20x110 Russian Navy BMT Binoculars
Little has been written about the invention and development of the 20 X 110 Russian BMT binocular and how they were used by the Russian military, both in peace and at war. Now these big eye binoculars are gaining attention of students and collectors for their high-powered optics, yet they are a rare find in the open market.
Big Eye BMT- 110 binoculars were used by the Russian Navy during the cold war in the mid-20th century as marine observation binoculars. Some reference is also found about their use during WWII in the detection of targets.
There are noticeable influences in the design from WWII German optics including degrees of the cradle, interocular adjustment, objective shade and flaps, and the eyepiece design.
The BMT-110 is an ultra-wide-angle military binocular that weigh in at nearly 140 pounds which is why they were permanently mounted on Russian ships, using their heavy-duty cradle and elevating pier.
Manufactured by KOMZ (Kazan Optical Mechanical Plant) in Russia, which was established in 1940. It is one of the largest Russian optical companies developing a wide range of optical-electronic and optical-mechanical instruments. In the beginning, KOMZ developed product for GOMZ from Leningrad. Their professional managers and skilled personnel were recruited and transferred to Kazan with the purpose of improving the quality of their goods.
By the end of 1942 KOMZ manufactured 15,000 binoculars per month. In 1945 they brought in a conveyor which allowed them to increase production to 25,000 pieces per month. During the period of WWII, they manufactured over 700,000 scopes and binoculars. They continue to produce high quality instruments today.
While historically used on Russian ships, now they are used to view the Milky Way and nebulas in the night sky as a functional piece of art. The large viewing range allows more light in for better viewing of the night sky. Polarizing lens filters also make them great for looking out over the ocean or other water features.
The rarity of the 20 X 110 Russian Navy BMT Binocular makes this a prized piece in your collection and surely will be a conversation starter either in your home, your yacht, or at the office. These binoculars combine both cultural and technological history giving them their own distinctive fascination.
The BMT-110 has a complicated optical design with each side having a 45-degree prism and a 110-degree prism. They also have a three-element lens that are found between the prisms that compensate the eyepiece aberrations.
The eyepieces, excluding the relay lens, have a 3-2-1 configuration. The eye lens has a very steep curvature of the inner surface giving the ability to see a ring of total internal reflection when in a bright setting.
The main feature is the ultra-wide viewing angle which gives a 5-degree field view even at twenty power.
· Eye piece – 35mm
· AFOV: ~100 degrees
· TFOV: ~5 degree
· Eye Relief: 17mm (measured ~16mm)
· Prisms: 45deg and 110 deg
· Angle View 5° + 15°
· Weight 20 kg / approximately 40 pounds
· 3 filters – neutral (dark), polarizing, and orange.
· Right eyepiece cross hair reticle
· Internal humidity collector