Bino/mount combo question
Posted 09 January 2013 - 01:49 PM
Are the concerns about such a slight degree of undermounting simply a matter of setting myself up for a frustrating observing experience or are my binoculars and mount at a greater risk for physical damage? The combo seems to be pretty steady.
Thanks for any guidance you can provide.
Posted 09 January 2013 - 03:24 PM
I will address the bank question.
I have the Oberwerk Deluxe III 20x80 but have been looking for some time for a mounting option that won`t break the bank.
You should have at least $350 to $400 in the bank for a new sturdy tripod, head, and kit (other stuff). Having twice that much (or more) in the bank will give you more options.
Definitely not good news--but I hope it addresses the all important (and thorny) bank issue.
Hopefully others will come along and address your other questions.
I love the smell of hyacinths -- they don't have any thorns.
Posted 09 January 2013 - 07:31 PM
I use older 11x80 and 16x70 on the paragon with a surveyor tripod, that seems upper limit but OK (maybe 5-6 pounds of binocular?).
You can fine tune the p-mount by adjusting all the hand-tighten knobs, and the nut that's partly hidden where the mount rotates in azimuth. Make sure there is no play where the arms attach to the center azimuth pivot; I found that thin washers placed under the Allen (hex key head) screws there and tightened down prevented a slight rocking as the binoculars were raised or lowered.
The weakest link or most annoying part with a heavier bino is probably the altitude hinge under the binoculars. You might balance that a little better (I think your model has a center post between the objectives) by sliding forward or back for neutral balance when pointing up.
If you are OK with how the mount works, being a pound over might add a little wobble or difficulty setting altitude (aiming binos higher or lower in sky) but won't prevent long term use.
Be sure to fully spread the tripod each time you set up just to make sure it doesn't get top-heavy with heavier binos and counterweight full extended.
Posted 11 January 2013 - 06:53 AM
Jay - Thanks for the great tips. Am I correct in concluding from what you said that you don't believe I'm likely to ruin either the binos or the mount by using them together as long as I take the usual precautions?
Posted 11 January 2013 - 03:22 PM
Also, one of the bino vendors linked here offered the Paragon described as a budget “you can get by with this” option for up to 7 or 7-1/2 pound binoculars, and said it was well suited to 5-lb models, back when I was researching 20x80 before finding used 16x70.
You’re pushing the limits, but the consequence is far more likely to be occasional frustration than damage to your gear.
I’ve never thought about modifying the altitude hinge or clamp used for aiming the binos up and down. You might improve this likely ‘weak link’ for smoother use with a heavy bino, or just use as-is carefully, keeping a firm hand on the binos to avoid sudden movement until clamp is tightened.
Make sure the counterweight fully balances the heavy binos. That will keep center of gravity centered on the tripod column, and also avoid sudden drops in the height of the p-mount. Do you need to add weight, or just make sure the counterweight bar is fully extended?
Loop the strap to upper part of p-mount, so that binos can’t fall to the ground if adapter is accidentally loosened (more of a concern for outreach than personal use).
Make sure the tripod leg height adjustments are locked, and tripod has all legs fully opened for greatest stability.
Increase height with legs before raising center column, for greatest resistance to tipping due to the added weight on top.
Enjoy your new binoculars and mount!
The Paragon will be the 'Rock of Gibraltar' if you try it with your 10x50's sometime...
Posted 11 January 2013 - 03:48 PM
I am sorry for causing all of the confusion.
Jay's tips are quite good. I have read that sometimes observers, in over-mounted situations, will buy sand bags at a home improvement or hardware store, pour out some of the sand so the bag flops a bit, and place one at the foot of each leg of their tripod. The bags lay both on the tripod foot and the ground, on the outside of the tripod foot, actually wrapping around a bit. The observers report this added weight at the bottom of the tripod support keeps the tripod from tipping. I have not tried this--only read about it.
A few times, I have over-mounted a support and have experienced tipping. This usually occurs when I am in a hurry to see a specific target, get careless when someone talks to me or asks a question wanting an immediate answer, or something goes "bump in the night." Fortunately, I have always sensed the tipping in time and steadied the mount before it tipped too far and all things went crashing to the ground or concrete. I guess that is why I always try to stay with the 50% support rule (note below) to keep everything steady and stable.
Note: The 50% support rule is to mount only 50% of the total maximum weight (advertised support). I sometimes refer to this 50% rule as Practical Maximum Weight of binoculars or scope for a given mount setup. In addition to preventing tipping, staying within the practical maximum support keeps movements to a minimum when your face or hands bump the mount. This is sometimes called tamp down time. EdZ, in some of his writings about mounts on this forum, actually reported a tamp down time (expressed in seconds) for a specific mount to return to a state of no movement, stars not dancing in the eyecups. You may be able to find his comments on your particular mount in the "Best Of" portion at the top of the Binoculars Forum. For those of us who have been hanging around this forum for several years, EdZ's test reports are legend, often quoted time and time again.
Posted 11 January 2013 - 08:00 PM
I would say this. The ramifications will be settling times. That only occurs when you move or bump the binocular. Once settled you should be fine. Yeh, it's probably undermounted, but it's what you have. Use it and take care not to be bumping your equipment.