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Alma

Mounting Bins with a Manfrotto Magic Arm

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I'm thinking of buying one of these for some camera work to be fixed to my Manfrotto camera/video tripod.

Manfrotto Variable Friction Arm W/Bracke - Arms

Just wondering - has anyone tried mounting binoculars on one and used it from a reclining position? It wouldn't have the freedom of movement of a parallelogram mount, but looks like it might be sturdy enough to hold a few llbs and combined with something like a ball head seems like it might be quite usable.

Haven't found anything on the Net showing it being used in this fashion, so maybe a non-starter. Thanks.

Alan

Edited by Alma

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Thanks Perry - interesting article and Gary Seronik knows what he's talking about so could be worth a try. I would have thought the Magic Arm would be more flexible, but no one seems to have tried it with bins so not really sure. If I do get one I'll post the results here ... if succesful.

Thanks again.

Alan

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Hi Alan. At summer I usually spend some weeks near the sea and I like to observe sometime all night long. Trying different set-ups of tripods, parallelogram with tripod and weight, monopod etc, and after some years, I have reach a conclusion and I use a Manfrotto Double articulated arm and a beach lounge chair with success!

- The articulated arm:

396B-3 Manfrotto 396B3 Double Articulated Arm, 3 Sections - with Camera Bracket

- I also use a Super clamp to securely mount it on the chair:

Karlu Photographic : Manfrotto Super Clamp 035 [035] - £22.46, Bowens, Colorama, Interfit & Lastolite Pro Dealers

- and a ball head for smooth movements.

Because of the lounge chair inclination I observe at zenith with no pain at neck. And no more tripod, weights and heavy equipment.

Map, red light, and you are ready for hours of effortless observation. And a sleeping bag just for a short nap under the stars, later!

Edited by pleiades

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Thanks Konstantinos - another excellent suggestion and one I will give serious consideration. This is the epitome of binocular stargazing for me ... relaxed viewing with simple equipment, no counterweights and electronics, etc... etc.

At the moment I use a Manfrotto 501 video head with my Fuji 16x70's but this has to be tripod mounted and of course isn't much good for viewing anywhere near the Zenith.

Based on some other posts elsewhere I'm slightly steering away from the Magic Arm and I'm thinking now of a monopod with Manfrotto/Bogen 222 Pistol Grip Ball Head. More portable and I could use a monopod for camera work too.

Haven't decided yet, so I will add your suggestion to the list.

Alan

Edited by Alma

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Thanks Konstantinos - another excellent suggestion and one I will give serious consideration. This is the epitome of binocular stargazing for me ... relaxed viewing with simple equipment, no counterweights and electronics, etc... etc.

At the moment I use a Manfrotto 501 video head with my Fuji 16x70's but this has to be tripod mounted and of course isn't much good for viewing anywhere near the Zenith.

Based on some other posts elsewhere I'm slightly steering away from the Magic Arm and I'm thinking now of a monopod with Manfrotto/Bogen 222 Pistol Grip Ball Head. More portable and I could use a monopod for camera work too.

Haven't decided yet, so I will add your suggestion to the list.

Alan

Hi Alan, may I ask why you cannot reach the zenith with the 501 video head? I use the same and have no problem reaching zenith!

Sent from my X10i using Tapatalk

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I find I can't get close enough to the binoculars with the 501 head pitched back at an angle of more than about 75 degrees - the tripod gets in the way. The only way I can get there is by tilting the tripod on 2 legs and still it's not very comfortable. I do use the 501 head reversed by the way, so that it's capable of rotating through 90 degrees.

I will still keep the 501 head though because at lower angles and for daytime and video camera use on a tripod, it's brilliant.

I saw the monopod/grip action ball head combo on bigbinoculars.com and it looks like a reasonably portable and usable solution, but perhaps only from a standing or slightly reclining seated position only, but even that I think would be easier (for me) than using the video head on a tripod.

I also saw a thread earlier on Cloudy Nights regarding the Magic Arm and it came to the conclusion that it's not a great solution for binoculars, so will probably can that idea.

Alan

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I use a Weifeng WT011H ball-head with my monopod. It's good, but you need to be aware that, if the binocular is held so that the L-bracket is horizontal, the turning moment may be such that the grip will be insufficient to hold the ball and the binocular will drop. This needn't be a problem if you are aware of it but, if it happens unexpectedly, you could get a couple of kilos of binocular remodelling the bridge of your nose. (The ball-head is rated for 4kg; my binocular is 2.5kg. The "issue" is that things like ball heads really need to be rated for turning moment, not just weight: e.g. 4kg acting 5cm from the centre of the ball exerts less turning moment than 2.5 kg acting 10 cm from the centre of the ball.)

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... I have reach a conclusion and I use a Manfrotto Double articulated arm

What weight of binocular can you use with this, Konstantinos?

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Steve, Manfrotto's specifications are for 4,5kg. Usually I load up to 2,5 kg with easy. I also have tested it, with 4,5 kg and was OK. But I have never observed all night long with this weight to see if there are weaknesses . I believe if somebody wants to load a little heavier than 4,5 kg can improve it, using a metallic blade to support more weight, like this in the picture.

spondiloticopy.jpg

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Thanks, Konstantinos; the binocular I am considering using it with is 2.5kg, so I might start saving...

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I use a Weifeng WT011H ball-head with my monopod. It's good, but you need to be aware that, if the binocular is held so that the L-bracket is horizontal, the turning moment may be such that the grip will be insufficient to hold the ball and the binocular will drop. This needn't be a problem if you are aware of it but, if it happens unexpectedly, you could get a couple of kilos of binocular remodelling the bridge of your nose. (The ball-head is rated for 4kg; my binocular is 2.5kg. The "issue" is that things like ball heads really need to be rated for turning moment, not just weight: e.g. 4kg acting 5cm from the centre of the ball exerts less turning moment than 2.5 kg acting 10 cm from the centre of the ball.)

Steve,

Just found this post, did some reading up and arising from that I then also found another - LINK

See pic of Manfrotto 222 loaded at an angle with a 5Kg lifter's weight! (It's rated for 2.5Kg - Yes 2.5Kg, not a typo on my part. LINK) Seems to be coping OK.

I can't read what looks to me like Polish, but it looks like that's what the text is saying.

I'd imagine this might be of interest! :icon_scratch:

Also looked at the maker's page for your grip LINK. It seems to differ from photos on your Binocular Sky pages, yours may be one of the other clones (mentioned on the Polish page) or simply another model that I did not find yet. Might be worth checking true capacities in that case, since you very likely have rather a lot of value riding on top of the grip.

Edited by Flying Eye
tidy up

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