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7x35 – a forgotten class of binoculars

21 July 2021
Arkadiusz Olech

6. Secondary market comes to your rescue - Sears

In the 50s, 60s, and 70s of the 20th century the American Sears company was a real tycoon when it came to 7×35 class binoculars. They offered several models of this type with different fields of view and at different prices. I happened to handle some of them so I can describe them shortly in this section.

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

The No. 2527 model, marked as EXTRA WIDE was the cheapest of them all. It was equipped with Bk7 glass prisms and single layer antireflection coatings. Its field of view amounted to 578 feet for 1000 yards so an impressive value of 11 degrees. If you want to find a classic device from those times and buy it cheap, you should look for this piece of equipment – on different internet auctions you can find it for a sum of just a few tens of dollars. For such an amount of money you get a specimen in mint conditions, with a full set of accessories and all documents in a box. When it comes to image quality it is really decent but don't expect any miracles.

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



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

If you decide to buy the No. 6243 model your impressions might be a bit more optimistic. It also features a single layer coatings and Bk7 glass prisms and a field of view amounting to 11 degrees but it is able to provide better images. Also its casing, done in an American style so without removable objective tubes, is a tad more solid. In this case a complete specimen in mint condition can be bought for a few tens of dollars as well and it seems to be a better investment as it is able to provide a better image quality on the edge of the field because of bigger prisms.

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

The Discoverer 7×35 model, produced by Sears, is the icing on the 7×35 class cake. Even now it is considered to be one of the most sought-after classics. Why? It features a casing of excellent quality, made of magnesium composites, and padded with good quality leather armour, big BaK-4 prisms, and a really impressive field of view, amounting to as much as 12.5 degrees. It means its eyepieces have an apparent field of view of a whopping 87.5 degrees according to the linear formula and 75 degrees according to the tangent formula. Believe me, such a wide field is really a joy to experience – after looking through such a piece of equipment you feel as if you landed right in the middle of the image. No contemporary pair of binoculars provides that sensaton. Still, you have to mention high distortion, short eye relief distance, and significant blurr on edges of the field as these shortcomings are the price you have to pay. Of course, with such a wide field your attention is drawn to its middle and even if that middle is good in just 60-70% of its radius it still means you get an 8-9 degrees field of excellent quality.

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

The Sears Discoverer 7×35 is a sought-after and valued classic device so you have to pay 300-400 USD for a specimen in very good condition. If you want a model in mint condition with a full set of accessories, be prepared to pay even more.

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