I'm looking at pairing a Nikon Fieldscope 50mm ED straight spotting scope with a Manfrotto monopod and the Manfrotto 234 swivelhead.
What's the difference between the 679B, 680B, 681B, and 685B? The specs are only slightly different, but there is quite a spread on price.
I have a 16x fixed and a 13-40x zoom eyepiece.
Any other feedback on this set-up/idea? Is this useable at 40x zoom? 25x zoom?
Can I attached a strap to it somehow to carry over the shoulder?
I'm 6'1" for reference. I'm trying to get a light set-up for side birding trips while traveling for work, i.e. it should fit in my suitcase. I'm missing firm IDs with my 10x binoculars.
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With the exception of the 685B, just a matter of min and max height, number of leg sections, carrying weight and capacity. As far as capacity, go with one of the lighter models, since the Nikon Fieldscope 50 mm weighs next to nothing. For your height, though, I would also opt for the tallest version, since it's tougher to bend down and look with a monopod than a tripod. That would be the 679B or 681B.
The 685B is a Neotec. A Neotec has a leg setup that gets you into action the quickest. Just grab the bottom, pull out the legs to full height and it automatically locks. It's designed for photographers who need to get into action right away. It may or may not be of use to you. My only issue is that the legs tend to rattle a bit when extended and that noise can work against you for wildlife.
25x with a monopod is reasonable, but still not as steady as 25x on a tripod. 40x on a monopod, though, is just too much in my opinion. That's really tripod territory.
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