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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

Binocular Tripod Adapters (1 Viewer)

Tringa45

Well-known member
Europe
The relaxing view achieved by putting a binocular on a support can be something of a revelation and, for magnifications of about 12x upwards, a support is almost a necessity.
A tripod will eliminate all six degrees of freedom and a monopod will eliminate vertical movement and restrict some of the others, in particular pitch and roll, to use the nautical terms.
For the monopod a simple tilt head like the Manfrotto 234 or Sirui L10 is all that's needed, but the tripod will require a friction ball head with panorama function or, better still, a 2-way video head.
Apart from amateur astronomy and boosted resolution measurements, a tripod can be useful in some birding situations. At one particular site where a stretch of water is inaccessible I have often set up my 10x bins on a second tripod next to the scope just for long-term observation of what flies in, and have then switched to the scope for a closer look or ID.
Disregarding the Manfrotto clamp (I would be a little wary of using this), binocular adapters can be divided into hinge type and platform type. Many Porro and roof prism binoculars have a 1/4"x20 female thread at the front of the hinge, which allows the attachment of an adapter with a knurled screw. A disadvantage with roof prism binoculars with large objectives is that the minimum IPD is often increased, making them unsuitable for some users. A variation is the attachment of a stud to the front thread allowing the binocular to be fixed to the adapter via a flip lever. This was used with the 15x60 Docter Nobilem, Swarovski 15x56 SLCs andthe Outdoorsmans adapters.
Some hinge adapters clamp around the hinge tube like the dedicated adapter for the Nikon WX. This particular one though is very flimsy and vibration prone. Why mill out parts of the adapter to save weight, when the binocular weighs 2,5 kg?
Platform adapters are a practical solution for roof prism bins and the only disadvantage is that the IPD cannot be adjusted when they are mounted. I have used the Leica adapter for many years and it allows very rapid attachment. There are two wide "V"s front and rear to position the right barrel. The left barrel rests on a neoprene pad and the binocular is secured with a rubber strap. It will take anything from an 8x32 (the 8x30 CL is too small) up to a 15x56 Conquest HD, which was literally a bit of a stretch. Contrary to some comments I have read, the Leica provides a very secure and stable base.
The Swarovski UTA (universal tripod adapter) is similar but apparently only recommended up to 42 mm. It has an integral Arca-Swiss compatible foot.
The Zeiss Binofix is IMHO not very well thought out and is much too expensive. Years ago I wanted to check out a 15x56 SLC Neu and the dealer couldn't find the dedicated adapter. We tried fitting it via a Binofix but couldn't secure it firmly. It also places the centre of gravity much too high, increasing the danger of flopping over centre.
In anticipation of getting an 8x56 SLC I ordered the Berlebach adapter. It turned out that the big SLC can be fitted quite comfortably to the Leica adapter and that it is prone to rock on the flat rubberized roof surfaces of the Berlebach. It would be OK for bins with cylindrical or straight tapered barrels but perhaps Berlebach should remove some material from the centre to provide a firm location for bins with curved barrels.
It would be interesting to hear of other user's experiences.

John
 

tenex

reality-based
For the sake of completeness one should mention that porroprism binoculars generally accept clamp-type adapters on their hinge; Nikon still makes an excellent one. (The Nobilem required a different solution due to its long central focus wheel.)

For roof prisms like SLC 56 we now use a universal rubber-strap model made by BOGgear, which cost about $35 and works very well. I didn't want a dedicated adapter because I naturally carry the SLC in one hand with the hinge end resting on my fingers and wouldn't appreciate a metal protrusion there.
 

Hauksen

Forum member
It would be interesting to hear of other user's experiences.
Hi John,

Here's another adapter that doesn't quite fit the previous descriptions:


It needs to be tailored to the binoculars in question, but as it's 3D printable, that's fairly easy to do.

I guess this forum-inspired one is of the platform type ...


