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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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orlyandico
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Berlebach Planet, Uni, Geoptik Hercules, or...?
      #6036061 - 08/20/13 09:24 AM

Ok so I finally want to spend more than $70 for the tripod underneath my Mach1. The biggest thing I can currently put on top is a C9.25 - and even the $70 Celestron tripod can handle it, albeit with jiggling if there's any wind.

But the real reason is that I think my Mach1 is dying of embarrassment. Or maybe I am. So I want a better tripod. And Rob Miller is still AWOL.

So.. Berlebach Planet, or Uni? Marion at Berlebach said a 25kg load would still be within the Uni's grasp. Not that I'm economizing, but the Planet is heavy at 11 kg.

The Geoptik Hercules costs a bit less, made in Italy, but weighs only 6.5 kg, a considerable advantage. I don't know if its 100kg rating is realistic though (the Planet is also 100kg).


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mgwhittle
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Re: Berlebach Planet, Uni, Geoptik Hercules, or...? new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6036115 - 08/20/13 09:51 AM

I like my Planet. It doesn't seem heavy to me. I use it with my iEQ45 but when I buy a Mach 1 in the future, it will be what I use with it. My opinion is don't skimp....the Uni would work but why load something to near it's capacity if you didn't have to?

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orlyandico
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Re: Berlebach Planet, Uni, Geoptik Hercules, or...? new [Re: mgwhittle]
      #6036137 - 08/20/13 10:03 AM

Mark, what tripod are you using on your 900? or is that permanently mounted?

My inherent cheapness again makes an appearance, because there's a Losmandy HD tripod local to me for $400. I know it's ugly and has sharp edges and bolts to whack you when you bump into it at night, but...


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maknewtnut
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Re: Berlebach Planet, Uni, Geoptik Hercules, or...? new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6036143 - 08/20/13 10:09 AM

There are tradeoffs to weigh with most decisions. When it comes to tripods, one must consider stability and portability.
IMO, to obtain stability, it's worth the tradeoff to sacrifice a bit of portability. If portability is more important for a given person's needs, then a bit of stability might be sacrificed to meet that need.

Comparing UNI and PLANET, the tradeoff is a bit more weight for only marginally larger physical stowed size. Increased mass is inherently more stable. If it were me, PLANET.

I have not used the Geoptik Hercules, so cannot comment on it's comparitive stability.


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WesC
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Re: Berlebach Planet, Uni, Geoptik Hercules, or...? new [Re: maknewtnut]
      #6036176 - 08/20/13 10:26 AM

What about the AP Eagle? It was made for the Mach 1.

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orlyandico
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Re: Berlebach Planet, Uni, Geoptik Hercules, or...? new [Re: WesC]
      #6036180 - 08/20/13 10:28 AM

Too pricey (the AP Eagle).

Another query: sometimes the old AWT000 Baader wood tripod comes up for sale. AP no longer sells this, what they sell now is the Berlebach Planet.

How does the Planet compare to the Baader?


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mgwhittle
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Re: Berlebach Planet, Uni, Geoptik Hercules, or...? new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6036307 - 08/20/13 11:43 AM

Quote:

Mark, what tripod are you using on your 900? or is that permanently mounted?

My inherent cheapness again makes an appearance, because there's a Losmandy HD tripod local to me for $400. I know it's ugly and has sharp edges and bolts to whack you when you bump into it at night, but...




I'm using the AP Portable Pier (which is very sturdy) until I can get an ATS pier. As you noted, Rob Miller is not and may never be an option at this point.

I considered buying the adapter plate offered by Berlebach to mount the 900 on the Planet to use with my C11 but it was $300+. That money can be better spent elsewhere and besides, like I mentioned, the Planet is marked for use with a Mach 1 sometime next year most likely.

Having said all that.....I would grab that Losmandy tripod if it was in good shape. You can't beat that price and it's very sturdy.


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mgwhittle
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Re: Berlebach Planet, Uni, Geoptik Hercules, or...? new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6036320 - 08/20/13 11:50 AM

Quote:

Too pricey (the AP Eagle).

Another query: sometimes the old AWT000 Baader wood tripod comes up for sale. AP no longer sells this, what they sell now is the Berlebach Planet.

How does the Planet compare to the Baader?




