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Old Wednesday 1st March 2006, 16:24   #1
Peter_Perfect
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Car window mount - are they any good?

Car window mount - are they any good?

I recently bought an Opticron 40502 car window mount for my spotting scope and although it is well made and looks the part, for all practical purposes I found it useless. As when my eye was at the eyepiece the scope was pointing up too high for what I needed.

For the window mount to be useful, it should allow the scope to be pointed horizontally. Things that will make this difficult if not impossible are:

1) The person viewing is short, at 5' 10" I am above average.
2) The spotting scope is an angled type, a lot are bought these days.
3) The lenght of the eyepiece, zoom eyepiece is a lot longer than a fixed.
4) The height of car window sill, relative to the height of the car seat.
5) The minimum height of car window mount, this being 12cm for the Opticron.

On looking at the Opticron design no thought seemed to have been put into keeping this height to a minimum. In fact the model seems to be an OEM unit with the Opticron logo put on it. I was not overly taken with other designs I saw. I guessed that with some thought, little seemed to
have been used so far. This height could be reduced considerably.

***Tried pillow on the seat, but my head touches the car roof.

Have others found car window mounts as difficult to use effectively, as I have?
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Old Wednesday 1st March 2006, 17:56   #2
Henry B
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Peter , I use the Opticron window mount with no problems, and also have es80 angled scope .
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Old Sunday 12th March 2006, 21:52   #3
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I use the Opticron mount with a Leica 77. Love it's simplicity. Spend a lot of time using it in order to draw birds.
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Old Sunday 12th March 2006, 22:14   #4
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My friend was afraid of the opticron window mount causing a strain on the glass of his window and breaking it, so his wife made him a large bean type bag which works fine. He puts it on the door with window down and his scope just rests on it.

I am waiting for her to make me one!!!
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Old Monday 13th March 2006, 20:37   #5
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Had the Opticron on 6 different cars over the years with heavy telephoto lens and Leica 77. Windows seemed ok afterwards! Have faith. Some other mounts push the scope up too far and you may need a booster cushion!!!
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Old Monday 13th March 2006, 20:50   #6
Woodchatshrike
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Its not the most confortable with the handle quite short and I find the angle of the handle a little shalow but I have reasonably successfully seawatched and goosewatched with mine. I have never done any damage to my car with it even using a big Kowa.
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Old Wednesday 26th April 2006, 17:29   #7
Tony Knight
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I am looking to buy a car adapter - this thread is solely about the opticron - presume this fits all brands of scope - i have a Kowa 824. Is there a better adapter for a similar price ?
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Old Wednesday 26th April 2006, 22:55   #8
Stewart J.
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I've had an Opticron window mount since they were first on the market and have experienced no problems with car windows or various scopes over the many years since, present scope is an angled Leica 77. That said since purchasing the Leica (my first angled one) I've used it on MPV's so have the advantage of improved window height over a car.

Should fit your scope ok Tony thread is 1/4 BSW which is the universal standard for all optical equipment.

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Old Thursday 27th April 2006, 06:29   #9
Tony Knight
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Stewart

Thanks - i will order one today - needed for Lesvos next week !

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Old Thursday 27th April 2006, 06:33   #10
Jos Stratford
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I use all one with my (straight) scope ...brilliant and especially in winter when it's sub-zero much better than being outside. Avoid using the electric window with a heavy scope - on last car the electric window mount went, maybe 'cos of scope. That said I still use the electric window to adjust height of scope :)
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Old Thursday 27th April 2006, 11:26   #11
Tony Knight
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Jos

thanks for the advice.
I'm sure I'll be in touch at some point about birding out your way as I'm already thinking about a trip for next spring as I have never been to that part of the world - presumably much better in spring than early september ???

sorry off at a tangent there

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Old Thursday 27th April 2006, 11:30   #12
Jos Stratford
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Knight
I am looking to buy a car adapter - this thread is solely about the opticron - presume this fits all brands of scope - i have a Kowa 824. Is there a better adapter for a similar price ?

I use the Ace Optics (Bath) model ...has served me well for a good few years now. I got it free when I bought a scope from them, but I believe it prices favourably with the Opticron


PS Tony, September can be brilliant too, as migration is in full swing, esp the early part of the month, but on balance May has a lot more 'specials' as far as someone from western Europe would consider.
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Old Thursday 27th April 2006, 13:03   #13
MikeEvans
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Smile

If money's tight, and you really want a car window clamp, then you'll not find a cheaper option than this one from 7dayshop.com which cost me a mere £16.94 including delivery!!!

http://www.7dayshop.com/catalog/prod...ducts_id=99648

Having said that, the head itself is not much cop, it's cheap and plastic and I found the handle would occasionally foul the window and prevent me pointing the scope exactly where I wanted it. I'd imagine that the opticron clamp would have the same problem, but I can't be sure.

If you've got a bit more to spend, or if you have a half decent head on your main tripod, then....

Buy one of these anyway!!! The window clamp part is well designed and robustly made from aluminium. It has a standard 3/8" thread and isn't disimilar to the Manfrotto 243 window clamp, just a heck of a lot cheaper. Unscrew the cheap plastic head from the top (undo the two hidden grub screws in the clamp part first!) and voila - your car window now sprouts the same mounting attachment as your tripod does.

If you've not got a head already then perhaps the Manfrotto 390RC2 would be a good choice - they're 33.99 from devon cameras and the total cost is not all that much more than just going for the opticron or bushnell mounts. I managed to find a second hand 700RC2 cheap on eBay - works really well on the clamp and I find myself using the car as a hide a fair bit now, both with an old Mighty Midget 20x50 which lives in the car, and with a Nikon ED82A that the clamp/head manages perfectly.

I've got an opticron hide clamp which uses the same head as their car mount, and it's a very simple design, it works, but just isn't the same as a 'proper' head - especially with a heavy scope like the Nikon.
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Old Saturday 28th October 2006, 14:38   #14
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Where are the grub screws?

OK, so where are these grub screws? I've got the clamp and I've searched - I haven't removed it yet but are they under the cork?
Thanks
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Old Monday 30th October 2006, 08:30   #15
MikeEvans
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duster
OK, so where are these grub screws? I've got the clamp and I've searched - I haven't removed it yet but are they under the cork?
Thanks
Duster
Picture the clamp set up on your car window, and picture yourself looking vertically up into the bottom of the clamp. Open the clamping screw fully, and facing you is a piece of cork-effect plastic/rubber stuff (i.e. lying horizontally when the clamp is in position on the window, and protecting the window top, not the piece attached to the moving part of the clamp). Carefully peel it off with a small flat-bladed screwdriver, or a craft knife - don't worry too much if it breaks, you can always glue it back in place. Once it's off, you should be able to see the heads of the grub screws.

If this makes no sense, it probably means they've changed the design!
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Old Tuesday 7th November 2006, 20:37   #16
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It makes sense - I have them, thanks
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