Camera tripod for a grab and go mount?
Posted 23 April 2013 - 02:47 PM
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?
Posted 23 April 2013 - 05:55 PM
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.
Posted 24 April 2013 - 03:41 PM
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.
Posted 24 April 2013 - 04:00 PM
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.
Posted 24 April 2013 - 05:46 PM
A cheaper option is the Davis Sanford provists from BH photo, not as good but good value