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Inexpensive bino capable parallelogram; Things you find shopping for something else entirely...

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#1 markb

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 03:04 PM

Occasionally I find things useful for one purpose while shopping for another, as we all do.

 

This one was too attractive to pass up the opportunity to share it with the binocular users, particularly giants, out there.

 

I've had very good luck finding astronomy usable equipment amongst photography listings, particularly cases useful for tripods and OTAs.

While looking for a tripod dolly, another crossover use, I happened on an Amazon listing for the 'Neewer 70 inch aluminum alloy jib arm camera crane with quick shoe plate and counterweight for DSLR video cameras'. I have had mixed luck pasting Amazon links, but just search for Neewer aluminum jib arm crane, and it, and others, will pop up.

 

Darned if it doesn't look like a eminently usable 18 pound capable (one hopes) giant binocular parallelogram mount, for only $100!

 

My straight through binocular days are over, and one reason I abandoned their use was the expensive or hassle of
getting a parallelogram mount, so this jumped out at me.

 

The load capacity is just under 18 pounds, a kilograms, and it includes the counterweight arm and counterweight.

 

The two Neewer products I have bought, excellent cases for my 5" refractor, and my GPS11 tripod,neewer parallelogram.jpg were very good quality.

 

Perhaps worth a look.


Edited by markb, 12 November 2019 - 03:05 PM.


#2 photoracer18

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 03:14 PM

Well it looks very adjustable but not very dynamically adjustable. By that I mean changing positions and angles looks like it takes an inordinate amount of time due to its main purpose of locking everything down for taking pictures as opposed to rapidly scanning the sky.

Binos need to sit at right angle to where the image shows the camera mounted. And I see no way to easily change the vertical angle when mounted the bino way for changing your angle in the sky. Maybe an add-on ballhead might help but it won't be cheap for something to carry 18# at an acute angle to the ballhead. I used to work for an astro dealer than sold parallelogram mounts and I know alot about how they need to work.

One reason I picked 11x80s as my main astro binoculars is because they don't need any kind of mounting like 16-20x ones do to keep them steady. All you need to do is prop your elbows on your chest and you can use them for hours.


Edited by photoracer18, 12 November 2019 - 03:25 PM.

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#3 markb

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 03:28 PM

I thought about that, but usually those twist-lock extensions adjust easily, and a decent photo tripod head should be adaptable to the camera mount plate.

 

It is my hope this might help the budget users out there, commercial parollelograms are pricy, and straight through binos relatively cheap but tough to use. The ST pricing price draws in lots of budget buyers.

 

I sold my wonderful 20x80 UO'S because I just couldn't use them comfortably. Even a parallelogram would have been a risk, as you also need appropriate seating.

 

I solved my problem with 45 degree binos, but they aren't particularly cheap either.



#4 Astroman007

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 04:08 PM

Eh...Amazon. Eh...all that for only $100? I'd pass. undecided.gif

 

I don't like that tripod either. Actually, the whole thing looks cheap somehow. Could be just the photo, but I'm passing anyway.

 

You can go through a lot of crap for the price of one good, you know.



#5 jrbarnett

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Posted 13 November 2019 - 10:03 PM

Occasionally I find things useful for one purpose while shopping for another, as we all do.

 

This one was too attractive to pass up the opportunity to share it with the binocular users, particularly giants, out there.

 

I've had very good luck finding astronomy usable equipment amongst photography listings, particularly cases useful for tripods and OTAs.

While looking for a tripod dolly, another crossover use, I happened on an Amazon listing for the 'Neewer 70 inch aluminum alloy jib arm camera crane with quick shoe plate and counterweight for DSLR video cameras'. I have had mixed luck pasting Amazon links, but just search for Neewer aluminum jib arm crane, and it, and others, will pop up.

 

Darned if it doesn't look like a eminently usable 18 pound capable (one hopes) giant binocular parallelogram mount, for only $100!

 

My straight through binocular days are over, and one reason I abandoned their use was the expensive or hassle of
getting a parallelogram mount, so this jumped out at me.

 

The load capacity is just under 18 pounds, a kilograms, and it includes the counterweight arm and counterweight.

 

The two Neewer products I have bought, excellent cases for my 5" refractor, and my GPS11 tripod,attachicon.gif neewer parallelogram.jpg were very good quality.

 

Perhaps worth a look.

I looked at one of these setups for backpacking with binoculars.  Never gt around to buying one.  If you do, it'll be interesting to see if it works.  My suspicion (which is what held me back) is that it's going to be flimsy and shaky. 

 

Best,

 

Jim



#6 duck2k

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Posted 17 November 2019 - 12:00 PM

I built these mounts (from a kit provided by a CN Vendor) for under $200. I had to provide the piping, but they were wonderful projects and get a lot of use.  They are real solid.

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • 5F79E2FF-45CD-4FF2-A843-3C8A4FD8F3C4.jpeg

Edited by duck2k, 17 November 2019 - 12:07 PM.


#7 markb

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Posted 17 November 2019 - 04:32 PM

Homebuilt is always best!

Thanks for posting the photo, particularly with the chair, and referencing the kits

The suggestion was on point with my original post

I posted this only in the hopes it might point out an affordable way for someone to try a parallelogram mount, and get unused ST binoculars out of a closet! Not to replace higher end up units.

Lots of CN readers cannot build things (ability, lack of tools, etc), and not everyone can pop for a $400+ commercial unit, just like many folks get inexpensive (but nice these days) Chinese scopes instead of a Tak.

I do not believe it comes with a tripod, and the structure does seem about right for the claimed load.

Edited by markb, 17 November 2019 - 04:33 PM.


#8 Napp

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Posted 17 November 2019 - 04:46 PM

You can build a very capable parallelogram for under $100 - a lot under if you have access to some scrap wood and hardware.  It helps if you have a spare mount.  Also, cut out bearings from water or milk jugs.  Attached are pictures of mine.  I bought red oak, stainless steel hardware, teflon sheet and wood sealer so I spent about $100.  I got the counterweights from Walmart dirt cheap.  Notice in the second picture that my parallelogram has extra degrees of motion over the one you are considering.  I use mine for binoculars and the extra motions make a big difference.  There are many ideas here in Cloudy Nights and on the internet for parallelogram designs.  If you are the least bit handy you can build a good one for much less than buying.

Attached Thumbnails

  • 35C6BC6D-DA09-4D6F-92E6-6EC62F4A3871.jpeg
  • D6FA1A00-0FE3-482D-BA5C-8B22DD129973.jpeg

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#9 S.Boerner

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Posted 17 November 2019 - 04:57 PM

Notice in the second picture that my parallelogram has extra degrees of motion over the one you are considering.  I use mine for binoculars and the extra motions make a big difference. 

I can't stress how important it is to me to have that extra degree of freedom.  With it you can sit/recline in a zero gravity chair comfortably and see 1/3rd of the sky without having to move the tripod or chair.  Without it you constantly have to move in a circle around the tripod/parallelogram. 


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#10 markb

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Posted 17 November 2019 - 10:00 PM

Clever engineering, great post.

It does take skills some CNers don't have, but those that do would like it, I think.

The kit mentioned in the earlier post comes closest to a skill-free plan. Similar to the pipe thread scope mounts in plans from the 60s.

I never made one due to time constraints and the lack of decent woodworking tools.

Let me clarify, I sold all my ST binos and use only 45 degree 80 and 100mm binos on a medium duty alt az and an L bracket.


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