There are two facets to the portability of binoculars. The first is the compactness and weight of the instrument itself. A 10x50 binocular is possibly the most common starting binocular and adjunct binocular. It is typically about 18 cm (7 in) long and about the same width, and usually weighs a kilogram (2.2 lb) or less, considerably less in the case of lightweight models. Second, binoculars of this size and weight can easily be hand-held for moderate periods of time, so they do not need a mount to be carried with them. Even 15x70 or 16x70 binoculars, which are typically about 28 cm (11in) long and around 2kg (4.4lb) in weight may be handheld for short periods.

Of course, all binoculars will benefit from being mounted. If a mount is to be carried with this size of binocular, a reasonably sturdy photographic monopod or tripod with a pan/tilt head will suffice for binoculars up to 80 mm in aperture, or 100 mm if they are the lighter weight ones. However, it does need to be stated at the outset that the photographic tripod with pan/tilt head, although commonly used, is far from ideal as a binocular mount for astronomy (see Chapter 6).

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