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

What is the Value of Specific Miniature Binoculars? Was ist der Wert der Spezifischen Minifernglas? Quelle est la Valeur de Miniature Spécifique Jumelles? ミニチュア双眼鏡の特定のペア の値は何ですか? Какова величина удельного Миниатюрные Бинокль? Vad är Värdet av Specifik Miniature Kikare?¿Cuál es el Valor de Específico Prismáticos Miniatura? Qual è il Valore Dei Binocoli Specifici in Miniatura?

Do not pay any attention to “asking prices” with no bids. Most items realize price in the last seconds, and Ebay is quite full of items at inflated unrealistic prices that may be relisted endlessly for years and never actually sell. Ebay does get enough activity on items for which there is demand and that have been started at a realistic price to realize market price. We have paid around $19-$25 plus postage for 90% of these type binoculars that we’ve bought in the past few years that were claimed to be in functional condition. (but have also paid as little as $1.25). Binoculars of this type missing eyepieces or that are corroded and worn, or acknowledged as needing functional repairs (as opposed to the large number needing repairs but claimed to be fully functional) will normally sell for less than good ones. Binoculars of this type with original packing boxes will generally sell for a little more than ones without them. I cannot prove it, but suspect most are purchased for utilitarian purposes. Most brands sell for around the same price, and except for a few of the more highly regarded brands, the brand name doesn’t seem to affect the price all that much. As one of the brands well regarded and with solid demand, older Nikon and Nippon Kogaku brand binoculars of this type that are complete and in good condition will sometimes sell for twice to three times the price of most other brands (the models are still in production and new ones are costly). In general all-black miniature binoculars that are in very nice cosmetic condition also seem to sell for a bit more than their silver and black counterparts. As with cameras, the black paint is much more fragile and subject to showing wear than chrome or nickel plating.

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 206 ändern haben diese Website angesehen. Les gens de 206 pays ont regardé ce site Web. люди из 205 стран рассматривали этот сайт. 206 カ国から人々がこのウェブサイトを見たこと . Daoine ó 206 tíortha amharc an suíomh gréasáin seo. Människor från 206 länder har sett den här webbplatsen. Personas de 206 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