My Heavy Binoculars | Now Steady

I really like my Celestron Skymaster Pro 15×70 mm binoculars. Their wide field of view, bright optics, and sharp focus enhance views of the night sky. What I don’t like is how heavy they are at 3.75 lbs (1.70 kg). They came with a tripod mount which works fine. But, I have found getting into good viewing position to look steeply up in the sky can be a challenge. The tripod legs are extended too far if I am standing which adds to it shaking. Sitting to view doesn’t work better as the tripod and my legs compete for the same space.

I wondered if there was a better and cheap solution to holding the binoculars steady and giving me flexibility for viewing. I browsed the local hardware store for inspiration and found this tool in the paint section. The tool had a swivel head with about 60˚range of motion.

In a display of extendable poles, I picked one that was a bit taller than me in its longest position. Total cost was $20.

The binoculars rest firmly on the foam pad of the paint tool with enough friction so they don’t slip. A small bungee cord might be a good idea. I can easily grip them and the pad and adjust focus if necessary. The adjustable pole gives comfortable and very stable control of height. I can tilt up-down and right-left easily to scan a portion of sky. Set up and take down is fast. Best of all, no more shaky binoculars. This is a winner for me.

27 thoughts on “My Heavy Binoculars | Now Steady

  1. Great idea, Jim. Probably too simple to patent, but Celestron apparently didn’t think of it.

    The U.S. Navy uses standard 7×50 power/field (or, they did a couple of decades ago). Someone, sometime, determined that as the optimum for hand-held binoculars. It was the consistent standard since WW II. Each ship was also equipped with at least one set of much larger binoculars hard-mounted on the bridge. I can’t remember the magnification nor do I know the weight (possibly about 20 lbs.), but they were very large. They were very useful but somewhat affected by propulsion vibration. Hardly bird-watching material, but your post brought back this memory. Thanks.

    • Those are serious binocs and they look really heavy. In the comments section, they were described as 20×120. Thanks for that link.

  2. Wow. This is great. I have the same binoculars, and love them, too, but I don’t love that mount. I’ll definitely give this a try. Thanks for the tip.

  3. Great idea! Being able to make things work with with what is available is a a valuable talent.

    • You can also buy a monopod that screws into the bottom of a camera. They are designed for the same purpose. Probably cost a lot more.

  4. Awesome stuff man! Really interested in hunting material and gears! Keep up the good work buddy, I have a similar blog which I just started, support a hunter! Thanks-JohnDavidson

    • Thanks. I like practical and low-cost solutions if possible. As to hunting, it has been years since I did any. As a kid we all used BB guns, 22s, and the like. My older brothers let me shoot a scoped rifle as we hunted groundhogs along railroads. An older sister was the bow enthusiast. One time she killed a rabbit and cried for the longest time. That might have been the end of her hunting career.

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