Review: Orion Monster Parallelogram Mount

Orion Monster Parallelogram mount. Credit: Orion

Experience the sheer pleasure of having heavy binoculars feel like they are floating on air while they easily adapt to the eye-height of adults or children and allow you to observe standing, seated, or reclined.

Pros: Six mechanical degrees of freedom confer considerable flexibility.


Cons: Heavy and awkward to carry or transport.

The Orion Monster Parallelogram Mount package includes a standard Synta-made tripod with 1.75” diameter legs, two 5kg counterweights, and all the tools you need for assembly and adjustment. It requires some assembly, but the comprehensive, well-illustrated instruction manual guides you through the process.

There are some very nice touches, one of which is the facility to adjust the mounting bracket so that the altitude axis goes through the binoculars’ center of mass. You will not find that there are positions in which the binocular just refuses to stay put unless you over-tighten the mount’s joints. This makes it easy to achieve that “floating binocular” effect that is the hallmark of a good parallelogram.

There is a locking lever that very firmly secures your binocular mounting post or adapter to the mounting bracket. If you use small binoculars with a L-bracket type of tripod adapter, you’ll appreciate the very effective mini-dovetail that enables you to achieve perfect fore-and-aft balance.

Once it is set up, it has a vertical range of 75cm, which makes it easy to share views with people of different heights – your binoculars remain pointed at the target object when you raise or lower them. The inevitable vibration that occurs when you change target dies down within a few seconds. You can experiment with the positioning of the two counterweights in order to achieve the shortest vibration-damping time.

When the binoculars are pointed vertically with the tripod fully extended, the eyepiece height will be too low for many adults, unless they stoop. Orion suggests purchasing an extension pier for the mount, but here is a better suggestion: use a chair or garden recliner; laying back makes high altitude observations so much more comfortable.

The mounting bracket attaches to the parallelogram arms via a standard Vixen Optics/Sky-Watcher dovetail connection, so you could also use your parallelogram to mount a compatible telescope.

MSRP: $499.99


Full Review:×100-binoculars/


About Stephen Tonkin

I first tried to use binoculars for astronomy in 1957, when my father took me outside to see if we could spot Sputnik. I was hooked! In 2011, I started The Binocular Sky website, to promote this aspect of astronomy. This led to me being invited to write a monthly Binocular Tour for BBC Sky at Night Magazine, for which I also write equipment reviews and articles on practical astronomy. I also teach astronomy courses, am a STEM ambassador, and do practical astronomy outreach with people of all ages. I am a speaker on the UK astronomy society circuit.

Related posts