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Request advice re: Nikon Fieldscope ED50 (1 Viewer)

Earnest lad

Well-known member
Hello. Please forgive my lack of knowledge of optics in birding. My telescope is an old Nikon ED50: I have a cheap tripod, but it is I think rather a flimsy plastic thing. I am six feet 3 inches tall. The cheap tripod has a centre bit that extends upwards with a handle to give more height. To be honest it gets left at home most of the time. Instead I just use the binoculars. One wants to travel light. If one has a camera and lens as well as some bins one cannot really be lugging that lot around too.
I am thinking to get a monopod to try out the scope with. It is not a heavy scope. . I am wondering would it be tall enough. Also, I think one needs some mechanism at the top to tilt and swivel the scope around. Please can anyone recommend what I might do here? I thought perhaps a ball-head mounted on top of the monopod.
Please can anyone recommend a model of monopod, and a model of ball head. Also any other comments or advice as to my thinking on this matter would be much appreciated please.
 
Hello.

I use a monopod almost exclusively, it's a Siriu p326. Very decent and reasonably priced.

I was in the same boat as you a few years back- the scope got left at home most of the time until I switched to a smaller scope and the mono.

As Richard asks the heigh does depend on if your scope is angled or straight - if it's straight the Siriu will do, if not it won't by about 6 inches or so.

Monopods take a bit of getting used to but they can suit most situations up to 30/40 mag but with caveats! I leave the monopod attached but shortened for use in hides when you can use it to wedge the scope stable against the windows which gives perfectly useable stability. When standing I don't think monopods work well enough above about 20x. I have a very small stool in my birding bag now, it's proper tiny but does mean I can use the scope on the monopod at 30x very comfortably when seated on it.

Will
 
Hello.

I use a monopod almost exclusively, it's a Siriu p326. Very decent and reasonably priced.

I was in the same boat as you a few years back- the scope got left at home most of the time until I switched to a smaller scope and the mono.

As Richard asks the heigh does depend on if your scope is angled or straight - if it's straight the Siriu will do, if not it won't by about 6 inches or so.

Monopods take a bit of getting used to but they can suit most situations up to 30/40 mag but with caveats! I leave the monopod attached but shortened for use in hides when you can use it to wedge the scope stable against the windows which gives perfectly useable stability. When standing I don't think monopods work well enough above about 20x. I have a very small stool in my birding bag now, it's proper tiny but does mean I can use the scope on the monopod at 30x very comfortably when seated on it.

Will
Thank you for your helpful response. I will look into the Siriu p326. My scope has a 20-45 eyepiece and also a 30x eyepiece. In hindsight I wish I had got an angled scope now owing to my height. I have a foldable stool here I hadnt thought about using it for birding but that is certainly food for thought.
Please may I ask: do you attach the scope directly to the monopod or is there some kind of attachment such as a tilt head or a ball head. It is just that I am thinking it would be difficult to manoevre the scope to look upwards without the whole monopod having to be tilted.
I wonder whether there are any monopods (or tripods for that matter) that suit tall people.
 
Hello. Please forgive my lack of knowledge of optics in birding. My telescope is an old Nikon ED50: I have a cheap tripod, but it is I think rather a flimsy plastic thing. I am six feet 3 inches tall. The cheap tripod has a centre bit that extends upwards with a handle to give more height. To be honest it gets left at home most of the time. Instead I just use the binoculars. One wants to travel light. If one has a camera and lens as well as some bins one cannot really be lugging that lot around too.
I am thinking to get a monopod to try out the scope with. It is not a heavy scope. . I am wondering would it be tall enough. Also, I think one needs some mechanism at the top to tilt and swivel the scope around. Please can anyone recommend what I might do here? I thought perhaps a ball-head mounted on top of the monopod.
Please can anyone recommend a model of monopod, and a model of ball head. Also any other comments or advice as to my thinking on this matter would be much appreciated please.
The ED50 can readily be used hand held, especially at lower power, more easily with the straight version, but even the angled version with the cable sight suggested by Kabsetz. (Cable-tie sighting device: IMPROVED! COLLAPSABLE!)
I use mine with a Velbon Ultra Super 8 monopod, linked by a BH-30 style ballhead and an Arca Swiss compatible plate. The combination is light and very adaptable (the monopod can serve as a Leki stick while walking or as a Finnstick when partly collapsed). Do note that the plate needs a lip to prevent rotation, as the scope foot has no recess for an anti rotation pin.
I use the 13-40x zoom, that offers a good FoV at low power, but needs decent light and support for effective higher power observation.
It makes for a good travel package, compact, lightweight, waterproof and optically very good.
 
