Tripod Advice

Can you recommend a mount (or, preferably, a head I can use on my current tripod) for stargazing through your 15×70 Ultra binoculars?
Longer version:
I recently bought a pair of your 15×70 Ultra binoculars to use for stargazing during travel, and I’m extremely happy with them. I carried them (with a Manfrotto 190CSPRO4 tripod and 128RC head) along on a recent flight to Borrego Springs, CA without trouble. Great views!
I do have one problem — it’s really hard to view objects near the zenith! Is this just a fact of life with binoculars, or are there mounting solutions I should consider. (Cost is a consideration. I just broke my budget buying a high-quality pair of binoculars. 😉

Unfortunately it is difficult to view near zenith using a straight-through-view binocular with a conventional tripod/video head. The biggest problem is the eyepieces are too close to the tripod to get your head under the binocular. The best way to solve that is with a parallelogram mount, such as the Farpoint UBM, which places the binocular away from the tripod (so you can get your head under it)- but they are bulky and expensive ($279). Another option is The Oberwerk 2000 monopod. It has a grip-action ball head that gets the binocular away from the monopod, plus you can tilt the monopod back enough to actually view to zenith. It’s quite affordable too at just $89.
Kevin Busarow

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