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Comet 6x24 binoculars from the inside – what went wrong?

Comet 6x24 binoculars from the inside – what went wrong?
28 September 2017
Marcin Górko

1. Introduction - about binoculars and cuisine


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I know close to nothing about cuisine. I can’t cook well and I don’t think I’ll ever become a chef. Still, from time to time I enjoy eating – a healthy dish, made of the best, freshest products, properly seasoned and arranged nicely on your plate so you see the minute attention to detail of the professional who has prepared it. Served in the right atmosphere and a proper place, such a meal will be remembered long even if it might cost a lot. What does it have in common with the Chinese Comet 6x24 from the title? Let me explain. That pair of binoculars was delivered to our Editor-in-Chief and the Chief Binoculars Aficionado of the Polish Commonwealth, Arek Olech, not so long ago.

Comet 6x24 binoculars from the inside – what went wrong? - Introduction - about binoculars and cuisine
Two almost identical pairs of binoculars even though there is a 100-year gap between them. The Nippon Kogaku ORION 6×24 produced in 1918 and the contemporary Comet 6x24 which was clearly modelled on the older construction. Similarity is most certainly not accidental.

Arek had shared his impressions concerning that instrument with me even before his test was published. Theoretically everything seemed to be in perfect order: a small, wide angle, Porro set of binoculars in a metal casing. It resembled a delicious meat dish, described in the menu in an elegant way and being offered by a respectable restaurant with best traditions. The 6×24 parameters are, after all, classic – such devices were constructed by Zeiss and Nippon Kogaku almost 100 years ago. Still if you took a closer look at that, after all, completely contemporary pair of binoculars you found a lot of examples of shoddy workmanship and different bungles. Following the culinary allegory, if it was a dish it wouldn’t be as tasty as it was promised: perhaps too little seasoning was added or maybe the meat wasn’t completely fresh or the chef wasn’t skilled or he just had a bad day. Anyway for binoculars’ fans - and I have to admit I count myself among them – this one is definitely not a joy to use, leaving a bitter taste in your mouth. Even if it seems OK at first glance, you are aware that something is off and the device could have been much better.

In order to find what exactly disturbed our impressions one August day in Warsaw I made a very strange exchange with my friend Arek. He got a brand-new Nikon WX and I was given the Chinese Comet. What’s even stranger, we were both happy, anticipating some emotional time! I spent several hours playing with Comet and then some time more getting to know its anatomy in detail; after that I think I knew what went wrong and I suppose my impressions are worth sharing with our Readers. You’ll see – and my test is going to prove – that some of flaws of the Comet are easily improved at home using simple DIY methods. Apart from that the Readers might learn a lot about the construction of a classic Porro pair of binoculars and the producers of the Comet are going to get some free-of-charge tips how to improve their quite nice product efficiently.