Thank you for your helpful response. I will look into the Siriu p326. My scope has a 20-45 eyepiece and also a 30x eyepiece. In hindsight I wish I had got an angled scope now owing to my height. I have a foldable stool here I hadnt thought about using it for birding but that is certainly food for thought.
Please may I ask: do you attach the scope directly to the monopod or is there some kind of attachment such as a tilt head or a ball head. It is just that I am thinking it would be difficult to manoevre the scope to look upwards without the whole monopod having to be tilted.
I wonder whether there are any monopods (or tripods for that matter) that suit tall people.
No worries. I don't use a ball head or tilt head myself. In a hide you can angle the scope up or down resting on a window ledge or against a tree or post if your outside.


Will
 
Not up to date on what is available but a quick search shows that monopods which go really tall certainly do exist :
And presumably even that height could be supplemented by the added 3 legged foot stabiliser and a head...

An argument for having a head with quick release plate : because of issues with the thread coil on initial supplies of the ED50 (not sure if was later rectified) some folks elected to have quick release plates permanently attached to their scopes.
 
The ED50 can readily be used hand held, especially at lower power, more easily with the straight version, but even the angled version with the cable sight suggested by Kabsetz. (Cable-tie sighting device: IMPROVED! COLLAPSABLE!)
I use mine with a Velbon Ultra Super 8 monopod, linked by a BH-30 style ballhead and an Arca Swiss compatible plate. The combination is light and very adaptable (the monopod can serve as a Leki stick while walking or as a Finnstick when partly collapsed). Do note that the plate needs a lip to prevent rotation, as the scope foot has no recess for an anti rotation pin.
I use the 13-40x zoom, that offers a good FoV at low power, but needs decent light and support for effective higher power observation.
It makes for a good travel package, compact, lightweight, waterproof and optically very good.
Thank you for your kind response. Forgive me - I made an error. My scope is the ED60, not ED50. Still I guess that is quite lightweight of a scope still
Your reply has much food for thought. I have to give it much consideration as the technical matters referred to are somewhat above my head in that I have little or no knowledge of this field of knowledge. I don't want to make an expensive purchase then it not be right for me. Trial and error can be dear (hence this post LOL).
Please can you advise:
1. Which arca compatible plate would have a lip
2. What max height is that model of monopod ( I am 6 feet three and my scope is straight not angled
3. Is there a possibility to add a foot stabilizer at all?

Thank you so much
Kind regards
 
No worries. I don't use a ball head or tilt head myself. In a hide you can angle the scope up or down resting on a window ledge or against a tree or post if your outside.


Will
Thank you for that response too. Please may I ask: if you are not using a tilt or ball head and you have to look high up, does that not mean you have to tilt the whole monopod given that the scope is fixed inflexibly to the monopod?
 
The ED50 can readily be used hand held, especially at lower power, more easily with the straight version, but even the angled version with the cable sight suggested by Kabsetz. (Cable-tie sighting device: IMPROVED! COLLAPSABLE!)
I use mine with a Velbon Ultra Super 8 monopod, linked by a BH-30 style ballhead and an Arca Swiss compatible plate. The combination is light and very adaptable (the monopod can serve as a Leki stick while walking or as a Finnstick when partly collapsed). Do note that the plate needs a lip to prevent rotation, as the scope foot has no recess for an anti rotation pin.
I use the 13-40x zoom, that offers a good FoV at low power, but needs decent light and support for effective higher power observation.
It makes for a good travel package, compact, lightweight, waterproof and optically very good.
Thank you for your kind response. Forgive me - I made an error. My scope is the ED60, not ED50. Still I guess that is quite lightweight of a scope still
Your reply has much food for thought. I have to give it much consideration as the technical matters referred to are somewhat above my head in that I have little or no knowledge of this field of knowledge. I don't want to make an expensive purchase then it not be right for me. Trial and error can be dear (hence this post LOL).
Please can you advise:
1. Which arca compatible plate would have a lip
2. What max height is that model of monopod ( I am 6 feet three and my scope is straight not angled
3. Is there a possibility to add a
Not up to date on what is available but a quick search shows that monopods which go really tall certainly do exist :
And presumably even that height could be supplemented by the added 3 legged foot stabiliser and a head...

