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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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Doug D.
Carpal Tunnel

Reged: 08/23/05

Loc: Virginia
Re: Minimizing the cost of a DM-6 new [Re: KJL]
      #5956921 - 07/05/13 11:29 PM


Thanks to these experiences, when I upgraded to a larger "home" tripod (that was still travel-capable) I jumped straight to the Gitzo GT5562LTS. That has an 88-lb load capacity, but weighs just 6.5 lbs and collapses to 19.5 inches. No regrets, well, until I have the room to store a Berlebach Sky or equivalent .....

It's really true what people say about paying up once, becoming happy, and never thinking about the cost ever again.

This is so true, and I think many of us who have tried to save money by going with lesser "quality" options end up spending a lot more in the long run. Thom Hogan wrote an often cited essay about photography tripods several years ago that makes just this point but I think, if anything, it applies even more to us as astronomers. It isn't unusual to read posts here on CN from folks who just spent a fortune on a scope and/or mount and then, in an attempt to save money, buy a pretty shaky set of legs not up to the task. Invariably, it gets replaced by another mount and/or tripod (or even a succession of mounts and tripods) resulting over the long-haul in far more expense than if a quality set of legs was bought in the first place. I'm guilty of this myself so I speak from painful experience. However, I also realize that sometimes you just don't have the cash and in such cases, it is easy to justify to yourself a "compromise" solution.

I'm of the opinion that an "alpha-class" scope ends up being only as good as the mount and tripod/pier it rides on. It just isn't worth cutting corners on this - maybe "make do" with anything until you can afford an "alpha class" tripod for a DM-6 (e.g., Berlebach Planet, AP-Baader, G11, Gitzo 5 series, or the Discmount tripod). Bear in mind that a used tripod is almost certain to work as good as new even if beat to heck cosmetically (just watch out for dry rot on wooden tripods). Astromart or CN would be a great way to buy a top quality tripod for less - may just take some time and patience.

I'm with KJ on the 5-series Gitzo CF tripod, at least for a DM-4, not so sure it is up to the task of a DM-6 but maybe. Of course, the downside is that this is a really expensive option ideal for travel. You can get a Planet for close to same cost I believe, but no way a Planet is compact travel friendly! I use an AP/Baader wood tripod with my DM-6 and a 5-series Gitzo (I forget exact model number) with my DM-4 and couldn't be happier. By the way, Astro-Physics recently replaced the AP/Baader they use to sell with the Planet and I've noticed that there have been a number of AP/Baaders appearing on Astromart recently at reasonable prices - it is still a great tripod and perfect for the DM-6 (with the right adapter of course) but it is quite heavy. Now that it is perhaps no longer considered the top dog wooden tripod, the used prices will drop (I think they may have already).

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The Ardent

Reged: 10/24/08

Loc: Virginia
Re: Minimizing the cost of a DM-6 [Re: chrisg]
      #5957947 - 07/06/13 05:45 PM

Losmandy heavy duty tripod at great price

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