How do I prevent or reduce shake when observing with binoculars?

  • I have some 16 x 50 binoculars that my parents bought me years ago. Recently I have tried to do some basic lunar and planetary observations with them but I am seriously struggling with shaking. This was most noticeable tonight while attempting to observe the ISS.

    While I accept that keeping the image of a moving target stable is going to be next to impossible, I would like to know how I could reduce my shaking while observing the moon and other objects.

    Is anyone able to provide some simple techniques to reduce shaking?

    While it won't help with your existing equipment, a pair of image stabilizing binoculars such as Canon's 10 x 30 IS II Binoculars (which I own and use extensively) can really enhance your experience. They are unfortunately pricey. However when you use them, the effect is truly remarkable. The image almost locks into place and you can discern great detail. I have great fun using mine for astronomy, observing air planes, hiking to lookout points, etc.

    In addition to the good advice given in the answers, you might want to make an appointment with a neurologist. This comment is based on personal experience. Hand-held binoculars are pretty much useless to me as of the last year or so.

    I'm only 33....

    Thank you, everyone that has replied, I am waiting for some clear skies in northern England to try some of the techniques. If it turns out I need new kit I'll report back.

  • Don't hold the binoculars in your hands. Humans are made of meat. wobbly wobbly meat. There's apparently devices that let you mount binoculars on tripods - (this google search would be a start). Those and a tripod would probably be helpful in decreasing shake.

    I suppose it would affect mobility a little but that's a tradeoff.

    wobbly wobbly meat :-)

    I was totally thinking of this.

    "Hold still while holding the binoculars"

    "Ugly bags of mostly water"

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM