7x35 – a forgotten class of binoculars

21 July 2021
Arkadiusz Olech

5. Secondary market comes to your rescue - Bushnell

The Porro Bushnell Rangemaster was one of the first wide angle 7×35 sets of binoculars and nowadays it enjoys a kind of cult status. Specimens in good conditions from the first production years are able to reach prices of above 1000 USD. The first Rangemaster version appeared in 1951 and was produced by Fuji Photo Optical. The binoculars featured a field of view of 10 degrees and a 14 mm eye relief distance. The mechanic aspect of these binoculars was modified in the following years.

7x35 – a forgotten class of binoculars - Secondary market comes to your rescue - Bushnell

The turn of 50s and 60s of the last century saw a bigger change, both in optical and mechanical construction. Also the producer changed – this time it was another photo-optical tycoon, Tamron.

In the first half of the 60s the Rangemaster's 7×35 appearance was radically revamped. The classic shape of a Porro pair of binoculars was abandoned for a more encased construction and, at the same time, you got a field of view amounting to as much as 11 degrees. Still you had to pay for that increase of field with a shorter eye relief distance, as it was diminished to 12-13 mm.

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7x35 – a forgotten class of binoculars - Secondary market comes to your rescue - Bushnell

No matter what version you take into account, the Bushnell Rangemaster 7×35 is a well-put-together pair of binoculars. Some optics connoisseurs prize Fuji-produced models above all others but, no matter what device you own, it will be still a really cult classic.

One more thing is worth your attention. In 1952 you had to pay 125 dollars for the Rangemaster 7×35 and, adjusted for inflation, it would be an equivalent of about 1270 dollars now, a sum of money that is close to the premium segment of equipment. Indeed, back in the 20th century that pair of binoculars fitted the premium segment without a problem.

The Rangemaster was not the only 7×35 Bushnell pair of binoculars but it was undoubtedly the best and the most recommendable one.

7x35 – a forgotten class of binoculars - Secondary market comes to your rescue - Bushnell