Binoculars Carl Zeiss Jena D.F.95

Magnification: 8x
Aperture (objective diameter): 20 mm
Field of View: 4.62°
Visible field of view (eyepiece FOV): 36.8°
Most close focusing distance: 6.3 m
Width: 14.9 cm
Height: 12 cm
Weight: 582 g
Production date: 1899

   Military models of binoculars appeared in Carl Zeiss catalogs in August 1895 – those were O.D.F.95 (Offiziers-Doppelfernrohr 95) with 6x magnification   and D.F.95 (Doppelfernrohr 95) with 8x magnification. However, there are suggestions that first prototypes of these binoculars were produced before 1893, as they had to undergo a long military acceptance (Artillerie Prüfungs kommission - APK). In 1902 these two binoculars were replaced by D.F.6x and D.F.8x, which acquired some modifications.  
The D.F.95 binoculars have curved design of upper prism covers, called “bent shoulders”, and they are similar to such civilian models as Feldstecher Vergr. = 10 and Feldstecher. Vergr. = 12 There is still no explanation for such covers’ shape, according to one hypothesis – it was made for better raindrops dripping, according to another one – it was a distinction from 4x, 6x and 8x civilian binoculars models, also produced at that time. The upper prism cover width is 46 mm. This model was privately bought by German soldiers, and in 1898 it became the first binoculars, which were officially supplied for the army.
   Initially, the O.D.F.95 and D.F.95 binoculars had eyepieces with clamping rings for fixing the focus (this idea was picked up by modern manufacturers of binoculars much later). However, in February 1898, the Prussian military department obliged to withdraw all sold devices because of the diopter scale absence on the eyepieces. After that and up to 1902, they started to complete the O.D.F.95 and D.F.95 models with "3/3" type eyepieces having a diopter scale (see Hans T.Seeger. Zeiss-Feldstecher, Handfernglaser von 1894-1919, Modelle-Merkmale-Mythos, pp.180-181). The eyepieces’ base diameter is 18.5 mm.
   The binoculars frame hinge is attached to its halves with the help of 5 screws from each side. The upper and lower prism covers are made of brass; the device has long “lugs” for a jugular strap, which are attached to binoculars with the help of 2 screws. The clamping screw for adjusting the binoculars interpupillary distance has the design of an earlier type, with longitudinal notches and large diameter, which is the proof of binoculars military use. The upper hinge disk is of the 3rd (later type) and it has an interpupillary distance scale (see Hans T.Seeger. Zeiss-Feldstecher, Handfernglaser von 1894-1919, Modelle-Merkmale-Mythos, p.177).
   The analysis of inscriptions on binoculars’ prism covers is of great interest. There is an inscription “Carl Zeiss, Jenna” on the left prism cover. At first glance, the abbreviation "D.R.P." (Deutsches Reichs Patent) is absent. However, during closer inspection one can notice that it is painted over (see photo). There is an inscription "D.F.95 6+". –Doppelfernrohr 95 6+ on the right prism cover. The last inscription (6+) is printed over the top of military acceptance number remnants. It is still an open question what this inscription means. These features and the binoculars’ general condition indicate that the device was repaired at later period. The inscriptions are made in italics.
   The binoculars’ serial number is "2869" and it was manufactured approximately in 1899.