A sketchers delight : the binocular mirror mount.
Posted 02 April 2008 - 05:41 AM
I've been preparing a new binocular sketching project. Binoculars offer amazing wide fields. But sketching behind bino's is a stressfull occupation. Until I found the mirror mount. The first light test of my mirror mount can be found here.
More to follow soon.
Posted 03 April 2008 - 03:23 PM
Posted 03 April 2008 - 04:04 PM
Thank you for the compliment.
You arrived at the best forum to get started with sketching. I learned the most of sketching from the kind and helpfull people over here. So take a seat and join in. There are a lot of friendly, patient and experienced sketchers active in this forum.
We all look forward to your first sketches. So get them posted soon over here.
Posted 03 April 2008 - 10:09 PM
Posted 04 April 2008 - 03:30 PM
I just made a quick snapshot. The top left picture shows the mirror mount in parts. The blueish plate is an aluminum cover over the mirror. The mount can be used on a tripod or on any table. The observer looks down into the binoculars just like when using a microscope. This position does not change with changing object altitudes. Only the mirror angle needs to be adjusted, not the binoculars. The mount is capable of showing the sky from horizon to zenith while the observer does not have to change his head.
Handy people can build such a mount themselves. Mine came from Trico Machine Corporation. Its completely made from aluminum, very compact and transportable. Trico offers 3 mirror qualities, with powers up to x20.
Posted 04 April 2008 - 04:31 PM
Very impressive. A number of years ago I read about a scope builder who did this with a front surface mirror he had picked up for almost nothing. Just like you have described and demonstrated he was most impressed with how well it performed in use. Very nice post and thanks for including the pictures too.
Posted 06 April 2008 - 06:10 AM
This kind of mount offers the most ergonomic way of observing that I know of. I can sit for hours behind the binoculars and concentrate on the objects that I want to sketch. The other night, I was looking at the moon with the mirror mount. I was surprised by the amount of surface details that a small pair of 8x56 binos can show. The fact that the two eyes are used does also add to the experience.
Posted 06 April 2008 - 09:03 AM
Posted 06 April 2008 - 05:34 PM
Thanks for taking the time with this. I can imagine a sketch board in my lap with only a slight change in position to look through binoculars with this set up and it would be great.
Posted 08 April 2008 - 04:26 AM
It's a pleasure to share these things with fellow sketchers.
Posted 08 April 2008 - 05:02 AM
Rony, if you want to pursue this off-line, let me know. I am interested in your set-up to make binocular viewing much easier and sketching with it. I am also intersted because I can attach a wide angle lens to an astrovideo cam (which has a 1/4 x 20 mounting hole) and possible put wide angle sky shots on a screen for groups. Have you thought of trying that with your other equipment (I think I remember you have a mintron). Do you have the mirror upgrade or not?
Roland, that's ok for me. If you have any questions, just let me know.
It's unclear to me how you want to involve the video camera with the bino mount?
Posted 12 April 2008 - 12:42 AM
What about dew on all that glass? Do you use a fan, heat the back?
Posted 13 April 2008 - 05:04 AM
I've allways used dew caps on my scopes. And I was thinking of how to adapt this on the binoculars and the mount. Until now I have not taken any actions to prevent dew.
According to the manufacturer, the mirror is the last optical surface to dew up. This sounds very strange. But I did a test. After a night of observing, I brought the unit back indoors without covering the optics. The binoculars and the mount started dewing up immediately, but not the mirror. Trico Machine had many questions from their customers, as why the mirror does not dew up. Actually Trico does not know why, but the mirror seems pretty dew resistant. Of course, when circumstances are very humid, all surfaces will dew up. So if you need to take measures against dew, it will be on the binoculars first.
Posted 13 April 2008 - 03:15 PM
I had read about this set-up a few years back (in Astronomy magazine I believe), and it sounded quite interesting then. You are, however, the first person who I have come across who has written a review of this set-up from personal use and not an advertiser or manufacturers' claim.
...your review just may prompt me to investigate this nifty contraption further.
Posted 13 April 2008 - 07:08 PM
Posted 14 April 2008 - 12:02 AM
This sounds like a very comfortable and easy setup for binocular viewing. Your first light tour of the heavens proves this. I look forward to your future observations using this combination.
Posted 14 April 2008 - 10:26 PM
Posted 15 April 2008 - 03:32 AM
I was not aware of the review, Jerry.
Here is another link.
One of Don's conclusions is that the Sky Window shows the optical truth of the binoculars used. Be warned that you might end up with buying a better pair of binoculars once you've worked with such a mount.
For your interest, take a look at the binocular forum. The Best Of Binoculars post has some links to binocular mounts. You'll have to scroll down a bit to arrive at the mounting section.