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Leitz Trinovid Eye Tube Lube

We’ve had this/these Leitz Trinovid 8×20 binocular(s) approximately forever:

Leitz Trinovid binoculars

Leitz Trinovid binoculars

The logo indicates we bought them before Leitz became Leica in 1986…

Recently, the eye cups became difficult to pull out. The problem seemed to lie in the seal around the exterior of each tube, rather than with the internal mechanism, so I eased the tiniest possible drop of clock oil into each gap, spun the tubes, cycled them in-and-out, and wiped off essentially all of the oil as it spread over the exterior of the tubes.

The eye cups work fine again!

Frankly, I felt a like a Visigoth upgrading the Large Hadron Collider, but I trusted those old-school Leitz engineers would protect their optics from everything happening outside the sealed tubes.

The new Leica Trinovids carry 8×42 optics, with 8×20 glass in the Ultravid Compact Field Optics line. They’re definitely spendy, but probably less in constant dollars than the ones we have; in any event, they’re definitely a a buy-and-hold investment.

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  1. #1 by rkward on 2015-10-12 - 08:35

    When it comes to optics, definitely buy as high-end as affordable to you. Generally with these higher-end versions they have a lifetime warranty. You might be able to send them in and have them reconditioned if they give you any more trouble. We have an Eagle Optics pair that has a similar warranty.

    • #2 by Ed on 2015-10-12 - 20:11

      a lifetime warranty

      Would that I had one; I could use a few warranty repairs. [sigh]

  2. #3 by Red County Pete on 2015-10-12 - 19:32

    My lightly used Nikon 7 x 50s fill my “good binocular” needs, and we have a cheap pair of generics left by the former owner for casual “what is that!?” viewing. Years ago, I got a long look at the moon through a pair of Vixen 100mm binocs at a star party. I’ll never buy a pair, but the view sure is nice… (The Nikons are 1986 vintage, bought for Halley’s comet.)

    • #4 by Ed on 2015-10-12 - 20:16

      Nikon 7 x 50s

      We thought about big glass and decided on something we could carry along without thinking; it’s definitely served us well.

      My father had ancient 7×50 binoculars that felt like they were made of cast iron. Kinda like those old TVs-with-a-handle, that thing was luggable.

      • #5 by Red County Pete on 2015-10-12 - 21:44

        I have a pair of Bushnell binocs that were an anniversary gift for employment at HP. 9-27 x 25. Compact, but while 9X is marginally useful, I never found a use for hand-held optics much above that. IIRC, the 7 x 50s were popular in the Navy during WW II. If you need to spot that periscope, the weight doesn’t matter…

        We had a 15(?) inch B&W TV like that. At the end of its days, horizontal sync would go out with a high pitch audio squeal until it got a slap-on-the-side adjustment. I saw the one and only episode of Turn-On on that TV. Might have been funnier with the squeal. [grin]

  3. #6 by Mike on 2015-10-14 - 00:01

    ….a slap-on-the-side adjustment… My dad called that “percussive maintenance”.

    My parents bought their first TV set in 1958 or 1959 – a GE B&W 17 inch “portable”.

    It had handles on the side, so by definition it was portable.
    My dad took it to a friend of his that had a shipping scale… 68 pounds.
    When he described the set to his friends he said “portable with two men and a crane”
    .
    We used that GE until I brought home a curbside salvage RCA CTC-17 color
    tv – one of the last of the round picture tube models. I had found it while doing
    my bicycle paper route one morning…All it needed was a cathode bypass
    electrolytic cap to replace the one that had opened.

    A few years later my dad stumbled across an unbuilt Heathkit color TV kit
    in the local newspaper classified ads. We split the cost of it, and had some
    fun over a weeks worth of evenings.

    • #7 by Ed on 2015-10-14 - 19:48

      a cathode bypass
      electrolytic cap

      Electrolytics were bad, even the Good Old Days!

      Speaking of Heathkit, a note just arrived that says they (or, perhaps, the most recent owners of the marque) have resumed operations with an AM radio kit for $150; I wish ’em well.

      • #8 by Red County Pete on 2015-10-15 - 22:49

        I wish them luck; they’re going to need it. Something about relocating to Santa Cruz is odd. Good cioppino, and I saw the Flying Karamazov Brothers as street performers there, but…

        • #9 by Ed on 2015-10-16 - 20:41

          Maybe they have One Key Guy who lives there and it was easier to relocate everybody around him / her / it?