Regards,

Henning
 

Pinewood

New York correspondent
United States
The relaxing view achieved by putting a binocular on a support can be something of a revelation and, for magnifications of about 12x upwards, a support is almost a necessity.
A tripod will eliminate all six degrees of freedom and a monopod will eliminate vertical movement and restrict some of the others, in particular pitch and roll, to use the nautical terms.
For the monopod a simple tilt head like the Manfrotto 234 or Sirui L10 is all that's needed, but the tripod will require a friction ball head with panorama function or, better still, a 2-way video head.
...
Disregarding the Manfrotto clamp (I would be a little wary of using this), binocular adapters can be divided into hinge type and platform type. Many Porro and roof prism binoculars have a 1/4"x20 female thread at the front of the hinge, which allows the attachment of an adapter with a knurled screw...
Some hinge adapters clamp around the hinge tube like the dedicated adapter for the Nikon WX. This particular one though is very flimsy and vibration prone. Why mill out parts of the adapter to save weight, when the binocular weighs 2,5 kg?
Platform adapters are a practical solution for roof prism bins and the only disadvantage is that the IPD cannot be adjusted when they are mounted. I have used the Leica adapter for many years and it allows very rapid attachment. There are two wide "V"s front and rear to position the right barrel. The left barrel rests on a neoprene pad and the binocular is secured with a rubber strap. It will take anything from an 8x32 (the 8x30 CL is too small) up to a 15x56 Conquest HD, which was literally a bit of a stretch. Contrary to some comments I have read, the Leica provides a very secure and stable base.
The Swarovski UTA (universal tripod adapter) is similar but apparently only recommended up to 42 mm. It has an integral Arca-Swiss compatible foot.
The Zeiss Binofix is IMHO not very well thought out and is much too expensive. Years ago I wanted to check out a 15x56 SLC Neu and the dealer couldn't find the dedicated adapter. We tried fitting it via a Binofix but couldn't secure it firmly. It also places the centre of gravity much too high, increasing the danger of flopping over centre.
In anticipation of getting an 8x56 SLC I ordered the Berlebach adapter. It turned out that the big SLC can be fitted quite comfortably to the Leica adapter and that it is prone to rock on the flat rubberized roof surfaces of the Berlebach. It would be OK for bins with cylindrical or straight tapered barrels but perhaps Berlebach should remove some material from the centre to provide a firm location for bins with curved barrels.
It would be interesting to hear of other user's experiences.

John
Hello John,

I find that even a 10x binocular needs the support of a monopod. I have avoided the 'L' type adapters because of vibrations and what I consider to be a mechanically unreliable arrangement. It seems that a fall could rip the adapter out of the binocular. For my 10x, I have an Nikon adapter which resembles a sandal, and as yuou do, it sits on a tilt head attached to the monopod. This adapter seems well suited for smaller binoculars. I have my 12x50 binocular mounted with the Leica adapter, which satisfies all my bird watching needs. For astronomy much above the horizon, I run into trouble, but that would also be true of a tripod. My 15x60 is mounted on a tripod with the proprietary Zeiss adapter, which clamps to the axle, and which works well for bird watching and other nature observing.

Stay safe,
Arthur
 

pete_gamby

Birds? What Birds?!
In response to someone asking for a tripod mount for a small monocular (no, I have no idea why you would need that either), we found this:

ChromLives Super Clamp Photography Camera Crab Clamp: Amazon.co.uk: Camera & Photo

It also works with some compact binoculars provided the base of the clamp parts is level and/or mounted on a small-ish tripod plate (the Manfrotto Pixi in the pictures has a small circular top plate).

Photos attached of it with various of our 25mm compacts, 32mm binos, a 42mm monocular and the Swarovski EL 32mm, CL Companion and CL Pocket.
 

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Hermann

Well-known member
I use the Berlebach with most roof prism binoculars, usually on a monopd. However, I don't attach the bins to the Berlebach, I normally just put them on top. The reason for this is that I'm much more flexible and faster in case some bird flies by.

For my porros I usually use the old Zeiss adapter for the 15x60. that adapter works very well indeed.

