there are some things that don’t look right. So after updates I look on the internet and go through and compensate for the next update. But when manually corrected so everything looks good in Firefox®, other things still have similar types of issues when viewed with Google Chrome. ® Until recently I corrected to view in Firefox® but am now also correcting to view in Google Chrome. ®. Each item (such as the 12,000 plus photos) is toggled between publisher and HTML each time the website is worked on. A page layout can occasionally look fine until it is posted, and distorted afterwards. It is usually noticed quickly, but it can take some time to fix, because the actual cause may not be apparent or an update is inconvenient. Each issue presents differently. For example a text box that continues off to the right past the intended page is a translation imported into publisher as HTML preformated where I forgot to cancel that formatting. Also I have worn out several memory sticks, and the first sign of corrupted data on them is usually corrupted sections on the website. Because an update to the web hosting site takes several hours, and electrical or internet glitch during that time can result in pictures and text boxes that never load or load in the wrong place. Some difficulties have been encountered due to unexpected things, including the continued use of some legacy software. Websites that imbed a Multi lingual and multi character approach were not really all that common when the website and software that created it were created So this website used mostly Latin1 character encoding (Unicode block Latin-1 Supplement) but then it also used UTF-8 character encoding for Japanese and Russian language sections and perhaps a few other languages, and that created some (now hopefully suppressed) issues when the hosting expected everything to be UTF-8. Because of the large number of images per page, you may experience a pronounced delay in the images on a page loading, depending on your computer and internet speed, and this is usually experienced as the images popping in place progressively. So please be a little patient: this is the trade off for having so much stuff to look at. Translations over the years have been done with a couple online translation sites ( initially the Israeli one that apparently will try to hijack your search functions if you actually download their toolbar or software rather than just translated stuff) and later after it became available with “Google Translate”, which I like much better and seems to work well. The translations allow me to make efforts in multi-lingual outreach, which was always a very specific goal. But I do fully realize that this is extremely likely to result in some awkward, odd, incorrect, or language or phrasing or sentence structure. I am improving the translations when I can get generous native speakers to help me do so, but apologize that my non-English sections may be crude. While I create all the content, layout, graphics, and most of the photos, my son John (a software engineer) does the navigation linking, and web posting, and writes the custom code such as used with the index linking, page view count, navigation jumps, and country origin analysis program. And it is all done for fun as a not for profit activity with no monetary compensation or motivation of any type: purely as a experiment in what we can learn, create, share, and accomplish

Some Website Technical Details. Einige Website–Technische Informationen. Informations Techniques du Site Web. ウェブサイトの技術的な詳細. Веб-сайт технической информации. Website Tekniska Detaljer. Detalles Técnicos del Sitio Web. Alcuni Dettagli Tecnici del Sito Web.

ROYAL MINI 8x20 CF binoculars

Mfgr: Tokuhiro Koki Seisakusho Inc

Collection/photo Göran Wallin, Sweden

Miniature Binoculars: The Colors. Mini Fernglas: Die Farben. Jumelles Miniatures : Les  Couleurs. ミニチュア双眼鏡:色。 Миниатюрные бинокль: в цвета. Miniatyr Kkikare: Färger. Los Prismáticos en  miniatura: Los colores. Binocolo Miniatura: I Colori.

Miniature binoculars are normally found with some combination of black paint, bright or brushed chrome plate, or lacquered aluminum finish. Gilding (gold plate) or lacquered brass is occasionally encountered. Other colors such as brown or white or anodized color are exceptionally uncommon, but examples such the ones pictured do exist.

Ocean binoculars: Brown Paint/Chrome

Bushnell binoculars: Chocolate Paint/Gilding

T.O.M. Vision binoculars: Green Annodized/Chrome

NOCTOREX SPEZIALE 7x25 CF binoculars

Collection of Hendrik Venebrügge, Germany

Photo Hendrik Venebrügge










Fata Morgana binoculars: Gilding

Abkhazia ( no ISO/TDL )

American Samoa .as

Antarctica .aq

Ascension Island .ac

Bouvet Island .bv

British Indian Island ter  .io

Burkina Faso .bf

Burundi .bi

Central African Republic .cf

Chad .td

Christmas Island .cx

Cocos (Keeling) Islands .cc

Comoros, Union of .km

Cook Islands .ck

Dominica .dm

Equatorial Guinea . gq

Falkland Islands .fk

French S. Ter/

      Antarctica .tf

Seeking website viewers from the following locations. If you looked at the website from any of these places, let me know so I can fill in those missing dots. Contact me at: miniature.binoculars@gmail.com.

Gambia .gm

Guinea .gn

Guinea Bissau