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Potential "new" Binocular Mount?


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Someone I know has posted elsewhere that he is experimenting with a Neewer "Camera Crane" as a parallelogram mount. I think the idea may have potential, so I have ordered one and will experiment with it over the coming weeks. If it does what I think it may, we may have a low cost alternative for mounting light- to medium-weight binos (I'm not expecting the advertised 8kg payload capacity to be realistic).

I'll report here when I've thoroughly put it through its paces.

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Right-oh, here's the TL;DR version:

Needs tripod with rotatable centre post.
Needs some form of ball-head/pan-tilt head/trigger-grip head.
Packs away neatly into a small bag for storage and transport.
Has vertical range of ~80cm, so suitable for reclined and standing observing with same tripod height.

(payload = binocular + head)
Payload = 2kg: no need to tighten pivots. Pleasure to use.
Payload = 2.5kg: moderate pivot tightening required, but still elevates smoothly. Still pleasant to use.
Payload = 3.5kg; Pivots must be very tight. Still elevates smoothly, but feels like it's nearly at its limit. Vibrations take ~4 secs to damp down.

Could probably take up to about 4kg, but would be at its limit.

Good match to Amazon Basics tripod with Pistol grip head.

Overall: Definitely worth considering for binos up to around 2.5k.

Comprehensive review at https://binocularsky.com/binoc_reviews.php

Edited by BinocularSky
Typo
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17 hours ago, Stormbringer said:

Cheers for that mate ive ordered 1 up and see how it goes 

Let us know how you get on; I'd be keen to know if you agree with my assessment.

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21 hours ago, BinocularSky said:

Right-oh, here's the TL;DR version:

Needs tripod with rotatable centre post.
Needs some form of ball-head/pan-tilt head/trigger-grip head.
Packs away neatly into a small bag for storage and transport.
Has vertical range of ~80cm, so suitable for reclined and standing observing with same tripod height.

(payload = binocular + head)
Payload = 2kg: no need to tighten pivots. Pleasure to use.
Payload = 2.5kg: moderate pivot tightening required, but still elevates smoothly. Still pleasant to use.
Payload = 3.5kg; Pivots must be very tight. Still elevates smoothly, but feels like it's nearly at its limit. Vibrations take ~4 secs to damp down.

Could probably take up to about 4kg, but would be at its limit.

Good match to Amazon Basics tripod with Pistol grip head.

Overall: Definitely worth considering for binos up to around 2.5k.

Comprehensive review at https://binocularsky.com/binoc_reviews.php

Thank you for your excellent review, I have ordered one the strength of your detailed report as it looks like a very reasonable alternative to other available parallelograms. I will post my findings when I have set it up and put it through it’s paces. Thank you again Steve.

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To me it looks good but might also benefit from the addition of a small manfrotto type head at the business end to give more flexibility.

I bought a low priced one on amazon that only weighed in at 280gm but was rated up to 3kg, cost £38.

Reason i returned it was it was too small for my purposes but could be spot on for tripod adaptor post mounted bins. 

SmallRig Selection Tripod Fluid Head, Video Fluid Head with Quick Release Plate for Arca Swiss, Fluid Head for Mirrorless, SLRs Cameras, for GoPro, Phone Cage & Phone clip, Max Load 6.61lbs/3 kg -3259: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics & Photo

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16 hours ago, bomberbaz said:

To me it looks good but might also benefit from the addition of a small manfrotto type head at the business end to give more flexibility.

I bought a low priced one on amazon that only weighed in at 280gm but was rated up to 3kg, cost £38.

Reason i returned it was it was too small for my purposes but could be spot on for tripod adaptor post mounted bins. 

SmallRig Selection Tripod Fluid Head, Video Fluid Head with Quick Release Plate for Arca Swiss, Fluid Head for Mirrorless, SLRs Cameras, for GoPro, Phone Cage & Phone clip, Max Load 6.61lbs/3 kg -3259: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics & Photo

I reckon that would probably work, Steve, and it has the advantage of being lighter than the Kingjoy QB10 that I was using. I'd be wary of the 3 kg payload claim, though, for use with binoculars: the centre of mass of binoculars is usually further from the altitude axis than that of a camera, so the turning moment is greater, which can make high elevation use quite awkward.

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55 minutes ago, BinocularSky said:

I reckon that would probably work, Steve, and it has the advantage of being lighter than the Kingjoy QB10 that I was using. I'd be wary of the 3 kg payload claim, though, for use with binoculars: the centre of mass of binoculars is usually further from the altitude axis than that of a camera, so the turning moment is greater, which can make high elevation use quite awkward.

Tend to agree regarding the weight claim limit on any of the manfrotto type heads when using bins or scopes for that matter. (Found out the latter few weeks back when mounting a very light frac ota on another manfrotto tripod and mount rated at 1kg higher than the OTA}

Still reckon from my short memory of owning it, it would manage 2kg, maybe 2.5 at a push.