Hermann
 

fotbg

Member
The relaxing view achieved by putting a binocular on a support can be something of a revelation and, for magnifications of about 12x upwards, a support is almost a necessity.
A tripod will eliminate all six degrees of freedom and a monopod will eliminate vertical movement and restrict some of the others, in particular pitch and roll, to use the nautical terms.
For the monopod a simple tilt head like the Manfrotto 234 or Sirui L10 is all that's needed, but the tripod will require a friction ball head with panorama function or, better still, a 2-way video head.
Apart from amateur astronomy and boosted resolution measurements, a tripod can be useful in some birding situations. At one particular site where a stretch of water is inaccessible I have often set up my 10x bins on a second tripod next to the scope just for long-term observation of what flies in, and have then switched to the scope for a closer look or ID.
Disregarding the Manfrotto clamp (I would be a little wary of using this), binocular adapters can be divided into hinge type and platform type. Many Porro and roof prism binoculars have a 1/4"x20 female thread at the front of the hinge, which allows the attachment of an adapter with a knurled screw. A disadvantage with roof prism binoculars with large objectives is that the minimum IPD is often increased, making them unsuitable for some users. A variation is the attachment of a stud to the front thread allowing the binocular to be fixed to the adapter via a flip lever. This was used with the 15x60 Docter Nobilem, Swarovski 15x56 SLCs andthe Outdoorsmans adapters.
Some hinge adapters clamp around the hinge tube like the dedicated adapter for the Nikon WX. This particular one though is very flimsy and vibration prone. Why mill out parts of the adapter to save weight, when the binocular weighs 2,5 kg?
Platform adapters are a practical solution for roof prism bins and the only disadvantage is that the IPD cannot be adjusted when they are mounted. I have used the Leica adapter for many years and it allows very rapid attachment. There are two wide "V"s front and rear to position the right barrel. The left barrel rests on a neoprene pad and the binocular is secured with a rubber strap. It will take anything from an 8x32 (the 8x30 CL is too small) up to a 15x56 Conquest HD, which was literally a bit of a stretch. Contrary to some comments I have read, the Leica provides a very secure and stable base.
The Swarovski UTA (universal tripod adapter) is similar but apparently only recommended up to 42 mm. It has an integral Arca-Swiss compatible foot.
The Zeiss Binofix is IMHO not very well thought out and is much too expensive. Years ago I wanted to check out a 15x56 SLC Neu and the dealer couldn't find the dedicated adapter. We tried fitting it via a Binofix but couldn't secure it firmly. It also places the centre of gravity much too high, increasing the danger of flopping over centre.
In anticipation of getting an 8x56 SLC I ordered the Berlebach adapter. It turned out that the big SLC can be fitted quite comfortably to the Leica adapter and that it is prone to rock on the flat rubberized roof surfaces of the Berlebach. It would be OK for bins with cylindrical or straight tapered barrels but perhaps Berlebach should remove some material from the centre to provide a firm location for bins with curved barrels.
It would be interesting to hear of other user's experiences.

John
I use outdoorsmans. Easy to install and quick to remove your binoculars on and off
 

Patudo

Well-known member
The relaxing view achieved by putting a binocular on a support can be something of a revelation...

You can say that again! It's frankly a little ridiculous just what even an 8x is capable of when totally stabilized. That absolutely effortless, settled view really is a thing of beauty - truly something to behold. The only way to achieve something like that hand-held is via image stabilization - a binocular you can hold steady, viewed with elbows braced, will give excellent stability, but still cannot achieve that sensation of absolute stillness and tranquility.

I've used the 10x50 WX tripod mounted on several occasions - I agree the WX tripod mount could be better and a situation where you contending with wind and weather would leave much to be desired, but fortunately the circumstances under which I used it were much friendlier. The big beast is already pretty impressive hand-held, but on a tripod its sensational optical performance can be appreciated to the full. But... I think almost any binocular is something else when tripod-mounted or otherwise stabilized (rested on window bars at just the right height etc). I've used a few of my binoculars (8x30 to 12x50B) in that latter position and the difference compared to hand held has been quite something. The further and/or the more difficult the target, the more pronounced the advantage of steadiness is.
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

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