Florian's Binocular Viewing Accessories


Some of Florian's most used binoculars (shown below) include the Fujinon 16x70mm FMT-SX, Nikon 10x42 SE, Leica Ultravid 10x32, and Zeiss 10x25 Classic.


Bino-Mirror mount using a 4" x 9.5" surplus tank periscope front surface mirror, 1x4 lumber, 2x1/4" bolts, wing nuts and washers. Painted black although probably doesn't matter. Mirror rests on a piece of non-slip rubber and is not permanently attached to base. (Easy to remove for storage and cleaning.) Binoculars shown are Nikon 10x42 SE. Sky view with the mirror angle seen in the photos is toward zenith. You don't need to tilt the mirror very much at all to reach from zenith down to about 20 degrees above the horizon. (When viewing near horizon it would be best to just use the binoculars directly anyway.) I bought my mirror from the Surplus Shed for $5.00 however last time i checked they no longer stocked the same item.

After trying out this method of binocular stargazing i was quite surprised at how pleasant and comfortable it is. Can really just relax and look. On the other hand, there is something to be said for looking "up" toward the sky. (Scroll down for my crossbar solution.) When looking down one tends to miss satellites and meteors. Still, this is quite an inexpensive little mount and gives me the option of very relaxed tabletop viewing.


For much of my stargazing with the Nikon 10x42 SE i prefer using a simple crossbar support. It's made from 2x2 lumber with bolts and wingnuts at the pivot points. I drilled some extra holes in the uprights to let me set the crossbar at a comfortable height depending on how high in the sky i'm scanning. I find the crossbar about as stable as having the binoculars on a monopod and the crossbar allows me much more freedom to scan large areas of sky or to track a satellite. The crossbar folds for very easy storage and transport.


I generally view from my back yard which is on the north side of my house. However for far southern views i'll quite often set up in my driveway on the south side of my house facing the street. Although i am fortunate in that there are no street lights in my neighborhood however some of my neighbors do have various porch lights. To block these porch lights and headlights from the occasional car i built a simple blind from half inch plywood and 1x2 lumber. There really isn't much too it. Just 3 panels, 4 uprights, 4 hinges. When folded i can pretty much carry the blind in one hand. The blind basically just shields my head/eyepiece area. Works great and makes a tremendous difference when i'm viewing from my front yard. I also use the blind occasionally when i'm in the back yard if family is still up and has indoor lighting on. [Note: I don't use the blind in the location in which it's pictured. I just moved it to the back yard against the back wall for the photos.]


A second blind i've made used a 5x7 foot space blanket and PVC frame. I have new neighbors east of me and they tend to leave their backyard porch light on all night. (The previous owners rarely turned on the light.) The light shines right to my observing area off the back of my house. Since i already had the space blanket this blind only cost $11.34 for 3/4" pipe, fittings, and PCV cement. The first picture is the frame alone. You can just barely see my neighbor's porch light to the right of center. The second picture shows the space blanket installed with my 5' 8" son for scale. [Update: Son is now 6' 2"!]

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