For a long time I had struggled with figuring out how best to use medium-powered straight-through binoculars such as the Maven B5 15x56 and the Nikon 18x70. I have a natural tendency to dislike tripods in general. Needing to wear glasses for astigmatism correction, and thus needing every last bit of usable eye relief offered by each instrument, makes putting up with tripods an even less appealing proposition. As such, for a long time I mostly used those 15x and 18x instruments hand-held. Obviously, that's not the best way to use them due to the inevitable shakes.
Sometime in the past few months I bought a Coman monopod that came with a small fluid head and three small, collapsible legs:
I've recently started using this monopod with my Canon 15x50 IS (with 1.6x front boosters) and found it to be a perfect match for the Canon. The three small legs allow the monopod to stand on its own, sort of like a mini tripod. When I need to view targets higher up in the sky, I simply extend the length of the monopod and pull it towards me such that it rests on two of its three legs. In other words, this monopod can be used like a mini tripod or a mini bipod. It's not as rock-steady as a proper tripod but that's precisely where the Canon with is IS technologies comes in to fill in the gap in stability. Thanks to this mini tripod-bipod-monopod-fluid-head combo, I now have a very portable observing machine that can work at 15x or 24x. The whole setup weighs about 3.3 kg or 7.3 lbs, lightweight enough that I can easily take with me anywhere.
Inspired by this success, I've tried using the Coman monopod with some of my other medium-powered binoculars and found it to work pretty well too.
(1) Fujjinon FMT-SX 10x50, weight.= 1.4kg
(2) Maven B5 15x56, weight = 1.25kg
(3) Nikon 18x70, weight = 2kg
For me the Coman monopod is the little pod that could. It's saved me from so much frustration when dealing with tripods for my mid-powered binoculars.
What's your monopod setup like?
Edited by MT4, 16 September 2021 - 10:46 AM.