Collecting Military Binoculars


8 x 30 B  Carl Zeiss Oberkochen 1958


No: 523995


 For the  C.Zeiss history click here


 After WWII, a part of the former Zeiss Jena staff moved from the Soviet occupied East Germany to the West, where shortly thereafter the "Zeiss-Opton Optische Werkstaette Oberkochen GmbH" (in short: "Zeiss, West" or "Zeiss Oberkochen") was inaugurated. Binocular construction began from scratch, and the first output was this 8x30 which was ready by 1954. The civilian version  was with center focus, as usual, and the military version was with individual focuser for its superior water sealing (the military version, available from 1957 to 1964, was reviewed here). This binocular came with an air spaced (tele-) objective which allowed for a short and very compact body, and a high performance wide angle eyepiece with no less than six lens elements, designed by Horst Koehler. No doubt the Zeiss engineers were eager to set new standards of modern Porro binocular design, and when presenting this new line (which also included an 8x50 and 10x50 model), they did not only send a message to Jena but also to its arch rival, Ernst Leitz. Leitz did not attempt to answer with another improved line of Porro binoculars, but exclusively focused on the development of their roof-prism line. With the Porro design gradually running out of fashion, neither of the both Zeiss factories did ever design any new 8x30 Porro after 1960, but instead introduced their 8x32 Dialyt (Oberkochen) and later on the Notarem (Jena) roof prism binoculars. Since the eye relief of their binocular was very short, Zeiss offered, starting from 1958, a 8x30B version with long 19mm eye relief but narrow apparent field of view around 50 degs., which was in 1968 extended to 60 degs. The 8x30 remained in production until 1971, and the 8x30B stayed around until 1978.

( By Holger Merlitz

This bino was made at Oberkochen (West Germany) in 1958. It's like new, and still having a greath view and working smooth.