Jump to content


Photo

cheap binocular mount

  • Please log in to reply
8 replies to this topic

#1 Megawatt

Megawatt

    Messenger

  • *****
  • Posts: 415
  • Joined: 02 May 2009
  • Loc: Flamborough, Ontario

Posted 02 March 2010 - 12:44 PM

My grandfather recently purchased Celestron Skymaster 8x56 binoculars and a mounting adapter, so I'm on a mission to find an inexpensive mount for him. Most viewing will be terrestrial, with some occasional astronomy. Am I best to just look for a used camera tripod? It needs to have a 1/4" mounting screw, which I can only assume is standard on many tripods. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

#2 StarmanDan

StarmanDan

    Soyuz

  • *****
  • Posts: 3758
  • Joined: 27 Aug 2007
  • Loc: Deep in the heart of Texas

Posted 02 March 2010 - 01:45 PM

A traditional photographic tripod will suffice for terrestrial viewing but if the astro bug hits him he might want to invest in a parallelogram mount.

#3 mayidunk

mayidunk

    Don't Ask...

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 3870
  • Joined: 17 Feb 2010
  • Loc: Betwixt & Between...

Posted 02 March 2010 - 02:31 PM

He may also wish to go with just a medium duty photographic tripod with a good pan head. However, if he does go with a parallelogram binocular mount, then he may want to seriously consider mounting it on a heavy duty tripod.

Bob

#4 j101

j101

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 14
  • Joined: 13 Apr 2010

Posted 12 May 2010 - 11:38 AM

Are there any options besides a parallelogram mount that allow you to view the sky from a lawn chair. I don't really want to buy a chair dedicated to my binoculars, and the parallelogram thing seems a little to big to take out camping. I only need something big enough for 10 x 50 standard binoculars. They can't weigh over 3-4 pounds.

#5 gnowellsct

gnowellsct

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 6598
  • Joined: 24 Jun 2009

Posted 12 May 2010 - 01:24 PM

This is the cheapest I can do cheap binocular mount

Greg N

#6 Kfrank

Kfrank

    Surveyor 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 1766
  • Joined: 20 Dec 2008
  • Loc: Northern Colorado

Posted 12 May 2010 - 02:24 PM

The problem here has to do with the first word in the title - CHEAP.

There really are no cheap, or simple, options for mounting a pair of terrestrial binoculars for celestial viewing once you go beyond the simple photo tripod mount.

Parallelogram mounts are neither cheap nor easy to move and they still require a mount for the parallelogram. There are other solutions available but they don't really improve on the cost or practicability when compared to a parallelogram.

Therein (IMO) lies the problem with using binocs for serious observing. Unless you're willing to spring for purpose built astronomical binoculars (having 45 or 90 degree diagonal eyepieces), standard binocs mounted on a tripod don't work at all well for looking at the sky.

You're far better off lying down on a pad or chaise and finding a way to brace your elbows on something when the binoculars are held to your eyes.

#7 tedbnh

tedbnh

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 815
  • Joined: 14 Nov 2007
  • Loc: New Hampshire

Posted 12 May 2010 - 09:54 PM

Anybody tried mounting some kind of bino bracket to an old motorcycle helmet? Then the back of the helmet could be resting on the ground or the back of a recliner.

The best thing about this approach would be that as you rolled your head L-R or up-down, the binos would stay aligned with your eyes. The helmet would take all the weight of the binos.

I hope somebody tries this and reports on the results.

#8 EdZ

EdZ

    Professor EdZ

  • *****
  • Posts: 18820
  • Joined: 15 Feb 2002
  • Loc: Cumberland, R I , USA42N71.4W

Posted 13 May 2010 - 05:46 AM

My grandfather recently purchased Celestron Skymaster 8x56 binoculars and a mounting adapter, so I'm on a mission to find an inexpensive mount for him. Most viewing will be terrestrial, with some occasional astronomy. Am I best to just look for a used camera tripod? It needs to have a 1/4" mounting screw, which I can only assume is standard on many tripods. Any suggestions would be appreciated.



Well, contrary to some comments above, I would reccommend a simple stable tripod for easy viewing.

You won't need to lie back in a reclining chair, although that is certainly and option. With an 8x56 binocular if you choose to try the reclining chair, you won't need any mount at all.

For mostly terrestrail viewing, the tripod need not be very tall, but for astro viewing you will find out soon enough that the best choice of tripod is one that can crank up atleast to be about 4" to 6" taller than the person using it to view. That helps prevent crouching down to get under the eyepieces.

I've been viewing with dozens of different binocular/tripod combinations for many years and have not needed to go to 45° or 90° eyepieces. Straight thru works fine. Not saying I wouldn't gain some comfort, just saying I don't need to do that. I've got 10 different mounts I can choose for any one of 25 different binoculars, and more often than any other method I choose a straight up tripod and straight thru binoculars.

At this point a parallelogram is probably a lot more to deal with than is necessary. And way more expensive.


These binoculars are very light. Nearly any tripod will do. One good tripod is the Orion Paragon HD-F2, the cheaper of the two Paragons. It's actually just a bit taller than the more expensive one, a little over 6' with the center column fully extended.

Sunpak model 777 is fairly tall and stable and under $100.
Slik makes some good models under $100, just pay attention to max height. But to get the 6' height you may need to go to the Slik Pro 700 over $100.

Bogen tripods are very good, but too expensive for you. Best cheapest combo would be the 3130 (?126RC)head on a 3011 tripod and this would run you about $175.

'Tripods without center columns are NOT a good choice.

Don't overlook the possibility of a $69 monopod. It might just appeal to him. The only problem ios you can't set up poiont to an object and then show someone else what you are looking at. But light weight, tall, cheap and convienient are all achieved. A monopod can be used as an extended brace when lying down in a recliner.

edz

#9 davidmcgo

davidmcgo

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1388
  • Joined: 09 Oct 2004
  • Loc: San Diego, CA

Posted 13 May 2010 - 10:33 AM

Another trick for overhead is to sit in a chair and tilt the tripod back towards you on two legs while keeping hold of it so you can get the eyepieces over your face. Advantage of this over a monopod is you just let it back on 3 feet and it stands by itself when you need to check a chart or stand up.

Dave






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics