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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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Doug D.
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 08/23/05

Loc: Virginia
Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: JimP]
      #3583738 - 01/25/10 07:36 PM

Thanks Scott and Jim... I came very close to opting for the Planet instead of the AP after I ordered my Mach 1 but at the time, I wasn't all that confident about getting the holes drilled for the ADATRI, plus I wanted to add some AP accessory trays.. It looks like the dimples (and/or with Mark's help) that is no longer an issue. I am completely sold on Berlebach and have recommended them regularly based on my experience with the UNI24.

The Sky looks great and the weight specs are amazing. However, I would really like to hear a field report from somebody before seriously considering that route. I will be looking to add either a pier or a Planet in the next year or two. I'm inclined to go with the Berlebach.


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Scruffy
super member


Reged: 01/23/10

Loc: Arkansas
Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: JimP]
      #3584674 - 01/26/10 09:59 AM

Doug. Beautiful set up!!

I ordered the 1/4 HH for my TV 85. I get the impression that you feel the UNI24 is good for your current setup. A couple of questions:
- Does the tripod need the additional clamps?
- If you had to buy today would you buy the 24 or the Planet if your 4" refractor was your only scope?
- Do you use the pictured setup in a grab and go, fast set up situation?
I have a TV 85 that I'll put on the quarter hitch. It is probably about a 10 kg total load, it seems that the 24 would be adequate for that rig. Would you agree?
_ if you were going to a TV 101, do you think the Planet would then be necessary?

Sorry for all the ?s, just don't want to feel I haven't done all I could to get informed before I write the check.
Much thanks!
Jack


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Doug D.
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 08/23/05

Loc: Virginia
Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: Scruffy]
      #3584737 - 01/26/10 10:40 AM

Jack,

You've can see a few differing opinions here already but I would certainly say that a TV85 with quarter Hitch on a UNI24 will be rock solid - and arguably overkill. The UNI24 is still a substantial tripod and to some, not grab and go. To be honest, for true grab and go I use a very beefy (and ridiculously expensive) carbon fiber tripod even for the 105 plus HH. I guess you might want to be clear in your mind what your viewing style/preferences tend to be. While you can pick-up the UNI24 plus TV85 and walk out the door with it - it is still a big tripod with some weight so I wouldn't call such a move a piece of cake. Just depends on your tolerance level.

I haven't seen the Planet in person but I assume it is at least as beefy as my AP/Baader wood tripod, which I certainly would not call a grab and go rig. I personally don't think you'd benefit from a Planet for a 101 with HH - and it certainly wouldn't be portable. I've got to admit though, I'd be tempted to go with the Planet. And if you think a 5" might be in your future......

Seriously though, a super heavy tripod kind of defeats the purpose of a HH, which is a grab and go mount. I use to use a Discmounts DM-6 with an NP101 (and a TOA130 as mentioned earlier) on the UNI24. In that case, i think the UNI24 or Planet makes a lot of sense. A DM6/Planet combo with a 5" refractor would make for a nice alt/az rig if portability wasn't a primary concern.

For my own needs and given my equipment, I have come around to realizing that one tripod just won't do it all. As you grow your own stable of gear you will likely come to the same conclusion. So I have a very lightweight but high performance CF tripod for travel/vacations and around the house grab and go with my HH and 105 or TV76. And I have the AP/Baader for the 5" and GEM. If I take the imaging up a notch I'll need a pier - or alternatively perhaps a Planet. I let the UNI24 go because it was a great medium heavy-duty tripod that I no longer felt I needed after I replaced it with the 2 tripods just described. I regret it though.

If you like quality, performance, top design, craftsmanship and wood - I agree with others here who have already said the Berlebach can't be touched. I also think they are reasonable ($) given what else is out there.

Another minor consideration with the Berlebach though is the portability of the tripod tray. It may add some stability and it certainly is convenient (and quick to snap in) but it is large and cumbersome to carry around. It becomes an issue if you are traveling but then again, it is a minor issue. The Baader/AP tray is much more compact but anyone who has dropped the #$@& screws in the dark while assembling/disassembling the tripod will tell you it is a real pain. The Lapides spreader looks great but very hard to get. Berlebach use to show some kind of spreader on their site - not sure about how well that might work.

Having never tried the UNI24 without dual leg clamps I honestly can't tell you it would make that big of a difference. My gut feeling is that they can't hurt and if you are planning to extend the tripod legs a fair amount that they will in fact help with stability. They aren't that expensive as I recall so - why not?

Secretly, I'm looking for a reason to justify another tripod - specifically the Planet. But for now, my pocketbook and financial advisor (let alone my judgment) makes that unlikely.

You won't be disappointed with the UNI24. Personally, I would favor stability and performance over portability. But that is the decision you'll have to make. Good luck Jack - and post some pictures.

Edited by Doug D. (01/26/10 10:59 AM)


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Scruffy
super member


Reged: 01/23/10

Loc: Arkansas
Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: Doug D.]
      #3584820 - 01/26/10 11:22 AM

Thanks Doug.

Is there a couple of good carbon fiber tripods you could point me to? I notice that there are a bit pricey, but I can see now that in two or three years There will be another scope. So I should consider something very light for the 85 and something like the planet for the bigger (more light) scope. By that time I might also consider some form of reflector as my second scope, who knows?

Jack


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Tamiji Homma
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 02/24/07

Loc: California, USA
Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: JimP]
      #3584838 - 01/26/10 11:35 AM

Hi Jim,

Berlebach Planet is a very good tripod but it is not as rigid as Losmandy HD/FHD tripod for 6"+ refractor IMHO. It is somewhat weaker in DEC (or Azimuth) moment. It is noticeable when I put 6" f/8 + heavy binoviewer setup (44 lb) on G11/Berlebach Planet, fast swing and stop, not noticeable when it is tracking though. That's why I didn't mention "Rock Solid" with 6" refractor at beginning of this thread. Having said that, I use Berlebach Planet a lot more often than HD/FHD tripod due to portability.

Maybe Berlebach Sky is a ticket for you. Another recommendation that I can make is Joe's Castoro's tall tripod for 6"+ refractor. I mostly use 6" binoscope on it.
http://www.binoscope.com/bigbino.htm#tripods

I am happy with the tripod (and his Alt/Az mount).

Tammy


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Doug D.
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 08/23/05

Loc: Virginia
Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: Scruffy]
      #3584849 - 01/26/10 11:39 AM

Jack, there are several good tripod options out there so I wouldn't necessarily just pull the trigger on a CF. I guess it would depend on your budget. What I mean is, don't feel like you have to spend that kind of money on a tripod to get acceptable portability and performance. For example, the KB tripods that TV re-brands and sells are quite good and you can buy them directly. Charles at HH can make a recommendation on model and mating of your HH to the tripod.

I use a Gitzo 5 series (5530S I think - they change model numbers frequently) CF. Really Right Stuff also offers a new CF that will likely compete with the best Gitzos. The Gitzos are at the top of the heap in terms of quality and performance but there are also very good and more inexpensive models from Bogen/Manfrotto. I'm sure others here can give you their opinions.

I just realized I'm starting to divert this thread - sorry folks. I can PM you Jack if you'd like more info about my own experiences with various tripods. Also, don't forget that you can get some great used tripods on Amart and elsewhere although you rarely see Berlebach or Gitzo. And used Gitzos tend to command pretty high prices.


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Steve C.
sage


Reged: 01/24/08

Loc: Sugar Land, TX
Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: Doug D.]
      #3584908 - 01/26/10 12:14 PM

I've been thinking about the Planet tripod for my G-11. I'd either be carrying my 5" AP or C11 on it.

The G-11 tripod is quite steady, but it's seven pounds heavier than the Planet, and sometimes I get tired of the bending and the assembling. (I need a robot).


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Scott99
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/10/07

Loc: New England
Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: JimP]
      #3584920 - 01/26/10 12:18 PM

Quote:

I agree. I set up my TEC 160 F/7 with Mach1 on my AP wooden tripod. With the legs extended so the eyepiece height was at a comfortable level for me seated the setup did not seem stable enough to me. Too much vibration at high power and I just did not feel comfortable that the mount was secure. Hard for me to explain but I decided I had to have something else. I considered the AP Eagle but I'd have to add Two of the extensions to get near where I needed the mount height for my visual observations. I found a used Losmandy HD with an extension that works fine. But after getting it together I don't think I can describe it as being portable. So, I am thinking again about something portable. The Planet sounds right and looks beautiful. At 25 pounds it is significantly heavier than the AP wooden tripod (18 pounds). The only thing that competes in terms of weight is the SKY. Yes it is very expensive. It compares more to the AP Eagle with two extensions price-wise. But the weight is under 20 pounds. That is nice.
Overall, as long as I feel the PLANET will do the job I am leaning very much toward it with its lower price and beautiful wooden appearance. I'll just have to deal with a little extra weight.
Thanks to everyone for this thread. I would not have thought of Berleback without it!

best,

JimP




Jim - I wouldn't be so sure about the weight difference - I actually had the AP tripod and Berlebach Planet in hand at the same time. When each one was folded down for travel, without the trays, I lifted each one and they seemed to weigh the same. I think AP's weight spec. is a little low. My UNI 14 is also supposed to be 18 pounds and the AP tripod is much heavier. I think the Berlebach tray weighs around 3 pounds so that accounts for some of the difference.

I suspect the AP tripod is about 20 pounds and the Planet is 21 without the tray. Someday I'll have to get a scale in the house!

I got the berlebach carry bag that fits the Planet too, it makes a very small and easy to handle package, it's smaller than the AP tripod. The tray does not fit into the bag and must be carried separately though.

I don't know the bag # but it's about 42 inches long and 10 inches in diameter.




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Scott99
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/10/07

Loc: New England
Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: Scruffy]
      #3585019 - 01/26/10 01:03 PM Attachment (315 downloads)

Quote:

Doug. Beautiful set up!!

I ordered the 1/4 HH for my TV 85. I get the impression that you feel the UNI24 is good for your current setup. A couple of questions:
- Does the tripod need the additional clamps?
- If you had to buy today would you buy the 24 or the Planet if your 4" refractor was your only scope?
- Do you use the pictured setup in a grab and go, fast set up situation?
I have a TV 85 that I'll put on the quarter hitch. It is probably about a 10 kg total load, it seems that the 24 would be adequate for that rig. Would you agree?
_ if you were going to a TV 101, do you think the Planet would then be necessary?

Sorry for all the ?s, just don't want to feel I haven't done all I could to get informed before I write the check.
Much thanks!
Jack




I agree with Doug, the Planet is too much for a half-hitch. The UNI is a perfect match for my Teegul mounting, it's very solid with a 4 inch refractor for visual use.

The Planet has some serious girth, the pictures on the website don't really do it justice. It is one brawny beast. My fingers are skinny but this picture gives you a sense - the legs are 5 inches across of solid ash wood!


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Doug D.
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 08/23/05

Loc: Virginia
Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: Scott99]
      #3585081 - 01/26/10 01:31 PM

Very nice - tripod porn!! You are making the Planet look very tempting. If I recall correctly, the leg width on the UNI24 would be about 2/3 that of the planet - maybe even less? BTW, that is the ADATRI you've got bolted on there, right? Nice to see it clears the bubble level. I've been wanting to see just such a combo for quite some time - thanks for posting Scott.

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JimP
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 04/22/03

Loc: South Carolina
Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: Tamiji Homma]
      #3585433 - 01/26/10 04:30 PM

Hi Guys,
I made the decision to buy the PLANET. Yes, the Losmandy HD pier is rigid but it is not portable. I am happy setting the Losmandy pier up and throwing a Telegizmos cover for Long periods of time but, for portability, I'm going with the Berlebach PLANET. Now, someone said something about having a "stable" of tripods. Hey, my kind of guy. I may get the SKY down the road if I feel I need more stability. It is expensive but even weighs Less!
So, I just called Mark at Teton Telescope and ordered the PLANET with AP adapter for my Mach1. Mark will get the AP adapter and attach it to the Berlebach Tripod for me before shipping. Great! Thanks everyone for your valuable input.
BTW, somewhere I "think" I saw a beautiful wooden tripod (Berlebach?) that had been stained. I believe it was two-toned. Anyone stain their wooden tripod?

best,

JimP


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Doug D.
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 08/23/05

Loc: Virginia
Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: JimP]
      #3585471 - 01/26/10 04:49 PM

Good choice Jim - make sure to post pictures.

Berlebach actually offers tripods with a few different stains (brown, grey, green and natural). Check out their site - it is on there somewhere:

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

I would guess Mark can get whatever you want but it would be a wait.


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JimP
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 04/22/03

Loc: South Carolina
Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: Doug D.]
      #3585504 - 01/26/10 05:03 PM

Mark has one in stock so I'm going with it. I could not find anything about stain/colors on Berlebach's website which is fine. I was just wondering. I will definitely post some pics when it gets here.

JimP


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hudson_yak
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 11/15/07

Loc: Hyde Park, NY, USA
Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: JimP]
      #3585531 - 01/26/10 05:15 PM

The natural ones have a clear coating on them so won't take stain very well without prep work. I'm sure once you get it you'll like it just the way it is...

Mike


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Doug D.
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 08/23/05

Loc: Virginia
Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: hudson_yak]
      #3585550 - 01/26/10 05:23 PM

FYI, stain color choices listed on Berlebach site in pull down menu when you select a tripod for the "cart".

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Scruffy
super member


Reged: 01/23/10

Loc: Arkansas
Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: Doug D.]
      #3585849 - 01/26/10 08:02 PM


Scott. That picture is worth 10,000 words! The nearest place where I could put hands on an astronomic type tripod is a state away. When I look at what is available on line, it is hard to tell the diff between the UNI and the Planet.

Today I have been scouring the web for info on carbon fiber tripods. They all look flimsy; as if they are for a SLR not a scope. Again, it would be nice if I could go to a store and actually look at these things in person. I like the apperance of the Berlebach's and a few other wooden tripods. The B'bach's do seem to be priced well. The lightest wooden mount I've considered is the TV Gibraltar. Comparing the weights of the various tripods is just a number, that picture with the ruler brings a lot of understanding to the heft of the Planet. But I have to admit, the Planet is a great looking set of legs!

Doug and the rest of the folks have been very helpful (and tolerant) to this new guy and I really appreciate it. I am close to making a decision and I'll post a pic or two when I get it all set up.

{"tripod porn"} Bwaa haa ha.


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Scott99
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/10/07

Loc: New England
Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: Scruffy]
      #3585897 - 01/26/10 08:34 PM

I measured the UNI too, the leg width is just shy of 3 inches. and yes, the ADATRI plate fits nicely on top of the Planet with bubble-level exposed.

here is one more tip - the Berlebach cotton-canvas bags are nice for storage. however for more protection, this JMI padded carry bag is very nice for either the UNI or Planet.
it's very solid, was able to carry my UNI and Teegul on an airplane flight (checked through baggage) with no problem:

http://www.astronomics.com/main/product.asp/catalog_name/Astronomics/category_name/3NQ6R1TANAHP9H7JKURQ64G777/product_id/207CM

I hear you guys on the CF tripods, even the UNI was a huge pain in the neck to take on a trip. CF would be the way to go if you have to travel with the thing for a week.

*edit - here is a nice photo-shoot Greg did of the Planet w/ G11 (sorry, no centerfold), not sure if you can see it w/o being a member of the losmandy yahoo group:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Losmandy_users/photos/album/403539821/pic/list


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davidpitre
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 05/10/05

Loc: Central Texas
Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: Scott99]
      #3586042 - 01/26/10 09:50 PM

How does the Uni 24 compare in terms of stability to the typical William Optics/ Oberwerk wooden tripods? Has anyone ever compared the two ? I'm sure the Berlebach is better quality but am wondering if it's appreciably more stable.

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Doug D.
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 08/23/05

Loc: Virginia
Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: davidpitre]
      #3586122 - 01/26/10 10:37 PM Attachment (190 downloads)

I owned the Oberwerk (purchased with WO EZ-touch mount). The price is certainly right (esp. for blem versions) but IMO it simply isn't in the same league as the tripods we are discussing here (e.g., Berlebach, KB, Gitzo).

As for carbon fiber tripods I'll post a couple images of the Gitzo GT5530S (now discontinued). Scope in first image is TV76 for scale - should give you an idea of leg thickness. It is great with the HH.


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Doug D.
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 08/23/05

Loc: Virginia
Re: Which Berlebach tripod ? new [Re: Doug D.]
      #3586126 - 01/26/10 10:39 PM Attachment (167 downloads)

And a more complete view with Astrotrac mount and an SV50 scope. It can handle a lot more weight - I use it mostly as grab and go with my 105. Don't expect the Gitzo to be the equal of a Planet in terms of stability and damping but it is certainly a great alternative to a medium duty quality wood tripod (e.g., a UNI) when portability is critical. You probably have to be a little crazy to go for one of these puppies - guilty as charged! But I do really need lightweight portability for travel. And yes, the Gitzo is a photo tripod and is not marketed for astronomy. The 5 series is a serious tripod.

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