Fujinon 16x70 FMT-SX Binocular and LightSpeed DSP Mount

The Fujinon 16x70 FMT-SX binocular is excellent for scanning the Milky Way and enjoying comets.   When mounted on the fully CNC machined LightSpeed DSP binocular mount and Bogen 3036 heavy duty tripod, it's hard to beat for low power stereo views of the night sky.  Although it can't reach as close to zenith as some of the parallelogram binocular mounts, the DSP has a much smaller footprint, is far easier to travel with, and is very simple to set up and use.  The crank-operated elevator center post on the Bogen tripod makes fast height adjustments easy with this mount and really adds to the enjoyment of using both the binocular and the mounting.  I keep the DSP in a soft case made for large handguns (also known as a pistol rug) and keep it in my truck all the time so it's always at hand. 

The mount features friction brakes on both the azimuth and elevation axes, to add smoothness to the motion of the mount.  The brakes are not strong enough to lock the mount in one position, which would be nice when focusing the individual eyepieces of the Fujinon, but it's a minor inconvenience and you only need to focus once on most nights.  The small bracket that adapts the binocular to the mount is made to fit just about any binocular of 70mm or smaller aperture that has a center threaded socket for tripod mounting.  There is enough adjustment in the bracket to balance even the heavy Fujinon optics and I'm sure it would be a snap to adapt other binoculars to this mount.  I'm not sure if LightSpeed is still in business anymore, but I'm sure happy with my DSP.

The 16x magnification of the Fujinon seems just right to me for scanning the Milky Way, for open clusters, and for comets.  I was skeptical at first of the small exit pupil (4.375mm), but in actual use this hasn't been a problem at all.  The optics are very sharp considering how fast they must be (most binoculars have fast optics to keep the length of the instrument small), and I can't really see any false color in focus on objects like the moon.  There is some fringing on Jupiter, but this isn't an instrument that is designed for planetary observation.  For what it's good at - scanning the sky at low power - it's really good at, and considering the price it's a pretty good value as well.

In the photos below, the binocular is shown mounted on the DSP, which itself is mounted to the center post of the Bogen 3036 tripod.  The fine workmanship of the DSP is obvious.  In the first photo, you can see the brass knob that secures the slotted adapter bracket to the mount.  The slot allows adjustment of the binocular to achieve good balance.  The first photo also just shows the azimuth brake knob on the right of the mount base.  The third photo shows the elevation brake knob in between the barrels of the binocular.