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Any other mounts besides a parallelogram?

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#76 faackanders2



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Posted 02 March 2013 - 11:27 AM

Just got my order of:
Manfrotto Magic Arm w/ Camera bracket
Manfrotto 035RL Super Clamp w/Standard Stud(for 25x100 binos)
Barska Binocular Tripod adapter (2ea for smaller binos)
$145.60 free shipping

Below freezing temps and cloudy outside. So I decided to set up inside on my zero gravity chair. Everything set up easy, but the majic arm clamp was harder to do than I expected. It probably would work great with my 9&15x63 Orion Mini Giants (but since I already have a garrett pivoting pistol grip monopod, my main interest was the 25x100s which I have never been able to use at zenith with comfort).

As mentioned above the standard stud was needed for the 25x100 vertical post. The 10lb weight of the binos is too much for horizontal viewing with 25x100s (the ball joint pivot will hold hold position canterlevered out horizontally with such a moment arm. However I am marginally able to look vertical with the 25x100, since I only have to hold up a fraction of the 10 lbs weight above my eyes (and my forehead/face can also support the reduced effective weight (with no risk of getting black eyes like hand holding without any support which I attempted once 2 minutes for the North American one summer :lol:). So I think I will be able to look at the zenith with my 25x100 on a clear night (and then I'll try the easier 9&15x63 and smaller binos. Should be real comfortable for the relatively static "comet of the century". But the Orion paralleogram (which I returned) would probably have worked better for 9&15x63mm and smaller binos.

Used the Manfrotto Arm on with 25x100 binos and my zero gravity chair to look ar M42, Jupiter, and M45. It was basically a 3 handed operation. 2 hands required to hold 10 lb binos in place, and one to rotate the lock lever 180 degrees under alot of tension. Since I don't have 3 hands (or another helper), I had to hold binos with one hand and the lever in the other, and hence I got exhausted after 10 minutes, and never really able to lock in the desired position (but I did get close within a few degrees. The majic arm did provide some weight assist, but overall the mount was too wobbly under the 10 lb weight, and the image was way too shaky. Collimation of the binos got off with all the weard movements, and awkward to push tubes in and out to reallign while holding up above my eyes. The cold, thick clothing, and gloves didn't help either. I may try this once agian with my 25x100 in the summer with the Viel and North American.

However the next time I test the manfrotto arm it will be with my lighter 2.3lb 9&15x63mm Orion minigiant binos.

The arm appeared to be steady with binos removed. I kept the gravity chair in the garage, but easily removed the manfrotto arm to store inside since the warning label said not in the cold. Removing the arm from the chair was easier than removing the 25x100 binos from the arm, but this was my first time using it outside in the cold.

Question - If I was able to try first, would I still buy it. No, but I will not return it since it appears to look good for my other binos and camera. My garret monopod works best standing, and not so well when seated or lying down in the gravity free chair.

On 2/25/26 from 10-12PM in shadow (of my house) of the rising full moon, I evaluated the manfrotto majic arm on my zero gravity chair with both 2.3 lb Orion Mini Giant 9x63 and 15x63 binos. This time the arm was failry steady with the lighter weight. The 180 deg arm locking devise involved uncomfotatale contortion of your body/arm and required excessive force, but the long steady vews were worth it. I looked at M42, M45, Jupiter with part of the Hyades, and briefly (unlocked) at M36/M38 in same view near zenith. I did want to look at the latter longer, but with these dim objects (of the full moon shadow sky background), I lost the objects every time I locked the arm with 3 attempts. The brighter objects were easier to keep in view while locking the arm (or tweaking it after to get back in central view). The manfrotto arm is good for long steady views of few objects. I am more a quick view of finding lots of objects observer, so I still prefer the Garrett pistol grip monopod. The garrett monopod with quick connect/disconnect also allowed for much easier swapping of the binos than the manfrotto arm. The first time I swapped binos with the amfrotto arm I remained seated, and it was dificult alligning the bracket with the blind hole of the bracket; so the rest of the time I snaked out behind the system and swapped binos from the front and then snaked back in. The object remained pretty close to the same FOV while interchanging binos, and I did not have to release and relock the arm. For these (and lighter binos) the manfrotto arm works well and I can finally look at the zenith comfortly and steady. Can't wait for summer with North American and Viel to give these and my 25x100 one more try.

P.S. I also evaluated 10 new colored filters from Meade sale ($40) along with skyglow, ultrablock, OIII, Orion Mars, Denk planet, and Televue Bandmate Mars-B on both Jupiter and the full moon with 17.5" f4.1 and Denk II binoviewers and Multiplier OCS with the MH (no additional lenses) and LL, LM, ML dual powerswith modes. For the most part I had the Bandmate Mars B filter in the left eye swapping out the other filters in the right eye (what is in the right eye does shift perceived color of left eye pulling to the right eye color). In general Jupiter looked better in lighter color filters, and the full moon looked best in the darker colors. Best filter for Jupiter showing most bands was 82A very light blue and 11 yellow green. I preferred the cooling blue effect of the moon with 38A dark blue and 47 Violet. Note Violet was so dark I could harly see Jupiter, and although they advertise this for Venus, it may just work for the bright full moon (and I have a 17.5" dob!). Skyglow, Bandmate Mars B also were close runner ups for Jupiter. It was a fun warm(er) winter night requiring no facemask ;)

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