Although not a massive fan of amazon for various reasons, in this instance its a prime product so can be bought and returned postage free so that always helps. 

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Well it arrived mid week but only had a chance to play with it today

Overall quite impressed with it but feel it could do with heavier counterweights as i found using my celestron pro 15x70 bins it tended to want to sag unless i tightened the screws fairly tight

I also left the central collum of my amazon basics tripod loose so that it can spinon that axis 

I think it will be pretty good for use with my smaller 10,12 and 16x50 bins up to the 15x70's but heavier than those it may struggle unless i can get heavier counterweights for it and try it out

Any idea what makes of counter weights will fit ?

Overall tho it does seem a nice piece of kit so far but will need try it out in earnest under clear dark sky 👍

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29 minutes ago, Stormbringer said:

Any idea what makes of counter weights will fit ?

No, I'm unaware of any that are threaded like that. As an alternative, I did consider wrapping a bit of lead flashing over that foam bit on the counterweight arm, but haven't tried it yet.

I did note, though, that fully extended, the balanced payload is only slightly more than the 2kg of the counterweights, so if you have 4kg of kit on it, 4kg of counterweight should just about do it.

Edited by BinocularSky
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I was thinking along those lines of 4 kilo's of weight 

I may just use a bag on the supplied hook and add lead or stones to help ballance it better 

Or if theres ballance weights with a hole that size could use a 3 and lock with supplied 1kilo weight

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17 hours ago, Stormbringer said:

may just use a bag on the supplied hook and add lead or stones to help ballance it better 

I tried stuff hanging from the hook. Didn't like the oscillation set up when I moved it around the tripod (but you may be less intolerant than I 🙂  ).

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10 hours ago, Bkoh said:

I read the review and note the stated requirement for a tripod with rotating centre column as the jib has a fixed base. However you can add the rotating capability with a panning base like the one linked below:

https://www.amazon.com/Neewer-Panoramic-Aluminum-Panorama-Capacity/dp/B07T9KQZBF

Yes, some people are trying that. (But it's unavailable at the mo)

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Arrived yesterday, and amazingly was able to try it successfully last night (albeit briefly). Worked very well indeed, on the Amazon tripod with pistol grip (configured as you have in the review).

Lovely steady, relaxed views of Pleiades, M42 and various other delights in a clear sky at last, with my Nikon Monarch 8x56 😃

It’s just on the limit of “balanced” though, even with both counterweights (2kg). I’ll remove that bowl cup thingy and see if that makes a difference, otherwise just tape a (very) small amount of extra weight to one of the counterweights. I also unscrewed them, so almost at the end of their travel (but still safe).

I’m very impressed though, as finally I have something that will allow me to use these binoculars properly either on their own, or to complement my scopes in use 👍

Will try take photo of it all setup later and post here.

C8A289D6-E46D-464E-B762-C90DB78920A6.jpeg

Edited by HollyHound
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4 hours ago, HollyHound said:

I’ll remove that bowl cup thingy and see if that makes a difference

No matter how hard I try, this bowl cup will not come off... so, as I've currently got the pistol grip attached to the screw on that dovetail plate, and it's using a 1/4" to 3/8" adaptor (which isn't ideal for solidity), I've just ordered a Neweer Bowl adaptor (with 3/8" screw) so I will attached the pistol grip directly to that instead and see how that goes 🤔 

Photos to follow 👍 

Edited by HollyHound
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2 hours ago, Stormbringer said:

Theres a 3/8 screw in the dovetail mount you unscrew and change the 1/4 with and the 1/4 screws into the other hole in mount

You sir are a genius 😁

I would never have spotted that 3/8th screw attached on the side of the dovetail mount, but yes indeed there it was... I've swapped them over, so no need for that fiddly 1/4 to 3/8th adaptor 👍

As a bonus, I've also found that I can move the pistol grip fully towards the end (opposite the ball cup) and thus those extra two inches movement inwards, now means that the whole assembly balances perfectly with the 2kg weights... this is going to be so useful to properly bring my binoculars into the observing sessions 😀

1C4E5BA3-F6AF-4ABD-8853-FDEF4863FF40.jpeg

Edited by HollyHound
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Cloudy here now unfortunately and obviously too dark to take a photo of the whole assembly (will do this tomorrow), but just testing it within my office, this is now the most amazing setup... hold the pistol grip, move them up/down, unlock to swivel or tilt them and then release the grip... they just stay there, like they're floating in space ready for viewing 😁

I think I just need to wait until those panning heads are back in stock (the ones with 3/8th top and bottom) and put one between the mount and tripod and then I'll be able to move it fully around the whole sky with ease.... for now, there is enough swivel in the pistol grip to only require repositioning the tripod for major directional changes.

As a bonus, I can also see myself using this with my Panasonic Lumix S5 for photography too 🤔

This will totally transform the way I use these binoculars now... thanks to the OP and helpful posts on here for pointing me towards this unit 👍

Edited by HollyHound
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