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Ordering from Berlebach?

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#1 Jim7728

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 07:13 PM

I'm looking into ordering the Berlebach Planet tripod directly from Berlebach in Germany. The order process seems straight forward.

http://www.berlebach...sprache=english

Anyone experience any problems importing from them to the US?

#2 JMW

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 07:22 PM

I ordered a Planet directly from them about 2 years ago. It took about 1 month for delivery. The package arrived in good shape. I ordered it with the double leg clamps and Losmandy top. I use it with a DiscMount DM-6 on top a Losmondy pier extension. The Losmandy extension helps my TEC-140 clear the tripod legs at the zenith. It works very well.

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#3 Doug D.

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 07:30 PM

I ordered a UNI 24 direct from Berlebach several years ago now and it went very well. At least at the time, they were very responsive to my questions and the ordering went smoothly - probably even easier now than it was back then. I wouldn't hesitate to order from them again (in fact I did order a couple of different size tripod trays and a tripod bag since). Good folks IMHO.

And their tripods are absolutely first rate - quality written all over them.

#4 Jim7728

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 07:39 PM

Thanks guys, they sound good to deal and I'll save a little money as opposed to going through a dealer.

I plan on using the Planet for my soon to arrive used DM-6 with 8" extension. It will carry a MN-66 , NP-127 or something a little bigger in the future.

Are the double leg locks highly recommended? Not going to go crazy with the loads. ;)

#5 JMW

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 07:52 PM

I like the idea of extra rigidity for not a lot of extra cost.

#6 orlyandico

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 09:12 PM

Doug, what sort of load are you carrying on the uni 24?

#7 mgwhittle

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 10:41 PM

I just ordered a Planet last month. Took less than two weeks to get the order from Germany to Tennessee.

I did get the double leg locks, it somewhat reduces the max height of the tripod, I'd say around four inches but that is a guess. I use it with a C11 on an ieq45, I'd say that they are not necessary even with that load. Having said that, unless you need the absolute maximum extension for a long focus refractor, I would still get the double locks just because they are a reasonable price for ensuring the maximum stability under load.

#8 crazyqban

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 12:59 AM

I ordered a UNI 24 earlier this year and it took about a month to get to Miami. No problems whatsoever. The only thing is that the tracking # that they give you is kinda useless because the information is posted after the tripod is delivered. At least that was my experience.

#9 orlyandico

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 01:13 AM

I've bought stuff from Germany as well.

The Deutsche Post is one of the worst in the world when it comes to package tracking - which is ironic because they also own DHL which is pretty decent.

However Deutsche Post is reliable - it will take a month to reach you, you will have no package tracking, but it will get to you.

#10 mgwhittle

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 01:55 AM

I can't speak for other countries, but Deutsche Post handed off the package to the USPS when mine was being shipped. There was a two or three day (can't remember which) pause of tracking during this phase, but except for that, I could track the package from Berlebach to my door and knew the exact day it would be delivered several days before it arrived. Maybe they have improved the tracking recently?

Anyway, you will have to sign for it, so be aware of that.

#11 Lane

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 03:13 AM

I recently received a package from Berlebach with my name and address on it but I did not order anything. Took me about a week to find the person that was suppose to receive that package and he was in a neighboring city so he drove over and picked it up. Somehow when the package was passed off to the USPS in the US they replaced the original address label with one for me. I have never ordered anything from Berlebach before so I don't know why the USPS would change the label to my name and address. They actually shipped the guy two packages at the same time and one of them did arrive on time at his house. I do order a lot of astronomy gear and maybe they keep records of that kind of stuff at the USPS, so I guess whenever the USPS can't figure out where a piece of astronomy gear goes they are just going to send it to me. I could sure use a 6" APO if anyone at the USPS is reading this :grin:

#12 Doug D.

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 08:30 AM

Doug, what sort of load are you carrying on the uni 24?


I don't own the UNI-24 anymore - I sold it when I purchased a Baader/A-P but I do miss it. However, I used it primarily with a Half Hitch II mount and a 105mm traveler with binoviewer. Scope was about 15lbs and mount another 5 or so. At one point I tried it with a DM-6 and TOA 130..!! A little too much for it but it was passable.

#13 Doug D.

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 08:40 AM

I plan on using the Planet for my soon to arrive used DM-6 with 8" extension. It will carry a MN-66 , NP-127 or something a little bigger in the future.

Are the double leg locks highly recommended? Not going to go crazy with the loads. ;)


If that was the DM-6 head recently listed on Amart you got a great deal - and beat me to the punch, I would have snapped it up in a heartbeat ! The Planet is ideal for a DM-6 IMHO, you're gonna love it.

Double leg clamps are definitely a good idea - they should be standard on the beefier Berlebach astro tripods. Better to have them when you feel you need them then not to have them and have to order them from Germany.

#14 Doug D.

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 08:51 AM

You probably know this already but A-P sells the Planet for $900 with their ADATRI adapter - shipping included.

Tom Peters makes a base with 3/8" bolt to adapt the ADATRI for use with DM-6. I don't recall for sure but I thought the recent DM-6 on Amart came with the adapter?

A-P dropped the Baader wood tripod they sold for many years (the one I own) in favor of the Planet so that should tell you something. Were it not for the fact I have a Lapides spreader on my AP/Baader I''d be tempted to sell for a Planet myself!!

#15 Jim7728

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 09:08 AM

Okay, double leg clamps it is. I'll still have plenty of height.

Doug: It was my 2nd attempt at a used DM-6 on AM, actually hesitated and did not think it would be available. Hope to keep it for a long time and is why I'm going all out for a nice tripod.

#16 Agatha

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 11:34 AM

Jim,

You will love the Planet. It is beautiful. And the double clamps are a good idea. After all,why not, a little more stability is always nice. I've ordered from Berlebach several times. A couple of years ago it was a Uni 18 and this fall was a Planet for my new DM-6. Seems to be a very popular combination. It comes in 2 packages. Mine both came as tripod one day and the tray later. My Uni tray came the very next day. My Planet order went well until the tray part of it. The tripod was at my house on the eighth day from Germany from order date. Pretty darn fast. But this time, unfortunately, the tray got lost. Berlelbach was very good with communication but didn't exactly know where it was. I finally received it 3 weeks later. The packages have at least 2 labels on them. Mine had my name and address on the big yellow Duetsche Post label but also someone else's on a smaller white label. Long story short, it did get to me. It was a fluke and I assume a rare occurrence.

I would also suggest ordering the rubber feet. After all why not? :). Then you can have either the spike or rubber feet depending where it is placed.

Looking forward to your impressions. Have fun.

Best, Linda B.

#17 JMW

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 12:10 PM

I only have the spikes. How firm are the rubber feet? Do they reduce the stability when used on concrete or asphalt? Is is easy to change between spikes and rubber feet? Didn't know AP is now selling the Planet. I notice that I can order the rubber feet from Astro-Physics.com website.

I no longer use the tray on the Planet. I used a 16 inch diameter polyethylene round cutting board instead. I put in a set of 2 and 1.25 inch holes for the eyepieces. I worried about someone bumping off one of my very expensive Televue eyepieces off the wooden tray.

#18 Agatha

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 01:59 PM

The rubber feet are very stiff yet grippy. They work well on concrete. And they are also much kinder to a wooden floor or carpet if in the house. :grin: Your new tray sounds nice. It is always fun to modify things.

Best, Linda B.

#19 Agatha

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 02:08 PM

Oops, forgot to mention that it is easy to change the feet. They are threaded in pretty snugly, but not difficult to remove. It take a few minutes. A 17mm wrench fits the best or an adjustable wrench.

Best, Linda B.

#20 Jim7728

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 07:23 PM

Hi Agatha,

All sounds good and yes, I'm going with the rubber feet and natural wood finish on tripod legs to match my(not yet installed) hard wood floors. :grin:

DM-6 arrived today and sits temporarily on the Oberwerk wooden tripod. :cool:

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#21 Agatha

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 07:55 AM

Jim,

Beautiful. :jump:

Best, Linda B. (aka Agatha)

#22 exparrot

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 08:39 PM

I recently received a package from Berlebach with my name and address on it but I did not order anything. Took me about a week to find the person that was suppose to receive that package and he was in a neighboring city so he drove over and picked it up. Somehow when the package was passed off to the USPS in the US they replaced the original address label with one for me. I have never ordered anything from Berlebach before so I don't know why the USPS would change the label to my name and address. They actually shipped the guy two packages at the same time and one of them did arrive on time at his house. I do order a lot of astronomy gear and maybe they keep records of that kind of stuff at the USPS, so I guess whenever the USPS can't figure out where a piece of astronomy gear goes they are just going to send it to me. I could sure use a 6" APO if anyone at the USPS is reading this :grin:


That was me, Lane, and thanks again for tracking me down!!!!

I purchased a UNI-18 and they shipped the tripod in one parcel and the spreader tray in another. They both delivered to the airport in Frankfurt, via DHL, and I presume DHL flew them to the US. However, that's where things fell apart. The tripod went to New York and the tray went to Chicago. After customs, USPS handled both and managed to foul up the tray delivery. Somehow, Lane received it at his home, 30 miles away. But, he was nice enough to contact Belebach and find my email address. What a great guy! :)

Anyway, it's not DHL all the way. I don't recall even having the opportunity to select such an option.

Jerry

#23 Agatha

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 10:16 PM

That is what happened to me...the tray ended up with a different name of someone in a different city not far away. It stayed in limbo for a couple more weeks before someone figured it out. What's funny is that it had my name on the main shipping label and some one else on the small label. That's pretty neat that Lane tracked you down. Let's hope that all goes well for Jim. :)

Best, Linda B.

#24 mgwhittle

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 12:29 AM

Wow, hearing these shipping stories from everyone else makes me wonder how mine went so smoothly!

#25 DavidNealMinnick

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 01:18 AM

Wow, hearing these shipping stories from everyone else makes me wonder how mine went so smoothly!


Same here. My Planet arrived in about two weeks' time this past summer, no issues.






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