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How do you carry your binoculars? (1 Viewer)

How do you carry your binoculars


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I bought a few Canon straps made of very slippery nylon, much like seatbelt material, and put both my left arm and head through at the same time so that they carry underneath my arm. Weight is well under control, they are very protected, and the slippery material makes it easy to slide them around in front for use, then back out of the way again. I walk too fast and am too active to be able to handle having them hanging down on my chest and bouncing around, which is also why I think of my 8x32 binoculars as large, but doable.
 
I bought a few Canon straps made of very slippery nylon, much like seatbelt material, and put both my left arm and head through at the same time so that they carry underneath my arm. Weight is well under control, they are very protected, and the slippery material makes it easy to slide them around in front for use, then back out of the way again. I walk too fast and am too active to be able to handle having them hanging down on my chest and bouncing around, which is also why I think of my 8x32 binoculars as large, but doable.
Interesting, I'd like to see that.
 
Interesting, I'd like to see that.
Kind of like this, except much higher, and on the other side. Wearing them that low would be impossible for me.

safari-carry.jpg
 
I did not expect to see the original neck strap wind up in the majority. I remember wondering why manufacturers bother even including a stap because so many I know use a harness. Come to think of it, no one I know uses the original strap as all use harnesses. I thought it was a near universal default. After switching to a harness I would never go back to the single strap. And after using a bino harness pack, I will probably only go back to a regular harness under special circumstances. One thing that makes sense to me now is the seeming majority preference for 32mm and other compact binoculars by folks here on bird forum. I can completely understand why that is now. If I were using the provided neck strap, I would also prefer a smaller lighter binocular. My first 8x42 binocular used to give me a neck ache after only a half day of use. That went away and I could go all day with my bins when I swiched to a harness and even more so with he chest pack.
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On a week long birding break earlier in January I didn’t see anyone using a harness on bird reserves/hot spots around the north coast of Norfolk. That was out of a sample of well over 100 individuals.
Only one birding friend of a group of approximately twenty people I know well and see regularly, uses a harness.
And, of the birding friends mentioned above, the preference is for 10x42 binoculars (Leica, Swarovski and Zeiss are the preferred brands).

I wonder how much of the perceived preferences you have observed are due to geographical location.
 
Kind of like this, except much higher, and on the other side. Wearing them that low would be impossible for me.

safari-carry.jpg
Over the last year I've found the Swarovski field pro system allows for easy adjustment and change from round the neck to bandolier in seconds. Bandolier for walking, around neck for watching.
 
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On a week long birding break earlier in January I didn’t see anyone using a harness on bird reserves/hot spots around the north coast of Norfolk [...]
I wonder how much of the perceived preferences you have observed are due to geographical location.
I was going to point out a similar idea. I usually go birding on my own, and frankly I rarely see people with binoculars. When I'm birding with the local Natural Park/Rangers/Birders/etc. it's 100 % neck strap.

On the only 2 day "group birding trip" I've done in my life, I must say that, out of 20 people, I did see 2 using a harness.

As for myself, I've tried using harnesses, regular (like thick straps) and Rick Young. The latter is nice. However, I simply find it's too much fuss, and then, I usually bring my backpack with me, and I find it interferes with the way the RY works. In addition to this, I find the RY works better with several layers of clothing, and where I live the weather is quite mild, so many times you're on a single layer. The result is quite clear: I stopped using the RY harness and I honestly don't know where I put it, since I don't miss it. Again, that's just me and my experience :)

So, what I do:

- When I'm "actively" birding, it's 100 % neck strap. Not necessarily the original/stock, since sometimes they're poor, or there are others I prefer. For example, I'm a big fan of the Pre-FP Swarovski strap that allows for quick and simple way of shortening/lengthen it and also is dead easy to attach/detach, because it uses a button/clip stile, unlike the fussy traditional method where you have to fiddle with the strap and loop it through a buckle. In fact, the "button system" this Swarovski strap uses is nothing new, it's an old system I've seen in porros from yesteryear and also the classic devices like the Swarovski Habicht (see picture) and the Leica Trinovid BA. I have two Swarovski straps, but I normally use more than 2 binoculars regularly, so I find myself changing strap quite often, and every time I do it, I find it so convenient and quick (and every time I have to do/undo a "normal" loop/buckle strap I think why on earth is not a common feature).

simpleoldthings_1-jpeg.1365264


- When I'm walking to/from a birding spot, or not actively birding, then I wear the binoculars in two different ways.
1. If it's a compact 8x32, I wear the case on my belt, which I find utterly comfortable and understated. I use the Nikon Monarch 7 8x30 case for anything from an Opticron Traveller 8x30, which is quite compact, to a not that small Swaro EL 8x32, or even 7x42 models, like a Leica Ultravid, or even porros like Nikon EII 8x30 or Kowa YF 8x30, in this case, the binoculars are on their side.
2. If it's a bigger model, like a x42 or the IS 12x36 that I use quite often, then I use the Swarovski Medium case that comes with the EL 8x32, but which also came with the 8x42 SLC and it's good for most sizes up to 42, even quite tall models like the Canon IS III 12x36, or I guess something like a 7x42/10x42 Zeiss Dialyt. I wear it bandolier style and I find the strap (safety belt style) is so long and comfortable, that I literally forget I'm wearing it.
Otherwise, they're on my backpack.

