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7x35 – a forgotten class of binoculars

21 July 2021
Arkadiusz Olech

3. Let's go shopping!

Browsing the current market offers you can notice that there aren't many 7×35 pairs of binoculars available. If you focus on products from well-known producers then you should start with the Olympus 7×35 DPS-I. It's a cheap Porro instrument with a field of view of 9.3 degrees. Unfortunately the Olympus doesn't feature BaK-4 but Bk7 prisms, cheaper and optically weaker; as a result the edge of the field of view can hardly be called impressive.

7x35 – a forgotten class of binoculars - Let's go shopping!

Luckily, it's enough you add a small amount of money and two Nikons are within your reach: the Aculon A211 7×35 and the Action EX 7×35 CF. Once again you deal with two Porro devices with a field of view of as much as 9.3 degrees and this time they come with better BaK-4 prisms. The more expensive Action EX model also features a more comfortable eye relief distance, a better build quality, and more efficient antireflection coatings.

7x35 – a forgotten class of binoculars - Let's go shopping!

Leica decided to make a very interesting move in this class. In 1965 that producer launched the Leitz Trinovid 7×35 B, a small, shapely and handy device with a sensible field of view, amounting to 8.5 degrees. In 1981-83 that pair of binoculars was also produced with rubber armour and BA letters in its name. In 1983 both pairs disappeared from the line-up of Leica. In 1990 Leica was revamping their products and they launched completely new Trinovids BA with the following parameters: 8×32, 10×32, 7×42, 8×42, 10×42, 8×50, 10×50 and12×50. As you see, at that time the 7×35 parameters were forgotten.

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7x35 – a forgotten class of binoculars - Let's go shopping!

Still, the fans of this class of equipment got a very nice surprise. In 2017 Leica announced a refreshment of the classic Trinovids from the 60s of the 20th century and the launch of 7×35, 8×40, and 10×40 instruments. As if it wasn't enough, they also wanted to offer them in three different finishing versions: leather, silver, and rubber. The 2017 announcement was a kind of misfire because the promised binoculars hit the shelves only in 2020; still, among them you could find also the small and handy 7×35 model but with a rather prohibitive price tag, that of 1500 USD.

7x35 – a forgotten class of binoculars - Let's go shopping!

It's worth adding here that the older Leitz Trinovid 7×35 models were based on Uppendahl prisms and the new one come with the Schmidt-Pechan system. Both types feature six reflecting surfaces and in both cases one of them has to be covered with a mirror coating. There is a difference, though – the Schmidt-Pechan system, contrary to the Uppendahl system, needs some air between the prisms.

7x35 – a forgotten class of binoculars - Let's go shopping!

If you still want to find any contemporary 7×35 binoculars there are also very cheap models produced by Barska, Bushnell, Celestron, or Tasco. Most of them doesn't feature a focusing mechanism and, overall, it is an equipment of low mechanical and optical quality. Personally I would think twice before buying any of these.