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Fluid Head for 5 pound binoculars?

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#1 stevecoe

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 08:59 AM

Howdy all;

I recently took advange of the sale from Orion on 20X80 binoculars. I have received them and they came through shipping without problems as far as I can tell.

They weigh 5 pounds and I need to mount them for optimum use, my 63 year old arms just can't hold them steady. :p
So, I have a beefy tripod, but it has no head. I use it with a ball mount for photography. What I need is a good Fluid head for the binoculars.

My question is...If I buy a head that just barely meets the 5 pound criteria will that be good enough? Or, should I overmount them a little. I did find a couple of fluid heads that are said to hold an 8 pound load. Is the extra money worth it? Thanks for some input.

Clear skies to us all;
Steve Coe

#2 Mark9473

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 09:22 AM

Steve, you definitely want to over-mount as with binoculars the weight is off to one side of the head.

#3 Rich V.

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 10:54 AM

We discussed some options for a head capable of mounting a 5# bino on the Manfrotto 055 tripod thread below. The heads rated for 8.8# are useable with LW 20x80s and heavy 15x70s.

Some examples would be the Manfrotto 701HDV, the new 502HD AH and the 128RC (now discontinued, but available at a good price from B&H Photo).

These heads I would consider minimum for any 20x80LW or other 5# bino. Of course, there are other options out there in the 8-9# range.

Rich

#4 EdZ

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 01:45 PM

The 128RC head wwould do just fine . it is available from Oberwerk for $70
http://www.bigbinoculars.com/3011.htm

#5 BillC

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 01:57 PM

I had a fluid head once, but my doc put in a shunt.

BillC

#6 edwincjones

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 02:21 PM

I had a fluid head once, but my doc put in a shunt.

BillC



that explains a lot

edj


sorry BillC, but I just could not resist

#7 Paco_Grande

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 03:03 PM


Some examples would be the Manfrotto 701HDV,


I have the 701HDV and two major things that make it more appealing than the 128 is the quick release plate is larger, so the device, such as a scope, gets more support. More importantly is the plate can be adjusted fore and aft in the head mount to help balance the device. The screw that goes into the device can also be slid fore and aft in its slot. These two things provide a wide range of balance settings.

I use mine for both photography/video and scopes. I think it's worth the extra moola.

#8 Rich V.

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 03:13 PM

Also worth noting, the 701HDV and larger sibilings have a counterbalance spring where the 128 does not. I find the CB springs very helpful at the higher elevations we encounter for astronomy. Without the CB, alt tension must be set higher, particularly with binos that have only one non-adjustable attachment point.

This over center tendency that a bino load sets up on a head is one of the main reasons why we must use heads rated at a higher capacity than a video camera would. It's nice to have some fluidity in the motion rather than having to lock down the alt axis rather tightly.

Rich

#9 BillC

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 03:50 PM

I had a fluid head once, but my doc put in a shunt.

BillC



that explains a lot

edj


sorry BillC, but I just could not resist


Good; that's what it was there for.

BillC

#10 rydberg

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 11:19 PM

Shunt? I don't think it worked...
Slosh.
Marco

#11 BillC

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 11:36 PM

Well, it was just a pressure valve, anyway!

#12 Erik Bakker

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 06:08 AM

Hi Steve,

The lightest and most compact mount that holds this class of binoculars steady and effortlessly floating in any direction is the spring loaded Manfrotto 501 HDV video head. I have it teamed up with a Gitzo 224 professional tripod. Works like a dream for my 18x70 Nikons or any 70-80mm f/8 telescope in the 7-8 pound class, like the 70mm f8 Vixen fluorite I had. Bigger/heavier loads need a bigger and heavier mount. The stated loadcapacity is mend for videocamera's filming mainly while pointed horizontally. When pointing up, the 501 is starting to reach it's limits around 10 pounds. I have no experience with the 701, but that might work with your binoculars too. The 501 is a bit more on the safe side I guess. I had the 128 as well, but that is not a good idea for your binocs.



#13 David-in-China

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 09:55 PM

2nd the Manfrotto 501 fluid head for your 20X80s. My 20X80
(Tianlong brand)seem to be the same as Orion and Celestron versions, and the 501 supports them nicely. These heads are
pricey new, but frequently available on the auction site. The head uses a quick-release plate which stays on binoculars; make certain if you find a used head, it includes the Q/R plate.

#14 EdZ

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 08:40 AM

You have here statements that a 128RC, the smallest of the heads listed here, is sufficient. You also have listed here that the smallest head you should cconsiider is the 501 HDV, by far the larggest of the heads listed here. Quite conflicting suggestions.

Thee 501 HDV is capable of hanlding 13# binoculars, with ease. This is the head numerous people in this forum selected to handle their 16# 20x110 or 28x110.

The 501 head (I have 2 of these) can easily handle a 10# binocular with ease. I've been using this head for years to mount 25x100s and 22x85s.

I believe the 701 head ffits in between the 501 and the 128RC. No experience wwith this.

The 128RC head would be taxed with an 8# binocular but handles a 4.5# Fujinon or a 5# 15x70 easily.

These heads range in price from a low of $70 on sale $85 new for the 128RC, $125 for th 701HDV to near $200 for the 501HDV. You could probably get a standard 501 head used for about $125-$150. All of tem come with q2uick relase plates. If buying used make sure you confirrm te se;ller is including the QR plate. For the 501 head a QR plate cost about $29.

You are talking about mounting a ligght weighht 20x80. I would mount it on my 501 because I already have 4 tripods, two of them with 501 heads. It could also be mounted on my 3011 tripod with 128RC head.

edz

#15 stevecoe

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 11:37 PM

Folks, as always, thank you for lots of think about. I have a friend who is a has a small machine shop and is very knowledgeable, we have made many telescopes over the years. So, I am going to go over to his place on Tuesday and we are going to look it all over and see what we can cobble together for next to nothing. I will certainly post here once I have made a decision.

Thanks;
Steve Coe

#16 BobinKy

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 11:55 PM

I have a friend who is a has a small machine shop and is very knowledgeable, we have made many telescopes over the years. So, I am going to go over to his place on Tuesday and we are going to look it all over and see what we can cobble together for next to nothing .

Thanks;
Steve Coe


Steve, first follow the advice of EdZ and others and spend the bucks to get yourself a 501 fluid head. You will not regret it.

*****

Then, Steve, please get out there and give us a second edition of your wonderful Observing Nebula book. ;)






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