Carl Zeiss Jena binocular 6x24 with the case for binocular 03 (Fernrohr 03)
The binocular and original container in our collection was produced by Carl Zeiss Jena, ca 1916.
A few words about cases for binoculars – models 03 and 08
These cases and binoculars were produced ca from 1903 up to 1919 as indicated the German Army Official Regulation. The cases were designed for binoculars named Fernrohr 03 and Fernglas 08.
The 03 binocular models and models 08 were produced by a few companies, at that time; among them were Carl Zeiss Jena, Goerz, Emil Busch Rathenow, Leitz Wetzlar, Voightlander Braunschweig, Schutz & Co.A-G Cassel and Spindler and Hayer Gottingen.
The cases produced by mentioned companies were embodied with own logo.
Pict 1; C.P Goerz A.G. Berlin Pict 2; Emil Busch A.G. Rathenow
The binocular containers for 03 and 08 models were a little different in shape. The shapes of 03 cases were in shape of a trapeze.
Pict 3; Our case CZJ for prismatic binocular Fernrohre 03
The 08 models containers were shaped of rectangular or similar to modern shapes.
Pict 4; Carl Zeiss Jena 08 case from an English collector Pict 5; Emil Busch A.G. Rathenow 08 from Marco Bensi collection
The case was attached to the users’ waist belt by two longer leather straps fitted at the rear side of the case. On this side was fitted a small metal buckle. All cases are fixed with this feature.
The carrying case was pinned by the buckle to the strap, hung on the neck of a soldier.
Postcard 1916 – the soldier has two containers; one case contains a binocular other case spare rifle ammunitions.
We can learn about the production of the binoculars, and cases as well, from German Army official regulations.
You can read more about in our article “Goerz Optics” chapter 1. Galilean binoculars.
Our CZJ case
The factory logo is still visible trough the metal buckle.
Pict 6; CZJ logo embodied into the case
The case is stitched and riveted black leather storage case, designed to hold 6 x 24 binocular.
Pict 7; the CZJ case with binocular 6 x24
The case has been constructed with stitching and rivets. The lid is secured by two short leather straps at each side (Pict 3). The lid of the case is fitted to the box by a leather strap with press-stud.
The case is lined with white felt to protect the binocular when it is stored.
Pict 8; the interior of the case, attachment to the waist belt and the lid
In the lid of the case is inserted with instruction information (Pict 8).
The instruction informs the user of binocular, how to adjust eye distance and focus on the binocular.
Gebrauchsanweisung für das Fernrohr 03 = Operating instructions for the binocular 03
Zum Einstellen auf Augenabstand = To adjust to eye distance the clamping screw is unscrewed to relaxed the joint, hold the glass aligned with the sky, moves the joint, until you simultaneously with both eyes you see a circular field. Read and note the number on the eye width scale! Retighten the clamping screw!
Das Einstellen auf Bildschärfe = Adjustment to Focus is done by setting the Eyepiece rings to „0“. If you are not sufficient satisfied with the sharpness rotate the eyepiece ring to the right or left - for each eye, until greatest sharpness is achieved. The glass is than set to a sharply focus on a distant object. Read and memorize of the graduation from the eyepiece ring! Check the setting by repeating! and set eyepiece ring. Now ready for use the binocular is inserted into the case.
In addition to the clamping screw, locking screw, the joint may not be loosened by other screws, the hinge screw must not be released after setting! The cleaning is done by wiping the outer objective and ocular surfaces with a soft cloth.
Above instruction has been translated by Google.
Later on, ca 1911/1912, in the case was inserted the instruction for D.F. 6x30 - Gebrauchsanweisung für das Fernglass 03 (D.F. 6x30) = Operating Instructions for Binoculars 03 (D.F. 6x30) We can notice that the word for – binocular was changed from Fernrohr into Fernglass.
The changes of the name were regulated by German Army Official.
The Carl Zeiss Jena binocular DF 6 x24, production number 701086
The binocular with 6, 4 and 8 magnifications were produced from 1894, as it was published in the Zeiss catalogue October 1894. The binocular 6x model, at that time, was produced with a smaller diameter of the objectives, only 15 mm. A few years later it was increased to 18 mm.
Model DF 6x (Doppel-Fernrohr) was introduced in German Army Official Regulation on 22 July 1902.
But the model DF 6x with 24 mm objectives diameter appeared ca 1907 – mentioned in Zeiss catalogue August 1907. Later on the objective diameter was increased to 30 mm as it is visible on the lid of the cases.
The body of the model DF 6x was built up from different material through all production period.
As Thomas Mix in his investigative article - Production changes in Zeiss binoculars from 1907 to 1917 (published 2005) says:
There are 3 or 4 parts on the binoculars where can best see production changes over the passage of time. These are:
Pict 9; Production changes on CZJ binoculars, picture sent by by Thomas Mix; ©Thomas Mix
The first models were built from brass, covered with the leather, and with long metal strip for strap lugs.
Later on, the binoculars were built from aluminium with a shorter metal strip along body, and finished with a modern hook for strap.
As we are reading the description of the binocular 6x in “Handbook of Artillery Instruments 1914” London (in our collection):
The pictures of all described models 6x from the book
The bodies are castings of aluminium alloy, shaped internally to form seating for the prism, which are kept in position by means of springs pressing upon them. The exterior of the bodies is coated with hard ebonite molded to look like leather. The object glasses consist of two lenses cemented together with Canada balsam. [...] The eyepiece contains two lenses. The one nearest to the eye is achromatic, being made in two pieces cemented together, and the other one is a single lens. [..] The eyepiece adapters are made of brass and are screwed into the bodies. [...] When the interocular distance and the focus of each eye are once known, any binocular set to read them will be in correct adjustment for the user.
Ebonite eyecups are screwed on to the eyepiece. They are so shaped that they prevent extraneous light getting into the user’s eyes, and at the same time keep his eyes at the correct distance from the eye lenses.
At each end of the bodies are fitted brass cover plates.
Some of the model 6 xs had engraved the year of production, for instance 1910; 1914.
Our binocular was made in 1916, as indicates the production number of this model. Next feature indicating on the production time is the metal, which are body made from.
As Thomas Mix says:
Around Serial number 610.000 (Summer 1916) many parts that formerly were made out of brass are now made from a zinc alloy: top and bottom plates, washer, objective tubes, ocular unit.
External features of our binocular
Our binocular has a special number on the edge of the bottom right plate. It is not readable completely – 341418(?). According to Thomas Mix information, the number indicates that the binocular was used in German Military, during WWI.
Thomas Mix says: “The little number refers to a second, a military Zeiss numbering system that starts about summer 1914 and goes up to the end of 1917 and disappears when the military binoculars are marked "Dienstglas". The meaning and the function is not entirely revealed.”
Pict 10; the military number; © Anna Vacani
Additional military mark is the letter K on the right top hinge arm. It refers to: K - Gewehr Prüfungskommission Spandau = Rifle Inspection Commission Spandau (Berlin). It was seen binoculars, from that period, with the letter J which refers to the same Commission placed in Jnglostad (Bavaria).
Pict 11; Letter K on the hinge arm of our binocular; ©Anna Vacani
The body and other parts is casting of zinc alloy, as it is described in the book from 1914; the body is coated with hard ebonite molded to look like leather. In this model, on the body is no more the metal strap lugs for fitting the binocular strap. It is a hook as it is in modern binoculars.
Pict 12, 13; CZJ 6x24 in our collection; © Anna Vacani
On the top left plate is engraved CZJ logo and on the right is D.F. 6x and production number- 701086. The plates are black painted.
Pict 14, 15; CZJ 6x24 in our collection, cover plates; © Anna Vacani
The plates are fitted with three screws.
The eyecups are made from ebonite. Focus adjustment rings are diagonal knurling and are engraved on them dioptric graduation from -5 to +5 dioptres.
The hinges are formed on projection from the bodies. The hinges are not as one construction with the cover plates, as it is in Zeiss London model, at that time.
On the cover screw to axes is placed scale of interocular distances from 54 to 74 millimeters.
The distance between eyepieces can be preserve for the binocular user by fixing knob placed at the end of the hinge (Pict 12) Making a comparison to models 4x 8x and 8x20 describe on this site (above), the construction of fixing knob changed. The objective diameter is 24 mm.
The binocular is prismatic with Porro I optical system, through the lenses arrangements as it was described in the book published in 1914 (see above).
The military model (No 2, Mark II) -produced for British Army is similar to the described model 6x24, except that the right eyepiece is fitted with a graticule engraved on it.
Pict 16; Graticule fitted into military model 6x24- picture from Handbook 1914
In German binoculars, even military models, the reticule was not always fitted.
The binocular dimensions are:
Width fully extended, over the prism house –150 mm (5, 90 in) and underneath of the objectives – 155 mm (6 in); Height (extended eyepieces) -105 -115 mm (4, 13 in – 4, 52 in).
The binocular weight is of 1 lb 13 oz (822, 14 grams)
Our zinc model D.F. 6x24 was manufactured from 1916 up to the end of WWI. After the war this model was not produced any more, as the German Army Regulation from 1919 stated. Only model D.F. 6x30 was continually produced after the WWI.
The D.F. 6x24 binoculars were produced for army, and they were inspected by military offices with their engraved stamps.
In recent time the binoculars models 03 or 08 are rather common. The complete binocular in the original case not so often you can find.
It appeared that metal zinc does not keep well the paint. It is visible in many places, in what way the paint is chipped.
We can observe many changing in the models 4x; 6x; and 8 x. manufactured by CZJ, in a period of 20 years. Some of them we can observe in our small collection, described above; 4 x (Fach Feldstecher) - ca 1904; 8 x (Fach Feldstecher) - ca 1905; Feldstecher vergr 8, 8x20 ca 1902; and in this zinc model.
At present, the binoculars 03 or 08 are visible in the market. The binocular in the case in good order (particularly 03) are rather rare.
The description was delivered on;
- Hans Seeger –Two books - gray & blue (look into “The list of the binocular Literature”);
-“Handbook of Artillery Instruments 1914” – London Printed Under Authority of His Majesty Stationery Office 1914;
- “Production changes in Zeiss binoculars from 1907 to 1917” – by Thomas Mix
- “Notes on the identification, numbering and annual and individual Production of early Carl Zeiss Binoculars (1894 –1907)” – by Thomas Antoniades