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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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tomcody
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/06/08

Loc: Titusville, Florida
Re: Berlebach Planet, Uni, Geoptik Hercules, or...? new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6038171 - 08/21/13 11:30 AM

If it were me;

I would go with the Losmandy HD, most bang for the buck! It is height adjustable and can be leveled and is strong. ( Also almost everybody makes reasonably priced mount adapter plates for it). If the knobs bother you? buy the accessory handles from Losmandy to smooth out the profile.

second choice: Meade LX200 field tripod with Losmandy MA adapter or custom fit one of the AP adapters to it. Cheap, strong, don't have to worry about damaging it (who cares?) and adjusts nicely.

third choice: AP portable pier, light, stronger than it looks but not height adjustable or able to be leveled easily. (easier to move it to a flat location rather than play with the turn buckles). Also, talk about ugly, the flat crinkle paint AP uses is IMO just bad to look at!

Personally, I would never buy a wood tripod again, too easy to damage when storing or moving it ( and a good re-varnish job takes a lot of time).
Rex

Edited by tomcody (08/21/13 11:32 AM)


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Doug D.
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 08/23/05

Loc: Virginia
Re: Berlebach Planet, Uni, Geoptik Hercules, or...? new [Re: ichdien]
      #6038186 - 08/21/13 11:38 AM

Well, given the payload you expect to need I'd say you are on the right track with the Planet. It is no doubt an excellent choice and the fact that A-P dropped the Baader for it should tell us something.

The Lapides spreader seemed for a while to have some kind of holy grail status..... It is nice but I wouldn't think it worth some of the crazy prices I've seen in the last few years (I know because it took me a long time to find one I could afford). I just couldn't stand dealing with that tripod tray (and dropped hardware in the grass) of the stock AWT00. I grant you, given a choice between the AP/Baader with Lapides and the Planet, I'd take the Planet for the money. Luckily, the Eagle satisfies my need for stability and the Baader is great with the DM-6. As much as I like the thought of the Planet - in my case I can't justify it at this point. Good luck - and post some pictures at some point please.


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astrophile
sage


Reged: 06/30/13

Loc: Chaise-lounge, 18x50s in hand
Re: Berlebach Planet, Uni, Geoptik Hercules, or...? new [Re: tomcody]
      #6041005 - 08/22/13 11:31 PM

Second the Losmandy HD. I've never had an issue banging into the knobs at night. (Can't say the same thing for my door frames when hauling the thing out of the basement...but the long wood tripods ding the doorframes also!) As for looks--cmon, how much are you seeing or looking at the tripod at night?

The added bonus: If you sell the Losmandy later in favor of wood, 11kg of Planet will seem positively light to lift!


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Mauikj
member


Reged: 06/08/08

Loc: Maui, Hawaii, USA
Re: Berlebach Planet, Uni, Geoptik Hercules, or...? new [Re: mgwhittle]
      #6042845 - 08/24/13 01:50 AM


Aloha Orlyandico,

I vote Planet. I got one a month ago for my DM6 mount and my Takahashi TOA130 and I love it. It looks great, is rock solid and really is not hard to move around. I live in Hawaii and they shipped DHL express from Germany which was kind of a joke - the tray came in two weeks and the tripod took 5 (so I'm sure the tripod was on a boat). It cost 170 euros shipping to Hawaii but I got a 100 euro German Value added tax credit so it was not that bad. (total cost with the double leg clamps and extra rubber feet was 691 euros - which is not bad for the quality of the tripod). I tried a Losmandy HD but that was really heavy (but super stable too). So just one guys opinion.


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orlyandico
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: Berlebach Planet, Uni, Geoptik Hercules, or...? new [Re: Mauikj]
      #6042950 - 08/24/13 04:20 AM

I'm really also leaning to the Planet, but I'm curious about Tom Cody's assertion that he'll never buy a wood tripod again.

I always thought wood tripods would be the easiest to refinish if they got dings (due to having wood putty and tung oil readily available)..


