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scope carrying

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Old Wednesday 14th April 2004, 21:16   #1
paj
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scope carrying

All

I hardly use my scope now as I prefer to travel light and don't like lugging loads of equipment around.

Does anyone know of an alternative to the tripod?
I was thinking of some kind of 'shoulder pod/brace' to which the scope could be attached and hung from the shoulder, then raised up to the eye as you would a rifle...much easier and lighter I would think than the usual scope/tripod setup.
I'm thinking of buying a 65mm scope for lightness and portability and then attach it to the shoulder pod, which I could then carry into the field along with my bins without feeling like Sherpa Tensing!!

Can anyone help? Are there any 'shoulder pods' (if that's what there called) available here in the UK?

Regards

paj
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Old Wednesday 14th April 2004, 22:12   #2
Jane Turner
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I routinely use the Cullmann shouderpod...and swear by it. You need a light short, straight-through scope though - Nikon filedscopes are great though 20x is the highest sensible magnification for free standing.

Brilliant for id of overhead specs!
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Old Wednesday 14th April 2004, 22:30   #3
paj
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Found this shoulder pod at eagle optics

http://www.eagleoptics.com/index.asp...rch=1&pid=1369

to give you an idea of what I'm after, but can we get the likes of this in the UK?

paj



Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianB
InFocus have a page where they suggest types of scope and it mentions shoulderpods http://www.at-infocus.co.uk/choosing_scopes.html. There is a Cullman shoulder/table pod available from Ace Optics http://www.acecameras.co.uk/asp/web/.../1/product.asp but I don't know how suitable it would be for a scope.

Last edited by paj : Wednesday 14th April 2004 at 22:36.
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Old Wednesday 14th April 2004, 23:01   #4
Jane Turner
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Paj... come to Red Rocks and have a go with my set up.. I got my Cullmann ooh 15 years ago and though it lost one of its mini tripod legs a few years back and its head tensioner 5 years ago, it still works fine as a shoulder pod! It also attatched to a standard tripod should you need extra steadiness, though to be honest if you sit down and rest your elbows on your knees you are as steady as a tripod anyway.
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Old Wednesday 14th April 2004, 23:24   #5
paj
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Jane

It was after seeing you at Meols watching the Hoopoe, using something like the thing I'm describing (though I didn't really take notice of it at the time), that got me thinking.
I may take you up on that offer as I never take my scope out these days unless I'm in a hide and I think a setup like this could give me more power available in the field when needed.

It struck home how useful it could be when you picked out the hirundines, something I couldn't have done with the bins alone because of the distance!!

By the way, take a look at this Yank version..if I attach it OK!!

[IMG]

paj

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jane Turner
Paj... come to Red Rocks and have a go with my set up.. I got my Cullmann ooh 15 years ago and though it lost one of its mini tripod legs a few years back and its head tensioner 5 years ago, it still works fine as a shoulder pod! It also attatched to a standard tripod should you need extra steadiness, though to be honest if you sit down and rest your elbows on your knees you are as steady as a tripod anyway.
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Last edited by paj : Wednesday 14th April 2004 at 23:27.
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Old Thursday 15th April 2004, 07:26   #6
Jane Turner
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That looks like it would achieve the same.. its just a little more complicated and presumably designed for cameras. If you have really long arms the Cullmann might be a little short - though I guess you could compensate using a longer scope. (oh no...that would make it worse...doh)

My first experience of using a shoulder pod was years back at a White-winged black Tern near Wigan. I was totally sold - there was no way you could follow the bird on a tripod mounted scope. A friend had a Bushnell spacemaster on the self-same Cumann shoulder pod... I've also used an Optolyth 20x60. I can never be arsed carrying a tripod unless I know I'm seawatching. Unless you carry it ready to use its always seems too late to set one up when you really should be looking at the disappearing bird and identifying it! I can bring the shoulder pod to bear as fast as bins and the huge friendly focusing wheel on the Nikon is easy to reach......the set up above would be fiddly with the top twiddle focusing mechanism. With an elbow say on a fence post its as good as a tripod for steadiness and you can use it directly overhead!

In summary - in situations where the bird is moving (esp erratically) you get a better view with the shoulder pod... if the bird is stationary then a tripod wins... but if you can brace yourself well, the shoulder pod is more than adequate.

Last edited by Jane Turner : Thursday 15th April 2004 at 07:29.
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Old Thursday 15th April 2004, 08:25   #7
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Have you thought of a monopod PAJ? I've got a Cullman shoulder pod but have never really got on with it. But I used my Manfrotto monopod on a 3-month birding trip when I was travelling light and thought it was much better. Best with small scopes though; the Kowa 611-14 series is ideal and substantially lighter than Nikon.

Sean
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Old Thursday 15th April 2004, 18:57   #8
John Fleet
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Another vote for a monopod - they cost buttons, weigh a fraction of that of a tripod, are much handier in a hide and in my experience there's nearly always something in the field to brace them against. In my case I simply swap my 3 way head from the tripod to the monopod if I'm going out biking or walking and take the scope too. Best with a relatively light scope (mines 70mm)..

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Old Thursday 15th April 2004, 21:16   #9
paj
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John and Dogfish

Monopod's a possibility but I think the shoulder pod still wins out on the speed of use and total freedom from any sort of leg to set up/extend.

paj


Quote:
Originally Posted by John Fleet
Another vote for a monopod - they cost buttons, weigh a fraction of that of a tripod, are much handier in a hide and in my experience there's nearly always something in the field to brace them against. In my case I simply swap my 3 way head from the tripod to the monopod if I'm going out biking or walking and take the scope too. Best with a relatively light scope (mines 70mm)..

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