Astronomy Binocular Tripods
Tripods are a useful accessory for any astronomy binocular, even low power astronomy binoculars, and a must-have accessory for higher power and heavier binoculars. In the world of astronomy binoculars, there are two general categories. There are low powered, smaller and more easily transportable astronomy binoculars and then there are high powered, large astronomy binoculars. Virtually any magnified view through an optic is made clearer by a tripod, but when you're stargazing you really want to be sure there's no shaking that might distort the image. The best way to stabilize an image through a high or low power astronomy binocular is with a tripod.
Matching Binocular Brand with Tripod Brand
The good news is that, with a few rare exceptions, you do not have to match the brand of tripod adapter to your brand or model of binocular. The thread size on the binocular socket is standardized at 1/4x20. One caution, here, is with roof prism binoculars. The barrels on a roof prism binocular are closely spaced, so you should use a tripod adapter designed and listed for use with a roof prism. A good example of a roof prism style tripod adapter is the Celestron Binocular Tripod Adapter for Roof and Porro Prism Binoculars. Standard L shaped tripod adapters for porro prism binoculars (most common body style in astronomy binoculars) will be too wide and cause clearance problems on a roof prism binocular. Porro prism binoculars, on the other hand, have plenty of space between the barrels and can use any standard tripod adapter.
Okay, so what if my binocular is not threaded for a tripod adapter? There is still hope. You can use a Nikon 820 Binoc-U-Mount. This is simply a flat platform with Velcro straps to hold the binocular. This will work with binos up though about a 50-56mm objective (second number), but not with larger binoculars.
Tripod Adaptors for Binoculars
Handheld binoculars such as a 7x50, 10x50, 8x56 and so on do not have built in tripod mounts like some of their larger cousins, so in order to use these binoculars with a tripod, you will usually need both a tripod adapter and, of course, a tripod.
When checking the specs or shopping for an astronomy binocular, check to see if the binocular is listed as tripod adaptable or listed as having a tripod socket. Note that this does not mean the tripod adapter is included with the binocular, only that it is threaded for a tripod adapter. You still have to purchase the tripod adapter. Already own a binocular? Where is this tripod adapter socket? The tripod socket on a binocular is located under a cap on the front of the center hinge that holds the two halves of the binocular together. The cap typically unthreads to reveal the tripod socket underneath. (If the cap does not unthread, your binocular is not threaded for a tripod adapter.) When you locate this socket, simply thread the top of the tripod adapter into this socket, then thread the other end of the adapter onto the stud of any camera or photo tripod.