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tomcody
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/06/08

Loc: Titusville, Florida
Re: Berlebach Planet, Uni, Geoptik Hercules, or...? new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6043823 - 08/24/13 03:37 PM

A couple of things about wood tripods, If they are varnished? you must do a lot to touch up sanding to prep them ( and maybe take off the hardware) and good varnish coats and between sanding takes a few days. Metal legs on a Losmandy HD probably will not show bangs and scrapes nearly as much.
Also, to me the only reason for wood is if you are going to store it set up in the house and want the look of wood, and don't most wood tripods have sharp pointed spikes on the legs? what does that do for the floor?
One more point, I have read of a number of wood tripods drying out in the house and slipping a leg, if that happens, good by scope.
All good reasons for a sturdy metal tripod IMO.
P.S. My Takahashi wood tripod was the worst of both worlds, not adjustable, easy to nick and damage ( and it showed the smallest ding) and the tripod shelf, was held on by snap in ball ends, on day I bumped the tripod, one corner of the tripod shelf popped loose and the whole scope and mount all 85 lbs came down on the floor, lucky for me I caught it (fell under it actually- and that hurt!) but that was the last time I used that tripod, $700 down the drain.
Rex

Edited by tomcody (08/24/13 03:38 PM)


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Agatha
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 06/04/12

Loc: Coulee Region, Wisconsin
Re: Berlebach Planet, Uni, Geoptik Hercules, or...? new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6043835 - 08/24/13 03:44 PM

I also vote Planet.

Don't worry about the dings. Touching up a scratch or ding is no problem on the wood...just as you said. I think is is way more difficult to touch up a scratch (down to the silver, screaming at you, aluminum) on something that is black anodized. Maybe it's just me.

The wood is just so beautiful on the Planet.

Have fun in your decision.

Best,


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Agatha
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 06/04/12

Loc: Coulee Region, Wisconsin
Re: Berlebach Planet, Uni, Geoptik Hercules, or...? new [Re: Agatha]
      #6043844 - 08/24/13 03:52 PM

I do understand Tom's concerns. Wood can really be tricky to refinish to a new look. But so is aluminum.

As for the pointy feet...order the optional plastic feet to protect floors etc. You will then have your choice of pointy or not pointy. As long as you order the optional feet, you will have both sets. And they are easy to exchange.

It's a hard decision. And I'm sure either choice would be appropriate.

Best


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M13 Observer
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/09/06

Re: Berlebach Planet, Uni, Geoptik Hercules, or...? new [Re: tomcody]
      #6043919 - 08/24/13 04:51 PM

Quote:

If it were me;


third choice: AP portable pier, light, stronger than it looks but not height adjustable or able to be leveled easily. (easier to move it to a flat location rather than play with the turn buckles). Also, talk about ugly, the flat crinkle paint AP uses is IMO just bad to look at!

Rex




The tubes are standard irrigation pipe cut to length and as such are not finished and have small dings, pits, lines, etc. There are a couple of very close fitting machined collars inside to give them strength and rigidity. The crinkle finish covers that all up. If you have a better idea . . .


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mgwhittle
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 08/24/11

Loc: Chattanooga, TN
Re: Berlebach Planet, Uni, Geoptik Hercules, or...? new [Re: M13 Observer]
      #6043940 - 08/24/13 05:01 PM

Get the light or natural finish on the Planet......you will never notice minor dings.

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tomcody
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/06/08

Loc: Titusville, Florida
Re: Berlebach Planet, Uni, Geoptik Hercules, or...? new [Re: M13 Observer]
      #6044177 - 08/24/13 08:21 PM

Quote:

Quote:

If it were me;


third choice: AP portable pier, light, stronger than it looks but not height adjustable or able to be leveled easily. (easier to move it to a flat location rather than play with the turn buckles). Also, talk about ugly, the flat crinkle paint AP uses is IMO just bad to look at!

Rex




The tubes are standard irrigation pipe cut to length and as such are not finished and have small dings, pits, lines, etc. There are a couple of very close fitting machined collars inside to give them strength and rigidity. The crinkle finish covers that all up. If you have a better idea . . .



Yes, a better idea would be to use a better grade metal tubing and put a better finish on it. For $800 -$1300 it sure does not look like AP quality .
Also, The crinkle paint attracts dirt in the finish and is very hard to clean and make it look like new after its been used in a dusty area.
Rex


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