The Car Window Clamp/Mount

Binocular Reviews Home > binocular accessories > car window mount

Window Mount with binocularsFar more than just a bracket that attaches your optical equipment to a car window, a good window mount or clamp as it is called in some places is versatile enough to be attached to many objects. These include fences, tree branches, hide railings, tubular structures and even tripods, which enables you to use two pieces of equipment like a camera and a pair of binoculars with one tripod.

What to look for in a good clamp
Look for a clamp that obviously is well constructed and sturdy as there is no point in using any sort of stabilisation device that is not stable! The jaws of the clamp should have a tough rubber surface to help them grip to what ever it is you want, but also so that if you do attached it to your window, it does not mark or scratch it.

The maximum width of the jaw or the "jaw size" can also be important as the wider it can go, the more versatile your clamp will be.

The size of the base and the quick release plate is also important especially if you also plan on using your mount for large and heavier equipment like spotting and field scopes or large SLR cameras with telephoto lenses.

As with tripods, window clamps generally come with a few different types of heads designed for slightly different uses and equipment:

  • Two-way Pan Heads - Can pan left and right and usually through a full 360° as well as move up and down (tilt) which makes them ideal for binocular, spotting scope and video use.
  • Three-way Pan Heads - Do all that Two-way ones do as well as rotating your equipment (usually a camera) 90° which allows you to take portrait shots.
  • Ball Head Clamps - These are the most versatile as the base moves about on a ball and socket and so can be moved about in all directions, they can however be slightly less stable with heavy equipment when loosened to move.

Vanguard PH-240 Window mount attached to a tripodAttach the mount to a Tripod
You can attach a window clamp to the stem of a tripod and in so doing be able to fix two different pieces of equipment to it. The image on the right shows a Vanguard PH-240 window mount attached to a tripod enabling the user to use their camera as well as their spotting scope at the same time.

Other Uses
Another use for them that I have seen is in a marine environment on a boat. Not so much to keep them steady as with waves it is often easier to hand hold your binoculars then have them attached to a fixed point, but as a secure place to store your optics and to stop them either moving about in rough weather and potentially damaging them or even worse, falling overboard.

 

Vanguard PH-242 Window Clamp/MountVanguard Window Mounts

At the time of writing vanguard currently have six clamps that I know of.

The PH-242 comes with a two-way fluid Pan Head which means it can pan left and right through a full 360° and move up and down or tilt it from +90° to about -60° which makes it ideal for binocular, spotting scope and video use. You can of course also use it with your camera although it will not tilt the 90° to enable you to shoot portrait photos.

Read the full Review of the Vanguard PH-242 Window Clamp

If you are planning to use your mount mostly for photography and often shoot in portrait, I would suggest using one of Vanguard’s ball heads (PH-230, PH-250) or their three-way pan heads (PH-304, PH-222)

Where to Buy & Prices
Depending on which model you choose Vanguard Window Mounts costs between $25 and $80 in the US or about £25 and £80 in the UK:

Pedco UltraClamp Universal Window ClampPedco UltraClamp Universal Window Clamps

Pedco (Product Engineering and Development Company), is a small American company that was established in 1982. At that time they only manufactured the UltraPod, a unique 2oz. miniature camera support. They now market their products worldwide and their product line has expanded to include the UltraPod II, UltraMount and the UltraClamp.

There are now actually two versions of the UltraClamp - the Original that has a jaw aperture of 0" to 1.5" (3.8cm) and the UltraClamp 2.5 that has jaws that have an opening aperture from 1" to 2.5" wide, making it suitable for mounting cameras, camcorders, spotting scopes etc on larger or wider objects than the original Ultraclamp can accommodate.

Pedco UltraClamp

Both clamps can be purchased on their own or as a kit that includes a Ball & Socket Mount, making the clamp even more flexible. This Ball & Socket Mount can also be used without the clamp to mount your binocular or other equipment to a tripod or monopod.

Where to Buy & Prices
Depending on which model you choose The UltraClamp Kit (with the Ball & Socket Mount) costs between $22 and $35 in the US or about £25 and £35 in the UK: