Smartphones are commonplace nowadays. They’re frequently a complete distraction and time-waster, but sometimes we can do interesting things with them.
One example being during training to film ourselves to look for errors or they can be used in observation roles to film various activities. Cameras on phones are better than ever and even with so many optical zooms and filters sometimes they need a little help. Enter the Carson HOOKUPZ 2.0. This handy little device allows practically any smartphone to link up with an optic like night vision or binoculars.
The HOOKUPZ 2.0 is 4.8 ounces and measures 4.3″ x 2.3″ x 4.5″. It includes a hard foam carry case and a spacer for different camera types. The little device has a throw lever top mount and a spring-loaded slider with a clamp to secure it to the phone. A fine adjustment turn wheel at the base helps you line the optical device up with your camera. A four-way clamp system secures the optical device and also has a lock lever to keep it in position. All contact surfaces are padded with rubber so it will not scratch your phone and provides some ‘grippiness’.
We took the HOOKUPZ out and mated it with the Vortex Solo R/T 8×36 Monocular to see how it did with the range reticle and what kind of clarity we could expect for daytime observation. Clarity was acceptable, the reticle was only clear when we zoomed in with the phone but then the picture was too blurry. In a pinch, this would work ok for pictures at a distance when a proper camera/ lens was not available.
Fortunate for us a PVS-14 has the standard ¼-20 thread pitch of most cameras. We mated it with a Manfrotto Mini Tripod and attached the HOOKUPZ with an iPhone that rested on the side of one leg allowing a stable enough platform. We proceeded to video ourselves for training purposes. Clarity was acceptable at a distance of 7ish yards, enough to see what the shooter was doing. Still, shots turned out decent as well.
The Carson HOOKUPZ 2.0 is most definitely not meant for any hard use but for general observation or range sessions, it is an excellent, inexpensive option. We plan to continue testing on larger spotting scopes and possibly thermal imagery in the future. If we had our way the HOOKUPZ would incorporate its own thread for tripod mounting.
Maybe an arts and crafts project is in the Mad Duo’s future?
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