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Tripod head for binoculars

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I'm looking for a head to use with my 15x70 binoculars and a photographers tripod. Can anyone recommend a good option - the ones I've seen don't look like they'd get the job done at high altitudes.  Do people just use standard ball-head mounts or something else? 

Alternatively, I've got an alt-az mount I could use instead - would I be better off getting an L bracket thingy, and if so can anyone point me in the right direction there! 




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MrsG uses a second hand Manfrotto 222 'joystick' head on her binoculars but they're not great when used for high targets.

A reclining chair and a monopod (to give a fixed point) may be a better option.

The gold standard for binoculars at high altitude is a parallelogram mount with a counterweight as that allows you to stand underneath the binoculars without the tripod getting in the way. But that's £££ and faff.


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I, too, use a monopod and reclining chair, with my 15x70 binoculars. The monopod takes most of the weight, and small body movements help me to scan a section of sky. A tripod, with only one leg extended, often makes a reasonable monopod substitute.


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I'm quite pleased for my 16x70 APM binoculars (2.25 kgs) with a Manfrotto 701 HDV video fluid head, attached to a vintage lightweight photographic tripod with a center crank column. The medium size fluid head allows very smooth movements in both axes, and (it's rated for 4 kgs load) handles  my vintage Wachter 14x100 (3.1 kgs) as well without problems. Sitting on an ordinary garden chair, or on my Füssener astro-chair, I can reach, extending the center column and leaning back, easily altitudes of 75°. The total weight of the tripod/head/binos combo is below 5 kgs,  Moreover, I can swap the binos for the 80/400 Vixen frac, e.g. for solar white light observations.


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  • 2 weeks later...

I too use a pistol/trigger grip for my binoculars too on either my camera tripod or one of three monopods.


Should you decide to use an 'L' bracket or monopod, 3/8" to 1/4" reducers are a must have. I purchased a multi-buy pack of the ones shown below, should I lose one [it worked out cheaper than buying one or two]. Other threaded reducer types are also available.


Below is the pistol/trigger user guide/manual [.PDF] written by SGL'er @BinocularSky / Stephen Tonkin on how to use it, maintenance, etc.


Edited by Philip R
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