Carson Binocular Hookupz

If long distance is your thing, then this is the iPhone camera accessory you are looking for

The context

This awkward coupling between a smart if phoney cutie and a macho pair of eyes used to staring at chic chicks, or for that matter, birds of every feather, requires some hook-up help. A tripod or a (one) night stand might help.

The fantasy

The idea is seductive. You clip on a new pair of eyes, and suddenly, the barasingha deer out yonder comes within winking distance. After all, that is the pleasure of a pair of binoculars. But what if you can photograph through them?

As hook-ups go, the link between bird watchers and bird photographers—or for that matter, safari buffs and wildlife photographers—is tenuous. Like couples on the verge of a breakdown, they view each other with befuddled familiarity.

The former uses binoculars; the latter use telephoto lenses. The former purports to live in the moment, catching a glimpse of a bird, bee or mammal—content with magnification, amplification, intensification, but never exaggeration of the experience.

They understand that life is fleeting and you never know what will fly out from under the bushes. Carpe diem, they say. Sieze the day. So, they do. They peer through their binoculars or monoculars, eager to see the stripes on a zebra’s tail, or the pink under the parakeet’s beak.

They make lists of what they have seen, enter it into ebird, the online repository of bird sightings, and babble on about trogans and pheasants with fellow nature buffs. That’s about it. Come evening, they head home with nothing at hand, save their lists—taking only memories and leaving the proverbial footprint, as it were.

The latter—those camera-toting technology mavens—are different. Photographers document. They savour the hunt, and capture sitting ducks in their shutter boxes. They travel like a posse with piles of equipment.

Occasionally, a mutation occurs. Someone crosses over to the other side—the dark side, depending on your point of view. Usually, it is those with binoculars who hanker for permanent proof of their sightings to share with close family, friends and 1,000 strangers on Instagram. They want to feel how those photographers live, without committing to expensive lenses and accessories.

Enter the Hookupz: a gadget that offers the thrill of capture without the pain of broken hearts, lenses or cases. It is like a one-night stand really, a quickie that they can grab on the go.

The reality

The strength of this gadget depends on the speed of your reflexes. If you are as quick as a leopard hunting a pig, you will love the Carson. If, however, your fingers become thumbs, attaching the binocular lenses to the iPhone adapter could make you cross-eyed, literally and figuratively, if you put the wrong end into the hole. By the time you clip on the gadget and focus, even the slow-flying stork would have fled the scene, leaving you salivating, frustrated and annoyed with yourself.

The product

You slip your iPhone into a grey silicone sleeve that has a binocular attachment. The attachment comes in two sizes that fit most full-size binocs. Phone and binocs in hand, you walk around the park till you spot your quarry, be it a wasp’s nest, a spotted owlet or a sitting mallard duck. Fit your binocular lens into the waiting attachment. Aim and shoot. That’s it. Picture quality is erratic, depending on the speed of your subject matter. Best to train these eyes on a sleeping tiger or a species at rest.

The details

Carson Hookupz retails for $15.99 on Amazon.com.

The verdict

It is a cheap date that, depending on your prowess, could lead to a marriage or a fling (away of the thing).

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