Jump to content


Camera tripod for a grab and go mount?

  • Please log in to reply
4 replies to this topic

#1 da_guy2


    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 153
  • Joined: 11 Jan 2006
  • Loc: Ottawa, Canada

Posted 23 April 2013 - 02:47 PM

I need a camera tripod and a grab and go mount so I thought maybe I could kill two birds with one stone. Just wondering if it would work, and how big a tripod I'd need?

I have a 80mm refractor that weighs about 5 lbs on its own. With diagonal, eyepiece, etc I'd guess about 7-8 lbs. I was looking at the specs of various tripods and they should be able to carry it no problem, but will it be steady?

Also, what heads would be most usable? A geared head looks good, but they're really expensive.

A local telescope shop sells a Manfrotto 055XDB Tripod and 128RC Mini Video Fluid Head. Would that be a good option?


#2 Rich V.

Rich V.


  • *****
  • Posts: 4208
  • Joined: 02 Jan 2005
  • Loc: Lake Tahoe area, Nevada, USA

Posted 23 April 2013 - 05:55 PM

David, I'd be a bit leery of the 055 with the higher magnification of a scope. It's OK with 5# binos at lower mags. but probably somewhat shaky with a scope on it.

I use the Manfrotto 475 geared column tripod and an older 3063 video head with my heavy 80mm triplet. I hang the scope off a home made aluminum "side saddle plate" so the balance point is centered on the alt axis. Movements are smooth in both axes even at 160x. The height adjustments of the geared column plus the nice mid level adjustable spreader of the 475 make a nice g-n-g setup, IMO. A Manfrotto 028 would be fine as well. The new 502HD head has an internal counterbalance spring that might make a side saddle plate unnecessary for your lighter scope.

The scope/plate releases easily out of the head and I can set up astro binos in place of the scope very easily.


Attached Files

#3 da_guy2


    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 153
  • Joined: 11 Jan 2006
  • Loc: Ottawa, Canada

Posted 24 April 2013 - 03:41 PM

Hmmm darn. Kinda hoping I wouldn't hear that.

So the 055 is too little for a telescope and the 475 is too much for my camera needs (twice the weight and physically larger). Also for the cost of a 475 or 028 plus a 502 Head I could buy a smaller lighter camera tripod and a Vixen Porta II or something like that for my scope.

I'd still love to hear from someone that's tried a 055 with a scope, but looks like it's just not going to work out.


#4 Mark9473



  • *****
  • Posts: 9135
  • Joined: 21 Jul 2005
  • Loc: 51°N 4°E

Posted 24 April 2013 - 04:00 PM

I have my WO 80 FD on a lowly Slik Able 300 DX tripod that I bought 20 years ago. This model is still on the market though I don't know if it's been changed.

It's not a champion of stability, and when pointing the scope I have to correct for the sag that will occur when I let the scope go.

But the point is - it all depends on your expectations and to what extent you're willing to learn to live with a product's shortcomings.

#5 daniel_h



  • *****
  • Posts: 2277
  • Joined: 08 Mar 2008
  • Loc: VIC, Australia

Posted 24 April 2013 - 05:46 PM

I tries a 055 with an 80, it was ok but it's the extra height of the 028 which is. Big plus. Geared centre column are terrific also
A cheaper option is the Davis Sanford provists from BH photo, not as good but good value

Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics