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What are Binocular Mounts?

By David White
Updated May 16, 2024
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Binocular enthusiasts don't have to settle for tired arms or sore necks. One solution, other than handing the binoculars to a friend every couple minutes, is a binocular mount. In a rare coincidence of name and meaning, a binocular mount is exactly what it sounds like it is. It helps keep the binoculars steady and ready for you to maintain visual contact with whatever kind of wildlife or nightlife you enjoy observing.

Binocular mounts range in size and price. Some are made for garden-variety binoculars; others are made to facilitate viewing by heavy-duty eyepieces. Some of the most heavy-duty mounts can hold glasses up to 300 pounds.

Many of these mounts are made to be installed on tripods, much like cameras are. The facility of this is to allow movement of the binocular mount without sacrificing the perfect position of the binoculars. Many mounts are themselves adjustable in position, with affixable cantilevers able to be locked in place. One of the most common kinds of adjustable mounts is the parallelogram mount. Shaped in the form of the mathematical figure, this mount allows maximum flexibility of viewing pleasure, whether your pleasure is standing or seated viewing, with longer parallelogram mounts allowing even prone perusal.

Another particular kind of binocular mount is the mirror mount, which resembles a microscope in that it reflects the image being "seen" by the binoculars onto another piece of glass, which you look at. In a sense, you are seeing the reverse of the reverse of the image. The mirror mount can be attached to the top of a tripod.

One manufacturer in the American Northeast makes a wheelchair mount, which attaches atop a table that can be affixed to the chair, allowing movement of the person and the chair while avoiding sacrificing, again, that perfect position you worked so hard to fix. The table in this device is large enough to accommodate a notebook, for taking notes or for sketching.

Other clever enthusiasts have created their own chair devices, resembling wheelchair mounts, with comfortable seating areas and even neck rests. These chairs can be tilted to varying degrees, allowing viewing directly from the slightest part of the horizon to directly overhead and even as far back as the neck will go. The binoculars remain fixed while the view changes.

One significant advantage of any kind of binocular mount is a reduction in physical discomfort. Anyone who has looked through a set of binoculars for more than 10 minutes at a time has experienced "dead" arms and a sore neck. Both of these ailments can be prevented through the use of a binocular mount. The result is longer, more secure, more pleasurable viewing. A binocular mount will also facilitate more easily the shared viewing of wildlife or the night sky, since the "perfect view" will not be ruined by changing the identity of the person doing the viewing.

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