An argument for having a head with quick release plate : because of issues with the thread coil on initial supplies of the ED50 (not sure if was later rectified) some folks elected to have quick release plates permanently attached to their scopes.

Not up to date on what is available but a quick search shows that monopods which go really tall certainly do exist :
And presumably even that height could be supplemented by the added 3 legged foot stabiliser and a head...

An argument for having a head with quick release plate : because of issues with the thread coil on initial supplies of the ED50 (not sure if was later rectified) some folks elected to have quick release plates permanently attached to their scopes.
Thank you for that most helpful link. By the way I made a mistake. My scope is the ED60, not ED50.
Please do you know if monopod foot stabilizers are compatible across brands of monopods or would one need to obtain the staibilizer of 3-legged brand in this instance?
 
If I'm seated then I extend the monopod and tilt it back, doesn't happen often.

Its probably worth highlighting that monopods are very compromised for high magnification viewing so anything that means the monopod isn't straight or at the shortest length possible has a big effect on stability. Tilting them or using them standing is something that's worth avoiding, as mentioned I barely ever use my monopod standing (30x scope), maybe for a quick I'd it's ok, anything more is not enjoyable!
 
If I'm seated then I extend the monopod and tilt it back, doesn't happen often.

Its probably worth highlighting that monopods are very compromised for high magnification viewing so anything that means the monopod isn't straight or at the shortest length possible has a big effect on stability. Tilting them or using them standing is something that's worth avoiding, as mentioned I barely ever use my monopod standing (30x scope), maybe for a quick I'd it's ok, anything more is not enjoyable!
Thank you. It is good to hear advice from someone with practical experience of the matter. As mentioned, I am loathe to fork out money for something then find it unsuitable, as that would be money wasted. I may now give further thought to a sturdy tripod instead. I am tall, as mentioned. I do have a cheap tripod, which has a central column extendable height kind of mechanism operated by a handle. I believe many tripods of this nature have such mechanisms. I hear they are not very good for stability. I would prefer a tripod that I would be able to use without having to resort to this kind of thing, but again I am concerned that such a tripod might not be high up enough, especially given that I am tall.
 
Thank you for your kind response. Forgive me - I made an error. My scope is the ED60, not ED50. Still I guess that is quite lightweight of a scope still
Your reply has much food for thought. I have to give it much consideration as the technical matters referred to are somewhat above my head in that I have little or no knowledge of this field of knowledge. I don't want to make an expensive purchase then it not be right for me. Trial and error can be dear (hence this post LOL).
Please can you advise:
1. Which arca compatible plate would have a lip
2. What max height is that model of monopod ( I am 6 feet three and my scope is straight not angled
3. Is there a possibility to add a foot stabilizer at all?

Thank you so much
Kind regards
Thank you for that update, it puts a very different complexion on things.
The ED-60 is a much more robust and heavy scope than the ED-50, it really is a full size unit. although they both use the same eye pieces.
I don't think the Velbon Super 8 would be a good fit for it, it is pretty light and at about 155mm max it would not be tall enough for you to enjoy with a straight scope.
I'd suggest something like a Sirui or Manfrotto monopod that is at least 165cm long with this 85mm plate (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06ZY1JKZ9/ref=twister_B08V9JK6XK?_encoding=UTF8&th=1) and a BH30 head. This allows you to balance the scope on the monopod. You can also add feet to these monopods for improved stability, but weight and cost go up too.
The critical element for traveling is that the folded length be low, else it does not fit the luggage.
 
The ED50 is light enough for most monopods but I'd want something substantial for the ED60. The Benbo Trekker is a solid robust two part monopod with a simple tilt plate, but I fear with your height you'd be crouching with a straight scope as it's only 160cm.
 
The ED50 is light enough for most monopods but I'd want something substantial for the ED60. The Benbo Trekker is a solid robust two part monopod with a simple tilt plate, but I fear with your height you'd be crouching with a straight scope as it's only 160cm.
Thank you for this helpful remark. I shall consider that option but fear it is not lengthy enough
 