Someone else asked that same question: Planet vs Baader


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orlyandico
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Re: Berlebach Planet, Uni, Geoptik Hercules, or...? new [Re: mgwhittle]
      #6036530 - 08/20/13 01:30 PM

Sigh. I've had my eye on that Losmandy for months. Can't bring myself to buy the thing.

There's something about the aesthetics of wood... life's too short for ugly stuff. It would cost me about $1000 to buy directly from Berlebach and have it shipped to my location. The cost of shipping is almost 1/3 the total, which bums me..


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Scott99
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Re: Berlebach Planet, Uni, Geoptik Hercules, or...? new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6036595 - 08/20/13 02:09 PM

Did you ask Berlebach about boat shipping? It would take a long time but it might be cheaper.

I've got a Planet and a UNI, the Mach1 seems too large for the UNI. The Planet barely takes up any more space and only weighs a little more, I think around 20 pounds without the tray. I think the Planet is actually a bargain for what it costs. AP dropped their old wood tripod and switched to the Planet when it came out.

The Losmandy tripod would be rock solid also, I think the wood Planet is lighter which helps portability. The Planet sets up very quickly without any tools, it really is a masterpiece.


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orlyandico
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Re: Berlebach Planet, Uni, Geoptik Hercules, or...? new [Re: Scott99]
      #6036718 - 08/20/13 03:08 PM

I'm trying to work out some deal with Markus at APM. Berlebach uses FedEx which is pricey - almost $300 for shipping.

What bums me is that Berlebach wants an extra 90 Euro for the mount to adapt to an ADATRI, while they charge zero for the others. C'mon drilling and tapping 3 holes costs 90 Euro? I'm of a mind to buy the Planet with a plane plate and drill & tap it myself. Just to be ornery..

I believe the first Planets in the US were like this.


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Patrik Iver
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Re: Berlebach Planet, Uni, Geoptik Hercules, or...? new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6036767 - 08/20/13 03:36 PM

Quote:

What bums me is that Berlebach wants an extra 90 Euro for the mount to adapt to an ADATRI, while they charge zero for the others. C'mon drilling and tapping 3 holes costs 90 Euro? I'm of a mind to buy the Planet with a plane plate and drill & tap it myself. Just to be ornery..

I believe the first Planets in the US were like this.




Are you sure it is just three holes? I don't have that particular model of Planet myself, but I believe that the 90 € buys you the machined adapter ring which fits the AP mount.

I own a UNI since more than 10 years, and a Planet since almost 2 years. I definitely recommend you to choose the Planet for the load you are contemplating. My UNI 18L (? I think...?) is rated at 55 kg, which is pretty high, but the Planet is much sturdier.


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mgwhittle
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Re: Berlebach Planet, Uni, Geoptik Hercules, or...? new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6036768 - 08/20/13 03:37 PM

Quote:



What bums me is that Berlebach wants an extra 90 Euro for the mount to adapt to an ADATRI, while they charge zero for the others. C'mon drilling and tapping 3 holes costs 90 Euro? I'm of a mind to buy the Planet with a plane plate and drill & tap it myself. Just to be ornery..

I believe the first Planets in the US were like this.




That is exactly my plan. Use it now for the iEQ45 then drill it out for the AP adapter when I get the Mach 1.

However.......I am pretty sure that 90 Euros covers an adapter similar to the AP already attached so all you do when you get the Planet is bolt up the Mach 1, no need to buy the ADATRI. You might want to email Berlebach about that........they are very good at answering questions.

Edit: I see Patrik and I posted at the same time. And I believe we are both correct.

Edited by mgwhittle (08/20/13 03:51 PM)


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mgwhittle
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Re: Berlebach Planet, Uni, Geoptik Hercules, or...? new [Re: mgwhittle]
      #6036779 - 08/20/13 03:42 PM

Another thing, if the adapter for the Mach 1 is similar to the adapter for the 900 then it is a beautiful piece of machining. As good or better than the AP adapter.

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AndreyYa
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Loc: Sunnyvale, CA
Re: Berlebach Planet, Uni, Geoptik Hercules, or...? new [Re: mgwhittle]
      #6037205 - 08/20/13 07:42 PM Attachment (10 downloads)

I use Celestron Heavy Duty Tripod #93493 with Mach1. Works like a charm.
A bit heavy, but has about 200-300 lb capacity. Just $300 from B&H.

