|Subject: Eliminating the Shake|
Posted Oct 10, 2009 by Deke
Last weeks visit to the Three Counties Show at Malvern allowed me my annual stop at my favourite visual aids supplier who always has a stand there. Thereís a vast array of cheapjack telescopes, binnies, cameras and all that sort of related stuff. In the past Iíve had a telescope and binnies from him at show special offers, and even though its cheap, whatever IĎve bought hasnĎt disappointed when the cost is considered.
Handling heavy 15 X 70 binnies isnít all that easy and 15 X magnification is very prone to shake when hand held. Sometimes I mount them on a camera tripod, but they arenít high enough for anything above about 50 degrees, and overhead is impossible.
Up to now Iíve used a prop to steady the binnies.and made do with my own Heath-Robinson affair cobbled together out of a length of 2 X 1 wood, nails and sticky back paper But it has its drawbacks. Not being extensible doesnít help any, especially when youíre heading overhead and trying to contort yourself around the fixed height. Also thereís a lot of fumbling in the dark trying to keep everything together, although I thought I was doing quite well with it as it did damp out most of the shaking hand.
Last week I bought a Monopole at the show which has a pan and tilt head that can be locked and the pole extends high enough to get the binnies eyepieces above head height. Itís been a revelation, almost completely eliminating shake and making a far steadier view. Probably the best astronomical buy Iíve made this year.
Sounds great. I have always avoided high mag binnies (binos?) for reasons of shake. My 10x40 are OK for sky scanning and I even used them for a Messier Marathon once. I tend to lean against something like a wall or sit in a deck chair in the garden (the back garden is pretty dark here ).
The 'scope has a tripod but sadly due to work and family eating up time (h2g2 really) it hasn't seen the light of day( ) for some time.
I still haven't seen Saturn, Venus and Mercury yet!!
|Subject: Eliminating the Shake|
Posted Oct 11, 2009 by Deke
This is a reply to this Posting.
Yes, it works better than I thought it would. Really it's made the binoculars more indespensible now, although I tended to favour them for a 'quick look' anyway. It certainly makes them more useable.
The telescope has been in use a bit more over the last few months, but really it's a drag setting it all up especially with the 'goto' function. Usually I've planned a bit more ahead these days for something in particular that I want to see. The telescope's use is mostly lunar related now.
Good tip Deke, 'convenience' certainly makes a difference between doing it and not bothering! It's the same with telescopes - if they're too much hassle to set up (usually 'cos they're too big/heavy) then they hardly get used. Our old local astro shop used to get many returned scopes because they were never used after the initial novelty had worn off.
The best mount for binocs I've found is a cantilever/parallelogram gadget (mine has a label marked 'Vista', so presume this is the make). It keeps the binocs at the same angle irrespective of the height, so it's easy to line up on an object then you can stand or sit, or let someone else who's shorter or taller have a look, without upsetting it.
It has a standard 1/4" thread for attaching to a tripod, although like you, I found it's difficult getting under a camera tripod in order to look up. However another 'chance buy' solved this - it was an old wooden surveyor's tripod. It extends much higher, and has no cross-supports between the legs so you can put a chair or recliner underneath it.
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