As a life long mule deer hunter and a guy who loves to spend days with my eyes buried in my binos; I’m a little embarrassed how long it took me to realized the benefits of putting my binos on a tripod. I always assumed resting my elbows on my knees offered a stable enough view for the 10x or 12x bino’s I typically use. It wasn’t until a scouting trip last summer when I borrowed a buddies tripod adapter that I realized what I had been missing.
The first thing I noticed was how much easier it was to detect movement even in the far edges of my field of view. The second thing I noticed right away was the complete absence of eye strain. Not that I experienced a lot of eye strain in the past, but my eyes just seemed to completely relax when compared to glassing free hand or off my knees. I was also amazed how much that added stability and motion detection allowed me to increase my glassing range. Hillsides that seemed out of range for my 10x binos before; were now “glass-able” without having to bust out the spotting scope. I literally felt like I was getting twice the performance out of my binos.
As soon as I got home I went out and bought a Vortex Binocular Tripod adapter because it was the cheapest one available. Unfortunately because of how compact my Vortex Razor 10×42‘s are, it was a nightmare trying to thread the adapter onto my binos each time I wanted to use it. I should mention that the Vortex adapter works well on binos where the threaded adapter socket is more accessible, just not on the Razors. So I started looking into quick release adapters, and quickly landed on the Field Optics Research Rapid Release Adapter. At only $35 it’s by far the cheapest quick release adapter on the market (Swarovski’s is $150 and the Outdoorsman’s is $90).
The concept is simple; it has a small receiver nut that stays mounted to your binos and a vertical post that mounts to your tripod with a quick release attachment that connects the two pieces. The receiver nut fits any binocular with 1/4″x20 threads and has a rubber washer that keeps constant tension on the threads so it won’t back out unless you force it to. The upright portion fits most Manfrotto Tripod heads without an adapter plate and luckily it also fits the Vanguard Ph-111v head that I use. It does have a standard tripod thread on the bottom that will mount to any tripod or quick plate if you don’t have a compatible head. The connection between the receiver nut and the upright portion is quick simple and sturdy. The thin upright portion doesn’t prevent any interpupillary adjustment so if you have narrow set eyes this adapter won’t cause any problems for you. It also allows for a slight adjustment side to side if your tripod isn’t quite level and you need to tilt left or right for a level perspective.
The only criticism I have for the adapter would be the finish quality; it just looks a little rough. But honestly, I could care less about cosmetics as long as it functions well, which it absolutely does. Overall I can’t really say enough good things about the Rapid Release Binocular Adapter from Field Optics Research. It does exactly what it’s supposed to do at an affordable price.
*The adapter works with any binocular that has a 1/4″-20 receiver socket, but here is a list of compatible binoculars.