Edited by AndreyYa (08/20/13 07:43 PM)


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Doug D.
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Re: Berlebach Planet, Uni, Geoptik Hercules, or...? new [Re: AndreyYa]
      #6037236 - 08/20/13 08:03 PM

Why not a used AP Baader wood tripod with ADATRI installed? These seem to be going for good prices used lately, probably because AP now sells the Planet. I don't have much trouble believing the Planet is a "better" tripod but I'd need to try them both to be convinced - the AP/Baader is a great tripod. And this used to be what AP sold as the tripod solution tor the Mach 1.

I use to use it with my Mach 1 until I splurged on a used Eagle. Now I use the AP/Baader with a DM-6 for my 140. Still rock solid and looks great. Not what you'd call light weight though.


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orlyandico
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Re: Berlebach Planet, Uni, Geoptik Hercules, or...? new [Re: Doug D.]
      #6037377 - 08/20/13 10:11 PM

I already have a couple of ADATRI's. So getting another one or its work-alike is surplus to my needs.

AndreyYa - I am currently using a Celestron adjustable tripod on my Mach1. I want something better...

Doug - the consensus is that the Berlebach Planet is superior to the AWT000 Baader Hardwood Tripod, which is derived from an old Zeiss surveyor tripod. True that AWT000 goes for around $500 shipped, although if it has the Lapides spreader sellers are asking for much more ($800+).


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Doug D.
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Re: Berlebach Planet, Uni, Geoptik Hercules, or...? new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6037723 - 08/21/13 05:03 AM

The Lapides spreader is pretty rare and I installed one on my AP/Baader - it is a brilliant piece of gear and worth the premium if you can find it. I'm surprised there is a "consensus" that the Planet is "superior". I'd suggest they represent an area of diminishing returns in which the Planet may be measurably "better" but in real-world practice with a Mach 1 for visual, I'd be surprised if there were much to distinguish them at the eyepiece. I've got nothing against Berlebach, I owned a UNI-24 and it was a fine tripod (by the way, I don't consider a UNI equal to the task of a Mach 1). I'd gladly buy a Planet over the AWT000 if I didn't already have the Baader. Balancing price vs. performance though, currently tough to beat what the AP/Baader represents IMHO. If "superiority" is in fact more what you are after, then it would seem to me the Eagle may be worth saving for.

To me, The Planet wins on looks and the fact that it has indexing on legs, I loved that for easily leveling my UNI at different leg extensions. The Baader is tall enough (for me at least) to use without leg extension. With legs extended significantly on both of these fine tripods my guess would be that the Planet is more stable. Again though, I would need to extend the Planet based on its starting height but the Baader I almost always use collapsed.


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orlyandico
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Re: Berlebach Planet, Uni, Geoptik Hercules, or...? new [Re: Doug D.]
      #6037742 - 08/21/13 05:44 AM

Doug, the Baader is rated at around 100 pounds, the Planet is rated at 220 pounds. A used Baader with the Lapides spreader costs as much as a new Planet...! so for me a used Baader with the Lapides is a non-starter. And I don't use my Mach1 for visual.. right now with the $70 Celestron tripod, I have up to 85lb total on it (mount + C9.25 + camera + weights).

A non-Lapides Baader would be a bit more than half the cost of a new Planet.

As for the Eagle pier - I prefer wood. The thing that stopped me from buying a Rob Miller (back when I could still buy one) was I was suspicious about the longevity and resistance to dings of that nice anodized aluminum.


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ichdien
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Re: Berlebach Planet, Uni, Geoptik Hercules, or...? new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6037948 - 08/21/13 09:33 AM

I guess I underestimated the market when I sold my Baader with Lapides spreader for $700 last year. I can't compare it to the Planet because I have no experience with the latter, but I *can* compare it to my two current tripods: a Rob Miller 36M, which is way lighter than the Baader and just as sturdy, and a Tak heavy duty metal tripod, which is way heavier than both the Baader and Miller but far more stable than either. I know you don't like metal, but the Tak is built like the proverbial tank. I'm not sure whether a gently used one, like the one I bought, would be in the same price range as a Planet. Good luck with your choice.

Jim


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