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Making a spotting scope out of large binocular?

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#1 Northern

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Posted 24 July 2021 - 05:00 AM

I am considering buying a large binocular, 25x100, splitting it in two, and using one as a spotting scope. Selling the other.

 

Does anybody have an suggestion for a product, to attach it securely to a tripod head?


Edited by Northern, 24 July 2021 - 05:00 AM.


#2 Bkoh

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Posted 24 July 2021 - 06:25 AM

I am considering buying a large binocular, 25x100, splitting it in two, and using one as a spotting scope. Selling the other.

Does anybody have an suggestion for a product, to attach it securely to a tripod head?

You can buy a tripod collar, they are made for telephoto lenses. Usually they state the internal diameter, so find one that fits and it should work.

However the question is whether you will save much (or any) money over buying a used 80mm spotter, and also whether the compromises are worth it. Your makeshift scope will not be as sturdy, and optically it will suffer, most obviously in close focus - many spotters will focus to under 10m, a large-aperture binocular may not focus nearer than 20m.

Also at 25x, there will probably not be much advantage for 100mm vs 80mm unless you use it exclusively at dusk/dawn. Under normal daylight conditions an 80mm spotter would be just as good and much lighter.

Remember there is no free lunch - at the same manufacturing cost the spotter will be of far higher quality as the factory only has to buy one set of objectives, one eyepiece, and one focuser.

Edited by Bkoh, 24 July 2021 - 06:28 AM.

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#3 jprideaux

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Posted 24 July 2021 - 07:03 AM

You can buy a tripod collar, they are made for telephoto lenses. Usually they state the internal diameter, so find one that fits and it should work.

However the question is whether you will save much (or any) money over buying a used 80mm spotter, and also whether the compromises are worth it. Your makeshift scope will not be as sturdy, and optically it will suffer, most obviously in close focus - many spotters will focus to under 10m, a large-aperture binocular may not focus nearer than 20m.

Also at 25x, there will probably not be much advantage for 100mm vs 80mm unless you use it exclusively at dusk/dawn. Under normal daylight conditions an 80mm spotter would be just as good and much lighter.

Remember there is no free lunch - at the same manufacturing cost the spotter will be of far higher quality as the factory only has to buy one set of objectives, one eyepiece, and one focuser.


I agree with the above. There are lots of options with spotting scopes out there that are already set-up as most people like to use them. Most tripod collars suitable for a 100mm binocular half may cost up around $150 to $250 or so. The person you sell the other half to will also have to solve that mounting challenge as well. That will effect what you can get for it. If you later decide to sell your half, others ( or at least one other) will need to want it.
If you do decide that you want a dedicated spotting scope of 25x100 that can only focus at long distances and want to do this binocular disassembly, be sure to get the individually focusing version.

#4 PEterW

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Posted 24 July 2021 - 11:42 AM

I use my 45degree APM 70mm bins as my preferred daytime spotting option, giving nice ultrawide 30x views with out squinting eye strain. Not a cheap option, but why sacrifice the 2 eyed advantage? There are some good reasonable priced spotters out there. One issue with astro kit is they are normally made of metal, making them noticeably heavier than dedicated spotters, depends how portable you want to be.
I think the added cost and faff you will incur and the lack of any obvious advantage means you’re probably best off buying a second hand spotter (or a good cheap dedicated one- a few can take astro eyepieces so you can get nice wide views and avoid the dreaded narrow zooms that are normally fitted).

Peter

#5 PEterW

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Posted 24 July 2021 - 11:42 AM

I use my 45degree APM 70mm bins as my preferred daytime spotting option, giving nice ultrawide 30x views with out squinting eye strain. Not a cheap option, but why sacrifice the 2 eyed advantage? There are some good reasonable priced spotters out there. One issue with astro kit is they are normally made of metal, making them noticeably heavier than dedicated spotters, depends how portable you want to be.
I think the added cost and faff you will incur and the lack of any obvious advantage means you’re probably best off buying a second hand spotter (or a good cheap dedicated one- a few can take astro eyepieces so you can get nice wide views and avoid the dreaded narrow zooms that are normally fitted).

Peter

#6 Rich V.

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Posted 24 July 2021 - 12:08 PM

I'm with Peter here; after years of two-eyed bino "spotting" it's always better than with one eye, IMO, except perhaps for the portability aspect.  Probably don't need 100mms for most applications, though.  I use 22x70EDs as a spotter and they're great for the purpose, even if a little heavy, though.  I don't pack them for miles so it doesn't really matter to me.

 

Rich



#7 oldmanrick

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Posted 24 July 2021 - 01:20 PM

My Canon 18X50 IS binocular has largely replaced my spotting scope, even though the scope is 100mm and capable of much greater magnification.  The bino view is much more comfortable and makes up for much of the magnification difference.  I sometimes wish I had the spotter along when better definition at longer ranges is needed, although often in the daytime, atmospheric instability would render it no better than the 18X bino.

 

After using higher powered binoculars, I just can't go back to a mono spotting scope very easily.  I would leave the binocular intact and use it.

 

Rick


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#8 sevenofnine

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Posted 24 July 2021 - 07:58 PM

Buying a small Maksutov spotter is much easier, cheaper and makes more sense. They range from 70mm-127mm and are good for day or night use.  I use my Celestron C-90 as an all purpose telescope. Best of luck to you! waytogo.gif



#9 MartinPond

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Posted 27 July 2021 - 12:22 PM

Since most binoculars are about F4,  high power will show more aberration.

Binoculars favor field width over detail, and that's not an issue if the powers are lower.
If you are OK with 25x,

    which many spotters are,  you can use one of those

      universal adaptors with a strap,  since the body is big.

 

Most spotters can't use powers past 40--60x anway,

   since the atmospheric rippling  is worse in daytime looking horizontally.

 

Splitting   an independent-focus binoc pair is a lot easier than a center-focus would be.


Edited by MartinPond, 27 July 2021 - 12:32 PM.



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