Exception to this rule is when I'm carrying a compact or pocket model (Zeiss Terra 8x25 or Opticron Traveller 8x32) and I need to do other stuff, say I'm carrying my babygirl on something like a Ergobaby carrier (on my chest). Then I use the binoculars without any strap at all, and simply keep them on my jacket pocket. Same for when I'm cycling, I keep the binoculars on my handlebar bag, without any strap, kept inside a cloth bag that came with a Bushnell, that I find convenient ,because it doesn't add bulk.
 
Plus they actually have two sizes to fit porros, one for 8x30s and one for 7x42s/10x40s. Very commendable, especially since he upgraded the rigging with triglides on the front straps for better adjustment.
I have three sizes, including one for 8x20's believe it or not. The straps are not padded and the whole rig is absolute minimum, so I can wear it beneath pack straps etc. and it's totally unobtrusive. If I'm birding for more than an hour or so, or carrying a daypack, or doing any sort of scrambling etc., I'll use it.
 
Plus they actually have two sizes to fit porros, one for 8x30s and one for 7x42s/10x40s. Very commendable, especially since he upgraded the rigging with triglides on the front straps for better adjustment.
Is there something similar like this for sale in Europe?
 
Is there something similar like this for sale in Europe?
I would shop at hunting venues, which is where 99.5% (i'm guessing) of the chest harness market is, at least in US. When hunting you can't afford to have anything swinging around, and of course stealth (quiet and camo) matters as well as protection from dirt, dust, and rain.
The BinoBro guy might ship international? Be sure to watch his video - the photos don't explain much. I find his website lacking...
 
I did not expect to see the original neck strap wind up in the majority. I remember wondering why manufacturers bother even including a stap because so many I know use a harness. Come to think of it, no one I know uses the original strap as all use harnesses
I see a lot of birders in my area using the original neck strap. I use a harness and feel it’s more comfortable than neck straps. I don’t think I’ve ever used the original strap with any bino I’ve had.
 
For me the neck strap around the neck is fine as long as I am wearing a hoodie or a coat. On longer outings or when I am just wearing a T-shirt I carry my binoculars like this:
KP001862.jpg
My anorak has a kangaroo pouch into which my bins slip easily when they're on the rucksack rig.
 
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With heavy binoculars, such as 20x80 or 18x50 IS I always use the original strap around my neck.

With lighter binoculars either the original strap around my neck or just hands no strap attached.

With 10x25 binoculars maybe the original strap is attached but I don't use it.
I carry the binocular in my pocket without a case.
When viewing just my hands.

With compact camera, no strap. Camera in my pocket and instant use. It takes less than 2 seconds to get a photo.

With large camera original thin neck strap, adjusted very carefully so that I can wrap my elbow around strap and brace the camera. Considerable force is needed but I haven't broken a strap or camera attachment.
I sometimes managed 1 second exposures pretty well and 1/15 second always with standard lens.
No image stabiliser.

I once managed a 4 second exposure with Minolta mk2 110 camera. Very sharp amazingly.

With Broadhurst Clarkson 25-40x55 drawtube spotting scope the leather strap was over one shoulder and leather case used. For several years I carried this scope.
Used without tripod.

Regards,
B.
 
@jafritten I love this, it is something I must definitely try. Ever since I first saw it here on BF (I think it was also a user of UV 7x42, but if I remember correctly he was from the Netherlands, amazing coincidences in bino choice).
Also agree about the difference of carrying a neck strap with a T-shirt or with something thicker like a coat, jacket, etc.

Could be be so kind to remind me the brand/model of the small black/red attachment pieces. I assume they're originally made for cameras, aren't they?
Thanks!!!
 
@jafritten Thanks a lot, that was it! I had found it in the meantime... and also our Dutch fellow forum member (Hermann66) who came up with the same idea... also for a 7x42 UV!! How funny is that, what are the odds with the amazing amount of different binocular brands and models! :)

The other thread is here: Attach binoculars to backpack.

4db04c03-d06b-4591-a605-89e978b802f5-jpeg.729123
 
@jafritten Thanks a lot, that was it! I had found it in the meantime... and also our Dutch fellow forum member (Hermann66) who came up with the same idea... also for a 7x42 UV!! How funny is that, what are the odds with the amazing amount of different binocular brands and models! :)

The other thread is here: Attach binoculars to backpack.

4db04c03-d06b-4591-a605-89e978b802f5-jpeg.729123
That
@jafritten Thanks a lot, that was it! I had found it in the meantime... and also our Dutch fellow forum member (Hermann66) who came up with the same idea... also for a 7x42 UV!! How funny is that, what are the odds with the amazing amount of different binocular brands and models! :)

The other thread is here: Attach binoculars to backpack.

4db04c03-d06b-4591-a605-89e978b802f5-jpeg.729123
That is a funny coincidence. I live pretty close to the Dutch border at that! ... His rig looks a bit more professional, I think.
 
I use the original neck strap, and while birding, I wear it around my neck. If I'm hiking briskly, I will often wear it "safari style" to keep it from bouncing around. Sometimes, usually if it's a hot day, I'll carry them in my hands for part of the time when my neck gets uncomfortable.
 
I am probably just a cantankerous old man, but the way people carry and hold their binoculars drives me crazy. So many people carry them (harness or neckstrap) so they dangle way down near their belt or crotch area. I have never understood this. I wear mine on a neckstrap, against my ribcage.
 
I use the original neck strap, and while birding, I wear it around my neck. If I'm hiking briskly, I will often wear it "safari style" to keep it from bouncing around. Sometimes, usually if it's a hot day, I'll carry them in my hands for part of the time when my neck gets uncomfortable.
Safari Style? Bandolier/Cross chest, maybe?
 

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