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Did We Really Need Another Collimator? Yes- it’s an Ultra-Rare Genuine Navy Mark V!

In 2013, Oberwerk’s Kevin Busarow was trained in “Tail of the Arc” binocular collimation (alignment) on a Navy Mark V collimator by retired Navy Opticalman Cory Suddarth, of Suddarth Optical Repair. Shortly after returning from training in Oklahoma, Kevin built a working collimator from a surplus spy plane camera lens. The other necessary component- an auxiliary telescope- was supplied by Cory, with an extra-tall rhomboid prism for getting a direct view of the collimator image over the top of the larger binoculars that Oberwerk typically sells.
In August of 2018, when an ultra-rare genuine Navy Mark V collimator was put on the market by an optics collector in San Diego, Cory notified Kevin- and he jumped on it! With its massive 5-foot-long iron rail and solid copper housing, it was a beauty! Rather than risk trying to ship such a large, heavy, delicate, and irreplaceable piece of equipment, Kevin bought a one-way ticket to San Diego, rented a station wagon, and drove it back to Dayton, Ohio. Oberwerk has always been proud to say we’re the only binocular retailer on the planet (that we know of) with an in-house collimator- and now we have two at our disposal!

6 Replies to “Did We Really Need Another Collimator? Yes- it’s an Ultra-Rare Genuine Navy Mark V!”

  1. Looks real good Kevin! I know you will get plenty of use out of it!

  2. George Saar says:

    More proof of your love of binoculars and caring customer support. Suddarth collimated a few of my binoculars – perfectly – over the years and anyone trained by him is truly an expert in this specialized field.
    My BT-82XL-ED is truly an amazing bino, BTW. Always comforting to know that when I order an Oberwerk product, it arrives in excellent condition.

  3. Vincent Balla CMDCM (SW) Ret. says:

    I am so glad these devices are still in operation. I had the pleasure of working with and overhauling no fewer than 12 MK V collimators. 2 while on USS Jason AR-8 as a 2nd Class petty officer. 2 while shop sup as a 1st class petty officer on USS Prairie AD-15. 4 at OM A School as the lead Navigation Instructor while still at Great Lakes, IL 2 on USS Orion AS-18 as a Chief Opticalman and shop supervisor. Then 2 more on USS Vulcan AR-5 as a Chief/Senior Chief Petty Officer and Shop supervisor. My overhauls included a total tear down. New paint of the frame and mounting mechanism, clean optics, reticle, new brass metal for the tube and overhaul or manufacture of the light fixture. I truly enjoyed this work and miss it greatly.

  4. Earl Osborn, OMC(SW), Ret. says:

    I do love those things. I’ve spent many, many hours in front of one !

  5. Bill Cook says:

    Thinking I would be with Captain’s the rest of my working life, I sold one of my 2 Mk 5s to Orion—which Cory used after he left me (dirtbag*) for SoCal and the other to Mike Rivkin of Deutsch Optik of San Diego. I believe that’s the one that is Kevin’s new acquisition. I had a deal with Tim Gieseler to have the “first right of refusal” if he ever wanted to sell it. However, Tim sold the company and just as a “lifetime warranty” is only as good as the “lifetime” of the company, the new owner doesn’t know me from Adam. However, as shown in my book, Understanding & Attaining 3-Axis Binocular Collimation, I have found a way around the problem.

    * I’m grandfathered in at calling Cory a dirtbag; he’s been my best friend for over 40 years.

  6. Ron Eason says:

    It’s so cool to see a Mk 5 in use. I also have spent many hours in front of one collimating binos on the USS Hector (AR-7) as a 2nd Class Opticalman. It completely shocked me when I found out that there are only 2 Navy Tenders left in the Navy and that our rating was eliminated. It was a great job and I can’t wait to get my hands on my own Mk 5. After visiting Cory’s shop at Suddarth Optical Repair recently I got the revived bug to renew an old passion of working with optics.

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