In view of my tall height I am now contemplating making my own cheap wooden monopod using a wooden pole, and trying that out. If it fails I have not lost much. Please may I seek advice in that regard as follows:
I aim to fit a thread screw onto the top of the would-be wooden monopod. I understand the screw fitting that you would use is called a "hanger bolt" that screws into the wooden monopod pole. The bolt leaves a screw thread to be used exposed as would be desired.
After this, I would fit a ballhead or similar device, as advised in this thread.
On top of the ballhead or device, I anticipate attaching the scope by means of some quick release device that would attach to the scope so as to be able to have panning up and down to a reasonable degree. Another alternative would be to affix the scope directly to the ball head device chosen.
I may also fit at the base of the monopod, an "L" shaped foot bracket too.
I would be grateful for any advice please, especially as follows:
Please does anyone know the specification/width of screw that is standard for attaching a ball head or similar to a device such as a monopod?
Is the screw spec the same for a ball head being attached as it is for a scope or camera or lens being attached please?
Would the "quick release plate" come with the ball head or other device when you purchase it or would I need to purchase one separately?

I should be most grateful for any pointers please. I have already purchased a length or pole/dowel of suitable length and thickness (35mm diameter). It is the kind of thing that is used for broom handles
 
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buy yourself an angled ED50 body..you already have the eyepieces..and buy a small carbon tripod..not a huge investment in the long run..
 
In view of my tall height I am now contemplating making my own cheap wooden monopod using a wooden pole, and trying that out. If it fails I have not lost much. Please may I seek advice in that regard as follows:
I aim to fit a thread screw onto the top of the would-be wooden monopod. I understand the screw fitting that you would use is called a "hanger bolt" that screws into the wooden monopod pole. The bolt leaves a screw thread to be used exposed as would be desired.
After this, I would fit a ballhead or similar device, as advised in this thread.
On top of the ballhead or device, I anticipate attaching the scope by means of some quick release device that would attach to the scope so as to be able to have panning up and down to a reasonable degree. Another alternative would be to affix the scope directly to the ball head device chosen.
I may also fit at the base of the monopod, an "L" shaped foot bracket too.
I would be grateful for any advice please, especially as follows:
Please does anyone know the specification/width of screw that is standard for attaching a ball head or similar to a device such as a monopod?
Is the screw spec the same for a ball head being attached as it is for a scope or camera or lens being attached please?
Would the "quick release plate" come with the ball head or other device when you purchase it or would I need to purchase one separately?

I should be most grateful for any pointers please. I have already purchased a length or pole/dowel of suitable length and thickness (35mm diameter). It is the kind of thing that is used for broom handles
Frankly, I think mayomayo suggestion would work more happily for you.
The big stick just seems cumbersome to carry around., plus no monopod will ever give you a stable viewing platform. They are good more to get a look rather than to give a view, at least in my experience.
You could cut your stick down and make a Finnstick, which would really help the portability with no great loss of stability. Given that the ED-60 is pretty heavy, I think you would be happier with that rather than with trying to hand hold it.
Maybe simplify life and just get a reasonably large tripod, the ED-60 is a hefty scope which really needs a solid base.
 
Earnest Lad,

I wouldn't bother making a wooden one, I would buy an inexpensive aluminium one. I have used an ED50 on a monopod for over 10 years and recently started using an Opticron MM4 60 on the same monopod. Both work, although the MM4 is noticeably heavier. Unlike others, I found a three-way head on a monopod a nuisance and I can't get my head round a ball head. Try it for yourself and see how you get on. I attach the scope to the top of the monopod using a Velbon QRA-3 quick release adapter. If the scope needs to angle down I lean the monopod forwards and if it needs to angle up then I tilt it back. This, combined with minor adjustment in the height of the monopod gets me onto the bird every time. In my 10 years+ experience you don't need a ball head or a three-way head (like I started with and soon binned). I don't use a scope on birds overhead, or at a high angle in trees - for me that's a mug's game. I use binoculars. Etudiant commented that "no monopod will ever give you a stable viewing platform". No - it will never be as stable as a tripod, but with a fold down foot like this :

Capture.JPG
it will give you all the view you want, not just a look. I took the foot off one of these tripods and attached it to my own monopod with a DIY attachment because the fit in the monopod it came off was sloppy. The hardest motion of the monopod to control is twisting. If you fold down the foot and put your foot on it then it totally prevents twisting. Atmospheric conditions/light permitting I can use the maximum 40x (45x?) magnification of the ED50's MC2 zoom no problem for a view, not just a look. I use a Velbon RUP4 now discontinued and I am 5 ft 11 inch and use a straight scope. There is at least another 6 inches of height extension I am not using so there's a good chance Velbon will have something suitable for you. Don't waste your money on carbon fibre - stick to aluminium - the weight saving IMO is not worth the extra cost.
 

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